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Delay no more, Electricity Bills to increase in The Bahamas; Business community reacts

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 6, 2022 – Tourism stakeholders in the Bahamas are expressing concerns over the government’s approval for the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) to increase its fuel charge.

The increase comes after the government had promised Bahamians on several occasions that there would be no increase in electricity prices.

President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Robert “Sandy” Sands released a statement about the issue.  Sands said that many are anxious, and some are at a loss as to how they will be able to accommodate the increase in the cost of operations.

“We have fielded feedback from stakeholders ranging from significant apprehension to outright anxiety as some have stated they are at a loss as to how they will be able to accommodate the increase in the cost of operations,” he said.

The BHTA president said: “This is very alarming, particularly for commercial consumers, which encompasses all facets of business owners and operators as they have finally begun to see the sustained recovery of their respective businesses.  It is important to remember, at a stage where the potential for growth-beyond-recovery seems imminent; the surety of a successful return to financial viability will be susceptible to disruption or even derailment because of these increases.”

The BHTA noted that it is seeking the government’s urgent assistance in softening the impact on businesses in The Bahamas, particularly the tourism sector.

The association also encourages the Government to “consider offering VAT relief applied to the fuel surcharge; beyond the newly announced threshold.”

The increase was announced by Phillip Davis, Bahamas Prime Minister on Tuesday, October 4, during a special press conference, where he explained that the government could not delay the increase any longer.

Customers using less than 800kWh will see an increase of two cents p/kWh, and those using more power will see an increase of 4.3 cents p/kWh.

Bahamas News

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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Bahamas News

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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