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PHASE 3: Churches, gaming houses, and some island beaches open – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has moved the country into Phase 3 of its plan to re-open the economy, reducing curfew hours and relaxing restrictions on several sectors.

The 24-hour curfew will be lifted effective next Tuesday across the country, allowing free roam for residents between 5am and 9pm. However, weekend lockdown will continue on Fridays at 9pm to Mondays at 5am.

During the lockdown, residents may exercise in their immediate neighborhood between 5am and 9pm.

This upcoming weekend will include the Whit Monday holiday and the Labour Day Holiday.

In Phase 3, non-essential storefront business operations with essential staff may reopen, though they must post protocols and train their employees as to those protocols.

Stores must limit the number of customers based in stores and manage lines outside of storefronts with markers and security staff.

Minnis said churches will be allowed to resume in-sanctuary services on Saturdays and Sundays on June 6.

According to the governments phased plan, education operations, including national examination based on appropriate social distancing and masks.

The prime minister said he expects the education minister to make an announcement concerning the BGCSE examinations so as not to disadvantage students.

Law firms, justice of the peace and real estate agencies, financial services, including accounting services may operate between 9am and 5pm.

Retailers, including suppliers of cleaning mechanicals, fabric stores, auto part stores and mechanics, may operate between 7am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Effective June 2, public beaches and parks will be opened on all islands except Bimini, Eleuthera, Exuma, Harbour Island, New Providence, Paradise Island and San Salvador.

At that time, commencement of graduation ceremonies, funerals and weddings, in groups of no more than 30, can be convened with the approval of the competent authority.

Minnis said the public must act responsibly and continue to follow the advise and recommendations from health professionals.

International travel remains restricted to nationals returning home with strict protocols, he said.

He said: If we dont, again unnecessary lives will be lost.

Minnis said without moving into the new norm, the entire economy can be destroyed and rather that losing a few jobs, we can lose all

We are living in a new normal in which we must continue to practice.

He said before relaxing measures further, a risk assessment must be performed to explore the risk of opening of further; the ability of the public healthcare system to rapidly detect a resurgence of cases and absorb the load, as well as its ability provide medical care.

The prime minister said social distancing and hygiene measures undertaken in The Bahamas has not only limited the spread, but saved lives.

As of today, there were 100 confirmed cases of the virus, of which 43 were active.

There have been 78 cases in New Providence, 13 in Bimini, eight in Grand Bahama, and one in Cat Cay. The last confirmed case was on May 23. Six patients remain hospitalized.

The rate of cases demonstrates a flattening of the curve. There remain no specific therapeutics or vaccines for the virus.

He said as the country moves to reopen domestically and internationally, the public must remember the pandemic is ongoing, and all precautionary measures must be taken.

He said those who feel ill, must follow protocols to seek medical attention and call in advance of visiting a healthcare facility.

He said a mask must be worn, and residents should continue to reframe from handshaking and touching their faces.

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PHASE 3: Churches, gaming houses, and some island beaches open - EyeWitness News

BPC sets new date for oil exploration in The Bahamas – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS The Bahamas Petroleum Company has announced December 15 as the new date for the start its exploratory oil drilling in The Bahamas.

BPC received formal notification from the government in February to proceed with plans to drill exploratory oil wells before the end of 2020.

The company has four licenses in the territorial waters of The Bahamas, which was extended until 31 December 2020.

In March 2020, we were within weeks of commencing the drilling of our Perseverance #1 exploration well when we were compelled to defer due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, said BPC CEO Simon Potter in a statement.

Immediately, we undertook a range of activities necessary to reschedule activity toward the end of 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021, consistent with our license obligations (as extended for the declared force majeure event), by which time we expect the worst of the broad suite of impacts of the pandemic to be behind us.

To this end we are have entered into a rig contract with Stena Drilling, which provides a firm series of parameters on rig rate, provision of mobilisation and demobilisation costs, and defines a revised drilling window of 15 December 2020 to 1 February 2021.

BPC was initially granted the license for exploratory oil drilling in 2007 and subsequently got two renewals under the Christie administration.

The government currently maintains that itwas legally obligated to extend that license.

BPC now estimates the total cost of Perseverance #1 to be in the range of $21 million to $25 million a material reduction from the most recent prior comparable estimate.

In addition, the company continues to assess there to be up to $5 million in potential operating contingency costs, and has scoped up to $5 million of provisional costs for additional formation evaluation work that the company could elect to incur in a success case.

BPC has noted however that theextent to which these contingent elements are utilised will not be known until closer to or during drilling operations, and decisions in relation to incurring those items will be based on capital availability at that time.

A group of US representatives have also expressed their opposition to BPCs oil exploration efforts and have seeking to dissuade the Bahamian government from authorizing exploratory drilling.

Key concerns were penned in an April 17th letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo andStephanie Bowers the Charg dAffaires at the US Embassy in Nassau by Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell along with several other representatives.

The local and international environmental community have also called on the government to respond to the Congress members letter promptly and to immediately revoke the exploratory license granted to BPC.

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BPC sets new date for oil exploration in The Bahamas - EyeWitness News

Sailing vloggers defend isolation in Bahamian waters – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS An American couple isolating on their sailboat in the Ragged Island chain confirmed today that they legally cleared Bahamas Customs and Immigration before entering Bahamian waters.

Captain Brian Trautman and his wife Karin, who host a sailing travel vlog, were featured in a BBC World Service report yesterday which quickly made its way around Bahamian social media yesterday.

The story was widely received by Bahamians with outrage many of whomquestioned whether the couple was in Bahamian waters legally and whether they were poaching from the waters given footage showing them catching crawfish.

In an interview with Eyewitness Newstoday, Trautman insisted that these misconceptions were not true.

We did in fact legally clear into the Bahamas through Customs and Immigration and were provided a cruising permit for our boat and fishing permit, as well as paid all our fees required for checking in, he said.

Since the lockdown order came into place we have observed the notices by sheltering in place.

We are very passionate about conservation and following the laws and guidelines set out by The Bahamas government, and go out of our way to support marine conservation initiatives.

He further explained that the content for their videos is filmed weeks in advance,so the footage shown during the interview was filmed in February and March prior to the lobster season-ending.

Trautman noted that it isunderstandable how easy it is to mistake that everything filmed is current, however, he sought to assure that they are not breaking or flaunting The Bahamas rules while the rest of the country is on lockdown.

He said the negative backlash received from the story has been something new for them, given that they always try to portray a positive image of the people they meet and the places they visit.

The couple has been sailing from country to country on board the SV Delosfor more than 10 years, exploring the worlds oceans.

Trautman also expressed thanks for the support they have received from Bahamians in Duncan Town, who have made them feel very welcomed and safe, and have also helped to arrange the delivery of supplies from the mail boat.

When Eyewitness News reached out to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force yesterday, a spokesperson advised that they were looking into reports of the couples isolation in Bahamian waters.

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Sailing vloggers defend isolation in Bahamian waters - EyeWitness News

Government to appeal historic Bahamian court ruling on citizenship – NYCaribNews

NASSAU, Bahamas, CMC The Bahamas government has hinted atfiling an immediate appeal against a ruling by a Supreme Court judge that anyone born in the country to either a Bahamian mother or father is entitled to citizenship at birth, regardless of the parents marital status.

Attorney General Carl Bethel said that the ruling on Tuesday by Justice Ian Winder has sufficient public importance to warrant an immediate application.

The ruling is very interesting. It will be appealed in the public interest, he added.

The ruling contradicts the longstanding requirement that children born out of wedlock to Bahamian men and foreign women must wait until 18 to apply for citizenship.

The ruling could impact the immigration status of many people in the country.

Winder said the legal position must be that every person born in The Bahamas after July 9, 1973, shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of The Bahamas, irrespective of the marital status of the parents at the time of birth.

His ruling hinged on whether Article 14(1) of The Bahamas Constitution is applicable when interpreting Article 6, which states every person born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of The Bahamas.

Article 14(1) notes any reference in this chapter to the father of a person shall, in relation to any person born out of wedlock other than a person legitimated before 10th July 1973, be construed as a reference to the mother of that person.

The government had argued during the trial that the clear interpretation of Article 14(1)is that it applies to any provision that is capable of including the father.

But the judge ruled that Article 14(1) should not be applied to Article 6, noting Article 6 was clearly intended to be expansive, as reflected in the opening wordsevery person.

Article 6 was intended to afford an automatic right to citizenship in circumstances where one parent was a Bahamian citizen. The application (or misapplication) of Article 14(1) to Article 6 would take away that opportunity from the child born out of wedlock to access citizenship where one of his parents may be Bahamian, Winder said.

The judge has adjourned to July 29, another matter regarding the applicants in the case who include children purportedly born out of wedlock to Bahamian men andJamaican and Haitian women.

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Government to appeal historic Bahamian court ruling on citizenship - NYCaribNews

Scientists Find Hope For Reefs Battered By Climate Change: Bahamas Coral That Survive Hot Seas – WLRN

A team of scientists looking for coral that can better survive global warming have identified a hardier Caribbean coral in the Bahamas.

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The mountainous star coral off Great Harbour caught researchers attention after a searing 2015 bleaching event hit reefs across the islands. As water temperatures on Mermaid Reef soared above 91 degrees, the coral survived. Just a dozen miles away, similar star coral in cooler water died.

The finding, published in the journal Coral Reefs,could help researchers trying to breed more heat resilient coral in labs as they race to save reefs that have lost about 80 percent of their coral since the 1970s.

This reef is one place that's teaching us about what naturally resilient corals look like, said co-author and Shedd Aquarium coral researcher Ross Cunning. We can use corals like these to optimize restoration efforts like growing corals in nurseries...to produce a new generation of corals.

The reef tract along Florida, the only inshore tract in the continental U.S., has been hit hard in recent years. A disease that appeared off Virginia Key in 2014has now spread south to the Keys and deep into the Caribbean, reaching as far south as Belize and east as the Dutch Antilles. Researchers suspect the disease may be spread by ballast water, but temperatures may also play a role.

The stony coral disease also coincided with back-to-back bleaching events and the largest and longest bleaching event on record that slammed reefs around the planet.

Coral scientists have been trying to buy time for the reefs by replanting fast-growing staghorn coral grown in nurseries. But a study this month that looked at replanted Keys coral found that although the coral did well initially, they eventually succumbed to the same stresses that killed wild staghorn. Fewer than 10 percent of the corals survived beyond seven years.

That puts more urgency on efforts to raise more heat-resistant coral like the kind being researched at the University of Miami, where researchers at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have been focusing on the algae that live inside the coral. In healthy coral, the algae photosynthesize to provide them with food. When temperatures get too high, the algae can instead start producing toxins so coral expel them.

In the Bahamas, star coral live with just four different kinds of algae that can provide some heat tolerance.

Corals are an animal and they have this really great partnership with micro-algae, said Katie Parker, the studys lead author.

The team found that the star coral on Mermaid Reef not only lived with a specific algae, but an algae that belonged to the same family. They also found the coral themselves were genetically identical to each other, Parker said.

An easy way to kind of explain this is if you relate it to humans. We're all the same species. We're all humans. But some of us are tall and some of us are short. And that's because of a specific gene that we have, she said. It can be the same way with corals, where they're all the same species of corals. But some are more thermally tolerant and some are not because of the genes that they have.

That combination led them to tolerate the higher temperatures while the nearby reef where coral died had more diverse coral and a greater diversity of algae. Its likely repeated bleaching events, and evolution, led to only the hardiest surviving on the shallow reef.

That means that new coral that could have drifted in, that were a different type, didn't have the right genes to fit in there. So they didn't survive, she said. So over time, this environment has become this place that only this kind of specific kind of coral genes can fit in and stay alive.

Identifying the coral and the algae can help lab breeders, but Parker and Ross said much work remains. Getting coral to breed is complicated and coaxing them into living with a specific algae is still a work in progress. Earlier this month, Australian scientists said they had identified 10 different heat-tolerant algae, but researchers still need to crack the code of getting the right coral with the right algae that are also willing to grow in different locations.

Successful reefs also need diversity, Cunning said.

We want reefs that have lots of different genetic types of coral. Some that are more heat tolerant, some that grow quickly, he said. But as an ecosystem, as a coral reef, it will have the highest resilience if it has high genetic diversity. So we want to make sure to preserve that genetic diversity. We can't have the reef entirely composed of one type of coral because then whatever negatively impacts that coral could destroy the whole system.

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Scientists Find Hope For Reefs Battered By Climate Change: Bahamas Coral That Survive Hot Seas - WLRN

Bahamas Petroleum signs rig contact for Perseverance #1 exploration well – Offshore Technology

]]> Bahamas Petroleum has contracted a sixth-generation drilling rig from Stena Drilling. Credit: Hamish Irvine.

Explorations and production firm Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has signed an offshore drilling rig contract with Stena Drilling to use its drilling rig for the Perseverance #1 well offshore Bahamas.

Under the contract, Stena Drilling will provide a sixth-generation drilling rig and associated equipment and services. This includes the supply of a managed pressure drilling (MPD) unit.

As per the terms of the drilling contract, BPC has reduced its cost estimate for the Perseverance #1 exploration well by around 15%.

BPC previously anticipated spudding the Perseverence #1 well in May/June.

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In March this year, it said it will delay the drilling of the well to October this year due to the adverse impact of Covid-19.

Bahamas Petroleum Company CEO Simon Potter said: This decision to lock in a rig now, at an already favourable rig rate, rather than try and second guess what markets and availability will look like later in the year speaks to our intent to ensure Perseverance #1 is drilled at the soonest opportunity, and provides the necessary certainty needed for operational planning.

Acting decisively in this way is consistent with our single-minded focus on technical delivery.

Importantly, the commercial parameters in the rig contract have allowed us to not only revise down significantly the anticipated well cost, but also clears the way to revisit our funding strategy with adequate time to ensure we have the funds available as and when we need them, on the best possible terms.

The drilling campaign will target recoverable prospective resources of around 770 million barrels of oil. BPC expects a potential upside of 1.44 billion barrels in the northern sector alone.

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Bahamas Petroleum signs rig contact for Perseverance #1 exploration well - Offshore Technology

Severe weather warning for Central and Northwest Bahamas – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for Central and Northwest Bahamas.

This includes Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and the Berry Islands.

The warning will remain in effect until midnight.

According to meteorologists, moderate to heavy rainfall along with thunderstorms associated with low to mid-level troughing was spotted via satellite imagers and radars from the gulf of Mexico and northwestern Caribbean sea.

This moist airmass is expected to produce prolonged rainfall, so localized flooding is possible during this event, the department said around 1pm.

Some of the thunderstorms will be severe at times and may cause strong gusty winds; dangerous lightning; heavy downpours; hail and possible waterspout or tornadic activity.

The department said boaters in the warning area should remain in port and residents should remain indoors and away from windows as conditions worsen.

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Severe weather warning for Central and Northwest Bahamas - EyeWitness News

Caribbean community organizations call for decisive action to end homophobic abuse and cyberbullying – UNAIDS

Ulysease Roca Terry was a gay Belizean fashion designer living with HIV. He had recently lost his mother and was coping with depression. Even without a new pandemic, it was a difficult time.

He was arrested for breaching COVID-19 curfew laws in April. While in custody he suffered homophobic slurs and bullying by a police officer. A video of the abuse was posted to social media. He also claimed that he was physically attacked while detained. Days later he died.

This month in the Bahamas, a video circulated on social media of a gender non-conforming woman being beaten by three men hurling homophobic slurs. One man smashed a piece of wood onto her head. Others slapped and punched her. As the video circulated online, some made fun of the victim.

While countries in the Caribbean focus on combatting COVID-19, community organizations have been raising their voices against the casual verbal, physical and emotional abuse that is a feature of life in the region for far too many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. And they are sounding an alarm that this cruelty is increasingly playing out online.

Caleb Orozco of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) spoke about Mr Roca Terrys case with a mix of sorrow and defiance. Mr Orozco is used to tough battles. He was the litigant who successfully challenged Belizes law banning consensual sex between same-sex partners in 2016.

The police cannot erode public confidence in its law enforcement role by showing disregard for the dignity and rights of individuals who are members of the most vulnerable groups: those with mental health challenges, those living with HIV and those with different sexual orientation, Mr Orozco said. It is the responsibility of the police department to enforce the curfew in a manner that is reasonable. Mocking people does not help to build public confidence that the police are there to protect ordinary citizens.

UNIBAM is calling for a transparent investigation, a review of the autopsy report and action to improve how the police treat members of vulnerable and marginalized communities, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 restrictions.

In Belize, a national dialogue is under way around a proposed Equal Opportunities Bill. A UNAIDS public opinion survey conducted in 2013 found that Belize was among the more tolerant Caribbean countries, with 75% of respondents agreeing that people should not be treated differently based on their sexual orientation. But this incident is a reminder that notwithstanding strides made in social attitudes and the law, pervasive challenges remain around prejudice and the abuse of power.

The Bahamas Organization of LGBTI Affairs has called the attack circulated on social media a hate crime and demanded that the perpetrators be prosecuted.

Around the world, this kind of hate crimethe targeting of a person with extreme violence because of who they areis denounced as among the most reprehensible modes of human conduct imaginable, Rights Bahamas said.

Alexus DMarco, Executive Director of the Bahamas Organization of LGBTI Affairs, insisted that there must be a broader dialogue and action to address social attitudes.

What does it say about us as a people that so many consider this a source of humour and entertainment? What are we to think when so many of the culprits are fellow women, who should be standing together in solidarity to oppose the many injustices faced in common as members of an oppressed gender in this society? Ms DMarco demanded.

The Bahamas is the only Caribbean country to have decriminalized sex between consenting adults of the same sex by an act of parliament. Still, lots more work needs to be done to bring social attitudes in line with the law. Advocates insist that hate crime legislation must urgently be enacted and enforced.

In both the Bahamas and Belize, state entities have joined civil society to denounce the attacks. The National AIDS Commission, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation have called for Mr Roca Terrys case to be thoroughly investigated. In the Bahamas, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development called for a swift prosecution to signal zero tolerance by the government and society for gender-based violence.

Alongside legislative reform and key population programmes, we must continue the social dialogue and law enforcement to create more peaceful and inclusive Caribbean societies for all, said James Guwani, UNAIDS Director for the Caribbean.

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Caribbean community organizations call for decisive action to end homophobic abuse and cyberbullying - UNAIDS

Fiscal deficit projected to climb to $1.3 billion EyeWitness News – EyeWitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest gave a sobering outlook on the Bahamian economy as he warned the governments fiscal plan will come at a necessary but unprecedented cost.

Delivering the 2020/2021 budget communication, Turnquest noted that given the current state of the domestic economy, the outlook for the near-term is very subdued.

The fiscal deficit is budgeted at some $1.3 billion, or 11.6 percent of GDP for the upcoming fiscal year.

It represents the largest deficit to be incurred by any Government in the history of The Bahamas, he said.

Turnquest also noted that recurrent expenditure, at some 22.4 percent of GDP in the upcoming fiscal year, is expected to remain relatively stable over the next two fiscal years, before tapering off slightly to 21 percent in FY2022/23.

Capital outlays are anticipated to decline from 4.5 percent in the upcoming fiscal year to steady around 2.0 percent over the medium term, which is in line with the Governments broader fiscal policy objective to make better use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and secure private financing for public projects, he said.

The fiscal deficit is forecast to decline from 11.6 percent in the imminent fiscal year to 6.7 percent in the subsequent year, with a further reduction to 2.9 percent in fiscal year 2022/23.

Turnquest said most sectors of the economy will take time to restart, and many businesses will need time to rebuild and rebound.

He said the Governments contributions to the economy will be a vital lifeline to keep the economic engine running.

Turnquest said the countrys rebound will be heavily dependent on how quickly travel resumes, noting that the Central Bank has forecast that real GDP in The Bahamas will contract by some 12 percent.

He noted that unprecedented times call for an unprecedented budget.

This budget is unlike any the country has ever seen before. The 12 months past have been unlike anything the country has ever experienced, he said.

Most sectors of our economy will take time to restart and many businesses will need time to rebuild and rebound. The Governments contributions to the economy will be a vital lifeline to keep the economic engine running, and to deliver the impact we seek from our immediate restoration plan.

The Resilient Bahamas Plan will come at a necessary but unprecedented cost. What is at stake is the unquestionable need to protect the Bahamian people, stabilize our economy and transform this crisis into an opportunity for our national restoration.

According to Turnquest the government expects toexpectsto run a deficit of some $1.3 billion, or 11.6 percent of GDP in the new fiscal year.

The imperative of investing in a strategy like the Resilient Bahamas Plan, coupled with the associated revenue loss from subdued business activity will result in an unprecedented fiscal deficit.

The governments plan he said seeks to achieve severalobjectives, namely: to protect thewell-beingand engender the confidence of our citizens and residents;maintain economic stability during the COVID-19 induced crisis; andplant the seeds for accelerated recovery.

In doing so, we will transform this crisis into an opportunity for our economic and national revival, he said.

Turnquest also stressed thatthere will be no tax increases.

While there may be headcount reductions due to retirements and expiring contracts for consultants and services, there will be no public sector layoffs. There will be no one left to fend for themselves while the economy is reeling from the worst slowdown in modern history. We will stand united in support of people and communities, businesses and consumers, who are already feeling the strain.

Still, Turnquest noted that despite the stark declinebeing seenin our various fiscal and economic indicators,the countrywill move onward from this crisis.

There are a number of independent economic indicators to give the Bahamian people hope and reassurance, he said.

Most recently, we have seen prospects for the near term that indicate an appetite for private sector investment. The Cruise Ports $130 million bond offering was oversubscribed when it closed on May 18.

This signals that, despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, investors are confident in the tourism industry generally, and the recovery of the cruise industry and revitalization of Downtown Nassau, in particular, Turnquest said.

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Fiscal deficit projected to climb to $1.3 billion EyeWitness News - EyeWitness News

Threats to PM probed by police – Bahamas Tribune

ByTANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

ts-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

POLICE are investigating a video of an Abaco man who made threats against the Prime Minister and the MP for Central and South Abaco, according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

The video, filled with expletives, shows an Abaco man on a boat expressing his displeasure about Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis actions towards Abaco and its residents. It is being circulated on social media.

Minnis. Hubert Minnis. . . There is one thing I want you to know, the man said on the video. You are a piece of ----. You did not help your black brothers and black sisters or no one in The Bahamas. I think, and plenty people will back me up on this, you should be shot with ----. You are no good. You did not help no one in The Bahamas. You came to Abaco and begged for our vote and we gave it to you, along with James (Albury) and the one from North (Darren Henfield) and you let our people suffer.

Speaking at a press conference highlighting a local neighbourhood watch group receiving an award in the US, Mr Dames warned Bahamians to be responsible when using social media.

The police are very much aware, Mr Dames said of the circulating video. Unfortunately, this is the new media. We are seeing a lot of activity like that on social media. We are just asking Bahamians to think before you speak because the police will certainly be watching. When people send me stuff on social media that they feel are of some concern, that the police ought to look into, I will immediately send it on to the police. Bahamians as a whole, we have to be more responsible in our use of social media.

Mr Dames said he did not watch the entire video, but he knows the police are aware of it and are dealing with it.

We have a saying in Abaco, Id like to meet you in the Pine Yard, said the man on the video as he continued his threat. And guess what? Only one of us will come out. Me or you! You left the people of Abaco, and of The Bahamas, for years suffer. Everything whats been going on, no one wants to stand up to you, but I tell you what, you text me a place and a time to meet you and bring James (Albury). Let it be two on one and I guarantee you one thing, it will be only one person to leave the Pine Yard.

Mr Dames said social media use should be managed responsibly.

This is our way of communicating nowadays, but it doesnt change the fact that we have to be responsible in the things that we put out there and the things that we say, Mr Dames continued. We have to ensure that we are not making threats towards citizens, we are not breaking the law because the police will find you. They will find you and they will make you accountable.

He also said the government does not want to take away any ones rights and liberties, but instead wants citizens to be responsible.

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Threats to PM probed by police - Bahamas Tribune

Princess Dianas Former Bahamas Vacation Home Is on the Market for $12.5 Million – HouseBeautiful.com

If you're looking for a luxe beach property, look no further. This five-bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom home located in the Lyford Cay gated community in the Bahamas is currently on the market for $12.5 million. The 4,492 square foot property is so grand and secluded that even a royal spent some time here with her family.

Brett Davis

The home served as a vacation spot for Princess Diana and her sons William and Harry in the late '80s, according to the listing. Ken Wharfe, the princess's royal protection officer for six years, wrote about Dianna's time spent at the home in his 2017 book, Guarding Diana: Protecting the Princess Around the World, according to CNN. He described the property as "a development that afforded a great deal of privacy, being part of a huge luxury complex, privately policed and spotlessly maintained." Lyford Cay is one of the Bahamas's most elite and private communities. Neighbors include Sean Connery and the Bacardi family, according to the listing.

Brett Davis

The home was designed by architect Happy Ward and built in 1969. It is located at the end of a secluded lane and offers owners 180 feet of private beach frontage. Each bedroom also offers a generous view of the powdery beach. There is also a massive heated swimming pool in the courtyard and various outdoor terraces for entertaining. In 2009, the home was renovated and equipped with new wiring, plumbing, a kitchen, bathrooms, flooring in the entertaining spaces and new ceilings. However, it still retains much of its original charmwe adore the beige-colored shaker-style kitchen.

For more information, contact Philip Hillier of Christie's International Real Estate, who holds the listing.

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Princess Dianas Former Bahamas Vacation Home Is on the Market for $12.5 Million - HouseBeautiful.com

Consulates and COVID-19: How Japan, Bahamas and the United Kingdom Are Coping, Learning – GlobalAtlanta

The work of diplomats is personal by nature, but some leaders of foreign outposts in Atlanta are finding during the pandemic era that this need not mean physical.

In the first virtual edition of its Consular Conversations series sponsored by Miller & Martin PLLC May 8, Global Atlantawelcomed Japanese Consul General Kazuyuki Takeuchi, Bahamian Consul General Astra Armbrister-Rolle and British Consul General Andrew Staunton to provide an overview on their countries approaches to combating COVID-19 and shoring up their economies, as well as how their offices have pivoted to serve the interests of their compatriots during the crisis here in Atlanta.

All have pivoted to some form of remote work, with the Japanese consulate rotating by day and Bahamian consular officials only staying in the office in the early days of Georgias shutdown to support emergency travel and provide passport services that required biometric validation. After initially supporting travelers aiming to get back home on commercial flights, the British consulate moved completely virtual. [See: How to Access Consular Services Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak]

During the hourlong conversation hosted via Zoom, the three diplomats shared these practical insights, along with more philosophical notes on the future of global collaboration as their countries deal with outbreaks of varied intensity.

As of the May 8 forum, the U.K. had the dubious distinction of suffering the largest number of COVID-19 deaths in Europe, exceeding 30,000 on more than 200,000 cases. Some criticized the countrys early approach, which consisted of letting the virus run its course without intense lockdowns.

Soon, however, the plan changed. Having recovered from the coronavirus after days in intensive care, Prime Minister Boris Johnsons government instituted restrictions that wore on for more than six weeks and are only now starting to be relieved. (This week, Mr. Johnson outlined a 50-page plan for phased reopening which aims to balance economic recovery with health advice to avoid a second wave of infections.)

I think theres no real point, at this moment, thinking back to what happened seven weeks ago. Its what confronts us now and how do we move forward to the next stage, Mr. Staunton said in the interview.

He preferred to point to the shared sense of humanity and community action that has emerged in the face of the virus, from the U.K.s 8 p.m. celebrations of frontline workers to his strolls in the neighborhood here in Atlanta.

People are really beginning now to get into that sense of what drives us, what motivates us, whats important in our lives, and thats replicated in the United Kingdom.

Th consulate itself wont be rushing our fences toward reopening but will take its cues both from Georgia authorities and the broader diplomatic network in the U.S.

While Japans outbreak has been slower and more drawn out some 16,000 cases and 600 deaths as of May 8 that has created economic challenges. Japan was just emerging from a two-decade period of stagnation in which finances have been stretched thin; now its put out $1 trillion in stimulus to prop up the worlds third largest economy.

Mr. Takeuchi has been listening to the well-established Japanese corporate community here, and so far the news hasnt been good especially for auto makers and suppliers that make up a good chunk of Japanese investment in the South.

Because of the slump, in domestic and overseas demand, the manufacturing industry has been taking extremely defensive strategy for themselves, Mr. Takeuchi said, noting that Japans strategy of slowing the curve comes at the expense of a quick fix. This week, the country lifted its state of emergency in 39 of 47 prefectures with an eye toward pulling back on some of its voluntary restrictions on movement while taking care of the elderly and fragile. Still, the road ahead is long and uncertain.

For the next several months, we cannot be optimistic about whats coming next.

Meanwhile, already reeling from Hurricane Dorians devastating effects last September, the Bahamas now sees a further hit to tourism, which makes up 80 percent of the economy.

COVID-19 has put a very dramatic halt to that. So were not very optimistic about what the next year or even a year and a half to two years is going to look like for the country, particularly because we are still in recovery mode, said Ms. Armbrister-Rolle.

The Bahamas has been perhaps the most cautious of the three countries on the panel, though it only had 92 cases of COVID-19 as of May 8. Intra-island travel on the archipelago has been at a standstill.

Were very concerned. Were a very small nation. We only have 400,000 people. So every single case is is a really big concern to us. We have a health care system that can very easily become overburdened, she said.

Led by a medical doctor in Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, the government even too a step that some might consider extreme: In March it blocked entry into the country, even for its own citizens stuck abroad. That led to many travelers (especially in Florida) and students (especially in Georgia) being stranded, leaving the consulate here scrambling to help.

A four-phase repatriation plan is being hatched now, with returnees having to be free from the virus before being granted entry. Thats a problem, since many citizens early on werent sick enough to qualify for testing under various state guidelines.

What were doing with the Ministry of Health in the Bahamas is putting those people on separate planes and testing them as they land in the Bahamas, with some being moved to home isolation, she said.

Freshly out of the European Union, the United Kingdom is now negotiating simultaneously trade deals with the bloc and trade officials are beginning talks with the U.S. via videoconference.

The U.K. and U.S. two-way trade is a quarter of a trillion. Thats not to be sniffed at, Mr. Staunton said, noting how the pandemic reveals interconnection of the world in a new way.

What were thinking at this moment in time is that the events of the last three months have shown the importance of smoothness of trade flows. That goes to ensuring that while we can preserve national stocks of key products, we can also access very smoothly those products that other countries are better at making.

He noted the importance of bilateral talks for Georgia, where upwards of 30,000 jobs are supported by British investment.

We want to build that. We want to ensure that we have good harmonization of regulation. So the negotiations are really now getting down to the nitty-gritty, and there will be two weeks of negotiations followed by a short break, followed by another two weeks of negotiations.

He noted that the U.K. is also working to with the nations to ensure the rapid development of a vaccine and equitable distribution to even the worlds most vulnerable. Ms. Armbrister-Rolle said the Bahamas is looking at potential developments in scientific or medical diplomacy that will emerge post-COVID-19.

Mr. Takeuchi added that, if nothing else, diplomats will now be operating in a world where people know the value of both their individual freedom and collective connectivity.

Many people now know that how squeezed they are by sheltering inside their borders and how important interdependence of global society is, we have to develop this idea into common sense of world citizens, perhaps in cooperation with diplomats all over the world.

Editors note:Sign up to receive newsletters from Global Atlanta to gain access to subsequent Consular Conversations, or buy the $40 annual pass for benefits like early and priority registration, access to event recordings and luncheon tickets through 2021.

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Consulates and COVID-19: How Japan, Bahamas and the United Kingdom Are Coping, Learning - GlobalAtlanta

A Completely Private Home in the Bahamas Exclusive Lyford Cay – Mansion Global

Listing of the Day

Location: Lyford Cay, Bahamas

Price: BSD$12.5 million (Bahamas dollars are equal to U.S. dollars)

Casuarina Beach is the last house tucked away at the foot of a secluded lane on New Providences Lyford Cay. Peace and serenity are ensured by the fact that there is never any passing traffic, and there arent really any neighbors visible from the one-acre site, according to the homes agent Philip Hillier.

"Coming to this house," he said, "you feel like youre not on a major island with big hotels. It has an atmosphere that feels more like the smaller family islands that surround New Providence."

Designed and built by Mid-Century Modern architect Robertson "Happy" Ward in 1969, and later refurbished by Bahamian architect Henry Melich in 2009, four generations of one family have called Casuarina Beach home, according to Mr. Hillier.

More: Bahamas Estate Once Home to the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson Hits the Market

Henry Melich, a Brit based in New Providence and known for his classical style, designed a number of houses on Lyford Cay between the 1970s and 1990s. While extending the home and modernizing its amenities, he maintained the original classic beach-house feel, a style that Mr. Hillier describes as "old Lyford Cay."

The house has 180 feet of private, powdery beach frontage and is in easy walking distance of the esteemed Lyford Cay Club.

It is a testament to the homes security and privacy that Princess Diana and her sons William and Harry stayed at Casuarina Beach in 1993, according to CNN. The royals were guests of Kate Menzies of the Menzies family, whose daughter is the homes current owner.

Stats

The 4,492-square-foot home has five bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms, and sits on an acre of land.

More: Lyford Cay in the Bahamas Offers a ClubbyAnd UnflashyVibe

Amenities

Renovations included new wiring, plumbing, kitchen, bathrooms, flooring in the entertaining spaces and the addition of pickled tongue and groove tray ceilings in the living and dining areas.

All bedrooms are en-suite, and all of the principal rooms open onto a central courtyard featuring a heated swimming pool and terraces for entertaining. The majority of the rooms also benefit from having views out to sea as well, and the property boasts 180 feet of sparkling private beach frontage.

Neighborhood Notes

The gated community of Lyford Cay is situated at the western end of the island of New Providence, with about 450 homes on the cay, according to Mr. Hillier. Lyford Cay is one of the Bahamas most exclusive communities, with neighbors including Sean Connery and the Bacardi family.

Mr. Hillier describes Lyford Cay as being like a suburb on the island, though as the whole island of New Providence is just 7-by-21 miles, the capital city of Nassau is less than a half-hour drive away.

The area is known for being home to the exclusive Lyford Cay Club, which features a white sand beach, a golf course, a marina, 12 tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, and an international school.

Lyford Cay is home to a combination of seasonal and year-round homes. "Youve got both the permanent residents and the snow birds who migrate to the Bahamas for the winter," Mr. Hillier said.

From Penta: A Cartier Tutti Frutti Bracelet Breaks Online Record at $1.3M

Lynden Pindling International Airport on New Providence is the primary international gateway to the Bahamas for flights all over the U.S. and Canada in particular.

For year-round residents, according to Mr. Hillier, there are three excellent schools near Lyford Cay: Lyford Cay International, Windsor and Tambearly schools.

"If youre here for two or three months, you can always be busy doing fun things," Mr. Hillier said. "You can hop over to Nassau with its casinos and go for a gamble and a bit of a shop. Youre not stuck with a couple of restaurants and a club eitherthere is a wide range to choose from."

Agent: Philip Hillier, HG Christie, an affiliate of Christies International Real Estate

View the original listing.

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A Completely Private Home in the Bahamas Exclusive Lyford Cay - Mansion Global

Bahamas investigates how person with COVID-19 allowed to board flight from US – Jamaica Observer

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) The Bahamas government says it will launch an investigation into the circumstances that led to a passenger, who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), boarding a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport in Grand Bahamas last weekend.

In a brief statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had been directed by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to conduct the investigation into all the circumstances relating to the incident that involved a COVID19 positive passenger being allowed to board the repatriation flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Freeport, Grand Bahama on Friday May 8 2020, in contravention of established protocols.

The ministry said that Minnis has asked that this matter be treated with priority.

Accordingly, the ministry is presently conducting enquiries into all matters surrounding the incident and will report its findings to the prime minister on completion, the statement said.

Bahamas Consul General in Miami, Linda Treco-Mackey, is quoted in the Nassau Guardian newspaper on Tuesday as saying that a man who travelled from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama on the state-owned Bahamasair last Friday after knowingly contracting COVID-19 was irresponsible and not considerate of his own fellow Bahamians.

I have to take responsibility for the Consulate because they (Bahamasair) [sought] approval from someone at the Consulate and the person at the Consulate was not at the level to give that approval, but they did, said Treco-Mackey.

The Consulate had organised the return of 183 Bahamians after the government agreed to re-open the airport which had been closed as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the virus that was first detected in China last December and blamed for more than300,000 deaths globally.

The Counsel General said that she presumed that Bahamasair assumed that it was okay for the affected person to have boarded the flight.

They weren't on the list to travel but somebody made a decision, which was out of their framework to do, she told the newspaper, adding because they knew that they were tested, they assumed that they were okay to travel and went over the manifest and approved them to travel. It was an unintentional mistake that has cost us. So, all our work, we feel like it was in vain.

I know that Bahamasair printed the boarding tickets but they did not allow travel until someone from the Consulate, not the proper person, but someone from the Consulate told them, 'It was okay. They were tested.

They would not have known that they [had] tested positive. They went outside the manifest sheet and decided to look into the list of persons who were tested which was not something they were approved to do. But, things happened.

The COVID-positive passenger was among 51 people who disembarked on Grand Bahama and Prime Minister Minnis said that the person had travelled with three others.

The Bahamas has 93 cases of COVID-19 and has recorded 11 deaths so far.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Bahamas investigates how person with COVID-19 allowed to board flight from US - Jamaica Observer

High chance for tropical development near The Bahamas this weekend – WPBF West Palm Beach

High chance for tropical development near The Bahamas this weekend

Updated: 2:15 PM EDT May 13, 2020

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CRIS? CRIS: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT NOTHING DEVELOPING RIGHT NOW, BUT AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE WEEKEND, THAT COULD BE A DIFFERENT STORY OFF THE COAST OF THE BAHAMAS. SATELLITES SHOWING NOTHING OVER OUR AREA WITH HIGH-PRESSURE IN CONTROL ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA, A BEAUTIFUL DAY ACROSS THE AREA, BUT IT IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AS THIS SYSTEM TOWARD OUR SOUTH GETS BETTER ORGANIZED AS IT MOVES TO OUR SOUTH AND EVENTUALLY TOWARD THE BAHAMAS AS WE GET TOWARD FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. THAT IS WHERE IT GETS TO AN AREA WHERE WE COULD SEE SOME POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT. THE HURRICANE CENTER UPPING THE ODDS TO 70% CHANCE, THE BEST CHANCE AS WE GET CLOSE TO THE WEEKEND. NO THREAT TO FLORIDA, A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP NEAR THE BAHAMAS, NORTHEAST OF THE AREA. THAT FUTURE TRACK TAKES WHATEVER DEVELOPS COULD BE A SUBTROPICAL DEPRESSION AND MOVES IT INTO THE OPEN ATLANTIC AND AWAY FROM FLORIDA. WE WILL BE TRACKING THE POTENTIAL FOR SOMETHING DEVELOPING, NO THREAT TO US IN SOUTH FLORIDA. BACK HERE AT HOME, ANOTHER GORGEOUS DAY, IT IS ON THE BREEZY SIDE. NUMBERS INTO THE LOWER 80S, RAIN CHANCES ARE LOW. THEY PICK UP ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED RAIN IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE TIMING OF THAT AND A LOOK AT

High chance for tropical development near The Bahamas this weekend

Updated: 2:15 PM EDT May 13, 2020

Meteorologist Cris Martinez has the latest.

Meteorologist Cris Martinez has the latest.

Excerpt from:

High chance for tropical development near The Bahamas this weekend - WPBF West Palm Beach

Tropical development off the Southeast coast – CNN

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Tropical development off the Southeast coast - CNN

MovieTowne owner picks up cancer patient from Bahamas on way home – Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

Miracles do happen.

For 34-year-old cancer patient Krissa Bissoon, this saying holds true.

Bissoon, who had been stranded in Bahamas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been praying for a miracle to allow her to return to Trinidad and Tobago.

According to media reports, the Arima mother of one started a new job in Nassau, Bahamas in February of this year, shortly after which she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

She underwent emergency surgery in March and had been in stuck in the Bahamas, after Trinidad and Tobago closed its borders.

Even though she was granted an exemption to return to the country last week, there were no available flights and she could not afford to charter a private plane.

Alone in a foreign land, the woman began feeling hopeless and desperate.

However, in an act of humanity and kindness, MovieTowne owner Derek Chin agreed to help the woman return home.

Chin, who had been staying in Miami since February after undergoing a medical procedure, was also granted an exemption to return to Trinidad and Tobago by National Security Minister Stuart Young.

The MovieTowne owner, through his attorney, made arrangements to pick her up on a private plane on his way home.

On learning of the good news, Bissoon said she was elated and screamed in joy.

Describing her journey home as a 'miracle', the woman, in a Facebook post, expressed her gratitude to the Government and the businessman for making it possible.

According to media reports, Chin and Bissoon returned to the country on Monday and are being quarantined at the Cascadia Hotel.

"I screamed with joy because I have been praying and praying for a miracle to happen. God answered my call and sent two of his angels one being the Minister and the other Mr Derek Chin. My journey to return home has left me desperate and to be placed in a situation where it was granted by these earth angels is beyond me. Mr Chin's lawyer Mr Gadsby who was instrumental in organising the fine details of pick up from the Bahamas for myself, left me feeling that there is still so much hope in the world."

"As I waited for my repatriation by this earth angel Mr Chin, I did not sleep the night before due to the excitement. My tears of joy streaming down my face as I anticipated the pick up which was orchestrated with the Honorable Minister Young , Mr Chin and the Bahamian government from Thursday to today.I am extremely please to advise all that Mr Chin and I landed in Trinidad today where we are being quarantined under the state. My family and I can not express our gratitude to these wonderful people," she said.

She is also expected to begin treatment soon.

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MovieTowne owner picks up cancer patient from Bahamas on way home - Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

Bahamas: Rand Memorial Hospital taking precautions ahead of potentially severe weather weekend – Magnetic Media

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#FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas May 13, 2020 With possible severe weather expected to affect the Central and Northwest Bahamas this weekend, officials of the Grand Bahama Rand Memorial Hospital are taking extra precautions ahead of the system to secure patients in Samaritans Purse tents.

Ms. Sharon Williams, Administrator of the Rand, said the hospital is concerned about the report from the Bahamas Met Office about bad weather expected to pass through or near Grand Bahama during the weekend.

Since April 26, our last encounter with severe weather conditions, where our tents hospital at Samaritan was severely impacted by the weather conditions, we have been working very closely with the local Met office in monitoring local weather conditions, said Ms. Williams.

We have been advised that from Wednesday through late Saturday that there will be the possibility of heavy rain and wind that could impact the Grand Bahama area. That, no doubt, brings concern again for our tents at Samaritans Purse and in addition, our modular isolation facilities near our Emergency Room which we have set up for Covid-19 response.

The Bahamas Department of Meteorology issued a statement on Tuesday (May 12) of a frontal boundary over the southeast Bahamas that will back up over the Central Bahamas on Wednesday and stall through Thursday.

During that time conditions are expected to become favorable for the development of an area of low pressure along the frontal boundary by Friday afternoon in the vicinity of Cat Island.

As a result, pockets of squally showers, heavy thunderstorms, strong, gusty winds and the potential for water spouts and tornadic activity can be expected over portions of the Northwest and Central Bahamas from Wednesday through Saturday, according to the Meteorology Department.

The Hospital Administrator said that they have proactively advised their managers to meet with Administration to devise plans for the movement of patients and clients in those areas that could be adversely impacted by bad weather. She said that those plans have already been put in place.

We are looking at our new facilities at the Cancer Association to be able to house some persons if necessary, said Ms. Williams. Also, our Emergency Room facilities is also a consideration, if it isnt too crowded we will have to see what patient load we will have there at the time. Of course, our facility at the Freeport Community Clinic, at our IAT building is also under consideration for use if necessary.

Between those three locations, we will house our patients temporarily until the weather returns to normal.

In terms of preparing for the upcoming hurricane season, the Rand Memorial Hospital Administrator said that the close communication with the Met Office will continue and that all weather systems inclusive of tropical storms and hurricanes will be monitored by the hospitals Administration extra closely and that even more proactive measures will be taken when necessary.

We do this every year, but the only difference this year is that we do not have use of the full hospital, Ms. Williams pointed out. So, we are engaging the various health care facilities, as we usually do around the island, and discussing with them about moving our clients to those areas if it becomes necessary. Of course, we have to solidify those arrangements, before announcing their names to the media.

But we are definitely looking into alternatives for housing our patients, inclusive of the Government working very aggressively to complete the renovations for the Rand in a timely manner. We might not be finished for the beginning of the hurricane season, but we hope to be finished very soon and we are praying that it is before any significantly severe weather patterns hit this area.

The Bahamas Meteorology Department said that the low pressure will move northeast and away from The Bahamas late Saturday night, and partly sunny and drier conditions are expected to return on Sunday.

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Bahamas: Rand Memorial Hospital taking precautions ahead of potentially severe weather weekend - Magnetic Media

Bahamas Social Agencies work ‘hand-in-hand’ to ensure access for the Disabled – Magnetic Media

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#TheBahamas May 13, 2020 Officials at the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) and its Secretariat, and the Disability Affairs Division of the Department of Social Services, have been diligently working hand-in-hand to ensure that both the needs of regular and new clients who are persons with disabilities are being addressed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The collaboration is part of the Ministryof Social Services and Urban Developments continued efforts to ensure that allof its human and other resources are brought to bear in the delivery of socialassistance.

Provisions have been made for personswith disabilities who are not clients of the Department, to provide theirinformation via telephone to the Social Workers at the Disability AffairsDivision so that they can receive Emergency Food Assistance. They are requiredto show their IDs upon collection. Persons with disabilities can contact theDisability Affairs Division at telephone: 325-2251/2 for assistance.

Officials at the Disability AffairsDivision have also collaborated with The Bahamas Red Cross to ensure thatpersons with disabilities are part of the Red Cross Meals on Wheels Programme.

Meanwhile, officials at the NationalCommission for Persons with Disabilities, and its Secretariat, have establisheda 24hr call and whats app line at 376-8328 as part of the measures it hasimplemented to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are being metand with a view of bringing any outstanding matters to a speedy resolution.

Persons with disabilities can alsoregister online through the Ministrys link on the governments website:www.bahamas.gov.bs. They may also email the Disabilities Commission at Disabilitiescommission@bahamas.gov.bs,or register online at the website: http://www.disabilitiescommissionbahamas.orgor visit the Commissions Facebook Page at disabilitiescommission242.

The Commission and itsSecretariat have also been liaising with the relevant Non-GovernmentalOrganizations to ensure that persons with disabilities have sufficient food,medical supplies, and protective equipment to ensure their safety andprotection during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Other initiatives haveincluded working closely with members of the Blind Community and theAssociation of Banking and Clearing Houses in The Bahamas to enhance andimprove members of the communitys banking experience, and ensuring that personswith disabilities have access to, and receive the benefits and assistance duethem, and that they remain safe, protected and have the necessary items fortheir continued well-being.

Additionally, they have ensured that personswith disabilities who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing have access to informationbeing disseminated from the media through the participation of a SignInterpreter on all national broadcasts and have assisted persons withdisabilities and other able-bodied persons toobtain wheelchairs byliaising with The Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled.

Administrators have updated the National Commission for Persons with Disabilitieswebsite to reflect information relative to the COVID-19 Pandemic; answered and responded to emails from family members/persons with disabilities concerns relative to COVID-19, all while performing the general administrative duties of The Secretariat by assisting the fifteen Commissioners of The NCPD who ensure that the Provisions contained in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities) Bill, 2014 are adhered to.

BIS News by Matt Maura

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Bahamas Social Agencies work 'hand-in-hand' to ensure access for the Disabled - Magnetic Media

Gov’t test results reveal Grand Bahama repatriation passenger is negative for COVID – Magnetic Media

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#TheBahamas May 13, 2020 Thedebacle deepens when it comes to the evolving story of a returning Bahamian whowas thought to have COVID-19 when he boarded a repatriation flight from Floridalast Friday; now, he reportedly does not have the deadly contagion.

Ina media statement issued Tuesday night by The Bahamas Ministry of Health, it isexplained the passenger has now tested negative, on two occasions, for the coronavirus.

TheMinistry of Health reports today that the Grand Bahama passenger previouslyreported as COVID-19 positive has tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.

Thepassenger was tested twice upon arrival in Grand Bahama by the Ministry ofHealths Surveillance Team.

Bothtest samples returned a negative result, as confirmed by the fully accredited NationalReference Lab in New Providence.

TheGrand Bahama passenger, who is described in media reports as a male, wastravelling with three other family members.

On Sunday,The Prime Minister addressed the issue.

Allfour of these individuals have been tested again on arrival. We are awaiting the test results.

All passengers wore PPEs during the flight,which decreases the risk of exposure. Allpassengers on the flight will remain in quarantine and will continue to be monitored,said Dr. Hubert Minnis, who is also Acting Minister of Health.

It isunstated who confirmed the passenger as positive for Covid-19, but the Ministryof Health says it is now comforted, after having received two negatives from itstouted gold standard testing method that no one on the flight wasinadvertently exposed to the coronavirus.

Healthofficials are satisfied that the passenger did not pose a risk to the otherpassengers traveling on the same aircraft.

The chaoscreated by this false positive resulted in the Prime Minister haltingrepatriation flights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which coordinated theBahamasair charters from South Florida on May 7, has activated a probe.

TheMinistry of Foreign Affairs is investigating the circumstances surrounding thepassenger being allowed to board the flight.

About200 residents were returned to The Bahamas on Friday; all are in mandatoryquarantine for fourteen days.

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Gov't test results reveal Grand Bahama repatriation passenger is negative for COVID - Magnetic Media


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