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  • BAHAMAS NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION COURTESY CALL AND RECEPTION AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE

    Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling hosted members of the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention in a Courtesy Call and Reception at Government House on Thursday, October 12, 2017. The Governor General is pictured greeting and welcoming the delegates. In group photo, pictured from left: Bishop Delton Fernander, Executive Secretary, Bahamas National Convention; Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming; Rev. Dr. Marina Sands; Dr. Neville George Callam, General Secretary & Chief Executive Officer, Baptist World Alliance; Rev. Dr. William Thompson, President, Bahamas Baptist Convention; the Governor General; Rev. Dr. Paul Msiza, President of Baptist World Alliance; Rev. Everton Jackson, Executive Secretary/Treasurer-Caribbean National Baptist Fellowship; Ms. Yvonne Pitter and Rev. Dr. Everette Brown, 4th Vice-President.

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  • NATIONAL DRUG FREE SCHOOLS DAY’ – OCTOBER 16

    “The persons mostly at risk for drug use and abuse are the vulnerable of the population which includes school-aged children,” said the Hon. Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, Wednesday, during a press conference to announce the first annual ‘National Drug Free Schools Day.’ The objective of the day, which, will be observed Monday, October 16, 2017 under the theme, “I’m Loving Me, Drug Free,” said Minister Dames, is to educate school students across the country about the harmful impact of illicit drug use and abuse, and to help strengthen their resolve to resist peer pressure and stay away from drugs.

    The National Anti-Drug Secretariat (NADS) within the Ministry of National Security in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, the school-based policing programme of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and other stakeholders, will assist in student-support. NADS, which has oversight of all drug control activities within the country, will coordinate the event. On that day public and private schools across the nation will host anti-drug activities. Guest speakers from local anti-drug organizations will share an anti-drug message along with the reading of the Proclamation signed by Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister. Balloons will be released on that day to symbolize unity, awareness and solidarity of all schools as they work together to keep the school environment drug free. The illicit drug trade is among the root causes of crime and violence in the country. Any successful strategy to effectively combat this problem must include not only supply reduction but demand reduction efforts, as well, for those most at risk of using drugs said Minister Dames.

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  • BAHAMAS TO HOST COMMONWEALTH LAW MINISTERS MEETING

    Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator the Hon. Carl Bethel announced that the Government and the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are pleased this year to host 52 Attorneys General and Law Ministers from various countries, during this year's Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting (CLMM), October 16-19, 2017 at Baha Mar. He made the announcement at a press conference at the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs on Thursday. In attendance at conference will be the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC. Attorney General Bethel said: "At these meetings, we will focus on Law Reform and Technology, two very important issues to countries around the world. Here in The Bahamas, we have been actively engaged in discussions with various stakeholders on Law Reform measures and are consistently reviewing the administration of justice in our jurisdiction with a view on how we become more relevant and effective in an ever-evolving society.

    "As you are aware, we continue to have our challenges in certain areas of the process of justice, but our commitment is to ensure that we are always working to create a more effective justice system that every citizen of the country can access and have confidence in the process."

    In addition, the Attorney General explained that the purpose of the meetings is to offer a unique opportunity to interact with other legal colleagues in the Commonwealth, as well as engage in meaningful discussions on teamwork tactics in addressing run-of-the-mill conformity on issues of mutual interests. "It provides the opportunity for bi-lateral and multi-lateral meetings with regional and global counterparts to share experiences, discuss best practices and explore the possibility of closer working relationships," he said.

    Finally, Bethel concluded with the fact that technology is driving the new methods of doing business globally and it is impacting every sector of society. "We, as Attorneys General and Law Ministers, must not only be aware of the technological advancements, but fully understand the impact it is currently having and the potential impact it can have in the future on the administration of justice in our individual countries and by extension the entire Commonwealth. We need to discuss how we embrace technology as part of the creation of a more efficient justice system as part of our reform measures. "This summit also presents another opportunity for our country to demonstrate to the world that we are a first-class destination for international meetings and conferences. We have held numerous events in the past and will continue to in the future." Bethel reminded the press to spread the word that we are in the tourism business and "such niche markets as international conferences and meetings" create opportunities for tourism growth and expansion. "We look forward to a very productive and successful week of meetings," said the Attorney General.

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  • ANTI-CORRUPTION BILL TO INCLUDE CONFISCATION OF ASSETS POLICY

    The Minnis Administration will introduce new and revised legislation to combat official corruption in The Bahamas as part of its legislative agenda, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said Wednesday.

    This includes a more advanced Anti-Corruption Bill “inclusive of Asset Confiscation and Public Disclosure” and an Integrity Commission Bill. “Political will is needed in order to address and stem corruption,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “This government and this Prime Minister have the will to confront corruption. We will promote law and order.” Addressing Parliament Wednesday, Prime Minister Minnis said his Administration was elected by the people of The Bahamas to vigorously address the culture of corruption “and we will continue to fulfill this mandate.” “Be assured that once uncovered, status, politics or family name will not prevent prosecution. We cannot simply ignore the massive abuse and theft of public funds.”

    Prime Minister Minnis said the Government will continue with the forensic audits of government ministries, corporations and departments in order to identify wrongdoing and to stop such practices occurring in the future. “We have already tabled legislation to provide for a stand-alone Office of Public Prosecution,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “We will ensure the appointment of honest and fair-minded individuals to the various offices and agencies which combat official corruption. This is essential if we are to stem public corruption at every level.”

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  • PM TO MEET WITH CABINET MINISTERS INDIVIDUALLY;DEEPEN CONVENTION REGARDING DISCUSSIONS WITH GG

    Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said Wednesday (October 11) that he will meet with each Cabinet Minister individually on a quarterly basis with a view to assessing the work of individual ministries while helping to improve the effectiveness of each ministry in carrying out the Government’s policies. The decision is part of the Minnis Administration’s programme of reform and transformation in governance as foreshadowed in the Speech From the Throne during the Opening of Parliament (May, 2017). Prime Minister Minnis also announced that each government ministry will be asked to develop a multi-year plan with clear, annual, metrics for that ministry, and in keeping with available finances and resources. “These plans will be developed by senior staff and technical officers in each ministry in accordance with my Government’s Manifesto commitments and related objectives,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “These plans will be developed with reference to the National Development Plan. My Ministers will be held accountable for these plans.”

    Closing out debate on a Resolution to thank the Governor-General for reading the Speech From the Throne Wednesday in the House of Assembly, Prime Minister Minnis also pledged to “regularly call on” Her Excellency, Dame Marguerite Pindling, GCMG, Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, to discuss matters of state.

    The Prime Minister said the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas provides executive authority to the Governor General and mandates that the Government keeps the Governor General informed about what his/her government is doing. “This is a mandate I intend to honour. With her permission and at her convenience, I plan to deepen the longstanding convention by which a Prime Minister regularly calls on the Governor General to discuss matters of state. “This commitment is part of my Government’s programme of government and political reform. We must continue to perfect and deepen our constitutional and parliamentary democracy which enshrines ancient traditions, both necessary and relevant in the 21st Century,” Prime Minister Minnis added. Prime Minister Minnis also pledged to continue to visit sub-offices of the Office of the Prime Minister in Grand Bahama and Abaco on a regular basis. Additional sub-offices are to be opened in Eleuthera, Exuma and Andros. “To better connect the Central Government to these major islands, I plan to visit each of these offices on a regular basis. This will improve the effectiveness of government. “As noted in the Speech from the Throne and other communications, my government has embarked upon a programme of reform and transformation,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Such reform requires a long-term vision and concrete steps for change. Such change will not happen overnight, but we are laying the groundwork for change in areas ranging from combating official corruption to bringing Local Government to New Providence, to dealing effectively with the New Providence Landfill, to the expansion of the use of solar and renewable energy.”

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  • 156 NATIONAL YOUTH AWARD NOMINEES HONOURED

    The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture held a National Youth Awards Nominee Medal Presentation Ceremony at Government House, October 11, 2017 during which the Ministry honoured 156 outstanding persons of the community. Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite, as patron, made the presentations, and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard gave words of encouragement and inspiration to the young people, nominated for excellence in various categories of society achievement and service. ‘National Youth Awards’ was first implemented by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture in October 2014. Each year since, Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General, has served as Patron of the distinguished honour presentations, and at the conclusion of yesterday’s ceremony presented approximately 538 medals to exceptional, well-deserving young Bahamians.

    Added to the collection of honours this year -- is the ‘Living Legend Award’ for Youth Practitioners who have given exemplary service well beyond the age of retirement. The 2017 recipient is Captain Fernley Palmer, MBE, JP, who served for more than 60 years as a member and leader in The Bahamas Boys Brigade. The Ministry pays posthumous tribute to Lionel R. S. Elliott Sr., former Youth Development official in the Division of Youth and longstanding Executive Director and Programme Manager of Junior Achievement Bahamas.

    National Youth Awards winners will receive their trophies at the Gala Awards and BTC Cash Prize.

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  • MINISTER FERREIRA SUPPORTS GLOBAL OCEAN CONSERVATION EFFORTSAT EU'S "OUR OCEANS" CONFERENCE IN MALTA

    Bahamas Minister of the Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira, recently attended the European Union's Fourth "Our Oceans" Conference, held October 5 and 6 in Valletta, Malta. Hundreds of marine resource representatives from member countries met to improve and strengthen ocean resource security and policies. Keynote speakers at the international event were His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales, and His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco, both of whom spoke on the importance of marine life protection. Minister Ferreira spoke on The Bahamas’ contribution to protection of ocean ecologies. Minister Ferreira said: "We congratulate all governments that participated in this exercise to finalize this Coral Reef Life Declaration, as it solidifies our commitment to the protection of our global commons. It highlights our interconnectedness and interdependence. More importantly, it displays our dedication to a generation unborn, who, without such a declaration, may not know the wonders and abundant offerings of these great global commons. "In The Bahamas, coral reefs play a pivotal role in the continued viability of The Bahamas. They are the foundation of our unique fisheries, a tantalizer to our tourists and a first line of defense against ever-frequent storms and hurricanes. Currently, we are halfway to meeting our commitment to protect at least 20% of our near shore environment by 2020. The goal is in sight, as we are making steady progress towards the target."

    The conference delivered unprecedented results in drawing support for a commitment to protecting the ocean environment and managing its conservation. Mr. Ferreira stated: "We are however, doing our part, not only through the declaration of Marine Protected Areas, but through the replanting of endangered reefs and the creation of artificial ones. Because life below water also depends on life above water, we must extend our obligations, not only to the conservation of marine environments, but to end practices that lead to ocean acidification, climate change and other harmful impacts to the Earth’s oceans. "The Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, commissioned by The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, in 2014, is the country’s first underwater living art gallery. It is home to the largest underwater sculpture in the world and now home to thousands of coral. It is a stunning example of a multipurpose hub for the marine environment. Time is of the essence. I again applaud the finalization of this declaration, but admonish us not to become complacent, there is much that remains undone. “The outcome of the 4th ‘Our Ocean’ conference stands to prove that when the world comes together for a common cause, much can be accomplished in peace. "I understand that over 200 commitments were tabled by different countries. There were a combination of 87 NGOs, foundations, research institutes and international organizations that also made commitments. “This year's conference has mobilized an impressive involvement of at least 100 commitments from corporate leaders and the business community, to dedicate a budget to conserving our ocean. Hopefully, the next conference will yield more obligations as we all share the same water that covers 75 percent of the Earth," said Minister Ferreira.

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  • 'TIME TO CLEANUP' GETS STARTED

    The Ministry of Environment & Housing this month has begun a 'Time to Clean Up' Campaign. Catching the theme, on Friday and Saturday through Old Boat Alley, off Market Street, residents gathered for two days to clean up their surroundings, making a difference in their communities. Over the weekend, Minister of the Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira visited the Eastern Parade on National Heroes Day, October 9, to show support to a group of cleanup volunteers for a private cause, led by Ed Fields, Senior VP at Atlantis. Ed and his team of volunteers spent the morning cleaning up the green spaces and empty lots, near the Pond, Betty Cole Park, Butlers Funeral Home, and the area around the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge.

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  • 'SAMMI STARR'S' MENTORING APPLAUDED

    Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard commended award-winning Bahamian recording artist and producer ‘Sammi Starr’ Poitier for an initiative he’s undertaking that should encourage more Bahamian performers to follow their dreams. The Minister noted: “Sammi Starr is a gifted entertainer who has an incredible voice; he is as effective behind the scenes as a producer and a mentor for emerging performing artists.” “I wanted to meet with the Minister today to discuss working with young entertainers, young artists, and mentoring them and helping them get into music full time,” Sammi said during a recent courtesy call. “You know, give them some encouragement to let them know that there is an opportunity to make it as an entertainer – for income, exposure, and, of course, a lifetime career.” The purpose of meeting with Minister Pintard, Sammi continued, was to see if he could get the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to be aligned with that vision and support it. “The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is happy to collaborate with him as we seek to mentor emerging artists, continue to contribute to his success as an artist, and gain from his expertise as we seek to internationalise various genres of the arts,” Minister Pintard said.

    Sammi shared the stage with international recording artists such as Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Barrington Levy, and Diddy at "Miami's Best of the Best 2010," becoming one of the first Bahamians to perform at that concert event – and continuing to do so for more than 4 years. He has also won major talent shows including Charlotte, North Carolina’s “You Got Vocals,” the “2007 Junkanoo Song Competition” in The Bahamas, and the inaugural Music Masters Competition at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in 2015 – the latter of which resulted in his landing a recording contract with Sony Music Latin. Sammi also spoke highly of the talent of Bahamian performers. “The talent that we have in The Bahamas is unreal,” he said. “We have talent here that can be on the same stage as world-class entertainers – Grammy-award-winning entertainers. There is no question about it. They just need the exposure.” Sammi encouraged persons who want to work with him to contact him on social media, across various platforms. “This is one of the mandates for the rest of my career; so just get in touch with me,” Sammi said. “We will talk and hear you out about whatever your vision is as an entertainer, a musical artist or just an artist period. “We can talk about it and whatever I could do to help, I will.” Minister Pintard responded, “We believe that more Bahamian artists should contribute to taking our various forms of art internationally, and we are happy that Sammi Starr is committed to working with us in doing just that.”

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  • A.M.M.C LIVING HISTORY AWARDS CEREMONY PLANNED

    The Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC) will host a Living History Awards ceremony in early December at Baha Mar to recognize Bahamian talent and create greater awareness of the role, significance and contributions of the AMMC. Executive Chairman Reece Chipman made the announcement on Thursday at the AMMC offices on Shirley Street.

    The public will nominate persons for awards in these categories: Research and Education, Architecture and Historical Restoration, Oral History and Genealogy, Youth Entrepreneurship and Vendor Award, Historic Districts and Townships, Journalism and Talk Shows, Artistry and Craftsmanship, Technology and Social Media, Historic Churches and Faith Centers, Archaeological and Paleontological Research, Junkanoo Heritage, Cinematography and Photography, and Festivals and Events, among others.

    Funds raised from the AMMC Living History Awards will be used to facilitate the preservation and restoration of important historic resources throughout The Bahamas. Corporate Bahamas is being invited to partner with the AMMC on this event through several different sponsorship packages. More information about the awards gala can be found on the AMMC website, www.ammcbahamas.com, or by calling 242-397-6800 or email ammcawards@ammcbahamas.com

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