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Soualiga News II (1676)

Little enthusiasm among opposition to join coalition

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - There seems to be little enthusiasm among opposition Members of Curacao’s Parliament to join the current coalition Government.  One of the coalition members, Leader of the PAIS, Alex Rosaria, recently proposed that the current coalition should consider welcoming additional members since the coalition starts its second half of its term.

Currently the coalition has the support of 11 MPs out of the 21 seat Parliament.  Rosaria who spoke at a party event recently said that opposition MPs should be approached with respect to supporting the current government.

Some opposition MPs have indicated publicly according to reports of having no interests in supporting or joining the current coalition government.

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Travellers to Indonesia warned of new terrorist threat

UNITED KINGDOM/INDONESIA - Britons travelling to Indonesia have been warned of a new terrorist threat against US-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya.

The UK Foreign Office said the US Embassy issued the warning on January 3 and yesterday (ed January 5) it urged travellers to be 'particularly vigilant' in these areas.

Around 22,000 British nationals visit Indonesia every year, although the majority stay on the holiday island of Bali or the capital Jakarta.

In an updated statement on its website, the Foreign Office said there was a 'high threat of terrorism' in Indonesia, although it stressed that most visits are trouble-free.

"Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country," it said. "You should be particularly vigilant during holiday periods such as Easter, Christmas, New Year, Nyepi (Balinese New Year, in March) and Independence Day (17 August).

"On 3 January 2015 the US Embassy warned of a potential threat against US associated hotels and banks in Surabaya. You should be particularly vigilant in these areas."

In 2002, two bombs in Kuta, a popular tourist resort in Bali, killed 202 people, including 28 Britons. (TravelMole)

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Tail of Missing AirAsia Plane May have Been Found

JAVA SEA/ASIA - Search teams may have found the tail of the missing AirAsia plane where the black box voice and flight data recorders are found.

The captain of a navy patrol vessel said it had recovered 'what has a high probability of being the tail of the plane', reports Reuters.

The discovery has still to be confirmed by the Indonesian search and rescue agency.

Thirty seven bodies of passengers and crew have so far been recovered, including some still strapped in their seats, following the crash on December 28.

Recovery workers believe the majority of bodies are trapped inside the wrecked fuselage, which they are certain now lays at the bottom of the relatively shallow Java Sea but it has not been spotted.

Indonesia's meteorological agency has said seasonal tropical storms probably contributed to the accident.

The search to recover bodies and flight data recorders has also been hampered by bad weather.

A CNN report says the airline has already offered to pay 'preliminary compensation' of $24,000 for each of the 154 passengers on board the flight despite Indonesian authorities saying the flight operated without approval.

The Indonesian air transport ministry said the flight was not authorized to operate on Sundays and if this is upheld the airline's insurance company may not compensate the families.

A draft letter sent to next of kin explains the pay-out is for 'financial hardships' during the search for the plane. (TravelMole)

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Suspect in Son Latinos Christmas Day stabbing caught hiding out on French side

PHILIPSBURG - On Wednesday December 31th a Dominican male was arrested by the St. Maarten Police Force because he is suspected to have committed a stabbing on Christmas day at Son Latinos.

A collaboration between the French and Dutch prosecutors offices helped in apprehending the suspect who was hiding on the French side of the island. He is now in custody and detectives are busy investigating this case further. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Curacao passes tax reform legislation

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – The Parliament of Curacao has passed legislation that reforms the tax system and also brings forth tax relief in 2015.  Parliament passed the law changes with 13 votes in favour and three against.  The PAR faction also supported the law changes.

Curacao Minister of Finance Hon. Dr. Jose Jardim presented the proposal to the Curacao House of Parliament.

The law changes that will be executed in 2015 include simplification of the fiscal laws which means a reduction in the administrative burden; and improvement in tax payments.

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Money Laundering Case against Former Prime Minister Postponed

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – The Curacao Public Prosecution Service reported that the “Babel” case against former Curacao Prime Minister and Leader of the MFK and current Member of Parliament (MP) G.S. has been postponed.

MP G.S.’s case was scheduled for January 16.  G.S. and his wife C. v/d D. are being accused of money laundering, fraud and forgery.  They were both arrested and detained in May 2014.   

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19-Year Old Rombley Arrested for Murder

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Police have arrested 19-year old V. Rombley according to reports in connection with the robbery and murder of Chinese mini-market owner Zufeng-Li.  The owner of the business died from a gunshot to the chest.

Business owners from the Chinese community are now relieved that Police have arrested a person in connection with the crime.

The Chinese Consul General resident in Curacao called on the Government and Minister of Justice to do all they can to catch the culprit who committed this heinous crime.

Rombley’s house was searched and investigators confiscated various items that could assist with the investigation.

The mini-market is located at Mirla Plateweg.

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In developing world, higher education key to stable employment, says new UN report

INTERNATIONAL – Higher education is a prerequisite for millions of youth in the developing world who hope to find a decent, “non-vulnerable” job, a new United Nations study has established.

Thestudy, conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and released today, surveys 28 countries worldwide and demonstrates that having a high level of education “serves as a fairly dependable guarantee” towards securing a formal job.

“The report confirms the role of education in shaping labour market outcomes of young people,” Azita Berar Awad, Director of the Employment Policy Department of the ILO, explained in apress release. “It also highlights the need for more investments in quality education, from primary through academic levels.”

The report notes that 83 per cent of young people with post-secondary education are in non-vulnerable employment in the 27 low-to-upper middle income countries examined while the number dropped to 75 per cent among low-income countries. At the same time, having completed secondary education alone was not enough to guarantee better labour market outcomes for youth in low-income countries.

“Increasing the level of education of the emerging workforce in developing countries will not in itself ensure the absorption of higher skilled workers into non-vulnerable jobs,” Theo Sparreboom, author of the study.

“Yet, it is clear that continuing to push forth undereducated, under-skilled youth into the labour market is a no-win situation, both for the young person who remains destined for a ‘hand-to-mouth existence’ based on vulnerable employment, and for the economy which gains little in terms of boosting its labour productivity potential,” he added.

The report also highlights the lingering problem of “skills mismatch” – or the disparity between the skill-level of those seeking employment and the demands of the jobs available on the market – as a point of concern, particularly as it varies greatly between advanced and low-income economies.

In advanced economies, for instance, “mismatch” often refers to higher skilled young people employed in jobs for which they are overqualified. At the opposite end of the spectrum, mis-matched young workers in low-income economies often suffer from “under-education” and have “no option but to take vulnerable jobs in the informal economy,” according to the ILO.

This disparity is largely fuelled by poverty as many youth cannot attend school because they cannot afford the costs or because they need to work to help their families, the UN agency continued.

“The lack of education feeds the perpetuation of poverty across generations as unskilled workers earn lower wages and are unable to fund the schooling of their children.”

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35th Annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Announces Additional Racing, iproved Logistics

PHILIPSBURG - Sailors and boating enthusiasts should mark their calendars and get ready to set sail at the 35thAnnual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta taking place March 5-8, 2015. To celebrate 35 years of world-famous racing, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta officials have announced a slew of changes to the racing, logistics and safety rules, all which were developed based on feedback from past competitors and spectators.

Race organizers have confirmed that the ever-popular Gill Commodore's Cup will be open to all Regatta participants (except Lottery class). In an effort to make racing more competitive, organizers will also offer an additional sailing event on Sunday for various racing classes (weather permitting). These new events offer sailors the opportunity to race in six races over the course of four days.

To accommodate additional sailors in these races and the 200-plus entries that the main event receives each year, registration will open a day early on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 and run through March 5. This information, including the new opening hours of registration, can be found in the Notice of Race on the Regatta website (www.heinekenregatta.com).

Further, to elevate stress and confusion for participants who take care of crew scheduling, this year, all races will start and finish at Simpson Bay. This change will also mean sailing crews and vessels can remain in Simpson Bay every evening, allowing for easier hotel and berthing arrangements.

Additional changes have also been made to the Official Safety Rules that will be implemented on all racing days. These rules can be found on the registration website athttps://app.regattaguru.com/heineken/100083/docs.Race organizers urge all participants to download the new safety rules and review them to make sure all crew members and vessels comply. 

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is an annual competition that has become a world-wide and one-of-a-kind sailing event with exciting entertainment, musical performances and celebrations that have attracted thousands of sailors and enthusiasts to the island over the years. The actual competition consists of round-the-buoys contests and point-to-point destination races against the backdrop of St. Maarten's breathtaking coastal views.

For more information on St. Maarten visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau atwww.VacationStMaarten.com.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing-and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment-in the Caribbean. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world's best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun.

For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visitwww.heinekenregatta.comor contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Safe holidays: Don’t Drink & Drive

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a section of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and the Department of Communication (DCOMM), in a collective public service message is urging motorists not to “Drink and Drive,” during the change-over into the New Year when many will be out celebrating.  The emphasis is on keeping our roads safe.

CPS, is calling on the community to check family and friends before they get in front of the wheel of a car.

Every driver has the opportunity to reduce tragedy on the country’s roads.  The onus is on the one behind the wheel who has a responsibility when driving a vehicle. 

Pay attention while driving by being disciplined and not impatient.  Also select a designated driver if you plan to have a couple of drinks with family or friends.

There will be a lot of entertainment activities during the Old to New Year changeover in homes, at bars, restaurants and nightclubs. 

In order for every Sint Maarten family and visitors alike to be able to enjoy themselves, those driving on our roads club hopping, need to be their brother’s keeper by paying attention to those who may have had a little too much to drink.

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.  Let us all have a safe holiday season without having any road tragedies due to driving under the influence.

For our visitors, you also have the option of taking a taxi cab home or to your hotel if you are not able to drive.  Don’t become a danger to yourself and other road users.

The following appeal is part of CPS’s annual Safe Holidays campaign in conjunction with DCOMM. (Department of Communication DCOMM)

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