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King’s Day set to be chilly and wet, but there may be some sun

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The annual May holidays, which actually start on Monday, are set to be the coldest on record, website Weerplaza said on Friday.

The chilly weather predicted for the last week of April means temperatures are set to average between seven and 7.5 degrees Celsius, well below the previous record of an average 8.7 degrees booked in 2010.

Rain is also likely on some days, including on King’s Day which is celebrated on April 27, weather forecasters say.

The KNMI, for example, says there is a 90% chance of rain on King’s Day, but there is also a 70% chance of some sun. The KNMI long-range forecast says the chilly weather with sunny spells and showers will continue well into May. (DutchNews)

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Attempted murder suspect arrested

ST. PETERS - On the April 19, while on regular patrol in St. Peters, police identified suspect L.D.B. from Jamaica who had a warrant for his arrest for attempted murder of his girlfriend.

The man was arrested and brought to the station. The investigation is ongoing. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Presentation of customs dogs on Bonaire

BONAIRE - On Thursday, April 20th, the Customs / Tax Office Caribbean Netherlands (CN) presented the customs dogs during a festive gathering on the pier, a press release from the RCN Government Service said on Friday.

Caprice, Silke, Jacky and Destiny, along with their leaders, demonstrated their skills in detection. Jacky is the very first detective dog that specializes in tracking coral, conch shells and sea turtles.

The customs detective dogs are one of the instruments used by customs for the sake of the safety of the society.

B/CN Director Nichalin Martina: "Bonaire is a beautiful island and we want everyone to enjoy the beautiful nature also in the future, with the use of this flora and fauna dog we can contribute to the protection of nature in Bonaire”.

The detective dogs can be deployed not only to Customs, but also the judicial chain partners, such as the Police, Coast Guard and the Correctional Institution who may also call for the assistance of the dogs. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Tropical Depression #1 Has Strengthened Into Tropical Storm Arlene

SINT MAARTEN/ATLANTIC OCEAN - Thunderstorm activity with the depression out in the middle of the open Atlantic has progressively increased throughout the day today (Thursday), according to Crown Weather.

“In addition, an eye like feature has also been noted on satellite imagery today (Ed Thursday). Given these trends, Tropical Depression #1 has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Arlene and according to satellite estimated wind data, Arlene has 45 to 50 mph maximum winds.

“The future of Arlene could be somewhat interesting as the global model guidance has trended slower with the absorption of Arlene by a larger non-tropical low pressure system. A close look at the GFS and European model guidance reveals that Arlene may not be completely absorbed by the larger low pressure system until Sunday.

“Based on this data, it would not surprise me to see Arlene hang around right into this weekend. In addition, a couple of the intensity guidance members forecast that Arlene could continue to strengthen right into this weekend.

“With that said, a majority of the other intensity guidance members forecast gradual weakening over the next couple of days. At this point, some additional strengthening is possible tonight and Friday given the appearance of Arlene on satellite imagery. This will likely be followed by weakening this weekend.

“Arlene continues to be of no threat to any land areas. It should be noted that the Azores Islands could be impacted by heavy rainfall, strong winds and rough seas by the larger low pressure system during a large part of next week. Those of you with any travel plans to the Azores should be aware that the weather is likely to be quite squally during next week.”

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Queen Maxima joins Ivanka Trump and Angela Merkel in Berlin panel

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Queen Maxima will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump in a panel discussion on female entrepreneurship at the Women20 Summit in Berlin this weekend.

The title of the panel event, which also includes IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, is ‘Inspiring women: Scaling up women’s entrepreneurship’.

Maxima is attending in her role as the UN Secretary General’s special advocate for inclusive finance.

In total, one hundred delegates from all G20 member states will attend the meeting, which takes place from April 24-26. (DutchNews)

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Chamber of Commerce has one polling station for April 21 board member election

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) in a press statement on Wednesday revealed that there will be one polling station for the Friday board elections.

“This voting card may be exchanged for a ballot at the polling station on Election Day. COCI has one polling station which is at the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the C.A. Cannegieter Street #11.”

Pertinent information that business owners should be aware of who will be participating in the upcoming election are as follows:

Election Day information:

Election Day: Friday April 21st, 2017

Election time: 8.30am – 12.00pm (noon)

Election requirements: YOU MUST PRESENT A VALID ID 

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Governing Program discussion in Central Committee continues on Thursday

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Committee will meet in a session on April 20. The members of the Council of Ministers will be present.

The Central Committee meeting which was adjourned on Wednesday, April 19, will be reconvened on Thursday, April 20 at 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. This session will be carried via Soualiga Newsday live video feed.

The agenda points are:

1.  Presentation on Governing Program 2016-2020 and Year plans ministries (IS/628/2016-2017 dated April 11, 2017)

2.  Approval composition delegation and provisions for Members of Parliament to participate in Committee meetings of Parlatino (IS/610/2016-2017 dated April 5, 2017, IS/611/2016-2017 dated April 5, 2017, IS/625/2016-2017 dated April 11, 2017, IS/631/2016-2017 dated April 12, 2017 and IS/632/2016-2017 dated April 12, 2017)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.  

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Several arrests during “Carnival 2017 Opening Jump Up.” One person stabbed

PHILIPSBURG - On Monday April 17th the “Opening Jump Up” for the 2017 Carnival Season was held. The parade left the Reward/Sint Peters area shortly after 8.00 p.m. destined for the Festival Village located on the Soualiga Boulevard.

A large amount onlookers and revelers came out to attend this event. Even though the Police Department continuously stressed on the entire community and particularly the youngsters to conduct themselves in a lawful manner they unfortunately chose to do otherwise.

Along the route of the Jump Up on numerous occasions police had to intervene and even arrest several persons that were involved in fights that had broken out. During one of the fights a man was ill-treated with a “brass-knuckle”.

Two females had a disagreement which started in the vicinity of Chippie Café and ended up in the Festival Village and one man was stabbed.

A total of four young men and two young women were arrested and taken to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters. The four young men remain in custody for further investigation and the two young women were both given a fine of Nafls. 150,- each before they were released. No suspect has as yet been identified or arrested in connection with the stabbing.

The Police Department is again making an appeal to the parents of these youngsters to have a serious talk with their children before they go out to attend any of the carnival events.

The Opening Jump Up was definitely “not a good start” for this carnival season. The Police Department is also reminding the entire community that there is a 0-tolerance policy in effect that will definitely be enforced along with the transaction list. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Central Committee meets about Governing Program 2016-2020 on Wednesday

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Committee will meet in a session on April 19. The members of the Council of Ministers will be present.

The Central Committee meeting which was adjourned on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 will resume on Wednesday, April 19 at 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. This session of the House will be carried via Soualiga Newsday live video.

The agenda points are:

1.  Presentation on Governing Program 2016-2020 and Year plans ministries (IS/628/2016-2017 dated April 11, 2017)

2.  Approval composition delegation and provisions for Members of Parliament to participate in Committee meetings of Parlatino (IS/610/2016-2017 dated April 5, 2017, IS/611/2016-2017 dated April 5, 2017, IS/625/2016-2017 dated April 11, 2017, IS/631/2016-2017 dated April 12, 2017 and IS/632/2016-2017 dated April 12, 2017).

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.  

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Close to 700 kilos of cocaine confiscated in two drug operations within 24 hours

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - The Dutch Naval Station Ship Frigate Zr. Ms Van Amstel within the past 24-hours has been successful in apprehending drug smugglers during two operations.  A total of 675 kilos of cocaine was confiscated.

The first confiscation of illegal narcotics took place off the coast of Curacao when a go-fast boat was observed in the territorial water of Colombia on the country’s north coast.  Zr. Ms Van Amstel set course for the aforementioned position.  As the frigate headed towards the go-fast, its NH-90 helicopter was launched to shadow the vessel.

As the Zr. Ms Van Amstel closed in on the go-fast, two of its RHIB surface craft were launched carrying a boarding team which also included representatives of the United States Coast Guard.

The go-fast boat detected the Zr. Ms Van Amstel and the occupants of the vessel started to throw their cargo into the sea.  A recovery team recovered 10 packages.  The three occupants of the go-fast boat were detained and an additional three packages was confiscated.  The amount of illegal narcotics confiscated amounted to 325 kilos of cocaine.

The second operation started when the Zr. Ms Van Amstel received a call that the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard Dash-8 aircraft picked up a new suspect contact on radar.  The NH-90 helicopter was directed to the location.  Upon reaching the location, the vessel was told to stop, but ignored the warnings.  This resulted in Coast Guard units firing warning shots.

The Coast Guard was able to board the vessel and confiscated 15 bales of cocaine weighing in at 350 kilos.  The occupants and illicit drugs were turned over to U.S. Coast Guard authorities.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

PHOTO CUTLINE: Shots fired arcoss the bow of a go-fast boat which was later stopped and the occupants detained.

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