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interCaribbean accelerates introduction of Sint Maarten Services with connections to Dominican Republic & San Juan

SINT MAARTEN/TORTOLA (BVI) - interCaribbean Airways celebrating its 26th year of continuous services, is accelerating its start date of services from Sint Maarten
to Tortola with onward connections to Santo Domingo, San Juan and Antigua.

The original start of service to and from Sint Maarten of March 22, is moved forward in response to the challenges of travel to and from Santo Domingo following recent air service interruptions.

The new services will begin immediately from February 9, 2018. Travelers in Santo Domingo and Sint Maarten can make immediate connections via the Tortola hub with a very short layover en-route.

Flight Depart Arrive Valid from Valid to Flight Day DEP ARR
JY0531 EIS SXM Fri-09-Feb-18 Wed-21-Mar-18 Mon, Tue, Fri 09:15 10:00
JY0532 SXM EIS Fri-09-Feb-18 Wed-21-Mar-18 Mon, Tue, Fri 10:30 11:15
JY0541 EIS SXM Fri-09-Feb-18 Wed-21-Mar-18 Thu, Sun 15:55 16:40
JY0542 SXM EIS Fri-09-Feb-18 Wed-21-Mar-18 Thu, Sun 17:10 17:55

EIS is Tortola, SXM is Sint Maarten.

interCaribbean has been serving the Dominican Republic for over 15 years, with over a current schedule of 19 weekly flights.

“interCaribbean is pleased to be able to quickly update our Sint Maarten start date to ensure the communities in Sint Maarten and in Santo Domingo have available air service options,” said Mr. Trevor Sadler, Chief Executive Officer for interCaribbean.

Founded as InterIsland Airways in 1991 by Turks Islander, Mr. Lyndon R.
Gardiner, Chairman of interCaribbean, the company has embarked on adding
international destinations and soon the introduction of jet service.

interCaribbean serves twenty-two cities. For more Information and
reservations visit www.intercaribbean.com 

About interCaribbean

interCaribbean operates EMB 120, Twin Otter and coming soon our ERJ145
aircraft connecting Turks & Caicos, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, Dominica and St. Maarten/St. Martin. Domestic flights are provided in Jamaica between Kingston and Montego Bay, as well as flights within the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Twin Otter VQ TCG 300x131

BE 99 Aircraft VQ TCG

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Ministry VROMI immediate halt to accepting debris/large waste at main sanitary landfill. Only household waste accepted

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that that no debris or other large waste of such nature will be accepted at the main sanitary landfill until further notice.

ONLY HOUSEHOLD WASTE WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE MAIN LANDFILL.

The temporary halt is in connection with the unexpected fire at the hurricane debris site on Pond Island.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.

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SMCP SIGNS DECLARATION ERADICATION OF POVERTY

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Saturday, February 3rd 2018, the Board of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) signed a declaration stating that the Party’s MPs (Ed Members of Parliament) will begin the process towards eradicating of poverty on Sint Maarten when elected to Parliament, Leader of the SMCP Wycliffe Smith said on Monday. Witnessing the signing ceremony were members of the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform (SMAPP) Raymond Jessurun and Claire Eshot and Alberto Bute.

“I am sure that there will be people who will immediately label the signing of this document as another political gimmick leading up to the February 26 elections. However, we want to assure the people of Sint Maarten that signing the declaration is not a political stunt but a serious attempt by SMCP to begin the process to eradicate poverty in Sint Maarten.

“SMCP is of the opinion that something must be done for the many persons who are living below the poverty line. The process, for example, could start with parliament reviewing the laws to increase the social allowances and the old age pension. SMCP also believes that the minimum wage should be converted into a living wage and that laws need to be put in place to create incentives in order to stimulate the economy.

“There is still a lot of work to be done in order to improve the standard of living in Sint Maarten. By signing this declaration, SMCP has affirmed its willingness and commitment to initiate this process, in collaboration with the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform (SMAPP) which is in direct contact with the persons who are feeling the pinch of poverty, such as our pensioners, the unemployed, persons receiving social assistance, etc. It makes no sense re-inventing the wheel when the SMAPP has already done a lot of groundwork including proposing several strategies that deal with the eradication of poverty.

“Poverty in Sint Maarten is real and especially now after hurricane Irma, the facts and figures of people living in poverty in Sint Maarten are glaringly visible for all to see. More people are reaching out to government for social assistance. More people are in need of jobs. Our pensioners cannot make ends meet on their meager pensions. Mothers and fathers have to work two and more jobs because the minimum wage is too low while the cost of living is very high.

“These conditions existed before Irma but this hurricane brought us face to face with the abject poverty in which 75% of our people are living. SMCP empathizes with the hurt and suffering of our people and intends to do something about it when elected to Parliament.

“In light of the integrity investigations that took place in 2014/2014, Transparency International published a report entitled “Sint Maarten 2015 National Integrity System Assessment” in which they concluded on page 22 “that more than 75 per cent of the St. Maarten households live under the poverty line”. The report went on to mention that Sint Maarten has a relatively high income per capita but the income is unevenly distributed and that 22% of the population is without income.

“The report continues that the census survey of 2011 shows that 75 per cent of all households earn less than ANG4,000 or US$2,222 in gross income per month and that 67.5 per cent have less than ANG3,000 or US$1,667. This report was submitted to parliament but our parliamentarians have never taken the time to discuss it. In March 2017 the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform presented this data once again to Parliament but to date our august legislative body has done nothing with the information.

“SMCP is very well aware of the fact that the eradication of poverty cannot be accomplished in a four year parliamentary term. However, in order to get the ball rolling SMCP has taken the bold step, which no other political party has done yet, which is to discuss the proposal submitted by the SMAPP and to adapt and sign a declaration committing to start the process when elected to parliament. The signed Declaration is available on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smcp.online/),” Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party said on Monday.

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Man shot in hand on Monday after two men in a car demands money

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Detectives are presently investigating the shooting of man which took place in the early hours on Monday January 5th. The incident took place in the vicinity of Scotia Bank/Simpson Bay Yacht Club and Marina.

According to the victim he was offered a lift after leaving a sports bar by two unknown men who were driving in a small car. After arriving at his destination the two men demanded money from him.

After telling them he had no money he was shot by one of the men in his left had. The victim then ran towards the security booth of the yacht club from where the police were notified.

Paramedics treated the victim on the scene and then transported him to the Sint Maarten Medical Center where he remains for further treatment and observation. The Forensic department was also called in to collect evidence left at the scene. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Council to be Dissolved and Governor & Commissioners to be Relieved of Duties

ST. EUSTATIUS - Today, Monday, February 5, Dutch State Secretary Knops (Kingdom Relations) submitted a bill to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) to be able to intervene administratively on St. Eustatius.

The bill stipulates that the Island Council will be dissolved and the Commissioners and Acting Island Governor will be relieved of their duties. A Central Government Commissioner will be appointed who will provide for the administration of St. Eustatius. The intervention is a reaction to the report of the 'Committee of Wise Men', who found "gross neglect of duties" on St. Eustatius. This neglecting of tasks is at the expense of citizens and businesses on the island.

The administrative situation on St. Eustatius has been a concern for some time. Previous measures to improve the situation have not had the desired effect. The then Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations has therefore appointed a Committee of Wise Men to identify the problems and make recommendations. The Committee, consisting of Mr. F.J. Refunjol and Mr. J. Franssen, concludes that the administration of St. Eustatius is outside the legal order.

The current administrative situation is characterized by lawlessness and financial mismanagement, but also by discrimination, intimidation, threats and insults, randomness and the pursuit of personal power at the expense of the people of St. Eustatius. The committee concludes that there is gross neglect of duties and advises administrative intervention by the Dutch government.

The administrative situation has far-reaching consequences for the daily life of the population of St. Eustatius. Citizens and entrepreneurs experience legal inequality. No administration is in order and the island is neglected in a physical sense.

"Since other measures have not brought substantial improvements to the local government, there is only one thing to do: administrative intervention. It is the toughest measure, but now that everything else has failed, it is the only option that remains. The people on St. Eustatius deserve better. " according to State Secretary Knops. He will travel this week to the island to explain the decision to the community.

The Committee of Wise Men is also critical of the role of the Dutch government in the development of the current situation. Partly as a result of the administrative situation on the island and its consequences for the relations between the Netherlands and St. Eustatius, in recent years arrears have arisen in projects to improve roads, water supply, housing, underground pipelines, waste processing and the harbour and  airport. These delays must be dealt with. Following the advice of the Committee, investments will be accelerated wherever possible.

In their advice to the central government about the bill, the Council of State (Raad van State) endorses the fact that there is gross negligence on St. Eustatius. The Council agrees with the proposed measures. On the advice of the Council, the bill and the explanatory notes have on parts been slightly modified and clarified.

The Central Government Commissioner will perform all duties and authorizations of the island government. This until the government of St. Eustatius is able to fulfill its duties properly again. Only when this is the case, elections for a new Island Council will be held, so that a new government can take office. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Teen Times to organize Youth Extravaganza 2018

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The crew of Teen Times has been granted the opportunity by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) to host the Youth Extravaganza for Carnival 2018.

Although it will be the first time the group will organize the popular Carnival event, the members of Teen Times are no strangers to hosting youth events. The group also host St. Maarten’s largest annual talent competition, Talent Showdown, now 16 years in the running.

Due to the passing of hurricane Irma, Talent Showdown 2017 could not be held.

As such, Talent Showdown will be incorporated into the Youth Extravaganza which will feature talented youth of St. Maarten showcasing their skills in singing, dancing, rapping young bands and more.

“We are very proud of the reputation we have built of giving talented young people an avenue to showcase their God-given talents. We could not continue our uninterrupted run of Talent Showdown, but we are grateful for the opportunity to host Youth Extravaganza under the same principles and show quality that we are known for,” Coordinator of Teen Times Rochelayne “Roosje” Rommy-Richardson said.

She explained that registration for the extravaganza is now open until February 28, 2018. Interested young people can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Teen Times via its Facebook page to register. More information about the event will be forthcoming.

“We would also like to thank the SCDF for the opportunity and assure that public and young people in particular will get a quality, positive and entertaining event for Carnival 2018,” she concluded. 

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Two armed and very dangerous suspects apprehended

SINT MAARTEN (OYSTER POND) - On Thursday, February 1st two men classified as armed and very dangerous were arrested by the police department in collaboration with other judicial departments in connection and the assistance of the community with two ongoing  major criminal investigations called “Toermalijn and Droomkwartz.”

These two suspects identified with initials V.E.B. and F.J. were apprehended in the area of Oyster pond. They were taken to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters and will remain in custody for questioning and further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Sunday is World Cancer Day under the slogan “We can. I can”

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The global cancer community will commemorate World Cancer Day on Sunday, February 4, with the slogan ''We can. I can''.

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.

One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing.

World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and draw attention to the fact that everyone – individually and collectively – can help to prevent and control cancer.

Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness about health matters.  CPS would like to draw the community’s attention to World Cancer Day.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of: Lung (1.69 million deaths), Liver (788 000 deaths), Colorectal (774 000 deaths), Stomach (754 000 deaths), and Breast (571 000 deaths).

Cancer can be prevented and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment and palliative care.

The most common modifiable risk factors for cancer, which are shared with many other non-communicable diseases, are: Tobacco use including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; Low fruit and vegetable intake; Harmful use of alcohol; Lack of physical activity; Being overweight and obese; Chronic infections from human papilloma virus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted -for cervical cancer, hepatitis B and C – for liver cancer, and H.pylori – for stomach cancer; ionizing and ultraviolet radiation; Urban air pollution; and indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.

Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer-related deaths globally.

To prevent cancer, avoid the risk factors.  It is estimated that 30–50 percent of cancers can be prevented by reducing these risk factors. Many other cancer types, notably cervical, breast and colorectal cancer can be detected early and treated effectively through organized screening and early detection programs, and access to timely cancer treatment.

Reach out to local civic groups to learn more about detecting and preventing cancer, as well as to volunteer with their goals and objectives.

wcd GIVE SUPPORT

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CAft: The financial situation of Aruba is of concern. Compliance with the LAft norm 2018 getting out of sight

ARUBA – The year 2017 is expected to be closed with a financial deficit of 3.1% GDP. According to the National Ordinance on temporary financial supervision (LAft) a financial deficit of 0.5% is allowed. In order to be able to comply with its responsibilities, Aruba has taken out additional loans to the amount of AWG 130 million.

It is expected that this will increase the debt quote up to 87% GDP as per the end of 2017. In 2018 the public finances threaten to get in disarray as well. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the government of Aruba presents as soon as possible a financial plan in which measures for 2018 are incorporated. 

Deficit norm LAft greatly exceeded

The progress report on the third quarter of 2017 displays a troublesome sight. The collective sector of Aruba has a preliminary deficit of 2.6% GDP over the period up to the third quarter. This is 2.1% more than the lawfully permissible deficit norm of 0.5% GDP for 2017.

The memorandum to the 2017 budget amendment shows that the deficit of 2017 has further deteriorated in the recent months and will amount to 3.1 GDP according to calculations. The deficit of 2017 is amongst others caused by dissatisfying (non) tax revenues of AWG 50 million and the write-off of the budgeted earnings of the Refineria di Aruba amounting to AWG 73 million.

The loan amount thus had to be increased by AWG 130 million to an amount of AWG 569 million. During 2017 it became increasingly clear that it was no longer feasible for Aruba to comply with the LAft norm.

Budgetary cuts as of 2018 unavoidable

Aruba is facing a huge financial challenge for 2018. Based on the LAft, a surplus of 0.5% GDP must be realized, and according to the LAft the deficit of 2017 also has to be fully compensated in 2018. Seeing that in 2018 there is no possibility to spread the deficit compensation over multiple years, the LAft norm seems out of reach in 2018.

Aruba recognizes the precarious financial situation and wants to come up soon with a financial plan. It is now crucial that these measures start and yield effect in 2018, and form part of the adopted budget for 2018. Actions will also be needed after 2018 in order to get prospect on sustainable public finances. A package consisting of structural measures from Aruba to cut costs is therefore inevitable.

In addition, the economy must be strengthened in a sustainable way. The reopening of the refinery has again been delayed and at the moment it is unclear what exactly will happen to the refinery.

Work visits CAft

As is usually the case during the visits of the Board to Aruba, meetings were held with the acting Governor, the Minister of Finance, the Council of Ministers and the Parliamentary Committee of Finance, Economic Affairs and Government Organization.

The CAft also paid a visit to the Central Bank Aruba and met with the Aruba National Audit Office. Furthermore, the Board received information about the tax system in Aruba and its necessary reform.

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Consuming a healthy diet in 2018. Make a healthy weight and nutrition a priority

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults 18-years and older, were overweight.  Of these over 650 million were obese.

39 per cent of adults aged 18-years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13 per cent were obese.  Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.

41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2016, and over 340 million children and adolescents aged five-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.  Obesity is preventable.

Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness about health matters. 

As the first month of the New Year has come to an end, for those who haven’t set their priorities, it’s not too late to do so starting at the beginning of February.  You have 11-months still to go in 2018 and to achieve those goals you have set out for yourself. A healthy weight and nutrition in 2018 should be one of those goals.

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows: overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults. However, it should be considered a rough guide because it may not correspond to the same degree of fatness in different individuals.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been: an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.

Changes in dietary and physical activity patterns are often the result of environmental and societal changes associated with development and lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education.

Raised BMI is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as: cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012;

diabetes; musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints); some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).

Overweight and obesity, as well as their related non-communicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.

At the individual level, people can: limit energy intake from total fats and sugars; increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

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