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VOLUME:116 No.199, OCTOBER 9TH, 2019


ALICIA WALLACE: Are we getting the next steps right?

Million gallons leaked in spill Full scale of disaster revealed as Equinor clean-up continues

By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter  EQUINOR officials in Grand Bahama yesterday confirmed that more than 35,000 barrels of crude oil have been recovered to date from its South Riding Point facility and efforts continue towards “full recovery” in East End. It’s been a month since “the catastrophic” oil spill at the facility on September 2 during Hurricane Dorian.

According to an official, 36,299 barrels have been recovered so far, which amounts to more than 1.4 million gallons of oil. Additionally, officials have “categorically denied” accusations of unsafe and unfair treatment of Bahamians who are working, along with foreign responders, to clean up the spill. Human rights and environmental activist Joseph Darville recently toured the facility and the affected pine forest area just north SEE PAGE THREE

ATTORNEY Fred Smith, QC, believes the government is acting outside of the limits of its powers through several measures designed to hammer down on shanty towns in Abaco, adding that in some respects, it has acted unlawfully. In the days following Hurricane Dorian’s passage, the government issued

a prohibition to build order for The Mud, Sand Banks, Farm and Pigeon Peas. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis later announced a plan to compulsorily acquire these portions of land. The government has also started to clean the areas, including bulldozing a few existing structures in Sand Banks, in Treasure Cay after the prime minister gave an order to do so. SEE PAGE FIVE

By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter

BUSINESSMAN Jonathan Ash yesterday claimed he can’t remember telling this newspaper he did not know former Cabinet minister Shane Gibson, despite evidence to the contrary. Mr Ash testified that he “can’t recall” adamantly telling a Tribune reporter that not only did he not know the former labour minister, the reporter must have been “crazy” for even asking him if he did. That, despite the fact that not only was Mr Ash quoted as saying the remarks in question, the evidence led during Gibson’s ongoing bribery trial, in which he is the key witness, suggests otherwise. During yesterday’s proceedings, lead defence attorney Keith Knight, QC, drew Mr Ash’s attention to SEE PAGE 10




By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter

IT’S DUNKIN’ DAY MERMAID Linzi takes part in 100 Jamz’ annual Dunkin’ for Boobies charity fundraiser – marking the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – outside Radio House yesterday. See page two for more. PHOTO: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff


By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter

WHEN Mary Thaysen built her “Category Five” house in East End, everyone “teased” her about it. But homes were destroyed and swept from their foundations in East Grand Bahama during Hurricane Dorian, hers remained intact, withstanding the wrath of the

MARY Thaysen outside her home in East End. monster storm as it sat over the island for two days with more than 155 mph winds and 20ft storm surge.   

Ms Thaysen — an 82-year-old retired nurse from Miami, Florida – had built a near perfect storm house in Gambier Point, East Grand Bahama. She was not on the island when Dorian came on September 2 but had seen pictures of the devastation on Grand Bahama and had expected to see some damage to her house, which is near the beach.

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper


POLICE are investigating the country’s latest homicide after a man was shot in broad daylight sitting near his Wilson Track home yesterday afternoon. The incident took place shortly after noon at Spence Court off Wilson Track.  According to Superintendent Shanta Knowles, a man was sitting on a log when a small grey vehicle drew up and the occupants, all armed, opened fire in his direction, fatally wounding him before speeding away. The Tribune understands the deceased is Shawquan SEE PAGE SEVEN



PAGE 2, Wednesday, October 9, 2019


’ N I K N U D FOR S E I B O O B L OCAL businesses were making a splash on Shirley Street yesterday for the Radio House annual ‘Dunkin for Bobbies’ charity fundraiser marking the start of breast cancer awareness month. Now in its sixth year the event has raised more than $30,000 and this year was no exception to the generosity of businesses and the public as more than $6000 was collected. Among those firms taking part were Aliv, Shell, Bahamas First General Insurance Company, Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits, Generali Worldwide, Evolve Functional Fitness, 1 on One Pre-School and New Oriental Cleaners. Photos: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

EDDIE THOMPSON, retail manager for Shell.

MALLORY Sands represent founder of the Cancer So ing Sands Beer pictured with her grandmother and ciety, Susan Roberts.

ARIAH McIntosh of One on One Preschoo


KIMAR RAJENDRA, representing Bahamas First.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PAGE 3


HUMAN rights and environmental activist Joseph Darville and Rashema Ingraham of Save the Bays and Waterkeepers Bahamas tour the Equinor spill site in East End on Tuesday.


of the oil terminal, which had 1.8 million barrels of crude oil stored there prior to the storm. The terminal has a capacity of 6.75 million barrels. While officials still not know how much oil was discharged in terms of volume from two of three storage tanks that were compromised, a company spokesperson assured the public that “our efforts continue for a full recovery.” In a brief statement on Tuesday, the company indicated its commitment to complete the clean-up in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. “Equinor has categorically denied any unfair and unsafe treatment related to Bahamian workers. We see the wellbeing of all of our team members as a priority. “We are pleased to meet with Joe Darville and hope is now in a more informed position. While we are dismissing his claims regarding the workers, we value his concerns and productive input,” the statement said. A company spokesman said Equinor officials met with Mr Darville and invited him to the facility for a comprehensive overview of the situation and what it is doing to clean up the spill. “He accepted an invitation to tour the facility, and today (Tuesday) he toured the operation,” the spokesman said.

Equipment When contacted, Mr Darville told The Tribune that he was satisfied with how the company is dealing with the situation and the clean-up. Last week he released a statement alleging Bahamian workers did not have proper clean-up attire and equipment. “In spite of this catastrophic event, we are very happy today that all instruments necessary and activity we see that the clean-up is being carried out in very diligent manner to our satisfaction. “This is still a catastrophic event and there is no diminishing that, but the strategies and protocols are there to mitigate and return ecosystems to the extent where they are able to repair themselves over a period of time,” Mr Darville said. According to Mr Darville, the Equinor team met with him and Rashema Ingraham, also of Save the Bays/ Waterkeeper Bahamas, last Friday at the Pelican Bay Resort and gave them an overview of what they were doing. The slide show presentation via computer, he felt, was not adequate, and they requested a site visit. “It was not sufficient at all, and we wanted to visit the site to see with our eyes what was being done, and to speak again with the experts at Polaris who are there as acting as the experts,” he explained. The tour was set for Friday but was

OIL on the ground at the Equinor facility in Grand Bahama – pictured in September. postponed due to bad weather to yesterday morning. “We went and they gave a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the operation on site, and I asked questions about what sort of treatment was done,” Mr Darville said. They were then taken on a tour with about eight to ten company officials of the forest area where the crude oil had been removed. Also accompanying them were environmental representatives here, as well as experts from Polaris, which had provided advice on the Exxon Valdez and the Gulf oil spills, and are now advising Equinor on best methods of dealing with the East End spill. According to Mr Darville, many acres of the affected pine forest were being uprooted, but the government had ordered them to cease that activity. “They were given orders by government to cease from uprooting pine trees saturated with oil. I gather the company and their advisor from aboard, Polaris, were told to leave pine trees there because it is a good possibility that they would survive,” he said. The environmental activist reported that a large area, about 35 to 50 acres of pine trees were uprooted, and that close to 700 acres of pine trees still have oil on them. Despite this, Mr Darville said the trees are showing signs of recovery. “Today happily I noticed there were some new green needles at the top of the pine trees, and I commended them for not uprooting them because oil was on the trunks,” he said. He believes that a lot of pine trees may continue to grow, but their main concern is its effect on wetlands in the area, particularly a huge area of 50 - 75 acres in middle of the pine forest. Mr Darville said there are mangroves growing in those wetlands,  fish and other animals. “Rashema Ingraham and I were happy they were showing due respect to the wetland which is very significant to

the water table,” he said. “I took a chance and touched the water and it is fresh water which means the wetlands is connected directly to the water system. “We were concerned about the wetlands and oil seeping into the water table. We have yet to determine that and we took samples a week ago and are waiting for the results, and hoping we do not find contamination into the water table,” he said. Concerning the spill, Mr Darville explained that initially the spill was being reported to be nothing of significance, not as extensive even though officials were aware of it.

Catastrophic He made a trip to the area and said it was obviously a catastrophic oil spill and was immediately concerned about the extent of it. “We traversed the whole area about two miles north of Equinor and it went all the way and had penetrated the pine forest. When we went back to see if any commencement of clean-up had begun we were baffled there was none a week after the storm,” he said. On their third trip to the area, Mr Darville had noticed that clean-up had started, but said he was shocked to see that Bahamian workers were not properly clothed or wearing breathing apparatus. “I put out a very powerful statement as people were on ground from different entities, and I was really depressed that Bahamians were not properly clothed,” he explained. After releasing his statement, Mr Darville said he was informed that workers were advised that they should not be on site unless they were properly clothed and with a breathing apparatus. Mr Darville said prior to that workers were standing in oil and water up their knees with boots on but had nothing on their heads and faces.


A US Congresswoman said yesterday that the US government wants to provide technical support to assist with restoration efforts in Abaco and Grand Bahama following Hurricane Dorian. Speaking to reporters outside of Lynden Pindling International Airport, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said the US wants to assist in the areas of housing, healthcare and the environment in the storm impacted islands. “We had briefings with NEMA. We had briefings with restoration team in the Abaco islands. We know that people are desiring to return back.

We listened to plans going forward that would help many residents be able to come back,” she said. “We know that part of the effort is to reestablish commerce and tourism,” she said, adding the US should stand ready to provide additional technical assistance. Her comments to the press came after touring Abaco, assessing the damage and immediate needs of the island following Dorian. Congresswoman Lee also commended the Bahamian people for their resilience in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. “It is evident that the people here are resilient and it is evident that a lot of work has taken place. What I saw today is a

constant, pragmatic effort, methodically putting together plans for people to be able to restore their lives,” she said. She said the US will be closely listening to the Bahamian government to determine what more can be done to assist with the restoration efforts. “Let me make it very

clear that the United States stands as a strong ally of the Bahamas and that we stand ready to help them in this long term restoration and I believe that we have already been strong participants in that and we look forward to the possibility of additional resources,” she said.

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Phillip “Brave” Davis has called on the Minnis administration to shorten the time it takes to declare a person dead once missing after a natural disaster. Mr Davis wants the change to be made to the Birth and Deaths Registration Act, which he discussed at the PLP’s monthly press conference yesterday.  He also said the PLP intends to oppose the draft bill that intends to introduce mandatory evacuations on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. Mr Davis said: “I am considering a proposed amendment to the bill to deal with the scores of reported missing persons in the aftermath of the storm who many presume sadly are dead.” Mr Davis said at the moment the law states that if a person is missing, they are not presumed dead until after seven years. “You have to wait for seven years to have a declaration of death. That causes a lot of challenges on the surviving family members. When circumstances such as a disaster points to the fact that they are not just missing anymore but circumstances suggest that they can’t be surviving that they are dead, why do we have to wait seven years? “There are issues of if they had a mortgage, issues of insurance there are other issues that will attend to that presumption that families will be saddled with. So the intended proposal. . . is to propose a period, for example persons who went missing during the passage of Dorian, we could deem that they are dead having regards to information that can be supplied by family members.” He added: “For example, in one of our visits to East Grand Bahama, we are being told stories of people being swept to sea. They (saw) them going out to sea and so do you think that person is still alive? Should we wait until seven years to say that they are dead?” The opposition leader said the party is drafting an amendment to suggest to the government at the House of Assembly today.  Mr Davis said: “(Hopefully the government) considers it to bring some closure to some of the families (instead of them) having to wait for seven years.” Regarding the PLP’s opposition to the draft Disaster Preparedness and Response Bill, Mr Davis said: “We intend to oppose the amendment of the act in its present form and oppose what the government

LEADER of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. proposes to do. “In short, in order to suspend civil liberties, which this bill proposes to do, you have to come squarely within the provision of Article 29 of the Constitution and this does not do that.” According to a draft of the bill, people who refuse to heed a mandatory evacuation order could face up to a month in prison. On Monday, Mr Davis along with Glenys Hanna Martin, Picewell Forbes and Senator Clay Sweeting travelled to Abaco in response to call from residents in the cays. He said the major complaint that greeted the delegation was the absence of governmental authority. The group visited Man-OWar Cay and Hope Town in Elbow Cay.  He said: “Before going into the cays, we rode around Marsh Harbour. The stench of death is ever present. With respect to the conditions of the cays, there was major damage and devastation. The first observation that struck us was the conspicuous absence of government presence.  “Bahamas Power and Light has done nothing to date to supply and restore power to the cays and all affected areas. In fact, we have been advised that no representative of BPL has been there to assess the damage as a result of the hurricane.” Mr Davis added: “The relief efforts are almost entirely driven by members of the private sector. It has gotten to the point where private sector individuals are seeking to do so themselves and we have advised that proposals have been submitted to BPL to permit their intervention, but to date no response has been forthcoming.” The opposition leader said the government “appears to be more concerned with public relations than actually doing their jobs” to help distressed people.  He said: “We are deeply concerned about the mental state of the people who endured and survived the hurricane, seen the death of their loved ones, and those persons whose families have not yet been found.”

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Nobel Prize in Physics for two breakthroughs Did the universe really begin with a Big Bang? And if so, is there evidence? Are there planets around other stars? Can they support life? The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to three scientists who have provided deep insights into all of these questions. James Peebles, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, won half the prize for a body of work he completed since the 1960s, when he and a team of physicists at Princeton attempted to detect the remnant radiation of the dense, hot ball of gas at the beginning of the universe: the Bang Bang. The other half went to Michel Mayor, an emeritus professor of physics from the University of Geneva, together with Didier Queloz, also a Swiss astrophysicist at the University of Geneva and the University of Cambridge. Both made breakthroughs with the discovery of the first planets orbiting other stars, also known as exoplanets, beyond our solar system. I am an astrophysicist and was delighted to hear of this year’s Nobel recipients, who had a profound impact on scientists’ understanding of the universe. A lot of my own work on exploding stars is guided by theories describing the structure of the universe that James Peebles himself laid down. In fact, one might say that Peebles, of all this year’s Nobel winners, is the biggest star of the real “Big Bang Theory.” The real Big Bang Theory As Peebles and his Princeton team rushed to complete their discovery in 1964, they were scooped by two young scientists at nearby Bell Labs, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. The remaining radiation from the Big Bang was predicted to be microwave energy, in much the same form used by countertop ovens. It was a serendipitous finding because Penzias and Wilson had constructed an antenna to detect this microwave radiation which was used in satellite communications. But they were mystified by a persistent source of noise in their measurements, like the fuzz of a radio tuned between stations. Penzias and Wilson talked to

Peebles and his colleagues and learned that this static they were hearing was the radiation left over from the Big Bang itself. Penzias and Wilson won the Nobel Prize in 1978 for their discovery, though Peebles and his team provided the crucial interpretation. Peebles has also made decades of pivotal contributions to the study of the matter which pervades the cosmos but is invisible to telescopes, known as dark matter, and the equally mysterious energy of empty space, known as dark energy. He has done foundational work on the formation of galaxies, as well as to how the Big Bang gave rise to the first elements – hydrogen, helium, lithium – on the periodic table. Finding planets beyond our solar system For their Nobel Prize-winning work, Mayor and Queloz carried out a survey of nearby stars using a custom-built instrument. Using this instrument, they could detect the wobble of a star – a sign that it is being tugged by the gravity of an orbiting exoplanet. In 1995, in a landmark discovery published in the journal Nature, they found a star in the constellation Pegasus rapidly wobbling across the sky, in response to an unseen planet with half the mass of Jupiter. This exoplanet, dubbed 51 Pegasi b, orbits close to its central star, well within the orbit of Mercury in our own solar system, and completes one full orbit in just four days. This surprising discovery of a “hot Jupiter,” quite unlike any planet in our own solar system, excited the astrophysical community and inspired many other research groups, including the Kepler space telescope team, to search for exoplanets. These groups are using both the same wobble detection method as well as new methods, such as looking for light dips caused by exoplanets passing over nearby stars. Thanks to these research efforts, more than 4,000 exoplanets have now been discovered. (This article is by Robert T. Fisher of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)

Response to our Haitian brothers and sisters EDITOR, The Tribune. PLEASE allow me a space in your valued chronicle to express my longstanding concerns as it relates to our collective social response to our Haitian brothers and sisters. Recently I was privy to a group of professionals discussing the current Haitian immigration crisis in our country. The Heaven that I have read about will classify those who conveniently disguise hatred with “national interest” as undocumented! ...for every Haitian -for -hire, for every Haitian vote courted (across all administrations),for every early Abaconian farm made to thrive under Haitian supervision - therein has existed a silent demand for “dem set”. I am no less “true true” Bahamian because I advocate for these people. I am a son of the Universe with a deep appreciation for the dignity of ALL people dignity and respect is human birthright! Nobody is “illegal” - “undocumented” yes, and should be processed quickly by the laws of this sovereign country - - but this sub human vitriol, and

rabid exclusion across these islands towards Haitians negatively consume too many of us. I am hoping that our nation’s leader doesn’t bow to the overwhelming pressure to broadly discard these humans as if they are secondary. He would be wise to know that it is the nature of this village to disrobe him as quickly as they have made him king. His must be leadership that considers the future and humanity. I also hope that, in his administration’s wisdom, it becomes clear that It took us decades to get here - it will take measured, humanitarian and internationally compliant means to get us out. Measured! All I wish for us to remember is that in our staunch positions, we should appreciate that we all share the same needs as human beings - we all have our fears, complexities, wear our badges of honor, seek love and validation, battle insecurities - - but are generally decent enough. Rule of law protects us, and I appreciate what is inscribed on our sacred doctors. What I can’t appreciate is the snide that comes with the

xenophobic dialogue. Ironically and in daily corporate, “indigenous” Bahamians are snubbed by less qualified “documented” suitors who clog upward mobility for Bahamians with superior skill sets. It is other Bahamians with clout and influence who invite and greet these folk with gifts and remuneration triple to ours ...they enjoy our hue steered confidence and hospitality - hospitality from the same ones who call Haitians all manner of darkness. It would be glorious to experience this decades old uprising in corporate where the take over of sorts is sanitised and appeased by big titles and small pay for the locals. I have my scars and continue to heal and grow as we all do, but I challenge myself daily to be a better man and to act as consciously as I must. No scripture or creed just basic innate goodness that we all have. That’s my human duty.   KIRKLAND PRATT Nassau, October 8, 2019.

Ignore the pundits and demolish the shantytowns EDITOR, The Tribune One by one our sadly out-of-touch public intellectuals and fake rights groups line up to feed the gullible among us their canned, imported take on the moral situation unleashed by Dorian. This version of events invariably rounds on the Bahamian public (supposedly “xenophobic”, yet hosting more foreigners per capita than any independent country in the Americas) and tries to fit the Haitian/ Bahamian dilemma into the script of other people’s histories (invoking Nazis, “ethnic cleansing” and Trump). For the record, Bahamians are not outraged and angry because they hate Haitians or are secret racial supremacists (oddly, against people of similar genetic backgrounds). Bahamians are outraged and angry because a succession of political leaders have failed miserably in protecting them from unregulated immigration and its appalling social consequences – like shantytowns. Fred Smith, a man once caught on tape describing “black Bahamians” (his words) as xenophobes is suddenly the champion of the downtrodden because he defends the rights of

LETTERS people to abuse our building codes and live in conditions that made them vulnerable to mass slaughter in the predictable event of an Atlantic hurricane. Bahamians are sick and tired of the out-of-control immigration and the government’s disgustingly permissive response to shantytowns (which contrasts sharply with both the government’s and our pseudo-intellectual community’s typically strident responses to the supposed failings of Bahamians). In our independent history two ministers, Loftus Roker and Fred Mitchell, came closest to fixing the immigration issue. Both were pilloried for their efforts. Hubert Ingraham, to his eternal shame, permitted the Mudd to be rebuilt not once but twice following fires that seemed like an omen of what needed to be done with the place. He and others failed to protect Bahamians who (unlike themselves and the rights groups/pseudo-intellectuals) have nowhere to be born

or die but in the public ward of PMH, nowhere to be educated but in public schools overrun with illegal migrants and nowhere to live but beside shantytowns which approach megacities while a Bahamian building so much as a backyard shed without a permit would face the heavy hand of the law. That is the real discrimination that we should be talking about – and its perpetrators are not Haitians, but an ignorant and out-oftouch “intelligentsia” and ‘illiterati’. I have never pretended to be a supporter of Dr. Minnis’ government (in part because I know it to be rooted in a party that represents foreign and capitalist interests disguised as “rights groups”). But if the PM stands firm and ensures that at least one tangible legacy of Dorian is the total absence of shantytowns in the Bahamas henceforth, he will have the support of at least 90% of Bahamians on that issue. Let the pundits, the fake intellectuals and sham rights groups prattle on. Nobody who counts is remotely interested. ANDREW ALLEN Nassau, October 7, 2019

The new $318 million US Embassy EDITOR, The Tribune. THE US new Embassy all $318 million zero impact to Treasury as all materials furnishing are Duty Free and Vat Free! Locating from Queen’s Street to Shirley certainly better for the primary applicants of US Visa’s the cruise ship crews. The retail outlets on Parliament Street might get some business, but little retail impact. Rejuvenation? Well for years an empty site will finally have a building on it…design unknown and it certainly would be interesting if under the Town Planning Act as this site is within the Olde Nassau City zone that Planning will make it available and subject

public input…hope coming soon? Traffic…locating here will reduce the Queen’s Street - One Bay Street issues going west easier - a plus! In out of site Shirley Street will be a traffic snarl right close to East Street. Victoria Gardens…Central Bank should never have been given this site this should have been the new Parliament complex. Averaging a five plus out of 10 on merit the Embassy will have any or zero economic impact except for the few constructions workers. ABRAHAM MOSS Nassau, October 8, 2019.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PAGE 5

MARVIN DAMES: NO COMPROMISE OVER ABACO SAFETY NEEDS By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter AS looting and theft concerns persist in Abaco, National Security Minister Marvin Dames was adamant the government is very serious about security on the island, adding there had been no compromise over safety needs. “There are no games,” the minister said yesterday, as he faces criticism and calls to resign over a “weak” effort to ensure there is a proper plan to thwart crime in Abaco in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. On Monday, Victor Patterson, chairman of the Free National Movement’s Central and South Abaco constituency branch, called for Mr Dames to step down insisting he needed to answer for what he described as a “failure”. Yesterday, Mr Dames said everyone is entitled to an opinion while at the same time downplaying Mr Patterson’s concerns. He said people in Abaco and its cays had commended the government for its crime plan there. However, for those who are victims of crime, Mr Dames said there were sufficient mechanisms in Abaco for crime concerns to be expressed and addressed. Asked whether there was a decision on implementing

a curfew in Abaco, the minister said assessments were ongoing, but nothing was off the table. Last week residents on the island said the situation was quite worrisome because it seemed there was no law.

“Listen these are very sensitive times, but one thing is for certain we take security very seriously. There’s no compromise. There is no games here.” Marvin Dames One woman who did not want to be named said she and other residents were prepared to use their firearms to defend property and belongings. In one part of the island a makeshift sign was erected with words spray painted: “Turn around, you loot we shoot.” “We have a team down there. We have a police station. We have an active team,” the Mt Moriah MP told told The Tribune yesterday outside of a Cabinet meeting . “We continue to move officers in to bring in fresh officers and we continue to say to persons if you have a concern, your concern

is legitimate, if you were a victim then the station is there its open 24/7 and its being operated by both police and Defence Force officers. “And so like anywhere else if you have a complaint you go and register that complaint and that is what we continue to say. Last Monday I had a community meeting with residents of Abaco at Bishop Silbert Mills’ church and it was all over social media. “Many of the residents there were pleased with the level of progress and security that is on the ground. Over the weekend I was there throughout the island of Abaco and all of the cays and every time I stepped foot on a cay I was greeted by police and Defence Force officers and residents who spoke very highly of those officers. “The last cay was Hope Town and I have that too on video on social media and it’s not coming from me but from the residents who were very commendable of the efforts of officers.” He continued: “Listen these are very sensitive times, but one thing is for certain we take security very seriously. There’s no compromise. There is no games here. “That is what we do and hence the reason why this is my second trip within a week. I even over-nighted and spent two days touring

MINISTER of National Security Marvin Dames speaks to officers on a recent trip to Abaco. with the officers going over what the officers are doing and meeting on a regular basis with the commissioner of police and commodore and their teams going over their strategies so we take this very seriously.” Given the magnitude of Dorian’s damage, Mr Dames said looting was not out of the ordinary, pointing to the crime that took

place in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Have some people been victimised, yeah. I mean we’ve just gone through something that we would have never experienced before and if you look at any devastation of this magnitude you always have a problem with looting. If you look at Katrina same thing, you look at any devastation

that’s what you’re going to have. It’s not going to be devoid or absent of these things. “People look for opportunities to take advantage. That’s the reality that we’re living,” he said. Mr Dames said it was unfair for people to blame police for crimes in Abaco, but not report matters when they occur.



However, according to Mr Smith these actions go against an existing injunction and do not conform to the Acquisition of Land Act. The prohibition order is also void and illegal, he maintained. He accused Dr Minnis of heeding the cry of the “lynch mob” instead of rising above the fray to demonstrate respect for the rule of law and compassion for fellow Christians that have just suffered a terrible disaster. In a 12-page strongly worded letter, he said the law was not a one-way street and should be respected by the government as the same is required by citizens. Regarding the standing injunction, Mr Smith said it covers not only New Providence shanty towns, but those in Abaco. Last year Supreme Court Justice Cheryl GrantThompson granted the interlocutory injunction blocking evictions and service disconnections in those unregulated communities. Mr Smith’s letter was delivered to the Attorney General’s Office on Monday night by Callenders & Co and signed by Martin Lundy for Mr Smith who is outside the country recuperating after a near fatal accident.  “Accordingly the injunction covers all shanty town land in New Providence as well as such land on Abaco as is occupied by specific applicants who are residents of shanty towns in Abaco,” the letter read. “We stress that recent events do not change the terms of the injunction, which remains in full force and effect unless and until varied by the court. “Hurricane Dorian has not magically swept away their rights, as are being determined by this action. “…Nor can the injunction be overridden or side-stepped by the use of other executive powers, which are alarmingly being vocally expressed, in very draconian and terrifying terms, to our clients, by the executive. The use of such powers for that purpose would be improper. The injunction must be obeyed.” Mr Smith also shot down the validity of the government’s building ban.

FRED SMITH, QC. The six-month prohibition order was issued last month by the Ministry of Housing under the Planning and Subdivision Act. He said all zoning orders, including prohibition to build orders, must be made in conformity with a land use plan (LUP), which is mandated under Section 16 of the Act. “To our knowledge, no LUP under the (Planning and Subdivision Act) has been created or published for Abaco. Accordingly the prohibition order is void, illegal and of no effect as there is no LUP for Abaco for it to be in conformity with.” When contacted for comment, Attorney General Carl Bethel said the minister has six months to create the LUP. He said in the meantime the restriction on construction remained. He did not respond to further questions on Mr Smith’s argument.  “The director of physical planning under the PSA, has had nine years, since 2010, to engage in consultations and develop an LUP for Abaco and has failed to do so,” Mr Smith said.  He also said: “We put you on notice that to that extent it is likely unlawful and liable to be quashed in a judicial review. “We note with extreme concern the continued link that this government seeks to make between so-called ‘illegal’ migration as is apparent from, for example the article ‘PM orders acquisition of shanty town land’ published in The Tribune on October 3, 2019 and the occupation of the shanty towns in large part by those of Haitian ethnic origin. “We remind you that the purposes of the PSA

are listed in Section 3 of that Act and do not extend to anything that could remotely be considered relevant or connected to controlling or dealing with perceived illegal immigration to the Bahamas. “It would appear that that decision to make the order has been infected by such improper purposes because we note that the order purports to extend only to shanty town land and not all land that was devastated by Hurricane Dorian.” The letter continued: “We draw the inference that the government has picked shanty town land to make an order in relation to because of its preoccupation with illegal immigration. To the extent that such a purpose was a factor in making the order it would be liable to be quashed in a judicial review. “In addition, it is clearly discriminatory as it targets those persons on the grounds of their place of origin and ethnicity, and it is clearly unlawful under the constitution. To put it bluntly, it is nothing but rank, transparent, inhuman and degrading discrimination. In any event we put you on notice that a prohibition to build order is exactly that and nothing more.” As for the compulsory acquisition of the shanty town land, this is not unfettered or an executive act that the prime minister is responsible for in his capacity, Mr Smith said. The attorney noted this mechanism under the Acquisition of Land Act 1913 is only engaged “whenever it appears to the minister responsible for the acquisition and disposition of lands that any particular land is needed for a public purpose.” “The purpose of eradicating people from land based on their immigration status or ethnicity is plainly not a public purpose,” Mr Smith insisted yesterday, “nor is the purpose of defeating the injunction to the extent it applies in Abaco such a purpose. “To the extent that the decision is based on or takes into account those purposes it would be unlawful and liable to be quashed in a judicial review.

“It is particularly concerning that the prime minister appears to have been motivated by, or took into account, what he is reported as describing as ‘noise about properties of shanty towns,’ which we take to mean vocal complaints about the towns and those who live there. “The marketplace has been rabid with violent,

racist, xenophobic, discriminatory, hateful diatribes and invective against the poor victims of Hurricane Dorian in the shanty towns in Abaco. “It is distressing that the prime minister of the Bahamas heeds the cry of the lynch mob instead of rising above the fray demonstrating respect for the rule of law and compassion

for fellow Christians that have just suffered a terrible disaster, and we respectfully encourage the prime minister to desist from further inflaming the fuels of violence in so many forms against our clients. “Such considerations are plainly not relevant considerations and any decision based on it would be unlawful,” Mr Smith concluded.

PAGE 6, Wednesday, October 9, 2019



FROM PAGE ONE Shockingly, when she returned, the house was in near perfect condition. Only one wood panel on the outside had been split or chipped when something struck it during the storm. There was no flooding inside and no roof damage, and not one shingle was blown off or out of place. When The Tribune visited the area recently, Ms Thaysen and her son, Matthew, spoke about their resilient house near the beach.    “I call it my Category Five house and they all

“The house is all bolted together with big cypress wood; I had no flooding in the house, and my solar panel is still outside attached to the roof.” Mary Thaysen teased me about it,” she said. The elevation of the land is 17-ft above the sea level, and the house is built on five-feet concrete columns. Being raised in Miami and having been through a lot of hurricanes, Ms Thaysen did a lot of research before building her house in Grand Bahama. Her son and Vance Roberts were the builders. Instead of the usual concrete blocks, it was built of cypress wood. Instead of tiles or regular shingles, aluminum interlocking roof shingles were placed on

ABOVE: Mary Thaysen shows the aluminum shingles she put on her roof and (right) she stands outside her home in Gambier Point, East End. the roof. She had a cupola built on top of the roof to keep the house cool, and has installed some expensive vents on it that prevent rainwater from getting inside. Ms Thaysen stayed in her home during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, and said the experience was very scary. “This year I had to go to the doctor, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be here for (Dorian). Matthew scared the hell out of me with all the tornadoes,” she said. “The house is all bolted together with big cypress wood; I had no flooding in the house, and my solar panel is still outside attached to the roof.” Ms Thaysen said they used rough cut cypress, which is not only strong, but repels termites. They were also able to import it dutyfree because it is rough cut cypress, she added. “The termites are not supposed to like it. And I did not have much money

because I was retired. I had this lot since my brother was on the US Missile Base, and my dream was to be here on a big porch,” she said. All of the concrete houses in Gambier Point, East End, had sustained severe damage and flooding. Some residents reported having eight feet of water in their homes. One house in the area was also completely submerged by the surge. Resident Terrence Laing had flooding almost to his ceiling. He and four members of his family were able to survive by wearing life vests. They had to put his niece, who is unable to walk or talk, on a mattress.   That was the scenario for most of the homes in East End - Gold Rock,

Freetown, High Rock, Rocky Creek, Pelican Point, and McLean’s Town on the mainland, and in Sweeting’s Cay. “I saw pictures someone sent me and I expected something like (Hurricane) Andrew. I built a home in South Dade where Andrew hit, but you have to build based on the terrain – and not such much looks. I did all my research on the beaches and I took pictures - you don’t want (to have) overhang,” Ms Thaysen said.

Flooding Her next door neighbour’s house, which is built of concrete blocks, had some flooding, roof damage, and a couple of the hurricane windows had blown out. Ms Thaysen put wood shutters on her regularpane windows, and installed louvers that could open and close on the inside of her screened-in porch. She put a strap across the middle to keep it secure. “I can’t guarantee those would have stayed if it (the storm) came from the south

with direct winds like that. But by the elevation of the land, I did not get water and that is a God sent,” she said.   The American retiree joked that she also got a “ragging on” the aluminum shingles she put her roof.  “They cost a little more, but these shingles were the ones from the old homes in Key West, and I had to order them out of Houston,” she recalled. “But each panel, each little piece is interlocked with each other, plus you have to screw it down and caulk it.”   She also explained that “by my getting rough cut cypress, because it’s duty free, we had to plane (shape) every piece. But when you get rough cut and if it calls for 2x4, you are getting a straight 2x4 – you’re getting strong lumber. I am so proud of my house.” The homeowner also took extra steps to ensure that the steel bars were zinc-coated and sealed so that the salt from the seawater would not rust them and cause the concrete column to break away. Building on columns,

according to Ms Thaysen, allowed the water to flow through and not put pressure on the structure. Another characteristic of cypress, she said, is that it has a tough stringlike thickness inside that is dried like a coconut. “When you put a nail in it you can’t get it back out,” she said.   The only disappointment for Ms Thaysen is that her trees and plants, and her stoned walkway to the beach, and the beach itself, were destroyed by Dorian.

Portrait Looking at a portrait hanging in her living-room that an artist had painted of her two grandchildren on the beach near her home, she said: “This is how our beach was, and now it is no more. He (Dorian) has taken our beach. It was a big beautiful beach,” she said. Ms Thaysen said that she and her son are “so fortunate” when many of her neighbours and other homeowners in the East End were severely impacted.  

THE SCENE outside Princess Margaret Hospital on Friday.


ONE Central Andros High School student remains in New Providence for issues unrelated to the school bus incident in Andros last Friday, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday. Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet, Dr Sands confirmed that of the 49 students that were airlifted to New Providence last week following suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, 48 of them have already returned home. The group, containing children ages 10

to 17, was en route to Central Andros High School from Cargill Creek when officials believe smoke from the exhaust entered into the cabin, causing the students to fall ill. Several of them went in and out of consciousness and experienced confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness. After being treated at Fresh Creek Andros Clinic, the group was then sent to the capital for additional treatment and further monitoring. However, since the incident, The Tribune understands that all of the children who have returned home are doing well.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PAGE 7


IT IS disappointing that Potter’s Cay Dock vendors called for dock manager Gregory Minnis to resign during their protest last week, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday.  The government’s parking policy, preventing patrons from parking in front of stalls, has upset vendors who complain of reduced business. 

Statement The ministry said in a statement yesterday: “The ministry acts in the role of landlord for the vendors operating on Potter’s Cay. The representative of the ministry at that venue is the manager. “Any concerns that vendors may have should be communicated to and dealt with by the manager and, whenever appropriate, advanced to the ministry’s senior management. “The manager at Potter’s Cay is not empowered to act on his own outside of the oversight of the ministry, and as such, routinely updates his superiors on concerns relative to the vendors. Therefore, it was disappointing that the group of vendors protesting sought to personalise their concerns to the manager.” The ministry reiterated that parking is no longer allowed in front of stalls because doing so disrupts the steady flow of traffic on Potter’s Cay and creates safety concerns. “The call to relax those restrictions rests with the RBPF and the harbour master and both have expressed their concern

about such,” the ministry said. Officials also said they hope proper lighting in the east and west parking lots will be fully erected soon so patrons can park in safe, well illuminated spaces. The ministry said it has issued letters to businesses on East Bay Street whose workers have been using parking spaces reserved for Potter’s Cay patrons, telling them to discontinue doing this. Work is also continuing to electrify dock stalls, though the work has been slow, the ministry said.  “The ministry wishes to assure the public that the historic site of Potter’s Cay remains a priority, however we are fully aware of the complex issues in bringing Potter’s Cay to its full potential,” the ministry said. “We have begun discussions with a number of stakeholders, including the vendors, toward that goal in the short and long term and will update all stakeholders as things progress.

Success We are deeply committed to the success of the vendors and the creation of quality cultural space for Bahamians and visitors alike and we look forward to a productive working relationship with all parties involved.” In June, the ministry released a similar statement saying it was working on measures to renew confidence in the dock. Last week, vendors guessed that nearly 60 people have been laid off since the new rules were implemented and 15 stalls have closed down. Vendors spoke about struggling to pay bills as their profits dramatically decreased. 

THE BODY is removed from the scene yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


Johnson, 22, however, his identity was not released by police. This latest killing pushes the murder count to 82 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.  Distraught relatives and members of the community flooded the scene, however they did not speak to reporters. At the scene, Supt Knowles said: “(The victim) appears to be in his early twenties. He was known to the police but of course we will not release his identification until we have officially completed that process. And it is too early to determine (if this incident was gang related). That is as much (information) that we have at this time.  “We are appealing to members of the public, the members of this community Wilson Track, Spence Court, who may have information or who may have seen what may have happened here this afternoon to give us a call so we can take these people into custody and put them before the courts.  “We are pleading with members of the public to give us information that can assist us in solving this matter as quickly as possible.” When asked if police would identify Wilson Track as a crime hot spot, Supt Knowles said: “I don’t want to say a

SUPERINTENDENT Shanta Knowles speaking to the media at the scene of the latest homicide yesterday afternoon. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff hot spot. “I believe that the people in the community may have information on incidents that are brewing. We want to encourage people that know of accidents to let us know so we can intervene and save the lives of our young men. We are committed to working these communities and making them safe for everyone. “I believe that our communities are still safe, there is some stuff going on that people know and again we are begging them to give us the information so we can make it safe for all of them and save the lives of the young

men in our communities.” Supt Knowles said police have been doing “good work” over the last few months, noting recent arraignments connected to multiple murder cases. “That also speaks to the partnership that we have with members of the community and we want to say thank you to those who understand the importance of partnering with the police and making our communities safe.” Anyone with information is asked to call police at 919, 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS.

PAGE 8, Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Are we really getting the next steps right? M

ANDATORY evacuation, on the surface, seems like a good idea. It is for everyone’s safety, right? We want to ensure the government can legislate for our safety particularly when we expect disaster will strike. We need to know people in the most vulnerable areas not only have somewhere else to go, but are compelled to go. Mandatory evacuation means people must either leave their homes to go to the designated locations or face jail time, fines, or both. It takes away the ability to choose. It is easy to excuse this, thinking of rescue workers whose lives would be in danger should they have to save those who chose not to evacuated. It is easy to call it care for the people themselves people who are too foolish to care as much about their own lives as we, on the outside, do.

Decisions People who, clearly, are not as smart as we are because we, of course, would evacuate. We would trust a government making decisions about many islands from the comfort of one island in particular, and we would believe it knows what is best for us on our island which it rarely considers outside of election season. We believe the people who do not evacuate should be punished. They deserve it. They are being reckless and selfish. That goes for the young couple that just bought its new home and just wants to be together in it. When a storm is brewing, there is no time for sentiment. It

also goes for our grandmothers who have known their homes to withstand everything from the day they moved in. The same grandmothers who, when

“Even as we look back on what happened before and during Hurricane Dorian, it is clear that even hindsight is flawed. How much of a difference would mandatory evacuation have made? Do we know who chose not to evacuated and how they were impacted? Were the areas included in evacuation notices the ones hardest hit?” they are ill, will let us come in and care for them, but will not leave to come to our homes where we think they will be more comfortable and receive better care. The same grandmothers who have routines and memories, only some of which we understand, and whose effective remedies, tested and proven by our own bodies, spring from the earth itself? They are wrong to want to be where they have

always been, and they ought to be punished for their refusal to move. Not only punished, but criminalized. The Bahamas is an island nation. We only have so far to run. Shelters failed us in the first days of September. They did not protect people the way we expected. People still had to flee, after watching the hurricane and waiting for the best time to escape. There was no predicting the devastation. If we had known, entire islands would have been evacuated. People would have been directed to other pieces of rock, not to different buildings on different parts of the same rock. Here we are, however, talking about mandatory evacuations and the criminalization of people whose lives would never be the same after the system chewed them up and spit them out. We care about each other so much that we would do this - an act, we insist, of love. Really? What about the undocumented who already live in fear, who do not want to present themselves at a shelter or any other government-operated facility, and to whom we have proven we do not care and will “repatriate” them in the midst of crisis so they can be displaced and destabilized yet again, but this time, better, because we will not see it. What a Christian nation we are proving ourselves to be these days, selective in

THE RUBBLE of a destroyed neighbourhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in Abaco, pictured in September. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

our love, in our duty, in our acknowledgement and expression of humanity. What should our next steps be? Weather systems are ever-changing and our preparation systems are imperfect. Even as we look back on what happened before and during Hurricane Dorian, it is clear that even hindsight is flawed. How much of a difference would mandatory evacuation have made? Do we know who chose not to evacuated and how they were impacted? Were the areas included in evacuation notices the ones hardest hit? We also need to consider the way we legislate. Is imprisonment an appropriate response to refusal to evacuate one’s home? There have to be better ways to protect people if that is, indeed, what we are trying to do. We need to be clear on what we are doing for safety, what we are doing for optics, and what we are doing to appear busy. We need to set priorities.

Protocols We are still in hurricane season. Shelters need to be identified and tested. A notification system needs to be designed and tested. Disaster management protocols need to be developed. A team should be working on a comprehensive report on Hurricane Dorian, the missteps and pitfalls, gaps, strong partnerships, lessons learned and opportunities. Residents should know the timeline for relief efforts led by the government. By now, we should know when and how people will be transitioned from shelters to temporary homes. We should know how much, in weight, dollar amount, and quantity, has been given to the government for distribution and how the donations are being managed. There should be a database with information about people who

evacuated to various islands and are staying with family members and friends. We should not still be playing guessing games or depending on personal relationships to gain access to critical information. We all need to know what is happening now and be clear on the plan for the coming months. It is clear we cannot sustain our efforts at the current scale or pace for much longer and we need a long-term plan. It cannot be developed in isolation, so government agencies, non-profit organizations, donors, and those impacted by Hurricane Dorian need to find ways to meaningfully engage, regularly communicate and build solutions - and it needs to happen now.



here are times when the days seem longer. It often depends on what we are doing, how we are doing it, who is with us, and where we have to go next. There is little room to self-assess or to make adjustments unless an intentional effort is made and supported by other parties. When burning the candle at both ends, it is necessary to have a standard of care for ourselves. When we neglect to prepare for such times, there is nothing to provide a cushion when we are heading for a crash. It is liking having insurance. Either you are going to bear the brunt of it, ready or not, or you have been investing in a system that will support you when the unexpected occurs. We all need a list of people we can call when we are trouble. It may be one person for relationship issues, another for stress at work, another person for financial difficulty, and yet another for when we have no idea what is wrong, but

we feel “off”. We need someone to call when it is time to go for a long drive, gas price permitting. We need someone to remind us of who we are and, sometimes, who we are not. If you don’t already have one, start making that list so when the days are a little harder, you don’t have to think about who to call.

Joy Over the past week, I have given in to small pleasures. It has been a busy period, and tempting to be laser-focused on work. Due to a series of events and unusual circumstance, I decided to do more than work. I made it to Short Tales, part of Shakespeare in Paradise at The Dundas which I highly recommend, and June Collie’s art exhibition which I had been looking forward to for weeks and was worth the wait. It was difficult to make adjustments in my schedule to ensure that I could do these things, but I knew it was important to cultivate joy for myself. Early last week, I went to the beach on a cool day that threatened rain and thoroughly enjoyed the solitude. Friends have given me glasses of lemonade, smoothies, lunch recommendations, photos of their recreational time, ice cream, funny photos and words of affirmation. These seem small, but they all have meaning and purpose, and serving as a reminder that while we are responsible for ourselves, sometimes we need a little a help. It is gift to be cared for, and a privilege to be able to offer care to one another. As you do for others and allow them to do for you, take time to feel not only the gratitude we are reminded to have all the time, but the joy that comes with it. None of us can really earn it, but we all deserve care.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PAGE 9



ONCE-REVOLUTIONARY APP GONE IN MAC UPDATE By RACHEL LERMAN AND ANICK JESDANUN AP Technology Writers SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It’s time to bid farewell to iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy. That assumes, of course, that you still use iTunes — and many people no longer do. On iPhones, the functions have long been split into separate apps for music, video and books. Mac computers follow suit Monday with a software update called Catalina. Music-subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music have largely supplanted both the iTunes software and sales of individual songs, which iTunes first made available for 99 cents apiece. Apple is now giving iTunes its latest push toward the grave. For anyone who has subscribed to Apple Music, the music store will now be hidden on the Mac. Sidelining the all-in-one iTunes in favour of separate apps for music, video and other services will let Apple build features for specific types of media and better pro-

mote its TV-streaming and music services to help offset slowing sales of iPhones. In the early days, iTunes was simply a way to get music onto Apple’s marquee product, the iPod music player. Users connected the iPod to a computer, and songs automatically synced — simplicity unheard of at the time. “I would just kind of mock my friends who were into anything other than iPods,” said Jacob Titus, a 26-yearold graphic designer in South Bend, Indiana. Apple launched its iTunes Music Store in 2003, two years after the iPod’s debut. With simple pricing at launch — 99 cents a single, $9.99 for most albums — many consumers were content to buy music legally rather than seek out sketchy sites for pirated downloads. But over time, iTunes software expanded to include podcasts, e-books, audiobooks, movies and TV shows. In the iPhone era, iTunes also made backups and synced voice memos. As the software got bloated to support additional functions, iTunes lost the ease and simplicity that gave it its charm. And with online cloud storage and wireless syncing,

THE ITUNES application is displayed on a computer. Apple’s latest operating software for Mac computers kills off iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) it no longer became necessary to connect iPhones to a computer — and iTunes — with a cable. Titus said he uses iTunes only to hear obscure Kanye West songs he can’t find streaming. “At the time it seemed great,” he said. “But it kind of stayed that same speed forever.” The way people listen to music has changed, too. The U.S. recording industry now gets 80% of revenue from paid subscriptions and other streaming. In the first half of 2019, paid subscriptions to Apple Music and competing services rose 30% from a year earlier to 61 million, or $2.8 billion, while revenue from digital downloads fell nearly 18% to $462 million. “The move away from iTunes really does perfectly mirror the general industry move away from sales” and toward subscriptions,


said Randy Nelson, head of insights at Sensor Tower. Rachel Shpringer, a 35-year-old patent agent in Los Angeles, spent years curating playlists on iTunes. But over time, she realised that was cutting her off from new music. She now gets music through a SiriusXM subscription. The Mac’s new Music app, which gets the old iTunes icon, is the new home for — drum roll — music. That includes songs previously bought from the iTunes store or ripped from CDs, as well as Apple’s free online radio stations. It’s also the home for Apple’s $10-a-month music subscription. Apple Music subscribers will no longer see the iTunes music store, unless they restore it in settings. Nonsubscribers will see the store as a tab, along with plenty of ways to subscribe to

Apple Music. (On iPhones, iTunes Store remains its own app for buying music and video.) The iTunes store for TV shows and movies will still be prominent on Macs, though now as part of the TV app. Video available to buy or rent will be mixed in with other movies and shows — including exclusive offerings through Apple TV Plus. The new Podcasts app gets a feature that indexes individual episodes, so you can more easily search for actors or fads that don’t appear in the podcast’s text description. The Mac previously got separate apps for voice memos and books, including audiobooks. The iPhone syncing and backup functions traditionally found in iTunes have been incorporated into the Mac’s navigation interface, Finder.

• ASTRONAUTS hustled through the first of five spacewalks to replace old batteries at the International Space Station on Sunday. Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan removed three old batteries and installed two new ones delivered just a week ago, getting a jump on future work. These new lithium-ion batteries are so powerful that only one is needed for every two old ones. “Awesome work today. We have made great progress,” Mission Control radioed. Koch replied: “It has been a wonderful day ... we look forward to the rest of the series.” Koch and Morgan will venture back out Friday for more battery work 250 miles (400 kilometres) up. The 400-pound (180-kilogramme) batteries — half the size of a refrigerator — are part of the space station’s solar power network. Astronauts have been upgrading them since 2017 and are now more than halfway done. The old ones are 10 years old; the new ones are expected to last until the end of the space station’s life, providing vital power on the night side of the Earth. These latest battery swaps are especially difficult given the extreme location on the station’s sprawling frame. It’s too far for the 58-foot (17-metre) robot arm to reach, forcing astronauts to lug the batteries back and forth themselves. That’s why so many spacewalks are needed this time to replace 12 old nickel-hydrogen batteries with six new lithium-ion versions.

T WW W.EASY242.COM OR CALL 461.0100

T N E M N O IR V N E E H T & S LE ELECTRIC VEHIC THE CHALLENGE: The environmental impact of transport is significant because it is a major user of energy, and burns most of the world’s petroleum. This creates air pollution, including nitrous oxides and particulates, and is a significant contributor to global warming through the emission of carbon dioxide. The transportation sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the United States. An estimated 30 percent of national GHGs are directly attributable to transportation. 15% of global CO2 emissions are attributed to the transport sector, and it is considered a major factor in Climate Change. By reducing transportation emissions globally, it is predicted that there will be significant positive effects on Earth’s air quality, acid rain, smog and climate change. (source: Wikipedia) EVS MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). There are many reasons why one might consider making the switch to an EV – electric cars are higher efficiency than gas-powered cars, can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, they require less maintenance than most cars, and the total cost of ownership is calculated to be about 65% less than comparable gas vehicles. Best of all, it empowers drivers to reduce their Carbon Footprint while enjoying all the benefits. SUSTAINABILITY: One draw for many people who decide to buy an electric car is that EVs are often considered to be one of the most sustainable forms of transportation available to the consumer today. Unlike hybrid vehicles

PIE charts from partner in our journey to a more sustainable future. There have been recent misleading media reports on the topic. Forbes concludes and many agree that: “EVs are responsible for considerably lower emissions over their lifetime than vehicles running on fossil fuels, regardless of the source that generates the electricity.” This means that even if our electricity is primarily from fossil fuels for now, driving an EV will, over its lifetime, likely still have a lower environmental impact when compared to a conventional car. or gas-powered cars, EVs run solely on electric power. An EV can run 100% on sustainable, renewable resources like solar. In The Bahamas we are heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to generate our electricity which puts our country in an unsustainable

situation where fluctuations in global oil prices can heavily impact our economy and our energy security. As we aim to meet our stated National Energy Policy goal to produce 30% of our energy needs form renewable sources like solar by 2030, Electric Vehicles are a natural

EFFICIENCY: Outside of the resource used to produce your power, another reason why electric vehicles are considered more sustainable than traditional ones is because electric car efficiency is higher. When the gasoline in conventional vehicles combusts, only 20% of the

energy is converted into power to run the vehicle. On the other hand, EVs are more efficient and convert 60% of the electric energy to propel the vehicle, making better use of our resources. (Source: When comparing an EV option to a conventional gasoline vehicle (or even a hybrid option), car shoppers also often evaluate MPGe, otherwise known as miles per gallon equivalent (of gasoline). The EPA calculates MPGe by representing the number of miles a vehicle can go given the equivalent amount of energy that would be contained in one gallon of gasoline. The average MPG of a typical gasoline-powered car is around 24.7 miles per gallon. While that’s much more efficient than in the past, it’s not much when compared to the MPGe of electric vehicles on the market today. Electric vehicles available now can have a comparable “fuel economy” in excess 100 MPGe – more than quadruple the efficiency of conventional vehicles. Isn’t that what we want, a cleaner, more affordable and sustainable world for our children? Electric vehicles as they currently stand are far less polluting than their combustion engine counterparts.  Their adoption can only lead to a reduction in harmful emissions currently affecting our climate, and our health. As the technology becomes more mainstream, it is likely to become even more efficient and sustainable.  Electric vehicles are not a panacea but combined with greater deployment of renewables and the decarbonisation of the electricity grid, they offer a pathway to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

PAGE 10, Wednesday, October 9, 2019


then have them take another exam to be licensed and registered as a nurse. HEALTH Minister Dr “That then goes to the Duane Sands hopes he Ministry of Health who then can reduce the waiting time sends it on to the Public Serfor getting nurses placed vice Commission.” through the health care The problem with this prosystem “to as little as two cess, according to Dr Sands, months.” is that these steps occur conLast month, Dr Sands told secutively, which ultimately reporters that post-Hurricane prolongs the waiting period Dorian, some 70 registered for the placement of nurses. nurses were waiting to fill “What they ought to positions throughout the do perhaps is to modify public health sector. the process, so it happens Speaking outside of Cabiconcurrently. MINISTER of Health net yesterday, he said it’s “So, if one process takes a unfair for nurses to have to Dr Duane Sands. month and another one takes wait so long considering the six weeks and so forth, you could imagmany responsibilities they have. ine that these individuals are waiting “This issue takes far too long. What and waiting and waiting even as they happens is you have a series of steps are being asked to work full time,” he from the time that nurses complete said. their training. He continued: “We think this is unac“They then take an examination ceptable and even though it is heavy that’s graded. They then have that lifting, we’re going to get it done so that information go to UB (University of we can compress this process, I hope to the Bahamas). They then determine as little as two months from the time whether they have graduated,” he said. they complete their nursing training “They then have them go to the Nurs- until the time they get their letters of ing Council. The Nursing Council will appointment.”


TRIBUNE’S QUESTIONS: ASH ‘CAN’T REMEMBER’ FROM PAGE ONE statements Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis made in Parliament about him in June 2017 concerning the work he did during the Hurricane Matthew clean-up efforts. According to Mr Knight, as a result of Dr Minnis’ remarks, The Tribune contacted Mr Ash for comment. But when contacted, Mr Ash told the reporter: “Boss man, get off my phone talking (expletive). I don’t know Shane Gibson. You crazy?” Afterwards, Mr Ash ended the phone call abruptly. Mr Ash, in response to a question from Mr Knight yesterday, said he couldn’t remember saying those words. When Mr Knight told him he was not speaking the truth in saying he can’t remember, Mr Ash replied: “That’s what you say, sir.” Mr Ash said he could only remember some of what Dr Minnis was quoted by The Tribune as saying in Parliament concerning him, though he specifically said he remembered hearing his name being mentioned.  When asked if from what he heard, Dr Minnis referred to him in a “negative way”, Mr Ash said: “I wouldn’t say that.” When Mr Knight asked Mr Ash if he was then pleased with what Dr Minnis said about him in Parliament, Mr Ash said: “I wouldn’t say I was pleased. He said it. I wasn’t upset neither.”  But when Mr Knight asked Mr Ash if he would ever deny knowing Gibson, the man said: “No, sir.” Yesterday, Mr Knight also questioned Mr Ash about his immunity agreement and the circumstances surrounding how Mr Ash came to give a second statement to police concerning Gibson. According to Mr Knight, Mr Ash gave a first statement on June 28, 2017, and a second statement in

FORMER Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson arriving at court. PHOTO: Shawn Hanna/ Tribune Staff September of that year. In response to questions from Mr Knight, Mr Ash explained that he had to sign a second statement because “slight changes” were made to his statement. He said he couldn’t say how many “slight changes” were made, but said he was the one who made the changes. Mr Ash also said that a police detective decided that the changes needed to be made. He said just himself and the detective were present when the changes were made. Mr Knight subsequently asserted that Mr Ash gave the second statement the day after he had signed an agreement with the Crown to ensure he would be granted immunity from prosecution in the matter. Concerning the immunity agreement, Mr Ash said it was his lawyer at the time, Alicia Bowe, who dealt with those negotiations with the Attorney General’s Office. He said he never had any direct contact with officials at the AG’s Office during those negotiations, and only did when he actually signed the agreement. Mr Ash said the signing of

that agreement took place at the AG’s Office. The evidence has that document as being signed on June 27, 2017. Mr Ash said the attorney general was present at the time and also signed the agreement. Mr Ash initially agreed with Mr Knight that he “went to the police” and gave a statement the day after he signed the immunity agreement. Mr Ash, in response to a question by Mr Knight, said he knew he would not be prosecuted while he was giving the second statement. However, Mr Ash later said he couldn’t recall when he signed the second statement, and that “they (the authorities) dated it that day”. He further stated that though he wasn’t certain when he signed the second statement, he “went to the police before” he signed. The month after Mr Ash signed the immunity agreement, however, a freezing order was issued against his bank account at Commonwealth Bank over allegations that he had fraudulently received public funds. The original order was dated July 5, 2017; a variation was made on July 20 of that year. The freezing order was discharged on September 24 of this year. Nonetheless, Mr Ash said while the freezing order was in place, he could still conduct daily banking transactions, such as depositing and withdrawing money. Previously, Mr Knight said the order stipulated that Mr Ash could withdraw only $100,000 per week from his account. Mr Ash also said that monies could still be wired to his account. “They froze my money, not my account,” Mr Ash said. Gibson is charged with 15 counts of bribery. He has denied the allegations. The case continues.

Full Military Funeral Service For Retired Sergeant #1039

Perry Nelson Taylor, 60 of Bellot Road will be held on Thursday, October 10th, 2019, 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Market Street. Officiating will be Rev. Dianna Francis assisted by Father Stephen Davies (R.B.P.F. Chaplin) and other ministers of the gospel. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road. Perry was pre-deceased in death by his Parents: Sidney & Patricia Taylor and older Brother: Carlton Taylor. Loved ones that will miss Perry until they meet again includes Children: Periquo (Julie), Lennia, Darren, Perrino, P/C#4238 Perry Jr. and Danar; Siblings: Patrick Anthony Taylor, Randy Taylor (Ralandra), Crystal Taylor, Coral Taylor-Stubbs (Egbert), Andrea Taylor-Martin (Richard) and Brenda Ward (adopted sister); Grandchildren: Periquo Jr., Tamia, Ahmir, Ahmad, DiMaggio, Donovan, Christopher, Darrenique, Darren Jr. & Darren Taylor, Leah & Alexander Sherman and Knea Ranger; Nieces and nephews: Devado, Patrick Jr., Patrico, Patrano, Patalia, Darrio, Stephon, Able Woman Kristen Duncan, Krishawn & Kristoff Farrington, Annthonya Stubbs, Annthoneycia Taylor, Annthanique Taylor, Gregory Fowler (Alexis), Jyade Fritz, Aaliyah Taylor, Antonio Taylor, Sydnii Stubbs, Aaron Stubbs, Dareika FarringtonSpleen, Rashad Martin; Michael, Ricardo & Shauna Eneas; Karen, Kim & Krisel Flatts and Nigel Gilbert; R/ Constable 18 Marco Thompson, Kevin Farquharson, Derwaine Reid, Asa & Ariel Henderson, Warren Joseph, Joel Hill, Cheniqua Gardiner- Hill, Rolanda Epstein, Technical Sergeant Jolisa Keju, United States Air Force, Sharalyn Keju-Taylor, Candice Gardiner, Kevonne Farquharson (Goddaughter), Stephanie Johnson-Farquharson; Grand nieces and nephews: De’Arja & De’Asia Spleen, Chardae Murphy, Tre Smith, Kristia Farrington, Alisha Rahming, Davanya and Alyssa Taylor, Kareem, Kashunda, Kaizaiah, Khalilah & Kebrina Flatts; Aunts: Patricia Bethel (Retired Nursing Sister), Sheila Carroll and Willamae Farrington; Cousins: Rev. Anthony Carroll, Margaret, Maxine & Alexandria Lindsay, R/Cpl. 920 Yvette Darling, Nathaniel Darling, Rosemary Mackey, Wendell Smith, Duke Smith, Kennedy, Wayne & Donna Strachan, Glenroy Woods, Marcia McMorris and Verna Larry; Extended Family: Sharon Gardiner-Taylor, Dr. Beulah Gardiner-Farquharson, Roland, Albert, Bernard, & Des Gardiner, Rich Tyrone Henderson, Elizabeth Gardiner- Keju, Lynn Gardiner-Henderson, Magistrate Sandradee Gardiner, Paula Gardiner, Juliette Gardiner, Willemighn van de Klundert; Other Relatives and friends including: Lovely Miller & family, Magistrate Koschina Marshall, D. Jermaine, Kevin, Elton & Kayshel Smith, Candice Larry, Camisha Williams, Dr. Gerald Forbes, The Lindsay family, Kendal Rahming, Stephen Adderley and family, Marvin Neely, Ivrance, Michelet and Kenard Meronard, Gladys Dawkins & family, Elsaida Davis & family; Pastor Godfrey Stubbs, Lloyd & Jennifer Sands & family, Valentino LaFrance, Marvin Watson, Wayne Miller, Rudolph Pratt, Howard Bethel, Aretha Hinsey, Rochelle Burrage, Cynthia Rolle & family, former Senator Keith Bell & family, Noel, Wendy, Charles & Oakie Duncan, former Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, D. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour – Dion Foulkes, Permanent Secretaries – Cecilia Strachan, Marco Rolle & Reginald Saunders, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson and his Executive team, His Excellency- Ellison Greenslade, Reserve Commandant Juanita Colebrooke, Supt. Anthony Butler, Asp. Andrew Hunter, R/Sr. ACP Stephen Seymour, R/Chief Superintendent – Ronald Campbell, R/Superintendent – Sylvester George, R/Sgt. 640 Philip Clarke, The Royal Bahamas Police Force, Pop Band and Police Band, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Band, Her Majesty Prison Band, New Providence Port Development Company, Credit Suisse Nassau Branch, FirstCaribbean International Bank, Ministry of Labour, Financial Intelligence Unit, Bahamas Faith Ministries International, the entire Bain & Grants Town Community, Saxons Superstars, The Valley Boys, Roots Junkanoo Organization, Genesis Warhawks Junkanoo Organization and Music Makers Junkanoo Group. The family apologizes if we have inadvertently failed to mention your name. We want you to know that it was not intentional. Viewing will be held at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, Police Headquarters, East Street on Wednesday (TODAY) from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until service time.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply for the following career opportunities at University of The Bahamas, Oakes Field Campus: Writer, News and Publications, responsible for working closely with the University’s constituents to develop diverse narratives in alignment with the University’s strategic priorities, for print, digital and online media and publications. Other duties include, but are not limited to, conducting interviews as may be required for University publications, press releases and special projects; producing news and feature stories to raise the profile of the University nationally and internationally; conducting research, content gathering, writing and review of communications for the Office of Grants (Non-Research Corporate and Foundation Grant Activity); contributing to regular media tracking and data analytics reports and liaising with clients of the Office of University Relations in the provision of communications services through the OURHelpdesk. Media and Communications Assistant whose duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, providing administrative and technical support in the execution of corporate communications, media relations and marketing support strategies. Other responsibilities are facilitating mass electronic distribution of approved newsletters, notices, communiques and press releases as directed; coordinating and maintaining records for external advertisements, publications and notifications; liaising with media, communications and other vendors in the provision of services for the Office of University Relations; initiating general purchase requisitions as directed; and providing public relations assistance with key University events. Human Resources Information Systems Analyst responsible for coordinating with IT and HR teams to analyze all HRIS requirements; develop and implement various HRIS procedures and prepare customized reports for various finance and payroll teams. Other duties include, but are not limited to, resolving queries and ensuring accuracy; preparing all business documents and providing upgrades, if required; monitoring HRIS systems and maintaining integrity of all data; preparing reports for all HR systems and applications, analyzing systems to resolve all issues and escalating all customer issues to management to provide efficient resolution; and preparing user manuals for ERP applications. Detailed position announcements are accessible online at: Interested applicants should submit the following to the Human Resources Department via (Attn: Vice President, Human Resources) by Friday, 18th October 2019: · A cover letter of interest highlighting work experience and accomplishments relevant to the position; · Completed UB Employment Application Form (

· Current curriculum vitae or resume; · Copies of relevant qualifications and certificates; · Copy of the relevant pages of a valid passport showing passport number, photo identification and expiration date; · Copy of N.I.B. Card; · At least three (3) written, professional references.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PAGE 11


MEMBERS of the Miami Dolphins NFL organisation were in Grand Bahama showing their humanitarian support to Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian, distributing relief and care packages to several hard-hit communities on Saturday. Bahamians have always been loyal fans of the Dolphins and it was indeed a special honour for them to help deliver care packages to residents of Heritage, Regency Park, and Hawksbill subdivisions, where many homes were severely flooded and damaged by storm surge.

Retired Miami Dolphin NFL players Mark Cooper, Jim Jensen, Jason Jenkins, and Louis Oliver were among the first group that arrived in Freeport around 9am. Their first stop was at the YMCA, where they helped pack care packages

in the gymnasium for distribution to various communities. The event was a major relief effort in partnership with the Miami Dolphins, Mission Resolve, the Rotary Club, and the National Emergency

Management Agency. The group also visited members of the nonprofit emergency food relief group World Central Kitchen at the Grand Lucayan Resort. They also went to the Champs Community Centre in Hawksbill where they interacted with youth of the Falcons Boys Club and with residents, and helped to distribute hot meals to some 1,200 persons and supplies in that community. Their last stop was at Hope Force International home on Pioneers Way, ending a very busy day in Freeport before departing the island. Mark Cooper recalled travelling to Grand Bahama in its hey day many years ago on vacations and

was happy to return to the island to help Bahamians devastated by the storm. “I used to come here back in ‘80s to have fun and enjoy myself, so why not come here and help out when help is needed,” he said. Jason Jenkins, Miami Dolphins senior VP of communications and community affairs, said that his heart goes out to the Bahamas and the Bahamian people.

“We are honoured to be here,” said Mr Jenkins. “Our owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel understands we are true stewards of the community, and that through the Football Unites programme we want to make communities healthier, educated and more united, and being out here in Grand Bahama is a great testament to that. We want to make sure we are here for the long-term recovery efforts.” Mr Jenkins said they know many Bahamians are Dolphin fans, and that they want Grand Bahamians to know they intend to continue to support them. “Being in proximity of South Florida, we are definitely appreciative of the support and we want to bring that support here. So, our heart goes out to the people who are suffering, but, more importantly, we want them to know we are here for them for the long term.” Patxi Pastor, co-founder of Mission Resolve Foundation, said the group was honoured to be part of the relief effort. “The Miami Dolphins was kind enough to be one of our sponsors,” he said.

PAGE 12, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

RECUPERATING SANDERS SAYS HE MAY SLOW DOWN PACE OF CAMPAIGN By WILSON RING, STEVE PEOPLES AND WILL WEISSERT ASSOCIATED PRESS BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Bernie Sanders began reintroducing himself to the 2020 campaign on Tuesday, venturing outside his Vermont home to say that he doesn’t plan on leaving the presidential race following last week’s heart attack — but that he may slow down a frenetic pace that might have contributed to his health problems. “We were doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people. I don’t think I’m going to do that,” BERNIE Sanders SANDERS told reporters when asked what his schedule may look like going forward. “But I certainly intend to be actively campaigning. I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit. I’ll make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.” Pressed on what that meant, Sanders replied: “Well, probably not doing four rallies a day.” Sanders’ campaign has said he will be at next week’s Democratic presidential debate in Ohio. But it hasn’t commented on if or when he’ll resume campaigning before that — or what his next steps will be. NBC News announced it would air an “exclusive” interview with Sanders, his first since the heart attack, on Wednesday. His health problems come at a precarious time, since Sanders was already facing questions about being the oldest candidate seeking the White House, and he has seen his recent poll numbers decline compared to 2020 rival Elizabeth Warren, his chief competitor for the Democratic Party’s mostprogressive wing. Sanders, a Vermont senator, also recently shook up his campaign staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, which kick off the presidential nominating process. “I must confess, I was dumb,” Sanders said in front of his house, speaking in soft, calm tones with his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, looking on behind him. “Thank God, I have a lot of energy, and during this campaign I’ve been doing, in some cases, three or four rallies a day all over the state, Iowa, New Hampshire, wherever. And yet I, in the last month or two, just was more fatigued than I usually have been. And I should have listened to those symptoms.”



WASHINGTON (AP) — In a span of 24 hours, President Donald Trump moved from threatening to obliterate Turkey’s economy if it invades Syria to inviting its president to visit the White House. But Trump did not back away Tuesday from a plan to withdraw American troops from Syria as he tried to persuade Turkey not to invade the country and attack the U.S.-allied Kurds — a needle-threading strategy that has angered Republican and Democratic lawmakers and confused U.S. allies. “This is really dangerous,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. Trump tweeted that while U.S. forces “may be” leaving Syria, the U.S. has not abandoned the Kurds, who stand to be destroyed if Turkey follows through with its planned invasion. The Kurds lead a group of Syria fighters who have been steadfast and effective American allies in combating the Islamic State in Syria. Turkey, however, sees the Kurds as terrorists and a border threat. Joseph Votel, a retired Army general who headed Central Command’s military operations in Syria until last spring, wrote on The Atlantic website Tuesday that mutual trust was a key ingredient in the U.S. partnership with the Kurds. “The sudden policy change this week breaks that trust at the most crucial juncture and leaves our partners with very limited options,” Votel wrote. Jonathan Schanzer, a Syria scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said even a limited Turkish incursion into northern Syria could quickly escalate. “The president is doubling down on this — seems to be reversing course,” Schanzer said. “He’s trying to convey to the American people that he’s made the right decision. Of course, (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is going to see this as a green light.” The confusion began Sunday when the White

IN this photo from Friday, Turkish and American armoured vehicles patrol as they conduct joint ground patrol in the so-called ‘safe zone’ on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria. President Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. troops in Syria would step aside to make way for a Turkish military operation against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters unleashed a torrent of near unanimous criticism and warnings of immediate and long-term negative consequences. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad, File)

House issued a late-night statement saying U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would step aside for what it called an imminent Turkish invasion. The statement made no mention of U.S. efforts to forestall the invasion, leading many to conclude that Trump was, in effect, turning a blind eye to a slaughter of Kurds.

Conflict On Monday, amid criticism from some of his staunchest Republican supporters, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump suggested he was washing his hands of the Syria conflict, saying in a tweet that “it is time now for others in the region ... to protect their own territory.” But he also threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if its military action in Syria went too far. Administration officials argue that Trump is employing strategy in response to Erdogan’s insistence during a phone call Sunday with Trump that he was moving ahead with a military incursion into Syria. Erdogan seemed to have rejected a joint U.S.-Turkish plan, already being carried out, to create a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border to address Turkey’s security concerns. The execution of

that plan included dismantling some Kurdish defensive positions on the Syrian side of the border. Without initially saying his administration was still trying to talk Erdogan out of invading, Trump ordered the 50 to 100 U.S. troops inside that zone to pull back for safety’s sake. He then emphasised his desire to withdraw from Syria entirely, although no such broader pullout has begun. U.S. military leaders have recommended keeping U.S. troops in Syria to ensure a long-term defeat of IS. Pentagon officials said Tuesday that Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the new Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Mark Milley, participated in Trump’s phone call with Erdogan on Sunday, contrary to some reports that Pentagon leaders had been blindsided by the decision to pull troops back. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. According to U.S. officials, Turkish troops on Tuesday were massed along the border in apparent preparation for an incursion across the border. But they said that so far there have been no signs of an actual assault beginning. The officials, who were not authorised to discuss details of military intelligence, said there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Turkish troops along

the border apparently ready to go. The officials said they expect the Turks to begin with airstrikes, followed by barrages from heavy artillery along the border and the movement of ground troops into Syria. Kurdish forces have some air defences, such as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, but would be outgunned by the Turks. Trump has boasted about U.S. success in defeating the so-called Islamic State, but his critics now accuse him of abandoning a U.S. ally, setting the Kurds up to be killed. They also worry that if the Kurds end up fighting Turkish forces, they won’t be able to guard detention centres in Syria that house thousands of captured IS fighters.

Penalties Trump supporters say the president’s threat of sanctions could make Erdogan secondguess his planned incursion or perhaps limit it so as not to be slapped with financial penalties that would hurt the Turkish economy. Trump on Monday said he was fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, and he warned Turkey that he would ruin its economy if any American personnel are harmed. Striking a notably

friendlier tone, Trump on Tuesday said Erdogan will visit the White House on Nov. 13. He defended Ankara as a big U.S. trading partner, saying it supplies steel for F-35 fighter jets. In fact, the Trump administration removed Turkey from the F-35 programme last summer because the Turks refused to cancel the purchase of a Russian air defence system that is incompatible with NATO forces. As part of that process, the U.S. will stop using any Turkish supplies and parts by March 2020. Trump said Turkey understands that “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency.” Turkey’s vice president said his country won’t bow to threats in an apparent response to Trump’s warning to Ankara about the scope of its planned military incursion into Syria. Fuat Oktay said in a speech Tuesday that Turkey is intent on combatting Kurdish fighters across its border in Syria and on creating a zone that would allow Turkey to resettle Syrian refugees there. “Where Turkey’s security is concerned, we determine our own path, but we set our own limits,” Oktay said. Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.


By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ and JANIE HAR Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines. PG&E said it would begin turning off power to 800,000 customers in 34 counties starting after midnight Wednesday amid forecasts of windy, dry weather that create extreme fire danger. To the south, Southern California Edison also said Tuesday that more than 106,000 of its customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts. Outages are planned in more than half of California’s 58 counties,

although not everyone in those counties will have their power cut. The news came as residents in the region’s wine country north of San Francisco marked the two-year anniversary of deadly wildfires that killed 44 and destroyed thousands of homes. San Francisco is the only county in the nine-county Bay Area where power will not be affected. The utility had warned of the possibility of a widespread shut-off Monday, prompting residents to flock to stores for supplies as they prepared for dying cellphone batteries, automatic garages that won’t work and lukewarm refrigerators. Flashlights, batteries and propane tanks for barbecues were in high demand as people prepared for an outage that PG&E said may last “several days.”

“We sold out of lanterns this morning. The shelf is completely empty,” said Howard Gibbs, the manager at Ace Hardware in the town of Lafayette, 20 miles (32 kilometres) east of San Francisco. “We’ve got just a few flashlights left, and we’re down to our last couple propane tanks, too.” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf asked residents Tuesday not to clog 911 lines with non-emergencies and urged people to be prepared. The city canceled all police officers’ days off in preparation for the outages. “We all know the devastation that fires can cause,” she said. In 1991, a grass fire torched the Oakland Hills, killing 25 people and destroying more than 3,000 homes. PG&E said it was informing customers by text and email about where and when the power would be cut. But its

website, where it directed people to check whether their addresses would be affected, was not working most of the day Tuesday after being overloaded with visitors. Gov. Gavin Newsom said PG&E had no choice given that it would have faced liability for fire damage but he said customers are right to feel outraged. The utility needs to upgrade and fix its equipment so massive outages aren’t the norm going forward, he said. “No one is satisfied with this, no one is happy with this,” he said. The outage will also affect portions of the agricultural Central Valley, the state’s northern and central coasts and the Sierra Nevada foothills where a November wildfire blamed on PG&E transmission lines killed 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise.

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