By Sherrica Thompson
#Bermuda, October 6, 2022 – Another British overseas territory is marking an alarming increase in gang-related violence; Bermuda is yet another in the region calling for actions to resolve the problem.
According to the Minister for National Security, Michael Weeks, Bermuda is facing a “crisis” in gang violence and “candid discussions” need to be held with stakeholders to resolve the problem.
Weeks noted that the issue of violence “is the proverbial 800lb elephant in the room that poses a threat to us all.”
He revealed that around 1,000 people were actively involved in gangs.
“I find it utterly unconscionable that around 1,000 people can cause this much disruption and devastation to a population of just over 60,000 people on a 21 square-mile/four-square-mile wide island.”
The Security Minister was speaking at a two-day community workshop on gang violence held at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club recently. The event was attended by 100 stakeholders representing charities, government agencies and helping organisations.
During his speech, Weeks discussed the threats that gang violence has on the British Overseas Territory.
“I believe that it poses a grave threat to our young people, our peace of mind, our schools, our societal expectations of normal behaviour, and the very fabric of our Bermudian culture, he said, cautioning that the issue “is a health and safety crisis and a matter of national security.”
Weeks said the problem can only be solved by community action.
“Before we immerse ourselves into this day, let me first state that no one person, entity or agency is to blame for today’s crisis. You may have heard me publicly state over and over that this problem is a community problem, not a police problem. I meant it then, and I mean it now.
“The sooner each of us on the island comes to terms with this concept, the faster we will solve this issue,” he said.
The National Security Minister of five months said it felt like he had been in the post for five years.
“During this time, the country has seen numerous incidents of physical violence, domestic violence, stabbings, shootings and murders.
“This issue is personally heart-wrenching. I constantly receive frantic phone calls from worried parents fearful for their sons who are involved in or affected by the violence in some way, and I have the unpleasant task of offering sympathies to murder victims’ families when tragedy strikes.
“I also find myself consoling and giving counsel to those who have been impacted by physical violence and guiding them to agencies that can help,” the minister lamented.
Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad
By Shanieka Smith
#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.
The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.
After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.
The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
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.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
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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