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Decision time as Cable Bahamas puts its best foot forward for the mobile cellular license
Submitted by David Burrows   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 09:20
The RFP deadline sees the company present a solid submission 

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Today, Cable Bahamas (CBL) submitted its RFP response to Cellular Liberalisation Task Force (CLTF) for the country's second mobile cellular license. The license award is expected at the start of May 2015 and is set to propel The Bahamas into a new age of mobile telephone and data services. CBL is confident that its submission not only meets all of the RFP requirements but demonstrates its credentials to provide the best mobile cellular service in The Bahamas. This positions the company well for getting to the next stage of the application.  

"We have really pulled out all the stops for this submission," said Anthony Butler, CBL President and CEO, "staking our claim to become The Bahamas' first company to offer an alternative in the market." CBL has been working diligently since November last year pulling together a proposal that reflects the company's technical and financial credentials.  

In completing its submission, CBL has demonstrated its ability to go beyond the RFP requirements in order to satisfy Bahamian market demands. These requirements primarily pertain to service quality, affordability of service and, as a 100% Bahamian owned company, social commitment to The Bahamas.  

The Government of The Bahamas has a strict process for the award of the license. Under the supervision of the CLTF, the process will be in two phases. The first phase is the RFP, which covers a technical and financial assessment of applicants. This is conducted by an Evaluation Committee (made up of CLTF and other experts). The second phase is the spectrum auction, which will be administered by URCA. Only those meeting the minimum requirements of Phase 1 with proceed to Phase 2. The successful bidder will be the one with the highest combined score in both phases. Phase 1 is now complete with today being the deadline for RFP submissions.  

"We understand and respect this process," said Mr Butler, "and have concentrated very diligently on satisfying all requirements." CBL now expects to progress to the second phase of the process and is looking forward to presenting its best bid for the spectrum auction.  

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Immigration Minister addresses recent articles in the press as false
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 09 February 2015 11:01
Communication by Fred Mitchell MP
Minister for Immigration
House of Assembly
9th February 2015

Mr. Speaker,

The press in The Bahamas have published two articles, one by Fred Smith Q C and the other by the Nassau Institute.  Both statements published information which should not go unanswered lest the public accept the information therein as true and correct. They purport to describe the law and policies in The Bahamas as it relates to immigration.  They go on to make assertions based on their statements of law which are incorrect.  

The statements published by Fred Smith Q C on 3rd February in The Tribune and by the Nassau Institute in the Nassau Guardian on 6th February are replete with errors and untruths.

The Nassau Institute claims that the Immigration Department is implementing a revised policy to grant permits and charge fees for children born here to go to school.  

That is false.  No new fees are being introduced for immigration fees and there is no new policy as it relates to permission for non-nationals to go to school in The Bahamas.  The fee remains the 100 dollars processing fee and 25 dollars for the issuance of the permit.  The fee and the requirement for such a permit has not changed since the PLP took office in 2012.
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Kingdor National Parkinson Foundation working to beat Parkinson’s Disease
Submitted by Mavis Darling   
Monday, 09 February 2015 10:15

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Kingdor National Parkinson Foundation was instituted in The Bahamas on April 20th 2000 in memory of Rev. Dr. K. S. Darling, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and his wife Dorothy, his primary caregiver. The name Kingdor is a coinage of Reverend Doctor Darling’s Christian name “King” and “Dor” as Mrs. Darling’s affectionate pet name for Dorothy. The purpose for the organization is to ensure that Parkinsonians, their relatives and caregivers enjoy lives of dignity and self-worth

Kingdor is an Affiliated Chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation in the United States, which is the largest Parkinson’s organization in the United States and indeed worldwide.  Hence, we are proud that there are forty-three Centers of Excellence globally whereby research is tirelessly being conducted in an attempt to find a cure for this vexing disease.  

Likewise, there are thirty two Affiliate Centers, twenty-nine in the United States, one in Canada, one in Puerto Rico and of course, Kingdor in The Bahamas.  Therefore, the Foundation grants assistance to persons afflicted with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and allied neurological conditions.   sensitize and educate the populace regarding this progressive and debilitating disease over the past fifteen years, our organization has hosted fifteen Walk / Run Competitions, fifteen Gala Balls, four Caregiver’s Workshops and four Speech Competitions for Junior and Secondary school students.

Kingdor is divided into two distinct arms, the Executive Board and the Support Group.

The Executive Board has responsibility for fundraising and the general financial functioning of the organization, particularly activities such as the Annual Gala Balls, the Walk/Run Competitions, Caregivers Conferences Education (Speech Competitions).

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Commentary by Elcott Coleby - This week in The Bahamas (February 2-6)
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Saturday, 07 February 2015 15:37

PM talks ownership and energy at Bahamas Economic Outlook

In delivering his keynote address at the inaugural Bahamas Economic Outlook sponsored by the Fidelity Group of companies, Prime Minister Christie covered the broad and familiar national themes of Bahamas GDP growth, public finances, foreign investment and employment. He delivered this address on Tuesday, 3rd February 2015.

Even though the conference theme was “Think: Growth-Global Opportunities-Can we compete?,” the media focused on the Prime Minister’s progressive rhetoric about the loan practices of local banks creating what he called “modern day slavery.” Beyond that however, Mr. Christie touched on five significant areas he deemed critical to the country’s growth and global competitiveness in the near to medium term. They were Economic Diversification and Access to Credit, Energy Security and Sufficiency, Safety and Security, Planning & Infrastructure development, and Education.   

I wish to focus on just two of them.

Mr. Christie told delegates that through the country’s economic diversification model, we must develop “sustainably”…“for the benefit of our people” through a “model of shared ownership and control in key sectors and for key assets” in the Bahamian economy. He used the outcome for BTC 2% majority share negations, the strategic partnership for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), the entrepreneurial opportunities connected with Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the establishment of the Bahamas Agriculture Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) as tangible examples of the philosophy of his government’s policy thrust.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes New York Times correction of Bahamas article
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 10:06

On Saturday 31st January, the New York Times wrote a story which in the view of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contained at least four material inaccuracies. Today the New York Times admitted its error by printing the following in its 3rd February edition:

FRONT PAGE

Because of an editing error, a picture caption on Saturday for an article about a new immigration policy in the Bahamas that critics say unfairly targets Haitians misstated the effects of the policy on the two boys shown, born in the Bahamas but of Haitian descent. The boys have always been considered Haitian; that is not among the policy changes. (The new policy requires everyone to hold a passport, and as of next fall will also require all schoolchildren who are not citizens to have a student residency permit.)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell speaking in Barbados tonight to Bahamian students welcomed the correction  he said that he did not think that it went far enough but he felt that the New York Times having conceded and admitted the error, the whole story by the New York Times collapses.

 
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