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VOLUME:116 No.136, JULY 11TH, 2019

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US family hits out over shark death

By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE family of the American woman killed in a shark attack while swimming off Rose Island in June has claimed the tour company had no basic medical supplies and did nothing to attempt to save the college student’s life. Californian Jordan Lindsey, 21, pictured, was savaged by sharks while swimming with her mom near Rose Island on June 26. Relatives blasted tour company, Sandy Toes Bahamas, in a joint statement released on Tuesday, detailing the ordeal and allegations of inadequate emergency response. The company - which offers excursions, private events and weddings alongside its beach bar

and luxury villa on Rose Island - yesterday maintained all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the incident. The family’s claim follows a recent stakeholder meeting staged by the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) to discuss the development of emergency protocols and regulations for the water sport industry. The family statement read: “Although nothing can change the outcome of the tragedy we’ve suffered, our hope in speaking out is that mandatory safety measures are put in place, so this is less likely to happen again. We also want tourists to know that when booking a tour, while the excursion company may have great reviews, it may not have basic safety

BAHAMAS Power and Light deputy chairman Stephen Holowesko has refuted media reports that his family’s company funded the purchase of seven new generators. In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Holowesko threatened legal action against the news outlet which aired the claims this week. He said he will pursue the

SEE PAGE FIVE

STATESIDE

HAIL TO THE CHIEF (WELL NOT QUITE FROM EVERYONE)

SEE PAGE TEN

MAJORITY OF WORKERS - NO PENSION PLAN BAHAMIANS face paying “another tax on society” to support the near-75 percent of workers not covered by an employersponsored pension plan, a leading investment banker has warned. Michael Anderson, RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust’s president, said the Central Bank’s latest private pensions survey had highlighted the need for Bahamians to “start sooner rather than later” when it came to saving for retirement. FULL STORY - SEE BUSINESS

FIRE REPORT DELAY - HEADS MUST ROLL

SEE PAGE THREE

“defamatory content” that was broadcast to the “fullest capacity” afforded to him by law, saying the contents were “speculative opinion” as opposed to facts. BPL, in a statement, also indicated that it is mulling over whether it will pursue legal action against the station in question for any damages it suffered as a result of the “false statements” made during the broadcast in question.

L SOUR CE

By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

HOLOWESKO TO SUE EYEWITNESS NEWS By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BAHAMAS INDEPENDENCE celebrations have been held across The Bahamas, including the main event at Clifford Park, above, on Tuesday night. Picture Special - Pages 6&7. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net OPPOSITION leader Philip Davis yesterday called for the immediate release of the report detailing the fires that crippled infrastructure at Bahamas Power and Light’s Clifton Pier Power Plant last year. Mr Davis told The Tribune “heads must roll” over the power company’s management and handling of the current energy crisis, adding it was clear officials were “out of their depth”. SEE PAGE FIVE

HONOURS TO CREATORS OF FLAG AND ANTHEM By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net TIMOTHY Gibson, the late composer of The Bahamas’ national anthem, and Reverend Dr Hervis Bain, the man who designed the nation’s flag, have been posthumously awarded the country’s third highest honours. Gibson, who died in 1978, and Bain, who died in 2015, were both awarded the Order of The Bahamas as of

DR HERVIS BAIN July 9 for having given “distinguished and exemplary service to The Bahamas” during their lifetimes.

Reverend Dr Philip Rahming, the author of the country’s national pledge of allegiance, as well as the country’s national song God Bless Our Sunny Clime, has also been bestowed the Order of The Bahamas award. In addition to being referred to as “Right Honourable”, all three men are now entitled to have the post-nominal letters “CB” placed after their names.

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

SEE PAGE NINE

RICHARD COULSON WHY IT’S TIME TO PULL THE PLUG ON BAHAMASAIR SEE PAGE EIGHT


PAGE 2, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

Smith leads calls to end ‘archaic’ criminal libel laws By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394

RIGHTS Bahamas yesterday renewed calls for an end to archaic criminal libel laws after social media commentator Gorman Bannister was remanded to prison over the offence. Bannister was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Derrence Rolle-Davis over allegations he intentionally defamed ex-Cabinet minister Tennyson Wells in a series of voice notes. He was charged with two counts of intentional libel, bail was denied and he was remanded to prison. However, he was bailed a short time later, this newspaper understands. The human rights group said criminal libel is unconstitutional and has no place in a modern democracy. RB legal director Fred Smith yesterday said calls for the abolition of the criminal libel laws went back to the early 1980s. Mr Smith said: “No government, of any party hue, should have criminal libel laws in its arsenal of powers to limit freedom of expression. Rights Bahamas renews its call on the government to enact a human rights act and to legislate against hate speech.” The RB statement continued: “At a time when, around the world, countries are abandoning tyrannical anti-free speech laws, the Bahamas seems increasingly to be keeping company with oppressive regimes and brutal dictatorships.   “In recent times, we have noticed a very disturbing trend by those in politics and law enforcement of wanting to silence critics and those who exercise their freedom of expression by means of arrest and imprisonment.” On Monday, Bannister, 65, denied allegations he distributed voice notes on Facebook and/or WhatsApp on May 2, 2018, which made damaging claims about Mr Wells and his wife, Stephanie. Nonetheless, the Crown claims Bannister made those posts about Mr and Mrs Wells in a bid to defame their character, thereby subjecting

QC Fred Smith them to “general hatred, contempt or ridicule”. The RB statement read: “From time to time, people say will things that others find insulting and offensive, but there is a fair and just remedy through the civil courts for all those who have been wronged. In civilised countries, when a person’s reputation is unduly harmed, that individual can sue and if successful, reestablish their good name in the public sphere and win significant damages from the person by whom they feel aggrieved. “Aside from hate speech, which incites violence or hostility against a particular group in society, no one should be snatched up by the authorities, charged with a criminal offence and imprisoned for speaking their mind,” it added. Bannister also pleaded not guilty to one count of misuse of the telecommunications system. It is alleged that sometime between January and this month, he posted more than 30 images and words on his Facebook pages “Black Belt Leaks”, “Black Belt News”, and “Gorman Bannister” via electronic devices, a mobile phone and/or personal computer, in a bid to depict Oswald Poitier as a homosexual; to suggest the man is a paedophile; to show a personal image and video of his residence; to make degrading comment about Mr Poitier’s parents; and to suggest that Mr Poitier “just kill himself”. For the misuse of the telecommunications system charge, Bannister was granted $1,500 bail with one suretor.  The matters were adjourned to September 17 for trial. Bannister is represented by attorney Roberto Reckley, and has a right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 3

US family hits out over shark death

CALIFORNIAN JORDAN LINDSEY, 21, was savaged by sharks while swimming with her mom near Rose Island on June 26. Her family has claimed the tour company had no basic medical supplies and did nothing to attempt to save her. from page one measures or first aid equipment in place.” The entire Lindsey family was on the Rose Island day-trip excursion, but only Jordan and her mother, Kami, were snorkeling at the time of the attack. “The shark(s) were not seen by anyone, to our knowledge, until the attack,” the statement read. “Fortunately, Jordan’s siblings, father and her long-time girlfriend did not witness the attack. It was widely reported the family saw the shark(s) in the water and yelled to Jordan, but she did not hear them.” According to the statement: “When Jordan and Kami entered the water, they were acknowledged by two staff members who were finishing their lunch on land, but no staff members or guides entered the water with them. During the attack, Jordan and her mother were inside, but at

the far end of, a roped-off snorkeling area. “Other snorkellers were a good distance away from where the attack occurred and once the attack happened, they scrambled out of the water.” Despite some news reports that said Sandy Toes’ staff members jumped into the water, the family said they did not and no boat arrived to help during the attack. “Shockingly, no staff mobilised to assist in any way,” the statement said. Two staff members called over from a nearby rocky hill, urging Kami and Jordan to swim to them; they had no medical or emergency supplies, the statement said. “As they tried to swim toward each other and toward the rocky hill, a shark came between them and again attacked Jordan. By this time, Kami was able to grab Jordan’s hand and drag her to the rocky shore where the staff members

pulled both of them out of the water “Once out of the water, there was no medical attention provided to Jordan. “They had no first aid kit - no basic supplies for any type of injury. It felt like a lifetime as they waited for a boat to arrive. When the small boat arrived, it contained only a bench and a staff member driving.” Jordan’s father, siblings and girlfriend did not witness the attack and relatives say staff did not clear the beach or notify the rest of the family. “Rather,” the family’s statement read, “(relatives) overheard conversations from others that had been snorkeling and when they noticed people crying, realising the severity of what had happened and soon after, concluded that it was their precious Jordan who the snorkelers were crying for.” After last week’s stakeholder meeting, TDC CEO and Executive Director Janet Johnson told The

Tribune there were growing concerns over the need for regulations, specifically emergency drills and protocols. “It was just an initial coming together to talk about emergency protocols and those sorts of things that may have happened and to look at putting some rules and regulations in place,” Ms Johnson said last week. “I think some good stuff came out of it. People feel that we need to put some regulations in place and that we need to start doing drills and things so that we have emergency protocols in place for when things happen. We’re a water-based destination, a lot of our tours are water based.“ Sandy Toes was among organisations represented at the tourism stakeholder meeting, alongside the Bahamas National Trust, the Port Department, the Marina Association, Blue Lagoon, Stuart’s Cove, the

MAN CHARGED WITH MONTEL HEIGHTS SHOOTINGS

By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net

A 26-YEAR-OLD male was arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday facing nearly a dozen firearm-related charges in connection with the mass shooting in Montel Heights on June 30 that left more

than 10 people suffering gunshot injuries. Jeremiah Andrews, also known as Jeremiah Forbes, of Kendal Avenue, appeared before Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis to face 11 counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. It is alleged that, on June 30, Andrews, being concerned with another, had in

DESMOND BANNISTER’S MOTHER DIES, AGED 82 THE Free National Movement offered condolences to Minister of Works Desmond Bannister yesterday on the death of his 82-year-old mother Joyce. “On behalf of the leader, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest, Chairman Carl Culmer, party executives, officers, MCMs (meritorious council members) and all FNMs, we express our heartfelt condolence to the Minister of Works Desmond Bannister on the losing of his mother today,” the party noted in a brief statement.  “We are deeply saddened by his loss and extend to him and his family our prayers and love. Losing a mother is like losing the only person who always

DESMOND Bannister’s mother Joyce. understood even the things you never said out loud. Life will never be the same again. But it will teach you to stand strong even during the toughest storm “The entire FNM family grieves with Minister Bannister in his time of loss.”

his possession a 9mm pistol with intent of endangering the life of 11 people. Andrews pleaded not guilty to all counts and was told to apply for bail at the Supreme Court. The case was adjourned to September 10.

The shooting occurred during a party on Ethel Street, Montel Heights. According to police, 10 of the victims were women and four were minors — the youngest being tenyears-old. There were no fatalities.

Bahamas Dive Association, the Department of Fisheries, and the Bimini Shark Lab. A follow-up meeting is planned for later this month. Yesterday, Sandy Toes’ issued a statement read: “We would once again like to extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jordan Lindsey who recently passed away as a result of a shark attack in waters near Rose Island in the Bahamas. “All reasonable steps were taken to prevent this very unfortunate incident and our staff responded swiftly and in line with our emergency protocols and procedures.”

The statement added: “We continue to pray for the Lindsey family and all those who have been impacted by this tragic occurrence.” Lindsey’s death was the first confirmed sharkrelated death in the Bahamas since 2008, although the country traditionally records several shark attacks per year. A GoFundMe campaign set up to cover travel and funeral expenses for Lindsey has raised more than $75,000 in less than two weeks. Another American, Jonathan Hernandez, told NBC reporters he survived a shark bite in Abaco just days before Lindsey’s tragedy.


PAGE 4, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

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Think what we can achieve when we lift up our heads SOMETIMES life in The Bahamas seems to be always troubled by divisions. We see it every day. People in red shirts arguing with people in gold shirts. Whose side is better. Which side did us wrong. In the past week, regardless of who started the conversation, we have been reminded too of the racial divisions that we seldom talk about as we should. Sometimes too, we should be aware, those racial divisions are exploited by those seeking to stir people up against the other side. When labels are thrown around at the other side, it’s always wise to take a step back and ask “Really? Do they really deserve that label?” We see too a divide between the rich and the poor – though the richest and the poorest might live only a few miles away from one another. And yet once a year, we come together to mark our independence as a nation. Across the country yesterday, there were gatherings of Bahamians – sometimes with tourists mixed in. At Baha Mar, there were fireworks to mark the day. Over at Atlantis, Marina Village was abuzz with a Bahamian mood. Cars everywhere fluttered flags from their mirrors. And at Clifford Park, the centerpiece celebration saw music, dancing, and that most precious thing, unity. For wherever the event, one thing was a common factor – when the national anthem played, backs straightened, conversation stopped, and Bahamians lifted up their heads.

You see, for all those things that divide us, there remains more that unites us. Of course, we might wish for more. We might wish the political tug-of-war that sees the electorate being pulled one way or the other over the finishing line would become more of a joint effort to pull the nation forward, with each party taking turns as the electorate decides. We might wish parties were there to hand off to the next, to say we’ve taken it this far, now it’s your turn, rather than to always be tearing down what the last one started. We might wish for a party in power to be as vocal about transparency as ever they were in opposition, and truly let the nation see what is being done to take it further. When we asked our readers, the same things kept coming up for things we might hope for – freedom of information, equal rights, transparency. These are all goals worth reaching for. For all the squabbles, for all the political bickering, when Bahamians stand united for the anthem on Independence day, there’s a pride that binds us. There was a time when independence seemed an impossible dream – yet that came true through the hard work of Bahamians. When Independence is done, let’s remember that pride, let’s remember what Bahamians can do, and make today the start of making our nation a better place. And let’s do it together.

What about the moral garbage from carnival? EDITOR, The Tribune DURING his contribution to the recent budget debate, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the government will no longer be cleaning up garbage left over from carnival. That is the right decision, and I commend the Prime Minister and his government for making it. However, in light of that decision, I pose these questions for consideration to Prime Minister Minnis and his government: What about the moral garbage of carnival? Who will clean that up? The reality is that the moral garbage of carnival cannot be cleaned up, not by the government, not by the church, and certainly not by the participants in carnival. The Prime Minister is reported as saying, “If private citizens want to have a carnival, that is their right.” But I wonder if the Prime Minister believes that private citizens have a right

to have their carnival on public streets and in public spaces, engaging debauchery and sexually immoral conduct, in breach of our public decency laws and assaulting the sensibilities of other users of our streets and public spaces? Certainly, they do not have that right. I read recently that a local group is planning to have a so-called pride parade for homosexuals and their allied groups in 2020. Essentially, such parades are the homosexual equivalent of carnival. Is the government now going to facilitate homosexual immorality on our streets and in our public spaces just as it facilitates the heterosexual immorality of carnival? In a democratic society, I cannot see how one kind of sexual immorality and debauchery can be facilitated in public and not another. Therefore, Prime Minister Minnis and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, I urge

you and your colleagues to think long and hard about facilitating any immoral conduct in public, and I further urge you to make the right decision to stop facilitating carnival in public and to deny the application of the promoters of the proposed parade for homosexuals and their allied groups. Refusing to provide permits and permission for all groups engaged in flaunting their immorality and debase conduct on our streets and public spaces is the right decision and is in the public’s best interests. Please be assured of the support of right thinking Bahamians as you do your part in ceasing to facilitate public immorality by refusing to allow our streets and shared spaces to be used by those who disregard the young and disrespect the elderly as they sexually debase themselves in public. PASTOR CEDRIC MOSS Nassau July 9, 2019

Idea is dead on arrival EDITOR, The Tribune ALFRED Sears’ proposal would seem to be an attempt to support possibly a potential challenge to the leadership in the PLP of Brave Davis. To propose moving the physical material location of the capital from New Providence to a location on Andros is significant, but at the least one would have hoped Mr Sears

would have examined Brazil’s experience when they moved their capital to what is now called Brasilia and see what Brasilia has become? A capital Monday to 5pm Friday then everyone disappears to the coast. Sears comparison to the development of Freeport is totally out of thought and his rhetoric not only on the concessions given 55 plus years ago of Groves and

more recently to Kerzner and then Baha Mar are totally unrelated. Who would Mr Sears pay for the transfer just of the civil service let alone the support for the private sector? Andros is a short hop away, but, sir, your concept is ill-thought out and DOA…dead on arrival! W THOMPSON Nassau July 7, 2019

Why Eyewitness News must be held to account for its mistakes EDITOR, The Tribune AFTER erroneously accusing the BPL Board and Stephen Holowesko, the Deputy Chairman of the company’s Board, of a conflict of interest on the news programme Beyond the Headlines, Clint Watson of Eyewitness News went on TV the following evening to apologise to BPL and to Mr Holowesko. In Mr Watson’s apology he stated his claim was “incorrect”. This is putting it mildly. For a senior journalist to make such a basic error that most cub reporters would not make it is clear that Mr Watson has a spectacular lack of judgment, which appears to be getting worse. Did Mr Watson speak to Mr Holowesko before his initial report? If he failed to do so, this is the kind of basic mistake even a rookie reporter should not make. It would also have been a matter of basic fairness and decency to speak with Mr. Holowesko. Both BPL and Mr Holowesko should seek legal counsel to redress this matter, including the possible dismissal of Mr Watson. At minimum, Eyewitness News must be made to issue multiple apologies through various media. There should be consideration of a monetary settlement. The owner(s) of the station and other

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net responsible parties must all be held accountable. Through reckless and unsubstantiated reporting, Mr Watson and Eyewitness News risked doing considerable damage to the Board’s Deputy Chair. This matter must not be taken lightly. It should serve as a warning to other journalists in a media culture that is increasingly slack in it ethics and standards. Mr Watson was easily duped and made to look a fool in his reporting. How often has he been fooled by those perhaps suspecting an easy and gullible mark in Mr Watson, who has repeatedly demonstrated limited journalistic capacity in his reporting? Will he be duped again and by whom? Are certain individuals and interests playing him for the fool to advance their agendas? Mr Watson is better known for his fawning and obsequious coverage of two former prime ministers. But when it comes to serious news and investigative journalism he is way out of his depth. Mr Watson is a sensationalist on a station the newscast of which is reliably amateurish and puerile, with some contributors having clear agendas. He

seems to lack the timber and the judgment needed to be a capable and responsible news editor. This is clearly beyond his reach. Earlier this year Mr Watson was in full sensational flight, wildly reporting about the old Derek Rolle matter and the purported billions supposedly bequeathed to the late Mr Rolle by an American couple. His latest blunder seems to be part of a pattern of sloppy sensationalism, which is infecting much of today’s media. Mr Watson has been a reporter for many years. During his time at Eyewitness News he has been an utter embarrassment to journalism and professionalism. There is clearly a major problem at Eyewitness News in terms of editorial oversight and management. The operation is amateur hour, with broadcasts less interesting, less well prepared and less serious than a struggling and poorly funded college news station run by first semester freshmen. The country deserves better than the poor quality of journalism exhibited by Eyewitness News and Clint Watson, who is likely to make more dramatic blunders. CD Nassau, July 10, 2019

The same old broken cars EDITOR, The Tribune NATIONAL Pride Day Rawson Square - have to ask if the Police Summer School did not bus hundreds of children there how many children would have turned up? I suggest few. It has to be said - look around you just out your door and down the street what do you see…the usual old broken down cars garbage - litter - unkempt yards and we say we are proud? Where is Environmental

people - must be sitting back in the air conditioned office not a care in the world and believing somehow the areas around us will miraculously get cleaned and people will comply with the law. Massive abuse of environment laws. What a cough up - Wendell Jones one of the most proud Bahamians around does not mix his opinion and yesterday fluid with criticism and he is right… once a year we talk it, Pride but for the remaining 364 days dirt - litter - broken

down cars, trucks overgrown lots are the issue of the day. As a Bahamian I am not proud, disgusted! Government can’t keep their buildings clean…they are a great example to us all…right there in Rawson Square they paint Cabinet/ Churchill Building but the Adderley Building right next door is left unpainted. We really serious? We gotta to be blind! ABRAHAM MOSS Nassau July 5, 2019


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 5

HOLOWESKO TO SUE EYEWITNESS NEWS from page one

In the meantime, BPL demanded a retraction and an apology for the “inaccuracies perpetrated” by the programme, which aired on Monday night. During a segment of ILTV’s “Beyond the Headlines” earlier this week, it was claimed that seven new generators recently purchased by BPL were funded by the Fortress Group. The show’s host alleged some of Fortress’ principles were Holoweskos and suggested that the prominent family was in an advantageous position, should BPL ever be privatised, to buy the company. It was also alleged on the programme that the previous board of BPL was let go because they

• IN RECENT days social media sites have suggested Wärtsilä’s legal representative in The Bahamas is Stephen Holowesko’s mother, Mrs Lynn Holowesko, who said today that she has “never represented Wartsila,” nor has she “ever had a conversation with them.”  In fact Wärtsilä is represented by a completely different legal firm, Glinton Sweeting O’Brien. It has also been suggested

did not give into the pressure Mr Holowesko was exerting on it to enter into a contract with Fortress, among other allegations. In response, Mr Holowesko said: “It is false that I have any interest in Fortress. I do not, nor have I ever, nor has any of

that Mrs Holowesko staged a meeting for BPL at Lyford Cay Club. Again, this is incorrect. The event referred to was in fact an anniversary party for the Lyford Cay Foundation to celebrate its scholars who have become successful leaders in the community in many fields. Government and Civil Service leaders were present to increase awareness of the scholarship programme.

my family ever had any interest in Fortress in any manner wheresoever. “Therefore, any loan agreement which BPL allegedly entered into with Fortress would have no direct or indirect benefit to myself or my family. It is false that BPL

PHILIP Davis yesterday called for the immediate release of the report detailing the fires that crippled infrastructure at Bahamas Power and Light’s Clifton Pier Power Plant last year. from page one The BPL fire report was submitted to the government in January; however, officials have been tightlipped over details concerning when it was completed or its contents. Mr Davis told The Tribune he no longer believed the fire report was being withheld to protect the integrity of BPL’s insurance claim, and called on the government to break its silence over the circumstances that led to last year’s fire. The company was in the final stages of negotiations with insurance adjusters, according to executive director Patrick Rollins, who yesterday maintained the corporation did not have authorisation to release the report. Mr Rollins also refused to confirm the value of BPL’s claim to insurers JS Johnson, which is backed by an international consortium. “I don’t have any comment to make concerning the report. We’re awaiting permission to release the report,” Mr Rollins said.  The Tribune asked whether BPL has pursued any disciplinary action or changes to protocols following the September 2018 fires. “No employees, no,” said Mr Rollins. “It wasn’t seen as an act of sabotage.” Yesterday, Mr Davis questioned whether the report was being withheld to protect the interests of an individual or individuals at the expense of the Bahamian people. “I have not seen the report,” Mr Davis said. “I was not briefed on the report, the only thing I was told on the report was that they didn’t want to make it public because it may compromise negotiations with insurers.  “I respected that, but there are several claims in the public domain now and if it ain’t true then they should respond to it.” The first fire broke out at the plant around 10.30pm Friday, September 7, and

the second blaze erupted on Sunday, September 9, shortly before 10pm. Two more fires occurred over the course of the following week, one at the Clifton site, and the other at BPL’s Blue Hills location. The first blaze wrought unprecedented damage to the Clifton Pier station, forcing a weeklong load shedding exercise in the capital, and an urgent appeal to the public for energy conservation to assist the electricity provider in meeting energy demands. Yesterday, Mr Rollins maintained the loss of those two engines, a combined 60mw, necessitated a $95m emergency generation investment - resulting in a variation of the Shell North America deal for an integrated LNG gas-to-power project. BPL and Shell North America inked a memorandum of understanding for the project in early November 2018, and the road to a completed power purchase agreement (PPA) was estimated to take around three to four months. “We told Shell we need to do something in the interim. They helped us select Wartsila, and then we negotiated and got them,” Mr Rollins said. In March, Whitney Heastie, BPL’s chief executive, told Tribune Business the company will likely take an equity ownership interest in Shell’s new power plant in return for its $95m generation overhaul. Mr Rollins yesterday told The Tribune the acquisition was financed with the company’s capital works budget, which had now been exhausted. The Tribune has requested BPL’s latest audited financial statements, however, Mr Rollins said those documents have not yet been tabled in Parliament despite being completed. The installation of seven new Wärtsilä tri-fuel generation engines represents 132megawatts of power, and the plans outlined for

Shell’s LNG gas-to-power project featured a 220-250 megawatt power plant. In June, a Shell spokesperson told The Tribune the project was progressing. “We continue to work closely with Bahamas Power & Light and the government of the Bahamas to ensure this project moves forward as planned,” the spokesperson said. “Because we’re currently in confidential business negotiations with various parties we’re not able to provide more details at this time. We look forward to sharing more information when we are in a position to do so.” Yesterday, Mr Rollins confirmed negotiations with Shell over its PPA have been moving forward

took a loan from Fortress. BPL did enter into an agreement with Wartsila after consultation with Shell North America, and worked through Shell North America to source and select engines for Station A to replace power destroyed in the September 2018 fire. “It is false that I pressured the previous BPL board to enter into contracts with Fortress; it is false that I was involved in the previous BPL board’s dismissal; it is false that I was involved in the former COO’s resignation. I was asked to sit on the board of BPL in August of 2018, only after the previous board had been dismissed by the minister of works. I had no influence in the dismissal of the previous board of BPL and I had no influence in the resignation of former COO Christina Alston.

“It is false that my tenure at BPL has any correlation to the Freedom of Information Act (which is not fully enacted).” He added the “outrageous, insulting, and personally damaging” claims hurt his reputation and that of his family. The media outlet aired an apology on Tuesday night about the report. Meanwhile in its statement on the matter, BPL also said that the suggestion that the new Wärtsilä engines the company purchased had a price tag of $95m is incorrect. BPL said that the $95m represents the entire cost of the new power plant at Clifton Pier Station A, something that was addressed by BPL chief executive Officer Whitney Heastie in February.

Heads must roll over delay in releasing BPL fire report, says Davis favourably, adding he was confident the teams would be able to deliver on public assurances of reduced bills and stable electricity. Meanwhile, the country has entered its third week of scheduled load shedding as the company struggles to get more assets online. BPL expects to add five megawatts of rental generation for New Providence next month, according to BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker, who confirmed 17 of the 20 megawatts of new rental generation on New Providence have been installed. For his part, Mr Davis said he wrote to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis raising concerns about the arrangements with Shell and Wartsila, and

the handling of its voluntary separation packages. “I think heads must roll at that institution,” Mr Davis said yesterday, “even if it goes right straight to the top. They are obviously out of their depth. . .that might be the core of the problem we are having today.” Mr Davis continued: “This is not about us criticising what they are doing or not doing because clearly they are not looking at the interest of the Bahamian people, and clearly they had no plan as to addressing what I call the legacy issues that impact the delivery of reliable and affordable electricity to the Bahamian public.  “There was a plan in place (under the Christie administration), a plan

that was working, a plan that was producing reliable service to the Bahamian people, that was producing affordable service to the people that was undergirded by a performance based agreement with Power Secure.” Mr Davis said the Power Secure deal guaranteed reliability and affordability because the company’s performance determined their profits. The Minnis administration ended the government’s relationship with Power Secure, an American company, in late 2017. Mr Davis also pointed to legislative reform undertaken by the previous administration with the new Electricity Act 2015 and Rate Reduction Bond Act.


PAGE 6, Thursday, July 11, 2019

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

THE TRIBUNE

PHOTOS: SHAWN HANNA/TRIBUNE STAFF

THE BAHAMAS’ 46th Grand Independence at Clifford Park under the theme “United We Stand Bahamas. Together We Can”.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 7

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

THE PEOPLE’S Love and Unity Rush, Bay Street, in the early hours of the 46th Anniversary of Bahamas Independence, yesterday morning. Photos: Patrick Hanna/BIS

GB KICKS OFF THE PARTY IN STYLE

GOVERNOR General CA Smith and Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis in Grand Bahama. By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net INDEPENDENCE celebrations in Grand Bahama ended with a spectacular fireworks display at Independence Park, following a cultural extravaganza and flag raising on Monday evening. Governor General C A Smith and Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis attended the event, which featured live performances by such Bahamian entertainers as Stileet, Smurf, Lady E, Jay Mitchell, Wilfred Solomon and many others. Will Stubbs and Ms Daisy provided lively commentary while the police tattoo was the crowd’s favourite. This year’s theme was “United We Stand,Together We Can”. Delivering this year’s message was Canon Norman Lightbourne, rector of Pro-Cathedral

Christ the King Church. He said the country has made tremendous progress in less than five decades. “It is simply unbelievable the strides we made in less than 50 years; we come from a quiet fishing and farming community to a thriving and leading tourist destination,” said Canon Lightbourne.  He said Bahamians have also made strides in sports on the world stage over the past few decades. “From Sir Durward Knowles’ one Olympic gold medal to several gold medals of our Golden Boys and Girls.”   He indicated that while the Bahamas has made tremendous progress over the years, there are also some serious issues that cause concern. The Anglican clergyman believes that many Bahamians have forgotten God. “As we reflect on our

accomplishments and achievements, the question tonight is have we remained loyal and committed to God? When I look around and see the Bahamas in the 21st century sometimes it pains my heart. Many of us, unfortunately, have forgotten God and placed him on the back-burner; we need God more than ever before. Canon Lightbourne called on Bahamians to be more united as a people to build “a better and brighter Bahamas” where everyone can share the economic pie. “The gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen in our country,” he said. “We must be more united in our efforts against poverty. There is no reason why anyone in our Bahamaland should go to sleep hungry any day because there is sufficient for all of us.” 


PAGE 8, Thursday, July 11, 2019

E

FFICIENT reception of international air travellers is clearly key to our tourism and is well performed by our Lynden Pindling International Airport, a government-owned public utility not committed to the profits of an investor-owned enterprise. But two commercial companies also play a major role: the “fixed based operations”, or FBOs, that cater to private and corporate aviation. Based at opposite ends of the airport but using its runways, Odyssey and Jet Aviation are intensely competitive firms that attract their own loyal customers, as can be seen by the sleek jets and propdriven aircraft gracing their hangars and taxi-ways. Both are run by Bahamians, one with the support of US industrial giant General Dynamics, and provide high-grade employment in the local market. FBOs are the choice of corporate travel departments as well as a growing number of individuals who can afford personal air service. While they will never replace scheduled airlines, FBOs attract any fliers who can afford to avoid the inevitable cattle-car conditions and rigid scheduling of our major carriers American, Jet Blue and Delta. There is enough wealth around the world to make private aviation a booming business, with FBO’s now found at all international

THE TRIBUNE

Time to pull the plug on Bahamasair airports, including several in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, our own airlines do not present such a rosy picture. Government-owned Bahamasair should have been put out of its misery years ago, as it struggles to serve a few US destinations and most airports scattered across our challenging archipelago, each year racking up a loss that demands an annual subsidy from the Bahamian people of about $20 million, paying for chronic featherbedding and lax business practices. Bahamasair only exists because of our politicians’ conviction that our sovereign reputation demands a “national” flag carrier. Fine, we can have one but it should be owned by

our private sector, not by the state. We have plenty of well trained Bahamian pilots, air crew, mechanics and terminal staff, working not only with Bahamasair but also with local companies like Western Air Services , Sky Bahamas, Pineapple Air and many small charter companies. Rather than propping up a government company, our ministers should devote their energies to organising all this local expertise into creating a major investor-owned enterprise. Western Air provides a good example. Organised by a fully-certified Bahamian pilot and led by him and his family, Western has expanded from its base in San Andros to operate throughout the country,

with a major centre in Freeport and careful additions to its aircraft fleet. Although it will take time and careful planning, there is ample opportunity to unravel the present Bahamasair and replace it with

the best of our extensive private abilities. We can seek consultation from American on how they merged with US Air, or from Delta how it acquired Northwest. But the final result should be a non-Government

airline owned, staffed by qualified Bahamians, serving the public interest under a regime reviewed by URCA, with all technical safety issues continued under regulation by our aviation authorities.

BASTIAN CAN AFFORD TO WAIT ON GRADUAL GROWTH FOR TITAN FUNDS

THE distinguished long-time head of our Securities Commission, Hillary Devaux, was clearly struggling for the right words in his new role as Chairman of Investar Securities, manager of the current offering of the two Titan Funds, promoted by protean entrepreneur Sebas Bastian. While calling the demand “fairly substantial” Mr. Deveaux disclosed that only about 400 subscribers bought over $750,000 of shares, most of which were in the Managed Fund since sales of the Fixed Income Fund had “not

been impressive”. The monthlong offering would be extended for 16 days to allow for intensive marketing In The Family Islands, where he claimed strong demand was found. We do not underestimate the difficulty in launching a new fund in our small capital markets, and we welcome any effort to extend securities ownership among less affluent Bahamians, but the hard truth is that Titan Funds face tough competition. The Fixed Income Fund hardly differs from the Prime Income Fund managed

by another firm, with $144 million of shares already outstanding after being marketed since 2012. They both invest mainly in Government bonds and you cannot slice this apple in different ways. The Managed Fund has more interesting objectives in equity investments, but must face the other firm’s competing Targeted Equity Fund, $21 million in present size. The Managed Fund has one unique feature: it is authorised to invest in Island Luck, the country’s dominant gaming house controlled by Mr

ENTREPRENEUR Sebas Bastian Bastian, which is believed to be very profitable. But Island

Luck has not issued any financial statements to verify this status, so investors must rely on speculation and hearsay. Mr Bastian is a cool customer who is probably not losing any sleep over Titan Funds’ lingering take-off. He has plenty of other successful ventures in his portfolio and can afford to await the gradual growth of his new experiment in fund distribution and management. Eventually, he may decide to “go public” with Island Luck, via an IPO revealing full information.

IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE WITH A BIG IDEA? BUSINESS and politics are never far apart, so I hope my readers will excuse my bloviating about the political world, both in the US and here. Two weeks ago 20 Democratic candidates for the presidency debated over two days in Miami. It was beyond endurance to sit by my TV screen for all four hours, but I saw enough to get the gist. My first reaction: it’s amazing - and kind of wonderful - that so many smart people (and more who have declared) have signed up for this gruelling run, since most of them must know they are nohopers without a chance of being nominated. For months they will be dashing to meet impossible schedules; divorced from family and friends; forced to think up smart answers for repetitive media; pilloried from extremists of left and right, black and white;

forever short of sleep or solid meals. Even the five probable leaders – Biden, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and current favourite Kamala Harris, pictured, — have no assurance they will make it to the top. Certainly all the candidates share a good slice of personal ambition in running, with hopes for fame and fortune with a new book or job. But let’s also credit them with idealism, a belief their ideas are worth a fight for the good of their country, win or lose. Contrast that with The Bahamas. Here we are less than three years from the next election, and I can see nobody who has stuck his, or her, head up to take shots as a new political leader. Surely there must be rumblings in the FNM that the Prime

Minister’s lack of personal charisma will turn away our emotional voters, particularly now that he has lost the support of Brent Symonette, stalwart to a large faction of the party. And surely the PLP cannot contemplate leadership by yesterday’s amiable lap-dog Brave Davis, author of so many mishaps like “privatising” BEC. Is ambitious, articulate newcomer MP Chester Cooper quietly planning a coup? Is another Branville McCartney out there in the political wilderness, mulling the long shot of creating a third-party like the DNA to challenge the status quo? All is still quiet, but I predict that in early 2000 the political pot will begin to boil, as Bahamians are not prone to keeping their mouths shut.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 9

Honours to creators of flag and anthem from page one

The Tribune Always uncovering more ABOVE: Dr Philip Rahming with the-then GG Dame Marguerite Pindling; below left, Timothy Gibson, below right, Orville “Tommy� Turnquest and, bottom, Frank Watson. The Tribune

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medical treatment. EMAILS leaked from a ther’s The emails were obtained data breach of China ConThe Tribune following a struction America’s (CCA) by in December highservers show that from story the breach of CCA as early as 2013, Jerome lighting by a San Francisco Fitzgerald was seeking to servers China Construction secure millions of dollars hacker. paid 24 bitcoins in brokerage, trucking, and eventually equivalent of $24,000) limousine contracts at Baha (the have access to their servMar while he sat in Cabinet to restored; however, it apas the Minister of Educa- ers that emails forwarded tion, Science and Tech- pears relating to personnel or nology, The Tribune has to, at CCA were compromised, learned. top officials at Baha The emails contradict the despite saying they were not Minister, who this week de- Mar by the hack at nied ever using his office to concerned time. direct contracts to himself the Mr Fitzgerald writes, “I In an email dated May 18, or his family from the mulam aware that interior ma2013, sent to Mr Izmirlian have began to arrive ti-billion dollar resort. Mr Fitzgerald, with terials hotel. I would really Mr Fitzgerald - the Pro- by Porter, Shelly Cur- for the gressive Liberal Party MP QuentinAlarice Fill copied, appreciate it if we could be and your official brofor Marathon - appears also tis Fitzgerald indicates his appointed 1st 2013.� to be requesting $20,000 Mr to start brokerage ker for June a month from Baha Mar’s He then makes a request McRib readiness is trucking services for original developer Sarkis and of Mr Izmirlian for limouex- the Baha Mar project and sine services at Baha Mar, Izmirlian, citing the Back! the brokers of repenses that were necessary remain as he touted the level of i’mthelovin’ property. for it! to cover the cost of his fa- cord

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CHIEF Superintendent Clayton Fernander, in-charge of the officerDetective Unit, Central drivers yesterday warned to tra cautious� after be “exmen forced a couple armed to stop their vehicle in the of the road before middle shooting and killing the driver. Chief Supt Fernander said police believe armed robbery may be the for the killing. He motive incident could havesaid the “happened to anyone�. The murder took place shorty after 9pm day in the area on Tuesof nium Gardens, off MillenWilliams Darling Tonique and brought the Highway, murder count to country’s 109 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records. Chief Supt Fernander tee next month, said the victim, committee mians, identiChairman James Smith said former most of the foreign fied by police as Kendrick yesterday. employees Simms, was driving ceive all that is duewon’t reSince the money to them. his wife, when anotherwith was givMr Smith said they en on an ex-gratia car will, pulled ahead basis by however, the China Export-Import receive a “high ing them to of them forcstop. figure�. Bank (EXIM) and “The man was tended primarily was indrivfor BahaSEE PAGE FIVE ing through Millennium SEE PAGE FIVE

PARTIAL PAYMENT FOR

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN former employees of Baha Mar will be paid by the government appointed Claims Commit-

SEE PAGE SIX

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certain neighbourhoods� and the suggestion to do By NICO SCAVELLA is “emotional and makes so no do much more to “fully Tribune Staff Reporter DESPITE the country sense�. derstand this senseless unnscavella@tribunemedia.net His comments came recording 13 homicides of killings,� and have set law 13 days, Commissioner in hours after the country reof corded its 27th homicide PRIME Minister Perry enforcement respond “as Police Ellison Greenslade Christie yesterday likened quickly as possible� and in the year. Seven people for said the Bahamas is not have a “very meaningful way� the Bahamas’ crime in ROLLE a state of “crisis� and in been killed since Friday. situthe ation to the “Wild West,� their crime fighting efforts. By RASHAD Reporter On Monday afternoon, average Bahamian These efforts, Mr Chrisas he said the recent Tribune Staff a.nettinue to “go about can con- police also reported that a wave their of murders in the capital tie suggested, would likely rrolle@tribunemedi as normal day� without day man was stabbed outside include dedicating the an establishment must solicit a “major� Nottage’s fear be on Nassau and stantial� number a “subof being attacked. DR Bernard forever “continuous� effort by Manwill At a press conference Street while two men were his ers to patrol the of officEmergency acti“footprints the Bahamian administration to “flood streets shot while in the The National at police headquarters New Providence and of etched on after they agement Agency (NEMA) on Ross Corner. These area of the streets� with officers landscape� sithe police management Monday in multaneously giving victims developmental a for- after a weekend of were said to cations with from entering the vated its emergency evacuation a bid to do “all that is necesthem work as be in stable “carnage�, and an Commissioner condition DORSETT through his of the Bahawere blocked sary to bring this madness “the capacity to interdict at the Kenplan yesterday in hospital. the movements of peopleBy SANCHESKA mer president of Greenslade area. were also shelter was established to a halt�. Athletic said the only soat the Commissioner Staff Reporter lution to the country’s crime edia.net mas Association Several persons with respira- dal G L Isaacs Gymnasium Mr Christie, speaking on the streets,� incorporat- Tribune Greenslade said it is Centre the Bahamas problem simto the hospital theis to “keep prolific ply not Associations, Elizabeth Sports with reporters yesterday, ing more reserve police of- sdorsett@tribunem during Gar- rushed enough for people offenders on Queen as a shelter in Jubilee Medical Association, tory complaints. said the “madness� occur- ficers, and “if necessary� and as a behind bars�. He to “point the finger Tribune arrivedwere which was used said - for displaced RESIDENTS to evacuate their the at the af- Royal Bahamas police MinDoctors’ Union When The ring is due to gang activity incorporating Royal Baharesidents forced last hurricane consumer in times of crisis� FORMER Prime Police Force mas Defence Force marines dens were the reafter a massive the scene, severaltheir roofs, as the the minister for and retaliation. health and (RBPF) is not yet refuse to “manage believed was to accept residents. on landfill ister Perry Christie homes yesterday their the dump is smaller fairs, education, considering Providence into a defeat,for it as I did when I pouring water Opposi- implementing their homes. He said the past bloody in policing efforts. a The fire at arrears, security, pictured yesterday. W. a in curfew to fire at the Newcommunity in thick, blaze grew closer to or “locking down started by SEE PAGE THREE COMMISSIONER Mr Christie also said for Tall national who was sponsibility response weekend is the Photo: Terrel of Police Ellison Greenslade he Philip “Brave� to have been Road. Parliament airport tenant described recent resigned,� he said in Staff levelled speaking at a press development� a “shocking would be speaking with blanketed smoke. tion Leader conference yesterday. Member of Miller was also assist- bush fire off Fire Trail as Carey/Tribune the criticism recent that will refrom accusations Mr Christie Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune black hazardous Davis said Wednesday. in questions on the Royal Bahamas Pines Leslie in hosing down their 71, died Staff quire the government TWO AND THREE administration spending, misfea- moves made by the government SEE PAGE THREE entrance Members of pandering at his administration to SEE PAGES Dr Nottage, the Cleveby a party blocked the visibility ing residentsproviding transportaof irresponsible WELLS at a “misstep� Police Force as thought By RICARDO Reporter Wednesday He will receive homes and who needed help. sance and cronyism. that weeks. never any By RICARDO WELLS he was “disap- to its base. residents to the subdivision acceptTribune Staff “There was land Clinic. tion for those ia.net the three most recent He also said allegations being zero. Angry in arrangeChristie maintained that I was degree Tribune relating Mr funeral inciStaff part the dropped to Reporter a by double my in verbal alterrwells@tribunemed gova state shooting on Ross By LAMECH documents would on dents, which have left for any announced, Per- pointed�around by the new berwells@tribunemedia.net a review of one became involved irrements to of human trafficking. man dead and three others Corner yesterday, lamented Tribune Staff JOHNSON Prime Minister tossed matters that to these two controversies of any ing responsibility the press secof criminality,notion FORMER fire off Fire Reporter Suppression Act, Chapter the “too bold� as according to Office of the the whatsoever James Coakley, 53, administration yesterday condemned ernment concerning a smaller bush to the city his last term the country and po- in hospital in serious condi- crimes occurring nature of ljohnson@tribunemedia.net of 106. absolve his and prove that much sponsible spending andbare’ is just ry Christie spread retary for the AS Anthony have ed by Cargill Creek, Andros Minnis administra- transpired during tion. in the caplice Movement fre- Trail Road that blanketed Jubilee is as noth- that ‘the cupboard is wrongdoing efforts by the his government in The former boxer was ital recently, as he insisted Prime Minister, continue to grapple was brought before fire the smoke in Jub Officer-in-charge prime minister.at accusations from of the FNM’s rhetoric slogans.� the Free National A MAN appeared with the latest spate of areas in to prevent dump. The tion to portray as he challenged flees from the starte in Magistrate Joyann Chief also charged with three Newbold. vio- Central Detective of the that a “handful of prolific Magistrate’s “political political slogans.� DORSETT Hitting back Minnis adminislight, done enough the New Providence Gardens and surrounding A YOUNGSTERProvidence landfill that thei PAGE SIX lent PAGE THREE Fergu- counts of rape SEEcrimes, threatened ing more than challenges I have Unit, the Court SEE a negative leader to carry out a SANCHESKA law of at offenders� and yesterof enforceBy New fires remain son-Pratt to answer to filed under smoke some evacuate hell-bent day accused of Reporter quent the controvergovernment officials are seeking Chief Superintendent Clay- on terrorising officials fire at the of the members “One of the two Section 6(a) of have caused issues. thick, black the nation’s sexually as- counts were asked to Photo Tribune Staff prompting who led the $8m to examination the Sexual the public. edia.net ton Fernander, speaking of trafficking in pertration concerning Landfill that Many residents saulting a woman during the public’s assistance respiratory mas- several homes, of more thanclean up as the person led the government to “dispassionate Offences Act, Chapter sdorsett@tribunem in the media on the sial pay out 99. It them to develop and who SEE PAGE THREE SEE PAGE THREE the Christmas holidays. sons contrary to Section is alleged came as a scene of record�. interview at one vendor for hurricane that he engaged in to an ment owners in JubiTheir comments at the landfill, She is alleged to be a victim 3(1)(a) of the Trafficking off of $1.2m During a lengthy raging ANGRY home home on Thursin Persons Prevention was startand the write yesterday expressed sive fire was SEE PAGE SIX and his Cable Beach defended his lee Gardens concern that neither which officials believe nor day, Mr Christie disgust and Liberal Party the Progressive energy. solar, to produce of agreeWELLS of Works The heads the governBy RICARDO MINISTER said cases of im- Tribune Staff Reporter challenges, Desmond Bannister ment requires to “address ia.net enced alleged concerns� pressed certain and BPL delayed officials solicitROLLE migration from migrants rwells@tribunemed today marks which he suggestedof docu- he has “serious Power and ment and consistent By RASHAD Reporter By AVA TURNQUEST WHILE By SANCHESKA DORSETT develop with Bahamas to “keep the reliable of electricity on the for both siting bribes The bill will allow submission Tribune Staff beatings of Tribune Chief Reporter a.net the an law as THE originalMar reso the deadlineformer parlia- the Tribune Staff Reporter tell- supply Providence, Light’s ability and alleged prisoners in rrolle@tribunemedi aturnquest@tribunemedia.net commissioner of police, or a ity solely it placed author- sdorsett@tribunemedia.net are chal- lights on this summer,� of island of New ting and to file financial ments. of the Baha the resor the abiliin the hands of migrants and person acting on his behalf, Among these the lack will include finanStates has d mentarians Public Discloyesterday said the independent judiciary, ing The Tribuneprevent the whichmeet the requirements with obtaining THE United Bahamas custody. the Ministry continued completionda ATTORNEY General to obtain a warrant from a adding that may ty to disclosures, Chair- lenges from spouses, POLICE are investigatthe Yesterday, the opening cial records in situations reliability highlighted Allyson Maynard-Gibson Supreme Court judge to in- international the ICB met ing the from fulfilling of the project.� “intimida- of Foreign Affairs said sure Commission lays, missedsupposed st circumstances surthe instalgovernment Laroda told tercept and examine a standards requiregovernment’s yesterday defended the This involves supporting per- and also addressed had “inaccurate� and “now man Myles yesterday that particularly rounding the death may have oper- all the necessary the Inof non-governmental Mar they report son’s of all (INCL. VAT) “incomcommunications recent of tion terception of Communicafrom criticisms lation “of The Tribunestill some that wherebank accounts prior ments in the Baha and efforts and in some cases gered opening� three-year-old boy who a necessary to into late n was ated organisations� tions Bill as an important telecommunications opera- Devices of the Listening found unresponsive and authere were tire property He said there heads of agreement.he is al- infrastructure Sa plete� information. in a car an incident year shows that sup by the government that SEE PAGE FIVE anti-crime tool that would tors, internet providers and Council. Act by the Privy in front are “outstanding�.yesterday, to marriage. inhibit “free some unwillingHe added of his daycare yesReferring to Minpostal services. offer “is at new, althorities to enhance the privacy of criminal Education In an interview in his dis- was also Izmirlian’s She said any suggestion terday afternoon. lawand apprehension ready “looking including said In a statement yesterday, Fitzgerald or� to the current situat for in which speech through abiding citizens rather ways,� Mr Laroda some persons ness that the The body of the toddler as problems this than ister Jerome SEE PAGE THREE ternative libel laws� encroach upon it, as detrac- Mrs Maynard-Gibson ex- “spying legislation was a was discovered However, despite cussions with SEE PAGE 12 in its latest to make bill� was false. plained shortly Bahamas required afthat the this tors claim. move was who are ter 2pm on Monday report. they exunprecedented in Bahamiby a human rights also referSEE PAGE FIVE the disclosures, The report SEE PAGE SIX

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By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunem edia.net WATER and Sewerage Corporation Adrian Gibson Chairman yesterday confirmed the existence of a “do not list populateddisconnect� by scores of elites at the government owned utility provider as he pledged initiate a crackdown to on delinquent accounts. Mr Gibson told The Tribune the list� held “confidential 221accounts, with a combined total of $175,000 for ending June the period 2017. He said that he plans to direct the corporation to notify all persons owing excessive arrears to resolve debts or face disconnection. “There is dential list,� a list confiIsland MP said.the Long “In fact, I that all the would think over the last corporations year or two, and more particularly May of this in year, there has been tion paid toclose attenthat list by the management with a view to changing the way those lists usually operate. “As it stands, this confidential list of persons has a number on it, and really and truly used to notify it’s being courtesy call persons by I can say too or letters. chairman of that as the the corporation I am going that all personsto direct excessive arrears owing who are SEE PAGE EIGHT

By RASHAD Tribune Staff ROLLE prepared. Reporter rrolle@tribunemedi By SANCHESKA During a a.net DORSETT address fromlive national Tribune Staff Reporter homicides WITH as his office sdorsett@tribunem the guarding the well as safefore- last night, Dr cast for Hurricane edia.net residents of Minnis Fox Hill. Maria said: “Hurricane projecting the ACTING Maria is Commissioner storm to pass another During a near the Southeast of Police Anthony potentially walkabout dev- son Fergu- Fox Hill on Tuesday, Baha- astating hurricane in mas Friday morning, Prime must carefully that we the announced yesterday Commissioner Acting Minister Dr establishment Hubert Minnis Ferguson He added: monitor.� of two said the Anti-Gang is urging residents Though most separate Royal Bahamas Firearms of those of the Bahamas and islands to was spared Police Force anti-crime tigation Tracing and Invesbe vigilant units aimed and Unit will operate SEE PAGE TWO gang activity at eliminating out of the Central Detectry, reducing in the coun- tive Unit (CDU) the number while the of SEE PAGE 11

INSURANCE MANAGEMEN T

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for it must be abandoned. as Hurri40 years. the island Island is so devastated remained on home has

WELLS By RICARDO Reporter Tribune Staff ia.net rwells@tribunemed concern ADMITTING Bernard Notin over what Dr have battled last tage may his isolation during Prime Minisdays, former yesterday for ter Perry Christie admiration the expressed forth by the effort put security to former national the build-up minister in election. the May general from his Breaking away since being public silence office in hisof a voted out last month, toric fashion Mr Chrishis visibly troubled portions of his tie detailed with last conversation and longfriend childhood colleague on time political Thursday. Centreville The former Nottage as Dr teMP saw “fought his someone who throughout naciously� he loved and life for thosetrait he said he a supported, up to their saw on display last conversation. PAGE SIX By SANCHESKA DORSETT SEE Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

the holiday would on the actual date be observed of the historic event, Tuesday, January The change in the 10. public holiday calendar has been perceived by many as an attempt by the government to strike success of a seconda blow to the event by We March Bahamas.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

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“Every Nobody with those whohomes last week. The Does it Better! their NEW PROVIDENCE Minister Dr Hubert Rag- discussion battered has been destroyed. GRAND BAHAMA facilityABACO has been health WIPEOUT: Prime on storm-stricken Min- cane Irma 242.394.5555 residence Prime ELEUTHERA destroyed. The 242.350.3500teachers’ There is no water. and safety conditions EXUMA to deteriorate, urged the 18 been has been destroyed. The is 242.367.4204 no light. 242.332.3211 HEALTH the he smell242.336.2304 school will only continue destroyed. There about, you can yesterday as The in the afterged Island Minnis said to evacuate “As we walkcarcasses, dead animals. deister Dr Hubert on the island reduced will of dead stench(BAHAMAS) of the individuals remaining residentsIrma, which has REPORT LIMITED. INSURANCE we get them that of rubble and SPECIAL health conditions Russell, BROKERS & math of Hurricane it’s essential said. AGENTS there to piles Words: Khrisna W Carey www.InsuranceMan teriorate and Dr Minnis agementBahamas.c most structures the only Pictures: Terrel island unlivable. Dr Minnis off this island,� reluctant to leaveom for rendered the stay here,� saw for the understandablyhome, expressing concern “They cannot as A1MAIN Many were and a delegation and days ever known through said after he damage left by Irma place they’ve hurricane ripped of their residences, first time the Five monster will have about the safety personal belongings. behind. We Defence by the smell after the Category island. “They are concerned may have left and the exacerbated of all es- whatever materials they the small southern a vessel here the same physical condition, the destruction still Force dispatch the cleanup and at The island’s carcasses and strongly urge those the Defence said. Dr Minnis of rotting animalled Dr Minnis to small community can Force will try to commence security,�Established SEE PAGE 1903THREE that there is sential services, to leave until the time ensure Island has been on Ragged Island Ragged and be restored. to the residents; a walk through “I’ve spoken Minnis said following i’m lovin’ it! Dr devastated,�

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By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief officials could Reporter aturnquest@tribune not media.net reached up to press time. be According FOUR former to sources Progres- close to the sive Liberal Party Cabinet Monday Mr matter, as of ministers owed Wells has since more than paid $9,000 on $20,000 each his accounts at Bahamas with an outstanding Power and Light, balformer minister with one ance of some $8,600. The source for some $60,000 in arrears also said as ARNOLD as of July, of Monday according to FORBES a list obtained in talks withMr Forbes was by The Tribune. $62,023 to settle the the company The Credit and Collec- a three-monthbalance over tions Department period. Mr listing of Forbes, former MPs, senators PLP Mount and board Moriah MP, members for the period to Cabinet was appointed ending July in January that former 31, revealed and previously served 2015, State Minister chairman as the in the Ministry of the Bahamas Arnold Forbes of Works Agricultural and Industrial Corporation. owed $62,023.14. BPL Others on The list obtained the “do not Tribune contains by The disconnect� list are: former delin- Minister of Health quent accounts of six Perry Gomez, former Dr former PLP Cabinet minisPines MP Tall ters, two former Leslie Miller, former PLP MPs, Minister of two private one sitting entities, and Dr Danny Johnson, Youth former Cabinet min- Nassau Village ister: Bamboo MP Dion Renward Wells. Town MP Smith, former Tourism Minister Obie Mr Wells, Wilchcombe, DR DANIEL $9,277.07 and who owed former South Beach MP JOHNSON two separate $3,703.96 at Cleola Hamilton $24,413 $12,981.03 in locations - former Minister of and total – did not for Legal State want to comment Affairs Damian yester- Gomez. day, and the other former SEE PAGE EIGHT

Ragged Minnis warns

Seniors go big for

‘We will still march without permission’

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No.152, JUNE

Newspaper

seats: Encaptured four Island and Cat were spent under to South Aners’ dollars administration. glerston; 1,900 votes and San Salvador; Christie the win with is evidence 2017 the as well as Exuma DORSETT Mr Christie’s 1,875. By SANCHESKA He said if there the new dros VIRGIL ELECTION Islands. DORSETT By SANCHESKAReporter to the unofTribune Staff Reporter By KHRISNA Reporter the same route as seat, Fox According the the Ragged of “criminality�, planned� even Tribune Staff from the Parwill allow SPEAK edia.net An additional being resdorsett@tribunemedia.net Deputy Chief without the government’s ganiser Ranard Henfield ia.net ficial results Registration government course. THE PEOPLE sdorsett@tribunem PAGE 4 was still permis- that “after revealed nounced its kvirgil@tribunemed sion. his Hill, law to take several weeks of last month that the to press time. and liamentary Mr Chipman after ON’ back planned a decounted up DESPITE being In an interview and forth� the Cabinet his parMoments DNA ‘TO GO PAGE 5 march to mark the PLP IN a surprisingat the Department, with The Tribdenied the as the na- This marked the worst in Office on anniversary out of 12 pollAFTER leadinglandslide use of Rawson 50th defeat party won seven maiden speech Minand Parliament une, Mr Bostwick II said “there Wednesday rejected the group’s of Majority Rule. LOSE humbling leader, Dr Prime Min- ing divisions in the former Squares ty to a stunning feat for a governing will be no compromise� application to protest for a protest This latest development Mr tion’s next PLP BIG NAMESPAGE 7 dealing a parapolls, outgoing that under recent history. in Rawson and the and Parliaments Rule Day in January,on Majority group will “not is yet victory and to the ProgresChristie lost PLP stronghold, while will nis promised victory came MPS ister Perry Squares because another set back for the organiBahamians The FNM’s won five. Bahamas organiser We March attempt towardbe deterred by this the “event lysing blow Party last night, years the Centreville his watch, YOUR PROJECTED conflicts with another sation that planned to protest fascist his seat in last night by Christie John Bost- and PAGE 9 to fear from despite a rocky five Mr Christie wick sive Liberal on II said yesterday Monday, January the abuse of our coercion event� already booked In 2012, have nothing conPrime Minister constituency representing pointing to that included two challengthe demon- constitutional 9 - the original rights and date. FAR for that observance incoming the Centrevillestration the government, RESULTS SO PAGE 14 freedoms�. Minnis declared date 25 votes aftermore than 40 won the eighth “will go on as planned, on which he said es to Dr Minnis’ leadership, Dr Hubert In a post on Facebook, Progressive Majority Rule Day.announced for of a fracstituency for time with have abused “imvictimisation, the area for Liberal to unoflead or- Chairman Party that those who trust “have continued reports ultimately However, earlier consecutive He defeated is “unconstitutional� MORE COVERAGE Bradley Roberts of years, according party and the post this month it “wrong�. PAGES 2-18 positions an- was announced 2,950 votes. moral� and to unofficial tured to fear�. ficial results. in Parliament that candidate Ella removal from has held something to thousands of According able his Official Opat the Mr Christie 1977 and the FNM’s FNM was leader of the House of Speaking by 1,349 votes at the Q House today. results, the defeat of won all the Lewis the seat since pledged that to pull off a stunning mas- position in the jubilant supporterslast night, ment Mr Christie leader of Minnis Dr has been Liberal Party time. polling division in will give securing a E Sports Centre but one administration Terrance of the PLP, constituencies. Assembly. a long fought National MoveProgressive 39 “This was victory is not the Free also announced his General Regit sive 34 of since 1997. released a Prime 2012. but the ment leader be sworn in as Auditor the resources AVA former is yours,� Although he Bythe The Parliamentary did battle, TURNQUEST loss, The aboutTribune Chief the islands of Bimini his seat to that he will fourth prime Bastianto probe how taxpay- istration Department re- mine - the victory thousands Reporter Minister lost Movement statement didaturnquest@tribunemedia.ne and not speak full election last Dr Minnis told on the carEleuthera, bringing The Bahamas’ at Govern- needs Christie not release 5pm Free National packed with the and po- Mr t tal to 25 confirmedthe tominister at SEE PAGE SIX candidate sults last night, in from the of FNMs By cases (FNM) SANCHESKA DORSETT Reece nationwide. nival grounds. people’s time HEALTH officials numbers coming Tribune Staff Reporter litical newcomer agency around “This is the “This is like a lull, terday urged residentsyesand I who secured government from the and I am your servant quiet sdorsett@tribunemedia.net Chipman, to period,� Dr remain vigilant McMillan 11pm. However it apagainst SEE PAGE THREE vironmental factors en- “We continue to get said. unofficial numbers, samFORT that ples as they the PLP only conbreedof the mosquitoes send them in for Dr Andre Charlotte MP peared that despite Rollins “The outcome the “lull� intrust to local transmis- testing but we have no fur- night that “there said last not inspire did according ther cases, which sioninofthe will be no theBahalast vention Zika virus. Mark Humes is good. disciplinary results, said coming afor confidenceDirector but that’s of Public Health We’re still monitoring and against the action� taken “obvious� mian electorate sweeping defeat residents unofficial seven doing our surveillance. Dr Pearl think that it is ROLLE tional Movement Free Nanow and IMcMillan yesterhave stood behind us day they night ter Fort Charlotte “I think we have By RASHAD Reporter MPs who told him party would wonderfulthat there has aconfirmed been ousted party winning the the party have repeatedly lead- the progressing well and Tribune Staff stand the any a better chance been no a.net as it relates Hubert Minnis Leader Dr to rebuild new con- to could not he been victori- opportunity as leader rrolle@tribunemedi getting the message firmed cases of the country per- election had since the deitself,� he said. leadership out the Official Opposition, of there and persons partment’s press for for- ership despite their beous in the PLP’sadding that reengineer heeding cause there is no release on it. SIX longer, him. AS HE called This Zika thing December legal basis THE REBEL SEVEN of, SEE PAGE RASPBERRY 5, which Minister Perry sonal affection for was pro- race in January, for such a move. made a mistake� mer Prime ard Lightbourn, Lorettafrom left, Hubert Chipman, Edison Key, the number of cases raised down in July, which came who ICED TEA “the party resign as leader is when RichMr Sears, He added that Butler-Turner, Neko in New we usually Mr Christie. Free NaChristie to Providence from a formal Andre Rollins. Liberal Grant, Theo Neilly, get our first case objection in choosing to lose to the 22 to 23. and Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune has been Al- jected Movement’s (FNM) of the Progressive There is one case last night, SEE PAGE SIX against “the bogus lodged solidify widespread support Staff each on the tional Party (PLP) FNM’s Executive said he saw levelled against himcharges� around a new leader.� Commitfred Sears tee would not have His remarks came six other members and the a case ment who took of Parlia- e-mail in response to in an because the group’s actions part ques- “were consistent action of removing in the tions from The Tribune. constitutionally with the Dr Rollins echoed nis from the post. Dr Minprotected Dr Rollins sentiments the said a growing of Long Island right of parliamentarians to number of MP recall a parliamentary FNMs are admitting Loretta lead“that and St Anne’sButler-Turner er when they the best course of MP Hubert confidence no longer have the party to take action for Chipman, who last in his/her ability under present circumstances the said the if the matter week to lead.� were is to to be taken to court, the SEE PAGE THREE

AS PARTY CHRISTIE TO RESIGN

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By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business utility operator nhartnell@tribunem Editor ing to “walk is quite willedia.net away� from maximum $25m, five-yearit BAHAMAS BPL Light’s (BPL) Power & if themanagement contract board and hold a “crunchboard will administration Minnis with PowerSecuremeeting� The meeting,wish it to go. today, be with the outcome which will attended ical in deciding likely crit- executives by PowerSecure and their attorneys latter remains whether the from the US, is viewed as manager. Multiple Tribune CLEOLA as key to determining Business sources whether HAMILTON OBIE yesterday two sides will “kiss and the confirmed $6,118 make up� or WILCHCOMBE that the DAMIAN US FULL separate. $4,911 STORY - SEE GOMEZ BUSINESS NINE individuals $3,413 July. The sums named on the BPL “do HURRICANE not disconnect� do not include any payments list INSURANCE made or furtherand the amount they owed : at the end of debt incurred since that date. Are you Covered?

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Moxey Sr and Bahamian musician Louis George Adams Sr have been given that award posthumously. Reverend J Carl Rahming has been honoured with the “Officer� rank of the Order of Merit, while Reverends Charles Sweeting, and Oral Rex Major, have been honoured with the “Members� rank of that award. This is the second year the National Honours have been bestowed. There was no selection this year for the category of National Hero or Order of the Nation.

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By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business so alarmed by the Caribnhartnell@tribunem Editor bean Financial edia.net Action Task By RASHAD ROLLE Force’s (CFATF) Tribune Staff THE Attorney In June, Reporter draft rrolle@tribunemedi Gen- report on The he told Pareral yesterday liament slammed that he instructed Bahamas a.net the deficiencies cost Bahamians to BRENSIL anti-money in the nation’s to begin work on his staff of Rolle, min- increases such addressing ister laundering the flaws from was $10,149,738. of public regime as The revision “entirely unacservices and Mr Bethel early June. ceptable�, warning blasted the said National Insurance, he included comes after between put The Bahamas they had former Christie more “in great tration for failing adminis- 2016 and May December 1,700 workers that werethan danger�. 2017, the in his original not known weaknesses to tackle public purse count. Carl Bethel ballooned Amid the told Trib- necessary urgency. with the $16,532,738 because by une Business Progressive of the Liberal Party’s he had been FULL Christie administration’s criticism STORY - SEE of the Minnis BUSINESS hiring of new public service tion because ofadministraworkers during its firings that period. SEE PAGE SIX

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PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts lashed out at his former party colleague Vincent Peet last night, accusing the former North Andros and Berry Islands MP of being a “political enemy� who mounted an independreONE of the leaked emails showing a ent campaign because he Sciquest from Minister of Education, was denied a nomination ence and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald. from the governing party. Speaking to PLP supfor Limolink in The clientele with which his agent You are encour- porters at a rally in North limousine company was fa- Bahamas. aged to get a reference from Andros last night, Mr Robmiliar. if erts said “this is war� as regard the the president of Viacom “Also withA1MAIN wish. Please feel free he urged the crowd to vote limousine business we you contact me personally for incumbent Dr Perry are ready to meet with to have your agents contact Gomez, adding that a vote your people anytime,� he or the Mr Porter our Managing for Mr Peet is a vote for writes. Free National Movement. directly.� “As indicated we really Director SEE PAGE SIX cusonly cater to highend SEE PAGES TWO & THREE tomers and are the official

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FIREFIGHTERS yesterday battled a large blaze at the New Providence Landfill, nearly three weeks after tackling a massive fire at the city dump that burned for nearly a month. Officer in Charge of Fire Services, Chief Superintendent Walter Evans said the current fire is “not connected� in any way to the previous blaze and at this time officials do not know PRIME Minister what caused the fire. HowDr Hubert Minnis meeting ever Environment Minister Kendera Woodside, the mother of Kenred Dorsett told remurdered Eugene Woodside. he RASHAD porters at the siteBythat TribuneinStaff ROLLE suspected “sabotage� Three Reporter rrolle@tribunemedi He said Photo: Yontalay after relation to the fire. murder that days the a.net Bowe team he “instructed� the struggle withpushed the country’s composure. THE the hugs and have Dr Minnis said of firefighters towords comforting the national violent crime into he felt the fam- Each citizen has of Prime ily’s spotlight yet “before a responsibility blaze extinguished Minister Dr her pain remained and again, even pain. “What makes Hubert Minnis and our countries. today and me feel has whatever information worse is that nomination day� “He ain’t even acute. Patricia we must bring Yes one most we see in Minnis couldn’this wife God,� Baha Mar’s live a life, certainly beforethe that forward. mother more than I feel for this the yard, of those These criminals my answer Mrs I can say.� questions Dr Minnis opening on Friday. that consumed “He’s a baby. Woodside cried. my years as a medicalI, during Mrs Minnis, live among us.� said he will Kendera shortly Woodside yesterday medical attention doctor, to ensure The blaze started breath right I could give my the family who emphasised she grieved is provided andfor as baby now just for after 3am Wednesday to her ance before that her appear- Mrs Woodside, who is year-old said officpregnant. Eugene, whoson, eight- my to be right here. They my “You can see Chief Supt Evans political move,them was not a heart out my take was killed four theago. the grieving fire body. ers expect to battledays to wear black called on women pain she’s going through,� and “This my “Why but daythese for at least another he people ain’t almost shoot only son. They in mourning one day this week said. “I assured her ing a “huge� tellthat somefor my daughter time today they he said the wind isme “As a mother, murder victims. (Friday) too right now?� bringing my son and they inside (the medical personnel we will have I’m calling factor. house) with she cried between me. What all mothers screams they do to come because I upon after her as SIX SEE PAGE Dr Minnis my family? believe mothers because she’sto look really console the tried to What they do to us? would’ve delivered nant. can family at their “Why they most of them said Mrs Minnis, who stop this,� her I have to make surepregbud Road home where Rose- live 29 years, ain’ carry me? I so they are closer to and that her unborn me knowing at times. “We have was tearful both was shot by Eugene they are my He’s a baby.� infant are our sons who well and former patients,� a stray bullet we cradle Tonio Woodside, Monday as Minnis, a gynaecologist on father, arrangements we will also make Dr become from birth and as he did his homework. Eugene’s they consoled to make sure men we are fession, said. by as he struggled his wife even the still with necessary medical “The messagepro- them. We have personnel we to speak with look after her to maintain must send to the entire and see is the police Bahamas them. I think all women can’t fight this wear should regular basis to ensure her on a alone. and black one day this the safety of her and her week mourn what’s unborn infant.� happening in SEE PAGE TWO

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Meanwhile, former FNM Cabinet ministers Frank Watson and Orville “Tommy� Turnquest have received the highest rank of the country’s Order of Distinction for the “exemplary service� they have provided to The Bahamas. Messrs Watson and Turnquest were both honoured with the “Companion� rank of the Order of Distinction, thus entitling them to place the letters “CD� after their names. Former Deputy Commissioner of Police Keith Mason Sr; Dr Elwood Donaldson; and Frank Rolle have been honoured with the “Officer� rank of the Order of Distinction. That honour entitles them to place the letters “OD� after their respective names. Meanwhile, former Senate President Lynn Holowesko and Bahamian historian, archivist and author Gail Saunders, headed a group of six Bahamians bestowed with the “Member� rank of the Order of Distinction. Others bestowed with that honour are former Bahamian sailor Godfrey Kelly; former ambassador Angela Missouri ShermanPeter; Edward “Dud� Maynard, the father of deceased politician Charles Maynard; and Norwood Rahming. Those recipients are now entitled to place the letters “DM� after their names. Five Bahamians have been bestowed with the country’s Order of Merit. Reverend Dr Charles Saunders and Bishop Carrington Pinder have been honoured with the “Companion� rank of the award. Jumbey Village creator Edmund

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PAGE 10, Thursday, July 11, 2019

T

WO nations that are linked by several factors celebrated their independence days last week, one day apart. A comparison of the two is intriguing. The president of one nation last week sat high above the impressive Independence Day military parade on display in the streets of his nation’s capital. Saluting and offering praise to the various military units who in turn reciprocated with their discipline and strength, the leader smiled and nodded and gestured his respect and support for the military personnel and hardware which was intended to keep the country strong and independent against any foreign challenge. In his stirring speech in tribute to his military, the president praised their fortitude and loyalty. Implicit in the lengthy and wellrehearsed display was the military’s fealty to their Commander-in-Chief. Elsewhere in that same capital city, demonstrations were held by opposition politicians who challenged the fundamental legitimacy of this president. There were persistent claims the most recent election had not truly reflected the will of the people. But the focus of the nation, as had been intended, was on the president and the nation’s

THE TRIBUNE

Hail to the Chief (well, not from everybody) PRESIDENT Donald Trump speaks during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington

STATESIDE

with Charlie Harper

military forces. The value and power of presidential incumbency was rarely on

such obvious display. By most accounts, the celebratory pageantry surrounding

Venezuela’s 208th Independence Day last Friday accomplished many of its

goals for President Nicolas Maduro, and may have possibly strengthened his hand against the many in his country and abroad who wish him gone from office. In the other nation, orating in the rain in Washington DC while praising General George Washington’s Revolutionary War efforts to secure airfields over 100 years before man’s first flight, Donald Trump must have been envious of his Venezuelan rival. The American president, reportedly lusting for a fullblown military parade over which to preside ever since he witnessed such an event two years ago in Europe, later blamed his phenomenal airfield miscue on his teleprompter. But there was no massive military demonstration in Washington on America’s 243rd birthday. Instead, there was widespread criticism of Trump’s effort to insert himself into a traditionally nonpartisan national day of celebration. Despite his election and now 30-month tenure, Trump remains

for many a profoundly illegitimate Commanderin-Chief. And while the last American president to see any wartime action left office nearly 30 years ago, Trump’s conspicuous efforts to affiliate himself with the American military seem especially hypocritical in view of his dubious evasion of the military draft during the Vietnam War. Maduro, whose Venezuela is strongly linked to the US in areas ranging from oil to baseball, rose to prominence through his nation’s military. Now he is a pariah in most parts of the world except Russia, China, Nicaragua and Cuba. Millions of his citizens have fled his ruinous regime. Among those committed most strongly to his departure is the Trump administration in Washington. Two Western Hemisphere presidents were celebrating their nation’s independence days. They may have approached their celebrations with similar aspirations, but the outcomes were, perhaps tellingly, quite different.

All eyes on Los Angeles as trades go up a notch MAYBE you are living on the beach with no internet access. But if you are even a casual NBA fan, you know by now that Toronto Raptors championship MVP Kawai Leonard surprised most of the sporting world by agreeing to sign a new contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. A precondition for his decision was apparently for the Clippers to acquire by trade All-Star Paul George from Oklahoma City, which the Clips duly accomplished. Now we can look forward to an intra-city NBA rivalry never before seen in the world’s top basketball league. The Lakers, with Anthony Davis and LeBron James, were all set to be the toast of Los Angeles. No more. The perennially second-best Clippers, who historically have counted very few of the LA glitterati among their fans, have jumped emphatically into first place in Southern California

pro hoops. This is because they, unlike the Lakers, already have a decent playoff team in place. Most of what they traded to Oklahoma City was a bushel basket full of future draft picks. The Thunder, who lost Kevin Durant just three years ago before cleverly trading for George to try to fill that gap, now must face rebuilding again around mercurial Russell Westbrook. And rumours are already circulating that the Thunder may now deal Westbrook, perhaps to the Miami Heat. Now that one of the most amazing, unpredictable and interesting free agency periods in NBA history is itself history, it’s worth a look back at the league’s first-ever free agent. Sports Illustrated magazine caught up with Tom Chambers at a cabin in the Utah mountains and got his response to the sheer audacity of the past week or so. Chambers, by the way, has to go outside

to stand by the water tank on his property to get any internet access. Chambers, a 6’ 10” power forward who played collegiately at the University of Kentucky and then in the pros for six years with the then-San Diego Clippers and then-Seattle Supersonics (the predecessors of the present-day LA Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder), became a free agent almost exactly 31 years ago as the result of a new NBA collective bargaining agreement agreed after the 1987 season. Chambers signed with the Phoenix Suns and went on to make four All-Star teams and score 20,000 points in a distinguished NBA career. Of the frenzy just concluded, Chambers said “it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before.” Indeed. In July 1988, Chambers signed with Phoenix for five years, $9 million. Kawai Leonard’s new deal pays him $141 million for four years.

KAWAI Leonard surprised the sporting world by signing for the LA Clippers.

Surviving scandals THREE months ago in this space, we discussed the cases of Jeffrey Epstein and Robert Kraft, both of whom were under scrutiny by American law enforcement officials. There are now current updates for both men - and their lives have turned in significantly different directions. Epstein is the multimillionaire playboy against whom several scurrilous sex charges were reduced by the US Attorney’s office in Miami then under the direction of current Labour Secretary Alex Acosta. The charges were limited by Acosta’s office to a simple plea deal with a light jail sentence. But Epstein is now being charged with human trafficking, sex with underage minors, and other offences by the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. Epstein, whose friendship with Donald Trump seemed to be based at least partly on their rapacious interest in women and celebrating their wealth, has been all over the news lately. The story has sex and politics all through it. Bill Clinton, another one-time acquaintance, has sprinted in the other direction from any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged crimes. The former president may not be the only one racing away from Epstein, as more of his sins and friends are revealed. Acosta, meanwhile, is the latest Trump cabinet member to take a seat in Washington’s political

dunking stool. Democrats will continue to take shots at him until he resigns, is forced from office, or is saved by the distraction of an even greater scandal from some presently unknown source. Epstein, though, seems headed for a rather stern reckoning from the grinding wheels of the American criminal justice system. As for Kraft, the 78-yearold New England Patriots owner, widower and famous friend of Donald Trump had largely stayed out of the news until Monday. Kraft, charged in a Palm Beach County, Florida prostitution case five months ago, hired lawyers who were able to keep out of the public eye a reportedly incriminating security tape from the spa facility where his solicitation of sex for pay allegedly occurred. The case is making its way through the justice system. Kraft’s alleged offences appear to be significantly less serious than Epstein’s, but the six-time NFL champion owner seems to have suffered little interruption to his gilded life. On Monday, there was Kraft, pictured at a table with several dignitaries at a dinner at the U.S. Treasury Department in honour of the Emir of Qatar. Among those dignitaries was Trump himself and International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde. Time will tell if Kraft manages to evade further legal discomfort.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 11

LACK OF FUNDS NOT THE ISSUE, SAYS WATER POLO CHIEF By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net THE revelation that a junior water polo team withdrew from a tournament because it lacked funds to continue has been “misconstrued” by critics, the president of Bahamas Water Polo said in a statement on Tuesday.  Many reacted angrily on social media to news that the under-18 boys team withdrew from the Central American Caribbean Swimming Federation (CCCAN) tournament in Barbados over the weekend before their scheduled gold medal match because the team could not afford to stay an additional day. Many blamed the Minnis administration for the development and questioned the administration’s priorities.  However, Chris Illing,

water polo president, defended the government and the Bahamas Aquatics Association. “The quote in The Nassau Guardian today was misconstrued into a political agenda and degradation against the government of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Aquatics Federation,” he said. “This was not the intention of the statement that was given. “In 2018, the Bahamas National Water Polo team qualified for the U-17 Pan American Games to be held in Trinidad in August 2019 by placing second at CCCAN in El Salvador. Priority for Bahamas Aquatics was to fund participation in this tournament as it is the qualifier for junior world championships in 2020. “In order to prepare for this tournament, and to qualify for Jr Pan American games 2020, the decision was made by the executives

with Bahamas Water Polo to participate in the CCCAN tournament held this weekend. The water polo family independently tried to raise the funds required to compete in CCCAN and although this tournament was not budgeted for by Bahamas Aquatics, a $4,000 contribution was made to assist with water polo’s fundraising efforts. “A wide net was cast to assist water polo with funding and the difficulty is that there are so many competing requests in the Bahamas community, that this request was not successful despite the very best of efforts.” Mr Illing said the decision by Bahamas Water Polo to compete in CCCAN was multifaceted. Water polo at the Pan Am Games later this year will be played under new rules and officials wanted the team to prepare for the

THE WATER polo team. altered format by facing strong competition. The team also hoped to use the event to qualify for the Pan Am games in Canada in 2020, according to Mr Illing.  He said Bahamas Aquatics, the governing body, was not advised that the water polo team was short of its fundraising goal and would not be able to stay in Barbados if it qualified for the gold medal game.

“Further,” he said, “the decision to purchase the tickets with funds raised was an independent decision, made entirely by water polo, even though the community knew that the dates they were contracting would not allow them to compete for the gold medal if the team advanced to this round. “The government of the Bahamas or Bahamas

Aquatics were not involved in this decision and in hindsight, this should have been done before the tickets were contracted as we knew the schedule of games, and this concern should have been highlighted to our parent body. Having said this, it should be noted that after purchase of the tickets, we were informed by CCCAN that other teams had withdrawn from the tournament and we appealed to CCCAN and Barbados Aquatics to change the tournament schedule. This request was denied.” Despite the withdrawal, the team qualified for Pan Am 2020, Mr Illing said. He thanked the team’s sponsors, including Bahamas Aquatics, Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Hurricane Hole Development, the Medent group, Lowe’s Wholesale, the McPike Foundation and Nassau Agencies.


PAGE 12, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

MAN ON INDECENT ASSAULT CHARGE A 30-YEAR-OLD man was arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday charged with indecently assaulting a 13-year-old girl on Cat Island. Stanford Stubbs, of Sandilands Village, appeared before Magistrate Cara Turnquest-Deveaux to face one count of

indecent assault. It is alleged that Stubbs indecently assaulted a 13-year-old girl on July 3 while in Tea Bay, Cat Island. He was not required to enter a plea to the charge and the case was adjourned to September 10 for a voluntary bill of indictment.

Murder suspect is acquitted of killing man seven years ago By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net A SUPREME Court jury has acquitted a suspect formerly wanted for murdering a man in Gambier Village seven years ago. The jury found Christopher “Deebo” Joseph not guilty by a vote of 8-4 of the July 21, 2013 murder of Lanero Theo Alleyne. According to the evidence, the shooting took place at Smokey’s Bar in the western New Providence community. Alleyne died

months later in December of that year. On January 18, 2017, then-Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade cited Joseph as one of eight most wanted murder suspects. Days later, on January 24, 2017 and over three years after the incident, the Kemp Road native was charged with Alleyne’s murder. In his record of interview (ROI), Joseph admitted to the killing, but said it wasn’t intentional and that he was shot at first. According to the ROI,

sometime after 10pm on July 31, 2913, both men were in the area of Smokey’s Bar when they got into an argument. Joseph said Alleyne pulled out a gun first, causing him to pull out his “little pocket gun”. Joseph said Alleyne shot first, causing him to run behind a wall for safety. While behind the wall, Joseph said he shot back at Alleyne. “I ain’t mean to kill him,” Joseph said in the ROI. However, David Cash, his lawyer maintained the ROI was given under duress.

PAIR FACING FIREARM CHARGES

By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

A MAN and woman were arraigned in the Freeport’s Magistrate’s Court on Monday on firearm and ammunition possession charges. Anita Samantha Jones, 49, of Heritage Estates, and Jamal Rolle, 37, of Swillet Place appeared before Magistrate Rengin Johnson and were charged with possession of an unlicenced firearm and possession of ammunition.  Jones pleaded not guilty and Rolle pleaded guilty to the charges. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent by means to endanger life.   In a separate matter, Ricardo Quincey Jones, 26, of Spinney Road, Freeport, and Herbert Woodside, 29, of Yorkshire Dr, South Bahamia, were charged with four counts of possession of a firearm with the intent to endanger life.  Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was denied and the matter was adjourned to September 25 for a preliminary inquiry. In the meantime, Jones and Woodside were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services. In Court One, Drexton Belony, 26, of Frobisher Circle, Freeport, appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Debbie Ferguson on firearm charges. He pleaded not guilty to possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life. The matter was adjourned to September 25 for trial. Bail was denied and he was remanded to the BDCS. 

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THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 13

MITCHELL: FNM’S STANCE ON REPARATIONS ‘RACIST’ By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net

IN the wake of Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest suggesting that reparations for black Bahamians are not a government priority, Opposition chairman Fred Mitchell has described the Minnis administration’s position on the matter as “racist”. Mr Mitchell also described Mr Turnquest’s comments that “looking backwards doesn’t help you win a race” as hypocritical – noting the Free National Movement is “always seeking” to denigrate Sir Lynden Pindling and the Progressive Liberal Party’s governance during the 1980s.

In an interview with The Tribune on Monday, Mr Turnquest was asked his thoughts on calls for reparations. To this, he said reparations are not at the top of the list of items the government is “concerned about”, adding the Minnis administration is instead focused on developing the economy and “empowering people”. In March 2014, the Christie administration formed a National Reparations Committee to establish the moral, ethical, and legal case for the payment of repatriations by the former colonial European countries. Mr Mitchell was minister of foreign affairs in that administration. “The deputy prime minister is a hypocrite,” Mr

Mitchell said on Tuesday. “They don’t want to look backwards for something that will help black Bahamians but are happy to look backwards to the so-called drug era to denigrate black leadership …he should be reminded that what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. “The latter point is the FNM is always seeking to denigrate Lynden Pindling with baseless innuendos from his government in the 1980s but that’s okay because it suits their political purposes... but reparations to which all right-thinking and decent people think in principle is morally sound and restorative for black people in the diaspora we shouldn’t look back...it is racist,” Mr

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Mitchell continued. He added the PLP supports the CARICOM consensus on the matter. There is currently a national discourse on the intersections of race and class in The Bahamas in the aftermath of comments made by former Cabinet minister Brent Symonette, who suggested he faced political barriers and attacks due to his skin colour. Mr Symonette, who resigned as minister of financial services, trade and immigration last week, suggested the country was not ready for a white prime minister and reiterated his call for a national discussion on race and wealth in politics. Last week, former

PLP chairman Fred Mitchell Minister of State on Legal Affairs Damian Gomez said he believes that conversation should start with reparations. Mr Turnquest, however, disagrees. “So, I’ve heard this whole thing about reparations and while it is (an) interesting concept, I don’t think anybody around the world yet

has figured out how that exactly works,” Mr Turnquest said on Monday. “Who are you seeking reparations from, on what basis, what is enough, how do you value that… so, again, it’s not at the top of our list of items to be concerned about. “We’re much more focused on trying to build an economy to move the country from where it is today. Again, this whole idea that somebody’s done us wrong…or somebody owes us something is a thought that we don’t want to necessarily encourage.” “So again, for me, it’s about going forward and ensuring that we put in place the structures and the opportunity for Bahamians to be successful.”


PAGE 14, Thursday, July 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

Trust me - Moon landings footage isn’t a fake

IN this July 20, 1969 photo, astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands next to the Passive Seismic Experiment device on the surface of the the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. By HOWARD BERRY Head of Post-Production and Programme Leader for MA Film and Television Production, University of Hertfordshire IT’S BEEN half a century since the magnificent Apollo 11 Moon landing, yet many people still don’t believe it actually happened. Conspiracy theories about the event dating back to the 1970s are in fact more popular than ever. A common theory is that film director Stanley Kubrick helped NASA fake the historic footage of its six successful Moon landings. But would it really have been possible to do that with the technology available at the time? I’m not a space travel expert, an engineer nor a scientist. I am a filmmaker and lecturer in film post-production, and – while I can’t say how we landed on the Moon in 1969 – I can say with some certainty that the footage would have been impossible to fake. Here are some of the most common beliefs and questions – and why they don’t hold up. ‘The Moon landings were filmed in a TV studio.’ There are two different ways of capturing moving images. One is film, actual strips of photographic material onto which

a series of images are exposed. Another is video, which is an electronic method of recording onto various mediums, such as moving magnetic tape. With video, you can also broadcast to a television receiver. A standard motion picture film records images at 24 frames per second, while broadcast television is typically either 25 or 30 frames, depending on where you are in the world. If we go along with the idea that the Moon landings were taped in a TV studio, then we would expect them to be 30 frames per second video, which was the television standard at the time. However, we know that video from the first Moon landing was recorded at ten frames per second in SSTV (Slow Scan television) with a special camera.

you can’t overcrank your camera, but you record at a normal frame rate, you can instead artificially slow down the footage, but you need a way to store the frames and generate new extra frames to slow it down. At the time of the broadcast, magnetic disk recorders capable of storing slow motion footage could only capture 30 seconds in total, for a playback of 90 seconds of slow motion video. To capture 143 minutes in slow motion, you’d need to record and store 47 minutes of live action, which simply wasn’t possible.

‘They used the Apollo special camera in a studio and then slowed down the footage to make it look like there was less gravity.’

Well, maybe they did have a super secret extra storage recorder – but one almost 3,000 times more advanced? Doubtful. ‘They shot it on film and slowed down the film instead. You can have as much film as you like to do this. Then they converted the film to be shown on TV.’ That’s a bit of logic at last! But shooting it on film would require thousands of feet of film. A typical reel of 35mm film – at 24 frames per minutes second – lasts 11 minutes and is 1,000 foot long. If we apply this to 12 frames per second film (as close to ten as we

Some people may contend that when you look at people moving in slow motion, they appear to be in a low gravity environment. Slowing down film requires more frames than usual, so you start with a camera capable of capturing more frames in a second than a normal one – this is called overcranking. When this is played back at the normal frame rate, this footage plays back for longer. If

‘They could have had an advanced storage recorder to create slow motion footage. Everyone knows NASA gets the tech before the public.’

can get with standard film) running for 143 minutes (this is how long the Apollo 11 footage lasts), you would need six and a half reels. These would then need to be put together. The splicing joins, transfer of negatives and printing – and potentially grains, specks of dust, hairs or scratches – would instantly give the game away. There are none of these artefacts present, which means it wasn’t shot on film. When you take into account that the subsequent Apollo landings were shot at 30 frames per second, then to fake those would be three times harder. So the Apollo 11 mission would have been the easy one.

‘The lighting in the footage clearly comes from a spotlight. The shadows look weird.’

‘But the flag is blowing in the wind, and there’s no wind on the Moon. The wind is clearly from a cooling fan inside the studio. Or it was filmed in the desert.’

‘Well, we all know Stanley Kubrick filmed it.’

It isn’t. After the flag is let go, it settles gently and then doesn’t move at all in the remaining footage. Also, how much wind is there inside a TV studio? There’s wind in the desert, I’ll accept that. But in July, the desert is also very hot and you can normally see heat waves present in footage recorded in hot places. There are no heat waves on the Moon landing footage, so it wasn’t filmed in the desert. And the flag still isn’t moving anyway.

Yes, it’s a spotlight – a spotlight, 93m miles away. It’s called the sun. Look at the shadows in the footage. If the light source were a nearby spotlight, the shadows would originate from a central point. But because the source is so far away, the shadows are parallel in most places rather than diverging from a single point. That said, the sun isn’t the only source of illumination – light is reflected from the ground too. That can cause some shadows to not appear parallel. It also means we can see objects that are in the shadow.

Stanley Kubrick could have been asked to fake the Moon landings. But as he was such a perfectionist, he would have insisted on shooting it on location. And it’s well documented he didn’t like to fly, so that about wraps that one up… Next? ‘It’s possible to recreate dinosaurs from mosquitoes the way they did in Jurassic Park, but the government is keeping it a secret.’ I give up. theconversation.com

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THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, July 11, 2019, PAGE 15

UK ambassador quits over leaked cables

LONDON Associated Press

BRITAIN’S ambassador to the United States resigned yesterday after being branded a fool and made a diplomatic nobody by President Donald Trump following the leak of the envoy’s unflattering opinions about the US administration. Storm clouds gathered over the trans-Atlantic relationship as veteran diplomat Kim Darroch said he could no longer do his job in Washington after Trump cut off all contact with the representative of one of America’s closest allies. The break in relations followed the publication of leaked documents that revealed the ambassador’s dim view of Trump’s administration, which Darroch described as dysfunctional, inept and chaotic. “The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” Darroch said in his resignation letter. He had

EX-British Ambassador Kim Darroch. been due to leave his post at the end of the year. In the leaked documents, he called the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran “incoherent,” said the president might be indebted to “dodgy Russians” and raised doubts about whether the White House “will ever look competent.”

PELOSI IMPLORES DEMOCRATS TO UNIFY WASHINGTON Associated Press

SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi yesterday stood before House Democrats with a lofty message and a stark warning. The battle-born leader implored her majority, after days of high-profile public infighting, to focus on common goals — including defeating President Donald Trump — and to silence the sniping that threatens their fragile hold on power. The lengthy closed-door session underscored the broader divisions between her centrist and liberal members — and between Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her “squad” of star-power freshmen — that are testing party unity and reshaping Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. “Without that unity, we are playing completely into the hands of the other people,” Pelosi said, according to a person who was in the meeting room but not authorised to talk publicly about the

internal discussion. “We’re a family and we have our moments,” Pelosi told colleagues. “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.” Then came the very Pelosi-like hammer to those who may want to publicly attack the members who make up her majority: “Think twice,” she said. “Actually, don’t think twice. Think once.” Ocasio-Cortez arrived late to the session and did not speak, according to a second person who attended the session. But she didn’t need to. AOC, as she is called, had already delivered her own lengthy pre-buttal to The New Yorker in which she decried the consolidation of power in Congress and urged her party to be bold about their priorities in ways that voters will hear. “I think we became the party of hemming and hawing and trying to be all things to everybody,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

A MOTHER carries her children as New Orleans battles flooding.

FLOODING SWAMPS NEW ORLEANS; POSSIBLE HURRICANE COMING NEXT NEW ORLEANS Associated Press A STORM swamped New Orleans streets and paralyzed traffic yesterday as concerns grew that even worse weather was on the way: a possible hurricane that could strike the Gulf Coast and raise the Mississippi River to the brim of the city’s protective levees. The storm was associated with a broad area of disturbed weather in the Gulf that forecasters said was on track to strengthen into a hurricane by the weekend. The system was expected to become a tropical depression by this morning, a tropical storm by tonight and a hurricane tomorrow,

according to the National Hurricane Center. Lines of thunderstorms associated with the system ranged far out in into the Gulf and battered New Orleans, where as much as 7 inches of rain fell over a three-hour period Wednesday morning, forecasters said. Mississippi and Texas were also at risk of torrential rains. In New Orleans, streets turned into small, swift rivers that overturned garbage cans and picked up pieces of floating wood. Water was up to the doors of many cars. Other vehicles were abandoned. Kayakers paddled their way down some streets.

“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” one missive said. Prime Minister Theresa May and other British politicians praised Darroch, condemned the leak — and criticised Trump’s intemperate comments, if only implicitly. Pointedly, however, Boris Johnson, considered the front-runner to replace May as prime minister, did not defend the ambassador after Trump’s tirade. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s rival for the post, said Wednesday it was “absolutely essential that when our diplomats do their job all over the world ... we defend them.” “We had a fine diplomat who was just doing what he should have been doing — giving a frank assessment, a personal assessment of the political situation in the country that he

was posted (to) — and that’s why I defended him,” he told reporters. “And I think we all should.” Speaking at a conference on media freedom, Hunt also criticised Trump’s verbal attacks on journalists. “I wouldn’t use the language President Trump used, and I wouldn’t agree with it,” he said. “We have to remember that what we say can have an impact in other countries where they can’t take press freedom for granted.” Darroch announced his decision the morning after a televised Conservative leadership debate between Hunt and Johnson. During the debate, Hunt vowed to keep Darroch in the post, but Johnson — his predecessor as foreign secretary — notably did not support the British envoy. “I think it’s very important we should have a close partnership, a close friendship with the United States,” said Johnson, whom Trump has praised in the past.

22 COUNTRIES URGE CHINA TO END DETENTIONS GENEVA Associated Press

HUMAN Rights Watch says 22 Western countries have issued a statement urging China to end mass arbitrary detentions and other violations against Uighurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region. The advocacy group hailed the “important” statement at the UNbacked Human Rights Council, which amounts to a symbolic step toward greater expression of concern about China’s policies in Xinjiang. The signatories issued the statement as a “letter” at the council, and stopped short of seeking a council resolution — a testament to the challenges of building support against increasingly influential China. Rights groups and the United States estimate up to 1 million Muslims may be arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang.

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