Caribbean stands with Mexico Lawsuit against US Gun Manufacturers
#TheBahamas, March 23, 2023 – ‘The gun manufacturers and distributors from a single nation must not be permitted to hold hostage the law-abiding citizens of an entire region of the world’ says The Bahamas in a new document throwing its support firmly behind Mexico in a $10 billion US appeals case. It is attempting to hold US Gun Manufacturers accountable for the practices which allow copious amounts of their guns to be smuggled into the Caribbean and Latin America.
As the region struggles to cope with rising levels of gun violence, Bahamian Prime minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis announced that the country had joined an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the US Court of Appeal in support of Mexico.
Davis said The Bahamas was trying to reduce violent crime by cracking down on the proliferation of firearms and holding US gun manufacturers liable for the harm caused by their products was part of this.
Jamaica; Antigua & Barbuda; St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Trinidad & Tobago; and the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Human Security (“SEHLAC”) also joined with The Bahamas in the brief citing harmful practices from gun makers including the bulk sales to disreputable dealers.
The brief highlights the effects of the loosely monitored gun industry on the skyrocketing murder rates in The Bahamas and increased kidnappings in Haiti maintaining that the US district court could: “Order manufacturers, to reduce the violence committed abroad involving their products by adopting “reasonable retail and manufacturing practices”, including refraining from supplying the small number of dealers whose misconduct precipitates the vast majority of illegal firearms trafficking”
After recording an astronomical 23 percent in the global amount of homicides, the brief says countries are acting on their “ solemn duty to protect the lives, health, and security of their citizens.”
The original complaint by Mexico, which names seven major manufacturers, was dismissed in a Massachusetts court in September 2022 and is now filed at the Court of Appeal as of March 2023
Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.
During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.
Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.
For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.
Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.
Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.
Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.
“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.
In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”
The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.
What’s at LJMMA? President explains snazzy equipment
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Situated on a Cay of its own, the LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) is the Bahamas’ only school of its kind and with sponsorships from Campbell Shipping, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and more it boasts an extremely well-equipped campus. The Turks and Caicos Community College (TCICC) is now partnering with the LJMMA to bring those amenities to TCI students through TCICC.
Brendamae Cleare, President of the institution, joined in on a maritime stakeholder meeting introducing the partnership to the Turks and Caicos’ residents on Tuesday, March 21, detailing everything that the LJMMA had to offer.
“We have– classrooms, workshops, a bridge simulator room, a crane simulator, an engine simulator and we also have a GMDSS simulator and radar simulator as well,” she explained.
The simulator building was commissioned to the tune of $30 million and is only in phase one. Also included alongside the fancy simulators, which give students hands-on experience with the boat engines and cranes that they will work with in the future, there are temporary administrative offices, libraries, nurse’s stations and more.
Other buildings on the Cay include, a firefighting simulator and the school even has lifeboat simulators, which mimic what it would be like pushing the lifeboat off the side of a huge vessel and maneuvering it in the ocean.
The Maritime Academy was birthed in 2011 when executives at Campbell Shipping including Lowell J. Mortimer (which is the only Bahamian-owned shipping company Cleare says), realized that there were no Bahamians working on their ships and were determined to change that.
“We had the college of the Bahamas, which is now the University of the Bahamas. We had a technical and vocational institution. We had banking and tourism colleges, but nothing like maritime but [we said] why not maritime?”
And the LJMMA so was born, named after its founder Mortimer. In its first year, it fielded over 180 applications and accepted just over 40 students. It is semi-regimented, which means strict rules for students, just as they would have to abide by on vessels.
The institution is accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Institute of Materials, Minerals, Mining and others.
Cleare said the vision of the school was to become a globally recognized institution of excellence, in maritime education and training.
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