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 Harrowing ordeal of baby Michelo V olume: 107 No.53WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 W EATHER CLOUDY, SHOWERS HIGH 83F LOW 66F F E A T U R E S SEETHEARTSSECTION S P O R T S The Hansard building demolition SEESECTIONE Diplomats fly over Falcons By AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A GRAND BAHAMA f amily is desperately seeki ng support for vital rehabilitative treatment for their baby who, before the age oft wo, has survived crippling medical challenges. In the last eight months, 21-month-old Michelo MjM cKenzie Jr has battled p neumocccal meningitis, shunted hydrocephalus, cortical blindness, partial paralysis and hearing loss all of which doctors attribute to a previously undetected blood disorder. Buckling under the weight of mounting medical expenses, Michelo McKenzie Sr, 34, told The Tribune of his sons harrowing ordeal which has retarded his development to that of a three-month-old infant. Mr McKenzie Sr said: It was a situation where no one knew he was sick, no one knew he had sickle cell a nemia, everything just c ame after he had his vacci nation shot. Everything just went haywire from there. Born a thriving and healthy baby boy, Mj first began exhibiting signs of ill ness last May after he r eceived his first year vacci nations. Due to an unrelenting fever which lasted five days he was admittedt o the Rand Memorial Hos pital where they ran a series of tests, including a spinal tap. Results uncovered that little Mj had contracted a bacterial form of meningi tis, a disease for which treatment time was typically 14 days. Mr McKenzie said: We were dumbfounded. He was hospitalized for 25 days and during that time he had four seizures and three blood transfusions. He lost his sight, his hearing, and was paralysed on the left side of his body. Meningitis is an infection to the brain so Family seeks fundraiser for mounting medical expenses M cCOMBO O F THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM BAHAMASBIGGEST CARSFORSALE, HELPWANTED ANDREALESTATE I N S I D E SEE page nine By TANEKA THOMPSON T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com P OLICE suspect attorney Dennis Gomez was murd ered during an attempted robbery gone wrong. Assistant Commissioner o f Police Glenn Miller told The Tribune that Mr Gomez w as shot after one of two assailants, who approached him outside his law office early Saturday morning, silently ordered him into his car at gunpoint. M r Gomez, 57, resisted and struggled with the gunman, who then shot him sev eral times. It seemed to be an a ttempted robbery, there is nothing to suggest anything other than that at this point.T hey ordered him in the car, but he refused and he strug gled with the men and then shots were fired," Mr Millers aid yesterday. The two assailants fled the area on foot, said Mr Miller. Mr Gomez, brother of C omptroller of Customs Glenn Gomez, and husband SEE page nine By DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT: A verdict in the Andre Birbal sex trial could be expected today after Justice Hartman Longley gives his summation to the jury. After hearing final arguments from the Crown and the defence yesterday, Justice Longley decided he would address the jury this morning. The former art teacher is charged with eight counts of unnatural sexual intercourse with two minors. It is alleged that Birbal had sex with a male student at the Eight Mile Rock High School between January 2002 and June 2007. It is also alleged he had sex with a second male student between September 2002 and December 2005. The young men testified that their art teacher had sex with them in his classroom during school hours, at his apartment, and other places. They also testified that Bir bal took nude photographs of them. Birbal, a Trinidadian, taught art design and com puter aid design at the Eight SEE page nine POLICE SUSPECT ATTORNEY KILLED IN ATTEMPTED ROBBERY GONE WRONG ANDRE BIRBAL SEX TRIAL COULD SEE VERDICT T ODAY By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com BAHA Mar has received up to 800 job applications on behalf of general contractors working on the new Commercial Village and the rerouting of West Bay Street. Although Baha Mar Resorts Ltd is not the general contractor on the $2.6 billion project, Robert Sands, vice-president of external affairs, said the company is assisting contractors by providing a bank of potential candidates for screening for hire. Mr Sands confirmed receipt of 300 applications from Grand Bahama tradesmen, and a list of about 1,500 names from the Ministry of Labours skills bank. Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour, told The Tribune yesterday, the government is very excited about the developments at Baha Mar and SEE page nine ASSISTING CONTRACTORS: Robert Sands HARROWINGORDEAL: 21-month-old Michelo Mj McKenzie Jr with his father Michelo McKenzie Sr. UP TO 800 JOB APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY BAHA MAR
LAST week Wednesday, the Royal Bahamas Police Force initiated Operation Rapid Strike in several high crime areas. Their efforts netted 14 suspects on the first night. The Tribune's student interns from Bahamas Academy hit the streets of Nassau yesterday to find out how Bahamians felt about the RBPF's latest crime-fighting strategy. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM ROBERT Paul Bower died after a long ill-n ess, peacefully at his home on Cable Beach in the early hours of Monday, January 24. Mr Bower was born in K ent, England, on November 2, 1924, the only son of Commander Robert Tatton Bower, RN, MP, and the Hon Henrietta Bower. Paul is survived by his w ife Ericka; sons Bobby Bower and Nigel Bowe r; daughter Victoria Blackman-Aumonier; son-in-law AlcyA umonier, daughtersin-law Kay Bower and L ora Bower, grandsons Dominic Bower, Axiom Blackman and NicholasB ower; granddaughters Daniella Bower, Aimee Blackman and Morgan Bower; sisters Anne Doyne-Ditmus, Mar-g aret Kelly, Marianna Viscountess Monckton of Brenchley, ElizabethW ainwright, Veronica Slocock, Mary Cox, M onica de Salis; brothers-in-law Ian Cox, Bernard de Salis andM ichael Wainwright; many nephews and n ieces and faithful f riends here and abroad. A funeral service is to be announced. PAUL BOWER DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS INSIGHT F or the stories behind the news, read Insight on Mondays OPERATION RAPID STRIKE What do you think about it? ASTON BRAYNEN, BANKER T ALK STREET CAROLYN PEDICAN, BARTENDER, ABACO CARSON HEPBURN, SECURITY M ARGARET SMALL, POLICE DEPARTMENT PHILIP HILTON, ATTORNEY STEPHEN PLAKARIS, FISHERMAN TALLS, CONTRACTOR PEDRO JOHNSON, STORE MANAGER They n eed to capture more criminals." It's about time they started to t ake control on the country, we s houldn't have to wait until the country deteriorates in order to see improve-m ent. They do a good job but they c ould do better." The commissioner is doing a n excellent job; we will see p rogress. Why should we be unsafe? I look forward to not havi ng to lock my car and carry my e mpty purse." The police only judging books by c over. They must look on the inside of a man. They are only interested inr acial profiling." S omething like the R apid Strike was l ong overdue and needed t o be done from the b eginning. We need to e nforce groups such as t he strike force. On this n ote, I give the police f orce credit for the Rapid S trike." T he Rapid Strike is good; it is better to d o something than nothi ng. It is never too late for pr o gr ess." T he p olice for c e must k eep it up and be consistent." T he Rapid Strike w as long overdue. T he crime rate is out of h and and the only way t hat we can clear crime is f or the police force to t ake charge."
A MAN sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on an attempted armed robbery charge was granted an extension of time yesterday to appeal his sentence and conviction. Bradley Saunders, 24, was convicted and sentenced last November for the attempted armed robbery of Joan Algios. Saunders was in the Court of Appeal yesterday, where his request for an extension was granted. His appeal is expected to be heard on March 14. He is represented by attorney Donna Major. Saunders stood trial with 20year-old Ebenezer Sherman, who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for the attempted murder of Algios friend, New Jersey police officer John Casper on May 14, 2008. Sergeant Casper was shot in the chest while walking with friends on the Cable Beach strip in the area of Ruby Avenue, not far from the residence of former prime minister Perry Christie. Mr Casper was vacationing in Nassau at the time, and was attempting to prevent an assailant from snatching Mrs Algios' handbag when he was shot. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org ACTUAL work is imminent on the Baha Mar project, according to the VP of external affairs for the highly anticipated development. Robert "Sandy" Sands said construction of the single-phase $2.6 billion project should begin the second or third week of February. We have just about completed all legal work for ground breaking, said Mr Sands. He said they are currently in the process of co-ordinating schedules for special guests to make sure they can all arrive at the same time. Mr Sands added: It is very likely that work will start prior to the ground breaking date. Actual work will be imminent. Hopes are high that the mega-project will provide tremendous economic benefits for the Bahamas, creating thousands of permanent jobs and numerous opportunities for contractors and construction workers. It is thought that the project will create 4,000 jobs during the construction phase. Some $400 million in work packages has been designated for Bahamian contractors. In a previous interview with The Tribune, Mr Sands said the development will contribute $14.8 billion to the Bahamas' Gross Domestic Product over 20 years, and generate $500 billion in incremental government taxes over 25 years. Tribune sources say clearing work near the site of the old Nassau Beach Hotel on the Cable Beach strip has already begun. It is thought this may be the site of the ground breaking ceremony. By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A 24-YEAR-OLDman was arraigned in Magistrates Court yesterday, charged in the murder of an Eleuthera man whose body was found inside a barrel. John Deieur, alias File YFodra, of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, stands accused of killing Alice Saintilam, 65. It is alleged that Deieur intentionally caused Saintilmas death between January 15 and 19. The body of Saintilam, of Cambridge Street, Hatchet Bay, was found in a barrel on a track road. Deieur was not represented by an attorney yesterday during his arraignment before Magis trate Ancella Williams in Court 6, Parliament Street. When asked whether he understood the charge against him Deieur told the magistrate, I didnt kill him. He was told that he was not required to enter a plea to the murder charge but stated, I am not guilty. Deieur was ordered to be remanded to Her Majestys Prison. The case was adjourned to Court 10, Nassau Street. Deieur is expected back in court on January 31. By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org EIGHT murders rocked the Family Islands last year, with the greatest concentration in Abaco and Bimini, according to statistics released Monday as part of the polices year in review. Despite the existence of violent crime, the Family Islands are very safe and secure, said Willard Cunningham, assistant commissioner of police for the Family Islands. I wish to say that the Family Islands are very safe and secure and this is due in large part to the excellent police and community relationships throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, said Mr Cunningham. The community continues to assist the Royal Bahamas Police Force with regards to all offences by giving tips and information, which has led to solving a significant number of these crimes, he said. Only one of the eight murders recorded in the Family Islands remains unsolved, according to the police. There were two murders in Abaco and two in Bimini; there was one murder in Andros, Exuma, Long Island and Inagua. In each instance, the Family Island commands received assistance from Central Detective Unit (CDU cers, who travelled from New Providence. Extra manpower from New Providence was also called in last year for major regattas, homecomings and festivals. As a result, Mr Cunningham said, there were no serious incidents at any of these events. He highlighted the support from residents and their good citizenship during these events. Despite some crime problems, like the spate of burglaries late last year in Harbour Island, there was a reduction in house and shop break-ins, burglaries and armed robberies in the Family Islands last year, said Mr Cunningham. In the case of Harbour Island, a crime-fighting initiative between local police and CDU helped to clamp down on the problem. Local police arrested five people in connection with the holiday break-ins, including a juvenile, who was charged with eight counts of burglary and stealing. In an effort to increase awareness among residents, police officers participated in numerous walk-abouts, community meetings, church visitations and school visits. These were all in an effort to reduce the fear of crime and at the same time provide safety tips for the community at large, said Mr Cunningham. This year, Family Island residents can expect aggressive stop-and-search initiatives to continue, as the police seek to crack down on road traffic infractions. The objectives of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is to reduce the fear of crime within the communities, ensure that crime is minimised and strengthen relationships with other government agencies and community partners. We the members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in the Family Islands will redouble our efforts in 2011 in the fight against crime; as together we strive to make the Bahamas a safer place to live, work, visit and play, he said. POLICE are hunting for an armed carjacker who escaped capture in the area of East Street South on Monday night. Press liaison officer Sergeant Chrislyn Skippings said police were called to the scene of an armed robbery at Gibbs Corner around 9.15 pm. Officers were told that during the robbery a victim's car was stolen. Police issued an allpoints bulletin and officers on mobile patrol were able to intercept the stolen vehicle in the area of East Street South. Sgt Skippings said police recovered one 9mm pistol and 18 live rounds of ammunition. However, the suspect jumped out of the stolen vehicle and escaped. "An intense search is underway to locate the suspect in this matter," said Sgt Skippings. Meanwhile, police arrested a Carmichael Road man after officers found a .40 Glock pistol and 12 live rounds of ammunition in his home. Police executed a search warrant at the home around 7.30pm on Monday. The man is expected to be charged in the Magis trate's Court sometime this week. By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A DOCUMENTARY about the human impact of a devastatingly high murder toll made by Abaco filmmakers Loggerhead Productions has been released on their new video website Conch Salad TV this week. The seven minute piece Marching for Justice by Matthew and Lindsey McCoy,of Hope Town, Elbow Cay, breaks down the brutalising record of 96 murders last year, that is 30 per 100,000 residents, and focuses on the relatives of those who were killed and marched through the streets of Nassau crying out for justice. Workers Party leader and activist Rodney Moncur has been organising marches to call for murderers to be hanged and the murder accused denied bail since his cousin Khodee Davis was fatally stabbed in May 2008 near Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. Mr and Mrs McCoy followed two of these marches, at which hundreds of Bahamians lent their support, but also spoke to relatives of the mur dered in depth. The film features emotional interviews with family mem bers, including a brother of Leonard Johnson, 21, who was stabbed at the Evangelistic Church Temple construction site in Collins Avenue, and Ragged Island church minister Marjorie Wallace, whose granddaughter SheAnda Newton, 17, was slain and dumped in an overgrown area off the Charles Saunders Highway. Everyone understands that the murder rate is high, Mr McCoy said. But the human element of the story seems to be lost in the bigger picture of anarchy. We just want to put the real human element out there, and maybe start a conversation about whats going on and what the solutions are. As well as posting the video, the couple created a website where grieving families can post words and pictures in tribute to the murdered. People said they didnt want their brother or their son to be forgotten, Mrs McCoy said. So we created the website separately because we wanted some place to preserve their memory and their story. Mr and Mrs McCoy hope bereaved families and friends will embrace the website Bahamas Remembers, as they continue their work to build a diverse range of videos for Conch Salad TV. Since launching the video website with a lively conchcracking contest on December 1, Loggerhead Productions have posted their Bahamas International Film Festival fea tured documentary The Lion fish Invasion, funded by Friends of the Environment, and now Marching for Justice. Future film plans include an archaelogical exploration in Abaco, and a political satire. To see Marching for Justice and other films log on to www.conchsaladtv.com, and pay tribute to the murdered at www.bahamasremembers.com. CHARGED: 24-year-old John Deieurappeared in court yesterday. T im Clarke / Tribune staff POLICE HUNT FOR ARMED CARJACKER Family Islands safe and secure despite eight murders in 2010 Man gets extension to appeal 20-year sentence, conviction MAN CHARGED WITH BODY IN BARREL MURDER Documentar y f ocuses on the human impact of murder toll Actual work imminent on the Baha Mar pr oject BEREAVED FAMILIES marching for justice.
EDITOR, The Tribune. I t took a while to digest what was being put forth in the interview of Atlantis CEO, Mr George Markantonis. He had a lot to say about what he expected from the Government of theB ahamas, but the context of his demands had more to do with the impact those demands would have on the B ahamian people. He uses the word reform very loosely but what he is talking about is a radical liberalisation of the gambling l aws in the Bahamas. The tone of the interview suggested that this was a decision the Government could make on its own, and there was a kind of imme diacy that gave me the impression that the CEO was more concerned about ongoing profitability, but this is a matter that will be decided by the Government and the people of the Bahamas. The interpreta tion of what was said, required a word study. Reform means one thing and liberalisation means something else and we usu ally take our cues from theologians and religionists as we try to make sense of these words in every day life, but one rule is supreme, you have to find the context. I have not seen the report that the Minister of Tourism is presenting next month, but knowing what was disc ussed in the past and the boundaries of the current legislation, I can take a wild g uess and speculate that those recommendations in t hat report will focus on the i ssue of Bahamians being able to gamble anywhere in the Bahamas. Personally, I have a prob lem with gambling in the Bahamas, but the decision on the issue of liberalisation should not be driven by the fact that Atlantis is fearful of the competition that will come from Jamaica. The bottom line is that anticipated losses of Atlantis will be made up for by the government affecting legislation that will allow Bahamians to gamble over the bridge and if this is what the deal is, it is no deal at all. We will be paying with some money that we cannot afford to spend. If the gambling laws are amended in this regard, then Atlantis will truly be the largest employer in the Bahamas. As a precaution, the Gov ernment has to regulate what is going on with gam b ling, locally, if just to avoid t he hypocritical backlash that is sure to follow if lib eralisation happens. It will b e much easier to reform o r liberalise since both sides of the gambling spectrum are regulated and then at that point the citizens of the nation decide. The sticking point being that the Bridge allows for two way traffic, since gambling over the hill is just as lucrative as gambling on Paradise Island or Cable Beach can be just as lucra tive as gambling in Nassau. Every time the Prime Minister has a chance to take a breather, it seems like something comes up, and this issue has referendum written all over it. Our laws on gambling may need change, adjustment or liberalisation, but it must not be done because someone is having a problem with their bottom line. EDWARD HUTCHESON Nassau, January 25, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. The Bahamas Parliament r ecently debated amendments to the Business Licence Act in an effort toi ncrease revenue as a result of the governments precario us financial position. In the process, some businesses were granted lower tax ratest han others. Mr. Ryan Pinder, MP for Elizabeth, wondering whyg overnment chose to lower the tax for certain businesse s, claimed they were generally supporters of the FNM" and this was public p olicy for special interest groups. (The Tribune, T hursday, January 20, 2011) Of course special interest politics, if that's what we'res eeing here, is nothing new. A s Dr. Steve Horwitz points out recently in The Freeman "...all political officials g ain from providing benefits to the private sector, hoping d ifferent politicians and bureaucrats will do better is just rearranging the deckc hairs on the Titanic." Mr. Pinder confirms this when he is quoted as saying: "Enough with the catering to special interests. An alterna-t ive would be for a reduced business license fee for small, growing companies..." etc, e tc. In other words, the spe c ial interest group that should get the benefits using t he power of Government should be chosen by Mr. P inder and not the current Minister of Finance. If it is all special interest p olicymaking, they're both wrong. This then begs the q uestionif any government has the right to dig into taxpayer wallets whenevert hey've borrowed and spent the country into a difficult spot like the world recessionh as highlighted. If only for future generat ions, politics should be more than a fight to deter mine who gets the privilege t o grant government favours at taxpayer expense? THE NASSAU INSTITUTE w ww.nassauinstitute.org EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited N ULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI B eing Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 E ILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972P ublished Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama T ELEPHONES Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 Nassau Fax: (242 W EBSITE www.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm WASHINGTON Before modern weight loss fads, there was William Banting. He invented the low-carb diet of 1863. Even thenA mericans were trying out advice that urged fish, mutton or "any meat except pork" forb reakfast, lunch and dinner hold the potatoes, please. I t turns out our obsession with weight and how to lose it dates back at least 150 years. And while now we say "overweight" instead of "corpulent" and obesity has become epidemic a look back at dieting historys hows what hasn't changed is the quest for an easy fix. We grossly, grossly underestimate" the difficulty of changing behaviours that fuelo besity, says Clemson University sociologist Ellen Granberg, who examined archives at t he Library of Congress. She believes it's important to show "we're not dealing with some brand new, scary phenomenon we've never dealt with before." Indeed, the aging documents are eerily f amiliar. Consider Englishman William Banting's a ccount of losing almost 50 pounds in a year. He did it by shunning "bread, butter, milk, s ugar, beer and potatoes, which had been the main (and I thought innocent my existence" in favour of loads of meat. His pamphlet, "Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public," quickly crossed the A tlantic and become so popular here that "banting" became slang for dieting, Granberg s ays. While obesity has rapidly surged in the l ast few decades, we first changed from a nation where being plump was desirable intoa nation of on-again, off-again dieters around the end of the 19th century, Granberg says. Before then, people figured a little extra w eight might help withstand infectious diseases that vaccines and antibiotics later would t ame. It also was a sign of prosperity. But just as doctors today bemoan a high-tech, immob ile society, the emergence of trolleys, cars and other machinery in the late 19th century scaled back the sheer number of calories people once burned, Granberg explains. Increas ing prosperity meant easier access to food. An excess of flesh is to be looked upon as one of the most objectionable forms of dise ase," the Philadelphia Cookbook declared in 1900. Low-cal cookbooks hadn't arrived yet; t he calorie wasn't quite in vogue. By 1903, La Parle obesity soap that "never fails to reduce flesh" was selling at a pricey $1 a bar. The Louisenbad Reduction Salt pledged to "wash away your fat." Soon camea n exercise machine, the Graybar Stimulator to jiggle the pounds. Bile Beans promoted al axative approach. As the U.S. government prepares to update U.S. dietary guidelines n ext week, the Library of Congress culled its archives and, with Weight Watchers Interna tional, gathered experts recently to discuss this country's history of weight loss. Granberg recounted how real nutrition s cience was born. The government's first advice to balance p roteins, carbohydrates and fat came in 1894. A few years later, life insurance companies r eported that being overweight raised the risk of death. In 1916, the Department of Agri c ulture came up with the five food groups. Around World War II, charts showing ideal weight-for-height emerged, surprisingly closeto what today is considered a healthy body mass index. D iet foods quickly followed, as did weight loss support groups like Overeaters Anony m ous and Weight Watchers putting today's diet infrastructure in place by 1970, Granberg s ays. Yet fast-forward and two-thirds of Americans today are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. Weight-loss surgery is skyrocketing. Diet pills have been pulled from t he market for deadly side effects, with only a few possible new ones in the pipeline. M ore and more, specialists question how our society and culture fuel overeating. Should it be socially desirable to walk down the street with a 30-ounce Big Gulp" drink ? asks Patrick O'Neill, president-elect of The Obesity Society and weight-management director at the Medical University of South C arolina. Negotiating a weight-loss menu for a fam i ly with different food preferences is a minefield that affects how people feel about thems elves and their relationships with loved ones, adds Clemson's Granberg, who began study ing the sociology of obesity after losing 120 pounds herself. "If what you need is a nutritionally sound, h ealthful weight-loss plan, you can get 100 of them," she says. "That, we have figured out in t he last 100 years. It's how to do all this other stuff that I think is the real challenge." ( This article was written by Lauran Neer gaard, AP Medical Writer). Politics a contest for government favours? LETTERS firstname.lastname@example.org 150 years of dieting fads and still no quick fix Gambling laws must not be changed because someone is having problem with bottom line
ByKHYLE QUINCY PARKER Press Attach Embassy of the Bahamas WASHINGTON, DC T he Bahamas signed an a nti-gun co-operation agreement with hemis pheric partners on Tuesd ay which will make it possible for firearms to be m arked and tracked. T he agreement, Prom oting Firearms Marking in Latin America and theC aribbean will give local l aw enforcement agencies access to the training and equipment needed to make gun tracking possible. Ambassador Cornelius Smith, permanent repres entative of the Bahamas t o the Organisation of A merican States (OAS c alled the project very i mportant for [The B ahamas] because we have become a transit point for drugs and small arms. The marking of firearms helps us identify the weapons that have b een used in criminal activity, and therefore helps to combat crime in t he region, he said. O ther parties to the coo peration agreement are: the General Secretariat of the OAS (GS/OASt he governments of Costa Rica, Paraguay and Uruguay. These are the first coun t ries to sign such an agreement in the framework of the Inter-American Con v ention against the Illicit M anufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms, A mmunition, Explosives a nd Related Materials ( CIFTA). CIFTA posits that marking firearms helps combat illicit gun trafficking as ita llows authorities to identify seized weapons to determine their origin. T hrough this agreement, the OAS aims to strengthen national capacities in illicit firearms traffickinga nd provide marking e quipment and training to b eneficiary countries. In accordance with the p act, the OAS agreed to p rovide a marking m achine and accessories to the Ministry of National Security and provide training in the use of thise quipment. These assets, once delivered, will become thep roperty of the government of the Bahamas. The Bahamas, in turn, is obligated to provide theG S/OAS with information o n the countrys capacity a nd needs with respect to firearms marking, recordi ng and tracing. T he Bahamas also a greed among other things to co-operate with the GS/OAS on follow-up missions and to mark ana verage of 100 firearms per month for the first 12 months after receiving them achine. During the signing ceremony, OAS Secretary General Jos MiguelI nsulza affirmed the o rganisations intent to develop and strengthen national capacities of thec o-operating countries to combat illicit-arms traf ficking through: advice on the development of modell egislation, exchange of best practices, gathering and analysing statistical information, and offeringt echnical assistance. Representatives of the g overnments of Costa R ica, Paraguay and Uruguay also called for g un crime to be conside red a major scourge that m ust be faced by every nation. The project is being funded by the UnitedS tates. US permanent representative, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, encour a ged OAS member states to continue implementing measures to combat this scourge. Concrete steps by indiv idual countries and col lective steps by regional and international organi-s ations can go a long way through combating arms trafficking, she said. A FINAL tally of l ast years tourism stat istics will likely show that 2010 was the year the Bahamas received its highest number of visitors. T ourism Permanent S ecretary Hyacinth Pratt made this state-m ent at the Cacique A wards mass at St Barnabas Anglican Church last Sunday. Addressing the congregation, Ms Pratt said it is only the second time in hist ory that the Bahamas r eceived more than f ive million visitors. Spending M ost of the visitors were cruise passengers, and the ministry i s now looking to attract more stopover visitors, who tradit ionally are higher spending visitors, she s aid. The church service served as a national c all for personal and professional improvem ent in the tourism sector. As industry repres entatives attended the service before the Cacique Awards areh eld on Friday, Canon Basil L Tynes focusedon the need for posi tive change in thec ountry. He said Bahamians must look for divine assistance as they seek to bettert hemselves and their competitive position. I want to challenge y ou all in tourism like t he rest of us, stop looking at the chal lenges of the situa tion. Stop looking att he darkness of the hour, he said. Development Canon Tynes said the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation cannot continue to do the same things if it is to remain on the cut ting edge of developments. Some of you have to change, he said. Ms Pratt said the ministry is moving to improve business by reorganising and making several positive changes. At the moment, she said, teams have been assembled within the ministry to make steps toward reinvigorating the visitors experience and many other areas. While the high visi tor numbers are something to be celebrated, Ms Pratt saidwe still must improve on many aspects of our product and ser vice to keep our visi tors satisfied. While we are busy attracting millions of visitors, we must also be busy giving them the type of service and experiences that will sustain our busi ness. The Cacique Awards will be held at the Rainforest The atre, Wyndham Nas sau Beach on Friday at 8pm. The awards, which are designed to honour and encourage top performers in tourism and related areas, will bestow Duho trophies on winners in 18 categories. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM %2$7IRU$/('RQ]LZHHW THE BAHAMAS VERYOWNSTREETPHILOSOPHER STATISTICS LIKELY TO SHOW 2010 HAD MOST VISITORS Bahamas signs agreement to see firearms tagged and tracked REPRESENTATIVES from the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay, the US and the OAS General Secretariat signed a joint co-operation agreement aimed at increasing the ability of law enforcement to track light arms to their point of origin. Photo/OAS
L OCAL NEWS P AGE 6, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By BETTY VEDRINE TWO scholarships and p ossibly a third will be available to Bahamians wishing to pursue an education in Egypt. The scholarships one in agriculture and the other in the Arabic language a re being offered by the E gyptian government. The third scholarship, which is currently not yet confirmed, would be in tourism. T he announcement was m ade on Monday during a c ourtesy call on Education M inister Desmond Bannist er by Assistant Foreign M inister for the Americas El Husseini Abdelwahab and Egyptian Ambassadorto the Bahamas (stationed in the Republic of Cuba) Tarek Elwassimy. The Egyptian delegates h ope to form partnerships w ith the various government sectors in order to f acilitate the scholarships. The meeting was held at t he Ministry of Education on East Street South. Mr Bannister welcomed t he Egyptian delegates and thanked them for their generous gift. We are very pleased to have you here in the Bahamas and pleased tohear that there are possib ly some opportunity availa ble for Bahamians wish i ng to pursue higher education in your country, them inister said. M r Abdelwahab said he was delighted to be in the Bahamas for the secondt ime. It gives us great plea sure to be in the Bahamas our second time for both o f us, he said. The first time as a tourist and now a s an official trying to prom ote our relationship with your country. M r Bannister added that the scholarships would give B ahamians the opportunity to be exposed to anotherc ulture. As you know, education bridges gaps we sometimes dont perceive to be there. We are grateful for these opportunities and hopefully students from your country would also w ish to pursue education a nd other cultural exchanges available in our c ountry, he said. T he delegates also paid v isits to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette; Minister ofY outh, Sports and Culture C harles Maynard and the Minister of Tourism andA viation Senator Vincent V anderpool-Wallace. MORE than 40 distinguished presenters from around the world are set to deliver papers at the International Society of Family Law regional conference in March. Presenters will be jurists, legal scholars, psychologists, social workers and educators from the Caribbean, Canada, the UK, the US, Ger many, Sweden and Serbia. Among them will be Lord Justice Matthew Thorpe from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales; Justice Nancy Flatters from the Calgary Family and Youth Court in Alberta, Cana da; Professor Dr Jane Adolphe of Ave Maria Law School, an expert in family law, international law, criminal law and canon law, who has acted as the delegate for the Holy See at various regional and international conferences; and Professor Dr Bill Doherty of the University of Minnesota, an educator, researcher, writer, therapist and media personality. The theme of the conference is the legal and social consequences of the disintegration and reintegration of families. Matters to be discussed include: marriage and divorce, cohabitation, property distribution, mediation, paternity and inheritance; transracial, intercountry and same-sex adoption; assisted reproduction and ethical issues, child development, international child abduction, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, human rights and the family and same sex marriages. Participants have been urged to take advantage of the discount for early registration. The planning committee announced that early bird registration will save participants $50, as from February 1, the cost will increase from $350 to $400. The statement said the registration fee includes conference materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks. The conference will take place from March 17 to 19 at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel. It is being hosted by the Eugene Dupuch Law School. Registration forms are available on the conferences website: http://www.law2.byu.edu/isfl/2011bahamasconf. On the morning of March 17, there will be a pre-conference Judges Forum on Judicial Dispute Resolution conducted by Justice Flatters and a simultaneous Students Forum conducted by Dr Leighton Jackson of UWI Faculty of Law in Jamaica, Tracy Robinson of UWI Faculty of Law at Cave Hill and Lord Justice Thorpe. Participants will benefit from an attractive rate from the conference hotel and a discounted airfare from American Airlines. Attractive tours to scenic tourist sites, including Atlantis on Paradise Island have been planned, the planning committee said. GOVERNOR-General Sir Arthur Foulkes welcomed to Government House on Monday students of Henderson College who completed the Heritage Site Certification Course for the Bahamas in Partnership with the United States National Park Pro gramme. Pictured left to right seated: Dr Ann Higgins; Dr Rita Pratt, president of Henderson College; Sir Arthur; Gladys Johnson-Sands, former Con sul General. Standing: Alecca Ramsey, Clifton Heritage National Park; Craig Mortimer, special projects, Ministry of Tourism; Asa Thompson, Clifton Her itage National Park; Vernita Pratt, Clifton Heritage National Park; Eden Zonicle, Cat Island; and Madelyn Turnquest, grounds supervi sor, Clifton Heritage Nation al Park. Derek Smith/BIS Egypt offers scholarships to Bahamians PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Deputy Director of Education Patricia Collins; Director of Education for Higher Learning Dr Leon Higgs; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education Elma Garraway; Assistant Foreign Minister for the Americas El Husseini Abdelwahab; Education Minister Desmond Bannister; Egyptian Ambassador to the Bahamas, Tarek Elwassimy and Director of Education Lionel Sands. ASSISTANT FOREIGN MINISTER for the Americas El Husseini Abdelwahab and Egyptian Ambassador to the Bahamas Tarek Elwassimy p ay a courtesy call on Minister of Education Desmond Bannister at the Ministry of Education. Pictured left to right: Minister Bannis ter, Mr Abdelwahab and Mr. Elwassimy. Bahamas to host International Society of Family Law regional conference S TUDENT S WEL COMED TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE
I N THE face of i ncreased suicides and attempted suicides in the Bahamas, the Department of Social Services is asking corporate sponsors to help keep the recently e stablished depression telephone hotline going. T he national hotline was s et up in December to h elp individuals having t rouble or feeling overw helmed to deal with their i ssues. Twenty trained counsellors are available 24-hoursa day to help persons with any problems they are facing, and those individuals needing more counselling a re referred to the Comm unity Counselling and Assessment Centre, said Mavis Darling Hill, deputy director of Department of S ocial Services during an interview at her office last Friday. The hotline is a joint initiative between the Government and the accounti ng firm Grant Thornton B ahamas; it was officially launched by Minister of L abour and Social Develo pment Senator Dion F oulkes. The deputy director said s he was approached in A ugust or September 2010 by Andy Paul Gomez, managing partner of Grant Thornton Bahamas, after he became concerned over t he number of persons committing or attempting to commit suicide; persons having difficulties handling their problems or struggling with being unemp loyed. T he accounting firm has handled all the expenses t hat have been incurred s ince the initiative began, s he said. Grant Thornton starte d the initiative and we a re very grateful to them, Mrs Darling Hill said. However, it can be e xpensive just for one corp oration to take this service on; it really is an unselfish deed. Although, Mr Gomez has been in talks with another firm to take over t he expenses starting in February, the ministry is a lso asking other corpor ate sponsors to come o nboard. M rs Darling Hill said p ersons believe that once t hings are going well for them, the problems or dilemmas affecting others are not their concern. However, our lives are intertwined and we ought to realise that if an indiv idual is having a difficult t ime, his or her children might be affected as well, a nd that is where the probl em comes into play. That i s where we get lots of p roblems with crime. Parents are upset and n ot able to cope properly o r adequately, and so it is t ransferred to their children who feel that the system is not being very kind to them. So they get to the point where they are constantly angry, not under standing why there theya ngry and they strike out at society, she said. So we are asking busin ess houses throughout t he Bahamas to come forward and assist. Mrs Darling Hill also reminded the public thata ll calls to the hotline are confidential. S he noted that some p ersons have been very forthcoming, while others have been very hesitant to give information that could lead to further assistance. S he said family, friends, colleagues, and acquaint ances of persons having p roblems should encoura ge them to utilise the serv ice, but if they keep m eeting resistance, and t he situation seems dire, then the concerned persons should call the hotline to receive help on how else to proceed. Dr Kirk Christie, a psychiatrist at the Sandilands R ehabilitation Centre, is c onducting sessions with the counsellors to keep t heir skills sharp, she said. M rs Darling Hill t hanked the other partners o f the programme includ i ng the Bahamas Telecomm unications Department, w hich has been supplying t he cell phones, and the police who lend their assistance when callers need immediate attention as the counsellors cannot go to a scene for themselves. We do not want to lose a life because someone is having a difficulty. There is always a solution and t hat is what we are trying t o preach here, she said. Anyone experiencing difficulties, stress, depression or suicidal thoughtsi s asked to call the hotline at 322-2763. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By SIMON LEWIS THE Department of Immigration still does not have a handle on the backlog of citizenship applications, but is workingt hrough them as quickly as possible, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette said dur i ng his visit to Freeport last week. M r Symonette was in Grand Bahama to welcome 16 new Bahamian citizens, one of whom was born in the Turks and Caicos Islands and has been living in theB ahamas for some 56 years. The Foreign Affairs Minister said that they are trying to clear up the back log ofp ersons applying for citizenship and that he tries to come to Grand Bahama on a regular basis to take part in the swear ing-in ceremonies. H e said there are a number of persons b orn in the Bahamas who have lived here all their lives, went through the school system, and they obviously have a senseo f frustration that they dont have citi zenship. They feel they are Bahamian, they k now our symbols, they are a part of our c ommunity. So for those persons who have been here for a long time and meet the requirements, we are trying to swear them in so they become citizens, he said. With respect to the Immigration Board, the Deputy Prime Minister said it meets every Monday in Nassau and that he tries to meet with the board in Grand Bahama once a month. Agenda He noted, however, that occasionally the board in Grand Bahama would fax an agenda down to Nassau for approval, particularly the urgent ones. He said part of the problem regarding timely granting of work permits is largely the Immigration Department is still man ual but once it comes fully into the electronic system, there should be a turnaround. Mr Symonette said he recently toured the new government complex under con struction on the Mall in Freeport, and that the contractor, Fletcher McIntosh, is on time with his work. The Department of Immigration is looking forward to relocating from its current location. If any of you have toured the back offices of Immigration, I really admire those persons who work under those conditions, so we hope in August/September to be in the new offices and that should give them a new environment to work in, he said. Focusing on unemployment, the minister brought up the mindset of some Bahamians with respect to certain jobs. He noted the number of foreign persons working at Sanitation Services and the few Bahamians taking advantage of the opportunities to be maid and gardeners. Mr Symonette also advised that his min istry has started a new electronic work permit, a companion project with the Passport Office. He said the card will be computer generated with all the information regarding the holder, eliminating much of the ques tioning process when it's time for renew al. He said this will apply for work visas, permanent residents and more. This process has already started in Nassau. The Foreign Affairs Minister added that he also took a look at the Passport Office, which will be re-located to the new build ing when completed. Passports He said that during 2010, the Depart ment in Grand Bahama issued some 8,800 passports. He feels that they are doing well and have ironed out most of the kinks. During his two-day visit to Grand Bahama, Mr Symonette met with 13 exec utives from several major companies, including Grand Bahama Power, Grand Bahama Ship Yard, Pharmachem and Our Lucaya Resort during his two-day visit to the island. He also met with two top executives from the Professional Engineers Board as well as addressing participants attending the International Business and Finance Summit held at the Our Lucaya Resort January 21 23. POLICE are on the lookout for Shawn Feaster who is wanted forq uestioning in connection with stolen vehicles. The Central Detective Unit has issued an allpoints bulletin for the 38year-old whose last known address is Butt onwood Avenue in P inewood Gardens. H e has a brown comp lexion, is 5 tall and w eighs approximately 1 70lbs with a slim build. Police caution that he is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on Feasters where abouts should call policea t 919/911, the Central Detective Unit at 5029930/9991, the Police C ontrol Room 322-3333, C rime Stoppers 328-8477 o r the nearest police station. Sponsors asked to help keep depression hotline open MAN WANTED FOR QUESTIONING Suicides prompt Dept of Social Services to seek help Immigration Dept does not have handle on citizenship applications backlog S HAWN FEASTER DEPUTY PRIMEMINISTER: Brent Symonette in Freeport
By LARRYSMITH A RECENT report by a leading University of Miami marine scientist has confirmed that poaching by commercial fishermen from the Dominican Republic is the greatest single threat to Bahamians eafood resources. The report on illegal, unrep orted and unregulated (IUU fishing was produced for the Bahamas Lobster Fisheries Improvement Project. This ini-t iative is sponsored by local seafood processors in a bid to w in endorsement for Bahamia n crawfish exports under the European Union's new Catch Certification programme. W ithout this endorsement, w hich is aimed at reducing the over-exploitation of global fishery resources, Bahamian lob-s ters will be banned from the EU. And this lucrative market takes about 40 per cent of the 1 2.5 million lobsters we legally e xport every year (based on a four-year average), a catch val ued at more than $87 million. E U certification requires that lobsters are received only from licensed vessels using l egal methods meaning that o nly crawfish of legal size and condition are harvested. All fishery products must be prope rly documented upon land ing, with guarantees that exports are not derived fromI UU fishing. I ronically, this is one of the main difficulties in dealing with i llegal fishing in Bahamian waters. The Dominican Republic has a population of 9.6 million (compared to only3 53,000 Bahamians), and it receives more than four million air/hotel visitors annually. So that country does not need to export seafood products and is immune to pressures from EU regulations. Along the northern D ominican Republic coast are t hree major ports and several huge resort centres, one of w hich Punta Cana has m ore hotel rooms than the entire Bahamas. The size of t he Dominican tourism industry presents an almost unlimited demand for luxury seafood. And Punta Cana hotels have l obster on the menu for US$16, a bout half the price of a typical l obster tail dinner in Nassau. A s well, American statistics s how that 89,000 pounds of lobster tails were legally i mported from the Dominican Republic in the past year, buta ccording to international cons ervation organizations, there are no commercially viable stocks of spiny lobsters in Dominican Republic waters. I n these circumstances, it is obvious where the lobsters for Dominican resorts ande xporters are coming from. From the Dominican Republic's northern coast, it takes less than three days tor each the Great Bahama Bank i n a fishing vessel making 10-12 knots. These vessels are typi c ally 65 feet long, and each is attended by a number of smaller skiffs. Fishermen operate from the skiffs using hookahs and spears, at depths well below 60 feet. And divers fish to depths of over 200 feet, reaching deep reef resources not legally fished by Bahamia ns, according to the IUU r eport. "The potential for large illeg al lobster landings in the D ominican Republic is huge. The implications in terms of l ost jobs, lost revenue to the government, and lost fisheries resources is in the tens of millions of dollars," the IUU r eport warned. "This is a seri o us threat to national security a nd economic growth." T he report was produced b y Dr Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, of the University of M iami's highly respected Rosenstiel School of MarineS cience. She has decades of e xperience working in marine conservation in the Bahamas and was formerly Dean of the College of the Bahamas scie nce division. Crawfish are the most important marine resource weh ave, so we need to take care of it. In addition to export earnings, this fishery provides jobs, economic diversity and isa n important tourist attraction. A side from recreational fishing by visitors, lobster meals a re one of the highlights of visiting The Bahamas, and interviews confirm that diners would like to enjoy a guilt-free meal. Bahamians also eat lobster, and expect this seafood to remain affordable for the general population. B ut in order to protect this resource, we need accurate information, and little or none has been available on the scaleo r intensity of illegal fishing or for legal, non-commercial fishing in the Bahamas. This u ndermines fishery manage ment efforts and places the resource at greater risk of over-e xploitation. The IUU report is a n attempt to address this defi ciency by looking at consump tion by restaurants, recrea tional fishers and commercial fishers, including poachers. Illegal fishing is the har v esting of lobster by any means in violation of the existing laws and regulations, including poaching, taking undersized l obsters, taking lobsters out of season or using destructive methods such as bleach. Unrep orted fishing includes lobsters that are caught, sold and con sumed locally by Bahamians a nd visitors, or legally exported under the sportfishing regula tions. S ullivan Sealey surveyed restaurants and resorts; inter viewed yachters, tourists, Defence Force officers and local fishermen; examined data from seafood processors, and looked at the lobster market in the Dominican Republic. The main conclusions from this research are that restaurants may account for 570,000 illegal lobsters a year about 5 per cent of the current export quantity; while the unreported catch could be some 1.5 million lobsters about 12 per cent of known export landings. By far the biggest drain on the resource is illegal fishing by foreign vessels, mostly from the Dominican Republic. US law prohibits the import of fishery products that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold. This includes the shipment of lob ster from The Bahamas without export permits, or taken by foreign nationals in excess of the sportfishing limits (currently six lobsters per person). The Cuban fishing industry is state controlled, and since the 1980 sinking of HMBS Flamingo by the Cuban Air Force, there have been few reports of poaching by Cuban vessels. Nevertheless, "Foreign fishing vessels operate across the southern Bahamas, venturing further north and across the Great Bahamas Banks during the summer when the lobster fishery is closed to Bahami ans," Sullivan Sealey said. "There are no accessible records of sightings of foreign fishing vessels, but anecdotal information puts the number at about six per month. Reports of illegal immigrants from Honduras and the Dominican Republic working on Bahamian fishing vessels have also been verified." Her report says it could be concluded from the interviews with Defence Force officers that the interdiction of poachers is not a priority for thep atrol vessels. "The RBDF is itself a significant fishing entity, with both shipboard and island-based personnel engag i ng in recreational fishing as a way to supplement incomes." Sullivan Sealey estimated t he number of lobsters taken out of Bahamian waters by poachers based on 30 vesselsm aking six trips a year, with a c atch of 10,000 pounds per trip. "This conservative estimate of illegal landings is a staggering3 5 per cent (or 4.3 million the known export of 12.5 million lobsters from the B ahamas." However, she pointed out that as many as 65 fishing vessels could be operating from n orthern Dominican Republic ports, and lobsters are not their only target. Conch, grouper a nd other finfish are also taken, as all are highly marketable in the Dominican Republic. Ande ach vessel could land over 70,000 pounds of catch per trip. "The key to reducing the i llegal fishing loss is to prevent illegal fishers from entering Bahamian waters," the report said. "The process of seizures and prosecutions, along with the cost associated with holding the vessels, crew and catch is largely ineffective. There are charges of corruption, and clearly a strong motivation with the amount of money involved in the sale of lobsters." Diplomatic efforts to address the problem are likely to be more effective, the report said. along with identifying the vessels involved and pursuing their financiers. National Security Minister Tommy Turn quest told me that the government was already pursuing this option and a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a Bahamian ambassador to the Dominican Republic would soon be appointed to take matters further. "The government is also providing increased resources to the RBDF to better equip them to deal with this problem," Turnquest said. "This includes the decentralization of the Defence Force with boats stationed to respond quickly. A base is being developed at Gun Point, Ragged Island, which is close to the Great Bahama Bank, our main fishing grounds." According to Dr Patricia Rodgers of the Ministry of For eign Affairs, one of the prob lems is that poachers have been receiving fairly light penalties and are then released. "It is my understanding that the relevant Ministries are now seeking to ensure that persons or entities who poach in our waters are charged to the full extent of the law and the resultant sentences are also to be published." Director of Marine Resources Michael Braynen told me his department was "extremely concerned about IUU fishing in terms of itsi mpact on fishermen, on government revenues, and even more significantly on our fish ery resources themselves." He s aid British fisheries consultant Paul Medley has been working on a stock assessment for t he seafood processors, which won't be released until after a series of peer reviews by others cientists later this year. M eanwhile, Sullivan Sealey reports that anecdotal evidence of migrating lobsters, the abun-d ance of lobsters in nearshore habitats, and the success rate of lobster condos in fisheries land i ngs, all suggest that crawfish numbers are declining. Although Medley's preliminary appraisal indicates that t he fishery is still in fairly good shape, a staggering number of lobsters are being removed f rom Bahamian waters each year more than 18 million, according to Sullivan Sealey'se stimates. She also pointed to the his torical damage to lobster habit at throughout the Bahamas. Even on islands with relatively small human populations, she has documented damage at more than 60 per cent of coastal survey sites she has worked on due to the use of bleach and explosives, and through destruction of coastal wetlands and mangrove creeks that provide juvenile lobster habitat. Braynen also acknowledged that poaching appears to be increasing year on year, although it is difficult to say by how much. The only indicator he could offer was that the standard of the Dominican boats being apprehended in Bahamian waters is much improved lately, a sign that greater investments are being justified by the illicit returns. "The greatest number of lobsters caught and removed from the ecosystem is likely through illegal foreign fishing in Bahamian waters," Sullivan Sealey concluded. And she confirmed the existence of a large domestic market for lob ster in the Dominican Republic, with a fishing fleet capable of accessing Bahamian waters. "Clearly, the most effort should be put into the documentation and monitoring of illegal fisheries landings in the Dominican Republic," she told me. "It is important for the Bahamas to make formal com plaints to the Dominican Republic, and ultimately, you have to deal with who is fund ing this better boats, more fuel, travelling further there has to be a lot of money involved." What do you think? Send comments to email@example.com Or visit www.bahamapundit.com P AGE 8, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Greatest single threat to Bahamas seafood resources CRAWFISH are the most important marine resource we have.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS PAGE 10, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM IN S A TURD AYS TRIBUNE . PUZZLES, GAMES AND LOADS OF FUN IN YOUR FREE KID SCOOP HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press CAIRO E gyptian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and beat protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square Wednesday after the biggest demonstrations in years againstP resident Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule. Two protesters and a police officer were killed in the nationwide demonstrations inspired by Tunisia's uprising, which also demanded a solut ion to Egypt's grinding poverty and were likely to fuel growing dissent in a presidential election year. Mobilized largely on the Internet, the waves of protesters filled Cairo's central Tahrir or Lib-e ration Square on Tuesday, some hurling rocks and climbing atop armored police trucks. "Down with Hosni Mubarak, down with the tyrant," chanted the crowds. "We don't want y ou!" they screamed as thousands of riot police deployed in a massive security operation that f ailed to quell the protests. As night fell, thousands of demonstrators stood t heir ground for what they vowed would be an all-night sit-in in Tahrir Square just steps away f rom parliament and other government buildings blocking the streets and setting the stage for even more dramatic confrontations. A large security force moved in around 1 a.m. Wednesday, arresting people, chasing others intos ide streets and filling the square with clouds of tear gas. Protesters collapsed on the ground withb reathing problems amid the heavy volleys of tear gas. T he sound of what appeared to be automatic weapons fire could be heard as riot police and plainclothes officers chased several hundred protesters who scrambled onto the main road along the Nile in downtown Cairo. Some 20 officers were seen brutally beating one protester with truncheons. It got broken up ugly with everything, shoot ing, water cannon and (polices ticks," said Gigi Ibrahim, who was among the last protesters to leave the square. "It was a field o f tear gas. The square emptied out so fast." Ibrahim said she was hit in her back with something that felt like a rock. "Some people were hit in their faces." Some protesters turned violent amid the crackd own. They knocked down an empty white police booth and dragged it for several yards befores etting it on fire, chanting that they want to oust the regime. A police pickup truck was overturned a nd set ablaze behind the famed Egyptian Muse um. Protesters also set fire to a metal barricade and blocked traffic on a major bridge over the Nile. Police at the bridge fired tear gas and protesters mounted a charge, forcing officers to retreat, though they quickly regrouped. Two protesters w ith bleeding head wounds were carried off in ambulances. W ell after midnight, the smell of tear gas drift ed throughout central Cairo and riot police remained deployed in large numbers. Tahrir Square looked like a battlefield covered with rocks and debris. The gates of the ruling party headquarters near the square were smashed. Scattered groups of protesters were holding o ut in several areas. Many were chased by police vehicles into the Shubra neighborhood, where t he streets were strewn with rocks in a sign of a h eavy confrontation. Discontent with life in Egypt's authoritarian p olice state has simmered under the surface for years. However, it is Tunisia's popular uprising, w hich forced that nation's autocratic ruler from power, that appears to have pushed young Egyp-t ians into the streets, many for the first time. "This is the first time I am protesting, but we have been a cowardly nation. We have to finally say no," said Ismail Syed, a hotel worker who struggles to live on a salary of $50 a month. We want to see change, just like in Tunisia," said 24-year-old Lamia Rayan. Revolution Dubbed a "day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment," Tuesd ay's protests in cities across Egypt began peacefully, with police at first showing unusual restraint i n what appeared to be a calculated strategy to avoid further sullying the image of a security a pparatus widely criticized as corrupt and violent. With discontent growing over economic woes a nd the toppling of Tunisia's president resonating in the region, it was an acknowledgment of the need to tread softly by an Egyptian government that normally responds with swift retribution to any dissent. B ut as crowds filled Tahrir Square waving Egyptian and Tunisian flags and adopting thes ame protest chants that rang out in the streets of Tunis security personnel changed tactics and t he protest turned violent. At one point, demonstrators attacked a water cannon truck, opening the driver's door and forc ing the man out of the vehicle. As protesters h urled rocks and dragged metal barricades, offi cers beat them back with batons. P rotesters emerged stumbling amid clouds of a crid tear gas, coughing and covering their faces with scarves. Some had blood streaming down t heir faces. One man fainted. Police dragged some away and clubbed a journalist, smashing her g lasses and seizing her camera. The sight of officers beating demonstrators h ad particular resonance because Tuesday was a national holiday honoring the much-feared police. Like the Tunisian protests, the calls to rally in Egypt went out on Facebook and Twitter, with 90,000 people voicing their support. T hroughout the day organizers used Twitter to give minute-by-minute instructions about where t o gather in an attempt to outmaneuver the police, until the government blocked it in the l ate afternoon. Twitter announced that its service had been blocked in Egypt at about 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT cations had been affected. After remaining silent throughout the day, E gypt's government called Tuesday night for an end to the protests. The Interior Ministry, which c ontrols the security forces, said authorities want ed to let the protesters express their opinionsa nd accused the crowds of "insisting on provocation." Some threw rocks at police ... and others car ried out acts of rioting and damage to state institutions," it said. The ruling party said some 30,000 protesters had turned out across the country. "Egyptians have the right to express thems elves," said Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hosam Zaki. In Washington, Secretary of StateH illary Rodham Clinton said Egypt's government, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, was s table and Egyptians have the right to protest, though she urged all parties to avoid violence. The dead in Tuesday's violence included a policeman who was hit in the head with a rock in Cairo, and two protesters who died in the city of S uez east of Cairo, an Interior Ministry official said. Nearly half of Egypt's 80 million people live under or just above the poverty line, set by the U.N. at $2 a day. The widespread poverty, high unemployment and rising food prices pose a threat to Mubarak's regime at a time when tensions between Muslims and Christians are adding to the nation's woes. I support change," said Sami Imam, a 53year-old retired teacher who took part in Tuesday's protests. "The police cannot kill us because we, to all practical purposes, are already dead," said the father of four, clutching Egypt's red, white and black flag. "I have not visited the butcher in six months," he said, in a reference to Egypt's rising meat prices. Adding to the uncertainty is that Mubarak, 8 2 and ailing, has yet to say whether he plans to run for another six-year term in office. Mubarak has not appointed a deputy since he became president in 1981 and is widely thought to be grooming his son Gamal to succeed him. T he protests also follow a parliamentary election marred by allegations of widespread fraud that saw Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party win all but a small number of the chamber's 518 seats. In recent weeks, Mubarak and his sonh ave repeatedly vowed to ensure that ambitious economic reforms engineered by the youngerM ubarak over the past decade filter down to the poor. But that has not happened and there has b een a marked increase in the frequency of street protests over the economy. In another parallel with Tunisia, the protests drew energy from the death of a single young man: a young Egyptian named Khaled Saidw hose family and witnesses say was beaten to death by two policemen in Alexandria last year.H is slaying has become a rallying point for Egypt's opposition. Tunisia's protests were also sparked by a single death, that of a poor Tunisian vegetable vendor who set himself on fire to protest corruption. That act has been copied by at l east six people in Egypt. On Tuesday, mothers carrying babies joined protesters who chanted, Revolution until Victory!" and waved signs reading "OUT!" inspired by the Tunisian slog an "DEGAGE!" Men sprayed graffiti reading "Down with Hosni Mubarak." Some passers-by dismissed the protests, saying a few thousand of Cairo's 18 million people coming out on the streets was not nearly enough to f orce change. "This is all just a waste of time," said Ali Mustafa Ibrahim, who works at a ciga r ette stand. "These are a bunch of kids playing cat and mouse. ... It's just going to create more probl ems and more traffic in the city." Among the protesters in Cairo was Alaa alAswany, author of the best-selling "Yacoubian Building," which portrays corrupt politicians, police brutality and terrorism in Egypt. A keen observer of Egyptian society, alAswany said the demonstrations were an important opening for the government's opponents. "They broke the barrier of fear," he said. "The w riters of the regime were saying Egypt is not Tunisia and Egyptians are less educated than Tunisians. But here is the thing: these young people proved they can take their rights force fully." Egyptians denounce Mubarak and clash with riot police (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser PROTESTS: Police are engulfed by their own tear gas at a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. Thousands of anti-government protesters, some hurling rocks and climbing atop an armored police truck, clashed with riot police Tuesday in the center of Cairo in a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand the end of Hosni Mubaraks nearly 30 years in power.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 11 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM WASHINGTON Associated Press PRESIDENT BARACK O BAMA called for unity with newly empowered Republicans in a State of the Union policy speech that laid the foundation for the s econd half of his president ial term and next year's fight for re-election. Obama staked out territory in America's political c enter. He defended programs dear to his Democratic base, including the fede ral Social Security pension p rogram and his health care o verhaul. He promised i nvestments in clean energy t echnology and biomedical r esearch and criticized tax cuts for wealthy Americans. But he also backed some top priorities of Republicans, who took control of t he House of Representatives this month. He called f or cutting the corporate tax rate, freezing some federal spending, shaking up thef ederal bureaucracy and eliminating lawmakers' pet p rojects. He made a direct appeal for bipartisan lawmaking: We will move forward together or not at all." The W hite House released Obama's prepared speech about an hour before he delivered it. The nationally televised address before both cham-b ers of Congress is always one of America's most closely watched political events, but this year's speechh ad extra drama. For the first time in his two-year presidency, Oba ma was appearing before a d ivided Congress. After November elections that Obama has described as a" shellacking," Republicans n arrowed the Democratic advantage in the Senate as well as taking control of the House of Representatives. O bama, who has rebounded in opinion polls in recent weeks, was looking to posi tion himself above politics, even as both parties maneuver for advantage ahead of the 2012 presidential vote. Obama said the American people are counting on their leaders to create jobs in the United States. "At stake right now is not who wins the next election," Obama said. "After all, we just had an election." Obama focused on federal spending for education, innovation and infrastruc ture as ways the government can support America's foundation and help businesses create jobs for a generation. He was pairing that with a call to reduce the federal d ebt and to make the gov ernment leaner. T he speech comes less t han three weeks after Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded in as hooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people. A seat was to remain empty in honor of Giffords. Many in both parties were to wear black-and-whitel apel pins, signifying the d eaths in Tucson and the hopes for the survivors. Family members of some victims were to sit with first lady Michelle Obama. The shooting, though its motives remain unclear,p rompted a debate about overheated political rhetoric and the need to tone down Washington's fierce partisanship. In an attempt at unity following the attack, many Democratic and Republican lawmakers decided to break with tradition and sit together. But those gestures did not obscure the sharp political differences between the par ties. One of the most divisive issues is federal spending. Public concern about the growing federal deficit, now topping $14 trillion, was a d efining force in the 2010 elections. Spending has become the central issue for Republicans. O bama was looking for the upper hand with a call for a five-year freeze on all discretionary government spending outside of national security, the White House said. That would be almost identical to the freeze Obama called for in his address last year. Ultimately it may have little effect, as Congress decides the budget on its own terms. Indeed, the Republicandominated House voted on Tuesday to return most domestic spending to 2008, pre-recession levels. The 2 56-165 vote came on a symbolic measure that put Republican lawmakers on record in favor of cutting$ 100 billion from Obama's budget for the current year. Republicans also chose one of their leading voices on spending cuts, House Budget Committee Chair man Paul Ryan, to deliver the party's televised response to Obama. "We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century," Ryan said. While Obama's speech included little on foreign a ffairs, he did announce he will visit Brazil, Chile and El Salvador in March. Oba ma also called on Congress t o approve a recently negotiated free-trade agreement with South Korea as soon as possible. Obama also said the U.S. stands with the people of Tunisia and all people striv ing for democracy. The president said the will of the people in the North African country proved more powerful than the rule of a dictator. Tunisia's autocratic leader, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country Jan. 14 after 23 years in power. President Obama calls for unity with the Republicans STATE O FTHEUNION: Presi dent Barack Obama delivers his a ddress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. (AP MOSCOW Associated Press PRIME MINISTER Vladimir Putin has vowed revenge for the suicide bombing that killed 35 peopleat a Moscow airport a familiar tough-on-terrorism stance that has underpinned his power but also led to a rising number of deadly attacks in Russia. Lax security also was blamed for Monday's explosion in the international arrivals area of Domodedovo Airport that also injured 180 people, with President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday criticizing police and managers at the airport, the largest of three that serve the capital. NTV television showed a photo graph of what it said was the detached head of the suspected bomber. Inves tigators have said that DNA testing will be necessary before the man, who appears to be in his 30s, can be identified. A two-second video of the blast itself, broadcast on state television and said to be from a closed-circuitTV camera, showed a burst of flames and passengers falling and fleeing as smoke filled the hall. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion has fallen on Islamist separatists from Chechnya or elsewhere in the restive Caucasus region who have been bat tling Russian authority for over 15 years. Chechen insurgents have claimed responsibility for an array of attacks, including a double suicide bombing on Moscow's subway system last year that killed 40 people. They also have used Domodedovo Airport before, with two suicide bombers slipping through its security in 2004 to kill 90 people aboard flights that took off from there. Putin rose to power in 2000 on a now-famous vow that Chechen rebels would be hunted down and killed "in the outhouse." But despite a second devastating war that brought Chechnya back under Moscow's control and sanctioning the violent rule of his chosen Chechen leader, Putin has been unable to wipe out the Islamic insurgency that has spread across much of the Caucasus. A brutal crackdown on the insur gency has produced a backlash that has led to almost daily attacks on police and security forces in the Caucasus and brought the terror to Moscow. Muscovites have also seen a sharp rise in ethnic tensions between Slav ic Russians and Muslims from the Caucasus, many of whom come to the capital in search of work. In an effort to address the poverty and high unemployment that feed the insurgency, the government has made ambitious plans to promote economic development in the Cau casus, including the building of five ski resorts across the mountainous region. Putin said last week the government would allocate 60 billion rubles ($2 billion struction, but the bulk of the $15 billion needed is to come from private investors. Medvedev has been given the task of attracting badly needed foreign investment to Russia, a mission he will take Wednesday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is to be the main speaker at the opening session. The airport bombing undermined his mission and delayed his depar ture for a day. Instead of schmoozing with CEOs of major global corpora tions, Medvedev on Tuesday gave a tough speech to officials at the Fed eral Security Service, the main KGB successor. He suggested that some of them could have been at fault and told them to do everything possible to find those responsible. "The nest of these bandits, however they are called, should be elim inated," he said. Medvedev also blamed the transport police, ordering the interior minister to identify officials who should be dismissed or face other sanctions. Airport officials also did not escape blame. "What happened shows that obvi ously there were violations in guar anteeing security. And it should be answered for by those who make decisions there and by the management of the airport," he said. Medvedev demanded robust checks of passengers and baggage at all major transportation hubs. "This will make it longer for passengers, but it's the only way," he said. Putin vows revenge for Moscow airport bombing RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER Vladimir Putin (AP PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Associated Press H AITI'Sruling party held closed-door meetings Tuesday to decide whether to fight for their presidential candidate to remain in the race despite U.S. and international pressure to drop him. T he quake-torn country's political future hinges on how the Inite, or Unity, party handles an Organization of American States recommend ation that would push outgoing President Rene Preval's c hosen successor, government construction official Jude Celestin, out of the race. Doing so would open the d oor for carnival singer Michel "Sweet Micky"M artelly, a pro-military popu list, to face former first lady M irlande Manigat in a runoff. T he OAS says Martelly, whose partisans rioted when i t looked like he would not advance, should have finished second in the fraud-marredv ote and go to the runoff. Its recommendation, based on a sample of the vote, was made over the objections of other candidates and observers who s aid the entire vote should be t hrown out. There's no final decision yet," the coordinator of Preval's Unity party, formerS en. Joseph Lambert, told The Associated Press in thee vening. E arlier in the day, Lambert t old Radio Metropole that "a significant number of candidates for deputies and senate w ould favor" dropping Celestin to avoid international sanctions. The newspaper Le Nou v elliste reported that Celestin would concede, citing an anonymous government offic ial but that report has not been confirmed, and a pre dicted party statement has not b een made. The debate centers on the OAS election observers' rec ommendation that fraudulent t ally sheets from the Nov. 28 ballot be excluded. Based on a review of about 1 7 percent of the vote, the team said that Celestin and Martelly, separated by a fewh undred ballots in the pre l iminary results, should switch places. Now the United States c urrently holding nearly $1 billion in reconstruction aid originally promised for last year is insisting that the OAS report be implement ed. Sustained support from the international community, including the United States, requires a credible (electoral process" including "conducting second-round elections ina manner consistent with the recommendations and findings of the OAS technical review," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, told the U.N. Security Council last week. HAITIS RULING PARTY DEBATES CANDIDATE'S FUTURE
L OCAL NEWS P AGE 12, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM G AMBIER Primary School celebrated its third annual Literacy Fest yesterday. The theme of the exhibition held at the Mall at Marathon for the occasion was "Navigating the archipelago through literacy expressions". The activities of the day included an opening ceremony at 10am and ac areer fair which was held from 11.30 am to 1pm at the mall. During the opening ceremony, students were entertained by Bahamian a rtists, authors and poets, including Tyrone Sawyer. The students also heard from Perm anent Secretary in the Ministry of E ducation Elma Garraway and other e ducators. M usical entertainment was provided b y the Royal Bahamas Defence Force B and. School officials said the objective of the event is to educate the parents ands tudents about the importance of literacy while helping them to develop a deeper appreciation for their country. PHOTOS/TIMCLARKE Literacy Gambier Primary School Third annual event features career fair Fest
mance for the 12 months to October 31, 2011, stood in start contrast to that of Commonwealth Bank, which amid the severest recession in modern history saw net income for its 2010 financial year soarto a new record of $53 mil lion, a 26.1 per cent increase on the previous years $42 million according to unaudited financials. RoyalFidelity Capital Markets, in its assessment of First Caribbeans 2010 performance and 2011 prospects, noted that the bank BISXs largest stock by market capi talisation, although under 5 per cent is in public hands had seen both interest margins and net yields drop during the previous financial year. The investment bank added that FirstCaribbeans impaired loans, as a percentage of its total $2 billion-plus loan book, stood at 12.4 per cent at the October year-end, compared to the sectors 7.4 per cent average. FirstCaribbean continues to have a high level of loan loss provisions in comparison to historical trends, as well as in comparison to other banks, RoyalFidelity said. Impaired loans as a per centage of its total loan book at the end of the previous fis cal year was 12.4 per cent, compared to industry average of 7.4 per cent, while its provisioning coverage was at the lower end of the spectrum at 23 per cent versus the industry average of 32 per cent. Net yields at First Caribbean, RoyalFidelity said, had been impacted by the large increase in non-performing loans, while lower average loans had impacted interest margins. The end result was that FirstCaribbeans trailing 12month EPS had hit a low of $0.49, compared to the $0.90 it reached in 2007 just prior to the recession. Even adjusted for loan losses, the trailing 12-month EPS stood at $0.69 due chiefly to reduced net interest income and non-interest income. Still, the expected improvement in the wider Bahamian economy during 2011, which should translate into improved interest margins and reduced non-performing loans, was set to benefit FirstCaribbeans Bahamian shareholders through improved net income and dividend payouts. Assuming FirstCaribbean maintains its dividend payout ratio at around 60 per cent, the increase in net income should be reflected in divi dends paid, RoyalFidelity said. While the current trailing 12-month price earnings multiple of the bank is 19, with the anticipated improvement in net income over the next year, we expect this ratio to reduce to more normal levels over the next 12 months. RoyalFidelity noted that FirstCaribbeans EPS for the 2010 fourth quarter fell by 61 per cent, from $0.24 to $0.09, as net income dropped from $18.1 million to $11.4 million. Net interest income fell by $3.6 million or 10 per cent to $33.3 million during the quar ter, while non-interest income fell by $2.7 million or 27 per cent to hit $7.2 million. Non-interest expenses, t hough, rose by $4.1 million or 21 per cent to $23.2 mil lion, while total loan loss expense of $5.9 million grew significantly by $7.7 million, in comparison to a recovery of $1.7 million in the compar ative quarter. With income streams dropping and expenses rising, RoyalFidelity said FirstCaribbean continued to be impacted by the ongoing adverse economic conditions. Not so Commonwealth Bank, which yesterday cred ited enhanced credit risk management with keeping nonperforming loans below 3 per cent of its total loan portfolio, well below the industry average. This, in turn, reduced associated impairment allowances. Adding that return on assets (RoA ty (RoE and productivity levels all exceeded target for 2010, Commonwealth Bank said total assets rose to a new record of $1.408 billion, a 2.3 per cent increase on the $1.376 billion recorded at year-end 2009. Regular quarterly dividends during 2010, plus the two extraordinary dividends in February and November of last year, had returned some $25.5 million to its 6,500 shareholders, Commonwealth Bank added. Net income available to common shareholders stood at $48 million, a 33.3 per cent rise over the $36 million gen erated in 2009, while earnings per share hit $0.48, compared to $0.37 the year before. Commonwealth Banks return on equity stood at 30 per cent, compared to 27 per cent in 2009. BUSINESS PAGE 4B, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM strength rating, said that since the current owners acquired the general insurance carrier in late 2002, the company had grown its capital base from an initial $10 million to its cur-r ent $40 million. Describing 2010 as a good, not great year for RoyalStar, as gross written premium income continued to be impacted by the economy, especially in the motor vehicle segment, Mr Watson said the top-line had also been impacted by thec ompanys conservative risk management stance. He explained that it did not pay to be overly aggressive in seeking to take on new insurance business, given the frequency with which hurricanes hit the Bahamas, especially ifp remium income did not match the associated risk. Describing A. M. Bests action, which also reaffirmed R oyalStars a- issuer credit rating and Stable outlook, as expected, Mr Watson said of the agencys actions: I think it reflects our high levels of liquidity and solvency. We have over $40 million in capital, are highly liquid and manage expenses well. Its good to have an independent, external third party organisation confirm were in goods hape. Profits And he told Tribune Business: Weve made over $30 million in profits in the past eight years, and although weve paids ome dividends, more than 70 per cent has been kept as retained earnings. Weve built the capital base from $10 million, mostly with retained earnings, although theres been some preference share issues, too. But the shareholders have not been diluted, and weve not had to borrow any money. Weve grown the capital base from earnings, and you can only do that with good operating performances. Mr Watson said that between 2002-2010, Royal Stars u nderwriting business in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands had to cope with five hurricanes, namely Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Michelle and Wilma. He added: The performance has been strong, and thats where you get strong operating results from. Most of ourp rofits do not come from investment income; theyre underwriting profits. Roughly $22 million of the $30 million has come from underwriting profits. Investment income has been a very much smaller part of t he operating results. The RoyalStar managing director said the smaller investm ent income contribution was the price we pay for being very liquid. We have lots of cash on the balance sheet, which does not pay a great return. We choose to be conservative with investments so we have access to large amounts of cash when we need to, such as in the aftermath of a hurricane. Mr Watson explained that unlike life insurance companies, which were able to match long-term assets to long-terml iabilities, general insurers such as RoyalStar were dealing with liabilities and risks of a short-term nature, given that property and casualty policies normally covered a 12-18 month period. As a result, and given the catastrophic nature of the peri ls they insured, Bahamian general insurers had to keep plentiful reserves of cash on hand. As for RoyalStars 2010 financial performance, Mr Wats on said that while final figures were awaited, the absence of any hurricane claims yet again meant that it was a reason able year. Gross written premiums were under pressure, and motor premiums were under pressure because of the economy. We also had slightly higher claims than the year before, he told Tribune Business, indicating that while RoyalStar had finished 2010 well in the black with net income worth several million dollars, the performance was not as good as the $6.816 million achieved the year before. Its likely to be a good, not great year, Mr Watson added of 2010. Our gross written premium figures have continued to decline as we slowly lose business, because were not prepared to be overly aggressive [in writing new business] due to the very risky environment. A big hurricane would cause a lot of damage, and we want to have control over our exposure and know where the risks are, so that after a large event we can deal with claims and customers as they deserve to be dealt with. In its assessment of RoyalStar, A. M. Best said: The ratings reflect RoyalStars solid capitalisation, favourable operating performance and established presence within the Caribbean market. Positive RoyalStar continues to produce positive operating results, which are derived from the companys strong underwriting performance in conjunction with a steady stream of investment income. Since RoyalStar writes all of its business in the Caribbean, it is exposed to frequent and severe weather-related events. Although this makes RoyalStar somewhat dependent on reinsurance as part of its overall risk management program, the companys solid reinsurance program reduces its net probable maximum loss to a manageable level. On the negative side, RoyalStar said these factors were offset by the concentration of the companys risks in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, hurricane exposure, dependency on reinsurance, and an increasingly competitive pricing environment. Interestingly, A. M. Best added: Local regulatory risk is somewhat elevated as the Bahamian government increases its supervision over insurance companies operating in the country, and seeks to tighten regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the Caribbean insurance market has become increasingly competitive as indigenous and outside insurers seek to gain market share in the region. Mr Watson told Tribune Business he was unsure where A. M. Best was coming from in its comments about increased government regulation of the insurance industry. He added that enhanced levels of regulatory supervision could aid an insurance industry by reducing risk, ensuring market players toe the line when it comes to solvency margins, liquidity and capital reserve requirements. Were very happy with an increased regulatory environment, and the tighter the regulatory environment, the happier we are, Mr Watson said. That supports serious players, not the less serious players. 70% PROFIT RETENTION AIDS ROYALSTAR RATING F ROM page 1B FROM page 1B FIRSTCARIBBEAN IMPAIRED LOANS 5% POINTS ABOVE SECTOR AVERAGE China State Construction, which has gained a $1.95 billion construction contract from Baha Mar for the Cable Beach redevelopment, was said by multiple sources to be in talks with Ken Hutton, the former Freeport Concrete and John S George chief executive, about using the Sea Air Business Centre facility valued at $12 million by its Florida-based owner for this purpose. When contacted by Tribune Business for comment yesterday, Mr Hutton said he could neither confirm nor deny that China State Construction was the entity he was talking to, and that it was over the possibility of using the Associated Grocers facility as a clearance/storage depot relating to the Baha Mar project. However, he did tell this newspaper: Negotiations are ongoing. Multiple sources familiar with developments, though, told Tribune Business that if Mr Hutton was able to seal thed eal with China State Construction, it would ensure the direct benefits from the $2.6 billion Cable Beach redevelopment benefited more islands that just New Providence/Nassau. They added that such an arrangement could involve upwards of 30,000 containers over three-and-a-half years being shipped to, and cleared, in Freeport, before they were forwarded to Nassau for use on the Baha Mar project. Jobs Such a deal, the sources added, could easily create 30-50 jobs almost immediately for the Freeport economy, which is badly in need of economic stimulus, and ensure that some Grand Bahama residents benefit directly from Baha Mar without having to leave their homes and island. It would be nice to have a $2.6 billion investment benefit more than Nassau, one source said. Describing the potential impact from the Associated Grocers warehouse proposal as really, really significant, the source added that potentially millions of dollars of construction materials and equipment could be involved. Mr Hutton took over management of the Freeport warehouse, and Universal Distributors, last year via what was described as a mutual arrangement between PLP politicians, Pleasant Bridgewater and Obie Wilchcombe, anda Bahamian bank, said to be Bank of the Bahamas International. Ms Bridgewater and Mr Wilchcombe had rented the warehouse facility from Associated Grocers, intending to run their own distribution business, Universal Distributors, from it, yet the venture was plagued with problems that resulted in the landlord twice moving to lock them out for unpaid rent. M r Hutton was said to have been appointed to devise a new direction and business plan that could make Universal Distributors viable, plus generate rental income for Associated Grocers from a facility it no longer had any use for, previous attempts to sell it having provenf ruitless. This move seems to have led to the talks with China State Construction. GB facility as logistics hub for Baha Mar F ROM page 1B
MAE ANDERSON, A P Retail Writer NEW YORK Luxury handbag maker C oach says a strong holiday s eason, particularly in North America, helped its fiscal seco nd-quarter net income rise 26 percent. T he increase shows the luxury sector is rebounding faster than other retail segments. To serve consumers cutting spending at the beginning of t he recession, Coach began offering more bags for less than $ 300. But CEO Lew Frankfort said Tuesday, when the comp any released its earnings report, that Americans are spending more on handbags again. The average retail selling price of its handbags rose 9 percent for the quarter, more than the low-single-digit percentage i ncrease Coach had predicted. A $498 satchel sold particu l arly well, Frankfort said, adding that $400-plus bags m ade up 18 percent of all handbag sales during the quarter, as opposed to 13 percent a year ago. Fewer shoppers visited North A merican stores, but the aver age amount they spent roses lightly, and the company said its North American revenue o verall rose 17 percent for the quarter. Higher conversion or the number of people in s tores who make a purchase boosted the results, Frankfort said. "Consumers who actually w ent into stores had a more s erious intention to purchase than they did last year," Frankfort said. "In our world of accessories, the consumer is b ack." Coach's net income rose to $ 303.4 million, or $1 per share, from $240.1 million, or 75 cents p er share, a year earlier. Rev enue increased 19 percent to $1.26 billion. Analyst expected earnings of 97 cents per share on revenue o f $1.21 billion, according to FactSet. R evenue at stores open at least a year rose 12.6 percent i n North America. That figure is a key gauge of retailers' performance because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed. S ales in China were also strong, the company said, while r evenue in Japan rose 8 per cent in dollars, helped by a s tronger yen. Department stores are also ordering more than they did in the depths of the recession. International wholesale shipments also i ncreased. The company said it expects r evenue and earnings to con tinue to increase by double-dig it percentages. Jefferies & Co. a nalyst Randal J. Konik said Coach did a "great job" realigning its business during the downturn; he expects neti ncome to continue to rise as C oach capitalizes on its "accessible luxury" market position. But Konik said rising leather and labor costs could cut into C oach's margins in the future. Coach shares fell 28 cents T uesday to close at $53.09. Coach also said it will buy back up to $1.5 billion of its outstanding shares by June 30,2 013. O ther stores that cater to the affluent have reported strong holiday sales as well, including Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewe lers. BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 5B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM ATLANTIC MEDICAL INSURANCE CO.LTD. Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue,P.O.Box SS-5915,Nassau Tel.326-8191 Suite 5,Jasmine Corporate Center,East Sunrise Highway,P.O.Box F-42655,Freeport Tel.351-3960A member of Colonial Group International:Insurance,Health,Pensions,LifeHealth insurance premiums have continued to rise,so we are all more sensitive to the levels of cover and service a health plan provides. Feeling good about choosing Premier Health for your business,is knowing your employees receive more service and cover for your premium dollar.Premier Health delivers state-of-the-art administration and claims support to work for your business too.Less hassle on service,care and price issues means more focus on doing what you and your team do best.Call 326-8191 or visit www.cgigroup.bm Colonial Group International is rated A-(Excellentby AM Best. Premier HealthIt feels good to choose a health plan that takes care of my business,my team and me. Premiums have not been controlled by cutting benefits and coverage for catastrophic illnesses Premium increases have on average been lower than the market rate MILWAUKEE Harley-Davidson Inc. cut its fourth-quarter loss, getting a ride from a restructuring and a strong performance from its financial services unit even as motorcycle sales slumped. H arley's stock surged $3.45 per share, or 9.45 percent, in midday trading after company executives appeared to be more upbeat about the company's performance this year. The Milwaukee company on Tuesday reported a net loss of $46.8 million, or 20 cents per share, a vast improvement over the $218.7 million, or 94 cents per share, that it lost in the same period a year ago. The company would have made money for the quarter with out an $85 million charge from buying back senior notes. Harley said it lost $42.1 million, or 18 cents per share, from continuing operations. Harley-Davidson Financial Services contributed $43.5 million in operating income. Revenue for the quarter rose nearly 20 percent to $917 million, though motorcycle sales for the quarter were down 1 percent worldwide and 0.2 percent in the U.S. Still, the performance beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 24 cents per share on revenue of $853.8 million. And the company reversed its 2009 full-year loss, posting a profit of $146.5 million, to 62 cents per share. Harley lost $55.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in 2009. Harley CEO Keith Wandell said in a statement that the company feels good about its full-year results. "We have made strong progress at transforming our business to be leaner, more agile and even more effective at delivering great products and customer experiences," he said. Company executives would not estimate sales for the coming year, but on a conference call with industry analysts they seemed optimistic because they plan to increase shipments. A key factor could be whether Harley's main demographic will let their hair down a bit more in 2011. The company's U.S. sales fell slightly last year even as consumers returned to car and truck dealers, helping auto sales rebound 11 percent over 2009. LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer Johnson & Johnson's revenue has slumped for a second straight year, prompti ng its CEO to make an extraordinary pitch to soothe investors and defend the company's handling of 17 costly product recalls. The health care giant, hammered by the w eak global economy, growing pricing pressures and recalls that have kept many popular nonprescription medicines off store shelves, reported Tuesday a 12 percent profit decline and a 5.5 percent drop ins ales for the fourth quarter. Revenue fell 0.5 percent in 2010, after dropping 3 percent in 2009 its first annual decline since the Depression. C hairman and Chief Executive William C. Weldon tried to reassure analysts and investors that J&J has its manufacturing and other problems under control, in an unusually lengthy, sometimes repetitive conference call. Wall Street wasn't buying i t, though, with J&J shares dropping $1.23, or 2 percent, to $60.99 in afternoon trading a fter initially dropping 2.4 percent a big d rop for a huge, diversified company that rarely sees stock volatility. J&J's stock has lagged the benchmark S&P 500 Index over the past year and isb elow the $62 level where it traded five years ago. The Teflon has come off J&J ... with a vengeance," said analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities. The adjusted earnings from the maker of Tylenol, medical devices and biologic drugs matched Wall Streete stimates but revenue fell short and its earnings estimate for this year was well below analysts' current forecasts. Because of the weak forecast, institut ional investors "voted with their feet t oday," said Erik Gordon, a professor and analyst at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based compan y reported net income of $1.94 billion, or 70 cents per share, down from $2.21 billion, or 79 cents per share, in 2009's fourth quarter. E xcluding one-time items, earnings w ould have been $1.03 per share, matching analysts' expectations. J&J took an after-tax charge of $922 million for litigation settlements, a recall of poorly fitting DePuy hip i mplants and increasing J&J's product liability reserve. The company's revenue fell to $15.64 b illion from $16.6 billion a year ago. It was also below the $16 billion expected by analysts polled by FactSet. ( AP Photo/Seth Perlman LOSSCUT: In this Jan, 21, 2011 photo, the Harley-Davidson Logo is seen at the Hall's Harley Davidson dealership in Springfield, Ill. Harley-Davidson Inc. cut its fourth-quarter loss Tuesday, Jan. 25, getting a ride from a restructuring and a strong performance from its financial services unit even as motorcycle sales slumped. EARNINGSREPORTS Strong holiday boosts Coach 2Q net income, revenue J&J reports lower fourth quarter profit, revenue Restructuring helps cut Harley-Davidson 4Q loss ( AP Photo/Tony Dejak) L OWERPROFIT: J ohnson & Johnson products rest on a shelf at a grocery store Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, in Cleveland.
BRUSSELS The eurozone's euro440 billion ($599 billion fund says its first bond auction to finance a rescue loan for Ireland saw "recordbreaking" demand. The European Financial Stability Facility said Tuesday its euro5 billion ($6.83 billion bond sale was almost nine times oversubscribed, getting orders worth euro44.5 billion from more than 500 investors. The EFSF says that the interest rate for the 5-year bond is 2.89 percent. That compares with a yield of 2.32 percent on comparable German bonds. Strong demand for the fund's first contribution to Ireland's ?67.5 billion bailout was expected, after Japan said it would buy 20 percent of the issue. Ireland will only receive e uro3.3 billion of the euro5 b illion since a cash buffer is needed for the fund's triple-A rating. BUSINESS PAGE 6B, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM /HJDORWLFH 127,&(0DGLVRQ&RQVXOWLQJ/WG1RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK VHFWLRQRIWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV &RPSDQLHV$FWWKHGLVVROXWLRQRI 0DGLVRQ&RQVXOWLQJKDVEHHQFRPSOHWHGD &HUWLFDWHRI'LVVROXWLRQKDVEHHQLVVXHG DQGWKH&RPSDQ\KDVWKHUHIRUHEHHQVWUXFN RIIWKHHJLVWHU$ODLQ.XQ] /LTXLGDWRUf /HJDORWLFH 127,&(1DERLO,QYHVWPHQWV/WG1RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFH ZLWKVHFWLRQRIWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO %XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV$FWWKH GLVVROXWLRQRI1DERLO,QYHVWPHQWV KDVEHHQFRPSOHWHG&HUWLFDWHRI 'LVVROXWLRQKDVEHHQLVVXHGDQGWKH&RPSDQ\ KDVWKHUHIRUHEHHQVWUXFNRIIWKHHJLVWHU$ODLQ.XQ] /LTXLGDWRUf P AN PYLAS, Associated Press LONDON An unexpected downturn in the British economy shocked investors on Tuesday, prompting a sharp drop in the pound and reigniting debate about the government's plans to slash spending and raise taxes to reduce public debt. The figures showing a 0.5 p ercent GDP drop in the last three months of 2010 fueled speculation that the British economy was heading back into r ecession defined as two q uarters of negative growth a nd reined in expectations that t he Bank of England would s tart raising interest rates soon i n response to stubbornly high i nflation levels. T he figures are preliminary, l eaving them open to revision, a nd followed four quarters of g rowth including 0.7 percent i n the third quarter as Britain climbed out of a deep r ecession. In the text of a speech in Newcastle, Bank of England governor Mervyn King appeared to indicate that he wasn't in a rush to start raising borrowing costs, a move that could dampen growth. He argued that the drop in living standards for millions of Britons was an "inevitable price" to pay for the financial crisis and subsequent rebalanc ing of the world and U.K. economies. "At some point Bank Rate w ill have to return to a more normal level ... but a return to e conomic stability from our fragile conditions will require c areful and well-judged steps looking beyond the next few months," King said. King conceded that inflation would likely rise to between 4 a nd 5 percent in the coming months from the 3.7 percent in D ecember as the recent spike in energy and commodity costs c ombine with higher sales taxes. But he said price pressures would start to fall next year as the economic downturn con tinues to rein in wage increases. In any case, King insisted there's very little monetary policy can do to keep a lid on the prices of imports, such as food a nd oil. Policy Monetary policy cannot be b ased on wishful thinking," King said. "So unpleasant though it is, the Monetary Policy Committee neither can, nor should try to, prevent the s queeze in living standards, half o f which is coming in the form of higher prices and half ine arnings rising at a rate lower than normal." K ing noted that real wages the difference between pay r ises and inflation would likely fall again this year to levels no higher than in 2005. "One has to go back to the 1920s to find a time when realw ages fell over a period of six years," King said. T he governor's comments come in the wake of figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that Britain's economy shrank again in the f ourth quarter of 2010, largely because of the heavy snow that g ripped the country during December, snarling roads, crippling Heathrow and other air-p orts and keeping people away from shops before Christmas. B ut statisticians said the economy would have flatlined even without the snow, stunning markets that had been expecting a 0.5 percent increase in GDP. Within a minute or two of the data's release, the pound had dropped over a cent a gainst the U.S. dollar, falling to a low of $1.5753 before settling a round the $1.58 mark before King took to the stage. Stocks suffered too, with the FTSE 100i ndex of leading British shares underperforming its peers, closi ng down 0.4 percent at 5,917.71. A nalysts said the grim economic figures will make it difficult for the Bank of England to hike any time soon especially as the Conservative-led coalit ion government is at the beginning of a sharp fiscal retrenchm ent. The raft of spending cuts and tax increases the govern ment announced last autumn have not yet even come into force during the fourth quar-t er. "Questions will be raised a bout whether this reflects the onset of the double-dip that had been feared, and no doubt the impact of the coalition's fiscal plans will be under even more i ntense scrutiny in an environ ment where the recovery lookst o be faltering," said George Buckley, chief U.K. economist at Deutsche Bank. Britain plans sharper spending cuts than any of the other major global economies and how it fares is being closely monitored around the world, particularly in Europe. JOHANNESBURG Europe and the United States have failed to strengthen the institutions responsible for the global economic crisis, the IMF said in a report suggesting the U.S. privatize mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The International Monetary Fund pointed to "weak balance sheets" of eurozone governments and banks and said the European bailout fund needs to be increased from its headline 440 billion euros. ___ LONDON An unexpected contraction in the British economy shocked investors, prompting a sharp drop in the pound and reigniting debate about the government's plans to slash spending and raise taxes to reduce public debt. The economy shrank 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2010. The decline reined in expectations that the Bank of England would start raising interest rates soon in response to stubbornly high inflation levels. Stocks were also hurt by the news. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.3 percent, while Germany's main DAX index and France's CAC-40 both slipped 0.1 percent. ___ BRUSSELS The eurozone's bil lion euro ($599 billion says its first bond auction to finance a rescue loan for Ireland saw "recordbreaking" demand. ___ TOKYO Japan's central bank kept a key interest rate unchanged at virtu ally zero, hoping to protect a still-fragile economy from veering off track. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 1.2 percent. Elsewhere in Asian trading, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped less than 0.1 percent while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent. ___ MADRID Spain's bor rowing costs dropped significantly in a heavily oversub scribed auction of 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion debt, a day after the government announced reforms for its ailing savings bank sector. ___ NEW DELHI India's central bank raised key interest rates for the seventh time in little over a year in an attempt to contain inflation. ___ DAVOS, Switzerland Trust in business and government worldwide has been remarkably resilient through the economic crisis, except in the U.S., where it has steeply declined, according to a survey released on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. ___ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates DP World said business jumped 14 percent last year, reflecting the expansion of the Dubai port operator's global network and a resurgence in trade as the world economy picked up steam. UK economy shrinks and pound plunges G LOBAL E CONOMIC N EWS A SSOCIA TED P RESS A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Tuesday: EUROPEINCRISIS : Tourists walk at 1200 BC ancient cemetery of Keramikos as at the background is seen t he ancient Acropolis hill in central Athens, on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. EUROZONE BAILOUT BOND SEES 'RECORD' DEMAND A P P h o t o / P e t r o s G i a n n a k o u r i s INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
P AUL WISEMAN, A P Economics Writer WASHINGTON Facing high unemployment and lukewarm public approval, President Barack Obama can take heart from history: At the same point in his presidency 28 years ago, Ronald Reagan wass addled with an approval rati ng much lower than Obama's is now. And the unemployment rate then was a full percentage point higher. For Reagan, the economy recovered quickly and strongly, carrying him to re-election in 1984, one of the biggest land-s lides in U.S. history. It's possib le Obama could benefit from a n equally robust economic revival before Election Day 2012. But expectations are lower this time, because the government has already used upm ost of its tools to boost the e conomy. Recent history suggests a president's fortunes can turn dramatically, for better orw orse, on economic swings from the halfway mark of his first term to the next Election Day. Here are some examples: PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Midway through his first term, Reagan's approval ratingw as 37 percent. No wonder. W hen Reagan delivered his State of the Union address in January 1983, the unemployment rate was at 10.4 percent nearly 3 percentage points higher than when he took office. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker had pushed interest rates as high as 20 percent to slow the economy and snuff out inflation. He succeeded. But the result was the deepest r ecession since the Great D epression. Political pundits wrote Reagan off as a one-term president. Yet once he whipped infla t ion, Volcker reversed course a nd lowered interest rates. Reagan's tax cuts also jolted the economy. By Election Day 1984, the unemployment rate h ad fallen to 7.2 percent and was still dropping. Proclaiming the arrival of "Morning in America," Reagan won another four years in the WhiteH ouse, defeating Walter Mondale. PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: A little more than two years into his presidency, George H .W. Bush looked invincible. His approval rating had hit 89 percent after the U.S. military drove Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait in February 1991. B ut a weak economy extinguished Bush's hopes for reelection. The military triumphi n the Persian Gulf temporarily l ifted Bush's popularity after t he United States slid into recession. Rising unemployment, though, gradually took a toll. So did the perception that Bush had lost touch with voters w ho were struggling financially. H is opponent in the 1992 election, Bill Clinton, famously built his campaign around the p hrase, "It's the economy, stup id." By November, the unemployment rate was 2 percenta ge points higher than when B ush took office. Bush lost his re-election bid in a three-way race with Clinton and indepen d ent candidate Ross Perot. The n ext month, a panel of economists decreed that the recession had officially ended in M arch 1992, eight months before Election Day. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON Bill Clinton was floundering after two years in the White House. His health care reform p lan had failed. In the 1994 midterm election, Republicans had seized back control of both the House and Senate. Clin ton's approval rating was 47 percent. But over the next two years, a strengthening economy and a successful budget standoff against congressional Republicans reversed Clinton's fort unes. From his inauguration through Election Day 1996, the unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent to 5.4 percent. The D ow Jones industrial average s hot up 88 percent. In November, Clinton scored an easy victory over Sen. Bob Dole and Perot. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH A ttention to terrorism and war overshadowed George W. Bush's first term, despite ane ight-month recession in 2001 and a slow recovery that prod uced few jobs. After the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, the nation rallieda round Bush as he prepared for the March 2003 invasion of I raq. Two years into his presidency, Bush's approval rating was 58 percent, even though unemp loyment was higher and the stock market lower than when he took office. His approval rat-i ng would top 70 percent after U.S. troops occupied Baghdad in April 2003. F rom there, Bush's approval rating would fall steadily. The u nemployment rate rose from 4.2 percent, when Bush entered the White House, to 5.4 per-c ent on Election Day 2004. By then, the economy had lost jobs since the president had taken office. Even so, Bush managed a solid victory over Sen. John K erry in November 2004. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA President Barack Obama's popularity could be worse considering the unemployment rate remains 9.4 percent more than a year after the recession ended. An Associated Press-GfK poll found that 53 percent of A mericans approve of how O bama is governing, a middleo f-the-pack ranking for presidents in their second year. More than half of Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy. Only 35 percent say it's improved on his watch. That's down from 40 percent a year earlier. Y et "he's clearly ahead of Reagan" at similar points in t heir presidencies, says Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. Obama also shares one of R eagan's enduring strengths: People like him. In the AP-GfK poll, 83 percent of Americans call Obama likable, 62 percentl abel him a strong leader and 61 percent say he's in touch w ith ordinary people. BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011, PAGE 7B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM N EW YORK Prices for gold and other metals are falling as investors r aise their expectations for e conomic growth. Gold hit its lowest level since November, when a yearend rally took it above $1,400 a n ounce. Investors have been pouring into gold futures based on fears of weak economic growth and global i nflation. Gold is often used a s a hedge against falling currency prices and slow growth. Interest in gold waned on Tuesday. Gold for February d elivery fell $12.20 to settle at $1,332.30. One factor pushing gold down is the expectation that t he Federal Reserve could m ove toward raising interest rates, said George Gero, senior vice president for RBC Wealth Management in New York. The central bank's cent ral policy making committee is meeting this week. The market, with the selling, is betting that we're going to have continued recovery in the economy, and higher interest rates," Gero said." Higher interest rates make it more expensive to hold gold,a nd the recovery signals that you may not need the haven i n gold." Other precious metals followed gold lower. In March contracts, silver lost 51.6 cents to settle at$ 26.805 an ounce, copper fell 12.25 cents to $4.2260 a pound a nd palladium fell $31.80 to $784.75 an ounce. April plat-i num fell $32.30 to $1,787.30 an ounce. C rude oil fell on mixed eco nomic news and the possibility that OPEC countries will step up production. Comments Monday by the S audi Arabian oil minister stoked speculation of a prod uction increase. He seemed to imply that the Saudis and o ther members of the Organi zation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could raise production to bring down the price of oil. G oldman Sachs analysts think it's possible that OPEC h as already stepped up pro duction. T hey say global demand increased in December, but oil supplies did not appear to decline at the same pace. "It would suggest that O PEC has started to bring its spare capacity back to the m arket earlier than we antici pated," Goldman Sachs anal ysts wrote in a note to investors. MEETANDGREET: President Barack Obama greets invited guests at Albany International Airport in Colonie, N.Y. on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Tim Roske How presidential fortunes turn on economic twists GOLD DROPS AS OPTIMISM GROWS ABOUT THE ECONOMY
NEW YORK Treasury prices rose Tuesday on hopes that President Barack Obama might talk about a partial freeze on government spending in his State of the Union speech. "The market is preparing for a fiscally responsible speech from the President tonight," said John Spinello, bond strategist at Jefferies & Co. The price of the 10year Treasury note rose 56 cents per $100 invested Tuesday. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 3.34 percent from 3.39 percent late Monday. Recently, some European nations like Portugal and Ireland have had their credit ratings downgraded by agencies who cited increased government spending. The downgrades sent borrowing costs higher for those countries, a cause of worry for bond traders. On Tuesday, the government also sold $35 billion two-year notes, which were 3.5 times oversubscribed. That was slightly lower than the average rate of 3.7 in the last four auctions. However the Treasury was able to sell the notes at 0.65 percent, a better rate than the 0.74 percent the government paid at last month's two-year note sale. The 30-year bond is up $1.03 to yield 4.50 per cent, down from 4.56 late Monday. The yield on the twoyear Treasury note fell to 0.58 percent from 0.62 percent. BUSINESS PAGE 8B, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011 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 $P/EYield 1 .260.97AML Foods Limited1.021.020.000.1500.0406.83.92% 1 0.759.67Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 6.184.50Bank of Bahamas4.904.900.000.1530.10032.02.04% 0.580.18Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 3.492.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.1680.09016.13.33% 2.152.14Fidelity Bank2.172.170.000.0160.040135.61.84% 12.509.62Cable Bahamas10.2110.210.001.0500.3109.73.04% 2.842.36Colina Holdings2.402.400.000.7810.0403.11.67% 7.005.40Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.856.850.000.4220.26016.23.80% 3 .651.63Consolidated Water BDRs2.042.00-0.040.1110.04518.02.25% 2 .551.60Doctor's Hospital1.601.600.000.1070.11015.06.88% 6 .995.94Famguard6.076.070.000.3570.24017.03.95% 10.207.23Finco6.516.510.000.2870.52022.77.99% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.399.390.000.4940.35019.03.73% 5.513.75Focol (S)5.485.480.000.3660.16015.02.92% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.405.00ICD Utilities7.407.400.000.0120.240616.73.24% 10.509.82J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8590.64011.46.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.000.9910.80010.18.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 9 9.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 1 00.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 1 00.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00 52wk-Hi 52wk-Low Symbol Bid$ Ask$ LastPrice DailyVol EPS$ Div$ P/E Yield B ISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% I nterest 7%RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)29 May 2015 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE:242-323-2330 | FACSIMILE: 242-323-23201 9 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% P rime + 1.75% 6.95%20 November 2029TUESDAY, 25 JANUARY 2011BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,480.19 | CHG -0.05 | %CHG 0.00 | YTD -19.32 | YTD % -1.29BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)M aturity 19 October 2017FINDEX: CLOSE 000.00 | YTD 00.00% | 2009 -12.31%30 May 2013 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%Last 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.51221.4076CFAL Bond Fund1.51795.51%6.90%1.498004 2.94742.8300CFAL MSI Preferred Fund2.94742.10%2.09%2.918697 1.57431.4954CFAL Money Market Fund1.57404.44%4.44%1.555464 3.20252.8522Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.720212.72%4.63% 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 1.14151.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.14154.74%5.21% 1.11011.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.11013.94%7.60% 1.14281.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.14284.78%5.90% 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 Fund8.39798.82%8.82% 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-10BISX Listed Mutual FundsNAV Date 30-Nov-10 30-Nov-10 30-Nov-10CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)TO 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 31-Dec-10 31-Dec-10 31-Dec-10MARKET TERMS30-Nov-10 NAV 6MTH 1.475244 2.919946 1.538692 107.570619 105.776543 30-Jun-10 30-Nov-10 30-Nov-10 31-Dec-10 NOTICE is hereby given that ELMINAETIENNE of Marshall Road is applyingto the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for registration/ naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/ naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 19th day of January, 2011 to the Minister responsible for nationality and Citizenship, P.O. Box N-7147, Nassau, Bahamas.NOTICE 081$(/RI %URDGZD\1HZ