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Phase one of CCTV Project completed in St. Vincent & the Grenadines

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#St.Vincent&theGrenadines, June 9, 2021 – Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Information Technology, the Hon. Camillo Gonsalves has received a certificate from the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signifying the completion of the 1st phase of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) project.

The presentation ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 1st, at the Foreign Affairs’ conference room and heard remarks from Minister Gonsalves, Ambassador Calvin Ho and Commissioner of Police Colin John.

Disclosing that Taiwan has assisted this country in modernizing and outfitting a monitoring station at the Questelles Police Station with cameras and equipment that are operational for 24 hours, Minister Gonsalves highlighted Taiwan’s continued contribution and expressed his appreciation to the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on this gesture. Work on the 2nd phase of the project which is the Intelligent Bus Management and monitoring system has started and is expected to intensify.

The Technology Minister added that Taiwanese associates in collaboration with the Commissioner of Police installed CCTV cameras at various locations across Saint Vincent to ensure general safety. He further noted that there are currently eighty-eight (88) cameras in Kingstown, twenty-six (26) along the Leeward coast and fifty-eight (58) on the Windward coast.

Addressing the presentation ceremony Ambassador Ho thanked Minister Gonsalves and Police Commissioner John for the support rendered to this project over the years.

In his remarks, Commissioner of Police, Colin John, echoed the benefits of the Intelligent Bus Management and Monitoring project. He said the Police Force welcomes the initiative and thanked the Government and people of Taiwan for their efforts. Furthermore, Commissioner John said that the initiative can assist in enhancing the transportation system, aid in time management, and provide a more equipped system to monitor and more effectively regulate the traffic.


The Commissioner hailed the CCTV program as an initiative that is helpful to the Police force in the detection and prosecution of criminals; noting that it would also act as a deterrent for criminal activities. Commissioner John thanked the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its efforts and gave the assurance that the system would be successfully and “efficiently run and managed.”

Additionally, stressing the level of support Taiwan has given Commissioner John said that many police officers have undergone significant training from Taiwan, particularly through the police apprentice program sponsored by the Taiwanese Government.

Meantime, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Ambassador Calvin Ho will end his tour of duty to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the end of June, 2021. Ambassador Ho made the announcement as he addressed the presentation ceremony for the certificate to mark the completion of phase one of the CCTV project yesterday, Tuesday, June 1st. The Ambassador is leaving after serving three years as the Taiwanese Ambassador to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Ambassador emphasized that even though he is about to leave his post, he regards Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as family and thanked Minister Gonsalves and Police Commissioner John for their support over the years, noting that in the future, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan will continue to foster their relationship and work together.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of China (Taiwan) is this year celebrating 40 years of diplomatic ties and friendship.

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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