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Bahamas Press Club condemns horrific shooting of American journalists
Submitted by the Bahamas Press Club   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:31

NASSAU, Bahamas- The Bahamas Press Club condemns the horrific shooting of American journalists, Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, a 27-year-old photographer this morning in Moneta, Virginia, just outside of Roanoke, and we applaud the police for their efforts in apprehending the suspect.

According to their employer, WDBJ-7 News, the two journalists were covering a story at Bridgewater Plaza, a lakeside shopping and recreational sports plaza in Moneta when shots rang out, fatally wounding the two who were broadcasting live.

Worse still, the footage of that shooting was uploaded to social media, an action we decry, as no one deserves to be subjected to such an indignity in death, a position we wish more Bahamians would appreciate especially when it comes to scenes of local homicides.

It is now an unfortunate fact that journalists around the world today, more often than not, find themselves under fire literally and figuratively as they attempt to keep the public educated and properly informed.

What has been an occurrence common only to war zones has now skipped the ocean and sitting on our doorstep. In fact, we have seen a local journalist threatened with bodily harm in the course of producing a breaking news story.

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DNA commentary - The PLP Government: A Threat to a Sustainable Economy
Submitted by the DNA party   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 15:44

Since coming to office in 2012 the PLP’s trend of reckless spending, over taxation and its dependence on anchor projects to stir economic activity has jeopardized the country’s fiscal position in both the long and short term. The recent downgrade of the country’s credit rating by Standard and Poor’s is further proof of this Christie administration’s mismanagement of the country’s finances and is cause for grave concern.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Ratings agency downgraded The Bahamas’ credit rating to BBB/A-3, just one tier away from legitimate junk bond status. A further downgrade could mean the depreciation of government bonds to non-investment grade, making it more expensive for the government to raise money in international markets. The negative revision of the country’s credit rating has even greater long term implications for the country’s future investment prospects. Already, early estimates have suggested that Moody’s will also follow suit and issue a downgrade of its own. It is no secret that these ratings are often a key determinant for international investors when deciding where to put their money. For decades now, successive governments have hinged the country’s economic success to foreign direct investments; however the government has failed to exercise fiscal prudence and has thereby threatened the country’s entire economic model.

Without question, this administration’s economic policies have failed. By even government accounts however the downgrade was not unexpected; It was just weeks ago that officials at the S&P cautioned the government over its fiscal position pointing specifically to the economic shock of Baha Mar’s bankruptcy filing and the unlikelihood of the government and the developer to resolve the ongoing legal wrangling. Rather than accept responsibility for its failure however this government has attempted to justify the bleak assessment and in a statement issued overnight, even dared to suggest that the country’s “real economy” has seen improvement. In fact, the statement touts the introduction of VAT – which has succeeded only in pushing more Bahamian families below the poverty line – as a major component of successful fiscal reforms and also to the recent drop in unemployment which was spurred by an uptick in the temporary employment generated from the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

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Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell responds to GBHRA's latest comments
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 15:23

STATEMENT BY FRED MITCHELL MP
ON GRAND BAHAMA HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENT ON IMMIGRATION MATTERS

This morning, the press carried a statement by Joe Darville of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association in which he accused me of “a silly witch hunt” and the following: “Mr. Mitchell thinks that by being strong on immigration he can ingratiate himself with the Bahamian people and deflect attention from all the failure of his government over the past three years. He must know that we and the country at large see right through him.”

Mr. Darville is lost in space and so is the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association.

The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association has for the past year been acting as cover for people who would destroy this country through illegal immigration.

They have defamed the officers of the Department of Immigration, saying that they were operating Auschwitz in The Bahamas. Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp. There is no evidence of such a thing in The Bahamas.

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Ministry of Finance comments on Standard & Poor’s rating action
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 07:42

The ratings decision by Standard & Poor’s although not unexpected, given the recent placement of The Bahamas on credit watch, does not adequately reflect the improved economic and fiscal outlook for the Bahamian economy.

It is important to emphasize however, that The Bahamas maintained its investment grade status.

It is Baha Mar along with other projects throughout The Bahamas that will make healthy contributions to the economy over the medium-term. The Government is now awaiting a court ruling on its request for the appointment of a provisional liquidator, scheduled for the 4th of September 2015, and remains committed to a timely resolution that is in the best interest of the country. If the provisional liquidator is appointed, they are expected to move swiftly to secure completion of the resort and to address concerns about current delays.

While Standard & Poor’s has given the Government some credit for its fiscal reform programme, it should have also affirmed that the achievements are forecasted to cause a reduction in the debt burden in the near term. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its most recent Article IV Consultation Report has noted that progress with reforms has outperformed its own expectations. S&P’s projections still show increase in the debt burden in the immediate years ahead when the Ministry of Finance’s forecast are for reductions to begin to set in. This outlook continues to be credible.

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Environment Minister tackles garbage truck rumours
Submitted by Joette Penn   
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 07:58

Statement from Minister Dorsett concerning a story being circulated online and on social media concerning the public owned fleet of garbage trucks

Hon. Kenred Dorsett
Minister of the Environment and Housing

It has come to my attention that there is a story being circulated via social media concerning the Government's fleet of garbage trucks. The story also infers that I own garbage trucks. Although I have addressed this issue before in the House of Assembly and in the media. I again state emphatically for those who did not hear or read my previous statements and for those who are only interested in creating political mischief, that I do not own nor have I ever owned a garbage collection truck or company.

Over the years since assuming office I have released numerous statements through the press on the issue of garbage collection. On December 22nd, 2013 I released a statement concerning the garbage collection schedule, in that same statement I also listed the private companies that were contracted by the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) to collect residential waste on behalf of the Government on a month-to-month basis. That statement and all of my statements remain in the public domain, accessible on my Ministry's facebook page.

One month later on January 22nd, 2014, I released another statement on the state in which I met the publicly owned fleet of garbage trucks in 2012 and the Government's decision to have the trucks which we met in disrepair assessed by the diesel mechanics attached to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF). As a result of the continuous 'cannibalization” of the garbage trucks and heavy equipment by stripping them of their working parts, the RBDF recommended the trucks be removed from the DEHS facility to enable them to conduct a proper assessment. That was done and the facility which currently houses the publicly owned inoperable garbage trucks and heavy equipment is being utilised as a storage facility at no cost to the public purse. Discussions are ongoing with respect to the future of the inoperable trucks and their use.

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