N N A A S S S S A A U U A A N N D D B B A A H H A A M M A A I I S S L L A A N N D D S S L L E E A A D D I I N N G G N N E E W W S S P P A A P P E E R R C M Y K C M Y K V olume: 107 No.20TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER CLOUDS, SHOWER HIGH 70F LOW 60F F E A T U R E S S EEWOMANSECTION S P O R T S Miss Bahamas SEESECTIONE Professional Strikers win Title By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FOUR Bahamian companies yesterday signed condi tional letters of intent for $15 million worth of construction contracts for Baha Mar's Commercial Village which will c reate 450 new jobs in New Providence. The contracts are a fraction of the $60 million in contracts Baha Mar will award to Bahamian contractors for work on the property's first phase. Last week the devel opers received "the most important" approval from the Bahamas Investment Authority and expect to have an amended Head of Agreement finalised with Government "before the end of the year," said Baha Mar Senior Vicepresident of External Affair Robert Sands. The developers also expect to close its $200 million loan facility with Scotia Bank some time this month. Ground-breaking on the Commercial Village should begin in mid-January 2011. Managers and engineers are expected to begin preliminary work on the core project three months after the start of the Commercial Village. However the influx of Chinese labourers almost 8,000 will be working on the project in phases are not expected until around September or October 2011 to start construction on the core component of Baha Mar. At a signing ceremony at the Sheraton yesterday, Mr Sands said: "We can confirm that we've received the Bahamas Investment Author ity's approval which is the most important approval. There's certainly another doc ument that has to be completed, which is the amended Heads of Agreement, that should be done imminently. Those documents are necessary for closing with China Exim Bank and so we are on a fast-track to make that happen before the end of this year." John F Dunn and Associates were chosen to build the new Fidelity Bank building; Osprey Developers Co Ltd will build a new Commonwealth Bank; Cavalier Con Four Bahamian firms to employ 450 for Commercial Village McCOMBO OF THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM www.fidelitygroup.comCall 356.7764today! Fall in love again with a Fidelity Fast Track car loan. FidelityBank FastTrack Loan Contracts signed on first Baha Mar jobs BAHAMASBIGGEST CARSFORSALE, HELPWANTED ANDREALESTATE I N S I D E SEE page nine By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter n email@example.com UNIONS representing B TC employees will a ttempt to have an injunction lifted when they appear in court today. The court order was issued last week after a successful petition by BTC,w hich claimed the unions were responsible for an illegal work stoppage. The injunction restricted the unions involved from, BTC STAFF UNIONS IN BID TO HAVE INJUNCTION LIFTED SEE page eight WEATHER WOES: Chilly temperatures and strong winds hit the capital yesterday forcing tourists and locals alike to wrap up against the cold. Today should see similar conditions. COLDWINDSINTHECAPITAL FELIPE MAJOR/TRIBUNE STAFF POLICE arrested a would-be armed robber yesterday after his unsuccess ful attempt to hold up a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC It was reported that a man armed with a handgun entered the Oakes Field location, jumped onto the counter and demanded cash. He held most of the employ ees at bay, however, some were able to escape from the building and at the back of the restaurant. Unable to open the locked cash registers or con trol escaped witnesses, the GUNMAN ARRES TED AFTER F AILED KFC R OBBERY ATTEMPT SEE page eight By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org TWO men appeared before a magistrate yesterday charged with killing a man who allegedly won a large sum of money at a numbers house just hours before his death. Dacinson Berchant, 27, and Brandon Keith Evans, 29, both of Marsh Harbour, Abaco, are accused of murdering 36-yearold Stanley Saintville on Monday, Decem ber 6. Mr Saintville, an Abaco native, was shot to death at his home in Forest Drive, Marsh Harbour, hours after reportedly winning more than $50,000 at a local num bers house. Two charged with killing man after alleg ed n umbers win CHARGED: Brandon Keith Evans (left Dacinson Berchant. SEE page nine
B y PAUL G TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter p email@example.com T HE determining factor as to whether or not PLP leader Perry Christie will stay on for a full term if elected as the next P rime Minister will depend on his performance in the post and nothing else, former MP George Smith said yesterday. As a special guest on Island F Ms radio programme Parliament Street, Mr Christie madea complete 180 degree turn from his previously stated posit ion and said he no longer intends to quit mid-term if reelected as Prime Minister in 2012. When I said that I would leave mid-term or when it was said that I said I would leave mid-term that was perhaps a mischaracterization or misstatement on my part because I k now that people will vote for you because of what they think you will do for them. And for me to hold out the possibility, t hat I would not be fair to the p eople who would vote for me to present those programmes and policies that we will present to them in the next cam-p aign, Mr Christie said. Noting these remarks, Mr Smith reminded the former Prime Minister that no leader o f a political party is voted in as l eader by the general public. It is the national convention of either party, he said, that must decide on such a choice. There-f ore, with a number of other prospective candidates waiting in the wings of the PLPs Parliamentary caucus, Mr Smith s aid that Mr Christies perform ance will ultimately determine whether he stays on for a full term, or even be given an additional five years in office. We in political parties are in the business of winning. He cannot be judge by talking about winning. If he wins he w ill lead. If he loses, the obvio us will happen, he said. Mr Smith added that while he was one of the first persons to come out and publicly sup-p ort Mr Christie to remain as leader of the party, he also will be looking at his performance in office if the opportunity is afforded him again. However, the partys deputy l eader Philip Brave Davis had a different opinion on the matter. Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Mr Davis said thath e did not think Mr Christies decision to now stay on in office will cause any issues within the party, or stir up any former r ivalries for the top post. From my perspective, Mr Davis said, I think Christie is sensitive to the views and thinking of the Bahamian public andh e will know when best to go. No one is going to push him out. He will decide when he wants to go, he said. By DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT In an effort t o combat crime and help victims of crime in his constituen-c y, Pineridge MP Kwasi Thompson is hosting a commun ity forum on crime prevention. Mr Thompson said crime has become a serious challenge for Bahamians everywhere. It affects the lives of every B ahamian directly or indirectly. Pineridge, unfortunately, has n ot escaped its effects, he said. The forum will be held tonight at 6.30pm at the Susan J Wallace Centre on Columbus Drive. R esidents in the Columbus Park area, Back-a-Town, SunsetS ubdivision, Freeport Ridge, Heritage, Pioneers Way area, Garden Villas and Hudson Estate are invited to attend. Speaking at the forum will be r epresentatives from the Royal Bahamas Police Force who will g ive residents tips on what they can do to protect themselves and their property. Mr Thompson said psychologist Dr Pamula Mills will alsob e in attendance to lend her expertise to help victims over-c ome their fear of crime. He said crime is everyones business. The reality is if you are not part of the solution you are part o f the problem. This is a multi-faceted chal l enge that requires an equally multi-faceted approach. It r equires those who commit crimes to have a change of heart, mind and lifestyle to stop committing the crimes. There are those who see a nd hear things and refuse to get involved, there are familym embers who know and remain quiet, and there are t hose who buy stolen goods, he said. Mr Thompson encouraged citizens in the various communities to support the police in its e fforts to fight crime. We cannot be paralysed by t he fear of crime, he said. We have also asked the c hurch to become involved. We have requested Pineridge churches to set a time in their Sunday service to pray for the community, specifically that we w ould have a crime-free Christ mas, that God would protectu s all and comfort those who are victims of crime, Mr T hompson said. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM MP holds community forum PERRY CHRISTIE Controversy over PLP leaders mid-term decision change
THE prosecution is expected to close its case against FML CEO Craig Flowers and several of his employees when his trial resumes next month. Mr Flowers was back in court yesterday although his trial was unable to proceed because presiding magistrate Derrence Rolle-Davis was on circuit. Mr Flowers was charged last year with promoting a lottery and permitting his web shop to be used for the purpose of conducting a lottery after police raided FML's head office on Wulff Road. Police confiscated nearly $1 million in cash from his establishment. Mr Flowers has pleaded not guilty to the allegations. A number of his employees were arraigned on similar charges and several patrons were charged with being found on a premises where a lottery was taking place. Mr Flowers and his employees are represented by attorney Alfred Sears. Jillian Williams is the prosecutor. If convicted, the accused persons could face a fine of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison. GUN VIOLENCE continues to plague residents and businesses in the capital the weekends toll leaving anoth-er three people in hospital. The reports come amidst an unprecedented homicide count and recent statistics that indicate that the number of gunshot victims has increased by nearly half over the same period last year. In addition to the two shootings on Friday and three armed robberies reported on Saturday, the police have released further reports of criminal activity over the weekend. The first weekend shooting occurred early Saturday morning when a man was shot in the arm while at Toote Shop Corner off East Street. The victim was approachedby two men, one of whom pulled out a handgun and fired at him. The man was taken to hospital in a private vehicle and was said to be in stable condition. The next shooting occurred early Sunday afternoon at Rupert Dean Lane. It was reported that a 23-year-old woman and 17-year-old girl were both shot in the leg following an argument between a man and a woman. They were taken to hospital by ambulance. Meanwhile, police are questioning a 30-year-old resident of Excellence Estates in connection with an armed robbery at an Asue Draw location Sunday afternoon. Three masked men, all armed with handguns and wearing black clothing, entered the establishment on Baillou Hill Road and Martin Street, and demanded cash. Money They made off with an undetermined amount of money in a silver coloured Honda Inspire. Half an hour later, police were called to another armed robbery at Alexander Boulevard, Nassau Village. It was alleged that two masked gun men stole an undetermined amount of cash from T & L Solutions, before they fled the area on foot heading west. The men were said to be armed with handguns. On Sunday evening, shortly after 7.30pm, two men were robbed by a hooded gunman while walking on Lincoln Boulevard in the area of Homestead Street. The man, who wore a dark blue hooded jacket and jeans, stole an undetermined amount of cash and jewellery before he fled the area on foot. Minutes later, police were called to a shooting of a 31year-old man in the same area. The man was outside his house at Homestead Street when a gunman wearing gray pants and a black jacket demanded cash. The victim was shot in the thigh after he told the culprit he did not have any money. The wounded man was taken to hospital by ambulance. Meanwhile in other crimerelated matters, police have identified two men who were recently killed. Police have also identified the boy who was killed in a car accident in Exuma as 17year-old Mchale Rolle. The man who was gunned down on Sunday was identified as 26-year-old Renaldo Forbes of Pinewood Gardens. Mr Forbes body was found on August Street near Tucker Corner with a bullet wound to the head. Investigators are without leads in the shooting the countrys 93rd homicide. Anyone with information that might assist in any of these investigations should immediately call police on 911 919 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 328TIPS (8477 C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Gun violence leaves three more people in hospital CRAIG FLOWERS LOTTERY TRIAL ADJOURNED INDISCUSSION: Craig Flowers and attorney Alfred Sears outside court yesterday. T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f
EDITOR, The Tribune. I read with interest that the Seat Belt law is about to be enforced and I thought Id like to make a few comments. As somebody who recognises the advantage of wearing the seat belts it's obviously about time and I thoroughly agree with this law. There appears to be some difference of opinion in reporting on this issue. The Tribune noted that on Monday, December 13th the police would be in full force handing out flyers giving notice of the law with a 10day grace period. The radio announcer implied that tickets would be immediately given out if dri vers were not in compliance. Which is it? The report noted that trucks would only require the driver and front seat passengers to wear seat belts which makes me wonder ift he police considers persons riding in the back of a pick-up are considered not in danger.I must say that its about time that there will be an enforcement for children to be in car seats. I cringe every day when I see parents with little kids in the front or rear seats sitting on parents laps which is a recipe for a disaster. Now for my fun part. Even though this law has been in effect for quite a while I have yet to see any police officers driving or riding in their cars wearing seat belts. I have yet to see any persons driving government vehicles wearing seat belts. Will the police and the government abide by this law or as is normal by the police attitude consider themselves above the law. How many times do the police break the driving rules on our roads or more proba bly dont even know those rules? On December 13th I won der if I try to make a citizens arrest of an officer not wearing his or her seat belt would I be acknowledged or end up at Central booking? A few weeks ago I was stopped by the police because one of my headlights was out. It was certainly operating when I left home. Now there were many cars passing that had other obvi ous major problems like no rear lights, parts hanging off or damaged. I guess they see somebody driving an expensive vehicle and feel they can afford the $80 ticket which I felt was not very fair. In North America a ticket is issued but if the problem is rectified within 24 hours there is no charge. In North America the police motto is to Serve and Protect. Another observation when are the police going to start controlling the bus, taxi and truck drivers that daily endan ger the other citizens on our roads? MICHAEL PATRICK Nassau, December 10, 2010. EDITOR, The Tribune. The public dialogue for BTC is long overdue, but the fact that it is taking place in a climate of economic uncer-t ainty is not helping this exchange. The overdueness of this particular privatisation exercise has been clouded by the selective disclosures of some of the information that the public should be privy to. I have my own reservations about BTC and surprisingly enough they have nothing to do with politics, although the blame for most of the missteps have to be placed at the feet of those who attempt to fool the public on a daily basis. BaTelCo has one enemy, and it is the compression factor that is caused by the passage of time and progress of technology; which has resulted in BTC being between a rock and a hard place. All of the other noises we hear have to do with the lack of preparation and planning by those who were charged with stewardship of one of the nations treasures, which up to now has only been a trea sure chest for some. What could have been a very progressive company, a major communications hub off the eastern seaboard nev er developed to the extent that it should have. It was not so long ago that BaTelCo was rolling in m oney and its revenue outstripped all the other utility companies. I know that hindsight is 20/20 but what was done by Cable Bahamas should have been carried out by a technology arm of BaTelCo. You do not have to be a genius to see that the rate at which Cable Bahamas is expanding is closely linked to the progress of technology previously mentioned. CB is a testimony, indictment, picture of what could have been done through BaTelCo. W here do we go from here? BaTelCo still has a chance to do what it is mandated to do, but it cannot be seen as a cocoon or safe place for the 1200 or so employees employed there technology will not allow it. The communications component must be seen for what it is, relentless, unforgiving, resourceful, paradigm-changing and most of all evolving, and this will become more evident when the market opens up and the protections afforded to what has been a complacent sector, removed. It has not occurred to some that we must be able to do locally what we can do abroad. The ease and efficiency that Bahamians experience in their business dealings out side of this country must be experienced in the Bahamas one way or another. There is no time for political anything, the fact that the value of BaTelCo has been reduced by almost 50 per cent during the course of this privatisation should be a wake up call for all of us who say we are concerned. Presently there are businesses and persons who do not use BaTelCo for anything not e ven local calls and as technology evolves and the compression factor increases, BaTelCo will feel the competitive crunch long before the protections it has are removed. The fact that as long as a computer is on the options on how one communicates and does business, multiplies, and for some of us landlines are already obsolete. Who was it in the Wizard of Oz that made the remark we a re not in Kansas anymore? It was a wise remark and Bahamians may have to see that remark in a global context and exercise wisdom, because technology has its own rules in this ever evolving global communications market. The socio-economic cocoons that we have allowed through political expediency will not survive as technology progresses. EDWARD HUTCHESON N assau, December 12, 2010. C M Y K C M Y K EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master L EON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 S IR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. P ublisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama W EBSITE www.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm CANCUN, Mexico (AP international deal on climate, reached early Saturday after hard days of bargaining, was described by exhausted delegates as a "step forward" in grappling with global warming. I f they step too far, however, they're going to bump into an elephant in the room. T hat would be the U.S. Republican Party, and nobody at the Cancun meetings wante d to talk about the impending Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representa-t ives. It essentially rules out any new, legally binding pact requiring the U.S. and other m ajor emitters of global warming gases to reduce their emissions. In endless hours of speeches at the annual U.N. climate conference, the U.S. political situation was hardly mentioned, despite itsc rucial role in how the world will confront what the Cancun final documents called" one of the greatest challenges of our time." Not everyone held his tongue. Seas rising f rom warming, and threatening their homes, got Pacific islanders talking. Marcus Stephen, president of Nauru, spoke despairingly of "governments dead locked because of ideological divisions." E nele Sopoaga, Tuvalu's deputy prime minister, referred to the "backward politics" ofo ne unnamed developed nation. A U.S. friend, Prime Minister Meles Z enawi of Ethiopia, told a large gathering here, "The key thing for us is not whether the American Congress is controlled by this or that party," but that richer nations help the developing world with financial support for clean energy sources, new seawalls, new water systems and other projects to tryt o stem and cope with climate change and the droughts, floods, disease and extreme w eather it portends. "Which party" does matter, however. Many Republicans dismiss scientific evidence of human-caused warming, citing arguments by sceptics that the large major i ty of scientists are wrong or that the conse quences of warming are overstated. E arly in the two-week conference here, four Republican members of the Senate E nvironment and Public Works Committee sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton demanding a freeze on about $3 billion in planned U.S. climate aidin 2010-2011. T he senators said some findings of the U.N.'s climate change panel "were found tob e exaggerated or simply not true" and said that at a time of record U.S. budget deficits, no American taxpayer dollars should be committed to a global climate fund based o n information that is not accurate." The leader of the protest, Sen. John Barr asso of Wyoming, called the financing an "international climate change bailout." What w ill they call the long-term finance plan embraced at the Cancun conference, for $100 billion a year in U.S. and other inter national climate financing by 2020? Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who with Zenawi co-chaired a U.N. panel on climate financing, was asked how this U.S. opposition can be overcome. "I believe that many things might happen i n American politics in a period of 10 years," he replied. S uch long, wishful views have dominated the climate talks for two decades, as the U.S. r emained outside the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the modest mandatory reductions ine missions that other industrial nations accepted. For the world to agree on a new, a ll-encompassing treaty with deeper cuts to succeed Kyoto, whose targets expire in 2012, the U.S. Congress must pass legislation to cap U.S. industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. I don't think that's going to happen right away," Todd Stern, chief U.S. negotiator,s aid with understatement here early Saturday. I nstead, the Cancun talks, waiting for another day, focused on small steps on climate: some advances in establishing a system to compensate developing nations for pro tecting their forests, for example, and in sett ing up a global clearinghouse for "green" technology for developing nations. C ancun's chief accomplishment was to decide to create, with details to come, a G reen Climate Fund that will handle those expected tens of billions of dollars in climate support. This slowly-slowly approach began at the climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, l ast year, when the U.S., China, other big emitters and some small ones pledged toc arry out voluntary reductions in emissions. Some say this will be the way global w arming will be addressed, not with "topdown," legally binding treaties, but with selfassigned targets, bilateral deals to help create low-carbon economies, aspirational goals set by G-20 summits. If the world busies i tself with such voluntary activities, this thinking goes, it may all add up to climate p rotection. But scientists do numbers better than p oliticians. And the latest U.N. scientific calculation shows that the current emissionsreduction pledges, even if all are fulfilled, will barely get the world halfway to keeping temperatures rising to dangerous levels. The U .S. pledge based on executive, not congressional action is for a mere 3 per centr eduction of emissions below 1990 levels. If too little is done, the U.N. science net w ork foresees temperatures rising by up to 6.4 degrees Celsius (11.5 degrees F I n a timely reminder of what's at stake, NASA reported last week that the JanuaryN ovember 2010 period was the warmest globally in the 131-year record. A t that rate, climate will become the ele phant no one can ignore. (This article was written by Charles J. Hanley, AP special correspondent). BTC between a rock and a hard place LETTERS email@example.com On climate, the elephant thats ignored Some comments on seat belt law
W ITH the homicide rate for the year at a unprecedented 93, police continue t o seek the publics assistance in solving murder case s. P olice are searching for two men from Dolphin Driv e in Nassau who are wanted for questioning in connection with separate mur der investigations. The suspects are 28-yearold Sorvino Rahming and 19-year-old Clarence Smith. R ahming is described as b eing of medium brown complexion, 5 tall and w eighing around 160lbs w ith a medium build. S mith is described as being of dark brown complexion, 5 tall, weighinga round 140lbs with a slim build. Both men should be considered armed and extremely dangerous, p olice say. Persons with any information regarding the w hereabouts of these men are asked to contact the p olice emergency line at 9 19/911; CDU at 5029930/9991; the police cont rol room at 322-3333; Crime Stoppers at 3288477, or the nearest police station. A VOLUNTARY Bill o f Indictment was presented yesterday in the case of four men charged in Feb ruary's home invasion and s hoot-out in Coral Harbour. Brothers Derek and Jermaine Stuart, 37; Kelvin Cooper, 35; and Jeffrey Wilson, 55, have been charged in connection with the incident. T he men are accused of c onspiring to commit the armed robbery of Georgette Butler on Thursday, February 18. They are also charged with breaking into Ms Butler's home and, while armed with a handgun, robbing her of $30,000 worth o f assorted jewellery, $1,650 cash and a Dell laptop computer valued at $1,900. The men were initially arraignedo n the charges in May and are on bail. They are represented by attorneys Geoffrey Farquharson and Murrio Ducille. Appearing before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez y esterday, prosecutor Sandra Dee Gardiner presented the Voluntary Bill of Indictment, meaning thatt he matter will be fasttracked to the Supreme Court. The men were informed they have to appear before Senior Justice Jon Isaacs on January 14. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT A 25-year-old Eight M ile Rock man was charged with raping a 69-year-old woman in her home over the weekend. Eric Strachan, a resident of Andros T own, EMR, appeared before Magis trate Gwen Claude. It is alleged that on December 10, he r aped a female resident of Andros Town. He was not required to enter a plea to the charge. Strachan was remanded to Her M ajestys Prison until March 31, 2011 when a preliminary inquiry will be held to determine if there is sufficient evi d ence for him to stand trial in the Supreme Court. By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THECourt of Appeal yesterday overturned a ruling its new president Anita Allen made while serving a justice of the Supreme Court. Atisha Tinker and Omar McPhee were originally successful in an action against the Royal Bahamas Police Force in which they claimed unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution. They had also claimed defamation, but this was dismissed by Justice Allen because it was statute barred. The police appealed Justices Allens judgement and receiveda favourable judgement from the Court of Appeal last month. Tinker and McPhee were arrested and charged in 2004 in relation to several vehicles that were broken into downtown. Tinker and McPhee were exonerated, and then initiated their case against the police. Upon reexamining on the evidence presented at the trial, the Court of Appeal ruled there was a grave error in the judgement of Justice Allen. Despite the failed prosecution, the Court of Appeal ruled, the officers must be taken to have had an honest belief in the guilt of the respondents having regard to all the prevailing circumstances. The circumstances of the original arrest were outlined in the ruling. In reviewing the evidence, the learned judge found that the second respondent McPHee admitted under cross-examina tion that there was a car with broken glass nearby. The judge also made a finding that McPhee admitted that the police officers found an extra ash tray and a CD player under the drivers seat. Additionally, both McPhee and Tinker were discovered in the vicinity of a vehicle that was recently broken into. Those matters when taken together were sufficient to evoke reasonable suspicion in the mind of the ordinarily prudent and cautious man, let alone a police officer, stated the judgement. There was additional evidence to the effect that: one of the passengers had a screw-driver in his back pocket; the vehicle which was broken into had its ashtray and CD missing; two confession statements were given by one of the passengers in the vehicles to the effect that the respondents were part of a car theft ring, and they worked as a team, breaking into vehicles at numerous locations on the island including vehicles at the scene where they were arrested. A search warrant was executed at the home of the respondents who lived together and several stolen items were retrieved, it stated. The unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution claim must be based on whether the police officer at the time he made the arrest honestly and reasonably believed in his case, the judgement said. The Court of Appeal justices said there was ample evidence for the police to have honestly and reasonably believed that an offence had been committed. THE ESPN sponsored Nassau/Royal Caribbean Fun Run in Paradise which was scheduled to take place yesterday morning was cancelled due to weather conditions. Over 100 passengers of the Royal Caribbean ship Allure of the Seas including several celebrities in the world of competitive running were expected to take part in the cruise lines 5k Fun Run Race. The Nassau race was to be part of the inaugural Royal 5K St Maarten Lifestyle, Running and Fit ness Show which will air January 27 and 28 on the ESPN Caribbean Networks. However, high seas and windy conditions prevented the Allure of the Seas from docking in Nassau. Organisers are still awaiting word as to whether the cruise ship will call on Nassau at the end of the voyage. ASSAU/ROYAL CARIBBEAN FUN RUN CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS VOLUNTARY BILL OF INDICTMENT PRESENTED IN COURT Court of Appeal overturns ruling made by Anita Allen CHARGED: Eric Strachan is pictured outside of court yesterday. MAN CHARGED WITH RAPING 69-YEAR-OLD WOMAN Two men wanted in connection with murder cases CLARENCESMITH and SORVINORAHMING
O RLANDO, Fla. DISNEYCruise Line has added a third ship to its fleet, according to A ssociated Press. D isney officials took delivery of the Disney Dream on Thursday at a German shipyard where it's been under construction for nearly two years. I t will be bound for Port Canaveral this week and a maiden voyage for paying customers on Jan. 26. T he Disney Dream is s cheduled to sail three-, fourand five-night cruises to the Bahamas, from Port Canaveral. T o make room, the company is sending the Disney Wonder from P ort Canaveral to Los A ngeles. I t's the first of two new s hips to join the Disney fleet, with the Disney F antasy set to debut in A pril 2012. T he 4000-passenger Dream is the first news hip in the line since 1 999. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM THE National Insurance Board (NIB is forging ahead with the second component of the National Prescription Drug Plan, the Healthy People Programme. According to NIB officials, this programme aims to develop and entrench a culture of wellness in the population by partnering with local organisations to implement wellness programmes in the community. At a recent meeting, both public and private organisations in the field of health and wellness were briefed on the programmes objectives and encouraged to submit proposals to NIB. Algernon Cargill, director of NIB, said the Healthy People Programme will focus on providing financial grants to qualified organisations for well-conceived, innovative community projects and programmes aimed at enhancing knowledge of health risks and personal responsibility for wellness. We at NIB are launching this programme because we are fully aware, as Im sure you are, that the already heavy burden of chronic non-communicable dis eases in the population affecting one in three Bahamians or almost one person in every household must be contained or rolled back. This burden is manifest in the large number of premature deaths and disability among the population; the many days of hospitalisation and many cases requiring surgical interventions; in the losses experienced at workplaces in terms of number of days of work lost due to illness; and in the large expenses incurred by individuals, families, business firms and government in coping with the burden of illness in society. We are also aware, as Im sure you are, that many of these diseases, either in terms of the onset, inten-s ity or duration, can be avoided, Mr Cargill said. While inviting organisations to submit proposals and partner with NIB and the Ministry of Health in sustainable health promoting activities, Mr Cargill empha sised that the grants will not be easy money or free money. (The money had to bargain long and hard for it and we have to account for it. We have to makes ure it is well-spent, Mr Cargill said. Activities Dr Stanley Lalta, project manager for the National Prescription Drug Plan, outlined the scope of activities that the Healthy People Progamme will target through partnerships with community organisations. In the first round we want to focus on diet and nutrition, obesity control, physi cal activity and fitness, self-management materials and tool kits for dealing with chronic diseases, health education materials, research and publication, training and capacity building and then screening, patient drug adherence management and school health based activities, he said. Later on as resources permit he said the programme would focus on other factors which cause poor health and impact life expectancy such as injury and violence prevention, mental health, oral health, occupational health and safety, food safety, medical product safety, responsible sexual behaviour, disability and related conditions. Elaborating on the types of projects the Health People Programme is likely to fund Dr Lalta said NIB will consider traditional projects, for example, screenings,production of health education materials, health fairs and exhibitions, school and workplace wellness initiatives, and more. Proposals will be assessed three times a year by a management committee of NIB and Ministry of Health representatives who will make recommendations for the NIB directors sign-off. Chosen projects will be implemented with ongoing monitoring by the commit tee. Projects may be terminated and all or some funds recalled for failure to com plete in a timely manner and 10 per cent of funds will be withheld until satisfactory completion of a project. The management committee will next meet to review proposals on January 9, 2011. MANAGEMENT and staff of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA began the holiday season with a corporate prayer and thanksgiving service this past Sunday with Pastor Cedric Beckles and the members of the Life Community Church. In keeping with the Angels of Hope theme being promoted by GBPA throughout the Christmas season, group vice-president Ginger Moxey encouraged employees as well as the wider community to be mindful of the needs of the less fortunate. We at the GBPA would like to encourage our employees and the wider community to take a moment this holiday season and become an angel of hope to someone you know may be in need. We can each resolve to be angels of hope whether its purchasing some additional grocery items when you visit the store or by preparing additional spaces at your table when you sit today for Sunday dinner, she said. Mrs Moxey said she hopes there will be random acts of kindness carried out throughout Grand Bahama communities. I believe that no act of kindness, no matter how small, ever goes unnoticed. We can all attest to the fact that simple gestures as these can have a significant impact in the heart and life of someone in need. I also believe that in doing so we lay a better foundation to build better communities, a unified nation and a brighter future for generations to come, she said. So it is my wish that in doing acts of kindness in giving hope to others in your own unique way, being and angel of hope will express the true meaning of Christmas, not only in this holiday season but during every day of the New Year. Mrs Moxey added that we should all count our many blessings. It is a pleasure to be here worshipping with the leaders and members of Life Community Church and thank you for extending such a warm and friend ly welcome to our GBPA family as we close out the 2010 year with this corpo rate prayer and thanksgiving service, she said. Thanking GBPA employees for their support, Mrs Moxey said: I see your support as a symbol of uni ty and hope for the future as we prepare for the new business year. Piggy-backing on the Angels of Hope theme, Pastor Cedric Beckles, Life Community Churchs founder, told his congrega tion that there is hope even in the midst of failure. GBPA ON ANGELS OF HOPE MISSION SHARING GBPAs MESSAGE OF HOPE Group vice-president Ginger Moxey encourages employees as well as the wider community to be mindful of the less fortunate during these challenging economic times. New Disney cruise ship to visit Bahamas NIB invites proposals for Healthy People Programme BRIEFING ALGERNON Cargill, Director of NIB, and Dr Stanley Lalta briefed public and private health and welln ess organisations of the Healthy People Component of the National Prescription Drug Plan.
THE Bahamas National Youth Choir will ring in the h oliday season with its second annual Christmas Concert tonight at Trinity Methodist Church on Frederick Street. Featuring popular carols and classical pieces for the season, the concert begins at 8pm. There is no admission charge, however a collection w ill be taken for the benefit of the choir. The programme will include mostly popular carols like Twelve Days of Christmas, Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and Deck The Halls. There will also be a few class ical pieces such as Ave Maria and the Gloria from the Coronation Mass by Mozart. The evening will conclude with the Nigerian carol Betelehemu which will be performed with drums and other percussion instruments. T he featured soloists are Lyndin Sands (oboist Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, and Brandon Roberts (tenor choir. During 2010, the Bahamas National Youth Choir cele-b rated the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment (it was a ctually established in 1983 for the tenth anniversary of Bahamian Independence.) In celebration of this milestone a number of events were held. An exhibition of phot ographs and other materials was held at the Central Bank A rt Gallery in February, followed by the choirs 20th Annual Concert Season at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts in March. The choir held a Choral Service of Thanksgiving and Holy Communion at St Matthews Parish in May, followed imme diately by a luncheon at Super Clubs Breezes. During July, the choir toured Italy and performed at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. In October, the choir pre sented Jamaican pianist Dr Paul Shaw in a recital that featured a work written by the choir's founder and director Cleophas Adderley. The piece entitled Variations on a Theme by E Clement Bethel was describedb y Dr Shaw as a masterpiece. The choirs 20th anniversary c elebrations concluded with a joint concert with the Nazareth College Chamber Orchestra from Rochester, New York directed by Nancy Strelau. When asked why the Bahamas National Choir decid-e d to present a Christmas concert, Mr Adderley said: The choir has performed for the Rotary Club's Night of Christmas Music for 21 consecutive Christmases and additionally we have presented a number of private performances of Christmas music. Since we were putting in the hard work anyway, I thought that it would be a good idea to present a Christmas performance that the general public can attend, and we are subsidised by the Bahamas government to perform free of charge as our gift and expression of gratitude to the Bahamian people. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Bahamas National Youth Choir set for annual Christmas Concert
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM g unman was reported to have fled the fast food restaurant on foot where he was sighted by police officers on patrol in the area and further identified by residents. The man, who was said to be a Malcolm Road resident, was arrested on HutchesonStreet when police recovered an illegal f irearm and ammunition. S uperintendent Stephen Dean, head of the Crime Prevention unit, accredited the culprits timely capture to the increased patrol efforts in the capital. inducing employees of BTC to break their respective contracts of employment by taking part in any unlawful industrial action against BTC. B ernard Evans, president of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOUp roceedings have caused the unions to waste time in the continuing privatisation dispute. We did not do anything illegal. They said that we restrained the workers from going to work; that we held our workers hostage. Nothing can be further from the truth. Our lawyers and our team are ready, said Mr Evans. The unions and BTC may be locked in another court battle, as attorneys from the BCPOU and the Bahamas Communications and Public Managerial Union (BCPMU against BTC for illegal lock out, contrary to Section 74 of the Industrial Rela tions Act, according to Mr Evans. In the meantime, BCPOU and BCPMU executives participated in a strategy meeting with the Trade Union Congress (TUCT rade Unions (NCTU Dr Tyrone Morris, TUC general secretary, confirmed the TUC was havings ome discussions with the BTC unions, and one of the topics of discussion was the suggestion of a general strike. Although there has been talk of a poss ible general strike, Mr Evans said the unions have not called for such action as yet. He said if that were necessary, the BTC unions were more than confident they would have the support of the other unions. We were meeting and strategising on how the labour movement jointly will move forward, not only on the BTC mat ter, but other outstanding matters, said Mr Evans. Our plans are progressing very well. We have the support, but we want to make sure it is done correctly and properly. There is no rush to do it. This is a golden opportunity for the movement. In conference we will continue to unify our organisations and our resources, he said. The unequivocal intent of the BTC unions is to have the government change its position on Cable and Wireless( C&W), said Mr Evans. The unions position is this. We do not support C&W as a 51 per cent part-n er. We do not support their strategy, because their overall strategy is about job reduction, he said. A s for the meeting with C&W chief executive officer David Shaw last week, Mr Evans said there was no scheduled meeting, so there was no no show. He said C&W executives set a time and date for a meeting with no consultation, like we were going to drop everything. They did not have any discussion with us. They came demanding they wanted to meet with us at a time and place that they set. They thought we would drop whatever we were doing and conform, said Mr Evans. The union was unable to attend the meeting, because it already had a mass rally scheduled for that time. Since then, he said, C&W sent a letter of invitation to the BTC unions inviting them to suggest a time for a meeting. BTC staff unions in bid to ha v e injunction lifted FROM page one GUNMAN ARRESTED AFTER FAILED KFC ROBBERY ATTEMPT FROM page one ABOVE: This firearm and ammunition was recovered by the police. T OP: A n armed officer next to the police vehicle where the suspect was held after his arrest. R IGHT: P olice search for a firearm in the area. Felip Major /Tribune staff
W ASHINGTON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S historic health c are overhaul hit its first major legal roadblock Monday, thrown into doubt by a federal judge's declaration that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitu tional. The decision handed Republican foes ammunition for their repeal effort next year as the law heads for almost certain eventual judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Associ ated Press. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointee in Richmond, Va., marked the first successful court chal lenge to any portion of the new law, following two earli-er rulings in its favor by Democratic-appointed judges. The law's central requirement for nearly all Americans to carry insurance is unconstitutional, well beyond Congress' power to mandate, Hudson ruled, agreeing with the argument of Virginia's Republican attorney general and many of the GOP lawmakers who will take control of the U.S. House in January. Hudson denied Virginia's request to strike down the law in its entirety or block it from being imple mented while his ruling is appealed by the Obama administration. "An individual's personal decision to purchase or decline to purchase health insurance from a private provider is beyond the his torical reach of the Commerce Clause," said Hudson, a 2002 appointee of Presi dent George W. Bush. Nevertheless, the White House predicted it would prevail in the Supreme Court, although it may be a year or two before the health care law gets there. The next step for the Virginia lawsuit is the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, w here Democratic-appointed j udges hold a majority. In an interview with tele vision station WFLA in T ampa, Fla., on Monday, Obama emphasized that other judges had either found the law constitutional or dismissed lawsuits against it. "Keep in mind this is one ruling by one federal district court. We've already had two federal district courts that have ruled that this is definitely constitutional," Obama said. "You've got one judge who disagreed. That's the nature of these things." But in the short term, the latest court ruling hands potent ammunition to GOP opponents as they prepare to assert control in the new Congress with promises to repeal the law. Obama in turn has promised to veto any repeal legislation and appears likely to be able to p revail since Democrats r etain control of the Senate. Republicans also have dis cussed trying to starve the l aw of funding. Whatever the eventual outcome, Monday's ruling could create uncertainty around the administration's efforts to gradually put into effect the landmark legisla tion extending health coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. And it can only increase the public's skepticism, which has not significantly receded in the months since the law's enactment, defying Obama's prediction that it would become more popular as the public got to know it. Obama aides said imple mentation would not be affected, noting that the individual insurance requirement and other major portions of the legislation don't take effect until 2014. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 9 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM struction Co will build the new Scotia Bank; and CGT Construction will build a new police and fire station. Construction on each of these buildings is expected to take 10 months. T his will create 300 direct jobs and 150 indirect jobs to mostly Bahamian workers. The four companies chosen will sub-contract work to smaller construction companies many of whom have already been identified. Mr Sands said the compan ies chosen for the Commercial Village phase will be encouraged to have apprenticeship programmes for labourers. "We anticipate to be encouraging all the Bahamian contractors who support this event to have some ele ment of training for apprentices, for entry level persons,"he said. A controversial aspect of the development is the amount of Chinese labour included in the construction. These foreign labourers are not expected to start work until late 2011 when construction of the core component of the resort begins, said Baha Mar President Don Robinson. "It would be well into next year when they actually start (on the Commercial Village is complete, once (theBay Street is built, the Corridor Seven roads built that then frees up the existing siteso we can begin the core con s truction, at that point they will begin in their works. Tom Dunlap, executive vice-president of development and construction at Baha Mar, added: "The actual construc tion within that core area will be at a minimum of about 10 months from the start of these works, maybe a little bit before that, but it will come in stages, but the first phase w ill be the management per sonnel and engineering." Next week, another round of Commercial Village contracts will be announced, expected to be for West Bay Street road works needed to accommodate the project. Nine months from the start of construction work is when the new roadway is expected to be completed. Larry Treco, of CGT Contractors and Development, Richard Wilson of Cavalier Construction, Thomas White house of Osprey Development and John Dunn, of John Dunn& Associates, were all present yesterday. The project's architect Brent Creary was also at the signing. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the local doctor. Berchant and Evans have also been charged with the attempted murders of Mr Saintvilles girlfriend Adeline Louissainta nd their one-year-old baby girl, Naetrelle L ouissaint. Both were shot in the head and are said to be recovering in hospital. It is also alleged the pair conspired to rob M r Saintville and robbed Ms Louissaint of $270. The men were not required to enter a plea to the charges during their arraignment before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez in Court One, Bank Lane, Nassau, yesterday. Sir Arlington Butler, Evans attorney, informed the court his client was concerned t hat people connected to Mr Saintville might b e in prison. H e also claimed his client had been brutalised by police in Abaco. A lex Morley, Berchants attorney, said h is client also alleged he had been beaten by police while at the Marsh Harbour Police Station. Chief Magistrate Gomez ordered they be s een by a doctor at the prison. Both men are expected back in court on December 5 for a fixture hearing. Two charged with killing man after alleged numbers win FROM page one Contracts signed on first Baha Mar jobs F ROM page one B AHAMIAN COMPANIES s igned conditional letters o f intent yesterday for the Baha Mar projects Commercial Village. Legal setbac k f or Obama s o verhaul of health care
C M Y K C M Y K INTERNATIONAL NEWS PAGE 10, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM KIEV, Ukraine W ANTa better understanding of the world's worst nuclear disaster? Come tour the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open upt he sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Emergency Situations M inistry said Monday, according to Associated Press. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe. Hundreds of thousands of p eople were resettled from areas contaminated w ith radiation fallout in U kraine, Belarus and Russia. Related health p roblems still persist. The so-called exclusion zone, a highly contaminated area within a 30-mile (48-kilometer t he exploded reactor, was evacuated and sealed off i n the aftermath of the e xplosion. All visits were prohibited. Today, about 2,500 e mployees maintain the r emains of the now-closed nuclear plant, working in shifts to minimize theire xposure to radiation. Several hundred evacuees have returned to their vil-l ages in the area despite a g overnment ban. A few f irms now offer tours to the restricted area, but t he government says those tours are illegal and their safety is not guaranteed. E mergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova said e xperts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative for Ukraini a ns as well as foreign visi tors. She did not give an exact date when the tours w ere expected to begin. "There are things to see there if one follows theo fficial route and doesn't stray away from the group," Yershova told The Associated Press." Though it is a very sad story." The United Nations D evelopment Program chief Helen Clark toured the Chernobyl plant together with Baloha onS unday and said she supported the plan because it could help raise moneya nd tell an important les son about nuclear safety. "Personally I think t here is an opportunity to tell a story here and of course the process of telling a story, even a sad story, is something that is positive in economic terms and positive in conveying very important messages," said Clark, according to her office. The ministry also said Monday it hopes to finish building a new safer shell for the exploded reactor by 2015. The new shelter will cover the original ironand-concrete structure hastily built over the reac tor that has been leaking radiation, cracking and threatening to collapse. The new shell is 345 feet (105 meters feet (260 meters and 490 feet (150 meters long. It weighs 20,000 tons and will be slid over the old shelter using rail tracks. The new structure will be big enough to house the Notre Dame Cathe dral in Paris or the Stat ue of Liberty in New York. The overall cost of project, financed by international donors, has risenfrom $505 million to $1.15 billion because of stricter safety requirements, according to Ukrainian officials. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which man ages the project, said a final estimate of the pro ject's cost will be released after the French-led con sortium Novarka finalizes a construction plan in the next few months. UKRAINE TO OPEN C HERNOBYL AREA TO TOURISTS W AKEFIELD, Quebec U.S. SECRETARYof State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the foreign minister of Canada on Monday urged Haiti's government to work harder on their country's daunting problems, a ccording to Associated Press. Their comments came following a disputed presidential election late last month, which was held following a devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic. We understand that the governm ent itself was badly damaged, individuals were traumatized, but there has to be a greater effort and there has to be a more focused approach toward problem solving," Clinton saidi n a news conference. Clinton, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Mexican F oreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa g athered in this small Quebec town n ear Ottawa to prepare for a meeti ng of their three heads of state early n ext year. During the summit, President Barack Obama and the his count erparts are expected to try to work m ore closely on trade and security. B ut Haiti appeared to dominate the d iscussion Monday. Thousands were unable to vote in the Nov. 28 elect ion, which was widely criticized. Both the U.N. and the Organization of American States confirmed reports ofe lectoral violence, voter intimidation and ballot-box stuffing although b oth organizations said the vote was still valid. Clinton said Haiti's leaders should heed the warning of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat whoo versees aid appropriations for the Carribean nation. Last week Leahy called a suspension of aid for Haiti'sg overnment and visas for officials and their families until the crisis is resolved. "Senator Leahy, who is a strong s upporter of American foreign aid and humanitarian relief assistance, is expressing a growing frustration that y ou will find not only in our Congress b ut in our government and the Ameri can people that as we are approaching the one year anniversary of the Haiti an earthquake there hasn't been the kind of coordinated, coherent response from the government ofH aiti that's called for," Clinton said. This is a very strong signal that we e xpect more and we are looking for more." Clinton said the Obama administration is still trying to resolve many of the questions raised by the election but added it doesn't want to punish t he people of Haiti because of a flawed vote. She said all the challenges in Haiti a re quite serious and taken together a re "almost overwhelming." C annon said Haitian leaders must fulfill their obligations to democracy a nd show respect for the electoral process. He said Haiti remains a "grave concern." The international community cann ot do everything in Haiti. It's e xtremely important that the government of Haiti and the people of Haiti assume their responsibilities and ensure that democracy in Haiti continues," Cannon said. Clinton, Cannon and Espinosa also t alked about trade, regional security and fighting transnational crime. A joint statement discussed setting u p a North America-Central America d ialogue "to strengthen regional coope ration and efforts against transnational criminal organizations." A s Colombia and Mexico ramp up anti-narcotics efforts, there are rising fears that crime linked to drug traf f icking will spill over into neighboring c ountries. V iolence in small countries like Guatemala has skyrocketed as drug cartels, squeezed by police and military action at home, move their operations. Hillary Clinton says she expects more from Haiti HAITICONCERNS: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a media availability following the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting inW akefield, Quebec, Canada, Monday. (AP LONDON AT HIS local mosque in England, Taimour Abdulwahab alarmed elders with his extreme views on Islam. On the Internet, he posted videos of Chechen fighters and abused Iraqi prisoners, according to Associated Press. On Saturday, officials say, he died in a failed suicide bombing in Stockholm. Authorities are now trying to learn when he was radicalized, whether he had accomplices and how a man whose radical views were displayed both online and in person escaped official notice. Swedish prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand said Monday that authorities are certain the sui cide bomber who terrified preChristmas shoppers was Abdul wahab, an Iraq-born Swede who spent much of the past decade in Britain. He said Abdulwahab was completely unknown to Swedish security police before the blasts, which killed the bomber and injured two others. Lindstrand said officials would look into why he was not on their radar, but pointed out "that he didn't live in Sweden, he lived in the U.K., he left Sweden maybe 10 years ago." He also said Swedish security was not "a Stasi organization" engaged in analyzing people's Facebook pages. Sweden's Department of Justice said that a team of FBI bomb experts had been dispatched to the Nordic nation to help analyze the explosives. A British official who spoke to AP on condition of anonymi ty because of the sensitivity of his work would not comment on whether Abdulwahab had been on the radar as a suspected terrorist. But he said all threats stemming from contro versial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad cited by the sus pect as a motive for the attack were being closely investigated. Lars Vilks, whose 2007 depiction of the Prophet Muhammad has drawn regular threats from extremists, told The Associated Press he was shocked that suicide bombings have come to Sweden. "It's a little unreal that we have such a case here," he said, adding that police had increased their presence outside his home following the botched attack. Law enforcement and intelli gence agents are now poring over Abdulwahab's Facebook page, along with his profile from a Muslim dating website, for clues to his mindset and move ments. According to information on the dating website muslima.com where Abdulwahab posted a profile saying he was looking for a second wife he was born in Baghdad and moved to Sweden as a child in 1992. In 2001 he moved to Britain to study at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, near Lon don. The university confirmed that a student with his name and Swedish nationality graduated with a degree in sports therapy in 2004. What he did next is not clear, but by late 2006 or early 2007 he began attending the Luton Islamic Center, a local mosque. Its secretary, Farasat Latif, said the newcomer was "very friend ly, bubbly he was well liked." But soon Abdulwahab began making extremist statements focused on "suicide bombings, pronouncing Muslim leaders to be disbelievers, denouncing Muslim governments." Mosque officials confronted him about the statements, but Latif said the radicalism con tinued. "One day during morning prayers in the month of Ramadan there were about 100 people there the chairman of the mosque stood up and exposed him, warning against terrorism, suicide bombings and so on. He knew it was directed at him. He stormed out of the mosque and was never seen again," Latif said. He said despite Abdulwa hab's extreme views "nothing pointed to the fact that he was going to do something stupid." In an audio message he apparently recorded before the attack sent to the Swedish security service and the TT news agency he apologized to his family for misleading them, saying "I never went to the Middle East to work or to make money, I went for jihad." Authorities are still investigating whether he acted alone or had ties to al-Qaida or other groups. On Sunday, the al-Qaida affiliated Shumokh al-Islam website posted a message calling Abdulwahab a "brother" and quoting a prayer saying "God let me die as you are sat isfied with me." Lindstrand, the Swedish prosecutor, said it appeared Abdul wahab was alone in executing the blasts, but could have been assisted by someone else in their preparation. He said that despite its apparent failure, the bombing appeared to be wellplanned. Abdulwahab's Facebook profile shows a man interested in both modern technology and radical Islam, whose "likes" included both "the Islamic Caliphate state" and the Apple iPad. He had posted comments against Shiites, whom Sunni Muslims consider heretics, as well as a link to a video showing a dying man, maybe injured in Chechnya, praying to God to die as a martyr. By this year, he was back in Luton, living with his wife and three young children in a semidetached house on a quiet street. Police stood guard outside the house Monday follow ing a raid by counter-terrorist officers. Police said they had not found any hazardous materials or made any arrests. Neighbors said he appeared friendly but reserved. "This individual didn't have any contact with people," said Massood Akhtar, 58. The bombings have brought more unwelcome attention to Luton, an English town of 200,000 with a large Muslim population and an unwanted media reputation as an extrem ist crucible. There have been several terrorism arrests in the town in recent years. On July 7, 2005, four bombers gathered there before taking a train to London and blowing themselves up on the transit system. Last year, Luton was the site of a small but widely covered protest in which a handful of Islamists picketed a homecoming parade for British soldiers returning from Iraq, holding up signs accusing the men of being "butchers" and "baby-killers." It also has been targeted for demonstrations by the English Defense League, a far-right group that claims to oppose Islamic extremism, but which is accused by opponents of being racist. The case will also focus attention once again on whether British universities are doing enough to combat Islamic extremism among students. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroitbound airliner with explosives hidden in his underwear, also studied in Britain. Wherever he was radicalized, Abdulwahab's justification for the Stockholm attack focused largely on Swedish issues. The audio file sent shortly before the blast from his cell phone referred to Sweden's mil itary presence in Afghanistan and an image by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging many Muslims. A man's voice on the recording says because of Sweden's silence toward all this, "so will your children, daughters, brothers and sisters die, like our brothers, sister and children die." The attack has shocked Swedes, who cherish their coun try's image as an open, tolerant society. But it could have been far worse. A uthorities seek clues to Stockholm attacker in UK POLICE OFFICERS stand guard as unidentified officers enter the house which was searched by British police in Luton, England, Monday. A Swedish prosecutor says police are "98 percent" certain the Stockholm suicide bomber is 28-year-old Taimour Abdulwahab who is a Swedish citizen but also lived several years in Britain. Prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand Monday said Abdulwahab has his roots in the Middle East and has been a Swedish citizen since 1992. Lindstrand said Abdulwahab was also the registered owner of the car that exploded in Stockholm shortly before the suicide blast Saturday. (AP
C M Y K C M Y K SECTIONB firstname.lastname@example.org TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third p arty and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $4.30 $4.45 $4.34 rr(+(%,'% &'&"!'"!'*"#%" ', #%"'"%')&&&&b t&& "!&'(&"(!""!' '! !'*''%"" '$(%'&) ,"%," ', $!nt"nrtbf" r By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Freeport-manufactured products must attract the same tariffs as rival foreignproduced ones under World Trade Organisation (WTO rules before they can enter other Bahamian islands, this nations chief trade negotiator said yesterday, adding that the Bahamas can really take advantage of the Port areas special status under a rulesbased trading regime. Raymond Winder, Deloitte & Touche (Bahamas aging partner and the T ARIFF EQU ALIT Y UNDER W T O F OR FREEPOR T FIRMS Bahamas chief negotiator warns that Freeportmanufactured products must attract the same tariffs as rival foreign-produced ones before they can enter other Bahamian islands* Says Freeport can exist under rules-based trading regime, but Bahamas will have to implement proper controls to ensure compliance* WTO membership could help Bahamas really take advantage of Freeport by providing protection against trade barriers being imposed on this nations exports SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Bahamas is expected to start bilateral discussions on its bid to accede to full World Trade Organisation (WTO the New Year, with the US first up, as it bids to have its initial goods (market access offer ready for June 2011s working party meeting. Raymond Winder, the Deloitte & Touche (Bahamas and this nations lead WTO negotiator, outlining the upcoming talks timetable, yesterday urged the Bahamian Bilateral WTO member talks to start early in New Y ear US first up before end of February, with Bahamas goods offer likely to be ready for June 2011 working party meeting SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor T he Government-appointed priv atisation committee is absolutely satisfied and convinced that Cable & Wireless (LIME sible buyer for a 51 per cent controll ing interest in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company( BTC), on of its leading members told Tribune Business last night, a dding that the company would become a flagship operation amid its extensive regional interests. Explaining the rationale behind the need to privatise BTC and why C able & Wireless was chosen as the strategic partner, Julian Francis, who is also BTCs chairman, p romised that the interests of the Bahamian government and otally convinced Cable & Wireless is best BTC partner BTC chair says nation has no choice but to privatise t elecoms company, as government unable to fund it and otherwise strangling economy Key privatisation committee member: I am absolutely c onvinced that this deal will stand the test of time Bahamian interests well-protected, with BTCs problems related to plague of political interference over years Bahamas one of only five nations, including North K orea, to maintain state-run telecoms monopoly this long SEE page 4B JULIANFRANCIS By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor C LICO (Bahamas estate asset has some $78.45m illion in claims against it, including some $72 million due t o the insolvent insurers main affiliate, court documents filed in south Florida have alleged, with two buyers still competing to acquire the development. F ilings by attorneys for CLICO (Bahamase r Tilly Gomez partner and accountant, Craig A. Tony G omez, in the south Florida district bankruptcy court, r evealed that among the claims against Wellington Preserve, the project that accounts for 63 per cent of the insurers assets, is a $3 million real estate tax d ebt and $2 million alleged to be owed to the Internal Reve nue Service (IRS Alleging that Wellington Pres erve was in much better shape than other companies i n Chapter 11 bankruptcy pro tection in the US, largely because the mortgage financ ing to purchase its real estate had been paid-off in January 2010, Mr Gomezs attorneys said: It owes approximately two-and-a-half years of reale state taxes or about $3 million. It owes a few hundredt housand dollars ($200,000 relatively minor claims; the $ 1.45 million judgment; the Internal Revenue Service has filed an amended claim for approximately $2 million which is disputed. The remainder of its debt consists of an amount in excesso f $72 million which had been advanced to it by its parent, C LICO Enterprises. That is the CLICO (Bahamas a te that acted as the latters vehicle for all non-insurance investments, including Wellington Preserve. Mr Gomez and his attorneys Key CLICO asset faces $78m claims n Some $72 due to insolvent insurers main affiliate, with $3m owed in real estate taxes and $2m to IRS n Liquidator believes IRS claim can be eliminated, as he awaits Letter of Intent from second potential buyer of project representing 63% of company assets SEE page 4B C RAIG GOMEZ By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter a email@example.com T he Bahamian Contractors Association (BCAg iven a January 18, 2011, deadline by the Government for s ubmitting its final suggestions and comments relative to the long-awaited Contractors Bill, and is now hoping the legislation will go before Parliaments hortly thereafter. Yesterday, the BCA treasure r and CGT Construction president, Larry Treco, said the Bill w as per cent satisfactory, but the Association is paying close attention in this last review phase to the Con sumers Code, which was included in the final draft pre pared by the Attorney Gener als Office. C ONTRA CT ORS ASSESS ONSUMERS C ODE Mid-January deadline for Contractors Bill feedback, with legislation % satisfactory SEE page 3B B y ALISON LOWE Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Baha Mar is set to issue the remaining $45 million worth of first phase construction contracts for its $2.6 billion Cable Beach redevelopment next week, as it yesterday announced the signing of Letters of Intent for $15 million in work with four Bahamian c onstruction companies. T he construction of four buildings by the companies, to be located within a new Commercial Village at the resort, will create 300 jobs directly and an estimated 150 indirect spin-off jobs through the hiring of sub-contractors, suggested Baha Baha Mar to award $45m in contracts next week P uts out first $15m to f our Bahamian c onstruction companies, w ith 300 direct jobs and 150 indirect set to be created SEE page 5B
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 2B, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM NASSAU INSURANCE BROKERS AND AGENTS LIMITED Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue P.O.Box N-7764 Nassau Tel.677-6422 www.nibaquote.comThe best value home insurance has a surprisingly calming effect!Do not underestimate the cost of storm damage and make sure your insurance cover will meet the bills.NIBA can help assess your insurance needs so that you are adequately protected.And the calming effect? That comes when you see the price.Home insurance costs less with NIBA.Its time to pay less for insuring your home! Tel.677-6422 or visit www.nibaquote.com Open Saturdays10.00am2.00pm T he Bahamas Hotel Associations (BHA president has said that while most tourism indicators inched up in 2010,t he year has been a m ixed bag of revenue gains, higher operating costs and global uncertainty. Addressing its 58th A nnual General Meeti ng., Robert Sands said: Indicators in general m oved closer to our 2008 p re-recession benchmark. Projections for next year s how continued marginal growth as we slowly pull out of one of the most dif-f icult economic periods in decades. H e pointed to measures which have been put in place in 2010 by the publica nd private sectors, which should steer the industry out of the doldrums quicker than m any competitors. These include major airport infrastructure improvements in Nassau and Abaco and the liberalisation of the telecommunications industry, which shouldb ring about improved services at lower costs in the coming years. Mr Sands added that room rate integrity has largely been maintained throughout the recession, better positioning many hoteliers as they climb out of the recession andb egin to see a return to profitability. Many hoteliers have learned in these lean years how to do more with less. Airlift Efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation over t he past several years towards increased airlift and reduced air travel costs, combined with the highly successful publicprivate sector Companion Fly Free promotional campaigns,h ave been key to the marginal but steady improvements in 2010. Group business, which all but disappeared in 2009, is slowly returning, and advanced bookings for 2011 are promising. Easier and more affordable airlift to the Family Islands, c ritical to their development, showed signs of improvement as the Ministry of Tourism and private sectors work in several islands generated additional lift, better positioning those islands for growth in 2011 Mr Sands said. Despite the reasons for cautious optimism, he pointed o ut that members continued to be straddled with high energy costs and, with BHAs help, are taking a more earnest look at how to be more efficient. A t the policy level, BHA has recommended a series of changes which would stimulate greater efficiencies. In the midst of struggling to re-grow our business and capture market share, this year industry was faced with the sober realities of the Bahamas Governments fiscal dilemma.W ith few options to raise essential revenue, the hotel room tax jumped from six to 10 per cent and the departure tax increased by $5 effective July 1, 2010. Businesses also saw increases in electricity costs and new taxes imposed to support unemployment insurancea nd a national drug prescription program according to the BHA president. Industry successfully argued for some measure of relief to the room tax increase for pre-paid business and to address other matters of concern to the industry, some which arep resently being considered by the Government. Without question, these continue to be difficult times for both the public and private sectors. We are faced with the multiple challenges of generating business while minimising our operating costs, improving service and improving our product. Despite the challenges, Mr Sands called on members to be optimistic about the future, adding: With the foundational steps which have been and are being undertaken, an emerging interest in tourism investments in the Bahamas, and with sound industry leadership I am confident about our future. Mixed bag in hotel industry R OBERT SANDS
B CA President Stephen Wrinkle, who has called the Contractors Bill the BCAs number one priority, praised the inclusion of the Consumers Code at a recent B CA press conference, calling it extreme ly strong and stringent (with ties for contractors that violate its provi sions. He said it would "hold contractors accountable for their actions", and help to c ombat fraud and "shoddy workmanship" that have "plagued" the sector. N onetheless, Mr Treco, who spoke with Tribune Business following a press confer e nce yesterday in which it was announced that his company, CGT Construction, had won a contract to build the new police and fire station at Cable Beach, suggested that t he code is what is taking up most of the BCAs attention as it seeks to finalise its i nput to the Government on the Bill prior to the January deadline. Its something we hadnt seen before, so we have to read it closely. Other than that the Bill itself is basically 99 per cent, were just doing very minor changes to that, he explained. We are meeting with the Ministry of Works, the Attorney Generals Office, a rchitects there are many differnet groups, and we are just really trying to dot the is a nd cross the ts to make sure all the wording is correct, and to make sure that if there a re some things which need to be revisited that we do that. T he Contractors Bill allows for greater regulation of the construction industry, w ith registration of contractors, along with verification of their qualifications and capabilities. It is expected to make it easier for Bahamian contractors to be considered for work by foreign investors, including Baha M ar, as there will be independent validation of their experience and ability to complete a particular job. The Bill will enhance con sumer protection by making contractors m ore accountable for shoddy work. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 3B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM A senior Kerzner International executive has been elected as the Bahamas Hotel Associations (BHA president for 2011, replacing outgoing incumbent Robert Sands, the longestserving president in BHA history. Stuart Bowe, who currently oversees the operation of 1,116 rooms as the general manager of Atlantiss Coral and Beach Towers, has more than 20 years of hotel management and leadership experience. The leadership team elect ed with Mr Bowe at the BHAs annual general meet ing (AGM steer the 220-member organisation throughout 2011, includes as senior vicepresident Stephen Kaeppeler, general manager of Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club. The new vice-president representing Nassau-Paradise Island hotels will be Pablo Torres, general man ager of the British Colonial Hilton, while his counterpart for the Family Islands is Shavonne Darville, owner of Gems at Paradise on Long Island. Michael Weber, managing director for the Radis son at Our Lucaya, will serve as vice-president for Grand Bahama. Peter Maguire of the Lyford Cay Club was re-elected as trea surer, with Frank Comito continuing as executive vicepresident. These will all serve on the BHA executive committee, along with Mr Sands. Mr Bowe said: BHA has played an invaluable role in the development of our industry and our nation, and I look forward to continuing in that tradition, working closely with our new leadership team and drawing upon the input and support of our members. Kerzner executive to lead hotel body The Association of International Banks & Trust Companies (AIBT to the Financial Community Advanced Technical Education Trust (FCATET vides financial awards for professional study for young Bahamians. These professional courses typically are not associated with financial services, and recent awards include financial support for diplomas in Marine Mechanics, Air-Conditioning and Diesel Technology. The AIBT has always had a strong educational focus, being one of the FCATETs founders, and its chairman. SG Hambros Bank and Trust are trustees of FCATET, while Providence Advisors provides management services. AIBT DONATES TO EDUCATION TRUST DONATION: Pictured (left to right Bank & Trust; and David Thain, AIBT chairman. Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham will be the keynote speaker at Bahamas Business Outlook (BBO the theme Diversifying The Bahamian Economy: Fact, Fiction or the Real Alternative? the conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 13, 2011, at the Wyndham Nassau Resort. Following the Prime Minister Ingraham will be speakers on a range of subjects including tourism, financial services, agriculture, telecommunications, oil exploration, entrepreneurship, a discussion of the Sir Stafford Sands economic model, as well as a special focus on Grand Bahama. Joan Albury, president of The Counsellors, its organisers BBO 2011 will focus on new ideas and solutions to strengthen the Bahamian economy over the long-term. While we dont presume to reject or belittle the core industries that have served us well over the years, in these troubled times there is clearly a need for us to seriously consider and discuss compatible industries and opportunities that we can devel-o p for the benefit of all Bahamians, Mrs Albury said. In a recent address to the Rotary Club of West Nassau, Mr Ingraham said signs of economic recovery were now becoming evident in the Bahamas. Among indicators cited by the Prime Minister were increased foreign direct investment, improvements in the tourism industrys performance year-on-year anda levelling off of unemployment and lay-offs. D uring the BBO forum on January 13, it is expected that the Prime Minister will provide the business community with a detailed update on the state of the economy and lay out his government's fiscal thrust for 2011. Now in its 20th year, the annual Bahamas Business Outlook is an economic development initiative conceived by The Counsellors. Interested persons may register online ath ttp://www.tclevents.com or contact Eileen Fielder at telep hone (242 PM TO HEADLINE BUSINESS OUTLOOK HUBERTINGRAHAM STUART BOWE CONTRACTORS ASSESS CONSUMERS CODE FROM page 1B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com Retail operators are reporting mixed sales levels for Christmas 2010, with several describing top lines which show little improvement or even a decline over last year, while others have noticed a spike in consumer spending. Heather White, of the Linen Shop, located on Bay Street, said sales this year have been quite flat. We certainly havent had a surge of local business. Its not up to par probably not quite as good as last year was. We're living in hope that the next couple of weeks might bring something, she said. Peter Phillips, owner of the Brass and Leather Shop, which has branches down town, the Mall and in Abaco, as well as Fendi, told the same story. Its flat at this point. Our company could not say were seeing an increase and its a no-brainer that were down from three years ago. However, Mr Phillips expressed his hope like other retailers that beyond government pay day, December 16, sales may pick up. Were optimistic that the Christmas rush will happen. Typically, towards the end of this week we should see something happening, he said. At popular clothing store, Tommy Hilfiger, whose proprietor also owns theF ab Finds giftstore, which has locations in Lyford Cay and Harbour Bay, operations manager Etienne Christen said sales at Tommy Hilfiger in the Mall at Marathon are on par with last year. Mr Christen said the company is cautiously optimistic for this Christmas season, having heard a lot of Bahamians expressing that they're going to shop locally this Christmas to help sustain Bahamian jobs. The operations manager said the company anticipates sales will be about the same or a little stronger this year than last, and thats what were seeing. Good news for the company came in the form of increased sales at Fab Finds compared with Christmas 2009. The store had only recently opened prior to Christmas last year, and Mr Christen attributed the bump in sales this year to the company diversifying our gift offerings, strengthening our marketing initiatives and people now being familiar with our two locations set up and enjoying the convenience it brings, especially considering Nassau's traffic situation. Meanwhile, at Kellys Home Store, senior buyer Susan Glinton gave a positive assessment of the retail environment. She told Tribune Business: Things have been going very well so far. I dont know if its up or down from last year, but weve been busy; sales have beenv ery steady. Like Mr Philips, Mrs Glinton added that she expects a rush by consumers post-December 16. Government pay day is always a major thing. So many Bahamians are employed by the Government, so from that point on you can really see a big rush. Also, Bahamians tend to leave things to the last minute, she added. In a press release issued in the first week of December, Robert Stevenson, manager at the Mall at Marathon, suggested brisk early Christmas shopping has been taking place at the Mall, according to reports from store managers, adding that the Malls Dollar Plus Store in particular is booming. In an interview with Tribune Business, Mr Stevenson added that foot traffic at the Mall, where security has been beefed up for the season, has been about the same as 2009 so far this December. However, Mr Stevenson said he anticipates tens of thousands more shoppers to visit the Mall in the run up to December 25, adding that five new stores have opened or are set to open prior to Christmas at the Mall, creating added interest. Retail sales picture is mixed for Xmas
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 4B, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Bahamas chief negotiator in the WTO accession process, told Tribune Business that while Freeport and its free trade zone status could exist under the WTOs global rules-based trading mechanism, proper controls and other changes would have to be implemented. A Freeport-type environment is permitted in the WTO, Mr Winder told this newspaper. The only big challenge, big difference is that products manufactured in Freeport will have to enter the rest of the Bahamas on the same terms and conditions as foreign products coming into the Bahamas. If a foreign product is charged a tariff of 35 per cent to come into the Bahamas, and a foreign company sets up a manufacturing facility in Freeport to make the same product, that product is not allowed to go into the rest of the Bahamas without incurring the same level of tariff. He added: Freeport can exist, but we will have to have proper controls and mechanisms to ensure products manufactured in Freeport are not moving into the rest of the Bahamas without incurring the proper tariff rate. Thus acceding to full membership in the WTO will have implications for both heavy and light manufacturers/producers currently enjoying the tax benefits Freeport has to offer, especially those firms that export a significant percentage of their o utput to other Bahamian islands. The imposition of tariffs, as d emanded by the WTO, will inevitably increase the cost of their products to Bahamian consumers, reducing their competitiveness. Still, Mr Winder said the WTO could also enable the Bahamas and the private sector, including both domestic and foreign-owned companies, to maximise Freeports potential as a manufacturing, exporting and distribution hub. He explained that, to date, by remaining outside the WTOs rules-based trading system, including its trade dispute resolution and arbitration capacities, Bahamas-based exporters were exposed and had no easily available recourse if other countries suddenly imposed trade impediments that made it difficult for this nations products to enter their market. The possibility that this might happen, and the resulting uncertainty, had discouraged more major manufacturers and multinational corporations from establishing operations in Freeport, Mr Winder suggested to Tribune Business. What I do hope is that we can really take advantage of Freeport as a potential exporter, because one of the things thatI believe has prevented Freeport from moving forward is that why would a company set-up a $50 million facility to produce goods for country A, when there is nothing to stop country A from imposing trade impediments? Thats where we are today. Every industry in the Bahamas is exposed to impediments to prevent the Bahamas from taking advantage of those industries. We are exposed, and we dont know where we are likely to be hit again. As a small country, we need to protect ourselves. We need to maximise our potential, but ensure these processes happen. The Deloitte & Touche (Bahamas I really think Freeport can be more competitive than it currently is in terms of attracting other light industries. Freeports large harbour had the ability to take ships from all around the world, thus facilitating its potential as a shipping, transshipment and distribution hub. This, the chief WTO negotiator said, also led into Freeport acting as a finishing hub for products that were imported in a semi-finished state. We can truly begin to look at that as a real opportunity, Mr Winder said. TARIFF EQUALITY UNDER WTO FOR FREEPORT FIRMS F ROM page 1B private sector to supply himself and the Government with as m uch data on their needs and companies as possible, telling Tribune Business his success hinges on their responsiveness. Pointing out that the Bahamas had held preliminary discussions with key trading partners when it submitted its Memorandum of Trade Regime to the Geneva-based WTO last year, formally kicking-off the process for full membership accession, Mr Winder said: Early in the New Year, were really going to start the bilateral discussions, the first being the US. He added that talks with the US were likely to take place some time before the end of February, with both himself and the Government in the meantime setting themselves the goal of collecting and analysing as much data from the Bahamian private sector as possible. This is with a view to the Bahamas being ready to submit its initial goods/market access offer by June 2011, when it returns to Geneva for a meeting with the Working Party handling its membership application. Confirming that this nation had to complete its goods offer by then, Mr Winder told Tribune Business: In June, were anticipating going for the next Working Party meeting in Geneva, so we should have the goods offer before then. This all hinges on making sure we get sufficient details and data from the private sector. Negotiate The Bahamas will have to negotiate its WTO membership through the specially-formed Working Party, chaired by Jamaicas Dr Peter Black, which will be comprised of repre sentatives from its main trading partners the US, Canada and the European Union (EU have an interest in trading with it. Asked about the likely impact once the Bahamas becomes a full WTO member, Mr Winder told this newspaper: I do not think the business landscape will change significantly. Where we will have changes, they will result in only minimal loss of jobs and minimal loss of enterprises. Pledging that he, the Government and other negotiators would do everything possible to ensure the Bahamas emerged from the WTO accession process in the net benefit column, as opposed to the net loss column, Mr Winder said that by being outside the global rules-based trading system all Bahamian industries were currently exposed to having trade barriers imposed on their export products without any recourse. Its a net benefit to have that insurance protection, Mr Winder said of WTO membership, with its dispute resolution mechanisms. Being involved with the WTO is a net benefit to the existing business environment. The second level of protection is that because we have not invested in the infrastructure related to doing business in the Bahamas, being in the WTO arena will cause us to have a competitive edge relative to other countries. Here, Mr Winder means that by upgrading the laws, policies, regulations and other infrastructure as a result of meeting WTO standards, the Bahamas will position itself on a more competitive footing. In terms of loss of production, I can assure you that we will not enter the WTO if, at the end of the day, there will be a huge net loss of employment, Mr Winder said, adding that the Government would not alter its taxation structure until an alternative mechanism one which ensured no revenue losses was in place. Bilateral WTO member talks to star t early in New Y ear FROM page 1B otally convinced Cable & Wireless is best BTC partner people had been well protected, and p ledged: I am absolutely convinced that this deal will stand the test of time. T elling Tribune Business that the Bahamas stood among an uncomfortable f ive-country minority out of 200 nations, that minority also including the Stalinist state of North Korea, that still adhere to a government monopoly for driving your telecoms sector, Mr Francis effectively saidt hat given this nations fiscal position and economic development needs, there wasn o alternative to finding a well-resourced, multinational partner for BTC. P ointing out that BTCs many problems had been caused by consistent interference from Bahamian politicians over successive decades and administrations, Mr Francis described London-based Cable & Wirel ess (parent company of LIME presence in 38 countries, some $3.5 billioni n assets, and a business footprint fixed landline, cellular, Internet and broadband that perfectly fitted BTCs own. Pointing out that Cable & Wireless Communications has some 600,000 clients glob ally, Mr Francis told Tribune Business: It was exactly the profile of BTC, has a major footprint in the Caribbean by being in 13 countries, and the Bahamas is the only c ountry in the region where it does not have a major presence. We have been looking at them from the time they contacted us at the beginning of the year, and came to the position where they were a credible entity, a public company in the UK, and we met the whole management structure from throughout the region Jamaica, Barbados and T rinidad. We became increasingly comfortable that not only were they well regarded and a major player, exactly what BTC needs, b ut came to an agreement for a plan for BTC consistent with what the Government w as looking for a major entity to take B TC forward, maintaining the integrity of BTC, putting emphasis on Bahamian mana gement, developing an operation in the Bahamas that in some respects will be a f lagship operation for LIME and Cable & Wireless. With the Government, its privatisation committee and LIME still negotiating the final terms of the latters $210 million purchase of a 51 per cent BTC stake, Mr Fran cis said: We thought, and feel very strong-l y, and are absolutely satisfied and con vinced this is by far the best alternative to take BTC forward, no question about that. I am not sure there is anywhere a better fit for BTC, he added, even the likes of AT&T, Verizon or Rogers Communicat ions in Canada. M r Francis told Tribune Business that Cable & Wireless (LIME approached the privatisation committee ine arly 2010 to see if there was a possibility it could become involved in the BTC process, having decided not to enter the initial bidding in mid-2009. H owever, the privatisation committee only started formal negotiations with Cable & Wireless in July 2010, after first obtaini ng Cabinet permission. Talks also began after the committee had rejected the final two bids of the four that emerged from the initial bids the One Equity Partners/Vodaf one consortium, and the Atlantic TeleNetwork/CFAL grouping. Explaining the rationale for BTC to be privatised, Mr Francis, a former Central B ank of the Bahamas governor, said the Bahamian government had not done a good job in running the company, and that it had been plagued by interference from politicians. Telecoms companies today required h uge and continuing investment in infras tructure, training and new technology/products, pointing out that this had also resulted in there being few standalone operators anywhere in the world. Its really difficult to understand why some people imagine the Bahamas could be the exception, Mr Francis said, adding that governments in small countries, such ast his nation, simply lacked the financial r esources required to fund the electronic c ommunications industry themselves. They require the private sector to do that, he explained. The Bahamas does not have the wherewithal. We are struggling today to provide infrastructure in electricity, water and sewerage. We are challenged in a major way by these demands, and wisely the Governm ent has come to the realisation that, w here it can transfer responsibility to the private sector successfully, where you have a credible buyer/operator, have them oper ate with a policy/vision you are comfortable with, and where they are committed to the broader development of the country, its something anyone sensible would jump upon. And Mr Francis added of the BTC privatisation: The Bahamas really has no c hoice. We have to do it, because if not w ere going to be strangling our economy in one respect. He added that it was critical for a services-based economy such as the Bahamas, with its tourism, financial services and legal services, to have top-notch communications infrastructure. F ROM page 1B alleged that the IRS claim, which the US federal tax collection agency had recently increased, would be objected to by the liquidator. They believe the end result will be a s ubstantial reduction, if not elimination, of the claim. T he Bahamian accountant had been given time to bring W ellington Preserves tax returns up to date, as the company had not books or records when he took over in early 2009, and its past finances are being learned t hrough discovery from banks, affiliates and former attorneys. D iscovery document requests served on these entities had enabled Mr Gomez to re-file or file Wellington Preserves tax returns for 2005-2007, and i nformation to prepare returns for 2008 and 2009 had also beeno btained, with a further 60-day extension needed to obtain these. Among the institutions Mr Gomez is seeking documentsa nd information from are Wachovia Bank, SouthTrust Bank, Citibank, Barclays Bank a nd Caribbean Money Market Managers, according to thec ourt filing. There is a also a glimmer of good news for CLICO (Bahamas creditors when it comes to W ellington Preserves sale, Mr Gomezs attorneys stating thata nother Letter of Intent from a potential buyer is set to be received shortly, competing with a draft indicative offer received already from anotherp arty. [Mr Gomez] is currently in negotiation with two prospective buyers, his attorn eys said. One of them has submitted a non-binding Let-t er of Intent, over which negotiations are continuing. A Letter of Intent is awaited with respect to the second. As for Wellington Preserve i tself, some 18 of the 120 original lots have been sold, witht he development currently completing a re-platting to allow for a 60-acre equestrian centre that will increase its value and sale price of the remain-i ng lots. Key CLICO asset faces $78m claims F ROM page 1B
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 5B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM DAVE CARPENTER, AP Personal Finance Writer It's unusual for someone to feel financially well-prepared for retirement. That's due partly to the poor performance of stocks over the past decade. But mostly it's due to people not socking enough money away or planning ahead. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine whether you're on track to a financially secure retirement: 1 How much will I need to retire? A rough guideline is that you'll need to replace 75 to 85 percent of your pre-retirement income in order to maintain the same lifestyle. Social Security will help, although it probably won't be enough; the average monthly check is only $1,160. Visit www.ssa.gov to estimate your retirement benefits. 2. Am I saving enough? Guessing isn't good enough. At a minimum, plug in some numbers at a free online retirement calculator. AARP has a recently updated a calculator at www.aarp.org, and the Employee Benefit Research Institute also can help you generate a quick ballpark estimate at http://choosetosave.org/ballpark. Others include those offered by leading financial services firms such as Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Principal Financial and Vanguard. 3. How much can I withdraw during retirement? The 4 percent rule advocated by many financial planners holds that if you withdraw no more than 4 percent of your portfolio in the first year of retirement and then increase that amount for inflation each year, your money should last at least 30 years. That rough guideline takes into consideration the role of expect-ed earnings on your portfolio as well as inflation. To estimate what you'll need to save for the first year of retire ment, multiply what you'll need to withdraw from your account by 25 (this equates the amount to 4 percent needing $50,000, you should have $50,000 times 25, or $1.25 million saved. 4. Am I burdened by too much debt? Make it a priority to pay off your mortgage and any other major obligations before you retire. But if you're paying more than about a third of your pretax income on all debts, you've probably borrowed too much. Consider how you can cut back to increase savings. 5. Do I have the right mix of investments? A long-held rule of thumb is that you should subtract your age from 100, and put that percentage of your savings in stocks and the rest in bonds. But with lifespans increasing, many advisers say that's too conservative and leaves you at risk of falling behind inflation and running out of money. Some suggest subtracting your age from 120 instead. 6. Do I have an estate plan? Long before retirement, everyone should have an up-to-date estate plan with a will, beneficiaries for all accounts, a durable power of attorney, a health-care proxy or living will and possibly trusts for any minor children. 7. Am I properly insured? An unexpected setback could derail your plans. Make sure you're up to date on life, disability, homeowners and liability insurance. And consider getting long-term care insurance in your 50s or early 60s. Figure out which coverage would be the best fit by checking sites such as that of the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, www.longtermcare.gov. NEW YORK Shares of Google and Apple edged higher in premarket trading after a federal court judge dismissed a patent lawsuit against the tech giants brought by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen. U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle threw out Allen's patent infringement claims Friday. Pechman said Allen wasn't specific enough in identifying which products had violated his intellectual property rights. Google Inc. shares rose $5.78, or 1 percent, to $597.99 ahead of regular trading Monday, while Apple Inc. climbed $4.83, or 1.5 percent, to $325.39. Others targeted in the suit include Facebook Inc., eBay Inc., Yahoo Inc., Netflix Inc., AOL Inc., Office Depot Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples Inc. and Google-owned YouTube LLC. NEW YORK, AP E xpectations that a tax cut package will pass the Senate and a round of corporate deals pushed stocks higher Monday. Bondy ields fell after touching their highest levels since June. Deals announced Monday include General Electric Co.'s $1.3 bill ion acquisition of British oilfield company Wellstream Holdings PLC and Dell Inc.'s $960 million purchase of network storage company Compellent Technologies Inc. Shares of GE fell 0.2 perc ent to $17.68. Shares of Dell fell 3.3 percent to $13.43. The tax cut compromise brokered by the White House and C ongressional Republicans was scheduled for its first vote in the Senate on Monday afternoon. Lawmakers expect it to pass easily. I f enacted, the package will extend tax cuts passed during the Bush administration for all income levels for another two years. A RE YOUONTRACK ? FINANCIALPLANNING 7 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF Google, Apple shares rise after judge tosses suit HOPES F OR SENATE PASSAGE OF TAX DEAL LIFTS STOCKS Mars executive vice-president of construction and development, John Dunlap. At a press conference held yesterday at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, it was revealed that Baha Mar had signed conditional letters of intent with John F Dunn and Associates to build the new Fidelity Bank facility; with Osprey Developers for the Commonwealth Bank branch; with Cavalier Construction Compa-ny for the new Scotiabank facility; and with CGT Construction for the new police and fire station facilities.All of these facilities currently exist along the Cable Beach strip but have to be relocated to accomodate the resorts layout. Having received final approval from the Bahamas Investment Authority to proceed with the projects, Baha Mars contracts are subject to final approval (from the Bahamian government) as well as the close of the loan facility (from the China Export-Import Bank), said Baha Mar president, Don Robinson. Baha Mars vice-president of external and governmental affairs, Robert Sands, confirmed that the closing of the China Ex-Im Bank l oan awaits the final approval from t he Bahamian government and the finalisation of an amended Heads of Agreement for Baha Mar. Mr Sands noted that the company has received Bahamas Investment Authority approval, which is the most important approval, while the amended Heads of Agreement, which takes into account the new partners involved in the project, should be done imminently. Those documents are necessary for closing with China Ex-Im Bank, and so we want to fast track and make that happen before the end of the year, said Mr Sands. Mr Robinson agreed with Mr Sands, adding: With the sheer volume of documents that we have to co-ordinate and again between ourselves, the Government and our partners in China, its more of a logistical problem than anything else. We are just trying to get through that. Despite these outstanding matters, Mr Dunlap said Baha Mar executives anticipate the close of the loan facility in December, and following this would be targeting mid-January for ground breaking on site by thef our construction companies. I nitial set-up for work on the core project, which will include t he new hotel towers to be built by g eneral contractor, the China State Construction and Engineering Company, should then get underway within three months of work beginning on the non-core phase, said the executive around March or April if all goes to plan. To facilitate this component of the construciton, which will be done primarily by Chinese workers, a prefabricated facility to house up to 5,000 people is to be set up shortly in the area of the old Hobby Horse grounds, Tribune Business has learnt. Set up of this facility will involve a combination of both Chinese and Bahamian labour, it has been suggested. Speaking about the selection of the four firms announced as participants in the non-core project yesterday, Mr Dunlap revealed that they were selected from among 13 who bid on the works, with a minimum of three bids received for each of the four building projects, including from contractors in the Family Islands. There was an excellent reception or bid spread of qualified parties, as is the case in future works as well,s aid Mr Dunlap. A s to how many smaller contract ors may receive sub-contracts t hrough the awarding of these larger c ontracts, Mr Dunlap said that although vague, the reality is that it is numerous. Were not able to identify them today but you know the opportunities are embedded in how the jobs are run. Osprey Construction Company president, Thomas Whitehead, said: On a typical project this size we would use anywhere up to 12, 14 sub-contractors. Theres roof tiling, tiling in bathrooms, sheet rock work and electrical a lot of these companies are made up of three, four or five people. After the larger contractor gets going they will win these jobs from the larger contractors. On the importance of the signing to his firm yesterday, Larry Treco, president of CGT Construction, said: Its quite significant to us because the construction industry has been at an all-time low, and I think most contractors were actively pursuing work. Although its not huge contracts its a significant amount because of the lack of work out there. Mr Treco added that he feels the commencement of Baha Mar willc ause a lot of other things to happ en. A lot of companies and individu als are waiting for something to h appen, and we think this will be the trigger to set off a lot of financial investments and a lot of construction projects. We think therell be a lot of spin offs many managers will be coming in and theyll require housing, so thats another aspect it may cause other housing to be built, he added. Meanwhile, Mr Sands revealed that an announcement will be made next week about the awarding of the remainder of the $45 million allotted for the first phase construction. This is likely to include the road re-routing project, which will see a new ushaped road dubbed corridor seven built to replace the portion of West Bay Street that runs past the current hotel properties. Mr Robinson added that Baha Mar has launched a series of town hall meetings in the Out Islands so as to inform and assist all local contractors wishing to participate in this mega-project. Baha Mar is committed to an open-bidding process for all construction work, so as to ensure equal opportunity for all contractors who can meet the qualifications, safety,t iming and work quality demanded b y its project schedule and brand s tandards, he said. F ROM page 1B Baha Mar to award $45m in contracts next week
MARTHA MENDOZA, A P National Writer In a Port au Prince warehouse loaded with tarps, plywood, corrugated roofing, nails and other building supplies, company owner Patrick Brun says he had hoped to get contracts from the billions of doll ars in international aid promised to Haiti. His 40-year-old company, Chabuma S.A., sells cement blocks, doors, sand bags and other materials for international companies. But what he wants is a more significant role in his country's recovery, which i s why he says he keeps bidding without success for U.S. government contracts. "You can imagine that if we can't win the contracts ourselves, we become totally dependent on foreign compa nies and nonprofits, and there is n ot much hope in that," he said. "We may not have the extende d capacity of a U.S. company, but we are respectable. We k eep good books and records, we have foreign suppliers, we h ave good credit, we pay our taxes and our customs dues." Out of every $100 of U.S. contracts now paid out to rebuild Haiti, Haitian firmsh ave successfully won $1.60, The Associated Press has foundi n a review of contracts since the earthquake on Jan. 12. And t he largest initial U.S. contractors hired fewer Haitians than planned. There are many reasons for the disparity. Among them, US A ID is more familiar with some U.S. contractors and gave outs ome no-bid contracts out of urgency, and fears the corrupt ion that is rife in Haiti. On the Haitian side, there is a limited understanding of U.S. government practices. But using foreign aid to give l ocal companies contracts is one of the most important aspectso f reconstruction, says Clare Lockhart, chief executive officer of the Institute for State Effectiveness. "You can't just provide manu al jobs. You need to contract with companies so that the middle tier managers and owners of c ompanies have a stake in the legal system and rule of law, and ultimately a stake in the success of their political systema nd their economy," she says. O f the 1,583 U.S. contracts given so far in Haiti totaling $267 million, only 20 worth $4.3 million are going toH aitian-owned companies. And an audit this fall by US AID'sI nspector General found that more than 70 percent of the f unds given to the two largest U.S. contractors for a cash for work project in Haiti was spent o n equipment and materials. As a result, just 8,000 Haitians ad ay were being hired by June, instead of the planned 25,000 a day, according to the IG. The contractors, Development Alternatives Inc. of Bethesda, Md. and Chemonics International of Washington D .C., which received more than $31 million each in no-bid con t racts, responded to AP in an email saying that together with s everal other contractors, they had employed 25,000 Haitians a day. Now, they said, 10 months after the earthquake, "priorities have evolved beyond af ocus on temporary employment," a program that has paidH aitian workers $18 million in wages. U S AID says it is committed to increasing the amount of contracts going to Haitians. "We already are engaging with Haitian communities tom ake them aware of how they can partner with us," said Jan-i ce Laurente, a spokeperson for US AID. Jobs Economists say giving cont racts to local businesses creates jobs, which help build the p rivate sector. Also, most donors would rather see local b usinesses thrive than foreign companies profiting from a dis aster. Harvard Business School economist Eric Werker, who r esearches foreign aid, says the spillover effects go beyond the a id itself. "Some are obvious, like s alaries and profits that stay in the local economy, but there are also ways to increase capacity of local firms by giving them p rogressively larger contracts," says Werker. But there are m any hurdles to signing a con tract with Haitians. T he first is a no-bid process: 25 percent of the contracts went directly to U.S. contractors without even giving Haitians a chance to bid on them, some t imes because the needs were so urgent there wasn't time to g o through a formal bidding process. In addition, some gov e rnment requests for local Haitian subcontractors and exper tise are published only in English, limiting access for many Haitians who speak Creole. Also, at times of catastrophe, it can be easier to use an estab-l ished contractor with a strong record than a previously unknown local one. The Hait ian economy was so decimated b y the earthquake that it was hard at first even to get wood or t raps for shelters without importing them. Now, even though there are Haitian companies providing many prod ucts and services, the pattern of using foreign ones continues. And finally, it's more complicated to contract directly in countries like Haiti, where cor ruption is rife. There has been price-gouging among some would-be Haitian contractors. The unprecedented promise of $9 billion in aid, with the U.S. as a top giver, at first raised hope of rebuilding and even of a new and brighter future for the tragedy-prone island. But fewer than 10 percent of those funds have made it past the "promise" stage. While Chemonics and DAI are the largest single recipients, the bulk of the funds have gone t o beltway contractors as well: firms in Virginia received the m ost funds of any state, $45.3 million, followed closely by M aryland, $44.6 million. Another $31.7 million went to companies based in the District of Columbia. The U.S. foreign aid con t racts to Haiti since the earthquake have gone to an array of a lmost entirely U.S.-based goods and services, from bul l et-proof vehicles ordered Nov. 18 by the Centers for Disease Control from a Miami-based firm to $24,000 in dental sup plies for US Navy medical providers in June from a Chesapeake, Va. firm. Yet bullet-p roof vehicles and dental sup plies are available from Haitian companies, according to the nonprofit Peace DividendT rust. "Frankly, it's a shame and a s erious opportunity lost," says Edward Rees of the Peace Dividend Trust. His organization put together a business portal, offering everything from security services to catering, and is training Haitians on how to bid for contracts and grants. "No one is systematically tracking how many contracts have gone to Haitian companies." The lack of local spending in Haiti is similar to that in most other countries receiving U.S. aid, although economist Werk er said Haiti is likely at the low end of the spectrum. But Rees contrasts Haiti with Afghanistan, where backed by Peace Dividend Trust U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus ordered his commanders to "Hire Afghans first, buy Afghan products, and build A fghan capacity." The results in Afghanistan a re encouraging: A recent study found that 37 percent of $2 bil l ion in annual international aid is now being used to buy local ly-produced Afghan goods and services, up from 31 percent a few years ago. T he AP review focused on contracts from the U.S. gov e rnment, which spent an imme diate $1.1 billion in U.S. h umanitarian assistance after the earthquake, and promised another $1.15 billion for reconstruction. In November, the first $120 million of the pledged reconstruction funds were tranferred to the World Bank-runH aiti Reconstruction Fund, according to the State Department. In addition to govern ment aid, more than $1 billion h as come from nonprofit charities, most of which try to buy l ocal, said Samuel A. Worthington, president of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.based international non governmental organizations. He represents nonprofits manag ing about 90 percent of the U.S. donations that were directed to Haiti after the quake. Worthington says there is no system to count how much has gone to Haitian-owned compa nies. "There is a very strong bias to ensure as much local procurement as possible, and as much spending in the local economy," says Worthington. "Our bottom line is to serve as many people as possible and get the best price, to spread those dollars." C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 6B, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Would-be Haitian contractors are missing out on aid (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery RUBBLETROUBLE: Haitian Patrick Brun, owner of a company that distributes construction supplies, poses for a photo at a house damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery WEIGHED DOWN: A Haitian woman, carrying a bucket with goods to sell, walks by a house damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday Dec. 11, 2010. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery BUILDING BLOCKS: A Haitian man removes debris from a house damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday Dec. 11, 2010. Out of every $100 of U.S. contracts now paid out to rebuild Haiti, Haitian firms have successfully won $1.60, The Associated Press has found in a review of contracts since the earthquake on Jan. 12. And the largest initial U.S. contractors hired fewer Haitians than planned. There are many reasons for the disparity. Among them, US AID is more familiar with some U.S. contractors and gave out some no-bid contracts out of urgency, and fears the corruption that is rife in Haiti. On the Haitian side, there is a limited understanding of U.S. government practices.
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 7B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM BRUSSELS The European Central Bank stepped up its purchases of bonds from governments with shaky finances after Ireland's bailout failed to stabilize markets. The ECB bought 2.67 billion euros ($3.55 billion) in government bonds in the week ended Dec. 10. That's the biggest weekly purchase since July and up from 1.97 billion euros a week earlier. ___ ROME Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi looked for support from lawmakers as a no-confidence vote looms in parliament, and warned that bringing down his government risks plunging the country into financial instability. ___ TOKYO Japan's government said it would cut the country's hefty corporate tax rate by 5 percentage points in a bid to stim ulate the economy and help Japanese busi nesses stay competitive. ___ SHANGHAI China's leaders wrapped up an annual economic planning meeting with a pledge to cool surging inflation while shifting the economy toward more stable, balanced growth. Asian markets got a boost. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.9 percent, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed up 0.8 percent and South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.7 percent, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched 0.2 percent higher and stocks in Taiwan, India and Thailand also rose. European markets also rose. Britain's FTSE 100 closed up 0.8 percent, and Ger many's DAX added 0.3 percent and France's CAC-40 gained 0.9 percent. ___ BRATISLAVA, Slovakia Slovak Par l iament speaker Richard Sulik said his country needs to be ready to abandon the euro and switch to its former currency if the euro debt crisis hits more countries. Sulik said the current bailout system could work for Greece, Ireland and maybe Portugal, but could hardly rescue much larger Spain and Italy. ___ BERLIN A German research institute says it has revised its growth forecast for the country's economy upward to 3.7 percent in 2010 and 2.5 percent in the coming year. ___ LONDON The deputy governor of the Bank of England says the outlook for domestic growth "remains highly uncertain" and more measures may be needed to feed a recovery. ___ ATHENS, Greece Workers at public transport services and a state-owned bank went on strike in Greece, starting off a week of protests against a shake-up of labor rules. ___ MADRID Ratings agency Moody's said it was keeping a negative outlook on Spanishb anks because their capitalization, profitability and access to market funding are expected to remain weak amid Europe's unresolved financial crisis. ___ BEIJING American lawmakers are p ressing China for action on currency and h igh-tech trade in talks this week, and a planned Washington visit by President Hu Jintao next month has raised hopes Beijing might offer concessions. ___ S EOUL, South Korea Comments by South Korea's president that unification with rival North Korea is approaching have highlighted that policymakers should be ready for any eventuality, central bank Gov. Kim Choong-soo said Monday. GABRIELE STEINHAUSER, AP Business Writer BRUSSELS T he European Central Bank stepped up its purchases of bonds from governments with shaky finances in early Decem-b er, but analysts said the bank's intervention was too small to calm markets fears that the government debt crisis will claim f urther victims. Surging government debts have already pushed Greece and Ireland into seeking multibillion bailouts this year, testing the resolve of the 16 countriest hat use the euro to keep the currency union together. On Monday, the speaker of the Slovak parliament, Richard Sulik, added to the crisis atmos p here by saying his country needed to be ready to abandont he euro and switch to its for mer currency if the debt crisis h its further countries. Although the comments were quickly rejected by the Slovak finance ministry, they are a sign of the opposition toe xpensive bailouts among some policy makers and citizens ofs ome of the euro area's more fiscally stable countries. S lovakia, one of the eurozone's smallest members, only joined the euro in Jan. 2009, but has already indicated its discomfort with the crisis by refus i ng to contribute money to a euro110 billion ($148 billion b ailout for Greece by the other euro members and the Intern ational Monetary Fund. The ECB's reluctance to spend heavily to prevent the crisis from potentially taking down Portugal and Spain v iewed by many as the next weakest link in the currency u nion will keep the pressure on European leaders to find a p olitical solution to the debt crisis when they meet Thurs day and Friday in Brussels. Data published Monday showed that the ECB bought euro2.667 billion ($3.55 billion in government bonds in the week ended Dec. 10. That's the biggest weekly purchase since J uly and up from euro1.965 bil lion a week earlier, but way below the euro4 billion to euro16 billion a week the central bank spent on government bonds in May and June. By buying up the bonds of vulnerable countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain, or Portugal the ECB stabilizes their prices and yields, or interest rates. Those rates indicate how much a government would have to pay if it were to raise money in the debt markets. By propping up bond prices, the ECB also takes pressure off banks, which hold government bonds as buffers against financial shocks. Many market participants think the ECB's bond purchas es have been the main reason for a stabilization in European debt markets this month, but analysts said Monday they might have fallen short of expectations. "I would imagine that the market will see this as a bit of a disappointment," Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics in London, said of Monday's fig ure. "It's helping a little bit at the margins but it doesn't look like the kind of action that would solve the crisis on its own." Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of the ECB, said on Dec.2 that the Frankfurt-based bank would continue buying the bonds of highly indebted governments, after a euro67.5 billion bailout of Ireland failed to soothe fears that the debt crisis might force Portugal or Spain into seeking international help. Yields on the bonds from Portugal and Spain fell sharply following Trichet's statement, but have been creeping up again in recent days. The yield on Portuguese 10year bonds closed at 6.29 per cent Monday, down from euroarea highs of around 7.4 percent in late November but still t oo high to allow the country to refinance its debts in the l ong-run. The yield on equiva lent Spanish bonds stood at 5.46 percent Monday, not far off their 5.5 percent high late last month. H igh yields are a sign of investor concern over a coun t ry's ability to repay its debts. Since the ECB started its soc alled Securities Markets Pro gram in May in the wake of the euro110 billion bailout of Greece it has bought euro72 billion in government bonds. The ECB started out by buying more than euro16 billion in the first week of the program, but hadn't spent more than euro2 billion a week since ear ly July. Even though the Securities Markets Program is modest compared with government bond purchases by other central banks, it was been criticized by several members of the bank's governing board, who fear that the ECB is yielding to political pressure to use its financial muscle to contain the debt crisis. Trichet has emphasized that the ECB's purchases are not intended to bail out overspending governments, but to ensure its monetary policy focused on keeping inflation in check reaches the markets. By comparison, the U.S. Federal Reserve has said it will buy $600 billion in government bonds on the coming months to boost economic recovery. Some economists have been pushing the ECB to do more to stop the crisis, while others want eurozone governments to increase the region's euro750 billion ($1 trillion b ackstop or even issue panEuropean bonds. Even though the euro67.5 billion bailout for Ireland has used to up less than 10 percent o f the total fund the euro110 billion Greek rescue loan wasp rovided separately analysts have raised concerns that there m ight not be enough money to shore up the finances of Spain or Italy, Europe's fourth and third largest economies. That concern also appeared t o trigger Sulik's comments in an opinion piece for Slovak b usiness daily Hospodarske Noviny. S ulik said it was "high time for Slovakia to stop believing in what euro zone leaders say and prepare a Plan B. That is the reintroduction of the Slov ak koruna." The speaker said Slovakia w as too small to influence the how the 16-country eurozone i s run, but added: "We must at least protect the values that p eople living in Slovakia have created." A spokesman for the Slovak f inance ministry said leaving the euro "is not on our agend a." Martin Jaros said "the Finance Ministry has been focusing on the creation of rules at the EU level to ensure bud getary responsibility." Sulik declined to comment further Monday. A spokesman for the EU's monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn declined to comment on the speaker's piece. Slovakia's economy is expected to grow by 4.1 per cent this year, more than any other eurozone member, according to the latest EU prediction. Sulik heads the new Free dom and Solidarity party that is part of the four-party, centerright governing coalition created after June's general elec tions. While a government can the oretically pull out of the common currency, economists say leaving would be difficult and costly from a practical standpoint, involving changing software, automatic teller machines and cash registers as well as printing new money as did the monumental logistical effort involved in adopting the euro. Additionally, some say it could provoke a financial cri sis as investors sell assets ahead of the redenomination, and cause the country to face political animosity from other euro zone members. ATHENS, Greece Workers at public transport services and a state-owned bank began strikes Monday, startingoff a week of protests against a shake-up of labor rules in crisis-hit Greece. Transport services in greater Athens halted for more than six hours, a day before parliament was due to vote on the proposed changes that include deeper pay cuts for employees at state companies and a reduction of collective bargaining rights in the private sector. A general strike on Wednesday is set to ground flights, halt trains and ferries, and disrupt most public services. Unions are also planning major protests on that day in Athens and other cities. The cuts are part of Greece's effort to reduce its huge budget deficit as a condition of an agreement to receive euro110 billion ($146 billion international bailout loans. Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou is due to hold successive meetings with opposition party leaders Tuesday, seeking broader backing for austerity measures that are likely to intensify in early 2011. G LOBAL E CONOMIC N EWS A SSOCIATEDPRESS ECB boosted govt bond-buying to ease the crisis A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Monday: (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris TRANSPORTPROTEST: People flag down taxis during a public transport strike in Athens on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. Workers at public transport services and a state-owned bank began strikes Monday, starting off a week of protests against a shake-up of labor rules in crisis-hit G reece. Transport services in greater Athens halted for more than six hours, a day before parl iament was due to vote on the proposed changes that include deeper pay cuts for employees a t state companies and a reduction of collective bargaining rights in the private sector. (AP Photo/Paul White CRISISPOINT: Spains Finance Minister Elena Salgado speaks on her cell phone at the Senate in Madrid Monday Dec. 13, 2010 during a debate for the 2011 budget. Ratings agency Moodys said Monday it was keeping a negative outlook on Spanish banks because their capitalization, profitability and access to market funding are expected to remain weak amid Europes unresolved financial crisis. The agencye xpects the banks credit conditions to stay difficult for at least 12 months as Spain weathers fierce market pressure amid speculation it might need a bailout like Ireland and Greece. INTERN A TION AL BUSINESS G G r r e e e e k k l l a a b b o o u u r r r r e e f f o o r r m m t t r r i i g g g g e e r r s s s s t t r r i i k k e e s s
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 8B, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 5 2wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y P revious CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.261.00AML Foods Limited1.011.010.000.1500.0406.73.96% 10.759.67Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 6.184.50Bank of Bahamas4.904.900.000.5980.2608.25.31% 0.580.18Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 3.492.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.1680.09016.13.33% 2.152.14Fidelity Bank2.172.170.000.0160.040135.61.84% 12.509.62Cable Bahamas10.4610.460.001.0500.31010.02.96% 2.842.36Colina Holdings2.402.400.000.7810.0403.11.67% 7.005.40Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.856.950.1051,0000.4220.26016.53.74% 3.651.63Consolidated Water BDRs1.801.820.020.1110.04516.42.47% 2.551.60Doctor's Hospital1.601.600.000.1990.1108.06.88% 6.995.94Famguard6.076.070.00-0.0030.240N/M3.95% 10.207.23Finco7.237.230.000.2870.52025.27.19% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.399.390.000.6450.35014.63.73% 5.513.75Focol (S)5.465.460.000.3660.21014.93.85% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 5.595.00ICD Utilities5.595.590.000.0120.240465.84.29% 10.509.82J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.9710.64010.16.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.000.9910.80010.18.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid$ Ask$ LastPrice DailyVol EPS$ Div$ P/E Yield F INDEX: CLOSE 000.00 | YTD 00.00% | 2009 -12.31%30 May 2013 20 November 2029MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2010BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,487.81 | CHG 5.08 | %CHG 0.34 | YTD -77.57 | YTD % -4.96BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017 7%RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)29 May 2015 W W W.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE:242-323-2330 | FACSIMILE: 242-323-232019 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%B ISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid $ Ask $ Last Price Daily Vol EPS $ Div $ P/E Yield 10.065.01Bahamas Supermarkets5.016.0114.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.450.550.550.0020.000261.900.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%L ast 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.51221.4076CFAL Bond Fund1.51795.51%6.90%1.498004 2.92652.8300CFAL MSI Preferred Fund2.91871.10%3.13%2.919946 1.56681.4954CFAL Money Market Fund1.56974.15%4.18%1.551550 3.20252.8522Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.7108-13.03%-4.96% 13.638813.0484Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.2825-0.63%-0.14% 114.3684101.6693CFAL Global Bond Fund114.36849.98%12.49%109.392860 106.552899.4177CFAL Global Equity Fund106.55284.75%7.18%100.779540 1.13671.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.13674.30%5.21% 1.09741.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.09742.75%6.87% 1.13631.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.13634.18%5.78% 9.74859.1005Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.79504.85%5.45% 11.236110.0000Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.6417-1.20%0.50% 10.00009.1708Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 39.6635-3.37%-3.37% 8.16434.8105Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund7.94422.94%6.47% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeksBid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeksAsk $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volumeLast Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volumeWeekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to dayEPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded todayNAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 monthsN/MNot Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earningsFINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200730-Nov-10 30-Nov-10 107.570619 105.776543 30-Jun-10 31-Oct-10 NAV 6MTH 1.475244 2.911577 1.532712TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752530-Nov-10 30-Sep-10 30-Sep-10 3-Dec-10 30-Nov-10MARKET TERMS31-Oct-10 30-Nov-10CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)30-Nov-10BISX Listed Mutual FundsNAV Date 30-Nov-10 31-Oct-10 ( 662,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ /,0,7(' 127,&( 3XUVXDQWWRWKHSURYLVLRQVRIHFWLRQfRIWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV LVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHUSXUVXDQWW R D &HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQLVVXHGE\7KHHJLVWUDU *HQHUDORQWKHW KGD\RIRYHPEHU 'DWHGWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU &DURO**UD\ /LTXLGDWRURI (662,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ /,0,7(' (662%0(/(9(1f%5$=,/(;3/25$7,21 /,0,7(' 127,&( 3XUVXDQWWRWKHSURYLVLRQVRIHFWLRQfRIWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV LVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHUSXUVXDQW WRD&HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQLVVXHGE\7KHHJLVWUDU *HQHUDORQWKHWKGD\RIRYHPEHU 'DWHGWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU &DURO**UD\ /LTXLGDWRURI (662%0(/(9(1f%5$=,/(;3/25$7,21 /,0,7(' (662,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ /,0,7(' 1 27,&( 3XUVXDQWWRWKHSURYLVLRQVRIHFWLRQfRIWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHVL V KHUHE\JLYHQWKDWWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHUSXUVXDQW WRD&HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQLVVXHGE\7KHHJLVWUDU *HQHUDORQWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU 'DWHGWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU &DURO**UD\ /LTXLGDWRURI (662,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ 7+5((f/,0,7(' (662,*(5,$))6+25((1785(6f/,0,7(' 127,&( 3XUVXDQWWRWKHSURYLVLRQVRIHFWLRQfRIWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV LVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHUSXUVXDQW WRD&HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQLVVXHGE\7KHHJLVWUDU *HQHUDORQWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU 'DWHGWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU &DURO**UD\ /LTXLGDWRURI (662,*(5,$))6+25((1785(6f/,0,7(' ( 6 6 2 1,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ /,0,7(' 127,&( 3XUVXDQWWRWKHSURYLVLRQVRIHFWLRQfRIWKH QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV LVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\KDV E HHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHUSXUVXDQW WRD&HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQLVVXHGE\7KHHJLVWUDU *HQHUDORQWKHW KGD\RI'HFHPEHU 'DWHGWKHWKGD\RI'HFHPEHU &DURO**UD\ /LTXLGDWRURI (662,*(5,$))6+25((*,21$/ /,0,7(' NEW YORK Oil resumed its march to $90 a barrel on Monday after OPEC left its crude output quotas unchanged, citing slowing demand and abundant supplies. Benchmark crude for January delivery rose 82 cents to settle at $88.61 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices bounced back following OPEC's weekend meeting in Ecuador, where oil ministers said they would keep production quotas unchanged. Even though that was expected, oil traders were glad to have it confirmed. "The market is focusing ... on the lack of desire to add more oil to quash higher prices," JP Morgan analysts said in a note to investors. While higher oil prices put more money in OPEC pockets, oil-producing countries worry that prices could go too high, fan inflation and slow the global economic recovery. "The ministers generally love existing prices," energy consultants Cameron Hanover said in a report. "Some insiders have hinted at a quota increase if crude oil prices break above $100 a barrel." Oil prices were also helped on Monday by a weaker dollar. Oil and other commodities are priced in dollars, so they becomem ore attractive to buyers with foreign currency as the dollar retreats. The energy markets are watching the Senate vote on extending tax cuts. The bill would also extend unemployment benefits and reduce Social Security payroll taxes for a year, all of which are seen helping the economic recovery. As the economy recovers, demand for oil and gas is expected to improve asw ell. In other Nymex trading, heating oil added 0.77 cent to sett le at $2.4652 a gallon. Gasoline gained 0.91 cent to settle at $2.3184 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 0.3 cent to settle at $4.420 per 1,000 cubic feet. OIL PRICES HEAD HIGHER AFTER OPEC MEETING D AVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent WASHINGTON L ast-minute legislation to avert a Jan. 1 increase in income taxes for millions approached its first Senate hurdle on Monday, propelled by an uneasy and unusual a lliance linking the White House and top lawmakers in both parties. Senate leaders predicted the measure would gain the 60 votes needed to clear the way for final passage within a day or two. "We're telling the American people to keep money that's rightfully theirs, so they can spend it and invest it as they please," s aid Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shortly before the vote. In a jab at Democrats, he added, "This is an important shift, and the White House should be applauded for agreeing to it." Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said, "This bipartisan compromise is about creating jobs. Extending middle class tax cuts will h elp create jobs. ... Job creation needs to be our number one priority." The bill would provide a two-year reprieve in the tax increases scheduled tot ake effect on Jan. 1 at all income levels, reduce Social Security taxes for every wagee arner in 2011 and extend an expiring program of jobless benefits for the long-term u nemployed. The estimated cost, $858 billion over two years, would be added to a lready-huge federal deficits. The measure represents a reach across party lines after two years of political combat in which Republicans wanted a permanent extension of all the tax cuts enactedw hen George W. Bush was president, while Democrats insisted rates be permitted to rise on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. D espite the bipartisanship in the Senate, disgruntled House Democrats have vowed to block a final vote unless the legislation is changed to scale back billions in relief ticketed to the wealthy. I think we're going to have a vote on the Senate bill, with possible changes," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said. "We may have it with amendments, we'll s ee what the process is." The compromise emerged a week ago after private talks involving the White House and top leaders in Congress, including Republicans who emerged fromm idterm elections with significantly increased strength. In the days since, President Barack Obama has drawn strong criticism from liberals u nhappy that he agreed to changes in the estate tax and income tax that will benefit the wealthy. Firing back, he said failure to c ompromise would produce gridlock at a time the economy is still struggling to recover from recession and unemployment is at a persistently high rate of 9.8 percent. The administration's outgoing top econ omic adviser, Lawrence Summers, said in a speech a few hours before the vote that the agreement should increase consumer spending and help the economy "now and for the next several years." O n the other end of the political spectrum, some conservatives have spoken out against the bill, saying that the renewal of jobless benefits should be offset by spendi ng cuts elsewhere in the budget. In fact, even supporters of the bill were at pains to point out parts they found objectionable. Baucus singled out the decision to leave t ax rates unchanged on upper income earners. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., highlighted a series of energy tax breaks added to the bill late last week, including an extens ion of the federal subsidy for ethanol. McConnell cited "the Democrats' insistence that we borrow the money we need to pay for a further extension of unemployment insurance. In my view, if both partiesa gree that the debt is a serious problem, we shouldn't be writing checks that we don't have the money to cover." Many House Democrats objected strongl y to a change in the estate tax that Republicans won as part of the deal. The first $5 million of a couple's estate could pass to h eirs without taxation, and an additional $5 million could be passed along for the spouse. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate. Big Obama-GOP tax bill facing first Senate hurdle (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali PRICESHIKE: Unidentified oil workers make adjustments t o increase a wells production Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, a t a site in the Sakhir, Bahrain, desert oilfield of the Pers ian Gulf.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer FOR just one day, they didnt have to worry about injections, taking medications or anything associated with chemotherapy. Thanks to the Caribbean Bottling Company, who treated child cancer patients to a fun day at Marios Bowling & Family Entertainment Palace, the little ones had an opportunity to give Santa Claus their Christmas wishes, have fun with their friends outside of the doctors office, bowl and play exciting arcade games. For some of the kids it was their first time at Marios Bowling & Family Entertainment, as trips to and from the doctors office do not leave much time for leisure activities. It was three year old Jayden Lasisters first time at the enter tainment center. He didnt wasted any time when it came to the arcade games. His mother, Ruth Lasister sat down with Tribune Health and extended great thanks to the Caribbean Bottling Company for hosting the event. She said it was a great idea because it allows them to have fun under in a differ ent setting. This was Jaydens first time at Marios and he was so excited. I think this is such a great idea because last Christmas my son was doing chemotherapy and we didnt even celebrate Christmas. I just didnt get that chance to take him out because when you have a child that is sick you really dont have the time do a lot of things. But at this event he got to have fun and see his friends in a better setting as oppose to seeing them at the doctors office, she said. Cyndi Williams, customer service and public relations manager, at the Caribbean Bottling Company said that they hope to make this an annual event for cancer kids. We always hear of the high incidence of cancer among adults but nobody really focuses on the kids. There are no tests done to see if kids have cancer. Last year, we held the same event because we wanted to show the kids a great time around this time of year. We just wanted them to have fun and not think about chemotherapy and we hope to make this an annual event, she said. During the day of fun, a dona tion of $2350 from the Caribbean Bottling Company was made to the Cancer Society of the Bahamas. Dr Francis Williams member of the board of the Cancer Society told Tribune Health that the donation will go towards purchasing porta cathes, an implanted venous device that makes the administration for chemotherapy much easier for cancer patients. The porta cathes are a device that are implanted under the skin and if patients dont get that they will be on treatment for a very long time. But if they do get the porta cathes it allows them to get treat ment relatively easy, he said. He also said that this donation makes the fight against cancer for the organisation much easier. Can cer for anyone is challenging. It has been a challenge for us and this contribution made by the Caribbean Bottling Company makes the chal lenge much easier, he explained. President of the Cancer Society Earle Bethell was also on hand and said they will continue their efforts to reach out to kids with cancer. I must say that we are most appreciative for what the Caribbean Bottling Company are doing. We have to try and reach out to those kids that are affected by cancer and this is one way of doing so, Mr Bethell said. Caribbean Bottling Company brings Christmas early to child cancer patients DONATION: Caribbean Bottling Company presented the Cancer Society with a cheque in the amount of two thousand three hundred and fifty dollars on Saturday. Pictured from left Cancer Society board member Dr. Homer Bloomfield, Marios Bowling & Entertainment Palace Gregory Wilkinson, Customer Service & PR Manager, Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas Ltd Cyndi Williams Rahming and Manager of Finance, Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f C M Y K C M Y K WOMAN T HE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 9B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM B ODYANDMIND T h e T r i b u n e 10 secrets for younger looking skin CAN someone in their twenties or early thirties be affected by aging skin? Of course they can. The youthfulness of your skin is determined more by the way it has been treated than age, in other words, if your skin is exposed to environmental aggressions, poor lifestyle habits and a stressful life, your skin starts experiencing real signs of aging, loss of collagen, glow and elasticity. Here are 10 ways to prevent or repair aging skin: Protect your skin from sun damage, using an UVA and UVB protection. The number one cause of aging is due to the sun. Quit smoking and avoid exposure to cigarette smoke. Researchers have proven that smoking contributes significantly to skin wrinkles and dryness by constricting blood vessels and decreasing oxygen to the skin Use an AHA or BHA (also known as retinols) daily. Alpha hydroxy acids remove dead skin cells. When used consistently it can erase fine lines and remove upto ten years off your skin. To avoid sunburn it is important to use sunscreens, when using retinoids. Use an exfoliant at least once a week. Exfoliants vary from a mild scrub, to enzymes and chemicals or acids. The type of exfoliants is determined by ones age and skin type. If you're thirty and over, chemical exfoliates such as glycolic and salicylic acid works better and faster. Use an eye cream daily with SPF to protect the skin from the sun. The eye area is very thin and one of the first areas on the face to age. Antioxidants supplements, key to age prevention. Take oral and topical antioxidants. Examples of some antioxidants are vitamin c, alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme 10. Get sufficient sleep. Sleep gives the body an opportunity to rest, rejuvenate, replenish, and regenerate itself. Any damage that is done that could possibly contribute to premature aging is repaired during sleep. During sleep free radicals are dissolved, which are known to cause prema ture aging. Reduce levels of stress. The skin reflects the general health of the body, so what goes on inside is eventually reflected outwardly. Stress speeds up the aging process. Stress and worry can cause frown ing; eventually the facial muscles conform to that movement. Limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol dilates blood vessels, overtime these blood vessels become permanently damaged. Regular exercise program is important, although it has many physical benefits, it is eventually seen on your face and help you look younger, at any age. A few extra points to fight aging skin: Cleanse your skin gently, but properly daily. Moisturise your skin, especially at night. Stick to a healthy diet, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink at least eight glasses of water. Hydrating your skin with nutrients is increasingly important. Dry skin is more prone to forming wrinkles than any other skin type. Essential fatty acids are unsaturat ed fats which are essential to the diet because the body does not produce them. Essential fatty acids are found in vegetables, nuts and some fish. Essential fatty acids contribute to the health of the cell membrane in order to prevent damage of free radicals. Free radicals are known primarily to cause premature aging. Kenya Mortimer-McKenzie Esthetician/Ant-Aging Skin Care Spe cialist Baha-Retreat Anti-Aging Spa B Y KENYA M ORTIMERM CKENZIE By ALESHA CADET Tribune Features Reporter N ot only did Booster save Davis Hawn's Life, the service dog b ecame his best friend. When Mr Hawn faced Post T raumatic Stress Disorder, Booster picked up the p ieces of the mans shattered life and changed his life, they are now known as a team! A fter the terrible experience of b eing diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with Boost er's assistance, Davis Hawn of Pass C hristian, Mississippi was never alone. In an interview with Tribune H ealth d uring his visit to the B ahamas, Mr Hawn said the Bahamas experience proved enlight ening for the disabled who could u se a dog like Booster to better their lives. "It was also an opportunity to express that we have more to fear from mans inhumanity to man than w e do from a dog." He continued: "I have never, ever had a door closed to me and Booste r here in the Bahamas. The dis abled dollars are green and the dis abled often travel with an assistant, t wo visitors. We need a safe place of interest to visit and the Bahamas is perfect. Good weather, friendly and educated people with big smiles andh uge hearts. You are the small nation with the big heart." "I experienced fear in the form o f Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so I understand fear. The reality of life reveals that dogs pull us in wheelchairs after we lose limbs or e xperience paralysis." Around the time of Disability week 2010, Mr Hawn was greeted Sheila Culmer who graciously invited him and Booster to address The Bahamas National Council for Dis-a bility. Mr Hawn explained that the pair appeared on many television programs while in Nassau, includingB ahamas at Sunrise and Conversations with Etoille Pinder. S peaking on some of the places t hey have visited in the Bahamas, Mr Hawn said: "We also attended services at the Native Golden Gate Baptist Church where Booster d emonstrated his skills to the cong regation which included many disa bled individuals." "We were graciously gifted tickets to the lighting of the Christmas treea nd witnessed the miraculous mer riment of children singing carols and reciting poems. We also got a tasteo f the one of a kind Junkanoo festiv al that rivaled Disney in pageantry and splendor. The following day, we visited the awe inspiring B ahamas Humane Society where Booster entertained children while I bathed a lonely, frightened pot c ake who thanked me with a kiss on the cheek. I knew how he felt for I too once felt the same way due to disabilities in my life." Mr Hawn added that his heart goes out to the Bahamians because every place they have gone theyw ere accepted. "They have trusted us and its a new concept in the Bahamas for the service animal. They listen, they understand and t hey give us the benefit of the doubt and they give us public access," he said. We look at the dog as durable medical equipment, our indepen dence in life and to separate a ser v ice dog from its owner is like throwing someone out of a wheel chair. Public access is crucial. The dog can do no good if not allowedp ublic access with its partner. "It's very important to stress the idea that you do not have to look disabled to be disabled. There is a lot of potential in dogs to help peo ple, that people are not aware of a nd rather than fear a dog, maybe they should embrace the dog," he said. Mr Hawn went on to say: "I owe gratitude to the Bahamian popula tion for affording me a stress free e nvironment in which I could share my experience and enjoy my life. I thank Sheila Culmer for her decades of working on behalf of the disabled a nd inviting me to share my message with the wonderful people of the Bahamas who I hold so dear in my heart." The importance of a service dog changing lives health A-TEAM: Davis Hawn and his service dog Booster offers and helps the disability i n creating a way to a better life with the assistance of a service dog.
REGARDLESS of a person's HIV status, it is recommended that one visits a den-tist about every six months. T hese regular visits allow the dentist to find early signs of decay, infection and disease and to treat problems at a manageable stage. S tudies show that cavities i n people living with HIV can a ct as fungal reservoirs.Theref ore, treating cavities imme diately may reduce infections like thrush (ie mouth infection). For proper care, it is helpful for a dentist to know that you are living with HIV because there are certain conditions that they will want to pay extra attention to. Finding a dentist who you trust, who is supportive and who can help you make informed treatment decisions is mandatory. If you do not already have a dentist whoyou trust and feel comfortable with, consider a referral from your doctor, a friend or an AIDS service organisation. ORAL CONDITIONS OF HIV DISEASE It is estimated that 90 per cent of people with HIV will develop at least one mouth condition related to HIV disease. These conditions, such as Candidiasis (ie thrush Hairy Leukoplakia (i.e. hairy white plaque), may be the first sign of immune suppression linked to HIV infection, and in many people, are the first signals that lead doctors to encourage HIV testing. Most show up as lesions or sores and can be categorised into four types: abnormal cell growth (cancer viral and fungal. 1. ABNORMAL CELL GROWTH The most common cancers associated with HIV which can affect the mouth, include Kaposi's Sarcoma and Lym phoma. Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS the most common AIDSrelated cancer reported in about 15 per cent of people with AIDS. Commonly KS is on the skin, although over half the people with it report oral lesions as well. Sometimes oral lesions that appear as patches or swellings are the first obvious sign. The roof of the mouth is the most common site, but they also occur on the gums, tongue and at the back of the mouth, near the throat. L ymphoma i s rarer than KS a nd generally more serious. M outh symptoms, which may s imply be a small lump in the mouth or near the tonsils, can o ften be the first sign of lym p homa.The lesions include f irm masses and persistent ulcers. It is possible to detect this condition early by having regular dental exams. 2. BACTERIAL INFECTIONS Some of the most common mouth signs of HIV disease result from overgrown bacte ria. Fortunately, these infec tions are among the easiest to treat; but if left untreated or detected too late, serious health problems may occur. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums (sometimes accompanied by bleeding and bad breath) caused by a bacterial infection. Periodontal disease includes all diseases of the gums, teeth and underly ing bone. People living with HIV are more at risk to these fairly common conditions and may also face more rapid and severe forms of gingivitis and periodontal disease.The more severe forms include Linear Gingivitis Erythema and Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis, conditions that occur almost exclusively in people living with HIV. 3. VIRAL INFECTIONS Mouth conditions caused by viruses can be painful and are rarely fully cleared from a person's body. There is, however, effective therapy that can treat current conditions and sup press future outbreaks. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1 blisters on the lips, is fairly common in the general popu lation and even more so in people living with HIV. In addition to sores on the lips, HSV-1 can appear inside the mouth, as "bubbles" on the gums and in the mouth, often in firmer tissue, like the roof of the mouth. Herpes sores can occur with fever, pain and loss of appetite. They can either be small and almost painless or they can be trou blesome, extensive and persistent. Oral Hairy Leukoplakia ( OHL) is one of the most common HIV-related oral conditions. It is not danger ous and can occur very early in HIV disease. It may, how-e ver, point to an increasing r isk of other, more serious illn esses.Symptoms include w hite patches on the sides of the tongue or walls of the mouth.They look folded, with hair-like particles along the folds. OHL is rarely (if ever) painful and while annoying (people complain about its appearance and texture), it is not serious. Cytomegalovirus (CMV mostly occurs in people with late-stage disease, and only very rarely does it manifest in the mouth. These sores can be widespread and have been seen on the gums, cheeks and roof of the mouth. Since oral CMV ulcers can look like other ulcers, a biopsy may be nec essary to identify it in the mouth. 4.FUNGAL INFECTIONS Oral Candidiasis is perhaps the most common oral condition in people with HIV.A healthy immune system can suppress the overgrowth of this fungus, but even a mildly compromised system may not keep the fungus in check. Fac tors that may cause Candidia sis are prolonged stress, depression and using antibiotics. Planning a course of action for dental care and treatment is important for people living with HIV. Your dentist is a partner in helping you develop this plan. Optimally, any course of treatment should be made together -with you, your doctor and your dentist working together. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended and may not be treated as, a sub stitute for professional medical/dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or dental professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical/dental condition. Never disregard professional med ical/dental advice or delay in seek ing it because of a purely infor mational publication." Andr R. Clarke, DDS, MBBS Specialised Medical Dentist HIV and you B ahamians in general are quite happy to enjoy t heir meals with just two kinds of pepper: bird and goat. Bird pepper is added raw, usually after being mashed, as a condimentwhile goat pepper is usually added to dishes during the cooking process. We may not be able to enjoy true true bird and goat peppers for much l onger. Hot peppers are easily crosspollinated and lose their distinctive flavour. It is one of the rules of the garden that one should grow sweet peppers well away from hot peppers, b ut the different varieties of hot pepp ers will cross-pollinate and change t heir essential characteristics. Two years ago I grew some Habanero peppers that should haveb een really hot. Even though I had them a fair distance from my sweetp eppers the Habaneros were disappointingly mild and insipid. I also h ave some ornamental Mirasol peppers that over three generations have completely lost their pepperiness. H ot peppers can be divided into those we use for flavour and those w e use as ornamentals. Ornament als include Thai peppers that go through green, yellow, purple, orange and red stages, and strangel y shaped peppers like Peter pep per. You could use Thai or Peter peppers to season food but they tendt o have mere heat without a distinctive flavour. Black, brown and purple hot peppers often look ominous but there are no poisonous peppers. Perhaps the most prevalent hot pepper in the US is the Jalapeno, a pepper that grows easily and reach e s four to five inches in length. The Jalapeno used to be mild and very flavoursome, but in recent decades ith as been turned into a mouth burne r. This is sad because there are many peppers to choose from for heat while few have a definingf lavour. T wo approximate substitutes for b ird peppers are Tabasco and Serrano. Tabasco peppers are often called finger peppers and tend to be squarish at the stalk end. Like bird p eppers, they give a sharp bite and t hen fade quickly. Serrano peppers a re shaped like bullets and are really handsome. Many people use them at the green stage for a milderf lavour but when bright red they are meaty and a solid medium hot. Very popular in recent years are s tuffing hot peppers. These tend to b e long and vary in pepper strength from mild to medium hot. Anaheim, Numex and the slightly more bulb ous Poblano peppers are ideal for slitting at the side, stuffing with a savoury mixture that must includec heese, then grilling or sweating them until cooked and the cheese is melted. Big Jim Numex is one variety I tried last year and it was perfect for stuffing. I have been very vague about pepper strengths because until 1980t here was no definitive way of mea suring the relative heat of differing peppers. A scale of 1-10 was generally used with Banana pepper as 1 a nd Habanero 10. In 1980 a scientif ic method was employed using liquid chromatography, accurate to two parts in a million. The heat was mea s ured in Scoville Units, named after the inventor of the process. In Scovi lle Units a bird pepper and Serrano would measure 5,000 to 15,000 while Tabasco would be 30,000 to 50,000 and Habanero or goat pepper over 100,000. Y ears ago sports creams used for sprains and aching muscles used to be bland and odourless, but theyw orked. The public demanded more evidence of their effectiveness so the manufacturers added wintergreent o make it smell and hot pepper extract to make it burn. Then in the 1990s came along sports creams without smell or heat just as they once were. The heat of hot peppers comes f rom capsaicin in the connective tissue within the pepper. Pepper seeds d o not produce capsaicin but their proximity allows them to absorb capsaicin and makes them hot. By removing the placental connective tissue and seeds and using only the f lesh of the pod one gets the true flavour of the pepper and reduces the intensity of the heat. D o not drink water if you have a pepper attack. Capsaicin is absorbed by oil so milk, ice cream or yoghurtw ill be far more effective than water. firstname.lastname@example.org C M Y K C M Y K W OMAN P AGE 10B, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Hot peppers B y GARDENER JACK GREEN SCENE F UNNY SHAPES: P eter pepper fruits grow very irregularly and are odd ornamentals. B RIGHT: M irasol (look at the sun) peppers are not very hot but are extremelyo rnamental. By ALESHA CADET Tribune Features Reporter TWO members of the MedNet Group of Companies recently attended an intensive oneday American Heart Association (AHA inar held in November at the McCormick Con vention Center in Chicago, Illinois as they revised protocol with a view to preserving human life. The medical professionals explained what attending such a conference and updating their knowledge of the CPR guidelines meant for First Care and the country. It means that it is an opportunity for us to try to recruit more Bahamians to become more aware of the importance of being as knowledgeable as you can about preserving human life. CPR is not just being taught because we can, but because it is vital to the health of Bahamians. We have qualified, certified Bahamian instructors who belong to the inter national body of the AHA, so it really does mean a lot for us, said First Care Medical Director, Dr Nigel Johnson who described the AHA conference as educational and informative. He went on to explain one of the most important revisions at this years conference. The initial recommendations used for patient resuscitation were airway, breathing and circulation (A-B-C changed to circulation, airway and breathing (CAB Its an interesting concept since most of us have been trained for years to make sure that the airway is clear and that you are ventilating your patient. Now they are saying that based on the studies presented you should seek to improve cardiac profusion by early effective compression, and then proceed after that to secure your airway and ventilation. The AHAs reason for the change is that according to studies, for most people going into cardio-pulmonary arrest, the blood has reasonably good oxygenation for at least three to five minutes. Even with experienced indi viduals, the average delay in ventilation of the patient is at least eighteen to twenty five seconds and it has been shown that this delay contributes to a decrease in patients chances of survival, he explained. Going further, another component that Dr Johnson found interesting was the revision in the variation of depths of compression with victims of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Addressing the question of one rescuer management of a patient who has collapsed vs two rescuers, Dr Johnson said, Whether there are one or two rescuers, the approach is still CAB to try to preserve the life of the patient. Dr Johnson expressed First Cares vision for the country in these words: Certainly we would like to see an era in this country where every home has someone with knowledge of life-saving techniques such as CPR, Basic Life Support or First Aid. This would go a long way toward improving the overall healthcare of the country. Its also a great feeling to know you have assisted a friend or relative. After all, you cant really put a price on knowledge. First Car e staf f attends AHA Revision 2010 Scientific Conference By ANDRE CLARKE KEEPING YOUR MOUTH ALIVE CERTIFIED: First Care Basic Life Support providers display their certificates after attending the AHA 2010 Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
C M Y K C M Y K WOMAN T HE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010, PAGE 11B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM C ongratulations to Dr Barbara A RodgersNewbold on successfully obtaining her Doctorate of Management Degree in Organisational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Congratulations are extended from her loving husband, Anthony Ace Newbold; her proud parents, Herman and Sylvia Rodgers; brothers, Pedro and Ricardo; sisters, Kathrina and Dr Nakeisha Rodgers; sister-in-law, Bon-n ivette; niece, Petra; nephew, Brian, and the rest of her family and friends. Dr Rodgers-Newbold, who spent 20 years as a senior C ommercial and Offshore Banker, dedicated her Dissertation to her late grandmother, Catechist D orothy Woodside of Staniard Creek, Andros Know a special lady who has achieved an amazing a ccomplishment, let us know at email@example.com so she can be featured in the next You Go Girl column. YOU GO GIRL! DECEMBERis a low point in the gardening year, but a high point for giving gifts to gardeners. Most obvious would be a plant. Every gardener, no matter how long they've been gardening, gets a thrill when open ing a box with a plant in it. Still, there are ho-hum plants plants that have their qualities but just aren't going to elicit much excitement. Stay away from the usual poinsettias, philo dendrons and dracaenas for accomplished gardeners. And because the gift plant is for a gar dener, steer clear of throwaway plants, such as paperwhites. Yes, paperwhites are perennial, but can't be forced to flower every winter. SOME PLANTS ARE SPECIAL The plants that most gardeners would be thrilled to receive this time of year (hint, hint ter fragrance or blossoms, or both. A good place to start looking for my gift ... whoops, I mean some gardener's gift ... would be a mail-order nursery specializing in such plants, or having a wide array of houseplants. (Logee's Greenhouses, www.logees.com, and Glasshouse Works, www.glasshouseworks.com, for example). Gardenia, jasmine, camellia and citrus fit the bill for anyone with a green thumb and a cool, bright room. Where heat, humidity and sunlight create a more trop ical atmosphere, choose from such beauties as bougainvillea, abutilon and alla manda. A lack of sunny windows should not present a problem. Just shift gears and think foliage: ferns, such as the dainty maidenhair or the eerie rabbit's-foot, with its furry "foot" attempting escape over the edge of the pot; or rosemary, pretty and fragrant whether or not it flowers; or cute baby's-tears, always lush and green. GIFTS THAT ARE ALWAYS NEEDED Shift gears again now and move beyond plants to expendable items: A good pair of gardening gloves either soft leather, cotton with rubbercoated palms and fingers, perhaps gloves made of some innovative material are essential, and rarely last more than a year or two. Potting soil is an expendable gift that you can buy or, like cupcakes, make yourself. For homemade potting soil, mix together equal parts peat, perlite, com post and garden soil, then put the mix through some quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth. Plant labels, which could be nothing more than Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors, are also always needed. One of the best expendable gift items is twine, useful for such things as tying up tomato, delphinium and pea plants, laying out garden rows or beds, and lashing together bamboo stakes. Natural twines, such as cotton, jute and hemp, are best for gardening because they can be tossed, along with tied plants, into the compost pile at season's end. GIFTS THAT LAST Enduring gifts can be as welcome as expendable ones. Tools are an obvious choice, but choose carefully. Too many gadgets end up gathering dust in the back corner of a garage or shed. Some gadgets that are sure to get used include an electronic moisture probe, a rain gauge, a compost thermometer, and a thermometer that records minimum and maximum as well as current tem peratures. Self-watering seed flats (the APS Starter Kit from Gardener's Supply Company, www.gardeners.com) will freea gardener from daily watering chores in spring. (Watering is still needed, but weekly, perhaps, rather than daily.) For a decorative pot for a larger plant, consider plastic ones that look just like terra-cotta but dry out less readily and stand up to weather better. Something even bigger? A rain barrel, for catching and making good use of water from a gutter's downspout. AND, OF COURSE, BOOKS The best gardening books provide both information and inspiration, or at least a healthy dose of one. Just as with garden tools, don't be enticed too quickly by what is splashy, colorful and most promoted. Some of the best gardening books were written decades ago. Step into a used bookstore; you might find a gem of an old gardening book there. Gar dening gifts: T r y plants, tools, books and more AVOID: Steer clear of paperwhites. Even though they are perennial, but can't be forced to flower every winter. (ARA Twinkling lights, silvery tinsel a nd gold decorations aren't the only t hings that should shine this holiday seas on. Holiday festivities give you the chance to do some sparkling of your own. Whether it's a casual office party, ritzy dinner gathering or a holiday tea with the girls, every holiday event offers ac hance for you to indulge in a bit of holi day glamour. Fortunately, it's not nece ssary to completely revamp your wardrobe or invest in all-new jewelry and cosmetics unless you want to, of course. The glamour experts at Midnight Velv et, an online fashion, beauty and home g oods seller, including a panel of international designers, offer a few tips on how you can sparkle this holiday season: DRESS FOR FESTIVE SUCCESS There's a reason why the little black d ress is a fashion staple it works at all t imes of the year and provides a flattering f oundation for showing off your jewelry, a ccessories and makeup. Don't be afraid to pull out that basic black dress, jazzed u p with some festive jewelry, shoes and accessories for the holidays, no matter how often you've worn it through they ear. You can always make it look seas onally appropriate, dazzling and new. W hether it's a plain sheath, sleeveless, aline or has an empire waist, be sure to c hoose a style that is simple but comple ments your figure. More good news it's the 21st century a nd it's now OK to wear white after Labor Day. A simple white sheath can be as classic and stylish as any little black dress. Add jewelry and accessories in red, green, gold and silver, and you've got a virtually endless variety of exciting new looks that capture the essence of the win t er holidays. THAT HOLIDAY GLOW T he holidays are a great time to experi ment with your makeup. The season offers opportunities to take your look from dramatic and glamorous for evening a ffairs, to fresh-faced and festive for morning and afternoon soirees. What ever event you're dressing for, however, you want makeup that will power t hrough the whole party without requiring you to reapply or touch up. Mineral m akeup is a great option when you're m arathoning through the holidays. Highq uality ingredients and skin-nourishing elements in mineral makeup provide a flawless finish and a healthful glow. HOME IS WHERE THE GLAMOUR IS Chances are you'll be hosting a few holiday parties in your home this year. Just as simple steps can make you sparklet his season, a few touches can help you present a glamorous home as the guests start to arrive. Proper lighting is essential for setting a mood at any time, but it plays a key role i n festivities during the season of light. F or family events and children's parties, b right and vibrant makes sense. For more intimate dinner gatherings, provide moderate illumination as guests arrive and then dim the house to set the tone for great conversation. Y ou can find more holiday style ideas, i ncluding video demonstrations for home a nd personal fashions, at www.midnightvelvet.com. Creating a glamorous home and making yourself sparkle can be one of the season's easiest, and most enjoyable, tasks. Holiday glamour: Keep it simple and sparkling