Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving From the NAGB

Happy Thanksgiving! This edition of the NAGB newsletter provides updates around the National Exhibition, our current PULSE exhibitions, "Bush Medicine Stories," the Inter-Island Traveling Exhibition "From Time: Water Has A Perfect Memory", NAGB’s special Christmas holiday shopping opportunities for local products, family events and so much more!

Friends of the Environment - Thankful!!! for your support and a Learning Centre Matching Challenge!

Mangrove wetland touch tank
How Can We Help?
Dear Readers,

We have some wonderful news to share! We are grateful to have received an amazing grant from GlobalGiving to set a matching challenge. Every donation that we receive before December 31st, will be matched, up to $100,000! Will you help us match, meet, and raise what we need to make it to the next step in our journey to rebuild our Learning Centre? 

A couple weeks after Hurricane Dorian hit, FRIENDS’s entire staff converged in Nassau and made a game plan for how we could help. The early days were confusing, depressing, hectic, and overall challenging. In the face of it all we knew that we could take control of the present and work to ensure that our remaining facility (the Frank Kenyon Centre) could continue to serve as a base for relief groups like Team Rubicon and Samaritan’s Purse. We made connections to assist with aid and in getting the word out about Abaco’s situation.

Fast forward to today and we’ve made it through two hurricane seasons and part of a pandemic. Our work plan did not look like the one we planned in our Fall 2018 Board Retreat, yet we have stuck to our mission and helped put our community in a better place than it was last year. Now that Abaco has made it through the “disaster” and hit the “recovery” phase we find ourselves asking the same question: how best can we help?

Turnquest Goes Quietly – For Now: 'I Will Have More To Say About The Allegations Made Against Me And The Actors That Have Perpetuated It'

Peter Turnquest speaking on Wednesday. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

Tribune Senior Reporter

PRIME Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis accepted Peter Turnquest’s resignation as deputy prime minister and minister of finance yesterday evening, ending nearly a week of political intrigue after the East Grand Bahama MP was named in a Supreme Court lawsuit relating to an alleged $27m fraud.

Dr. Minnis said in a brief statement that he will serve as interim finance minister before a substantive appointment is made to that post. Mr. Turnquest said he will continue to serve out his term as MP.

Mr. Turnquest’s resignation came as a surprise even to his Cabinet colleagues, with one minister telling The Tribune last night that he was “devastated and shocked” by the outcome. The Tribune understands that Mr. Turnquest’s Cabinet colleagues largely wanted him to remain the steward of the country’s fiscal affairs as the nation battles the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr. Turnquest and Dr. Minnis sat side by side for what will likely be the last time in the House of Assembly earlier yesterday. As parliamentarians debated a bill to amend the Penal Code, questions about Mr. Turnquest’s future hovered over proceedings and were much discussed on the sidelines of the House. His departure from Cabinet comes several months after Elizabeth MP Dr Duane Sands resigned as health minister under controversial circumstances.

He is the third Cabinet minister to resign from the Minnis administration, after Brent Symonette quit his post as minister of immigration and trade last year.  Read more >>

Bahamas wants to secure 80,000 doses of COVID vaccine

Minister of Health Renward Wells (right) speaks with Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter Jasper Ward outside the House of Assembly yesterday. Ahvia J. Campbell

Jasper Ward
The Nassau Guardian

The government has made a down payment to secure 80,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, Minister of Health Renward Wells said yesterday, adding that it is aiming to vaccinate 20 percent of the population in the first phase.

“As you would rightfully note, we have put down a down payment on getting at least about 80,000 doses which equates to about 20 percent of our population, which is the agreed standard globally for all the countries around the globe,” Wells told reporters outside the House of Assembly.

“Everyone, through the WHO, is going to get enough to vaccinate, in the first instance, about 20 percent of their population. The Bahamas has put down $250,000 on that facility, COVAX facility, through the WHO (World Health Organization). But, we, as a country, also reserve the right to go directly to the manufacturers, such as Moderna and Pfizer.  Read more >>

Bannister: Internet scams proliferate in The Bahamas

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister

Royston Jones Jr.
Eyewitness News

Minister suggests music artists like Vybez Cartel glorify scamming to the detriment of young people.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday that amended legislation relating to the Penal Code will go a long way to protecting The Bahamas’ international reputation, as he expressed concerns about a proliferation of online scams and “fake lotteries”.

“When I was preparing for this I was thinking about all the scams we’ve seen in recent times,” said Bannister during the debate.

“The lottery scams. They have these scams where people call you up and say you have won a lottery: ‘You pay the fees and the taxes upfront and we are going to send you the money’.

“Right next door in Jamaica, they have what they call the Jamaican phone scammers.

“They’ve had a lot of that in Jamaica and that has been blamed for financing gang warfare in Jamaica and for murders.

“Mr Speaker, the scams have even gotten into popular culture.  Read more >>

Bahamas agency responds to concern on Romaine Lettuce Recall


Deandrea S. Hamilton
Magnetic Media TV

#TheBahamas – November 25, 2020 – BAHFSA wishes to inform the general public that the recent Romaine Lettuce Warning being circulated on social media by Fox News, is a dated post.

However, there have been no lettuce recalls in 2020.  Read more >>

Statement From the Leader of The Opposition On The Resignation of Peter Turnquest

Opposition leader, Philip "Brave" Davis

Bahamas National

Tonight's  resignation of Peter Turnquest as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance was inevitable. The allegations in the lawsuit are too serious and too scandalous for him to remain in such an important position.

However, the position of Minister of Finance remains essentially vacant.

Bahamians are looking at the thinness of the FNM bench and worrying there is no one of sufficient competence to lead that Ministry.

Who will speak about whether the state of the country’s finances have been truthfully represented?

Who will give confidence to Bahamians and international financial institutions that the public finances of the country are in safe hands?

In the meantime, the panicked late night proclamation of a new State of Emergency is a corrupt power grab by the Prime Minister, who wants to operate without scrutiny or accountability.

A health crisis, an economic crisis, and a constitutional crisis. What a mess.  (source)