By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2022 – The press office of the Police acted quickly to debunk a voice note circulating around the islands on Wednesday afternoon, claiming to be a warning to stay off the road that night, as fake. But residents in the Turks and Caicos say it’s evidence of a bigger issue: the breakdown in police trust because of information leaks in the Force.
“Hey gentlemen, what’s going on?” The voice note begins. “I just got a important call from somebody to please stay off the road today to try and get home as early as possible. They say they can’t give me no 100 percent details but they say stay off the road, whatever’s going on they can’t tell me over the phone.”
Later in the voice note we learn that the unnamed “they” is a police officer, according to the voice reporting the information in the 33 second message.
“I’m just letting you guys know to be safe out there, if you can make it home before work finishes do what y’all gotta do. I don’t really know what’s going on that’s all they told me— just please— that’s an officer told me this, so I don’t know what’s going on just letting you all know.”
There is no verifiable information on who the individual was speaking to and trying to warn or who passed on the information to them. It is also unknown who is speaking in the message, which circulated like wildfire on Wednesday afternoon.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police, however, denied it was genuine information in a statement around 5 o’clock p.m.
Superintendent Grantley Williams who is in charge of Crime and Public Protection was quoted: “ The public needs to desist from circulating these unsubstantiated voice notes that are causing chaos, spreading paranoia and putting additional strain on an already nervous and edgy population. . Should there be any official exercise which may cause disruption, the RTCIPF will inform the public.”
But the damage was done, reactions poured into Magnetic Media, nearly all residents said they were taking the voice note seriously despite the dismissive press statement.
“The police sent this out but nobody in their right mind going listen to them. They couldn’t stop a van full of killers from Long Bay to Down Town and then into Kew Town so you know we ain’t listening to this press release.. I done home from an hour early. I’m taking the voice note seriously even if nothing happens,” One person claimed.
Several other residents were of the same mind.
“Listen, since all of this started, I make sure the sun does not go down with me outside my home.”
Others said information sharing was a part of crime fighting and there could be virtue in the clip.
“Obviously everyone knows someone, some people I’m sure know these shooters and who they are, family members of those who were shot are probably saying what they are gonna do to get back at these killers. I think this is how the talks get around. We can’t take it for a joke because we just do not know.”
The Government this week acknowledged that there are leaks on the force and say they are putting in place nets to catch unscrupulous officers.
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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