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Caribbean is Sensational at Summer Olympics

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Elaine Thompson-Herah
Dom Rep Relay Team

#TheBahamas, August 4, 2021 – The Caribbean has 44 million people; together. The performances at the Tokyo Summer Olympics from Caribbean athletes, even those who have Caribbean heritage have been astounding to say the least.  It was and continues to be thrilling to watch these fine athletes collect the valuable hardware from a ‘Games’ which is a year late and wrought with complexities as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Caribbean women have emerged as pioneering figures in these games, a fact not lost on another Caribbean woman of sports who has exemplified that ladies can not only prepare what is on the table, but join the feast as equal partner and leader at the table.

““It gives me great pride and honor as I reflect on the incredible accomplishments of the women participants of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.  It is fair to say that not only are women breaking glass ceilings in leadership positions around the world but women are now dominating in sports arenas around the world.  Congratulations to all the female achievers of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, in particular our Caribbean Sisters who continue to raise the bar.  You are an inspiration to all of us and we are forever proud of you and your achievements,” said Sonia Fulford, President of the Turks and Caicos Island Football Association (TCIFA) and newly re-elected member of the FIFA Council.

Shericka Jackson

Even as we prepare this issue of The Magnate; regional people celebrate the gold medal performance of Andre De Grasse of Canada who has secured first place in the Men’s 200m, with a career best time.  De Grasse is the son of a Barbadian man and a Trinidadian woman.

And while we could be wiped out by the feats of the men and women who reflect our diversity as an English, French, Dutch and Spanish speaking region, we are not and the expectation for more, is high and will not go unquenched.

Jamaica is by far is rolling out the most headline grabbing show. 

“Without having the crowds, you can actually feel the love and the comradery there.  You can see that they have really bond together well because after coming off such a tough period we are really happy that Digicel has been able to carry the Games on Sports Max,” said Addison Stoddard, CEO of Digicel TCI which is not only offering expert commentary by Caribbean professional athletes, trainers and former Olympians but an mobile App to watch on the go.

“You have 15 channels you can scroll across and select any of the channels on the (Sports Max) App and watch any of the events.”

ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce

This is great news; the unencumbered access to the planet’s premier sporting event where Elaine Thompson-Herah would deliver the first huge and historic deed when she smashed the 33-year Olympic record of celebrated female US Champion – Florence Griffith-Joyner in the 100m.  In a time of 10.61 Thompson-Herah is firmly cemented as the fastest woman ever in the Olympics and tidily raised the bar in her home country of Jamaica where the time is also now the national record. 

Elaine wasn’t even born when Flo-Jo ran that race in 1988; Elaine at 29-years old would not only lead a one-two-three- sweep of the 100m event for Jamaica (ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce, second and Shericka Jackson, third) but would go on to power through in the 200m for another landmark victory. 

In the race, filled with famous and accomplished female athletes from six other countries of the world, Thompson-Herah unequivocally earned another gold medal.  The thing is, this was no ordinary gold.  This triumph solidified Elaine as both the most captivating figure of health, strength, beauty and speed and the Queen of Sprints because no other female athlete has ever won both the 100m and 200m at two consecutive Olympics; those being Rio Games of 2016 and the current Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“The Olympics have been absolutely amazing and we are so proud of the accomplishments of Elaine Thompson-Herah, breaking the Olympic record in the 100 and great performance by ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce also but Elaine is definitely the Queen at the Olympics in the sprints,” said Mr. Stoddard in commenting to The Magnate.

Megan Tapper.

In the Women’s 400m hurdles we had another fantastic demonstration of sensational athleticism by several Caribbean women.  Though Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas would not make the medal stand, one of the shortest (height-wise) in the field, it would be another ‘shorty’ who would prove very successful.  Again, hailing from the Sprint Capital of the World: Jamaica, millions of television viewers were locked onto the race and eventually wowed by Megan Tapper.

Tapper, and her spirited personality won the individual bronze, becoming the first woman from the English Speaking Caribbean to medal in the event.

Rai Benjamin

“I am happy to see the young lady in the 100m hurdles, Tapper.  That was really a very good run.  She defied all odds, she is barely 5’ 1” and had to jump over all of those high hurdles, while sprinting.  And a really good event was Rai Benjamin, getting a silver medal in the 400m hurdles in record breaking time,”  Stoddard, a sports enthusiast himself reminded, “Rai Benjamin, although he is an American, he is the son of a former West Indies medium base bowler from Antigua and Barbuda called Winston Benjamin; his father played cricket for the West Indies team.”

Jasmine Camacho Quinn

The gold medal show stopper in the same race as Megan was from the Camacho line.  Hailing from Puerto Rico, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn during the heats set a new Olympic Record and then went on to secure the first individual gold medal for a Puerto Rican woman at any Games; only the second gold in the country’s history. 

The results was a beautiful recompense for Jasmine who DQed out of the event at the 2016 Rio Games and missed a medal many said she would have surely won.

The other Latino-Caribbean countries are working spectacularly on the field and off.  Cuba has 12 medals in the Games, the most of any Caribbean region country.  The Dominican Republic has 3 medals, including one in female weightlifting.

Crismery Santana, 26 years old has earned a bronze and the DomRep is beaming with joy at her historic feat. 

The Cuban long jumpers were almost gold and silver in the men’s event, until their Greek counterpart Miltiadis Tentoglou pulled off an upset in his final effort; snatching the gold.  The men – Juan Miguel Echevarria and Maykel Masso – would walk away with a limp each and the silver and bronze for the Republic.

Juan Miguel Echevarria

There is great expectation in the Women’s 400m on Thursday; it features Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas; who has come to defend her Rio Games title in the event.  Miller-Uibo has run well in these Games, but even veteran Olympic champion and compatriot Pauline Davis-Thompson is worried.

The Bahamian Golden Girl expressed, in her Sports Max interview on Wednesday that, she is a concerned about Miller-Uibo who showed some weakness in the 200m; Shaunae placed last in the event after three consecutive sessions of running the 200m and 400m heats and final.

Bahamas News

PM Davis: Artificial Intelligence Micro-Course Graduation is ‘something very special’

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – During his Official Remarks at the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that he believed that those involved had accomplished “something very special.”

“I see this as the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing initiative, as we embrace the power of strategic partnerships and innovative ideas that can empower our people for success,” he said, during the ceremony held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.

Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.

A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.

Prime Minister Davis stated that the world was currently going through an era of “rapid, and, I dare say, epic change.”

“They are calling it the triple transition, which includes climate change, demographic change, as well as digital change,” he noted.  “The Bahamas is experiencing each of these changes in profound ways.”

He added: “Climate change represents the biggest threat we have ever, ever faced, as well as the biggest opportunity to re-align our society with our values to make the world cleaner, healthier, more prosperous, and more just.  And then there is digital transformation, which requires tremendous investments in infrastructure, and, of course, education in digital skills so that our workforce can remain competitive in this new era.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that the impact of that global transition was so broad that embracing those changes as opportunities required the integration of climate resilience and digital innovation into every aspect of The Bahamas’ national development models.

“That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished today,” he said.  “We have opened the eyes of these young Bahamian scholars to the vast world of digital transformation through AI and machine learning.”

“We have placed this great potential at their fingertips so that they can go on to be, not just consumers of digital technology, but also digital producers, disruptors, and innovators,” Prime Minister Davis added.

He pointed out that they lived in a time when AI had become commonplace. Universities, Prime Minister Davis added, were grappling with the ethical implications of natural language algorithms, like Chat GPT, which produced essays with just a few prompts.

“Programmers and writers are using open-source AI apps to become more efficient and productive,” he said.  “We are seeing the widespread application of AI in every sector that is redefining how we work.”

“The AI revolution has already made waves here in The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Local businesses are using AI to collect data and empower their marketing initiatives.”

He continued:  “My administration has pioneered the use of AI at the Ministry of Tourism, where AI chatbots are facilitating more efficient customer service and AI algorithms are helping us to identify and target likely visitors.  Even the Water and Sewerage Corporation has begun using AI to detect leaks.

“But this is just the beginning.”

Prime Minister Davis said that AI was still in its infancy. In the near future, he added, AI will take over repetitive, everyday tasks in fields as vast as engineering, programming, law, accounting, marketing, and healthcare administration.

“We also anticipate using AI in our current efforts to fight climate change and make our nation more climate resilient,” Prime Minister Davis noted.  “With these changes, some current jobs may become obsolete, but new jobs within data science and AI will emerge.”

“We will need a robust supply of well-trained, well-educated professionals to ensure that The Bahamas continues to keep pace with global economic developments,” he added.  “And we want those professionals to be Bahamians.

“Today, we have taken steps toward building that future-focused workforce with 20 bright young scholars here at UB.”

Prime Minister Davis thanked KAUST, with special mention to Director Albarakati and Professor Khan for “partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative.”

“I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will enrich our students and allow for the exchange of knowledge between faculty to strengthen our institutions,” he said.

Prime Minister Davis also thanked Partanna, and its CEO, His Excellency, Ambassador Rick Fox, for helping to make the partnership happen through its funding and support.

“Thank you, as well, for your continued commitment to the environment through your groundbreaking carbon-negative concrete that will transform the global construction industry,” Prime Minister Davis said.

“Ambassador Fox, you are truly a proud son of our soil, and you continue to inspire us all,” he added.

Prime Minister thanked the faculty and staff at the University of The Bahamas for “their support in making this happen.”

“They often say if you can make it at UB, you can make it anywhere,” he pointed out.  “This saying has proven true, not just because of the academic integrity and rigour of UB’s programmes, but because of UB’s willingness to embrace change and opportunity.”

He added:  “Thank you to UB’s dynamic leadership team, President Hodder, UB’s Chair Mrs. Maynard Gibson, the Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Marlo Murphy Braynen, Dr. (Woodside-) Oriakhi and your team for making this possible.  Most importantly, thank you to the students who enrolled and committed to completing this course as an investment in your future and your future prospects.”

For those students who go on to continue their studies in AI, either at King Abdullah University or through other avenues, Prime Minister encouraged them to continue exploring their interests and talents.

“Continue adding in-demand skills to your repertoire and continue being trailblazers in your respective fields,” he said.  “Congratulations to all of you.”

“We will need bright, young leaders to take on the challenges that lay ahead of us,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Based on what I am seeing today, I am confident that the future is in good, good hands.

“God bless you all and may He continue to bless our nation.”

PHOTO CAPTION

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis takes part in the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.  Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.  A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

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124 HAITIAN NATIONALS REPATRIATED TO CAP-HAITIEN, HAITI

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#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

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Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

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