St Maarten´s BREAKING NEWS and the local RADIO broadcast

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While reading the latest articles about the friendly island and it the beautiful people, it is now posible to listen to the broadcasting stream from the local radio stations.

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ODM Calls on Public to Monitor the Progress of Tropical Storm Bertha.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM):---- The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) is closely monitoring the progress of the second Tropical Storm (TS) for the Atlantic hurricane season, TS Bertha.
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 11:48 am

Former ministers fail to submit financial declarations

PM unaware of blank filing by former Justice Minister Duncan St. Maarten – Not all ministers that left office after the fall of the second Wescot-Williams cabinet have filed a declaration of their assets and financial affairs, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. The General Audit Chamber stated in a report […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:50 am

Franklin Meyers about his billboards: “I am not in breach of campaign rules”

St. Maarten – “I am not in breach of any campaign rule,” United People’s party candidate Franklin Meyers told this newspaper yesterday in a reaction to our report that the police will ask the Ministry of Vromi to remove political billboards from roundabouts. Meyers, the number 3 on the UP-list and a former Commissioner of […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:47 am

Dutch Electoral Council wants ban on stemfies

THE HAGUE – The Dutch Electoral Council wants to ban the so-called stemfie – a picture taken by voters in the voting booth showing whom they voted for, the Telegraaf reported yesterday. In March, Minister Ronald Plaster (Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations) said that voters are allowed to take such pictures. According to the Electoral […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:46 am

De Weever warns politicians about requests for “special assistance”

St. Maarten – Members of Parliament, their wives, and candidates in the upcoming elections have been approaching civil servants at the Labor Department to ask “special assistance for their potential voters,” Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. “I am kindly asking these […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:45 am

Opinion: Empty promises of politicians in the elections

Elections bring out the best and the worst in people, candidates and potential voters alike. The traditional mudslinging does not surprise anyone anymore but it is getting old and it does not impress the thinking part of the electorate at all. Surprisingly, and this is a recurring theme, candidates are always promising change (because the […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:43 am

Opinion: Blue murder (arrest of former minister and lottery boss)

Gerrit Schotte’s Movementu Futuro Kòrsou and attorney Eldon Sulvaran are screaming blue murder about the arrest of former Minister George Jamaloodin and lottery boss Robbie dos Santos. They use terms like black magic, claim that the prosecutor’s office does not have a shred of evidence against the suspects and that – of course – this […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:41 am

Associations – Video Game Effects Phenomena

Decades ago our little godson Ryan came to visit us from Northern Ireland. One day, when we were going for a little trip and he sat content on the rear seat in my car, we heard him hum a tune – endlessly. Later we found out that this tune stems from a computer game he […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:40 am

Editorial: Public disclosure

That former ministers have to file a declaration about their assets and finances within thirty days after leaving office seemed like a good idea. The reality is that this requirement – even though non-compliance carries a maximum prison sentence of 3 years – is utterly meaningless. As long as there declarations are not screened thoroughly […]
Posted on 1 August 2014 | 4:35 am

FCCA Conference & Trade Show to Jump Start High Season.

POINT BLANCHE:--- The 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference (FCCA) Conference & Trade Show to be held from October 6-10 will jump start the upcoming 2014-2015 tourism season. The conference and trade show will attract to the destination more than 1000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives during that one week period. For cruise executives, ports and destinations, cruise and tourism agencies, attractions, ship agents, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet key industry players, analyse trends and discuss current issues. "Destination St. Maarten/St. Martin hosting and organizing the 21st FCCA Conference & Trade Show will also have an economic spin-off for small, medium and big business," Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo pointed out. According to the Department of Statistics "Factors Statistical Magazine" of December 2013, the cruise industry is a success for the Caribbean which continues to rank as the dominant cruise destination, accounting for 37.3 per cent all global itineraries in 2013. The Caribbean continues to have the leading share of cruise industry capacity, although there has been growth in all global cruise regions. Based on a Tourism Exit Survey (TES) Report for the 1st quarter of 2013, based on a total of 509 respondents representing over 2,000 cruise passengers, 54 per cent of the cruise respondents, predominantly reside in North America (USA 43 per cent, Canadian 10 per cent); travel groups have an average size of 3.5 persons and largely consist of family and friends. 68 per cent of individuals are in the age range of 15-49, and respondents to the survey spent an average US\$199,11 per person on various miscellaneous activities followed by shopping and entertainment activities. When respondents were questioned as to whether they are returning visitors to the island, 68 per cent of them indicated not having visited the destination prior to the cruise; whereas 31 per cent were returning visitors. The visitor's attraction to the destination, 54 per cent said it had to do with the presence of St. Maarten on the cruise itinerary which influenced their purchase decision. The Port St. Maarten is ranked one of the highest in growth in cruise passengers as well as cruise passenger expenditure levels. Last year the Port St. Maarten received 1,785.670 cruise passengers, 32,455 passengers more than in 2012. Cruise passengers arrived on 631 vessel calls for 2013. Port St Maarten CEO Mingo says the cruise sector is a significant economic contributor to the Gross National Product (GDP) of the country. The FCCA comprises of 15 cruise lines operating more than 100 vessels out of United States ports. Port St. Maarten was second in the top five destinations with US\$356.2 million in expenditures by passengers and crew; according to the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) September 2012 study. The top five destinations have US\$1.43 billion in direct expenditures, accounting for 72 per cent of the total cruise tourism expenditures among the 21 destinations. The cruise sector is a key strategic economic pillar of the country's economy, generating a total of 8,123 jobs with a wage income of US\$160 million. The significance of the FCCA to the country's economy speaks for itself.
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 8:42 pm

Heat stress can cause illnesses; CPS urges vigilance of elderly, infants and young children.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour observes that for several days it has been very warm, and recommends to the community to take action during such warm periods.
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 7:39 pm

Much potential for growth in our Educational system - Leona Marlin.

GREAT BAY:--- Quality Education forms a core part of any successful, dynamic and sustainable society. The United St. Maarten (US) Party understands this and as such considers developing and providing the highest quality education system and services to be one of the Party's main goals.
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 7:38 pm

Democratic Party shared their views on several issues affecting St. Maarten --- DP totally agrees with Campaign Guidelines set by Minister of Justice.

PHILPSBURG:--- Members of the Democratic Party stood by their leader Sarah Wescot Williams on Thursday when they shed light and their shared their views on many issues affecting St. Maarten. Member of Parliament Roy Marlin in his remarks said he was the one that met with Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson to establish the guidelines for the political campaign. Marlin said when he was tasked with the matter he immediately thought of the motion passed in Parliament in April 2013 which was to eliminate large amount of people from around the polling stations on election day. He said while preparing the guidelines he consulted with the DP faction in Parliament as well of the board members of the DP. When the guidelines were completed they sent it on to the Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson informally then sometime after he was presented with them officially. MP Marlin said the guidelines are very clear and objective. MP Marlin condemned the statements made by the UP leader Theodore Heyliger who said he is challenging the authority of the Minister of Justice. Marlin said he does not believe that is the right thing for the UP or any other political party to do because as political parties they should lead by example. Marlin said the Democratic Party is extremely disappointed with the reaction of the UP leader towards the Minister of Justice. Marlin said the UP leader stated that the Minister violated the human rights treaty but if one looks at article 21 it clearly states political parties can express their opinion and vision but that must be done within the confines of the local laws of the country. So far the Minister of Justice has not violated the human rights treaty neither did he violate the ordinance on manifestation. He said that the DP applauds the guidelines and they will carry out the guidelines issued by the Minister of Justice. Leader of the DP Sarah Wescot Williams said that based on the spirit of the law, especially after having a discussion with the council of churches who asked them to sign an accord on the code of ethics during the political campaign. She stressed that St. Maarten will not get things totally right but they need to lead by example. Other issues the DP raised is the decrease that the GEBE promised the people which was to take effect in the month of July and to date it cannot be implemented. She said she does not to believe that GEBE would make those promises without doing proper research. She said that they cautioned GEBE to do due diligence when they announced the decreased. "You cannot create these kind of expectations and don't deliver because there are several people who cannot pay their monthly bills." Minister of Health Cornelius de Weever said in his remarks that there is some sort of National Health Insurance (NHI) already on St. Maarten. He said some people fell through the cracks those people are taxi drivers and other independent workers who cannot afford private insurance. Minister de Weever said they came to a decision where these persons can have an insurance at SZV and they will pay their premiums to SZV. De Weever said they have a lot of challenges with SZV and that is no public secret. He said that is some information that the Department of Public Health has to get from SZV and they are busy working on it. The DP leader added that they have been working on the NHI for quite some time but she wanted to make clear that they did not abandon the project. "These types of projects take time and the NHI is not an easy issue therefore government prefers to introduce it in stages and each time we introduce a stage we want to make sure it's done correctly. Government remains committed to having everyone living on St. Maarten medically insured." As for the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), Minister de Weever said that he received a proposal from SMMC on Wednesday and his office and other stakeholders are busy reviewing the proposal. He said when someone sends a proposal with a hand drawing that for sure has his concern. "As you know the devil is in the details and government and APS have to ensure that is not the case." De Weever said he sent several groups of persons to SMMC who wanted to provide necessary medical services to St. Maarten but after these people meet with SMMC he does not get any feedback. The Minister of Health said these are some of the challenges government faces by having such institutions under foundations. "When government has absolutely no say it is totally unacceptable and that must be changed." He said they have been working on several things with SMMC such as merging the Mental Health Foundation and Turning Point with SMMC. He said there are many patients that have multiple diagnosis and therefore it is necessary for these two other institutions to work closely with SMMC. De Weever said St. Maarten has limited resources both financial and human and there is no need to duplicate the services that can be under one umbrella therefore they have to make what they have work for the everyone on the island. MP Roy Marlin said that it is unacceptable for politicians to place photos on billboard and they know for sure they cannot deliver it. "Right now you are seeing billboards with a new building for SMMC while SMMC just needs to be expanded and repaired. Furthermore, there is no need to have a new building and the services that are necessary cannot be provided here." Marlin said that another thing they are hearing from politicians is the merging of several government owned companies. He cautioned that St. Maarten only has one harbor, one airport, one GEBE, one SZV and one TELEM so if they will play with these companies then "crappo will smoke their pipes." The DP members concluded by saying that a lot will be said about the National Institute on Performing Arts. They said the plans for that project is with government and they are busy working on it. However, they made clear that this is not just about building a structure, that structure has to be designed to do the things it is meant for.
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 6:16 pm

Editorial: Beautiful present

The trouble at Caravanserai is not over yet. A third auction is scheduled, and the bank that wants to recoup its investment this way is confronted with the baffling circumstances surrounding the sale of the Dunes Casino to the Corallo-company IFPS. Last year the court ruled that there was no sale – though IFPS paid […]
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 1:26 am

Opinion: Election season in full swing

Are we surprised? Not at all. The United People’s party, apparently unable to read the text of a simple permit, has decided that it is not violating campaign rules. This is why party-leader Theo Heyliger still smiles at prospective voters from roundabouts and why green flags are still flying at bridges. It is of course […]
Posted on 31 July 2014 | 1:25 am

MADAME ESTATE, St. Maarten …

MADAME ESTATE, St. Maarten - Henderson Insurances will host a Catastrophe Risk Insurance Conference on Friday, September 5, at the Belair Community Center starting from 2:00pm.
Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:42 pm

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - With the various political parties to contest the fast approaching August 29th parliamentary elections, many of the candidates are moving toward securing the confidence of the electorate, and for the number 8 candidate on the slate of the US Party, Fernando Clarke, it is no exception.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Independent Member of Parliament and leader of the US Party, the Honorable Frans Richardson stated over the weekend that the cost of living, the minimum wage, job creation and housing are having an adverse effect on the social lives of the citizens of St. Maarten.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The department of Social Services and Labor Affairs experienced a power surge over the weekend, which resulted in a total crash in their servers.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The operational programme between the government of the Collectivite and the government of the Dutch side will be made available to all stakeholders as of Thursday July 31st, stated Prime Minister with the responsibility for General Affairs, the Honorable Sarah W Williams.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – The leader of the OSPP, Lenny Priest and the President Mr. Lloyd Beaton were privileged to have attended a meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 with the other political parties and the St. Maarten Clergy at the Holland House.
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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The United People's party (UP) will kick off its schedule of six public meetings tomorrow, Thursday in Suckergarden in the vicinity of Steven's Bar at 7:00pm.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On initiative of Emil Lee, candidate #4 on the Democratic Party list, the Open Government Partnership agreement has been endorsed by the DP and all candidates on the 2014 slate.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Democratic Party (DP) of St. Maarten during 2014 is celebrating its 60th anniversary with reflecting on the past decades and recognizing the invaluable contribution that the party and its members, past and present, have made to the development of this nation.
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten …

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Tuesday July 29th the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on Tuesday was presented with the recently published "Welkom op St. Maarten" guide for people from Dutch Speaking Countries interested in traveling to St. Maarten.
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