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 of generosity C M Y K C M Y K V olume: 107 No.29FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND BREEZY HIGH 74F LOW 63F McCOMBO OF THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Baha Mar campaign inspired by Tribune raises $33,000 for the Salvation Army $25,000 IN T OYS FOR CHILDREN YOURFREESPORTSWEEKLYSUPPLEMENT THE Baha Mar donation c hallenge, which was sparked by a Tribune article high lighting the plight of a single mother evicted from her home, has raised more than $33,000 for the SalvationA rmy. The story of Theresa Gibson and her 17-year-oldd aughter and how they were evicted from their home first appeared in The Tribune on December 13. Within hours of reading the story, Baha Mar execu tive Richard English, a selfless father-of-three, pledged to pay for Ms Gibson and her d aughter to move into a new home in time for Christmas and cover her rent for the first three months. A follow-up story on Mr Englishs generous acti nspired Baha Mar chairman Sarkis Izmirlian to launch the Baha Mar Challenge in aido f the Salvation Army. Mr Izmirlian told Mr English he was touched by the act and wanted to do something on behalf of the company. Mr English pointed him in SEE page 11 T HE country marked its 9 5th murder for the year w ith the shooting of a young m an off Carmichael Road y esterday afternoon. Believed to be aged between 20 and 25 years, thev ictim was reportedly shot twice in his chest sometime shortly before 4pm. According to Inspector S olomon Cash from the Homicide Squad of the Central Detective Unit, when o fficers arrived at the scene, t hey discovered the man l ying on his back on the side By TANEKA THOMPSON T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com O PERATIONS in the public service could come to a halt within weeks if the coun t ry's labour movement follows through on threats of widespread industrial action near the anniversary of 1958G eneral Strike. Two umbrella unions the National Congress of Trade U nions of the Bahamas and By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org CUSTOMS and Immigration union leaders are encour aging officers to stay home during the holiday season after claiming the government failed to compensate them for overtime and holidays worked. According to Sloane Smith, vice-president of the Bahamas Custom and Immigration HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS AND ADVERTISERS THE TRIBUNE WILL RETURN TO NEWSSTANDS ON TUESD A Y DECEMBER 28TH By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com UNION leaders opposing the government's sale of BTC say their protests remain non-political, despite the selection of TUC vice president Cleola Hamilton as the Progressive Liberal Party's candidate for South Beach. Ms Hamilton, also the MAN SHOT DEAD IN YEARS 95TH MURDER SEE page 10 THREAT OF MAJOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION NEAR ANNIVERSARY OF 1 958 GENERAL STRIKE SEE page 11 SEE page 10 BTC PR OTESTS NON POLITICAL DESPITE TUC OFFICIALS PLP CANDIDACY PAY ROW PROMPTS CALL FOR CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRA TION OFFICERS TO STAY AT HOME SEE page 11 THE SANTA CLAUS CHRISTMAS COMMITTEE, a charity of The Tribune and its partners, provides toys once again for the less fortunate during Christmas. This year, the committee raised $25,000 and bought 2,500 toys to fill a 40-foot container donated by Crowley for underprivileged children in the Bahamas. Children from Kemp Road, Fox Hill, Inagua, Mayaguana, North Eleuthera, Bozine Town and St Cecelia will receive the toys. Santa thanks his helpers Burton Rodgers, Jenny Pinder, Sparrow Heatley, Adam Darville, Wendy from Import Export, Philip Sands, Jamaal, Rose from Crowley, Joann and Harry and Tracy from Toys R Us Fort Lauderdale. The committee has been in action for 10 years and through the generosity of its many sponsors and friends has provided toys for tens of thousands of children. Pictured are Jenny Pinder and Burton Rodgers preparing the delivery of toys. F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS P AGE 2, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM VALLEY BOYS DEPUTY CHAIRMAN Jason Minnis is pictured hard a t work yesterday at the groups main shack in Claridge Road in preparation for the Boxing Day Junkanoo parade. V alley Boys prepare for Boxing Day parade F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f
A FAMILY staking its c laim on land in San Sal vador where it is believed billions of dollars worth of pirate treasure is buried secured a consent order in court yesterday that will bring excavation efforts ont he disputed property to a temporary halt. Dennis Bethell and his f amily are contending that t he land being excavated at Fortune Hill, San Salvador belonged to their ancestor Nimrod Newton by way of a Crown grant dated August 8, 1876. The Newton tract encomp asses 47 acres on Fortune Hill and includes an area of the 23 acres owned by Dorothy Black-Beal who has reportedly started excavation on the disputed tract of land. Mr Bethell contends that Mrs Beals property was erroneously mapped over a portion of his land to encompass the cave in which the treasure is believed to be buried. Rumours of treasure buried on the land have been circulating in San Salvador for years. Mrs Blacks attorneys agreed during a closed court hearing before Justice Bernard Turner to a consent order to stop excavation on the land for 14 days as the claim by Mr Bethell and his family is investigated. Mr Bethell said that he had initially come to court to seek an injunction to have the excavation works stopped and viewed yesterdays outcome as somewhat of a compromise. I am quite certain that when they do what they have to do they will realise that they were wrong, Mr Bethell told The Tribune C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM INDEX MAIN SECTION Local News..P1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 Editorial/Letters.........................................P4 BUSINESS SECTION Business...................................P1,3,4,5,6,7 Advts......................................................P2,8 SPORTS SECTION Sports.....................................P1,2,3,4,5,7,8 Comics.....................................................P6 PROMISING that the country is about to experi-e nce the beginnings of an economic turnaround and vowing to tackle the prob-l em of crime head on, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham delivered his annual Christ mas address saying Bahamians can look forward to a future full of hope. Mr Ingraham said that it was inspiring that the downturn in the economy never dampened the fervor of the Bahamian people to pre pare for and mark this special season. Conscious of the continued tenuous global economy we continue to manage our economy prudently and sensibly so as to ensure that we are well placed to benefit from the global recovery as it occurs. Our carefulness in the management of our economy permits us to preserve jobs in the public sector and to avoid the reduc tion of salaries experienced in many developed and developing countries, the prime minister said. He said that his Govern ment will continue the programme of public works in New Providence and in the Family Islands, creating employment for hundreds, bolstering economic activity and placing the Bahamas ina better position to compete when economic recovery is at hand. We continue training a nd retraining programmes particularly for those suf fering job losses so as to a ssist them in finding new employment or in becoming productively selfemployed. And we are extending increased social assistance to those most in need. We now expect that new and additional private sector investments will com bine with the Governments infrastructure development projects to make 2011 economically better for more people than it was in 2010, Mr Ingraham said. The prime minister said that his Government was saddened by the stubborn persistence of violent crime that has marred the lives of too many people, especially in New Providence. We especially lament the number of young people who have become ensnared by criminal activity. I and my colleagues in the Government remain fully com mitted to doing all within our capacity to remove the criminal elements from our streets. If we are to remove their influence over our whole communities, however, we need and call for the full support of the good and law-abiding majority of our people, Mr Ingraham said. PM says Bahamian future full of hope Court order halts search for buried treasure Bethell family claims land belonged to ancestor Share your news The Tribune wants to hear f rom people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story. DIGGING DEEP: Pictured is an arial shot of the disputed land. The Newton tract encompasses 47 acres on Fortune Hill and includes an area of the 23 acres owned by Dorothy Black-Beal who has reportedly started excavation on the disputed tract of land.
E DITOR, The Tribune. Your front-page story (Tribune December 22, 2010) titled A Life of Regret: Clayton Deans Little Girl caught my eye. Ont he surface, it appears to be a Christmas story of hards hip and struggle, but from t he very beginning, the story reads more like an attack on prominent Greek Bahamia n John Mosko. S ophie Mae Dean suff ered the misfortune that her father Clayton Dean was fatally shot (by John Mosko) while she was justa n infant. Regrettably, your a rticle seeks to lay the blame for Sophies current situat ion, where she sits behind bars on a charge for whichs he cannot raise bail, squarely at his feet. Sophies b oyfriend, Antoine, says of her infancy and childhood, that she was in the struggle basically all by herself, but we read in your article that this is not true. She had a mother, a grand mother, other family members, and later, Antoine h imself to help and guide h er. They would have made choices on her behalf that had nothing to do with Mr Mosko, but the article goes on to raise unhelpful and idle speculation about whyt he Prosecution never c harged Mosko with Clayt on Deans death. In reference to the $50,000 paid by Mr Mosko as a settlement of the civil suit for wrongful d eath, we gain a sense of the purpose of the story when the boyfriend tells The Tribune that the money cant compensate for the loss, but that he wished that Mosko would have cared more. Life deals many of us a hard hand, but it is up to usa s individuals to make the best out of what we have. O ur problem as a nation is that we are too ready to blame others for our difficult circumstances. Too often, we sit by and expecto thers to fix our situation, o r to compensate us for a perceived wrong. Your story b rings to mind the claim b eing pressed in the United States by descendants of slaves, for the State to comp ensate them for a wrong committed by private citizens, a hundred years b efore. To me, the tactic used by Antoine, with the assistance of The Tribune, seems like blackmail; his final words directed at Mr Mosko are clear; The bott om line is always money, but you could always show concern. R ather than a story that evoked sympathy for little S ophies condition you published an account thats mears the name of one family for the selfish aims of a nother. It is unfortunate t hat you have allowed The Tribune to be used in this w ay. I feel nothing but com p assion for the Bahamian under attack. C AROL MISIEWICZ Nassau, December 22, 2010. C M Y K C M Y K EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master L EON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 S IR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. P ublisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama T ELEPHONES Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising Advertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 Freeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm THIS HAS INDEED been a bloody year. As we write this article a Tribune reporter is at his desk describing a crime scene that records the ninety-fifth victim whose youngl ife was snuffed out by two bullets to the chest. A police officer commented yesterday that the Bahamas was indeed lucky that t here were only 95 murders. He said this number would have been very much higher if all those who had been shot had died. Over the year there have been many shootings, woundings, and persons crippled for l ife as a result. But, fortunately, their names did not swell the list of homicides. W e do not recall any year producing as many suicides as this one men and women, young and old, who gave up on a life over which they no longer had control. And then there were the armed robberies, t he thefts of gold for cash, the break-ins, the crimes of retaliation festered by hatred, g reed and jealousy gang against gang, neighbour against neighbour, screaming, agit ated unionists who cannot let their anger rest long enough to contemplate the miracle that more than two thousand years ago rescued man from his own baseness and offered him an eternity of happiness. B ut through the darkness there is a flicker of hope a glow can be seen from a c andle that shows that among us there are many who still appreciate the joy of giving, w ho indeed love their fellowman, who feel the need to share whatever they have with those less fortunate. Many believe that newspapers are just out to make money and that is why their front pages are filled with the most sordid of crimes and scandals. It is true that this is t he motive of some journals, but certainly not all. A s for The Tribune our front pages reflect our community. Unfortunately, crime d ominates this community and threatens to take it down unless good people come together and demand an end not by expecting someone to do it for them, but by doing it themselves. They know where theg uns and drugs are hidden and who is stashing them, they often hear of sinister operat ions being planned in the dead of night. It is their duty to get involved by informing the p olice. Also they should inform their newspaper to make certain that reporters, by their questions, prod the authorities into action. No one should go to bed with the secret knowledge that someone might breathe his last that night, or that a home is to be invaded by a person with evil intent. Tribune reporters enjoy their work, but t hey are never so happy as when they can tell a human interest story that has a happy endi ng particularly when that ending is facilitated by the power of their pen. I am proud to work for a news organisation that has such a powerful platform and a team that knows how to use it for good, Jessica Robertson, Tribune Online Editor, wrote this week. By simply doing our jobs w e were able to share a heart wrenching story of immense suffering and from what I u nderstand, the response from our readership has been overwhelming. She said that the lady who told her about the tragedy of the Thurston family keeps thanking her for putting the newsroom o nto the story. However, said Jessica, All I can think is but were just doing our jobs. T he Thurston story ended up on the keyboard of our reporter Ava Thurston who t old the story of Consuela Thurston, a mother of seven, whose medical bills for cancer were already destroying a once functioning family, when it was discovered that her 42year-old husband also had cancer. As a result o f Avas article, the financial response of the public to rescue a drowning family was o verwhelming. Everytime there was another donation, there was jubilation in our newsr oom as all staff rejoiced. Megan Reynolds worked on the Theresa Gibson story, a single mother who, with her daughter, was evicted from her home. The donations not only helped Ms Gibson, but raised more than $33,000 for the Salvation Army, from which the generosity will reach e ven more families. ( See front page lead story). In this job, said Megan, you see the worst of what humans have to offer and s ometimes you lose faith in humanity. But working on a story like this you realise that human beings are just as capable of expressing great compassion. As we pause to wish our readers a very h appy, peaceful and safe Christmas, we thank the generous ones among them for g iving our reporters a happy Christmas by renewing their faith in the human race. We w ish our readers would tip us off to more stories of struggle, to which, perhaps, we can help write a happy ending. Happy Christmas to all! Family name smeared for selfish aims of another LETTERS firstname.lastname@example.org Generosity still exists in the Bahamas 7KH3XEOLFLVKHUHE\DGYLVHGWKDW $/'(1(%(1(=(5 3$/0(5 LQWHQGWRFKDQJHQDPHWR $/9,1 (%(1(=(53$/0(5 ,IWKHUHDUHDQ\REMHFWLRQVWR WKLVFKDQJHRIQDPH'HHG3ROO\RXPD\ZULWHVXFK REMHFWLRQVWRWKH'HSXW\&KLHI3DVVSRUW2IFHU3 *UDQG%DKDPDQRODWHUWKDQWKLUW\GD\V DIWHUWKHGDWHRISXEOLFDWLRQRIWKLVQRWLFH,17(1772&+$1*($0(%<'(('// 38%/,&,&( EDITOR, The Tribune I would be grateful if you would publish this open letter to the Prime Minister. In your national address on crime in Octo b er, 1996 at page seven you said: We are resolved and determined to break the back of serious crime in our communities. That was almost ten years ago. Things have got worse ever since. W ith the record breaking murder count at 9 4 and going into December it could reach 100 I strongly appeal to you, sir, to take control of the fight against crime. The Bahamian people have confidence in you and your abilities to break the back of crime. Sir, you have proven your strong leadership skills in bringing our economy back to life after a devastating blow from the great recession. I entreat you, and I believe I speak for most Bahamians that you take over National Security and bring focused, aggressive and constant efforts to rid our society of this scourge. Your successful efforts to restore our economy will be seriously compromised if you allow crime and the fear of crime to damage our way of life. Our ability to live a productive life is at stake. Our tourism industry is being threat ened. Our financial sector depends on social stability. Sir, you have very little choice now. You h ave tried everything else. Now it is time for you to make the difficult decision and bring your many years of experience, hard work and commanding presence to the fight against crime. FLOYD HANNA Nassau, December, 2010. An open letter to the Prime Minister on the crime scourge
B y NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com WITH no coastal engineers on staff at the Ministry of Works, and the skill i n high demand on the priv ate market, Carlos Palac ious, was recently graduated into a profession filled with opportunity. He completed a Masters d egree in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering at the University of Florida t his past August. He also h as a Bachelors degree in C ivil Engineering. As an intern with a Miami based consulting firm,h e worked with the design team that laid out The World in Dubai, which consists of 300 man-made i slands in the shape of the world map. As one of the first c oastal engineers in the Bahamas, it is my hope that others will also be encouraged to get thek nowledge, training and resources that we desperately need in The Bahamas to help protect, manage, a nd inevitably restore, as much of our coastal environment as possible. If we s eriously hope to protect our most valued natural resource, we need passionate, committed, qualified B ahamians who can advise t he public and private sect ors to minimize the impact of our continued development on our delicate ecosystem with the aid of cutting edge technology and g uided by sustainable development principles a nd objectives, said Mr P alacious. C oastal engineers focus on understanding coastal processes, shoreline ero-s ion, and the impacts that natural events and human derived activity have on coastal regions. E nvironment Minister Earl Deveaux said it is an important skill that requires a broad under standing of diverse marinee nvironments. Process There are many opport unities in coastal engineering, but it is not a one d imensional kind of opportunity. People doing marinas, hotels, homes, or resort developments and the government itself allh ave needs for the skills of a competent coastal engin eer, to do benchmark studies, to document what happens as an ongoing p rocess of development, and to mitigate against conditions they find as a result of the work under-t aken, said Mr Deveaux. It is a skill that is badly needed in the country, buti t is a skill that needs to be honed based on an intricate knowledge of our c ountry. Being a Bahamian is a t remendous advantage, but he or she doesnt have an entitlement to the job other than by virtue of the competitiveness, compet ence and knowledge that he or she brings to the t able, he said. Ecosystem A sensitive aspect of coastal engineering is wetland and ecosystem preser vation and restoration, according to Mr Palacious. He said the Bahamas is continuously threatened by l and reclamation and dredging projects that potentially disrupt the tidalf low, destroy vegetation and coral reef systems. In The Bahamas, there is constant pressure to r emain at the head of the t ourism and financial industries in the C aribbean, which has sometimes resulted in a lack of restrictive measures to protect our natural environment. There has to be ah ealthy balance between economic development and e nvironmental preservation, he said. With high quality scientific investigation from c ompetent coastal engin eers, Mr Deveaux said t here would be more information to inform development decisions and political discussion. In a coastal island n ation such as ours, where 100 per cent of our people l ive on the coast and 100 p er cent are less than a few m iles from the coast, we have an impact on the coast. The integrity of the engineers work, the completeness of their research and the competence they b ring to the table could help us avoid some of these arguments, and mitigate and marginalise the outra geous political claims, saidM r Deveaux. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM THE Christmas Craft Village in the Mall a t Marathon has shown that authentically B ahamian-made souvenirs are a viable busi ness venture. This, according to local artists who have set up shop in a store sponsored by theB ahamas Agricultural and Industrial Cor poration (BAIC al Craft Association (BNCA t ion with the Mall at Marathon. The store, which will remain open until December 31, features handmade crafts and paintings from 18 local artists who pride themselves on producing truly Bahamian treasures. According to Melanie Thompson, one of the local artists who sells jewellery in the c raft village, the publics response has been overwhelming. Products showcased include shell, coconut a nd beaded jewellery, a wide range of straw p roducts and paintings. Ms Thompson said her products have been selling like hot-cakes. The response has been overwhelming. B ahamians have been saying that this is what the (downtown she said. M s Thompson said the items on sale are affordable and the way the public has been embracing the merchandise shows that local artisans can be successful selling authentically Bahamian made items. The craft village has been in the Mall since December 8 and while its contract will expire at the end of the month, publ ic response could keep it open much longer. POLICE are seeking the publics assistance in returninga missing teenage girl to her family. Dena Robyn Butler, 16, has been missing since Monday, December 20. She was last seen in the area of the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. Police are also still search ing for 13-year-old Shandice Ferguson of Pigeon Plum Street who has been missing for nearly a month. Shandice was last seen in the area of the Nassau Harbour Club on East Bay Streeton November 29. Police were said to have very little information concerning her disappearance. Anyone with relevant infor mation about Shandice and Dena is asked to contact their nearest police station, Crime Stoppers at 328-8477 the police emergency line at 919/911 CDU at 502-9930 or the police control room at 322-3333 CALL FOR ASSISTANCE IN SEAR CH FOR MISSING TEENAGER DENA ROBYN BUTLER BAHAMIAN-MADE SOUVENIRS A VIABLE BUSINESS VENTURE The Bahamas desperately needs coastal engineers Profession filled with opportunity
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Grants Town Wesley Methodist Church(Baillou Hill Rd & Chapel Street) P.O.Box CB-13046 The Holy Ghost Prayer-Line number is 326-7427(www.gtwesley.org)SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25TH, 2010Theme: As a wise master builder, I laid a foundation and another was building upon it."9:00 a.m. Christmas Day Service 11:00 a.m. Rev. Carla Culmer/Lay Preachers 7:00 a.m. Carla Culmer/Bro. Franklyn Bethel 11:00 a.m. Rev. Carla Culmer/Contemporary Service 7:00 p.m. Songs of PraisesS ATURDAY, DECEMBER 26TH, 2010 P RIME Minister Hubert Ingraham and his Cabinet Ministers were the guests of Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes on Wednesday for the annualC hristmas luncheon at Government House. CABINET LUNCHEON Peter Ramsay/ BIS Photos RELAXING MOMENT: Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes (right e njoy a relaxing moment in the sitting room at Government House prior to the annual Christmas luncheon for Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday. A GOOD JOKE: Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and several Cabinet Ministers share a good laugh at Government House on Wednesday during the annual Christmas luncheon. Pictured from left: Prime Minister Ingraham, DPM Brent Symonette, AG John Delaney, Minister Dion Foulkes and Minister Tommy Turnquest. GUN SALUTE: Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is greeted by Royal B ahamas Defence Force guards at the front entrance to Government House on Wednesday as he arrives for the annual Cabinet Christmas luncheon at Government House. FOR POSTERITY: Sir Arthur is pictured front centre with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to his left and Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette to his right.
Freeport, Grand Bahama Management at the Port Lucaya Marketplace have pulled out all of the stops to attract last minute shoppers before the Christmas holidays. From window displays decked with perfumes, jewellery and other wonderful holiday items,to sidewalk racks filled with pocket tempting deals; mer chants are stocked and ready to receive and please customers. Noting that parking at the Marketplace has been a challenge, management at thePort Lucaya Marketplace has expanded the customer parking area, to ensure that cus tomers will have easy access and a pleasant experiencewhen visiting the Marketplace. Entertainment and Marketing Coordinator for the Marketplace Ms Karen Ferguson-Bain sadi that when you think of fine dining, shop ping or family oriented enter tainment, the Port Lucaya Marketplace is one of the first places that come to mind, but the issue of parking also accompanies this thought. As the final days before the Christmas Holiday approaches, we wanted to make coming to Port Lucaya a pleasant experience for everyone by extending parking to the far Western side of the Marketplace. This area is intended to accommodate tenants and employees, so that the immediate parking facilities in the western and eastern lots can be utilised by customers, she continued. Asa result of the new parking structure, customers now have ample parking facilities, with access to the western parking area near Dominos Pizza and to the eastern parking area at the rear and to the right of the Oasis Drug Store. During the final days before Christmas, store owners have extended their operating hours to accommodate the late evening shoppers. Customers are encouraged to check out the deals being offered at the Marketplace as most store owners are host ing in-house promotions, where with a minimum purchase, customers become eligible to win prizes like matching Movado watch sets, a new 2011 vehicle, a trip for two to London and many other prizes. THE commitment of more t han 400 persons on Grand Bahama and abroad has resulted in a surprise $1,000 C hristmas present for the cash-strapped Grand Bahama Humane Society( GBHS). Just two weeks after the g roup made public its desperate need for cash after a cutback by a major sponsor l eft a $150,000 hole it its annual income, came the news this week that they hadw on a grant from the USbased Greater Good Netw ork. It would not have happened without the diligence o f 438 supporters who each day for over a month made sure they logged on and vot-e d in an internet competition run by the networks affilia ted website the animalrescuesite.com. Their doggedness ensured that the F reeport-based non-profit organisation ended up as one of only five internationalw inners, the GBHS said in a statement. What made it particularly special was that more than 13,000 animal welfare groups throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean took part. A jubilant Tip Burrows, the societys executive director, was first to break the news to the people who had made it happen. What a fantastic Christmas present. I didnt think we had won anything and I c ouldnt believe it when I saw our name in the winners list. This is going to be a real help, Ms Burrows said. The $1,000 is still only a small part of what the GBHS n eeds to raise to keep its financial head above water. Society executives and volunteers said they are desperately trying to find ways of drumming up more funding at a time when their work is more important than ever. They have to fill a huge hole i n their annual revenue money which pays for rounding up strays, caring for hund reds of dogs and cats, providing a neutering and spaying service and painlesslyp utting down those for whom permanent homes cannot be found. One idea was to invite people who are stumped for ideas for a Christmas gift for close family to donate $50 in their name the cost of shipping a dog to the US or to keep it in the home on Coral Road for a month. Lots of people have already responded to the initiative including those abroad with family here and it is still not too late to j oin them, the GBHS said. Up until November this year, the GBHS had taken in 1,257 dogs and 268 cats and 11 per cent increase over the same period in 2009. W ith tough economic times and more people abandoning their pets the challenge is going to get greater. The severity of the prob lem is illustrated by the fact that by the end of October, shelter staff had also completed the sad task of putting d own 765 dogs and 146 cats, the GBHS said. One way of coping with t he numbers problem is ship animals off to the US for adoption, and there is plentyo f demand. In fact this year the number that headed off to new homes in the US has tripled over last year, with 329 flown out so far. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM GBHS gets $1,000 Christmas present New extended parking at the Port Lucaya Marketplace AMPLE PARKING: The new expanded parking area is intended to a ccommodate tenants and employees, so that the immediate parking facilities in the Western and Eastern lots can be utilized by c ustomer.
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 9 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM CHRISTMAS came early for residents of the Pinder's Point, Lewis Yard and Hunters comm unities on Grand B ahama this past Saturd ay. Management and staff m embers of BORCO dist ributed hundreds of care packages and turkeys as part of an annual gift-giving exercise. Surprising R esidents of those southern Grand Bahama c ommunities received surp rising knocks on their d oors in the early morning hours. As the news spread, p eople lined the streets waiting for the BORCO employees wearing red uniform jumpers for the occasion. Managing director Ray mond Jones, who led hist eam running from house t o house greeting families, s aid the widespread dist ribution was a part of o ngoing efforts to move t he oil refining company beyond being good corporate citizens to evenb etter corporate neighb ours.. We are very sensitive to the challenges of some o f our residential neigh bours, and while we cannot do all things for all people we think this is one way to offer some level of relief and spread the joy of the Christmas season, he said. M r Jones said he was v ery proud of his entire team. Those of us seen going d oor to door is not full representation of our efforts. There are many of our employees who worked behind the scenes to make this all possible. I wish to thank them all, he said. BORCO staff bring Christmas to Grand Bahama communities G IFT-GIVING: Z orah Lewis of BORCOs human resources department shares the true spirit of the Christm as season at a home in Pinder's Point this past Saturday. T ISH SIMMONS (front right e arly hours with colleagues distributing care packages and turkeys throughout the Pinder's Point, Lewis Yard, and Hunters communities. GREG LARODA (far left newly appointed operations manager at BORCO, spreads t he joy of the holiday season w ith residents in Lewis Yard. WILLIAM LIST (far right BORCO terminal manager, is s een bringing smiles to the faces of residents throughout the Pinder's Point, Lewis Yard, and Hunters areas.
c urrent president of the Nurses' Union, was chosen by the Opposition PLP to challenge State Environm ent Minister Phenton Neymour for his South Beach seat. Ms Hamilton has been v ocal over her disdain for the government's handling of the BTC sale, and also led nurses on a 13-day sick-o ut last year in a dispute over health insurance. Some speculated that her tough stance was due in part toh er political aspirations within the PLP. Recently, State Finance Minister Zhirvargo Laings aid the PLP has pinned their political hopes on the backlash over the impending sale of BTC. "I have no doubt that the unions have their legitimate concerns about this process f rom their point of view, but I have no doubt that the Progressive Liberal Party is dying to have this issue be one issue they can pin their p olitical hopes on. I have no doubt about that, no doubt about that, but I am confident that Bahamians area ble to see clearly beyond the matter and make judgments about what is being done," said Mr Laing. H owever, National Con gress of Trade Unions of the Bahamas (NCTUB dent Jennifer Isaacs-Dotsons aid Ms Hamilton's involve ment in the PLP does not mean the labour movemen t's protests are influenced b y the Opposition. "The decision by Ms Hamilton to go for office isa personal one, it is nothing to do with the trade union movement, and as we have said in the past this (stando ff) is nothing political," Ms Isaacs-Dotson said. The NCTUB and the TUC have rallied around BTC's unions to protest the i mpending sale of 51 per cent of the telecommunications company to Cable & Wireless, a British companyw ith an expansive Caribbean operation. "We have persons from all (politicalw ork in Batelco. We have Bahamians from all political divides that are not together on one issue and that isw hat our concern should be, united whether we FNM, PLP, BDM, NDP or independent. We areB ahamians first, we must stand together and say that the Bahamas is going to be for Bahamians," said Ms Isaacs-Dotson at a press conference yesterday. On Tuesday night, the P LP named five candidates who will carry the partys banner into the next gener al election. They are: Attorney Dion Smith, for the Kennedy constituency; former Member of Parliament Leslie Miller for Blue Hills; cur rent MPs Glenys HannaMartin and Melanie Griffin for Englerston and Yamacraw respectively, and political newcomer Ms Hamilton. Mr Miller, who lost in the Blue Hills constituency to Sidney Collie in 2007, will be running for the sixth time for the House of Assembly. of the road in front of a home on Bell Close Avenue. Paramedics, he said, were already on the scene, andt he young man was being attended to by a number of residents in the area. Police on examination of the body discovered there were two apparent gunshot wounds to the upper right chest. Subsequent to that paramedics reported thatt here was no vital signs to the individual, Inspector Cash reported. Locking down the crime s cene as they began their investigation, Inspector Cash said they were able to secure what they believe to be the weapon used in this shooting, but would not con-f irm the make or caliber of the gun. However he did confirm that the gun was recovered next to the deceaseds body. Reportedly, this latest s hooting came as a result of the man being involved in an altercation with several other young men. I nspector Cash said several persons are helping with inquiries. The victims ident ity has not been released. In other crime related n ews, police reported five armed robberies onW ednesday and two shoot i ngs. The first armed robbery occurring sometime around 11am at Fire Trail Road and Carmichael Road. According to police press liaison Sgt Chrislyn Skipp ings, two women were walking in the area of Fire Trail and Carmichael Road when they were approached by two men wearing dark clothing both of whom werea llegedly armed with handguns. The thugs robbed the women of their handbags which contained cash, cell phones and jewellery andf led the area on foot. The second armed robbery occurred shortly after 3.30pm at Iguana Way, off C armichael Road. A woman who was about to enter her house was a ttacked by a man wearing a black tam, white T-shirt and b lack pants armed with a handgun. He made off withc ash and personal effects. T he third armed robbery occurred shortly after 7pm on Wednesday at Third Street and Poinciana Avenue. A man walking at Third Street and Poinciana A venue was approached by two armed robbers wearing dark clothing. They ran off with an amount of cash. The fourth armed robbery o ccurred around 7.35pm at Collins Avenue and Wulff Road. A 30-year-old man, of Lincoln Boulevard, was on Wulff Road when he wasa pproached by a group of men, one of whom was armed with a knife. They took his cash and stabbed h im a number of times in his back. The victim was taken to hospital via EMS personn el where he is detained in serious condition. T he final armed robbery occurred around 9.45pm atF reetown Lane, off Shirley S treet. According to the police, a man on arrival at his residence was approached by another man wearing a red scarf and armed with handgun. The robber took jewe llery and a cell phone, and fled the area. The first shooting on Wednesday was reported around 7.15pm on at Finlayson Street, off PoincianaD rive. Reportedly, a 52-year-old man was shot in his chest at his home in Finlayson Street. He is in hospital in serious condition. T he final shooting occurred shortly after 8pm at Jackson Street, in Nassau Village. A man was at his residence when he was approached by two masked m en, wearing dark clothing, one of whom was armed w ith a handgun. The victim told the thugs he had noc ash and was subsequently s hot in the left arm. The victim was taken to hospital by EMS personnel. He was detained and is in stable condition. Police investigations into all matters continue. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 10, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Young man shot dead in years 95th murder F ROM page one BTC pr otests non political despite TUC officials PLP candidacy FROM page one Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story.
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 11 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM t he Trade Unions Congress say they are not intimidated by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's "threats" of firing those who participate in union protests. And they are rallying Bahamian w orkers to join them in three more p rotests and hinted that the demons trations may coincide with the January 13 anniversary of the national strike, which shut down New Providence for three weeks. "We will, in the very near future, i nvite thousands of Bahamian workers from all walks of life to take a stand, similar to the stand that was taken by our forefathers in 1958 and together fight oppression and injustice by a non-caring government," said newly-e lected NCTUB president Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson. S he said her union may also file a p olice complaint against the Prime M inister for his statements, which the u nion claims violates section 44 of their industrial agreement with the government. "The disrespectful and irresponsible statements made by Prime Minis t er Ingraham, only after stage one of our protest, are an indication that he is quite aware of the collective power of the Bahamian people. Mr Prime Minister, stage two is on the way and stages three and four will follow, wew ill not be moved," warned Ms IsaacsDotson at a press conference yesterday. "We will explore that (police complaint) further." On Sunday, Mr Ingraham cautioned BTC employees not to followM s Isaacs-Dotson and BCPOU Presi dent Bernard Evans, telling them they risk unemployment if they walk off the job in protest. When pressed on when future demonstrations will happen, Ms Isaacs-Dotson hinted they could starti n the next few weeks. It will just happen, we have discussions and meetings and when it will happen, it will happen. The anniversary (of the general strike up. However, like I said, stay tuned," s he warned. O n January 13, 1958, hundreds of workers from different sectors walked off their jobs leading to the closure of hotels and suspending commerce inN ew Providence. The action is said to be the impetus for the country's polit-i cal and economic reform. T he unions say they are still upset t hat the government has not made the signed Memorandum of Understanding with BTC buyer Cable and Wire-l ess public. Ms Isaacs-Dotson said: "I think it's d eliberate that no-one has seen a copy o f the MOU. We don't know what's c ontained it in, we don't know what's going to happen to the workers of BTC. If you are the government of sunshine and trust, why would you withhold that information from theB ahamian people that you represent?" S he also explained why the unions turned down an invitation to meet with C&W CEO David Shaw two weeks ago. "What are we meeting with Cable & Wireless for? We don't have any b eef with Cable & Wireless, our beef i s with the government of the Bahamas who signed an MOU no one has seen." Ms Isaacs-Dotson also implied that the union movement could oust Mr I ngraham from his post at the next g eneral election. (We are not intimidated, we are not frightened, and a day will come, in the very near future, where he will be dismissedf rom his job," she said. The labour movement is also upset o ver the Government's "unprofess ional" treatment of public servants a nd argue that the Ingraham administration has disrespected nurses and police officers, unfairly dismissed cus-t oms, immigration officers and ZNS employees and acted unlawfullyt owards casino workers. T hey are also fighting for a cont ract to be signed with the College of the Bahamas and the institution's professors. Workers Allied Union ( BCIWAU), immigration officers have not been given their lawful overtime or holiday pay for the past sixto seven months. T he newly-formed BCIWAU is encouraging their 500 members not to show up for work that they are not compensated for. Everyone gets a holid ay, why should immigration and custom officers work when they are not receiving what is owed to them? asked Mr Smith. No adjustment has been made that we are a ware of that would negate rates officers r eceive from the public treasury. U naware of the reasoni ng behind the new set r ate, Mr Smith described i t as far from accurate. March amendments to customs regulations was also used as a guideline for paying immigration o fficers who have to work overtime. Mr Smith said: It is a violation of the rights of the officers and operators. The government is s upposed to be guided by l aws. We want the director and controller to acknowledge and honourt he law and to follow what the Employment Act and Industrial Act i ndicates. Why have laws t hat you do not abide by? The employment act states that a work day ise ight-hours long and requires that if an officer works anything beyond t hat he gets time-and-ahalf, or double time on a holiday, or a day off. We are not asking for m ore than we are entitled to. It is not just about money, its about humand ignity, said Mr Smith. P AY ROW PROMPTS CALL F OR CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION OFFICERS TO STAY AT HOME FROM page one the direction of the Salvation Army which has been experiencing a drastic dropoff in donations. W ith the Baha Mar Chall enge, Mr Izmirlian pledged the hotel development cor poration would match up to $ 10,000 in donations made to the Salvation Army in the run-up to Christmas. The Salvation Army set u p specially-dedicated kettles in the lobbies of Baha Mar's Wyndham Nassau R esort and Sheraton Nassau B each Resort in Cable Beach to collect donations f or the challenge. Within the first 48 hours a fter the challenge was l aunched on Sunday, donations surpassed $10,000. M arsha Kanady, commu nity relations and develop m ent associate for the Salvation Armys Divisional Headquarters in Nassau, said more than $14,200 was r aised by contributions to their kettles, walk-ins to their Mackey Street offices, and by mail in just the first t wo days of the challenge. We are so pleased to have met the Baha Mar C hallenge, Ms Kanady said. The response has been g reat. So many people are in need, and now we have m ore funding to be able to assist them. We are very h umbled by Baha Mars donation, and the donations made by the public. Baha Mar delivered their $ 10,000 cheque to Ms Kanady on Wednesday. Ms Kanady said contribu tions have continued to flow i nto the organisation as a r esult of the Baha Mar ini tiative, and as of yesterday a t noon, the public had contributed $23,285 towards thec hallenge. W ith Baha Mars $10,000 contribution, the total donat ions will exceed $33,285. Major Lester Ferguson, d ivisional commander for the Salvation Army (Bahamas Mar Challenge contributions w ill be used in their Wel fare and Feeding programme, as well as their School for the Blind and V isually Impaired Children. B aha Mar said they wished to thank everyone w ho made contributions in response to their challenge. M eanwhile, Ms Gibson s aid she will use the gift she was given by Mr English to g ive back to others. Ms Gibson, a freelance l egal assistant, has suffered financial hardship since her partner of almost 18 years, lawyer and human rights a ctivist Eliezer Regnier, died of a heart attack in February, and she has been unable to secure steady work. FROM page one F ROM page one NCTUB PRESIDENT Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson Threat of major industrial action near anniversary of 1958 general strike Baha Mar campaign raises $33,000 for the Salvation Army
B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor R oyal Bank of Canadas decision to convert its Bahamian banking operation into a subsidiary of the Canadian parent resulted ina one-off inflow that fur ther boosted banking system liquidity and the exter n al reserves, which hit $876 million at end-November 2010, amid improved economic prospects for 2011. The Central Bank of the Bahamas monthly report on economic and financial developments for Novem ber 2010, noting the temporary boost to foreign exchange reserves, said the Bahamian economy continued to show signs of stabil ising amid a modest improvement in the tourism industry. This meant that the econ omys short-term prospects going into 2011 were better than the current years, the Central Bank said, yet it warned that the unemploy ment rate pegged at 14.2 per cent last year was expected to remain elevat ed over the near-term, depending on the pace and breadth of economic revival in the US. The regulator also noted that private sector demand and construction-driven investments remained relatively subdued, notwithstanding the tourism and foreign direct investment improvements that were expected to take place in 2011. Significant headwinds remain, given the persistent weakness in US domestic demand, which is a key determinant of tourism per formance, the Central Bank warned. To the extent that eco nomic conditions are more favourable, the potential for improvement in the fiscal situation is likewise enhanced. On the monetary front, both liquidity and external reserves should remain relatively buoyant, underpinned by stable real sector inflows and the con tinuation of relatively weak private demand impulses over the near term. The Central Bank noted t hat total visitor arrivals to the Bahamas increased by an estimated 14.4 per centt o 4.3 million in the 10 months between January and October, building on the 5.4 per cent improvement seen in 2009. Sea traffic was boosted by 18.2 per cent, and the high value-added air seg m ent by 4.3 per cent, the Central Bank said. Disag C M Y K C M Y K SECTIONB firstname.lastname@example.org FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69T he information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $4.36 $4.58 $4.61 By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The principal of Grand Bahamas latest supermarket a ddition yesterday told Tribune Business it had not done less than $40,000 in sales per day since opening last Saturday, adding that the 20,000 square foot facility waso nly currently showcasing per cent of what we can do. Pledging that Butlers Food World would be at 100 per cent capacity within the next 30-50 days, Jeff Butler told this newspaper that customer counts had risen from6 55 on opening day to 855 on Wednesday, as word started to filter out among Grand Bahama consumers about the supermarkets opening. E mphasising that Butlers Food World had gone for a soft opening in the Home Centre building, Mr Butler s aid it would carry some 7,000 SKUs or product lines, and added: We havent done less than $40,000 a day. Its just progressing as the word gets out, because we did not tell New store not doing less than $40,000 per day Soft launch for 20,000 sq ft Butlers Food World, which aims to ramp up to full capability from 65% in 30-50 days* Principal dismisses competition, and says: Nassau has nothing like it* Investment some $1.5m, with former store set to be converted to warehouse/wholesale operation SEE page 6B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor Bahamian commercial banks saw their hopes for a third consecutive month of bad loan declines dashed by a 3 per cent November increase, prompting one senior executive to tell Tribune Business yesterday that the $1.169 billion delinquent credit portfolio was becoming more hard core the longer the recession lasts. Expressing disappointment that November 2010, during which total private sector loan arrears increased in value by $34.3 million, did not match September and October and create a three-month trend of bad credit declines, Paul McWeeney, Bank of the Bahamas Internationals man aging director, warned that it would be another 18-24 months before the Bahamian commercial banking industry saw substantial improve ment. Novembers 3 per cent bad loan increase took the total arrears ratio, as a percentage of all loans to Bahamian businesses and households, to 18.6 per cent the latter increasing by 0.4 percentage points. That means that $18.6 out of every $100 loaned by Bahamian commercial banks is in arrears. And, more critically, non-performing loans those 90 days and more past due, and upon which the banks have stopped accruing interest rose by $12.6 million or 2 per cent during November to hit $648.4 mil lion. The latter figure is a sum worth 10.2 per cent of all outstanding loans to Bahamian companies and the private sector, meaning that $10.2 out Hard core $1.17bn bad loan concerns n N ovember dashes hopes for third consecutive monthly decline w ith $34m rise, as non-performing loans hit 10.3% n Bank chief warns 18-24 months before see substantial improvement n Mortgage clients bearing brunt, as unemployed borrowers see savings and home equity run out SEE page 5B P AUL MCWEENEY B y ALISON LOWE Business Reporter a email@example.com D espite continued reservations about the state of the economy, Nassuvians appear to be making merry in greater numbers this year than in 2009, according to some companies that are traditionally popular venues for Christmas parties. Robert Sands, senior vice-president of external and govern m ent affairs at Baha Mar, which operates the Wyndham and Sher aton hotels on the Cable Beach strip, said the company saw a marked increase in bookings for Christmas parties at the Sher aton its most modern and recently renovated hotel and a slight decrease in the same at the older Wyndham, which has struggled PARTYING ON, BUT NOT LIKE IT S PRE-RECESSION SEE page 6B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter a firstname.lastname@example.org A prominent Bahamian aviation operator yesterday warned he is preparedt o take the Customs Department to court over i ts demands for alleged outstanding customs duty and Stamp Tax owed onp lanes imported into this nation. Captain Randy Butler, president of Sky Bahamas, also questioned what theG overnment was doing in response to questions over whether the Department of Customs, prior to Glenn Gomezs appointment asC omptroller, may have been negligent in not collecting the due tax. [Comptroller Glen Gomez] says he doesn't k now why it wasnt collect ed before. Well, we ask the question: If it was on theb ooks, then why didn't the other former comptroller collect the money, and what are they doing about that? said Captain Butler. R eferring to the potential for legal action over the payment demands made by Customs, relating to what it Operator makes plane litigation threat on Customs tax demands RANDYBUTLER SEE page 4B R O Y AL B ANK MOVE PUSHES RESER VES TO $876M LEVEL SEE page 3B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com Bahamian banking officials have expressed concern about fraudulent e-mail messages through which criminals are seeking to gain access to peo ples personal banking details. The e-mails purport to be from Bahamas-based banks two seen by Tribune Business claim to be from Royal Bank of Canada and First Caribbean International Bank (Bahamas ents to provide their banking details, such as account numbers, in response. In a variety of forms, the emails generally suggest that there has been some sort of security breach relating to the clients account, and that the client needs to verify their details as a safety measure. Email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org are used in an apparent effort to enhance the authenticity of the messages. Royal Bank of Canadas regional manager of public relations, Jan Knowles, declined to comment on the matter when contacted on Wednesday, suggesting that this newspaper speak with the E-mails fish for banking account info SEE page 4B Bahamains warned not to send account details via Internet, or respond to messages
By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com As the question of where the facility will be located remains under discussion,a medical tourism provider who received approval to set up in Nassau is moving ahead with hiring staff. Ibocure was incorporated in 2009 and hopes to offer an addiction cure to drug addicts who will be rehabilitated at its Nassau centre, where it hopes to blend its medical services with the beauty of the Bahamas natural environment, creating a spa-like facility that will attract high-end international clients. The company is the brainc hild of Dr Mark Puleo, a Miami-based former physician who made his fortune when he created 1-800-PetMeds Since approval from the Bahamas Investment Authority to proceed with its investment in this nation was received by the company in the summer, not much has been heard from Ibocure. H owever, Minister of T ourism Vincent Vander pool-Wallace, who played a key role in the approval process for Ibocure, said he was happy yesterday to see that the company is moving ahead with hiring people to staff the facility. Since it received approval I have not really paid much attention to the operational details, and I am not sure when they will get started, butI am happy to hear that, as it means they are now slowing down, said Mr VanderpoolWallace. An advertisement placed by the company suggested that it will require full-time personnel for all medical and administrative positions, including director of operat ions, nurses, medical records, a ccounting and more. Medical or hospitality experience and advanced degree preferred. We are seeking highly ambitious candidates who work well with American clientele, said the notice. Dr Puleo had earlier suggested that as many as 20 t o 25 individuals, including B ahamian doctors and psyc hiatrists, could be hired by the company. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 3B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM g regated by port of entry, visitors to New Providence expanded by 8.3 per cent, supported by respective gains of 4.1 per cent and 10.8 per cent in the air and sea components. Arrivals to Grand Bahama firmed by 41.4 per cent, as a 55.1 per cent improvement in cruise visitors due to ther erouting and return of several cruise lines offset the 6.9 per cent contraction in air passengers. In the Family Islands, the 1 4.9 per cent hike in arrivals reflected significant increases in both air and sea traffic. T he International Monetary Fund (IMF consultation on the Bahamas, warned this nation that it would be "prudent to plan for a sustained period of subduedg rowth". The Fund's Article IV report on the Bahamian economy a lso urged this nation to "make contingency plans in case downside risks materialise", even though this nation was expected to return to "trend growth" of 2.5 per cent in 2012" following five years of below-trend performance". Improved A nd, notwithstanding the improved outlook for the Bahamian economy, the IMF issued this graphic warning: There are large downside risks to the medium-term outlook. A slower-than-expected recovery of output or employment in the US or higher than projected energy pricesw ould delay the pick-up in activity and weaken further the fiscal and external positions. The large borrowing that would be necessary to improve the inadequate physical and social infrastructure presents additional challenges to expenditure and debt management.S low progress on structural reforms (including revenue reforms) would also jeopardise a sustained recovery, includi ng through higher borrowing costs." Central government debt was projected to hit 50 per cent of GDP by June 2011, with international reserves hitting $ 818 million this year due to the Government's $300 million external borrowing and allocation of $179 million in IMF special drawing rights. Elsewhere, the Central Bank said it expected to complete risk assessments of the most material firms under itsr egulatory supervision during the 2011 first half, then roll-out its risk-based supervision framework throughout the banking industry during the rest of the year. I ts market risk exposure survey, the Central Bank said, had shown that firms in the Bahamas have very limited m arket risk exposures. In fact, interest rate risk in the banking book appears to be the main area of potential exposure. ROYAL BANK MOVE PUSHES RESERVES TO $876M LEVEL Medical provider moves on hiring F ROM page 1B VINCENT VANDERPOOL-WALLACE
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 4B, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM says are unpaid duties and S tamp Tax on planes brought into the Bahamas by commercial operators and private owners, Mr Butl er said: I think any judge would see, in terms of due process, lack of consultation and so on, that (domestic commercial aviation opera-t ors) have a case. He said it was not clear enough on what basis duty/Stamp Tax is being applied and calculated, whoi s being asked to pay and what, and if the Department fails to satisfy operators in t his regard action will be taken. Aircraft parts are duty free, so it is really only theb ody of the aircraft on which tax could be applied. How a re they assessing the value on which they are applying t he duty/tax? They havent told us that, said Mr Butler. Whatever we are asked to pay has to be justified. O perators are also concerned that the Department of Customs has signalled it is to move ahead with the revenue collection exercise despite aviation operators not having received ar esponse to a letter they sent to the Prime Minister and M inister of Finance, Hubert I ngraham, on the issue. Bahamian aviation companies were sent letters by the Department of Customs in October, telling them they had two weeks to contact the Department regarding unpaid duty on their planes,o r would risk the aircraft being seized. Protested The operators protested, suggesting that there was an unwritten policy in place for some time that planes were t o be brought in duty free. It was later noted that a 10 per c ent customs duty was not levied on planes until 2008, while a seven per cent Stamp Tax was applied priort o this. Speaking with Tribune B usiness earlier this week, Mr Gomez suggested that t he Department was ready to move in mid-January, a fter the holiday on pursuing the payments, again reite rating that seizure of the aircraft which operators have said could cripple the sector and tourism industry was an option. However, Mr Butler said many questions remainu nanswered, and he lamented what he described as a l ack of consultation with aviation operators by Customs. He added: Now the Comptroller is saying this isa pplicable to all aircraft, not just private planes. What d oes that do to the landscape with the folks living i n Lyford Cay, who park their planes here three, four, f ive months out the year, or corporations like the Sol K erzners of the world, who have airplanes here a lot and that have different businesses here: Are they going to pay this tax? What happens to the folks that lease planes thatw ill be returned to the US after a year. Will they pay t he tax on the whole value of the plane to have it in the country for a year? Are they going to get the Police Force a nd the Defence Force to pay for the planes they have? Where do you cut off, because its not defined. Captain Butler suggested that if the tax is applied across the board, includingo n private plane owners, this has implications for second home ownership in the Bahamas and the Ministry o f Tourisms stated intention of growing this nations aircraft registry. F ROM page 1B Operator makes plane litigation threat on Customs tax demands C learing Banks Association. Messages left for Andrea MyersTanguay, spokesperson for First Caribbean, were not returned u p to press time. Clearing Banks Association chairman Barry Malcolm yesterday p romised to get back to Tribune Business on the issue of the fraudulent e-mails, but no response was forthcoming prior to thisn ewspaper going to press. However, a banking official who spoke with this newspaper on c ondition of anonymity said: There have been some challenges. Our bank was not affected but I know the customers of some others have been approached. Another added: I havent heard about the e-mails but we are always concerned about security breaches. H ead of the polices Business and Technology Unit, which deals with cyber crime, Detective Sergeant Matthew Edgecombe, yes-t erday said he was not aware of the e-mails and had received no complaints, but warned members of the public not to respond to any e-mails asking for banking details. E-mails fish for banking account info F ROM page 1B
of every $100 in credit extended by the private sector is non-performing. The November arrears growth was again led by the mortgage sector, where bad loans increased by a collective value of $14.9 million or 2.5 per cent to hit a total of $608.6 million. Non-performing mortgages, those 90 days or more past due, increased by $4 million or 1.4 per cent, while those between 31-90 days past due increased by $10.9 million or 3.6 per cent. Total credit outstanding to the Bahamian private sector totalled $6.544 billion at endNovember, with B$ and US$ mortgages totalling $2.957 billion. Redundant Mr McWeeney told Tribune Business that mortgage clients were experiencing the brunt of the delinquent loans situation across the commercial banking industry, suggesting that they were faring worse than business and consumer loan borrowers due to the high and protractedu nemployment levels. Those who had been made r edundant when the full extent of the recession took h old in the 2008 second half, and had been unable to find new employment, were now seeing the savings which had kept them afloat start to run out. As a result, mortgage defaults were continuing, especially since these were the greatest loan obligations most Bahamians held. Acknowledging disappointment that November had failed to produce a threemonth trend in loan arrears declines, Mr McWeeney said: Obviously I understand the economic situation. We know what the situation is out there,and theres still a high degree of unemployment in the marketplace. Identifying this and income replacement as the main obstacles to recovery in the Bahamian credit market, Mr McWeeney said of the housing situation: Thats the phe nomenon were experiencing; that the mortgage customers are the ones getting the brunt now. The risk is that the longer this recession, economic decline, malaise lasts, the more difficult its going to be for those persons who are unemployed. The Bank of the Bahamas International managing director said the long-term unemployed, through no fault of their own, exhausted their savings or the equity in their homes that they were relying on to carry them through. The longer this thing lasts, the more hard core becomes these delinquent portfolio, and thats going to impact the balance sheets and income s tatements of banks while we ride it out, Mr McWeeney said, pointing to the high degree of capital Bahamian commercial banks possessed and would need to insulate themselves. It will be at least another 18-24 months before we see any substantial improve ment. The Central Bank of the B ahamas report on monthly financial and economic developments for November showed that the growth in loans between 31-90 days past due increased by $21.7 million or 4.3 per cent to hit $521 million at end-November. The Central Bank attributed the increase in delinquent loans to high unemployment levels and the general weakness in economic conditions, which impacted borrowers ability to service their debt obligations. Seasonal Anwer Sunderji, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas tive, yesterday told Tribune Business that the November data seemed to be in line with seasonal trends, as traditionally there has been a slight increase in bad loans during the run-up to Christmas, asf unds are spent on other things. Overall, the long-term t rend seems to be inching downwards gradually, Mr Sunderji said, and I dont think its getting any worse. Theres likely to be some volatility on a month-tomonth basis around a basic trend, and this time of year we expect it to get worse. Its a difficult time for everyone. Hopefully, Baha Mar will ease the financial difficulties and will improve asset quality over time. Consumer loan arrears rose by $12.3 million or 4.6 per c ent during the month to hit $279.6 million, out of a total $2.174 billion in outstanding consumer credit, with shortterm defaults up by $6.5 million or 5.5 per cent, while credit 90 days past due was up by $5.8 million or 3.9 per cent. Commercial loan arrears, which grew by $7.1 million or 2.6 per cent, saw an increase of $4.3 million or 5.2 per cent in the 31-90 days past due category, and a rise of $2.8 million or 1.5 per cent in the nonperforming segment. There is some $1.082 billion in outstanding commercial loans. As a result, Bahamian commercial banks raised their loan loss provisions by $6 million or 2.3 per cent to $264.2 million. Yet the sharper increase in arrears resulted in the ratio of provisions to delinquencies dropping to 22.6 per cent. The non-performing loan ratio was up to 40.7 per cent. Borrowers, though, still exist, as mortgage and consumer loans expanded by $5.8 million and $8.4 million, respectively, in November, even as commercial loans fell by $9.8 million. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 5B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.260.97AML Foods Limited0.970.970.000.1500.0406.54.12% 1 0.759.67Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 6.184.50Bank of Bahamas4.904.900.000.5980.2608.25.31% 0.580.18Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 3.492.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.1680.09016.13.33% 2.152.14Fidelity Bank2.172.170.000.0160.040135.61.84% 12.509.62Cable Bahamas10.4610.460.001.0500.31010.02.96% 2.842.36Colina Holdings2.402.400.000.7810.0403.11.67% 7.005.40Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.956.950.000.4220.26016.53.74% 3.651.63Consolidated Water BDRs1.781.820.040.1110.04516.42.47%2 .551.60Doctor's Hospital1.601.600.000.1990.1108.06.88% 6.995.94Famguard6.076.070.00-0.0030.240N/M3.95% 1 0.207.23Finco7.237.230.000.2870.52025.27.19% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.399.390.000.6450.35014.63.73% 5.513.75Focol (S)5.465.00-0.46200,0000.3660.21013.74.20% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.405.00ICD Utilities7.407.400.000.0120.240616.73.24% 10.509.82J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.9710.64010.16.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.000.9910.80010.18.00% 5 2wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid$ Ask$ LastPrice DailyVol EPS$ Div$ P/E Yield BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 7 %RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)29 May 2015 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE:242-323-2330 | FACSIMILE: 242-323-232019 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%20 November 2029THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 2010BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,488.77 | CHG -8.16 | %CHG -0.55 | YTD -76.61 | YTD % -4.89BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017FINDEX: CLOSE 000.00 | YTD 00.00% | 2009 -12.31%3 0 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 2.92652.8300CFAL MSI Preferred Fund2.91871.10%3.13%2.919946 1.56681.4954CFAL Money Market Fund1.56974.15%4.18%1.551550 3.20252.8522Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.7108-13.03%-4.96% 13.638813.0484Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.2825-0.63%-0.14% 114.3684101.6693CFAL Global Bond Fund114.36849.98%12.49%109.392860 106.552899.4177CFAL Global Equity Fund106.55284.75%7.18%100.779540 1.14151.0000FG 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 Fund7.94422.94%6.47% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeksBid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeksAsk $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volumeLast Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volumeWeekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to dayEPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded todayNAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 monthsN/MNot Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earningsFINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200730-Nov-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 30-Sep-10 3-Dec-10 30-Nov-10MARKET TERMS30-Nov-10 NAV 6MTH 1.475244 2.911577 1.532712 107.570619 105.776543 30-Jun-10 30-Nov-10 30-Nov-10 30-Nov-10 127,&( F ROM page 1B Hard core $1.17bn bad loan concerns ANWER SUNDERJI
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anyone we were opening. Its doing what we expected it to do. Butlers Food World thus becomes the latest addition t o an already-crowded food retailing market on Grand B ahama which, apart from three City Markets outlets,a lso includes the likes of S olomons SuperCentre and Cost Right, plus newcomers such as Savemore. When asked whether he was concerned about the already intense level of food retailing competition in Grand Bahama, Mr Butler replied: Hell, no. I dont have any competition. Iveh ad my niche for 30 years itll be 30 years in January. F eaturing products from some 20 countries, Mr Butler said he had tweaked the original store concept to now include a flower shop, a liquor store carrying 1100 different wine bottles, a take-out and a Starbucksstyle Butlers Cafe, providing a variety of coffees. Ive only got two types of Cuban cigar Im selling and want to get that to 30, a nd am only selling 10 varie ties of flowers. I want to get that to 50, Mr Butler told Tribune Business. Weve just o pened the doors to show people what we can do, anda re doing about 65 per cent of what we can do. T hat would change, Mr Butler pledged, as ButlersF ood World ramped up to 100 per cent capability withi n the next 30-50 days. Q uality A dding that he hoped to soon get customer counts up t o 1,000-1100 per day soon, Mr Butler said: Nassau has n othing like this. Its nothing to do with size. Size does not matter; its all about the quality of product and the pricing. P romising that several thousand new products w ould also come on line within the next 30-60 days, Mr Butler said he had brought Brad Scott, a former Solomons Brothers veteran, back from Canada where he had headed a Sams Club and Wal-Mart outlet to run operations at Butlers Food World. Meanwhile, Mr Butlers original food store, Butlers Specialty Foods on Yellow P ine Road, will slowly be t ransformed into a warehouse-type facility to support the new store, while also transitioning into a wholesale outlet targetingG rand Bahamas hotels, restaurants, gas stations and c onvenience store. On-island inventory, Mr Butler said, had been expanded by at least $1.5 million to take the total split between the two sites to $2.5 million. He estimated that his total investment in setting up Butlers Food World at around $1.5 million. Mr Butler said the reaction from 99.8 per cent of s hoppers to the new store h ad been favourable, the only complaint being from some who said it should have been open 10 years ago. One impressed customer, Michael Webber, general m anager of the Our Lucaya r esort, told Tribune Business: Its fantastic. It has things that you cant find elsewhere. It has uniqueness in the i tems it has. It has great European food items and all the things you get in specialist stores in the US, and previously could not find here. He added that Butlers Food World was going to d o a bang up job, for sure. to attract business throughout the year. Meanwhile, Silfredo Naveda, general manager at harbourside Italian restaurant, Lucianos of Chicago, said Christmas party business at the restaurant has seen a big [upward] tick of around 30 per cent from last year, although this remains nowhere close to pre2008 levels. The parties are also not the same as they used to be, said the restauranteur. People are very cautious with their budgets now. You are seeing more bookings of 20, 30, 40 people only a fewc ompanies have done the 150 or 200-people type parties. There used to be more of those, said Mr Naveda. F reddie Van Bruegel, who owns Van Bruegels restaurant and catering company located on Charlotte Street in downtown Nassau, said that after a generally slow year, Christmas has been good a little better than last year. He caters to a lot of high-end clientele,p articularly downtown banks and law firms. H owever he, too, added that spending is still down. The spending may be similar to last year, said Mr Van Bruegel. Perhaps a signal of peoples desire to keep their parties on a smaller scale could be seen in the response to Tribune Business on t he Christmas party prospects at the upscale Atlantis resort. Ed Fields, senior vice-president of public affairs at Kerzner International (Bahamas ings at the mega-resort were flat to last year, which were downq uite a bit compared to years previous to 2008. On a side note, Mr Fields added: Not surprisingly we have had to cut back on staff Christmas celebrations, too. New store not doing less than $40,000 per day F ROM page 1B PARTYING ON, BUT NOT LIKE ITS PRE-RECESSION F ROM page 1B
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010, PAGE 7B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON Economic reports suggest employers are laying off fewer workers, businesses are orderi ng more computers and appliances, and consumers are spending with more confidence. Combined, the data confirm the e conomy is improving, and further job gains are expected in 2 011. The economy's outlook is b rightening even though hiring has yet to strengthen enoughto reduce an unemployment r ate near 10 percent. The number of people applyi ng for unemployment benefits fell last week to a seasonally a djusted 420,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. T hat's the second-lowest level since July 2008. Applications have fallen b elow 425,000 in four of the past five weeks a significanti mprovement after hovering most of the year above 450,000. B ut the unemployment rate rose in November to 9.8 perc ent. And employers added only 39,000 net new jobs. The economy needs to generate more than 200,000 jobs a month consistently to make a dent in the unemployment rate. And applications for unemployment benefits need to fall to 375,000 or below before job g ains are likely to get to that level, economists say. Applica tions peaked during the recession at 651,000 in March 2009. Even when claims do fall to those levels, the unemployment rate will likely remain high. With 15 million people out of work, it will take years to gain e nough jobs to bring unemployment back to a more nor mal level of around 5.5 percent. "Don't forget how many p eople lost their jobs," said T om Porcelli, an economist at RBC Capital Markets, a refer-e nce to the more than 7.3 mil lion laid off during the worst r ecession since the Great Depression. "The unemploym ent rate is still going to remain high because of all the p eople out of work." As of last month, more than 6.3 million people have been of work for six months or more, making up nearly 42 percent of t he unemployed. That's near a record high of 6.76 million set i n May. And those out of work for long periods will find it part icularly hard to get back to work, Porcelli said. Employers are less likely to hire the longterm unemployed, in part because many workers' skills d eteriorate the longer they are out of work. D espite months of sluggish hiring, the economy is headed i n the right direction. Con sumers spent more for the fifth straight month in November, the Commerce Department said. Their incomes rose, too. T hat was because of stock gains not pay increases. But any spending increase is a sign ofg reater confidence in the econ omy. Affluent shoppers, whose s pending carries outsize impact, are spending especially freely. U .S. businesses, sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash, are p arting with a bit more of it. Companies increased their orders for long-lasting manufactured products, excluding volatile transportation goods, b y the sharpest amount in eight months in November. Demand r ose for computers, appliances and heavy machinery. B oth consumers and busi nesses are likely to spend more in the new year now that President Barack Obama has signeda broad package of tax cuts into l aw. Consumers can bank on a 2 percent cut in payroll taxes. T hat's another $2,000 a year to a person earning $100,000 a y ear. The tax package also gives companies a break if they buy big machinery and other capital goods next year. That will like ly spur more business investm ent, and could lead to more j obs. "You need someone to operate the new equipment,"s aid Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets. Businesses are running their work forces flat out already." B ut the economy faces many challenges that could slow the c urrent momentum. Housing remains a major weight. In November, people bought new homes at a season ally adjusted annual rate of2 90,000 units, the government said. That's less than half the r ate that economists consider healthy. And it's barely above t he weakest pace in 47 years. The market for previously owned homes is also struggling. Those are selling at the slow est pace in 13 years. M eager home sales, along with millions of foreclosures, c ould dampen home prices fur ther. That would make cons umers feel poorer and possibly spend less, restraining economic growth. Rising oil prices might also hurt the economy. On Thursday, prices rose above $91 a b arrel the highest point in two years. Gas prices have also jumped. That takes money from consumers that they would otherwise use to buy othe r goods. And unemployment is likely to remain painfully highf or all of next year. Most economists expect it to be near 9 p ercent by the end of 2011. The number of people receiving unemployment ben efits dropped 103,000 to little more than 4 million in the week e nding Dec. 11, the government said. That doesn't include mil l ions of additional laid-off workers who are receiving emergency aid under extended unemployment benefits pro grams set up during the recess ion. About 4.7 million people are receiving extended benefitsf or up to 99 weeks. All told, about 8.9 million p eople obtained unemployment benefits during the week of Dec. 4, according to the latest data available. That was about 300,000 fewer people than in t he previous week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke HARDCHRISTMAS: 11-month-old Joshua Clark whose father Ken Clark has been unemployed for about a year, sits in a stroller during an event held by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project at the Arch Street Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. After the event gifts donated by various unions churches, and indi viduals were distributed for the children of the unemployed. Economy brightens as consumers spend and employers lay off fewer workers (AP Photo/Bill Sikes SIGNOFHOPE: A sign announces that a Target store is hiring workers in Framingham, Mass. Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010. DAVID K. RANDALL, A P Business Writers MATTHEW CRAFT, AP Business Writers NEW YORK S tocks ended mixed in a light day of trading Thursday after reports showed small improvements in consumer spending and the job market. The Commerce Department reported that cons umer spending rose 0.4 percent in November from the month before. That was slightly below expectations of a 0.5 percent gain. In a separate report, the Labor Department said the number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the first time dropped by 3,000 last week to4 20,000. That number is just low enough to indicate modest job growth. "While you did not see a marked drop in the jobless numbers, there is a steady decline," said Q uincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. "When you look at the four-week moving average, it suggests that we are starting to see a floor in initial unemployment claims." T he Dow Jones industrial average rose 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 11,573.49. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.07, or 0.2 percent, to 1,256.77. T he Nasdaq composite index fell 5.88, or 0.2 percent, to 2,665.60. All three indexes ended the shortened trading week higher. The Dow rose 0.7 percent. The S &P 500 rose 1 percent, and the Nasdaq 0.8 percent. Alcoa gained 1.3 percent to $15.34 to lead the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. Bank of America Corp. had the largest fall. It lost 2.4 percent to$ 13.06. In corporate news, Jo-Ann Stores Inc. said it would be bought by a private equity firm for $1.6 billion. The stock rose 32 percent to $60.19. B ond prices fell slightly. The yield on the 10year Treasury note rose to 3.39 percent from 3.35 percent late Wednesday. The dollar fell 0.3 percent against an index of s ix heavily-traded currencies. Falling stocks outpaced rising ones by a small margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was a light 616 million shares on the last trading day before Christmas. M arkets will be closed Friday for the holiday. Stocks mixed on last trading day before Christmas
C M Y K C M Y K I NTERNATIONAL SPORTS PAGE 4E, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010 TRIBUNE SPORTS TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM BARCELONA Barcelona is to tour the United States as part of its preseason calendar next summer, with games planneda gainst Manchester United, AC Milan and Mexican team America. The Catalan club said on its w ebsite Thursday that the club will also play in Munich, Germany and Split, Croatia. The United match is scheduled for July 30 in Washing-t on D.C., with the game against Milan on Aug. 3 in Miami. The tour will conclude in Dallas on Aug. 6 with B arcelona taking on America. The club hopes the six-date tour, which includes three matches in Europe before the team departs for the U.S., will net Barcelona $8.1 million. Barcelona toured the U.S. as part its preseason preparat ions in 2008 and 2009. The team is likely to be without forward Lionel Messi, right back Daniel Alves andm idfielder Javier Mascherano because of the Copa America in Argentina, which ends July 24. Messi and Mascherano are regulars on Argentina'sn ational team and Daniel Alves on Brazil's. NOTTINGHAM, England American forward Robbie Findley will join English club Nottingham Forest if he is granted a British work permit. Forest, which plays in the second-tier League Championship, announced Thursday that Findley will sign a contract. The 25-year-old Findley was a free agent after leaving Real Salt Lake at the end of the Major League Soccer season. "We had a lot of competition in the race to sign Robbie and there's no doubt that we had to work very, very hard to try and convince him this was the right place to come," Forest manager Billy Davies said. "It's a great challenge for him and a great challenge for us as well but there's no doubt that he can score goals and, more importantly, with the pace he's got he can be a real handful." Findley has no goals in 11 appearances for the U.S. national team and started three matches at the World Cup in June. Forest (7-4-9 onship, four points shy of the promotion playoff berths. The club, which is based in central England, won the European Champions Cup in 1979 and 1980. Findley could be joined in England by World Cup teammate Edson Buddle, who has been on trial at Premier League club Birmingham. The Los Angeles Galaxy for ward's hopes of securing a transfer depend on how successful Birmingham is in pursuit of its preferred striking options. "He has gone back (to the U.S. will keep the door open," Birmingham man ager Alex McLeish said Thursday. "We are not in the position to make any offers at the moment because we are looking to try and bring a more-experienced player into the club. We've not closed the door. He did OK." LOS ANGELES Court records show soccer star Landon Donovan has filed for divorce from his actress wife Bianca Kajlich in Los Angeles. Donovan, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, cited irreconcilable differences for the split with Kajlich after nearly three years of marriage. Kajlich currently stars in the CBS comedy "Rules of Engagement." They were married on New Year's Eve 2006 and have no children together. He states the couple separated in October 2009. In a statement, the former couple says, "We remain the closest of friends and will always be important parts of each others lives." Donovan was a key mem ber of the United States' 2010 World Cup team, scoring a goal against Algeria that advanced the team to the second round of play. M ILAN Rafa Benitez's spell as Inter Milan coach ended after just six months on Thursday. The European and Italian champion announced that it had reached a "mutually satisfactory agreement" with Benitez to terminate his contract, which ran until the end of next season. Benitez, who took charge in June after Jose Mourinho joined Real Madrid, guided Inter to the Club World Cup title last weekend. But the European champion is languishing in seventh place in Serie A, 13 points behind city rival AC Milan. "Inter Milan and Rafael Benitez can announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement for the early termination of his contract," the club said on its website. "Inter thank Rafael Benitez for his work in leading his team to success in the Italian Super Cup and t he FIFA Club World Cup." Former AC Milan coach Leonardo is being tipped to replace Benitez by the time Serie A resumes Jan. 6, with Inter hosting second-place Napoli. B enitez arrived in Milan after six years in charge at Liverpool, where he won the Champions League in 2005. He reportedly angered club president Massimo Moratti after the Club World Cup when he demanded that the board either fully support him and buy new players in January, or let him go. "I'm disappointed over the end of the relationship with Benitez, but the breakup had become pretty much inevitable," Moratti was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. Benitez's reign has been strained almost from the start, although he had a hard act to follow, with Mourinho having led Inter to the Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles last season the first such treble for an Italian club. Under Benitez, Inter was beaten 2-0 by Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup in August and opened the defense of its Champions League title in September with a disappointing 2-2 draw at unher alded Dutch side FC Twente, which was making its debut in the competition. Other failures followed, such as a 3-1 loss at Tottenham in Europe, and a painful 1-0 loss to Milan in the city derby last month. In Benitez's defense, Inter has been devastated by a series of injuries to top players, with the likes of Julio Cesar, Maicon, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Diego Milito all missing large chunks of action. In addition, standout striker Samuel Eto'o was handed a three-match ban in Serie A for head-butting an opponent with Chievo Verona last month, and p laymaker Wesley Sneijder has been far from his best after leading the Netherlands to the World Cup final. Sneijder acknowledged last month that he was suffering from anemia. Leonardo coached AC Milan last season but the term ended abruptly when the Brazilian clashed with club owner and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Leonardo played for Milan for four years between 1997 and 2001 before returning to Brazil and working in a scouting role, in which he helped Milan secure the signings of Kaka and Alexandre Pato. In 2008, he was appointed as Milan's technical director, then received his first coaching position in the wake of Carlo Ancelotti's departure to Chelsea. "All the names being tossed about for the future coach of Inter are interest ing," Moratti said. NYON, Switzerland UEFA president Michel Platini is set to be re-elected f or another four-year term after being confirmed as theo nly candidate in next year's election. E uropean football's governing body announced Thursday that no rivals submitted their candidacy by the previous day's deadline. T he former France captain, who will be formally re-elect e d at the UEFA Congress in Paris on March 22, ousted l ongtime incumbent Lennart Johansson in a tight vote in J anuary 2007. Top of Platini's agenda has been implementing financial fair play rules after fearing that spending on buying and paying players by clubs was spiraling out of control. Platini described the practice of clubs spending beyond their means to chase success as a form of cheating, and feared some would collapse under the weight of debt if banks or wealthy owners withdrew support. PARIS Thierry Henry has joined the majority of the France squad in agreeing to give away his World Cup bonuses. The former Arsenal striker told L'Equipe newspaper he thinks "it's pretty normal that we forego the bonuses given what we showed in South Africa," where France crashed out in the first round without winning a game. Earlier this week, it emerged that Henry and Nicolas Anelka were the only players from the squad yet to sign a document from the French federation stipulating that they will relinquish the bonuses totaling around euro3 million ($4 million Henry said that the confu sion surrounding his decision was due to the federation's late notice as his agent was informed "only last Tuesday." Anelka, who has been sus pended for 18 games following his clash with former coach Raymond Domenech at the World Cup, said he wantsto get the bonuses and then allocate them to the financing of various projects. MANCHESTER, England Manchester United manage r Alex Ferguson expects goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar t o retire at the end of the season. The 40-year-old Dutchman h as featured 19 times this season, helping United reach the P remier League summit and the Champions League knockout phase. But Ferguson said Thursday that "we are planning for this being his last season." Van der Sar has won three Premier League titles and the Champions League since arriving in 2005 from Fulham and has a contract until the end of this season. There could still be a coaching role for Van der Sar at United in the future. Ferguson says that "We have not discussed it, but Edwin is a player who would be of interest in terms of his knowledge and standing in the game." LONDON Steven Gerrard will return to action after more than a month out injured when Liv erpool plays Blackpool on Sunday. The 30-year-old England midfielder has not played since tearing a hamstring in a Nov. 17 friendly international against France. Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson says "it is a big boost to have Gerrard back going into five games in 15 days." After meeting Blackpool, Liverpool plays Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bolton and Blackburn. It then meets Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup. Hodgson added that defender Daniel Agger is also fit after recovering from a calf problem that has kept him out since September. Inter Milan fires coach Benitez after 6 months (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar GIVENTHEBOOT: In this picture taken Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez of Spain, during the Club World Cup final soccer match at Zayed sport city in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar CLUB WORLD CUPSUCCESS: In this picture taken Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti, right, Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez of Spain, left, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter, center, during the Club World Cup final soccer match at Zayed sport city in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner FOREST-BOUND: United States Robbie Findley controls the ball during the World Cup group C soccer match between Slovenia and the United States at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, June 18, 2010. US FORWARD FINDLEY TO JOIN N O TTINGHAM F OREST Barcelona announces preseason trip to US Soccer star Landon Donovan divorcing his actress wife MICHEL PLATINI Platini set to remain UEFA chief for 4 mor e years Henr y says he will give up W orld Cup bonuses sports AP BRIEFS sports AP BRIEFS (AP Photo/Ric Francis DIVORCING: Actress Bianca Kajlich, wife of US soccer player Landon Donovan the 2008 Honda Player of the Year, accepts the soccer award on his behalf Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008, in downtown Los Angeles. Donovan was not available to accept the award because he is in Germany with champion Bayern Munich for a 10-day practice stint to stay in shape. Van der Sar set to retire at end of the season Liverpool's Ger rard to r eturn after a month out