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Beneath the Waves, Shark Week Crew Filming in Nassau with Stuart Cove Dive, Country superstar Brad Paisley playing for the science underlying stunner

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#TheBahamas, July 7, 2021 – Producers, film makers, divers and support crew fanned out across the waters off the southwest coast of New Providence recently, shooting footage for Shark Week that will air the second week in July captivating viewers in up to 88 million homes and multiple platforms in 224 countries.

The episode shot in The Bahamas featuring local divers and marine scientists like Dr. Austin Gallagher (Beneath the Waves) will air on the Discovery Channel July 13.

Headlined “The Science of Sound” it explores sharks’ reactions to the sound of music, country music in particular, thanks to the picking, plunking, playing and familiar voice of country superstar Brad Paisley who added star power to what is likely to be cone of the most watched TV shows of the year. Paisley played live on the dive boat, with his recordings lowered by divers through underwater sonar equipment and moved with them as they swam and interacted with dozens of curious nurse and reef sharks. A diver himself, the singer-songwriter spent two days experiencing the deep with local divers like Kareem Bethell and Tyson Smith.

Stuart Cove Dive provided vessels and dive gear. And every minute was filled with action. Two cameras topside, two below. Drones. For every diver, a buddy, for every producer, a back-up with a different set of eyes. Audio. Standby medical, head of emergency room operations at a major health system with his 80-lb case of everything that matters right down to a watch-size scanner capable of following the movements of internal parts. The budget for the single episode — whopping and undisclosed. But consider this: Local divers, dive boats, nearly a week of filming, executive and line producers from as far away as L.A. who also do NatGeo, Netflix, the History Channel, HGTV and the Food Network. The goal – to shoot 100% of the episode, all 43 minutes, 20 seconds of non-advertising footage, right there, where we are today off New Providence and near where they have been all week. The result: Nearly perfect, they got 98%.

“It’s a great place to shoot,” a producer tells me. “It’s safe, it’s easy to get to not like some of the places we have to do that are far out from land over fairly treacherous seas, and celebrities love it here.”

When it comes to what it takes to make Shark Week filming work, Stuart Cove is up to the task, running back and forth to deliver another diver, a different camera, to take someone off the vessel who has to get to the airport. You’d think the half hour run out to the deep would get old, but it never does.    

“We have been working with Shark Week every year since the first episode was filmed in The Bahamas in 1988. And every year I think what can Discovery Channel do to top this and the next year they come up with something even more interesting or scientifically important,” says Cove, who founded and operates the country’s largest world-renowned dive business. This year, he had an additional hand, his son, Travis, a diver turned actor who doubled for another in the show.

Cove, a director of Save The Bays and active in coral reef preservation, believes Shark Week has helped sensitize the public to the value of sharks. “Jaws made us afraid, Shark Week makes us understand. Presenting the real true story of the value of sharks helps us appreciate the important role they play in the marine eco-system.” 

Dr. Gallagher agrees.

“Marine scientists, including myself, give The Bahamas great credit for the country’s shark sanctuary legislation,” said Gallagher, who has been exploring and documenting marine resources in The Bahamas for more than a decade and says there is no body of water comparable to it. A proponent of naming the waters the Lucayan Sea, he cites the statistic that an individual is more likely to be struck by lightning twice than to be bitten by a shark.

“Research which we have helped contribute to demonstrates that tragically, unlike The Bahamas, there are countries where greed and avarice create a shark fin trade that claims fins from up to 73 million sharks a year,” says Dr. Gallagher, who talks respectfully of the marine creatures he has just been swimming with as he peels off a standard wet suit and unloads his dive gear from the second dive of the afternoon. “And while The Bahamas is protecting sharks and as you can see, the population out here today is healthy and active and non-threatening, sharks in many places elsewhere continue to be threatened and that is heart-breaking for anyone who studies their role in the marine eco-system.”

A Discovery Channel press release on Shark Week says a study published in Nature magazine earlier this year found that oceanic sharks and rays declined by at least 71% since 1970.

Shark Week, Discovery Channel’s most popular program, will run from Sunday, July 11 through Sunday, July 18 with the Bahamas episode on the third night, Tuesday. Discovery Channel dubs its 2021 shows a ‘jawesome lineup’ beginning with a docu-series and includes, in addition to Brad Paisley, William Shatner, JB Smoove, Tiffany Haddish and others with celebrities diving alongside marine biologists and representatives from respected science institutes like Beneath the Waves and Oceana.

Shark Week 2021 precedes the Summer Olympics and, says Discovery Channel, promises “to deliver all-new groundbreaking shark stories revealing remarkable insights into the mysterious world of these magnificent creatures.”

By Diane Phillips

Header: Producers, directors, camera and drone crew, local divers and marine scientists pile aboard a Stuart Cove Dive vessel ready to shoot another day of what will be the July 13 episode of Shark Week.

1st insert: Kareem Bethell, one of several Bahamian divers, stars in Shark Week July 13 on the Discovery Channel.

2nd insert: Ready, set, almost – A quiet moment in Coral Harbour in New Providence, Bahamas, waiting for action to start are front row David Harris and Dr. Austin Gallagher, Beneath the Waves and back row Diane Phillips, writer, and businessman Mario Carey who turned a passion for diving into a plea to save marine resources of The Bahamas and is raising funds to help monitor the waters. 

3rd insert: Top Bahamian dive expert Andre Musgrove directs film crew including marine scientist Dr. Austin Gallagher and Dr. Erica Staaterman, a marine bioacoustics expert with the Department of Interior, as they prepare for the second dive of the day filming the Shark Week episode The Science of Sound. Shark Week runs July 11-18 on the Discovery Channel with the episode shot in The Bahamas set to air on the 13th

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Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.

This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre.  Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.

It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”

Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.

The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.

As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.

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Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.

Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.

Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.

“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried admitted he’d screwed up

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – An interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit revealed that there were no risk management teams or form of corporate control to help govern the organisation.

Bankman-Fried resigned from his position in November following a liquidity crisis that resulted in the loss of billions in customer funds.

The CEO said he was shocked by what had taken place.  While he had made loans to his hedge fund Alameda, Bank-Fried said he did not intentionally commingle the funds.

Bankman-Fried acknowledged that he had a responsibility to the company and all its customers but he “screwed up.” “There was no person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he shared.

The investigation is ongoing and it still needs to be clarified whether customers will be able to regain any funds.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Howard Fischer said that Bankman-Fried’s comments are being scrutinised.  “Everything he says that turns out to be contradicted by admissible evidence will be taken as evidence of deceit.”

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