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VOLUME:116 No.78, APRIL 15TH, 2019

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Teachers walk out after student’s death sparks week of chaos By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net A RUMOUR about the tragic death of a boy in Dairy Queen two weekends ago plunged the SC McPherson School into crisis last week, prompting teachers to walk out Friday and vow not to return until authorities get a handle on the conflict. Robert Valcom Jr, 15, collapsed and died at Dairy Queen’s Southwest Plaza location on April 6. According to Vernon Rodgers, Bahamas Union of Teachers’ area

vice-president for New Providence, some students started a rumour that the boy died because a teacher denied him access to medication during an extracurricular Saturday class.  As the rumour spread, students began “threatening the teachers verbally, chanting profanity throughout the school, vandalising classrooms and stealing teachers’ personal items throughout the school,” he claimed. “One teacher’s back was turned (last) week and the student came up behind and cut her hair. A next

TURNQUEST UPBEAT IN REVENUE TOTALS By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

THE government has narrowed its $185m revenue gap, the deputy prime minister has revealed, as it “keeps a close eye” on its agencies’ spending as the 2018-2019 fiscal year-end looms. KP Turnquest, pictured right, said that the traditionally revenue-rich first quarter of the calendar year had helped “tighten” the difference between the government’s actual and projected revenue collection ahead of the upcoming 2019-2020 Budget. Suggesting this had further boosted confidence

A PALM SUNDAY MIRACLE

SEE PAGE FIVE

that the year-end $237.6m deficit target will be achieved, Mr Turnquest said the Ministry of Finance was scrutinising all ministries, departments and agencies to ensure there are no last-minute spending binges “where there is no legitimate need”. He added there were unlikely be to any “major” changes to expenditure allocations in the 2019-2020 Budget, with the Minnis administration aiming to be “faithful” to a three-year consolidation plan that targets elimination of the fiscal deficit and payment of $360m in total unfunded arrears.

FULL STORY - SEE BUSINESS

AMAZINGLY, the driver of this car walked away with hardly a scratch.

Full story - Page 3

WATER UNION HOLDS AG AWAITS REPORT ON ON TO STRIKE THREAT FATAL COP SHOOTING By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union president Dwayne Woods said his union remains focused on “righting” the promotion practices of the Water and Sewerage Corporation as he insisted that a major strike action is “still possible” if all of the union’s grievances are not addressed. He was addressing claims that talks between the

management of WSC and his union averted the need for a strike poll at the corporation last week. Despite these reports, however, Mr Woods told The Tribune on Friday his union still has several other issues that need to be addressed, such as grievances with the promot scheme introduced under the tenure of former general manager Glen Laville and continued under the current management. SEE PAGE SIX

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY General Carl Bethel said his office is awaiting a report about an unlawful killing ruling at the Coroner’s Court last week to decide what happens next. Five jurors found that a police officer killed Osworth Rolle, 22, on November 30, 2016 unlawfully. Mr Bethel said yesterday: “The process involving

the coroner’s finding is not yet completed. The Coroner’s Act requires that any report of a finding of the Coroner’s Court in a matter like this be sent to the Attorney General and the Attorney General will then determine whether it goes back to the coroner or otherwise and then, of course, whether to refer to it to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Pending that, the matter is not complete. We inquired into whether

SEE PAGE SIX

DEFENCE FORCE OFFICERS SAVE WOULD-BE SUICIDE By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

OFFICERS from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force prevented the suicide attempt of a 53-year-old man over the weekend. Marines Michael Gibson, Cyral Davis and Alexis Strachan were at a security checkpoint on Cowpen Road around 10am on Saturday when a man’s unusual behaviour sent

DEFENCE force marines speak to the press about their rescue. them scrambling to save his life. They were waiting for youth participants in the Governor General’s

Youth Award (GGYA) programme to reach the checkpoint during their 30-mile hike.  Able Seaman

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

Gibson said: “We witnessed an individual coming from the southern side with a belt around his neck. One of my comrades said: ‘Something has to be wrong’. The man looked at us; he said ‘hi’, then he said ‘bye’ as if to say this is his last goodbye. He walked towards the bushes. “When I saw that I turned the bus on and started to approach him. He ran up the tree. Marine Seaman SEE PAGE TWO


PAGE 2, Monday, April 15, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

DEFENCE Force Marines after their rescue of a 53-year-old-man who attempted to commit suicide. Women marine Alexis Strachan, Lieutenant Delvonne Duncome, Able Seaman Michael Gibson and Marine Seaman Cyral Davis along with participants in the Rangers programme are pictured. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

DEFENCE FORCE OFFICERS SAVE WOULD-BE SUICIDE

from page one

Davis hopped out of the bus. By the time Davis got out of the bus (the man) had already tied the knot on top of the limb, stepped off and was hanging. Davis tried to lift him from the bottom to relieve the pressure on his neck.” Two young cadets with the RBDF Rangers programme were on the bus at the time and helped the marines.  “One of the Ranger cadets attempted to climb the tree to lift the gentlemen’s body to relieve pressure from his neck,” AB Gibson said. “I had a knife on me so I climbed the tree and cut the belt loose. The man dropped and was unconscious. Davis caught him. We lifted him to the side of the street. He was out for a minute or so. We poured water on him, tried to bring him back. When he did come back, he was in tears. Everything happened really fast.” The man said nothing, marines said, only nodded

ABLE Seaman Michael Gibson talks about the incident. to paramedics and police officers that responded to the scene. “To me, he looked like he came with a plan and tried to execute that plan but was upset to have failed,” Marine Seaman Davis said. High schoolers in the Rangers cadet programme were travelling nearby when the suicidal man was saved. “I’m glad we got him down so the kids that were coming didn’t witness someone hanging from the tree,” said AB Gibson. 

Delvonne Duncombe, Rangers director, credited RBDF training for the rescue. “These marines exemplify what the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is all about,” he said. “They’re trained to be observant and so we are happy they were able to step in and save a life.” There have been two suspected suicides so far this year. Those who need help are asked to contact the National Suicide Hotline at 242-322-2763.


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, April 15, 2019, PAGE 3

Amazing escape

TAXI DRIVER SUFFERED ONLY MINOR INJURIES AFTER ALL THIS ...

By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net A TAXI driver is nursing “minor” injuries after miraculously surviving a devastating collision with a Bahamas Waste trash collection truck on West Bay Street yesterday afternoon. Police said the taxi driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the point of contact and the force of the impact flung him into the rear seat. The injuries he sustained as a result of the severe accident were said to be non-life threatening, and he was transported to hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment. Though the nature of his injuries were not confirmed up to press time, one officer said the taxi driver sustained injuries on his arm that may or may not require stitches, while another officer said he only had a limp. Chief Superintendent Craig Stubbs, the officer in charge of the Traffic Division, said the driver of the Bahamas Waste truck was pinned inside the vehicle due to the collision, but was ultimately extracted by Fire Services personnel. He was also transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. However, the Bahamas Waste truck sustained “significant” damage, especially to its front left side and undercarriage, CSP Stubbs said. Meanwhile the taxi was a complete “write-off,” CSP Stubbs said, as The Tribune understands that after it collided with the Bahamas Waste truck, the larger vehicle continued to roll over the top of car, completely ripping it to shreds.

Yesterday’s collision came less than 24 hours after seven people, inclusive of three children between the ages of four and seven, were hospitalised after the car they were in collided with a Casuarina tree on Saturday evening less than a mile away from where yesterday’s accident took place. When The Tribune arrived on the scene yesterday, one of the car’s doors could be seen wrapped around the stump of a tree to the northern side of the east-bound lane near the accident. The car’s engine hood had been blown off and was lying just feet away from the rest of the wreckage. The car itself was an absolute wreck. Numerous passers-by expressed utter shock after finding out that the driver of the taxi had managed to survive, and were even more surprised after discovering he had only suffered relatively minor injuries. CSP Stubbs told reporters that both vehicles were traveling east along

the West Bay corridor on Sunday, the truck in the southern lane and the taxi in the northern lane, when for reasons police are still trying to determine, both of them collided. He said the taxi driver was not wearing a seatbelt as required by law, but said based on the wreckage, it would have likely been more to his detriment if he was in fact wearing one, as he would have likely been pinned in the front seat. Nonetheless, CSP Stubbs said he and his division are “concerned” about how motorists drive their cars on dual carriageways. “People tend to accelerate more than the required speed limit to either get in front of a vehicle or pass a vehicle,” he said. “We’re asking you to obey the speed limit, exercise caution at all times.” Just hours earlier on Saturday evening, a car with seven occupants was traveling in the west bound lane on West Bay Street near the Wendy’s restaurant

THE ACCIDENT on West Bay Street near the Wendy’s restaurant. All seven occupants went to hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

when the driver lost control and collided with a Casuarina tree. All seven occupants were sent to hospital, and according to CSP Stubbs, both the driver and the front seat passenger were still said to be “very ill” in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). He said officers are currently trying to determine whether speed or the driver being “distracted” caused and/or contributed to the accident. Then on Friday night, a man was struck and killed by a motorist on San Salvador while walking on that island’s highway. According to CSP Stubbs, the deceased was walking on Queen’s Highway sometime before 10pm when a Ford Explorer, headed in the same direction, struck him. The pedestrian was transported to the local clinic where he died sometime later. CSP Stubbs said a team of officers from his division travelled to San Salvador to investigate and have since returned. He said his division will await the confirmation of a few other details, such as the vehicle’s speed, before it decides whether to charge the driver or place the matter before the Coroner’s Court. Last Thursday, 25-yearold Keshawn Lightbourne, an employee of Mr Ship It, died following an accident on John F Kennedy Drive. At the time, officers said it was too early to say what caused the accident, which culminated in the victim’s 2007 Honda Accord hitting a utility pole, but said speed may have been a contributing factor.


PAGE 4, Monday, April 15, 2019

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Will The Bahamas become America’s Taiwan? THE fiery response from the Chinese Embassy to the White House Press Secretary’s statement that President Trump “looks forward to working” with The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries to “counter China’s predatory economic practices”, should at last open the eyes of the American government to what we have been predicting for some time in this column - China is flexing its muscles in the Caribbean basin - America’s security moat, both on the Atlantic and Pacific side. According to Mr Haigang Yin, Chargé d’Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Nassau, the United States is attempting to “disintegrate solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries… based upon contradictory facts, fabricated lies and irresponsible accusations.” It adds  that [China] has “faith in the people of The Bahamas”. Yes, but what China must not forget is the Bahamian people have faith in themselves. “From time”, as the old people would say, Bahamians have known what side their bread is buttered on.  Unlike Taiwan in relation to China, Bahamians are quite happy to be at the toe of Florida with Dadeland its shopping outpost, and the vast United States its security blanket. After all we are a tourist economy and, the vast majority of our visitors are just a hop, skip and jump away — the United States.  There can be little doubt that China has planted its flag, flexed its economic prowess and bought influence in an effort to undermine the democratic partnerships situated on the United States’ very doorstep. Sadly, until very recently no diplomat, economist and/or investor raised an eyebrow to an emerging superpower stepping into the vacuum of the void left by America’s abandonment, neglect, scant interest or highly patronizing approach to our nation and Caribbean region. However, after a flurry of loans, financial assistance from EXIM Bank of China, China Construction Bank; investments from China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC); China Construction America (CCA) and outright “gifts” from the Chinese Government in the form of new stadiums, roads, official buildings, ports and resorts in the Caribbean area, our sleeping colossus appears to have arrived at the same conclusion as Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, Sir Ronald Saunders: “If China continues to invest the way it is doing in the Caribbean, the U.S. is almost making itself irrelevant to the region…You don’t leave your flank exposed.” While most analysts note the Chinese are not building bases or forging any military ties, they may not be aware of the concerns raised by Abaco residents after Mr Latrae Rahming,  PLP and Senior Chinese Caribbean Government Consultant, said in a speech in Nassau on April 9, 2016 that “China will actively provide military assistance to The Bahamas and defense dialogue.” It was also reported:  “Recently through its agreed obligations, China donated 1.2 million dollars to The Bahamas to purchase military equipment so as to improve jointly the capacity to respond to nontraditional security threats.” “When you’ve got a new player in the hemisphere all of a sudden, it’s obviously something talked about at the highest level of governments,” said Kevin P. Gallagher, a Boston University professor who is an author of a recent report on Chinese financing, “The New Banks in Town.” So the question that remains: Why did China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) build a 45 acre port financed by the EXIM Bank of China in the settlement of Coopers Town, Abaco – total population: 676— a mere 180 miles off the U.S. coast? If one listens to the suspicions from local residents concerned about China’s potential military ambitions in our

nation, “There is no reason at all for the port,” one local resident told Big League Politics. “Why the Chinese have been investing heavily….. and the port is currently empty, unused, closed and surrounded by barbed wire? Submarines?” Or as another commentator posted “…I just can’t wait until the U.S. media and Bahamian public wake up to the fact that….. Red China has been permitted to set up shop in the Bahamas, only a few short miles away from Florida and the entire Eastern Seaboard, … without anyone considering the national security interests of the U.S.” As American officials finally express alarm at Beijing’s ambitions in the U.S.dominated Western Hemisphere and US Chargé d’Affaires, Stephanie Bowers’ recent comments encouraged leaders to be “wary with whom they get into business with” the US State Department has launched a unique charm offensive of issuing crime warnings on places long closed down. In response to the White House Press Secretary’s statement that President Trump “looks forward to working” with The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries to “counter China’s predatory economic practices”, Mr. Haigang Yin, Charge d’Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Nassau, fired back accusing the United States of attempting to “disintegrate solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries.”  He said that the accusations “...are completely baseless, unreasonable and contradictory to the facts and that facing the fabricated lies and irresponsible accusations,….we [China] have faith in the people of The Bahamas... and confident that the Bahamian government will not be misled by others.” As the Council on Hemispheric Affairs web site states in addition to an expanded economic engagement, China has also increased its diplomatic and military outreach to the Caribbean. Enroute to the high-profile 2013 Sunnylands Summit with Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Trinidad & Tobago. Xi struck substantive deals with the Trinidadian Prime Minister regarding natural gas, telecommunications, and healthcare. Xi’s visit to Trinidad during the first year of his administration indicates a growing Chinese political attention to the Caribbean. In contrast, wrote Ben Tannenbaum, extramural contributor at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao did not visit any nation in the region until his second term. Similarly, in January 2018, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a summit with diplomats from nine Caribbean nations. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not travel to the area until a February 2018 visit to Jamaica, well over a year after his appointment. By contrast, his counterpart Wang Yi, has met with more Caribbean foreign ministers than has Secretary Tillerson. Tillerson’s successor, Mike Pompeo, has expressed little interest in the region aside from a negative reaction to any engagement with Cuba.  The fact that we cannot recall a US  President ever visiting The Bahamas on a State Visit or our nation being invited to join NFTA, speaks volumes. Would not U.S. diplomatic outreach, a state visit or EXIM bank involvement counter concerns that the region “is receding from America’s priorities.”  We agree that the U.S. cannot continue to ignore China’s expanding Caribbean role. A reduced role for U.S. trade challenges America’s economic goals in the Caribbean. China’s alternative leadership model stands as an obstacle to America’s presentation of its values as a democratic role model. If the United States continues to ignore its vital leadership role in the Caribbean, China appears more than ready to fill the void.

Why you don’t want to get your wires crossed EDITOR, The Tribune YOU may recall last year when some hapless boater tried to tow a cabin cruiser home along Eastern Road and got the boat’s “tuna-tower” entangled in the electrical supply lines going across Eastern Road, in front of the Brigadoon Estate, and pulling two poles into the road before it stopped. In the aftermath of this accident, BEC had installed new poles and reconnected the wires and everyone seemed happy as Larry. But ever since then there has been a cable doing loop de loops from about Johnson Rd up to the entrance to Brigadoon. They are not that unsightly, but being unsightly, and as they just droop to the ground between poles, and are not tied down anywhere, if they were blown into the road by a high wind, any of the many cyclists and motor bike riders would not see them and could quite easily get entangled by the wire and yukked

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net to the ground or just garroted. My thought was that this wire must belong to BPL and perhaps had inadvertently been left by them after the repairs. I had an e-mail address for the Minister through dealing with another matter, so I emailed him to bring it to his attention. He responded immediately and referred the matter to Mr Heastie. In due course Mr Heastie replied saying that the droopy wire was not BPL wire but that he had reached out to the other utilities to try to resolve it. The possibilities then were Cable Bahamas or BTC. I e-mailed one of the Cable Bahamas Directors that I knew to see if it was theirs and he promised to look into it. Cable Bahamas sent their line people to investigate but replied not guilty. That left BTC as the only possibility. I

had an e-mail address for Dexter Cartwright who was the MD but got an immediate response that he was no longer in Nassau but he forwarded my e-mail to his successor Mr Andre Foster and apologised that the cables had been left by BTC. Mr Foster was at that time embroiled in some union matters so I thought it was not the best time to follow up. However, this exercise began in early January and at the end of March it had not been dealt with, so I e-mailed Mr Foster again, to reinforce my concern. I felt sure that with all the BPL customers in the eastern end of the island that Mr Foster might make an effort to get this rectified. We are now at mid-April and we still have these droopy wires. Maybe we should all start switching to ALIV to get his attention ? BRUCE G RAINE Nassau April 11, 2019

A little more digging would be in order EDITOR, The Tribune URCA is alike a mouse that roared…is it impotent? The Amendment to the Electricity Act 2015 made URCA impotent as it involves BP&L tariffs…URCA has zero jurisdiction - can’t do anything. For Stephen Bereaux/ URCA to say internally URCA is considering

BP&L tariffs is a total waste of his time. Mr McKenzie/Tribune go investigate the BP&L RFP for the 80MW temporary generators…the Shell America MOU as now BP&L finds $98m to buy the generators which Shell was supposed to…through and through further acquisitions of generators on lease from Aggreko with no RFP?

The Wartsila generators…did URCA approve the purchase? Was there an EIA - was there a Safety Report? Now, Mr McKenzie, you will do all the Tribune readers a big favour…dig and expose. ABRAHAM MOSS Nassau April 12, 2019

We all make mistakes, but... EDITOR, The Tribune Re: Runway Blunder. The Tribune April 9, 2019. Acknowledging that we all make mistakes, is re-training and the usual slap on the wrist, etc, expected to give these dangerous slackers a more responsible and professional mindset? KEN W KNOWLES, MD Nassau, April 10, 2019. 


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, April 15, 2019, PAGE 5

‘FNM HYPOCRITICAL OVER FIRING THEN RE-HIRING’ By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday ridiculed Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle for admitting that a “large number” of the 9,000 people hired under the Christie administration have been re-engaged by the Minnis administration. Mr Mitchell, in a statement, said Mr Rolle’s admission not only “flies in the face” of the Minnis administration’s “propaganda and false narrative” on those job hires, but also “proves the PLP was right in hiring these Bahamians”. “What a difference 23 months makes,” Mr Mitchell added. In March 2018, Mr Rolle told the House of Assembly that an estimated 70 percent of the contracts awarded to people for government employment under the Christie administration did not go through the Ministry of the Public Service. This allowed

Cabinet ministers to act “willy-nilly”, he said at the time. And in January 2018, Attorney General Carl Bethel insinuated that a job reduction of more than 2,500 people in the public sector, as reflected in a previous labour force survey, netted more than $75 million in government savings. Last week, however, Mr Rolle revealed that a large number of the 9,000 people hired from 2012 to 2017 have been re-engaged, despite previously criticising the former Christie administration for adding those people to the government payroll during its term in office. At the time, Mr Rolle said in the case of the Ministry of Education, a “comprehensive training programme” was implemented to cause persons to learn specific trades and skills. He said if successful in completing the one-year probationary period, they would be engaged on a “full-time basis”. However, he could not

say specifically how many were re-engaged. “Brensil Rolle’s admission that a ‘large number’ of persons hired by the PLP have been rehired not only flies in the face of the FNM’s propaganda and false narrative on these hirings, but proves the PLP was right in hiring these Bahamians,” Mr Mitchell said yesterday. “How else can the FNM explain the mass rehiring of these workers? “The FNM, and in particular Ministers Rolle and (Education Minister Jeff Lloyd), repeatedly justified their foolish actions by saying that the PLP improperly hired these workers; that the hirings were unnecessary and politically motivated. “The FNM went further, claiming through the attorney general that the mass separations would save the government $75 million. As it turns out, the FNM does not believe its own propaganda. Their actions are rank with hypocrisy.” On the issue of training, Mr Mitchell also

PLP chairman Fred Mitchell questioned whether if the Minnis administration’s modus operandi is to terminate workers it believes believe are in need of training “until such time as they acquire this requisite training.” And if so, Mr Mitchell queried how Mr Rolle would “reconcile and defend” his government’s actions in the face of a “scathing critique” of the proficiency and efficiency of public servants by Secretary to the Cabinet (STC) Camille Johnson. He was referring to Ms Johnson branding key civil servants as “extraordinarily

weak”, and saying the civil service that she heads is “overstaffed by as much as 40 per cent”. Those criticisms were contained in an InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) assessment that gave the Bahamas a score of only 19 out of 100 for civil service development and quality. And the report also revealed that only Suriname’s civil service is performing worse than the Bahamas’ public sector, which was ranked behind Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and even Guyana on performance quality. “Will this government now fire every deficient civil servant as per the critique of the STC?” Mr Mitchell asked. Last week, Mr Rolle also said that direct hiring to the Departments of Customs and Immigration was done without consultation of the public service. In 2016, 114 customs officers were hired along with 217 immigration officers between March and April of 2017 and were told

Teachers walk out after student’s death sparks week of chaos from page one teacher, a bottle of water was thrown at her chest. Two outsiders came on the compound with a weapon looking for the teacher who they claim killed the student,” Mr Rodgers said. Police have not verified claims of actual or attempted attacks against teachers.  Mr Rodgers said graffiti has been plastered on school walls and a number of students have skipped classes. Yesterday, the Democratic National Alliance released a statement calling for Education Minister Jeff Lloyd to intervene.  The mother of the dead boy, Wilna Joseph, said she has heard the rumour that her son was denied medication. But she rejects that claim – she said her son had no known health issues and didn’t take any medication. Instead, she said a teacher that hosted a Saturday class made an insensitive comment that upset the children and prompted their disaffection last week.  As news reports spread about the chaos at SC McPherson, Ms Joseph said she has had to suspend writing the obituary for her son to address the controversy.  SC McPherson has about 1,300 students and more than 60 teachers. Teachers left classrooms

THE DEMOCRATIC National Alliance have called for Education Minister Jeff Lloyd to intervene.

on Friday morning, assembling in the staff room where they vowed not to return until normalcy resumes. By coincidence, students and teachers will have a week to cool off: classes will not resume until April 22 because of

the Easter mid-term break this week. Robert Valcom Sr, the dead boy’s father, said drama is the last thing he needs as he mourns his son.   “I’m sitting down every

SEXUAL ASSAULT ON CARETAKER By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net

AN ELDERLY woman’s 60-year-old caretaker was sexually assaulted during a San Souci housebreaking on Thursday afternoon, police said. Inspector Leonardo Burrows confirmed the assault took place shortly after 3pm in a home in San Souci. He said the two women were tied up by the intruder, who then sexually assaulted the caretaker before leaving the home. This incident comes just months after a woman was also raped in her East Street area home. According to reports, the victim was at her residence around 5pm in early February when a man entered and sexually assaulted her.

FIVE ARMED ROBBERIES OVER THE WEEKEND

POLICE are seeking the public’s help in apprehending the suspects behind five armed robberies that occurred on the weekend. Three of the incidents took place on Saturday and two on Friday.  In the first incident on Saturday, police said shortly after 3pm a woman was sitting in the front of a home at Iguana Way, Belair Estates when she was approached by two males, one armed with a firearm, who robbed her of a cell phone, cash, and other personal items before escaping in a silver Honda Accord, licence plate number AT5991. In the second incident, shortly after 6pm, a man was walking in the area of Rupert Dean Lane, and Poinciana Avenue, when he was approached by three males, armed with knives who robbed him of cash, a chain and a cell phone, before fleeing on foot. In the third incident, shortly after 6pm, a gunman entered a business on Tyler Street and robbed the cashier of cash before escaping. And shortly before 4pm on Friday, two gunmen entered a business on Soldier Road and robbed the proprietor of cash before escaping. In another incident, shortly before 5pm on Friday, a male was on Montagu Beach when he was approached by two males, one armed with a firearm who robbed him of cash, before escaping in a black Honda Fit, plate number AP 4925. Police are appealing to members of the public, who may have information that can assist with these investigations to contact the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991/2, Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station. Investigations are ongoing

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

That incident came about two months after another woman, in her mid-80’s at the time, was sexually assaulted by an intruder at her Eastern Road home last December. Police said the woman was held up, robbed of cash and sexually assaulted before her attacker fled the house. At the time police believed the incident was random and not connected to any other instance of sexual assault at the time. According to police statistics released in January, incidents of reported rapes rose six percent in 2018, from 52 cases in 2017 to 55 in 2018. Anyone with any information into any of these cases is asked to contact the police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS (8477).

MAN ‘CRITICAL’ IN HOSPITAL AFTER SHOOTING

POLICE are looking for the suspect behind a shooting incident that left a man in hospital on Friday morning. According to a police report, shortly after 1am, a man was on Straw Flower Road and Robinson Road when he was approached by an armed man who opened fired on him before fleeing the scene on foot. The victim was taken to hospital and is in critical condition.

morning hoping this boy will knock on this door and say daddy let him in,” he said, “yet people here making chaos and making this what it isn’t and they ain’ feeling the pain that I am feeling.”

to report for duty without letters of engagement, the MP said. The majority of them, he said, were just vetted when the Minnis administration took office. However, according to Mr Rolle, around 50 of these persons had not been able to pass the vetting process. The government, he said, has been advised by police to not even consider them for engagement. However, Mr Mitchell accused Mr Rolle of “misleading the public”. “All officers hired in sensitive positions by the PLP government were vetted by the police as per government policy,” Mr Mitchell said. “There may have been situations where officers were conditionally hired pending the outcome of the vetting process due to heavy government bureaucracy. Suffice it to say, each one of those persons hired under the PLP were given a job description and specific functions as Mr Rolle realised and is finally publicly admitting.”

Meanwhile, police are looking for three men responsible for two separate armed robberies on Thursday. In the first incident, shortly after 10am, a man was on Shirley Street when he was approached by a  gunman who robbed him of funds and cheques before fleeing the scene on foot. In the second incident, shortly after 4pm, a man

was approached in the parking lot of a business by two men, one with a firearm, who robbed him of a Rolex watch before fleeing the scene in a white Toyota Passo licence plate A3590. Anyone with information which can assist these investigations can contact the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991/2, Crime stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station.

Ryan Neal Knowles (a.k.a. Chilly) This is to inform the public that Ryan “Chilly” Neal Knowles, whose picture appears here, is no longer employed or affiliated with Wells Service Station Ltd., a.k.a. Rubis West Bay (the Company). He is no longer authorized to transact, including settlement of prior transactions on behalf of the Company.

Any questions should be directed to the Company at (242) 325-3030 or wellswestbay@gmail.com


PAGE 6, Monday, April 15, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

WATER UNION HOLDS ON TO STRIKE THREAT from page one

He said the procedure, which mandates that employees seeking promotions should do so through application, sidesteps promotion practices agreed to during past labour negotiations. Further to this, Mr Woods said WSC continues to refuse to post a formal organisational chart in view of employees. He said the chart is supposed to be posted to allow employees to recognise what positions are available at the company, while being given notice of which are currently open. He said these two factors, when combined with the corporation’s refusal to print and distribute copies of the industrial agreement signed between BUSAWU and WSC, creates an atmosphere in

which deserving employees are indirectly overlooked for promotions. “That’s not right and we want it addressed. Operations have unilaterally varied the promotion procedures to a degree where openings are unknown, and promotions are given to persons connected to those in positions of power,” he told The Tribune. Mr Woods said despite the “positive” elements that came out of his recent discussions with WSC executive chairman Adrian Gibson and Department of Labour officials, reality is that only some of BUSAWU’s issues have been addressed. “I’ve seen the reports and I’ve heard from those involved,” he said, “all is not resolved and all isn’t well. As a union, we can’t just fold up now and say we are good with what has happened. We want

BUSAWU’S DWAYNE WOODS completeness and we want what we rightfully deserve.” Mr Woods continued: “No disrespect to (Director of Labour John) Pinder, but it’s wrong for him to say we don’t have any grounds for strike action,

because we were fighting many of these battles before he got into the chair.” When asked what would happen if the matter isn’t adequately addressed in the coming weeks, Mr Woods responded: “We’ve been clear on this, our plans have always been and will continue to be public. “We aren’t in the business of shocking anyone… our actions will always be known and we will continue to work for our employees at the corporation until we get justice,” he said. A little over a week ago, members of both BUSAWU and the Water & Sewerage Management Union’s (WSMU) president demonstrated outside WSC’s University Drive headquarters in what they called a “withdrawal of enthusiasm”. The two groups openly

condemned what they suggested was the unfair suspension of an employee for five days without pay. The action was followed later that evening by an extensive shutdown of water supply across the capital. Mr Gibson blamed the union for the shutdown, suggesting the act was deliberate and in-line with actions to “sabotage” the efforts of WSC. However, Mr Woods has said his union does not condone sabotage and would assist with any investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, Mr Gibson told the House of Assembly that any employee found to have tampered with the water supply will be “summarily dismissed and referred to the police”. He has also threatened Mr Woods with a defamation lawsuit, a threat Mr Woods said he does not fear.

AG Bethel awaits report on fatal police shooting from page one the report was ready last week and it was not and as of (Saturday) when I was in my office at my desk, it had not arrived at my office. As soon as the thing came out and we were alerted that a verdict had been reached, my office reached out and the report wasn’t ready as yet.” The process involving unlawful killing rulings have confused some Bahamians who question why such findings aren’t in themselves conclusive. Mr Bethel said: “Mistakes have been made at times so you have the scrutinising eye of the Attorney General on the matter and then a determination is made as to whether the finding can be validated. (The Coroner’s Court has) a smaller jury, it is dealing with it from a different perspective from a criminal court. The function of the Coroner’s Court is to have a factual determination about sudden deaths that occur, unexplained deaths, deaths in police custody or police shooting deaths, these sort of issues that raise the concerns of the public. It has only a preliminary fact-finding role.”

The officer responsible for the killing remains on active duty. Last week Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson sidestepped calls for action to be taken against officers found to have carried out unlawful killings. Instead, Commissioner Ferguson suggested it was not his role but rather Parliament’s to create protocols his force should follow when inquest juries find officers acted outside the law. “The law,” Commissioner Ferguson told reporters, “mandates the commissioner to supervise the Royal Bahamas Police Force and at this stage the officer is on active duty and there is nothing that prevents him from being on active duty.” Some lawyers believe officers in police-involved killings should be removed from street duty and should have their functions modified pending inquest findings. Such protocol exists in some other countries. “It shouldn’t be that you kill Johnny on Monday and you back to work on Tuesday,” attorney Christina Galanos said in August after an officer received his second unlawful killing ruling in two months. “I

don’t think any developed country operates like that.” Defenders of the status quo note it could take years for an inquest to take place and even if a jury makes an unlawful killing finding, the director of public prosecutions may conclude insufficient evidence exists to pursue a criminal charge against an officer. The Police Act gives the commissioner wide-ranging powers to create policies through force standing orders and to assign duties to officers as he sees fit, yet the police chief implied he has no power to change how such issues are handled. “I think we have to respect the fact that we are a sovereign nation,” Commissioner Ferguson said. “We have a Parliament that makes laws. We will abide by the laws made by our Parliament.” During last week’s inquest, the attorney for Rolle’s family, Romona Farquharson Seymour, urged jurors to consider that the police shooting was investigated by police officers, a point the coroner reiterated when she summed up the case. Bjorn Ferguson, who represented the officer who killed Rolle, has said it may be time for police shootings to be investigated by an independent party.

ATTORNEY General Carl Bethel said his office is awaiting a report from the Coroner’s Court.

To advertise in The Tribune contact 502-2394


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

THE STORIES BEHIND THE NEWS

It’s time to grow L up and get serious about mental health

by Malcolm Strachan

AST week’s arrest of two women in connection with a string of child abductions allowed the Bahamian people to breathe a sigh of relief. Throughout international media, we hear so many unfortunate stories involving children. And though we’ve had our fair share of tragedies, it still is not something prevalent in Bahamian society. The Marco Archer, pictured below, case, perhaps the most notable in recent history, caused us all to experience flashbacks when the first abduction took place. And then, as child after child was abducted in similar fashion, a sense of anxiety engulfed the Bahamian populace. No one knew if the next time a child was taken the perpetrators would up the stakes. Thankfully that opportunity never arrived. Police were able to take 29-year-old De’Edra Gibson into custody and later arrested a suspected accomplice in one of the kidnappings in Eleuthera. As this case went on since February, many among us found it strange the abducted boys were all reportedly dropped off unharmed. If that had not been odd enough, all of the boys said that despite it being a very frightening experience, their abductor treated them well before releasing them. Obviously, following this story, it just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t consistent with the narrative many believed – that this was some perverted psychopath looking for little boys to take advantage of. Not at all. Ms Gibson, since being in police custody, rather, has appeared to be a person with severe mental health issue She has a history of issues of this kind, and as such, a decision was made to remand her to Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre for evaluation on whether she is fit to stand trial. Quite naturally, in these circumstances, we must evaluate our sensitivity as a society to issues of mental health. Culturally, there is an unfair expectation for people to “suck it up”. But is this truly the right way? Are we not creating more problems for society when we can be so callously dismissive to the pain of others? We cannot say with certainty what exactly went wrong in Ms Gibson’s life, nor can we say if she had the help of family and friends or not. All we know is if she is the person responsible for these abductions then she appears to have arrived at a breaking point and we should all be thankful that things didn’t go tragically worse. Gratefully, the police have done their duty. But now, what about ours? We can see the Ministry of Health is under-resourced. Thus, it has been handicapped in dealing with such issues. This is a ministry reported to require 400 nurses and experiencing bed and ambulance shortages – obviously a poor reflection on the state of affairs. That being the case, how can we begin to think about tackling mental health more proactively? Especially when culturally the majority of us don’t even view it as an issue. From the time many of us were children, we’ve seen homeless brothers and sisters that have been fixtures in the neighbourhood. Arrogantly, we assume their turning point began in the bottom of a bottle or the end of a pipe – that they were somehow too weak to “suck it up” and fix their messes. As a result, we ignore them – mistakenly believing our

29-year-old De’Edra Gibson on her way to court last Thursday. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff lives are so well put together that we would never be in their shoes. What we take for granted is how fragile our mental fitness is, and the fact we already live in a society with the odds stacked against us. Yet, we sit on our high horses staring down at those struggling at rock bottom. Immaturely, we confuse mental health with its by-products. Depression, psychotic episodes and addiction are all consequences of failing mental health. A paper published by the World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. Going further, the piece explored mental health from the perspective of it having three determinants – individual attributes, social circumstances and environmental factors. What was most interesting in analysing these determinants was that our population experiences more adverse factors such as low self-esteem, difficulties in communication, family conflict, exposure to violence and abuse, unemployment, poor access to basic services, social and gender inequalities and low income and poverty. Just look to the left or right of you. Are the majority of Bahamian citizens happy? Are even half of us satisfied with the cards life has dealt us? We depend so heavily on nepotism and political favours that the typical routes of getting ahead in life such as hard work and getting an education have grown more futile as time passes on. Kids are leaving their homes facing the possibilities of being murdered at school. Families are falling apart in divorce. Our national grade point average is a D. Crime and unemployment are still very serious issues plaguing our society.

These issues, and many more, are not only stifling society, but also damaging our physical and mental health in the process. We have to wonder if we are ever going to consider what living under such circumstances does to a population over a sustained period of time? Likewise, we must consider how our lack of empathy to our fellow man and woman causes these problems to snowball. We don’t know if Ms Gibson was crying out for help before her suspected involvement in these incidents began. At this point, we can only speculate what was the breaking point for her. Sadly, in our society, we don’t fully take the time to embrace what pain and loss does to people. We expect them to “just get over it” - as if it’s is only their problem to deal with when in reality, it’s not. It’s all of our problem. It’s society’s problem. From a policy level, the government has to place a focus on channelling resources to the ministries of health and social services, as they both protect the country’s most precious resource – the Bahamian people. As we approach the mid-year budget, we hope that increased funds for these ministries will be integral to the government’s plans to address some of these issues. People experiencing pain, grief and loss must be made to feel comfortable and supported, as it is not easy for an individual to be vulnerable and reveal their innermost parts in search for help. And finally, as a society, we must mature. A heightening of our emotional intelligence and awareness can go a long way toward rebuilding a Bahamian society that promotes togetherness. Somewhere along the way, we lost that innate sense of care for one another. As much as we defer to the government to fix all of the nation’s problems, we each have a role to play. It is time for us all to become more responsible and do our part.


PAGE 8 MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

INSIGHT

EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

A WIDOWER’S FIGHT TO KNOW THE TRUTH

Can someone just T please sit down, read the file and - for good or bad - give Leroy an answer

by Ava Turnquest Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

HE government’s repeated promise of a deeper investigation into a 2013 traffic fatality has left a man convinced his wife was not at fault in the crash that claimed her life. In his dogged pursuit of justice for his wife, who left behind three young daughters and a son, Leroy Bowe has elicited stunning admissions from law enforcement concerning the conduct of traffic investigations in Grand Bahama. Mr Bowe has spent the last five years examining Grand Bahama Traffic Department’s investigation into the deadly crash between a silver 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Latoya Williamson, and a brown 2001 Chevy Venture van driven by his wife, Camille Williams-Bowe. The case was reportedly sent to Coroner’s Court in 2014 but was not heard until nearly four years later in 2017. The case file is now under review by the Department of Public Prosecutions, the Tribune can confirm; but this does not represent a formal investigation. On Father’s Day in 2013, Camille Williams-Bowe and three of her kids - one of whom was a two-monthold baby girl - were headed to the airport to pick up her husband. Mr Bowe’s flight from Nassau was due to arrive at 12.30pm but it was around that time, according to police, when his loved ones were all ejected from their vehicle as it flipped over in the air in a traffic accident that would claim Mrs Bowe’s life due to sustained injuries two days later. She was 32-years-old. “She loved her kids, family and life itself,” Mr Bowe said. “She gave her life to Christ way before she died. Her children were her world and I couldn’t have been more blessed with such a beautiful and loving person as her if it wasn’t my destiny to be together. Mr Bowe said: “She might be gone but her spirit is always here, guiding and watching over us.” Based on their investigation, traffic police found Mrs Bowe was at fault, and travelling north on East Mall Drive when she ran through a red light at its intersection with Pioneers Way. Mrs Williamson was travelling east on Pioneers Way and had proceeded across East Mall Drive when the collision occurred. It is a version of events that Mr Bowe told The Tribune he will never accept. He’s dedicated his life to combing through inconsistencies and alleged procedural errors, gathering a dossier of recorded interviews with public officials who, he believes, not only validate his concerns but insist they are working to help him right perceived wrongs.

CLOCKWISE from top left: The scene seconds after the incident; Camille WilliamsBowe’s car; people at the scene; the other car involved.

Most salient of these are from a meeting with then-Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade in the

summer of 2015, which was recorded by Mr Bowe. The meeting came after repeated attempts by Mr

Bowe to seek an audience with Mr Greenslade, who acknowledged those past attempts in the audio recording and assures Mr Bowe that everything happens in the right time. Mr Greenslade can be heard going over the details of the case with Mr Bowe, in the presence of two senior officers and a police attorney, and validating the widower’s belief the matter warranted a deeper investigation. Mr Greenslade, in the 2015 recording said: “I see two things happening here

that (Bowe) he’s not saying so I will say for him: one he wants a resolution. I need to know that you’re not lying on my wife. Ok if she’s wrong, she’s wrong but let me know she’s wrong having done the due diligence. Having done the due diligence I’ll be satisfied but don’t just rush to judgement, if you’re wrong you’ve killed her twice. “Need to remove this issue of potential corruption in the system that covers this whole thing,” he continued, “that’s a heavy burden to him. To

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my mind, had (OFFICER NAME) and those met with him, sat him down, and were honest in saying ‘yes, she is a relative’. As a matter of fact, I take this position that when (OFFICER NAME) showed up there and realized that girl driving the car was a relative, he should have recused himself. He should have backed away from that and said ‘I cannot investigate this’.”  In the 2015 recording, Mr Greenslade continued: “If my detectives could do half this work that (Bowe) doing we’d be on our game. Believe me, let me tell you what this brings into focus and I don’t want to speak out of turn so I want you gentlemen to listen very carefully. We’ve had several really bad accidents in GB on this same Mall Drive and a number of those persons have complained. “Not as loudly as you (Bowe), have complained but I’ve heard talks that something has not been done right that we may have not investigated this properly, the same group of officers you’re talking about. Y’all always ask me what my legacy is, I don’t know working progress.


EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

INSIGHT

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019 PAGE 9

A WIDOWER’S FIGHT TO KNOW THE TRUTH

LEROY Bowe sits with his daughters, Moriah, six, Le’Ajah, nine and Brianna, 13. Le’Ajah is holding a tribute poster of her mother Camille Williams-Bowe, who died at 32. “She might be gone but her spirit is always here, guiding and watching over us,” says her husband. Mr Greenslade continued: “If you believe in God, if you truly believe in God, now what I need you to do for me is, don’t run on with (OFFICER NAME) no more. Listen to me carefully, if I’m going to help you, don’t run on with (OFFICER NAME). Let this work for you, now I’m going to do what I have to do with (SECOND OFFICER NAME). “I’m going to put my thinking cap on, I already know what direction I’m going in and I may be able to give you and your children a little break in life. I may be able to give you ahouse that you can live in where you don’t have to pay no rent.” It is impossible to know what Mr Greenslade was suggesting in his comments, and attempts by the Tribune to contact him on the topic have proved unsuccessful. But it is unmistakable that the encounter only fuelled Mr Bowe’s resolve that he was on the correct course to obtaining justice for his family. One of the officers present at that 2015 meeting spoke to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity. He explained the matter was ultimately left up to the Coroner’s Court to adjudicate. “I think with this matter, Mr Greenslade saw that Bowe was very set on his path and felt it was better to put this all to Coroner’s Court. The Coroner’s Court has always been independent of the police, we have no say whatsoever. So you say you don’t trust the police fine, but now you don’t trust the Coroner’s Court? I don’t know what to tell you, what’s left for you to do?” An inquest into Camille’s death would not come until two years later. The inquest took place in Eight Mile Rock under Magistrate Gwendolyn Clarke, who in summing up cautioned the jury to assess the evidence without prejudice or sympathy to establish the facts. Mr Bowe’s wavering faith in the process, developed into disbelief, and later anger, he said, during the 2017 inquest. It was held from March to June 2017. His stepson, Montase Armbrister, was 11-yearsold at the time of the accident and was seated in the backseat with his twomonth old sister Moriah. At the inquest, he testified that his mother was making a turn when the car hit them but did not remember anything after the initial impact. He also recalled his mother saying that a car was coming so fast.

On the stand, Mrs Williamson testified she was on the light at Pioneer’s Way and proceeded to cross after the light turned green when someone hit her. As for her injuries, her hair was cut and she had a bruise on her leg. She further stated she was interviewed by officers two days after the accident; however, her police report is dated and signed in August. She also stated she was asked by a senior officer at the scene to come to his office on Monday morning; however, the officer denied this occurred during his testimony. Most of the 16 witnesses called for the inquest were motorists in the vicinity of the crash, and supported the findings of the investigation by traffic police that Mrs Bowe had run the red light. Their testimonies held minor inconsistencies, with two witnesses giving contradicting testimony while others could not recall details clearly. However, two witnesses presented an alternative series of events: phone card vendor Franklyn Strachan and Bridgette Burrows. Mr Strachan said the van had the green light when the Pontiac ran the light and slid into the van.  For her part, Ms Burrows said she was close to the intersection with only two cars in front of her. She

ELLISON GREENSLADE claimed the light was on red and when it changed, the van proceeded to turn when the silver car came up with a lot of speed and hit the van. Ms Burrows further claimed that someone came out of the car and started to run to the back of the KFC area. She said the Pontiac was driving in the same direction as the van but the van made a right turn. The jury found Mrs Bowe died as a result of misadventure due to running the traffic light. Mr Bowe refuses to accept the ruling and vowed to continue searching for what he believes is the truth. Months later an official attached to the Ministry of National Security tells Mr Bowe that after reviewing his claims, he does not know what can be done.

The meeting was recorded and the official tells Mr Bowe: “They need to get with the Commissioner of Police and get a resolution. I don’t know at what level but it’s far above me. When I read it I said, boy it implicates so much more. Not that I don’t want to touch it but it’s like it should be dealt with at the highest level and not at the bottom. “Everything what you said matched up. “I can’t deal with it at my level. What I see Lord knows somebody have to sit down, you need to get a lawyer to represent your interests.” Mr Bowe filed a civil suit for negligence on June 16, 2016, and named a senior Grand Bahamas officer, the police force, the coroner, Attorney General, Mrs Williamson, and her son Aaron Stubbs as defendants. He has also submitted an application to appeal the coroner’s ruling. However, he needs a lawyer to move things forward. It’s hard to solicit legal representation with sparse resources as a single parent. “Well, I used to drive a taxi but things have been so slow in Grand Bahama,” Mr Bowe said, “I just do odd jobs. I get spousal benefits, it’s nothing much but, it’s a challenge. Day to day dealing with three young girls. The baby is six now, she was two months old when it happened. He continued: “They always ask for their mom, especially the baby. The second one, she still sees the incident. Some days her mind goes so far, and she acts out every now and then. He added: “I can’t let this go, I’m never going to give up. I’m going to keep fighting this.” “For now, the files sit on the desk of Eucal Bonaby, chief counsel in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. “We’re doing a review,” Mr Bonaby said, “not to determine whether anyone should be charged but to determine if anything went wrong that would require an investigation. “I want to be clear because people may get the impression we’re investigating,” Mr Bonaby continued. We’re not making that determination because the matter didn’t come to us from police. After (Mr Bowe) came to us, we requested the file from our office in Freeport. “I got the files early last year, sometime last year. Still trying to go through it. We are reviewing the matter.”

In the interim, Mr Bowe’s social media crusade has managed to sneak just under the viral radar making its rounds in local Facebook groups, where heretics, academics and denizens of every socio-economic strata find common ground over a multiplicity of issues - real or imagined. Mr Bowe said: “The

judicial system over here is failing the average citizen, when you don’t have the funds to keep pursuing it. I’m trying to get public awareness that this could happen to anyone of us, anyone in our family. I want people to start speaking out, to stop being afraid and start speaking out.” He challenged the

government, or anyone, to sue him for defamation of character as he believes it’s the only way he’ll get a chance to air his claims in court. “Only my kids have me going from not doing nothing stupid,” he added. “It’s too much to see where the judicial system is failing us.”


PAGE 10 MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

INSIGHT

EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

LEFT: Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself Venezuela’s interim president, and, right, President Nicolas Maduro, centre, gestures to members of the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Militia, during their tenth anniversary celebration in Caracas, Venezuela at the weekend.

Fight to save or sell the soul of the OAS THE Organisation of American States (OAS), already a broken institution, was shattered even more on April 9 at a meeting of its Permanent Council. It is now an organisation whose membership is deeply divided and among whom mistrust and bitterness now predominates. How this huge problem

will be fixed – if it can be fixed at all – is the paramount challenge that now confronts its 33 and a half members. I will return to the half-member later in this commentary. Nothing that I say in this commentary is a secret. The Permanent Council meeting of April 9 was played out in a live webcast on the OAS’ website. The meeting was held after weeks of efforts by the United States and most of the members of the so-called Lima Group, to secure the adoption of a resolution that would unseat the representative of the Nicolas Maduro government and replace him with the nominee of Juan Guaido. Guaido is the self-proclaimed “Interim President” of Venezuela, so recognised by roughly 50 of the more than 200 governments in the world. The manoeuvrings behind the scenes had a single purpose and that was to procure 18 votes, constituting a simple majority of the 34 memberstates, to impose Guaido’s nominee as Venezuela’s representative. It took some time for the core 14 countries to woo the support of four others, not least because the manner of pushing the resolution through the Permanent Council defied international law and the Charter and rules of the OAS. Governments had to dig deep to balance disregard for the integrity of the OAS as an institution and a desire to help those countries that were determined to seat Guaido’s representative. The meeting was summoned for high noon on April 9 and all delegations were cautioned to be on time for a prompt start. As it turned out delegates were forced to wait until after 1pm to start the meeting because, at the last minute, Jamaica - one of the faithful 18 - insisted on new language, causing commotion among the group and threatening to derail its entire effort. Even when the resolution was presented to the Permanent Council meeting and was being debated, it was unclear what text was being considered. What was before the meeting was the original text, omitting the Jamaica language. A request from me, as the representative of Antigua and Barbuda, for clarification, resulted in a break in the meeting’s proceedings to produce the final text of the resolution. Its main purpose remained to accept the appointment

of “the National Assembly’s designated Permanent Representative”. There was much solemn and serious debate about the entire proceedings, but in the end, 18 countries, using their razor-thin majority, forced the vote through. Some self-interested governments have characterised the meeting as a clash of support for or against the contending forces in Venezuela. Sections of the media have followed that line. But, far from being about Maduro/Guaido and Venezuela, the meeting was about selling or saving the soul of the OAS; it was about disregarding international norms and ignoring the institutional framework of the Organisation for the short-term political purposes of a few; and it was about arguing for the retention of the OAS’ integrity. At the end of the vote the Ambassador of Mexico, Jorge Lomónaco Tonda, summed-up the meeting well. He said: “There were no winners or losers; only losers”. And, the biggest loser was the OAS itself. Nowhere in the Charter of the OAS, or in its rules, does the Permanent Council have the authority to decide on the recognition of a government. Further, as was stated repeatedly at the meeting, the recognition of a government is the sovereign right of states and cannot be determined or imposed by a multilateral organisation. At the very least, the matter, given its high political importance, should have been considered by a special session of the general assembly, the highest organ of the OAS. What the hasty, ill-considered process succeeded in doing is damaging the OAS as an institution, tainting its structure and governance, harming relations between its member states and rendering it unfit for anything but achieving the purposes of a wilful majority of 18 countries. The vote on recognition of the National Assembly’s representative was really about the de-recognition of the Maduro government’s representative. While that may have been achieved within the OAS, it has changed nothing in the international community. Countries that recognise Maduro or Guaido as President of Venezuela continue to do so. Nothing has changed in Venezuela either. This vote has achieved no new negotiations and no solution to the humanitarian situation.

If anything, it has served only to harden the opposing sides in the political conflict, closing the door to solutions. To return now to the 33 and a half members of the OAS. The national assembly’s representative may be seated in front of the Venezuelan flag, but he cannot speak for the government that is in charge of Venezuela. A vital test of recognition of a government, in international law and practice, is whether it exercises effective control of the affairs of the country. The National Assembly does not have effective control of Venezuela, and its representative cannot speak, in the OAS, for the de facto government. There is a further question regarding the authenticity of the representative’s credentials which appear to have been overlooked, deliberately or otherwise by the OAS Secretariat. The National Assembly nominated a “Special” representative to the OAS, but there is no such category of representation. Further, as pointed out in the meeting by the Ambassador of Guyana, Riyad Insanally, the letter to the Secretary-General from Mr. Guaido, signed as “Interim President of Venezuela”, designating the “Permanent” representative, was dated January 22, 2019. But his proclamation as “Interim President” took place on January 23, 2019. In other circumstances, these discrepancies would not have been accepted. The OAS is now in many ways a sadly compromised organisation. The fight on April 9 to sell or save its soul defines it now and can limit its effectiveness in the future. Why should we care? Because it is the only hemispheric organisation in which all countries (except Cuba) sit, and which had the mandate and the opportunity to keep the region peaceful and to pursue cooperation that could make a difference to the lives of all its people. All that is now corrupted. The writer is Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are entirely his own.Responses and previous commentaries: www. sirronaldsanders.com


EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

INSIGHT

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019 PAGE 11

With a trade you’ll always have money in your pocket

GAIN AN EDGE

GAIN AN EDGE A NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON HIGHER EDUCATION

A NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON HIGHER EDUCATION

A

S SOMEONE whose mother initially wanted him to become a doctor or an electrical engineer, Christian Knowles is proof that the recipe to thrive is having a passion combined with the determination to pursue it. “I’ve always been passionate about engines. I was sent to a local institution to study electrical engineering, but it was not by choice. Two years into it, I said, ‘This is not for me’,” said Christian. Today, the 23-year-old 2013 graduate of Kingsway Academy is an Auto Mechanics student at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and owner of Auto Spa Service – a homebased auto workshop. Christian pointed out that there is a level of stereotyping against technical and vocational education and training (TVET). “My mom, Lisa Carey, had an interest that was zero. However, she realized how powerful it was when I didn’t have a job, yet people were coming to our house looking for me and I was still making money. She realized, ‘This is your drive and it keeps you afloat’,” said Christian. Meanwhile, Christian highly recommends learning a trade. “I feel with a technical job, you can never be broke. A trade will always keep money in your pocket. If you are a welder, electrician, mechanic or an IT person, you can make it by using your skills,” he noted. “The Bahamas runs off trades. Who will design the buildings? Who will construct the buildings? How does The Bahamas develop without trades?” Although he gave another institution two years of his time, Christian was in his element when he became a student at BTVI in 2015, having achieved a 3.8 during his first semester. “It was my decision. I paid for my first semester. It was something I wanted. I knew about engines before I came to BTVI, so the first few courses were like a breeze,” he remembered. Christian, who considers himself to be competitive, said his success is not just for him, but his mother and grandmother, Idel Hanna as well. “My mom always pushed me to excel and growing up in a single parent home, I never wanted to be a burden to her. She did the best for me; meantime, my grammy, who is 78, is my heart,” he said. It was that same first semester when Christian met Dean of Construction and Workforce Development, Alexander Darville, who was impressed with him. Later in the semester, Mr. Darville was about to travel with a few instructors to visit several institutions and colleges in Florida, but not before giving

TODAY, Christian Knowles, a graduate of Kingsway Academy is an Auto Mechanics student at the, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and owner of Auto Spa Service, a home-based auto workshop.

the young Christian his word he would search out a scholarship opportunity for him. A few weeks later, he received a response from the Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Florida. He completed a form for a scholarship, leaving his mother to only cover room, board and other fees. “At BTVI, they pinpointed me out. I found that amazing,” he added. Christian, who attended MMI between 2016 and 2017, completed the 52-week diploma in Marine Mechanics in 42 weeks, as he began “doubling up on courses.” He became qualified to work on inboard and outboard marine engine brands including Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha and Diesel. Christian also received the internationally recognized Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. Since returning to The Bahamas, Christian has struggled to find employment paying him a salary he believes is commensurate with his qualifications and experience. “With all my certifications, a big time marine company offered me $250 per week. I realised it was crazy and declined. I started doing my own thing in auto mechanics. Things were going good. I was getting calls every day to fix vehicles,” he stated. “When the marine didn’t work out, I worked on a car for a friend and she said, ‘You’re really good at this’. She sent a few people to me. I have a job every day. If you come and tell me you need me at 11 at night, your car isn’t starting, I’m coming. I go beyond.” Christian is so organised, he has his clients on calendars in his cell phone, so every three months he sends them reminders to have their vehicles serviced. “I went into marine because it was an opportunity, but auto was my passion from the beginning. I started with auto, did marine, but came right back to auto. I didn’t even go back to auto; auto came back to me,” he said smiling.

WHEREVER YOU WORK, THINK SAFETY FIRST ACCIDENTS can be prevented by keeping workplace safety tips in mind on the job. No matter what industry you work in, applying safety tips can prevent accidents.

Tips for avoiding slips and falls Falls are the leading cause of injury in the workplace. Keep these tips in mind to avoid an injury: 1. As you walk, keep an eye on the floor in front of you for spills. 2. If you see a spill, never just walk by it. Always clean it up or call someone to clean it up. 3. Wear non-skid shoes when you work in kitchens, outdoors, or any other place where you will commonly be walking on slippery surfaces. 4. Never climb on shelving units or storage units to get things. Use only approved ladders. 5. Never lean on railings, even if they look solid. They could be improperly secured, and you could fall. 6. Always use safety harnesses when working at heights.

Tips for lifting properly You may work with patients who need help getting around or at a factory where you’re lifting

boxes on a continual basis. No matter who or what you may be lifting, there are some key points to consider: 1. If you are approaching a box and don’t know what’s in it, try moving it a little with your foot first to see how easily it moves. This will help you gauge how heavy is the box. 2. Always wear non-skid shoes when you are lifting potentially heavy objects. 3. Never bend at the waist and lift the box up with your back. Keep your upper body straight and parallel with your lower legs. Grab the item and push up with your legs, not with your back. 4. Never jerk your body around when lifting. You may feel fine after doing this once, but repeated occurrences can easily lead to injury in even the healthiest workers.

Fire safety tips Some jobs carry an increased risk of fire, but understanding fire safety is important for any

occupation. Keep these tips in mind: Have a fire plan in place for your worksite, and make sure your employees understand it fully. Having a fire drill every now and again is a good way for employees to keep escape routes, meeting spots, and procedures in mind. 1. Avoid the use of socalled “power strips” whenever possible. They are often prone to overuse and can start a fire if too many appliances are plugged into them. 2. Keep cleaning chemicals and other work chemicals in a well-ventilated room. Many chemicals emit vapour that are highly flammable and which can be set off with something as small as a spark from a faulty wire. 3. Know where all the fire extinguishers are throughout your workplace and know how to use them. 4. Remember that grease fires cannot be fought by dousing them with water. Oil is hydrophobic and also is the fuel source in grease fires. Water will simply

splash the oil around and spread the fire even further. 5. Smoke alarms: a necessity, not an option 6. Invest in smoke detectors for every room or office. 7. Test your smoke detectors (and sprinkling system) once a month. 8. Replace the batteries at least once a year. 9. Never disable a smoke alarm. Consider smoke alarms for the disabled. Audible alarms (pauses between the siren wail allow for auditory communication) are available for the visually impaired; visual alarms (with a flashing light or vibrating pad) are available for the hearing impaired.

safety committee. Working at home or for a very small business is not a reason to get out of safety planning. If you don’t have a safety plan in place yet, follow these steps when you recognize a workplace safety issue: 1. Make sure everyone else in your workplace is aware of the problem. 2. Notify your supervisor. 3. File any reports or documents about the problem. 4. Follow up. Telling someone there’s a problem is not a guarantee that the problem will be resolved satisfactorily. Report it and later follow up to make sure the problem was addressed.

Planning for a safe workplace

1. Dial 911 immediately if you notice suspicious strangers loitering in or near your place of business. Take particular notice of people who loiter during the opening and closing times of your business. 2. Employees in charge of making bank deposits should always be alert for strangers lingering at the bank. If in doubt, do not make the deposit while a suspicious person is in the area. 3. Never block the view into your store by filling windows with multiple displays. Robbers do not want to be seen, and they are less

Falls, lifting injuries and fires are dangerous and common in the workplace, but that’s just the beginning. There are many possible safety issues that can occur at your office or factory. Sometimes the best workplace safety arises out of simple good planning and smart thinking. Every workplace should have a safety committee and safety plan in place. If you don’t have safety committees at your workplace, then propose one. If you work at home, you are the

Crime prevention during business hours

likely to attack your business if a passer-by can see what is going on inside. 4. Minimize the amount of cash you keep on the premises. 5. Make frequent pickups of money from registers and make regular bank deposits. 6. Try not to work alone. Studies have indicated the presence of more employees may reduce the incidence of an armed robbery. 7. Install quality locks on doors and windows. Also invest in a monitored alarm system. Alarms are the best defense against property crime and knowing you have a system could be enough to deter criminals. 8. Always use interior and exterior lighting. Lighting may prevent an intruder from concealing his illegal activities. Installing and using motion sensor lighting is an inexpensive way to deter crime at your business. In the end, workplace safety is the responsibility of everyone at your job. Everyone has a part to play in keeping the workplace safe and free from unnecessary dangers and risks. By keeping these tips in mind and sharing them with others, you will be doing your part in keeping injuries, possibly deaths and robbery from happening on the job.


PAGE 12, Monday, April 15, 2019 By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net SEVERAL students from CC Sweeting Senior High School have qualified to participate in the Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup, scheduled for July in The Hague, Netherlands. Principal Joan Gray said three teams comprising nine students total were successful in the Nassau rounds of the competition, held in February. However, noting the trip to The Netherlands is an “expensive venture”, the “economic reality” has meant only one team of three students will likely be able to attend the academic competition. She added should these financial challenges be met, the students will be able to spend nearly a week in the Netherlands. “We are very pleased and excited that our students have, once again, qualified for participation in the annual World Scholar’s Global Cup,” said Ms Gray. “The all-male team of three last year did so as well but, unfortunately, unexpected visa related concerns prevented this from happening.” She added CC Sweeting was the only public high school that qualified for the Global Round in 2018, which was held in Melbourne, Australia. “While it would be absolutely wonderful for all nine of these very deserving students to participate in the Global Rounds this year, the economic reality has led us to focus on one team of three - including one of our female students.

THE TRIBUNE

Pupils win chance to compete in global challenge “It is a very expensive venture. Should we be able to overcome the financial challenges, this team is expected to travel to The Hague, Amsterdam this July and will be there for close to a week. “They will be accompanied by two of our staff members. We are hoping to be registered by the end of April 2019 to avoid any other unexpected concerns. “Should we be able to overcome the financial challenges, this team is expected to travel to The Hague, Amsterdam this July and will be there for close to a week,” Ms Gray told The Tribune. Mario Josey, senior master, told provided The Tribune with a breakdown of the costs: $2,850 for registration, $210 for visas, $4,800 for roundtrip travel, and $2,500 for accommodations. He added the competition is scheduled for July 21-26. The Tribune also spoke

THE HAGUE in the Netherlands where the Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup will be held. to the three twelfth-grade students, who detailed the hard work and dedication studying for this academic competition requires as well as their excitement at the possibility of traveling to Europe and engaging

with students from around the world. “The opportunity to go show that (we) as students from CC…students that are from public schools, students who most of the public might consider not

being able to achieve anything or not being worth anything, are able to stand on a global scale and represent the Bahamas,” Shamar Lee, 16, said. “This is literally to show the world that The Bahamas is a global

competitor and is able to compete on that scale.” Shamar noted last year he also had the opportunity to compete in the Global Round but reiterated the team unfortunately was unable to go. Alease Outten, 17, underscored that preparation for the Nassau round of competition took weeks of studying. “It was very overwhelming because of all the new information to try and remember and try and keep up with school work at the same time. “It was very stressful, so to speak. So to travel to Amsterdam it would be great experience.” Dervin Stubbs, 17, added to this, describing the World Scholar’s Cup requirements as “daunting”. “This would show people ‘yes we’re a public high school, yes…there have been unfortunate things that have happened,” Devin said. “But we would just blow everyone away with this.”

PAIR ON MURDER CHARGE BACK IN COURT IN A MONTH By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

TWO men charged with murdering another man in the Fox Hill community two months ago will appear before a Supreme Court judge in a month’s time. Owen Williams and Steffen Rolle will appear before Justice Bernard Turner to be formally arraigned in connection with Richard Fowler’s murder on February 12. The two were served with their respective voluntary bills of indictment (VBIs), which outlines the Crown’s case against them, when they appeared before Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain on Friday. According to reports, shortly after 8pm on February 12, police responded

to an area near the community park in Fox Hill after receiving reports of gunfire in the area. The officers subsequently made a check of a vacant lot on Bernard Road, just west of the park and discovered a man with injuries to his body. Paramedics were called to the scene and attempted to revive the man, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Rolle and Williams were both arraigned before the acting deputy chief magistrate two weeks later. At the time, Rolle claimed he was suffocated by having a plastic bag placed over his head, and when he managed to bite a hole in that one to breathe, the officers doubled the bag. He also said he was beaten about his head with a heavy book, which

he surmised was a phone book, and was forced to admit to things he didn’t do. He also accused the police of wrapping his wrists with newspapers and placing handcuffs on him in a very tight manner. Rolle further claimed that as a result of the alleged beating, he has suffered headaches and shortness of breath. Williams, meanwhile, said he was also ‘fish-bagged’, and also claimed an officer placed his hand over his mouth so he couldn’t breathe. Williams further claimed that one of the officers continuously dropped a 2x4 piece of wood on his chest. He also claimed newspapers were placed around his wrist before being handcuffed, and that he too was forced to admit to things he didn’t do.

Williams also claimed he went to the hospital on two occasions while he was in police custody. On the first visit, he said the officers didn’t allow the doctor to see him, but instead met with the physician in a room in his absence. Afterwards, he claimed the doctor merely signed something. He said on the second visit, he was examined by doctors, but the police officers did not wait for his medication. Williams’ and Rolle’s initial arraignments were also almost derailed after assertions from Rolle’s attorney Bjorn Ferguson that there were no witnesses of fact listed on the charge sheet. At the time, Mr Ferguson noted that no eyewitnesses were listed on the docket; only “formal” witnesses

inclusive of police officers and pathologists. That issue, Mr Ferguson submitted, meant the witnesses listed could not properly make out the offence of murder because they are “authorities” as opposed to accusers, an inherent problem as his client has a right to know who his accuser or accusers are. Mr Ferguson said the charge sheet bore some six to seven police witnesses and about two doctors. The evidence of those witnesses, Mr Ferguson submitted, are “corroborative” in nature and do nothing to substantiate the murder charge against his client and his co-accused. Thus, he submitted the Crown had not made out the murder charge against his client, something he said needed to be done if the court was to proceed with the arraignments. Mr Ferguson further submitted that if that is the case, his client should have been released immediately,

as he would have been in police custody since Monday or Tuesday of the week prior. Mr Ferguson further considered the possibility that the names of the witnesses may have been suppressed by an anonymity order, but said he had not been served with any anonymity orders up to that point. The senior magistrate agreed with Mr Ferguson’s submissions concerning the lack of witnesses on the charge sheet, asserting the situation was “just not right” on the face of it, and could potentially form the basis of a human rights abuse claim. She also agreed both Rolle and Williams have a right to know who their accusers are. The senior magistrate ultimately decided to arraign the pair, but stipulated that by the time their VBIs are served on them, the names of the witnesses as well as their statements would be included in the bundle.

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THE TRIBUNE By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net FORMER internet sensation Handerea “Miss Florida” Rolle was acquitted on Friday of allegations of being caught last year with $1,700 worth of marijuana intending to distribute it to others. Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain discharged and acquitted the former web star after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Rolle beyond a reasonable doubt. The senior magistrate noted that but for the lack of that critical element, she would have convicted the Ragged Island Street resident. Kenneth Moncur, however, was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply stemming from the February 13, 2018 incident. The senior magistrate said although Moncur denied knowledge of the drugs, the fact that he owns, resides, and was also in the house when the drugs were discovered were automatic red flags. She ruled that based on the evidence, Moncur in fact did take part in the criminal activity, as the logical inference that was drawn was that his house is used to deal drugs. Additionally, the acting deputy chief magistrate said even if he were ignorant of the illicit activities, the scent from the drugs was likely so “pungent” he would have had no choice but to know what was taking place.

Monday, April 15, 2019, PAGE 13

‘Miss Florida’ acquitted in drugs trial after judge dismisses case Friday’s ruling marks the end of a year-long court battle for both Rolle and Moncur. In February of last year, Rolle, pictured below, Moncur, and a third person, Illano Noel, were charged with having been found in possession of 13 ounces of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1,700. Noel, the father of Rolle’s child, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, while Rolle and Moncur pleaded not guilty. During the trial, Assistant Superintendent Zhivargo Earns testified how he had caught Noel trying to flush a bowl of weed on the date in question, moments after he and two other officers broke down the door to Moncur’s home on Smith’s Lane. ASP Earns said upon arriving at Moncur’s house, he and the other officers entered the yard and knocked on a southern door of the home before identifying themselves as policemen. Upon doing so, ASP Earns said he heard shuffling sounds in the house as though people were running. ASP Earns said he also heard people inside whispering “police”. He then said he heard the sound of a toilet flushing. ASP Earns said he forced

open the door, and upon doing so saw a man running with a large plastic bowl in his hand. He eventually caught up with the man in a bathroom, where he observed him emptying the contents of the bowl into the toilet. The man, who later identified himself as Ilano Noel, was quickly subdued. Inside the toilet was a quantity of suspected marijuana. ASP Earns said after catching and subduing Noel, Rolle and Moncur were found hiding in two separate rooms in the home. Another senior officer, Detective Sergeant Anthony Allen Jr of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), said Rolle indicated in her initial interview that she was only present at the residence in question because she went there to get some money from Noel, her boyfriend, concerning their child. Det Sgt Allen said Rolle claimed ASP Earns and other officers arrived shortly after she had arrived at the home. However, Det Sgt Allen claimed that both Rolle and Moncur admitted in their respective records of interview to being aware that Noel was in possession of suspected marijuana,

CARNIVAL FACING BAN FROM DOCKING CRUISE SHIPS IN US By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net IN announcing plans to build a $100-million mega cruise port in Grand Bahama, Carnival Corporation has promised it would not hurt the island’s fragile environment. However, a US federal judge is considering temporarily banning the docking of the cruise company’s ships at US ports as punishment for a possible probation violation, which includes incidents of allegedly illegally dumping oil and plastics in the ocean. According to reports in Florida Today, a judge last week threatened to temporarily block Carnival Corporation from docking its cruise ships at ports in the US. It noted that in The Miami Herald it was reported that last Wednesday US District Judge Patricia Seitz said she will make a decision in June and she expects Carnival’s chairman Micky Arison and president Donald Arnold to attend that hearing. Carnival Corporation announced in February plans to develop the world’s largest cruise port in East Grand Bahama. The facility would be able to accommodate two of their largest ships at the same time, revitalising the island’s tourism sector. The cruise company is leasing 329 acres of land in an area known as Sharp Rock in East Grand Bahama, which is known as an eco-sensitive zone. Carnival Corporation executive Giora Israel said the company is big on protecting the environment, and promised that Carnival would not harm the environment during the construction phase, and would preserve 110 acres as a natural wetland. Although Carnival Corporation owns several cruise lines, the cruise port in Grand Bahama is being built specifically for its Carnival Cruise Line brand. In the Florida Today report, it was noted that Carnival currently has three ships based at Port Canaveral in Florida - the Breeze, Liberty and Sunshine. It stated that the Miamibased Carnival Cruise Line is the world’s largest cruise line, with 26 ships. Three new ships are scheduled for delivery — Carnival

Panorama in 2019, Carnival Mardi Gras in 2020 and an as-yet-unnamed ship in 2022, according to the report. It was also noted that according to court filings, Carnival has been on probation for two years as part of a $40 million settlement for illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying about the scheme. “Despite this, prosecutors say ships have dumped gray water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, prepared ships in advance of courtordered audits to avoid unfavourable findings, falsified records and dumped plastic garbage into the ocean. The company has acknowledged these incidents in court filings,” the report read. In a statement, Carnival Chief Communications Officer Roger Frizzell said: “We heard the concerns expressed by Judge Seitz, and will do our utmost to ensure we meet all expectations under the environmental compliance plan and continue to strive to be best in class on environmental compliance. Our environmental responsibility has been and remains a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived. This is in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel. We look forward to clarifying any issues and demonstrating our commitment.’” The report indicated that the five-year probation began in April 2017, and requires a third-party auditor to inspect ships belonging to Carnival and its subsidiaries. In all, Carnival owns nine cruise brands and has 102 ships. In addition to Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corp brands include AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises (Australia), P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn. There currently are no changes to the cruise schedules of any of Carnival’s brands as a result of the judge’s threat. The court filings say that during 2017 Carnival had a programme in place to prepare ships in advance of the audits to avoid negative findings. Seitz ordered the company to stop in

December 2017, and it stopped. But federal prosecutors said the practice continued in 2018. The court filings said the monitor found that Carnival and its subsidiaries repeatedly falsified records, as recently as September 2018, when an engineer on Holland America’s Westerdam ship falsified maintenance records to make it appear he had cleaned and tested equipment when he had not. The same ship, according to court filings, dumped 26,000 gallons of gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in September 2018. Monitors also found that the Carnival Elation ship dumped plastic garbage overboard during an audit in December. The plastic wasn’t being separated from food, court filings said.

adding that Moncur had said he had agreed to let Noel operate from his home in exchange for payment. Rolle gained local internet fame and the nicknames “Miss Florida” and “Boss Lady Florida” when a video of her surfaced on

the internet in which she seemed not to know that Miami was located in the state of Florida. She repeatedly said the word “Florida” to indicate where she was, and followed it up with the now famous statement, “Broke

people go Miami, I in Florida.” Another video surfaced shortly afterwards in which Rolle could be seen enjoying herself in a shopping mall, proclaiming: “Boss lady making boss moves. Make that U-turn baby.”


PAGE 14, Monday, April 15, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

SUDANESE PROTESTERS DEMAND ‘IMMEDIATE’ MOVE TO CIVILIAN RULE CAIRO Associated Press ORGANISERS of the protests in Sudan that forced longtime President Omar al-Bashir from office held a second day of talks yesterday with the ruling military council after urging the military to “immediately and unconditionally” hand power to a transitional civilian government that would rule for four years. Omer el-Digair, leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, told the protests at a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum after Saturday’s

meeting that the atmosphere had been “positive.” He said talks would focus on submitting the organisers’ demands and transition plan, and that they are calling for dissolving al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party. “We demanded restructuring the current security apparatus,” el-Digair said. “We do not need a security apparatus that detains people and shuts off newspapers.” Following the talks, an army spokesman said the military council had begun to overhaul the security organizations and that the political opposition would be allowed to name a civilian prime

minister and Cabinet, but not a president. In televised remarks, Lt Gen Shamseldin Kibashi also said the military would not break up the demonstrations that have continued outside the military headquarters. These moves were unlikely to satisfy protesters’ demands for full civilian rule. The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests, posted a nine-point list of demands earlier in the day. The list includes prosecuting those behind the Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, disbanding all pro-government unions, freezing the assets of

top officials in al-Bashir’s government and dismissing all top judges and prosecutors. The political parties and movements behind the four months of protests said in a joint statement late Saturday that they will remain in the streets until their demands are met. They said the handover to civilian rule would be the “first step toward the fall of the regime.” The army has appointed a military council that it says will rule for two years or less while elections are being organized. The council met on Saturday with a delegation of protest organisers.

The military overthrew alBashir on Thursday, ending his nearly 30-year reign and placing him under house arrest in the capital, Khartoum. The protesters fear that the military, which is dominated by al-Bashir appointees, will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed him. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates meanwhile issued statements in support of Sudan’s transitional military council. Saudi King Salman ordered an unspecified package of aid for Sudan that includes petroleum products, wheat and medicine.

SANCTUARY MAY HELP MIGRANTS STAY IN US

DELIGHT AT RIGHT WHALES BABY BOOM ONE of the world’s most endangered whale species is experiencing a mini baby boom off the US state of Massachusetts. Researchers at the Center for Coastal Studies have announced they have seen three North Atlantic right whale mother and calf pairs in Cape Cod bay. The whales give birth off Georgia and Florida in the winter before moving up the US east coast in the spring. The Scientist magazine reports that seven calves have been spotted off Florida so far this year. North Atlantic right whales were hunted virtually to extinction by the early 1890s, and have been listed as endangered since 1970. It remains illegal to come within 500 yards of a North Atlantic right whale without a Federal Research Permit.

PHOENIX Associated Press

A BABY right whale swims with its mother in Cape Cod Bay off Massachusetts.

Pompeo in Colombia to see Venezuelan migrants CUCUTA, Colombia Associated Press

US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo met with Venezuelan migrants in Colombia yesterday as he wrapped up a four-nation tour of South America aimed at pressuring Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro. Pompeo went to a migrant centre in the border town of Cucuta with Colombian President Ivan Duque. Not far away, Venezuelan security forces with riot gear stood in the middle of the Simon Bolivar international bridge separating the two countries. The migrant centre has been the first stop for some 3.4 million Venezuelans who have fled hyperinflation, severe shortages of food and medicine, and political upheaval in their homeland. Pompeo described a “very moving” encounter with a Venezuelan mother named Geraldine who crossed into Colombia and was torn

POMPEO at the migrant centre about abandoning her country even as she had to scavenge for diapers, medicine and other basic goods she could no longer find in Venezuela. Mimicking President Ronald Reagan’s famous “Tear down this wall” speech in Berlin at the end of the Cold War, Pompeo urged Maduro to lift a military blockade preventing the entry of tons of humanitarian aid that has sat for months on Venezuela’s borders

with Colombia, Brazil and the Dutch Caribbean. “Mr. Maduro, open these bridges, open these borders. You can end this today,” Pompeo said. “I hope you will care now when you see the horror, when you see the tragedy, to change your ways and to leave your country.” The US was the first of more than now 50 nations that in January recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó when he declared himself his country’s interim president. The opposition, with the support of the US and the other countries, Maduro’s re-election last year to be illegitimate because leading critics were barred from running. But significant popular support for Guaidó at home hasn’t loosened Maduro’s grip on power, and the embattled leader continues to enjoy the support of the armed forces, the traditional arbiter of political disputes in Venezuela. Authorities in Venezuela have

accused Washington of plotting Maduro’s overthrow and even blamed it for a failure of the electrical grid last month that left much of the country without power for days. On Sunday, a top official ridiculed Pompeo’s visit to the border. “Confirmed: Washington and Bogota ratify Cucuta as the regular stage for their most decadent and cheap spectacles,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a message on Twitter. “In the meantime, the abandoned people of Cucuta continue to live off the Venezuelan economy.” The US has provided almost $275 million in aid to Colombia, Peru and other South American allies to absorb the flood of migrants from Venezuela. When pressed on whether the generosity shown Venezuelans fleeing Maduro is in conflict with the Trump administration’s hostile policies toward migrants on the southern U.S. border, Pompeo called the comparison “ludicrous.”

AN IDEA floated by President Donald Trump to send immigrants from the border to “sanctuary cities” to exact revenge on Democratic foes could end up doing the migrants a favour by placing them in locations that make it easier to put down roots and stay in the country. The plan would put thousands of immigrants in cities that are not only welcoming to them, but also more likely to rebuff federal officials carrying out deportation orders. Many of these locations have more resources to help immigrants make their legal cases to stay in the United States than smaller cities, with some of the nation’s biggest immigration advocacy groups based in places like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. The downside for the immigrants would be a high cost of living in the cities. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University announced this week that an analysis found that immigrants in sanctuary cities such as New York and Los Angeles are 20% less likely to be arrested out in the community than in cities without such policies. “With immigrants being less likely to commit crimes than the US-born population, and with sanctuary jurisdictions being safer and more productive than nonsanctuary jurisdictions, the data damns this proposal as a politically motivated stunt that seeks to play politics with peoples’ lives,” said George Gascon, district attorney for San Francisco. Trump has grown increasingly frustrated over the situation at the border, where tens of thousands of immigrant families are crossing each month, many to claim asylum.

‘MAYOR PETE’ JOINS 2020 DEM RACE AS FACE OF NEW GENERATION INDIANA Associated Press

PETE Buttigieg, the littleknown Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance yesterday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the

country. “I recognise the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor,” he said to cheers of “Pete, Pete, Pete” from an audience assembled in a former Studebaker auto plant. “More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land.” The South Bend mayor, a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been

essentially campaigning since January, has joined a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump. “The forces of change in our country today are tectonic,” he said. “Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible. That’s why, this time, it’s not just about winning an election — it’s about winning an era.”

Buttigieg, pictured right, will return to Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold the nation’s first nominating contests, to campaign as a fullfledged candidate now being taken more seriously. Over the past few months, Buttigieg has appeared on national TV news and talk shows and developed a strong social

media following with his message that the country needs “a new generation of leadership.” Buttigieg’s poll numbers have climbed. Some polls put him behind only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sought the party’s nomination in 2016, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said he’s running.

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THE TRIBUNE

Monday, April 15, 2019, PAGE 15

MAN ACCUSED OF MOLESTING 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL ACQUITTED By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

THE Court of Appeal has acquitted a man previously sentenced to almost a decade in prison for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl some five years ago. Appellate Justices Jon Isaacs, Sir Michael Barnett and Milton Evans quashed Victor “Ninja” Johnson’s conviction and eight-year sentence for allegedly fondling the girl in June 2014. The appellate judges said they would give their reasons for acquitting Johnson at a later date. On July 13, 2014, Johnson was cautioned and arrested for rape, but said nothing in response. When interviewed by police two days later, however, he denied knowing the little girl and said he had no knowledge of the incident. That same day, Inspector Frederick Taylor conducted a confrontation between Johnson and the little girl, during which the complainant, with her mother present, referred to Johnson as “Ninja” and said what she claimed took place on June 16 of that year. However, Johnson denied he ever touched or molested the little girl. On May 17, 2016,

Johnson was arraigned in the Supreme Court on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Johnson was ultimately convicted of the unlawful sexual intercourse charge, and, a year later, on June 1, 2017, was sentenced to eight years in prison. From that sentence, the court deducted the four years he had spent on remand and one year to reflect on the amount of time the trial lasted. Thus, he was sentenced to three year’s imprisonment from June 1, 2017. Johnson, through his attorney, Christina Galanos, appealed both his conviction and sentence, chiefly on the grounds that the trial judge erred when she permitted evidence of Johnson’s bad character to be led before the jury. According to Ms Galanos, at one point in the trial, the arresting officer said: “While on the outside a bunch of onlookers shouted some comments at him. He in turn turned at them and said: ‘I’m gonna kill all of ya’ll when I get out!’” Then, after the trial judge told the arresting officer he could say what the onlookers shouted at Johnson if he could hear, the officer said: “They said, ‘Get this rapist from around here!’ So he then in turn turned to them

NEW OPERATORS IN CHARGE OF LANDFILL By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter rmajor@tribunemedia.net

THE keys to the New Providence Landfill officially belong to Providence Advisors Limited after a handing over ceremony for the facility was held on Friday afternoon.  Millions are expected to be poured into the landfill, now called the New Providence Ecology Park, to address longstanding health and environmental problems that have plagued nearby residents for years.  What was formerly a “free-for-all open space” has already become better secured since operators moved on-site some three weeks ago, according to Kenwood Kerr, chairman of Providence Advisors Limited, a consortium between Providence Advisors and the Waste Resources Development Group. He said: “We have increased the security and safety of the park by implementing new procedures including but not limited to controlled site access, 24-hour security patrols, traffic controls, and new driving paths on the site and worker and driver safety protocols. The residential drop-off what you would have seen at the front has been cleaned up and organisation is in place. Over-flowing septic have been re-routed and contained in emergency collection pawns on a temporary basis and will transition into permanent sites. Anyone who has been

at the site previously can see the tremendous transformation that has taken place in just three short weeks. We are extremely pleased with our progress to date and the work of our team is to be commended.” The priority is to contain, reduce or alleviate fires, Mr Kerr said. To do this officials will use the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s standard cap and cover method which isolates contaminated materials to ensure the pollution does not spread. “You would note that we segregated the various types of waste, tyres, metal, plastic and other trash and our first phase of cover and compaction is nearly 80 per cent complete,” the chairman said. “This EPA approved standard of cap and cover significantly reduces the risk of fires and increases the manageability of a fire should one occur. This also improves the health and safety of the park. As we receive waste on a daily basis we cover it with an adequate amount of top soil or cover that way reduce the oxygen content you reduce the gas build up, reduce the opportunity for fires to occur on a daily basis. ” Mr Kerr said the operator is preparing scrap metal, tyres and septic emergency management projects. He said 52 Bahamians are currently employed; operators aimed to engage people who previously worked at the site as well as some scrapers who made a living there.

and said, ‘I ga kill all of y’all when I get out!’” Thus, Ms Galanos asserted that none of that evidence should have been led before the jury, as most

of it was “highly prejudicial” and devoid of any probative value, which essentially rendered it “simply irrelevant”. Additionally, Ms Galanos

said in a few instances, the trial judge herself elicited some of the “damaging evidence” and also mentioned some of it in her summation without giving any

warning to the jury to disregard it. Thus, Ms Galanos contended that one could not seriously contend that Johnson’s conviction was safe.

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