Monthly Archives: May 2020

A Simple Stoic Weighs the Sanctity of Place: Thoughts on the Art of Kathryn Keller –

Posted: May 30, 2020 at 9:50 pm

Kathryn Keller, Inglewood House, 2016, oil on gessoed paper, 18 x 28 inches


Rationalists, wearing square hats,

Think, in square rooms,

Looking at the floor,

Looking at the ceiling.

They confine themselves

To right-angled triangles.

If they tried rhomboids,

Cones, waving lines, ellipses --

As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon --

Rationalists would wear sombreros.

-- Wallace Stevens, Six Significant Landscapes

One place understood helps us understand all places better.

-- Eudora Welty

The simple, selfless stoicism and haunting cadenced silences of Kathryn Kellers landscapes and interiors evoke the South in all its richness and with something like earthy rapture. She dilates on our relationship with Nature with eloquent understatement and unrivalled technical finesse. That the poet Wallace Stevens was a fellow traveller in this respect is clear from the poem excerpted above in which he touches upon our relationship with Nature with righteous lucidity and humour.

Indeed, the sixth significant landscape of StevensSix Significant Landscapesis an insouciant romp with its image of a philosopher wearing a sombrero, having left rationalism behind for the intuitive fluency of poetic thinking. Keller is a supremely intuitive artist who reads and renders -- the Book of Nature in similarly arresting, non-rational ways.

Kellers interiors and landscapes bespeak humility and understatement. Her interiors often focus on the contents of her own studio spaces, with loving fidelity, as an incubator of her visions and a full platter of her materials, instruments and supports. In this regard, she reminds me of Michael Merrill, the Montreal-based representational painter who has used his own studio as creative alembic for establishing the primacy of the imagination over reality these last many years.

Kathryn Keller, A Storm Approaching, 2015, oil on gessoed paper, 13 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches

In herIdes of March(2019, oil on canvas the orderly assortment of brushes and bottled oils and paints is a tasty invocation of her studio life. InA Storm Approaching(2015, oil on gessoed paper) the suggestive torpor in the upper atmosphere and the delineation of the house inInglewood House(2016, oil on paper) enjoy an unlikely radical equivalence. The house as guarantor of security and sanctity, for instance in herInglewood 11-19-18(watercolor on paper), is counterpoised with the forbidding grey trees seen from within the window, Her palette is sumptuous yet restrained, her mark-making like breathing. Long and short exhalations of pigment summon up her circumstances and surrounds with diaphanous passages that carry the viewer along with them into the heart of perceived and remembered place.

Keller paints from Inglewood Farm in Alexandria, Louisiana, at the geographic centre of the State and of the South. She is a child of her region, but she has spent time in El Dorado, Arkansas, went to college in Tennessee at the University of the South, studied at the Arkansas Art Center, lived in NYC for a period of time with her first husband, raised her kids and spent a lot of time in New Orleans in the Garden District of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina she settled back full time in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Kathryn Keller, Studio 2-21-19, 2019, oil on canvas, 30 by 30 inches

The flat land thereabouts is riddled with nodes of remembered place, ritual emplacement, familial investiture, love. It is here that Keller feels most at home, even when she limns painting with the surpassing strangeness of the everyday. Her optic moves restlessly across the full array of what is seen in those places. Her watercolors are tremulous enclosures suffused with a soft luminosity, tactual and true. Keller seizes upon a room and invests it with a porous ligature of pure light. She exerts a transient ownership over things seen, the living tapestry of the South, and communicates it with something like love.

Her gaze is attracted by groves of trees, disturbances in the atmosphere, the comforts of home. That she is the product of her environment is clear from her loving dilation on its particularities as they come under her purview. Keller is a painter of deft and simple means, and her selfless stoicism always shines through, a beacon of truth and perseverance. We have no doubt that this artists familiarity with and love for Southern place and remembered place is deep, sustaining and true.

Walker Percy, inThe Moviegoer, said: Nobody but a Southerner knows the wrenching rinsing sadness of the cities of the North. Keller remains a scion of Southern place, and palpates with genuine joy the inherent magic of the land with the casual authority of her own hands. All her teeming relationships with specific places are layered there in her work, and the depth and duration of those relationships are as important to her as the physical sites themselves.

If she puts paint to place, Keller also paintsrefuge. Her houses, so lovingly adumbrated, enjoy great quiet and a sense of erotic melancholy that draws the viewer inwards. Keller is no narcissist or show-off. Still, the amplitude of mood in her work is such that it casts a widening net that effortlessly catches us up, offering a gratifying emotional experience that transcends all the trappings of the built world.

Kathryn Keller, Inglewood, 11-19-19, watercolor on paper, 20 1/2 x 14 inches

Kellers paintings have been called elegiac, but the elegiac strains in her work never reach the level of outright or strident lamentation. Perhaps because she is a believer in place and its sanctity, commemoration and celebration. Notably, she is also one allergic to dramatic license for its own sake. One commentator noted a family resemblance with the cemetery scenes of Louisiana photographer and pioneer Surrealist Clarence John Laughlin. To embody silence meaningfully is surely no mean feat. Keller is able to do so with understatement and brio -- and without resorting to needless plangency or rationalistic excess. To return to the poem by Wallace Stevens, we would not be surprised to find that Keller wears a sombrero both in and out of her studio.

Kathryn Keller whole oeuvre is a profound meditation on place. What does it mean to be a Southerner? What does it mean to luxuriate in those landscapes as natural to you as your own flesh jacket? She would surely agree with Eudora Welty Beauty is not a means, not a way of furthering a thing in the world. It is a result; it belongs to ordering, to form, to aftereffect. Keller has shown she can excavate an ennobling measure of beauty from the landscapes of her present and past to exalting effect. As Welty also once said: One place understood helps us understand all places better. Kellers remarkable landscapes make us understand the restless nomenclature of all places better, but those of the South particularly when it is understood as a small paradigm of the terrestrial paradise. WM

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Kathryn Keller is represented by LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2021 LeMieux Galleries is doing a two-person show with Keller and the artist Shirley Rabe Masinter. The show will open January 8th, 2021 and will run through Saturday, February 27th 2021. To see works that are currently available at LeMieux Galleries check out the link below.

Kathryn Keller is also represented by The The Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. To see available works at the gallery click the link below.

Kathryn Keller is also represented by Moremen Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. To see available works click the linkbelow.

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Enlightenment, the Ghanaian dream and renaissance –

Posted: at 9:50 pm

The sole focus of an enlightenment programme is to instil, in the breasts and psyche of Ghanaian citizens, a consciousness of fidelity to the Republic; pride in our culture, traditions, institutions and achievements; awareness of civic rights and responsibilities; and an African identity. We seek to stand out as a powerful and highly influential Republic that, with the divine help of God, shall build a better universe for mankind.

Our academic mission and curriculum is the most potent antidote for poverty, disease and various other social obstacles that continue to deprive the average free citizen from realising a dignified life in Ghana thus service, first and foremost, to God and ancestors duly; family and enterprise; district and province; and the Republic to which distinctive duties are owed.

The Ghanaian Dream and Renaissance

The Ghanaian Dream is to be an erudite and moral law-abiding administrator of your household and an industrious entrepreneur or public servant; a proven catalyst of district development; an accomplished statesman and, or, innovative industrialist to the province; and above all, a distinguished architect of the Republic.

The Ghanaian Renaissance is a full expression of our traditional aesthetics in beautifying our public institutions and private enterprises a form of ultra-nationalism and love for our Republic that crystallises the diverse cultures of each clan and nation-state.

Centres of Scholarship

It is the paramount responsibility of government to ensure education, at whatever cost necessary, is provided to all Ghanaians, wherever they may find themselves on the map, without regard for their individual social and economic circumstances.

The quality of indigenous scholarship and excellence of educational institutions ought to be a great source of national pride, a worthy continental export and our rightful claim to global fame.

To each Province, a model deluxe primary and secondary centre of scholarship which is culturally aesthetic inspired by a fine blend of indigenous ancient African architecture and modern technology must be constructed in its Provincial capital. Each monumental structure, an edifice that evokes fascination, must be furnished with a baronial public library; palatial classrooms; resident halls; a banquet hall and private museum; athletic facilities; a grand theatre hall and state-of-the-art science and technology labs.

The government must make provincial funds and bursaries, at secondary and tertiary education, available to students proven exceptional in academia; sports and theatre.

Centres of Scholarship should be separated, administratively, from institutions of dogma such as traditional shrines/temples, mosques or churches. The educational curriculum should include, at the conclusion of secondary school education, optional service to either the government or military as a prelude to university studies.

Our Republic must unswervingly aim at, and strain our treasury to procure, despite the ever-present question of finance, quality education for our citizens.

The Era of Enlightenment.

In an era when multiple esoteric fraternities were established on the Gold Coast G. H. T. Lyall inaugurated, in 1874, the Masonic Club; the Good Templars founded, in 1877, by the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission and Commanding Officer of the Castle garrison, with the support of Lodge Deputy Grand Chief Templar, J. P. Brown; and the Odd-fellows was instituted in 1880 the Mfantsi Amanbuhu Fekuw, also known as the Fante National Political Society, was established in Cape Coast, Central Province, Gold Coast in 1889 to deliberately to revive African literature, fashion and music.

A legal colossus, eminent political reformist and publisher who hailed from the Central Province, as well as a pioneer of the Fante National Political Society, John Mensah Sarbah joined the Fante Public School Company, a missionary enterprise which in 1903, founded the Mfantsi National Education Fund that, by 1905, financed the Mfantsipim Secondary School.

Sarbah, an altruistic person, embodied the values of a true patriot dedicated to enlightenment and renaissance. He set up a scholarship for students and staff members to protect the perpetual success of Mfantsipim.

It is through the ethics and values of our centres of scholarship that the Republic could harness a meritocratic Ghanaian society where there is equal opportunity for all citizens, abundant reward for ambition with an emphasis on individual freedom and national unity.

There is, therefore, still an urgent need, as bluntly expressed by the Gold Coast Aborigines Protection Society in 1902, for educated Ghanaian citizens, and not westernised Africans, committed to the ideal of a Republic with a revered and ethereal civilisation. While our indigenous institutions must meet internationally acceptable standards, our enlightenment programme must be devised on the basis of Ghanaian exceptionalism.

I cannot emphasise enough; this is Ghanas Space Generation. This is the generation of rationalism, freedom of thought and enquiry.


The author, Vincent Djokoto, is Business Executive and Columnist. Twitter/Instagram @VLKDjokoto

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Local mother, daughter ‘getting loud’ for CF and the need for lifesaving medication – BradfordToday

Posted: at 9:48 pm

Just a few short months ago, the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community was making strides in their fight to have life-saving 'orphan' drugs approved in Canada.

Then COVID-19 hit, and their efforts were put aside as the government grappled with the pandemic.

Local resident, Beth Vanstone, mother of CF Warrior Madi Vanstone, spoke with BradfordToday earlier this week to discuss the challenges the CF community is now facing and the tremendous effort being made to have the government to approve orphan drugsin Canada, not only for CF patients, but for all Canadians with rare conditions and diseases.

What are orphan drugs? And why are they critical to so many Canadians?

Orphan drugs treat rare diseases. They tend to be hugelyexpensive,due to the lengthy research involved in development, and the small percentage of people needing them. There is no chance of mass-production or mass-consumption, to bring down the price.

Eighteen-year-old Madi is currently on the medication Kalydeco, another orphan drug,to treat her CF.

Madi was diagnosed with CF at nine months of age, and struggled throughout childhood with multiple hospitalizations due to her illness, often missingschool.

Six years ago, when Kalydeco was released, Madi was able to take the drug as part of a drug trial - and the Vanstones launched their battle with theOntario government, to have themedication Kalydeco covered by OHIP. Without coverage, the cost to the Vanstones - even with private insurance and a discount from the pharmaceutical company - would have come to approximately $60,000 per year.

The government did approve coverage of the medication, which she is still on today. Kalydeco has substantially improved the quality of her life.

But their fight isnt over. Madi and her mom have been working tirelessly to help other CF patients and other Canadians with rare diseases gain access to the orphan drugs they require.

There are currently three new CF modulators (drugs) from the pharmaceutical company Vertex -Orkambi, Symdeco and Trikafta -with very little access to Canadians.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, CF Canada has reached out to the government and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to allow CF patients access to all current and future CF modulators.

In a letter to the federal government,CEO of CF Canada Kelly Glover noted that the pharmaceutical company Vertex had recently made an offer to the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), and urged the government to negotiate on the offer right away.

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal disease," Glover wrote. "Similar to COVID-19 it affects primarily the respiratory system. Similar to COVID-19, it kills people. Unlike COVID-19 its much more efficient, just slower. Eighty five percent of people with CF will die from respiratory failure, but CF will ultimately kill them all, as compared to only about 1-2% for COVID. But instead of dying in weeks, CF slowly deprives everyone with CF of quality of life. Our 4,300 patients spent a total 26,500 days in hospital in 2018. Thats 72 years! Seventy-two years worth of hospital resources that could be better spent taking care of people with COVID-19.

But the pCPA has indicated that it is not negotiating a deal for two of the three CF modulators, Orkambi and Symdeco, but isonly considering negotiating for Trikafta, once it is approved by Health Canada. Currently Trikafta can only be made available in compassionate cases if the patient meets specific criteria.

Our community is so vulnerable, having underlying respiratory issues already, said Beth, worried about the additional impact of COVID-19.

Everyday our people have to be six feet a part, everyday if theres somebody sick we cant go to them. Our kids cant touch things because they can get sick and end up in the hospital, she said.This is our life. Everyones getting a little test of what its like to have CF.

A response from the pCPA Governing Council stated, The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) recognizes that this is a challenging time, especially for cystic fibrosis patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council noted that they have held numerous meetings with Vertex, hoping to reach an agreement to improve access to drug treatments for cystic fibrosis patients. The alliance continues to encourage Vertex to submit Trikafta to Health Canada and if approved, to then submit it to Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) or lInstitut national dexcellence en sant et en services sociaux (INESSS) for a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review, the response stated.

The cPCA declined to providedetails of the discussionswith Vertex due to confidentiality reasons, but noted, the pCPA continues to engage with Vertex with the goal of bringing new cystic fibrosis medications to the Canadian market."

Beth and the rest of the CF community point to a disparity: governments are providing unlimited funding forCOVID-19 patient care, but there is alack of funding of treatment for CF patients who suffer breathing issues everyday.

We will spend whatever, and shut down our country, to save people from COVID, said Beth, yet it's too expensive to pay for the medications for CF patientsthat could ease the suffering, and reduce hospitalizations.

You cant help but take it a little personal, she said. Its really frustrating that the government doesnt seem to care.

She also worries that,with the new rules for the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) set to come into effect this July, it will be even more difficult for companies like Vertex to market in Canada, due to the high price of orphan drugs.

The new rules and regulations for lowering the cost of medications for patients across Canada are supposed to take effect in July 2020. The PMPRB has said itwill be publishing an updated version of its draft pricing Guidelines for public consultation in the coming weeks.

This document is responsive to stakeholder feedback, including concerns from patient advocacy groups about the impact of the pending changes on access to promising new drug therapies, said Communications Advisor for the PMPRB, Jeff Wright.

Beth Vanstone is currently working with the group CF Get Loud, which has joined forces with CORD (Canadian Organization for Rare Disease) to oppose the PMPRB changes.

They (CORD) represent the rare disease community, and of course innovative therapies are so expensive for them as well, so they are going to be cut off from medications as well, she explained.

Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall has been working with the Vanstones and the CF community, to gettheir voices heard. He recently raised his concerns in the House of Commons, in an effort to have Patty Hajdu rescind the changes to the PMPRB.

"You are seeing how money can become available for certain issues," he explained, referring to the government spending on COVID-19, "Health is number one, we really need to take care of Canadians here in our homeland."

He belives the longterm costs of keeping CF patients in hospitals and on disability, far outweigh the costs of their needed medications.

"We're going to keep pushing it and Ihope one day its not an issue," he said. "I'm hoping the government does the right thing."

We are pushing that the changes be rescinded or an implementation date be changed to 2022 where they are apparently coming up with a rare disease strategy, Beth said.When they have a path set up for rare diseases in 2022, implement the changes at that time so orphan drugs can stream off on their own.

She is hoping that way, future drugs for rare diseases will not have to go through the same restrictive criteria.

What the PMPRB is doing right now is deciding for all Canadians what medications they will have access to, and its a very small percentage of whats available to everyone else in the world, Vanstone said. And instead of improving negotiations with pharmaceutical companies,theyre taking that opportunity right out, she said.

Wright, responding for PMPRB, stated thatIf any business decisions affecting Canada are being contemplated by pharmaceutical companies as a result of the draft Guidelines, it would be premature to take them until such time as the document is finalized.

He added that manufacturers don't need the PMPRBs prior approval of their price in order to launch drugs in Canada.

Beth is worried that, with all the emphasis on cost-savings,Canadians are not seeing the 'bigger picture' andthe implications of the PMPRB, especially for orphan drugs.

These drugs are available everywhere else. Noother country is doing something like this, she fumed. Its a war against big pharma, and patients are the casualties. Its heartbreaking."

The Vanstones and the rest of the CF community feel like they are on the wrong side in a losing battle.

I really have always thought people came first in Canada, until getting involved in this kind of scene and seeing that its not really true, Beth said.

As for the PMPRB, I think it was a really poorly thought-out plan, and now theyve dug their heels in, she said, noting that the plan may be a good idea for general medications for things like a cold, but not for those whoneed innovative life-saving medicines for rare diseases.

On June 3, the CF Get Loud community will be hosting a virtual Town Hall for patient advocacy, calling on Federal Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu and other MPs to rescind the changes in the PMPRB, so that the drugs can be submitted to help save patients lives.

Bethencourages anyoneinterested in learning more about the future of Canadas health care system in relation to new and innovative medications, to tune in.

Its not just going to be about CF," she said. "Its about our (health care) system and whats happening.


Local mother, daughter 'getting loud' for CF and the need for lifesaving medication - BradfordToday

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Former Nats CF Denard Span mulling retirement: ‘Maybe this is it’ –

Posted: at 9:48 pm

A former Nationals leadoff man and fan favorite has reportedly come to terms with the possibility of his baseball career reaching its conclusion.

Centerfielder Denard Span played in Washington from 2013-15, hitting .292 with 62 stolen bases and 207 runs scored as the teams primary hitter at the top of the lineup. Following stints with the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners over the next three seasons, Span has spent the last year and a half as a free agent.

I havent announced it, officially, but maybe this is it, Span told the Minnesota Star Tribune in a story published Saturday. I didnt play last yearnot because of an absence of contact from teams. The offers that came my way; they didnt seem like fair value for my services.

I spent this past offseason getting in shape, getting ready to play in 2020, and there were two or three minor league offers. I wasnt opposed to starting in the minors, but these didnt seem right as far as having a chance to move up to the big club if I was doing well in Triple-A.


Span, a former first-round pick, started his career with the Minnesota Twins in 2008. He played five years in Minneapolis before traded to the Nationals just after the 2012 season. Washington was in desperate need of both an everyday centerfielder and a leadoff man, and Span checked off both boxes.

As a sparkplug that ignited the Nationals offense, Span quickly earned the appreciation of fans in D.C. His best season came in 2014, when he led the NLwith 184 hits and placed 19th in MVP voting. When the Nationals clinched a playoff berth last September, Span commented on the teams Instagram page to say his time in D.C. was the best 3 years of my career.

A day after he signed a free-agent contract with the Giants over the 2015-16 offseason, the Nationals moved on by acquiring Ben Revere from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reliever Drew Storen. Revere kick-started another round of musical chairs at the center field position in D.C. until Victor Robles took over the job full-time last season.

Span admitted to the Star Tribune that while hed be open to returning to the majors, there likely wont be a situation that will entice him enough to do so.

I know that if the season ever would get started, he said, I still would have the ability to help a team. But 36-year-old outfielders who havent played in two yearsnot happening.

Im very satisfied pouring my life into our family, to [my wife] Anne, a wonderful person, and our two boys.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app.Click hereto download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.


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Boy with cystic fibrosis bounces his way through lockdown – Kent Online

Posted: at 9:48 pm

A four-year-old boy who hasn't been able to leave the house since the pandemic hit due to his cystic fibrosis is bouncing his way through lockdown.

Theo Powell, from Tunbridge Wells, has been getting involved in a national challenge - Bounce 4 CF for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, taking to his trampoline in a dragon costume and bounding around his garden in a yellow sack - the brand colour of the trust.

He is one of 10,500 people in the UK who have the condition which causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, and is therefore in the vulnerable group during the coronavirus crisis.

Trampoline sessions are part of Theo's daily exercise and physiotherapy routine, as the movement helps to dislodge the mucus and improve his breathing.

So, encouraged by his parents, Caroline and Laurence, the Nivan Lodge Pre-School pupil decided to also use this as a way to raise money for a cause which the family has been involved in for some time.

Due to Theo's condition, the family have had to stay home since advice for the shielding group was issued by the Government., and do not know when they will be able to go out again.

Rev Powell, vicar at King Charles the Martyr Church priest in charge of St Mark's Church, has been holding services via Zoom and Mrs Powell has been trying to come up with inventive ways to keep Theo entertained during lockdown.

Mrs Powell, 31, said: "Every day gets quite similar but we are trying to mix it up when we can - camping in the garden, building stuff - we're keeping busy."

Although, she says Theo is used to not being allowed out due to frequent hospital trips.

"He's been in hospital quite a lot - he spent a month and a half there in total last year and when he's there, he's not allowed out of the room in case of cross contamination," said Mrs Powell.

Her husband added: "This strict shielding lockdown is a difficult situation for the whole family.

"Theo has just been accepted at the local school but at the moment we are not sure whether he will be able to start with his cohort."

The family are also pushing to get Theo a life-extending therapy called trikafta on the NHS.

Last year, hundreds shared their delight as Orkambi, said to slow decline in lung function, was made widely available after several years of campaigning. However, it does not treat all cystic fibrosis patients, with trikafta helping others whose DNA is not compatible with Orkambi, such as Theo.

In addition, Mrs Powell is working on a separate Instagram campaign, @wearyellow2020, encouraging people to post photos of them wearing yellow in support of Cystic Fibrosis Trust on Friday, June 19.

Along with her friend, Laura Fine, Mrs Powell is running a raffle on the day, with other games and fun activities planning for the week running up to 'wear yellow day'.

To support Theo in his Bounce 4 CF campaign, click here, and to get involved in the family's Instagram campaign, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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Government to appeal historic Bahamian court ruling on citizenship – NYCaribNews

Posted: May 29, 2020 at 5:55 pm

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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Severe weather warning for Central and Northwest Bahamas – EyeWitness News

Posted: at 5:55 pm

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

Posted: at 5:55 pm

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

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Commodore: Border patrol strategies expected to cont. to deter illegal landings – EyeWitness News

Posted: at 5:55 pm

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Commodore Dr Raymond King said yesterday the multi-layered strategies of the organization has yielded success in deterring illegal migration and with the acquisition of additional assets and technological recourses, particularly in the southern Bahamas, those strategies are expected to continue to perform.

Haiti has emerged as the outbreak hotspot among CARICOM members with the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases among member states stemming from The Bahamas southeastern neighbor.

As of yesterday, there were over 1,000 cases a first among CARICOM countries.

While the borders and airports remain closed in Haiti, natural disasters and widespread civil unrest has seen increased illegal migration attempts from the country to The Bahamas.

King, whoappeared as a guestof ILTVs Beyondthe Headlines with host Clint Watson, was asked the about the developing humanitarian crisis in Haiti and the potential for increased illegal migration attempts to the southern Bahamas.

He said as a result of The Bahamas efforts, the defense force has observed increased illegal landing attempts toward Turks and Caicos, which as a result, has sought to strengthen its maritime patrols.

And so, we are always cognizant that there is a balloon effect, King said.

Once you stop, and you hinder and you deter a traditional route, criminals naturally seek to use a different avenue.

And so, this fight is not a fight the defense force is fighting alone.

Our regional partners, we all experience the same common threat.

And so, by working cooperatively and coordinately, with joint maritime interdiction operations, we are able to realize a huge success rate and to be a huge deterrent. T

The US Coast Guard vessels, our vessels in the southern Bahamas and with those multi-layers of security assets, we will continue to do our work.

But it is through partnerships we will be able to successfully leverage all of our resources and to achieve even greater success.

According to King, the multi-layered security strategy involving persistent and overlapping vessel patrols, intelligence reconnaissance via aircraft, ongoing relationships with international organizations; and the use of technology, which extends the reach of the coastal radars, provides considerable coverage to the extent that we have been able to successfully stem the tide of migrant smuggling and entry into this Bahamas.

The islands in the southern Bahamas, which have had zero reported cases of COVID-19 have been allowed to resume full commercial activity, though the countrys borders remain closed.


After serving as acting commodore since late 2019, Rolle officially took command of the defense force after being sworn in last week.

Asked if his new strategies in recent months could be attributed for the lull in illegal migrants landings in The Bahamas, King said the strategies employed were not new, but a national security strategy that he and his predecessor inherited.

However, he said: The governments set strategy, border protection, there are certain strategic objectives, but the difference is and I say this with all humility is how you unfold that strategy. That is the difference.

King, who noted he has spent 80 percent of his career at sea, said he understands the domain and threats well.

As commodore, King said there will be increased focus on border protection as part of a wider strategic national plan to combat crime.

Some of these objectives include the decentralization of operations across the archipelago and enhancing the organizations maritime domain awareness, according to King.

The defense force has integrated unmanned aerial surveillance drones into its arsenal to protect the nations borders, as well as integrated satellite communications.

Those will assist us in being able to detect, track and intercept targets of interest in our domain, King said.

The other concept is being intelligence driven, so we seek to strengthen our relationships with our partner nations.

And nationally, the creation of the National Crime Intelligence Agency will help in terms of intelligence sharing among our sister law enforcement agencies.

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Battered Caribbean prepares for hurricanes amid pandemic – The Republic

Posted: at 5:55 pm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Hurricanes. Earthquakes. COVID-19.

Caribbean islands have rarely been so vulnerable as an unusually active hurricane season threatens a region still recovering from recent storms as it fights a worsening drought and a pandemic that has drained budgets and muddled preparations.

It is crazy, said Iram Lewis, Bahamian minister for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction. No one could have imagined this.

An estimated three to six major hurricanes could form this year as part of a total of 13 to 19 named storms that are forecast for the June 1 to Nov. 30 season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An average season generates 12 named storms with 3 major hurricanes.

The dire forecast comes at a particularly trying time for the Caribbean. Thousands of people overall lost their homes in southern Puerto Rico because of recent strong earthquakes and in the northern Bahamas because of Hurricane Dorian, which hit September 2019 as a Category 5 storm, killing an estimated 70 people and leaving hundreds missing. Demolition on both islands hadnt even started in some areas when the pandemic hit and lockdowns ensued, causing billions of dollars in economic losses in one of the worlds most tourism-dependent regions.

As a result, governments are struggling more than ever to prepare for a season that started early: Tropical Storm Arthur formed in mid-May and dropped rain on Dorian-battered islands in the Bahamas before heading out to sea.

The response to COVID-19 has dried up government funds and lockdowns have delayed hurricane preparations, especially the identification of sufficient shelters given the pandemic.

Its a very complex landscape this year, said Elizabeth Riley, acting executive director for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

In the Bahamas, the government will place families in classrooms instead of preparing large gymnasiums like they did with Hurricane Dorian, Lewis said. But thats not an option for some mayors in Puerto Rico, where dozens of schools in the islands southern region were permanently shuttered after a 6.4-magnitude quake and heavy aftershocks, with more than 70 families still staying in hotels as the search for housing continues.

We definitely have additional challenges with all these simultaneous emergencies, said William Rodrguez, Puerto Ricos public housing administrator.

The shuttering of schools means less shelters at a time when more space is needed to avoid a possible second wave of coronavirus cases.

Santos Seda, mayor of the southern coastal town of Gunica, said the quakes damaged or destroyed six schools, leaving only one operational for a shelter if needed. In addition, more than 400 structures still have to be demolished, something that worries him greatly.

If a hurricane comes, theres no doubt they can turn into projectiles, he said.

While the U.S. territory said it has 288 shelters for 40,000 people with social distancing, there are still people living with blue tarps as roofs since Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017 as a Category 4 storm, said Ariadna Godreau, a human rights attorney and executive director of Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico.

The government estimated several months ago that more than 20,000 blue roofs remained across the island, but neither housing officials nor the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency could provide updated numbers.

Among those still waiting for their home to be repaired since Hurricane Maria is the mother of 63-year-old Maritza Santos. She said the wood-and-zinc roof blew away and that her elderly mother hasnt received any help to replace it. They live together now and worry about the upcoming hurricane season because Santos home already flooded during Maria and her mothers home is unlivable.

I cant talk about it because I get a knot in my throat, Santos said. It hurts my soul to see my mothers home in that state.

Another problem Puerto Rico and some other islands are facing amid the pandemic as they try to finalize hurricane preparations is a growing drought. Officials in Puerto Rico have warned of possible rationing measures if sufficient rain doesnt fall, while the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe recently imposed such measures and is distributing water to certain communities.

A cluster of thunderstorms that rolled past Puerto Rico on Thursday provided some relief, but it also reminded people of the vulnerability of the islands electrical grid that Hurricane Maria destroyed. More than 70,000 power outages were reported as a result of the heavy rains, and many wondered what would happen during a tropical storm, let alone a hurricane.

Jos Seplveda, director of transmission and distribution for Puerto Ricos Electric Power Authority, said reconstruction of the grid hasnt started, adding the process could take between 10 to 20 years. He acknowledged that frequent power outages are hitting the island and that the pandemic has delayed maintenance to the system that has not recovered from Maria even as a new hurricane season looms.

There is a lot of hidden damage that hasnt come to light, he said.

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Battered Caribbean prepares for hurricanes amid pandemic - The Republic

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