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TCI: The People’s Time Throne Speech delivered; Swearing in under sunny skies in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, March 8, 2021 – Home grown investment appears to be poised to be elevated, incentivized and prioritized according to the new Progressive National Party (PNP) Government Administration in its Throne Speech, which was on Parliament Opening and Swearing in day delivered by Her Excellency, Anya Williams, (Acting) Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Over the years, our dependence on FDI driven development has led to unintended consequences, instead of policy driven outcomes and results.

To grow and diversify the TCI economy will require a strong combination of domestic and foreign direct investments.

My Government’s new investment policy will place emphasis on domestic investment, including funding sources for qualifying start-ups and existing entities – especially in the productive sector.”

This was an early message in the 14-page Speech, which is a traditional conveyance on the intention of the new government, which in this case has been given a massive mandate after winning governance 14 to 1, against the People’s Democratic Movement on Friday February 19, 2021.

In order to achieve this more balanced approach to investment, which gives the domestic investor preferential standing is an overhaul of Invest Turks and Caicos Agency, again.

“My Government will revamp Invest TCI to make it more effective in investment promotion and facilitation, attracting new investors and retaining existing ones.

We will augment the team with world class commercial business and legal expertise and balance customer concerns against the different regulatory goals of agencies through better inter-governmental communication.”

Listed were the results these changes of the investment unit should bring, including:  Removal of barriers to and direct concessions in favour of domestic investment; Rebalance the current allocation of land use which was driven by foreign investors with an efficient and equitable land use policy; Incentivise joint-ventures and partnerships between FDI and local entrepreneurs especially in the productive sectors; Establish minimum investment thresholds for stand- alone FDI entities and strengthen compliance measures in the restricted business categories.

Development Agreements will also become more simplified and strategic. 

“Repeal the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and replace it with a new investment promotion legal framework that focuses on domestic investment, and genuine long-term alliances and partnerships with foreign investors.  Restructure the revenue system to eliminate the need for complicated development agreements and Create new types of investments.”

Premier Hon C. Washington Misick and the PNP’s message through H.E. Williams shared a new mantra for the party it seems; that this new session of Parliament is about creating wealth opportunity and equality; Misick dubbed it ‘the People’s Time.’

“We have made significant gains in some of the measurements of development, such as life expectancy; better access by our people to primary, secondary, and tertiary education; healthcare; improved infrastructure and greater access to electricity and clean water.

Regrettably, our people have not benefitted as much as they should from the significant growth in our GDP. Far too many remain on the margins and barely eke out an existence.

The next fifty years must be for and about the people. Everything we do must be centred on their wellbeing, welfare and wealth creation.”

The First sitting of the First meeting of the First session of the 12th Legislature was held on Friday March 5, 2021 at the Parade Grounds in Grand Turk, where Covid-19 public health protocols were observed. 

The Speaker for the House of Assembly is Hon Gordon Burton; his deputy is South Caicos Member, Hon. Rev. John Malcolm.


Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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