Statement from Prime Minister Philip Davis on the Passing of Eldred “Ed” Bethel
#TheBahamas, March 14, 2023 – It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Eldred “Ed” Bethel, a giant in the field of journalism and a distinguished diplomat who served The Bahamas with distinction. Mr. Bethel was an exceptional journalist, a skilled broadcaster, and a respected diplomat who made significant contributions to our nation throughout his career.
Mr. Bethel’s contribution to journalism in The Bahamas cannot be overstated. He began his career at The Tribune under the tutelage of Sir Etienne Dupuch and Sir Arthur Foulkes, and went on to cover many of the major events in The Bahamas. His work as coordinator of ZNS coverage of the 1973 Bahamas Independence, along with Charles Carter and Carl Bethel, was a historic moment for our nation.
As a remarkable diplomat, the face of The Bahamas on the international stage, his service as Consul General to New York and Bahamas High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to the European Union serve as testaments to his commitment to public service and his unwavering dedication to our country. Specifically, Mr. Bethel’s service as Consul General to New York was marked by his dedication to the well-being of Bahamians living in the United States, while his service as Bahamas High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to the European Union was marked by his commitment to advancing the interests of our nation in Europe.
Beyond his professional achievements, Mr. Bethel was a devoted family man and a community pillar. He will be remembered for his kindness, integrity, and unwavering commitment to public service.
Mr. Bethel’s passing is a great loss to our nation. He will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and all who know him. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of many whose lives he touched and the contributions he made to nation-building.
On behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas, I extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Bethel’s family, his loved ones and extended families in the Fourth Estate and Diplomat Corps. We share in their grief; our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
May he rest in peace.
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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