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Soualiga News II (4757)

Prime Minister meets with reps from AVA Airlines

PHILIPSBURG - Olivier Arrindell of Grace Aviation paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister William Marlin, introducing him to Gabriel Sandoval, Senior Director Aircraft Marketing Latin America and Caribbean of AERCAP Aviation Solutions. Arrindell is currently in the process of establishing AVA Airlines.

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Get ready for plain packaging. Tobacco deaths are preventable through tobacco control

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has highlighted the potential of plain tobacco packaging to reduce demand for a product that globally kills almost six million people annually, one million of whom reside in the Region of the Americas. These deaths are eminently preventable through tobacco control.

Evidence shows potential of plain packaging to reduce tobacco demand, according to information received by the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

The campaign theme this year for World No Tobacco Day that was observed on 31 May was, "Get ready for plain packaging." It was about how this measure eliminates misleading information and boosts the effectiveness of health warnings.

With respect to Sint Maarten, a study entitled, “Adolescent Health and Sexuality,” survey of 2013 revealed that approximately one third (35.9 per cent) of in-school participants had ever smoked, with all of these persons having first tried a cigarette under the age of 16.  Around a quarter had done so over the past 30 days (23.1 per cent).

Plain packaging of tobacco products restricts or prohibits the use of logos, colors, brand images and promotional information on packaging other than brand and product names displayed in a standard color and font style. Scientific studies show that plain packaging is effective in reducing the attractiveness of tobacco products to consumers.

Plain packaging is recommended in the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) guidelines as part of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that also includes large graphic health warnings and comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

In 2012, Australia became the first country to fully implement plain packaging. France, Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have passed laws to begin implementing plain packaging starting in May 2016. Other countries—some in the Region of the Americas—are also exploring this option.

Evidence from Australia supports the efficacy of this measure, as have a number of experimental studies and systematic reviews.

In the Americas, approximately 17% of the adult population uses tobacco. Tobacco control is a powerful tool for improving health in communities and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG target 3.4, which calls for reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030.

Tobacco use is a leading risk factor for NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes.

In the Americas, NCDs accounted for 4.3 million deaths (77% of all registered deaths) in 2012, and 35% of these were premature, occurring among people aged 30 to 70.

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Ambassador Valkenburg’s plan to champion agriculture is welcomed news to OSPP

PHILIPSBURG - News that the new Dutch Ambassador to Cuba Alexandra Valkenburg plans to champion the interest of St. Maarten is being welcomed by the One St. Maarten People Party-OSPP—who while launching their candidate Maurits Joslyn Richardson last week, stressed the importance agriculture must play in the further development of St. Maarten.

According to media reports, last week Ambassador to Cuba Alexandra Valkenburg paid a courtesy visit to the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary to learn about St. Maarten and during that visit she announced her intentions to champion the interests of the island in the areas of agriculture, fishery, water logistics and cooperation tourism.

“This is welcomed news indeed to the OSPP because as we have stated agricultural development must be a part of the future of the island. We have already suggested that at least two agriculture scholarships be made available annually for young people who may have an interest in this field  and that agriculture be offered as part of the school curriculum as is done in many of the islands,” OSPP leader Lenny F. Priest said.

“We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the ambassador to find out if there are any special agricultural programs that St. Maarten can benefit from and how to access these and maybe find ways to fund agriculture in schools or introduce better irrigation systems and generally access on behalf of the people of St. Maarten the host of United Nations funded agricultural programs and other programs that the Dutch are willing to finance as part of the development of agriculture locally,” Priest concluded.

Meanwhile OSPP candidate Maurits Joslyn Richardson also welcomed the statement from the ambassador adding “It’s a shame that our government leaders couldn’t see for themselves the need to develop the agricultural sector despite many proposals having been put before them specifically geared at developing that sector. Agriculture can be an important part of the economy and while we may not get to the stage where we are producing enough for export, we certainly can be self-sufficient and grow what we eat,” Richardson explained.

He cited the growing trend of persons wanting to eat healthy organically grown products and believes that having the produce that is sold in the supermarkets and other markets locally be grown locally would instill more confidence in buyers and translate to a regular source of revenue for growers.

The OSPP leader and candidate said they look forward to discussions on growing the agricultural sector locally.

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Attempted robbery at Cole Bay Gas Station being investigated

COLE BAY - The Special Robbery Unit is presently investigating an attempted armed robbery on the Star Mart Gas Station located on Welfare Road in Cole Bay.

The incident took place on Thursday July 7th at approximately 12.55 p.m. This is when the suspect who was driving approached the gas-attendant by gasoline station.

The attendant did not trust the situation and noticed that the suspect had a gun in his hand. The suspect threatened the attendant with the weapon and which time the attendant stepped away from the car.

When the suspect noticed that he was not successful in his attempt he drove away in his vehicle. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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KPCN employee sentenced for mishandling a minor and committing perjury

BONAIRE (Caribbean Netherlands) - On Tuesday July 5th the case, in which an employee of the Police Force Caribbean Netherlands (KPCN) with the initials L.C.  was suspected of two cases of ill-treatment, one of which was the mishandling of a minor and committing perjury was handled by the Court.For all mentioned facts is proven that the employee is guilty.

On Tuesday July 5th, the Court has given a verdict. The employee is sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of six months with a probation period of three years, under the special condition that the suspect performs 240 hours unpaid work or community service.

This employee can still appeal against the verdict within two weeks.

The employee is suspended from his post since the investigation into this caseeffective March 4th, 2016. (Police Force Caribbean Netherlands)

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Man stabbed while walking on Front Street Operated Upon and is in the Intensive Care Unit

PHILIPSBURG - Detectives are presently investigating a case involving a man that was stabbed while walking on Front Street. The incident took place on Sunday July 3rd at approximately 11.10 p.m. in the vicinity of the taxi-stand on the Cyrus Wathey Square opposite the Court House.

According to the victim he was suddenly attacked from behind and stabbed in his right side. The victim also saw an unknown person running away. The victim ran in the direction of the Catholic Church of Front Street where he collapsed on the side walk.

A witness who noticed that a knife was still lodged in the victim’s right side notified the police and paramedics. The victim was treated on the scene and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment.

At the hospital the victim had to be operated immediately. The victim remains in the Intensive Care Unit for observation and could not give any further statement to the reason for the stabbing. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Conference on CMOU of Port State Control takes place on Bonaire hosted for the first time by Dutch Shipping Inspectorate Caribbean

BONAIRE (Caribbean Netherlands) - From Tuesday June 28th to Friday July 1st the 21st Conference of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMOU) took place on Bonaire.

It is the first time that the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate Caribbean is host to this annual meeting, which is held in the region.

Shipping is vital to the world economy. In order to guarantee the safety of the crew, passengers, ship and environment there are agreements made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a division of the United Nations (UN).

Port State Control inspections ensure that these international agreements are maintained. Inspectors check ships under foreign flag in ports and anchorages to verify the ships meet the rules prescribed by the IMO.

If defects or serious abnormalities are discovered during these inspections, the crew of the ship is required to take measures to remedy this.

The Caribbean MOU (CMOU)

Several regions around the world have decided to map out and limit

the safety and environmental risks that the shipping industry may pose as best as possible. The Caribbean region is investing all of its knowledge and expertise in this.

The Dutch Shipping Inspection congratulates the CMOU, all member states, associate members and observers with their 20-year anniversary in which they contribute to a safe and clean Caribbean Sea both in the past, the present and for our future generations.

The staff of the Caribbean Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (I&M) can look back on a successful meeting with interesting speakers and presentations. Next year is Aruba's turn to host the annual congress. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Christian Assembly Ministry’s Youth Department to Celebrate 6th Annual Youth Week Starting on Friday

PHILIPSBURG - This week, Christian Assembly Ministry’s Youth Department will be celebrating their 6th annual Youth Week under the theme “Managing Me”. This conference will be taking place from Friday July 8th to Sunday July 10th and is centered on teaching young people how to manage themselves body, spirit, and soul.

“When we look around the island at our youth, we see many broken individuals who are not able to channel their emotions effectively, and deal with daily issues faced. This conference is geared towards equipping them with the necessary information they need in order to live a balanced life.”

The Youth Department will be having renowned Caribbean Gospel Artist, Rizon, be the main speaker for this grand event. Rizon is known for big hits such as “Who Got This?” and “Higher Level”.

On Friday at 7:30pm, the conference will kick off at the Christian Assembly Ministries in La Savane Grand Case with a concert that will feature youths from various churches and Rizon.

Saturday morning will follow with a conference at the John Larmonie Center in Philipsburg, next to the Sports Auditorium. Doors will be opening at 9:30am and the session will commence at 10am with an entrance fee of only $5, which will include eats and drinks. These sessions will last until 2pm, during which time the speakers will go in depth with attendees, dealing with what is needed to provide balance to their lives.

On Sunday morning, all roads will lead to Christian Assembly Ministries in La Savane Grand Case for the 10am service where there is much to be anticipated beyond the borders of what is normally experienced. We will also be joined by delegates from the island of Dominica.

This conference is one that should not be missed by any young person. We are encouraging churches, foundations, associations, and parents to make the necessary sacrifices in ensuring their teens to be present.

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St. Maarten Lions Club announces Raffle Winners

SUCKER GARDEN - The St. Maarten Lions Club held its fundraising car raffle on Sunday July 3rd at 6pm in the presence of a Government Controller and was broadcast live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115.

The winner for the Sharp Smart TV is Martina Browne with ticket #3519. The Samsung S6 cell phone was won by Lucira Harry with ticket# 2929. The big winner of the evening was Karam Sylvie of Friar's Bay with ticket #5381 and she has one the 2016 Nissan X-Trail.

After Ms. Sylvie was called, the winner came right away from the Friar’s Bay to the Lions Den to see the car. 

An official presentation of all the prizes will be done with the winners later this week. The St. Maarten Lions Club thanks the general public and the numerous businesses that supported the fundraising raffle by purchasing tickets throughout the year. 

All funds raised go towards various community projects on St. Maarten during 2016-2017.

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MAP to be replaced by New Movement for the March 2017 Collectivity Elections on St. Martin

Marigot, St. Martin - The Movement for the Advancement of the People (MAP) will be replaced by a new political movement, this was concluded in a recent general assembly with party members, said Louis Mussington president of the MAP.

The party’s members gathered to discuss the political future of the party, and how best to prepare for the March 2017 Collectivity elections.

“The MAP has lived its time, it time is to move on to something new,” said the political leader.

Founded in November 1996, the MAP made an impressive impact on the political landscape of the country by winning its first contested elections in March 1998 and electing Louis Mussington to the general council of Guadeloupe.

According to Mussington, the success of the MAP in 1998 came from a long standing history of hard work invested by former members of St. Martin Educational and Cultural Organization (SMECO) and the labor movement of the late 1980s.

“As a youth movement we were always on the forefront championing the cry of thepeople.”

“While it is hard to move on fromtheorganization you have structured for the past 20 years, the new St. Martin reality is, a call for broader unity to face the more complex socio-economic challenges the country is now encountering,” concluded Mussington, who is planning to head a new movement in upcoming elections. 

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