Ingraham says he is concerned with Ryan Pinder but carry no concern for Vincent Vanderpool Wallace? Hubert Ingraham Dear Editor, It was quite interesting to listen to the former Prime Minister make comments on the departure of Leo Ryan Pinder from the Cabinet of the Bahamas. Ingraham alluded to the fact that he finds it worrying to see that a Cabinet Minister would be allowed to leave the Cabinet and then be hired in the same sector for which he had responsibility around the table. Mr. Ingraham, in my opinion, has a short memory and must still be punch drunk from the vicious cut hip delivered to his failed government which had led the nation into to the deepest and darkest recession in the history of the modern Bahamas. Did Mr. Ingraham forget how Michael Barnett became Sir Michael under his watch; how he moved from around the table as Attorney General and days later was appointed Chief Justice of an independent branch of Government? How is it Mr. Ingraham didn’t see anything wrong with that? Or how about his last AG, John Delaney, who is now the legal representative for the same widely discussed Oil Explorers, who were a major controversy in the last election. Perhaps Mr. Ingraham’s short weak memory forgot how his then Minister of Tourism, Mr. Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, while sitting around his Cabinet table was the government’s lead negotiator with the I-Group out of Mayaguana; that same company, when he left the Cabinet of the Bahamas, was the place where he became employed. And, Mr. Editor, there are many many still unanswered questions by Mr. Inrgaham himself – from the payout of Government cheques to corporation executives by the treasury under his watch to the hefty approvals of bonuses at the National Insurance Board when he [Mr. Ingraham] was the Minister of Finance with responsibility for NIB. Why is Mr. Ingraham concerned with Ryan Pinder, when the Bahamian public is more concerned over the shadiness Mr. Ingraham orchestrated when he served as Prime Minister? Signed, Ethel Roker-Bain  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Scores of persons have complained how they paid $200 service fee but never got their loan… Scores of Bahamians are being scammed. Scores of applicants have been denied after funds taken….Newspapers adverts must be questioned by URCA! Nassau, Bahamas – BP has been on the ground investigating and has found out that MONEY FINDERS, an alleged money lending institution, has been conning Bahamians out of their hard earned money. Money Finders preys on desperate, broke Bahamians by telling them that no banks are involved and that loans are guaranteed to be approved by “private lenders”. When Bahamians go to apply for these loans they are charged ABSORBENT, NON-REFUNDABLE “application fees” based on the amount they are attempting to borrow. They give their last expecting to get the loans but only to find that’s the last they will see or hear of their money. Get this! As usual, some white-faced, female foreigner is running the office while Bahamians work there in cahoots with her screwing their fellow Bahamians out of their hard-earned money. What BP wants to know is WHERE IS THE POLICE in all of this?? If the news has gotten to BP then how come the police has not shut down these scammers as yet. Is it because the face of these FRAUDSTERS is white?? BP has spoken to several people who have gotten duped by this place. BP decided to investigate further and found out that this company does not just prey on broke Bahamians promising loans, but also on unemployed Bahamians and Bahamians who are losing their homes due to these harsh economic times. Money Finders has advertisements in the daily WUTLESS, USELESS rag sheets luring the unemployed to come in and register with cash for guarantee jobs, telling those who are losing their houses that they can save them for a fee and promising loans from private lenders for a fee. What in da hell is dis??? BP calls on authorities to shut this place down and stop this madness. Bahamians should not be scammed in their own country by white foreigners assisted by Bahamians. MONEY FINDERS must be shut down!! We report! Yinna Decide!! PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS RELEASED ON BEHALF OF SENATOR ALEXANDER STORR, CHAIRMAN OF THE BAHAMAS MORTGAGE CORPORATION SEN. HON. ALEX STORR I find the commentary titled “The Folly of Fred Mitchell” by Branville McCartney to be entirely comical and misplaced. This cannot be the same fellow who publicly supported the new immigration measures and more recently, just two weeks ago, reportedly in the graveyard of a church in Fox Hill congratulated the Immigration Minister on the new policies and urged him to stick to it. Now McCartney says that he will not blindly follow any policy and seeks to pin on the minister and by extension the government something which the minister and the government never asserted and then seeks to denigrate what we as a government and country are seeking to do to protect our borders by suggesting that the government may be sanctioning abuse of detainees. Dame Billie Miller of Barbados used to say: “You cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time”. In other words, Mr. McCartney cannot have his cake and eat it too.  Bahamians would say: “You can’t be all over the place. You have to make up your mind whether you are weak or you’re strong.” The Bahamian people want resolution to this vexing problem. Right now we need all hands on deck, not some wishy washy summer solider and sunshine patriot, who at the first ill wind goes running for the tall grass. For the record, I say again: The Bahamas government does not sanction the abuse of detainees; nor does it encourage it; nor does it promote it; nor does it support it; it will not go unpunished where it is found to exist. The individual behavior of an officer or officers is quite a different matter from state sanctioned abuse. The only thing that the government has spoken and can speak to is the actions of the state and in the case of the allegations on Cuban detainees that is as far as the government went. The government never denied any fact of abuse but simply spoke and will continue to speak to the known facts. All complaints of abuse are investigated and are being investigated. I have followed these developments and Mr. McCartney must not put words in the mouth of the Minister that he did not say. The only folly that has so far been involved in this process is Mr. McCartney’s own anxiousness to join the Loretta Butler Turner School of “Scorch-The- Earth and Take No Prisoners; Say and ‘Do- Any-Thing-That Will-Get-You-A-Headline”. Whether this action by Mr. McCartney will get him back in the House of Assembly, well that is quite another matter. As for this government, the work of the Department continues within lawful bounds. As the Immigration Minister has said, the public is invited to contact Assistant Director Dwight Beneby where they know of any allegations of abuse and the same will be investigated. The results will be made known consistent with the privacy and rights of individuals as we live in a transparent society. Senator Alex Storr J.P. Chairman, Bahamas Mortgage Corporation PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Letter to the Editor Dear BP, I am glad that I can have a section on this website to express my views on Value Added Tax. Like a lot of Bahamians I was very mad when the idea of VAT was introduced to us. All I could think about was more of my hard-earned money being paid out and nothing but my pay check coming in. What I started to pay attention to was the fact that the government was going above and beyond its duty in making sure that every Bahamian was knowledgeable on VAT. I got educated and realized the government of The Bahamas did not seek to just TAX its citizens for no reason. We are going to be in a better financial position in short order. The government in its wisdom introduced VAT to assist with lowering our national debt and giving our citizens a sense of ownership. Our borrowing was getting out of hand and borrowing some more was not the right option to take. I like this approach as all “mature” countries in the world know that a taxation system is necessary to take care of the country – schools, roads and the like. So I say lets welcome VAT and and visit the Ministry of Finance’s website for any questions we might have or comments. Let us make our Bahamas BETTER!! Yours etc Laury Gilbert PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. BP Breaking UPDATE: Three of the men in 1997 Honda Accord Vehicle! Men crash in car and die this morning. Nassau, Bahamas — Only Bahamas Press was live at the scene of that deadly car crash early this morning has left two dead. Police Traffic Department confirmed they are investigating a traffic accident that has left two men dead and another man detained in hospital. Get this: According to reports, shortly before 12:00midnight, three males were driving south on East Street in a 1997 gold Honda Accord vehicle, when they lost control of the vehicle and collided into a tree. Two of the males were pronounced dead at the scene and the other male was transported to hospital where he is detained in critical condition. That victim may never walk again. We report yinner decide! PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
Mitchell Addresses the OAS on matters of New Immigration Policy - Madame Chair, Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, Excellencies, Let me first thank the Secretary General and you Assistant Secretary General for all the courtesies extended to me during this visit. As both the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General are expected to demit office within the coming months, this may be the last formal opportunity I have to thank you for the service which you have both given to this organization. The Bahamas thanks you for your leadership. I wish also to publicly acknowledge the work of the delegations of fellow Caricom countries in making this visit possible. I want to congratulate the Commonwealth of Dominica and its Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on the recent general election on 8th December. I want to congratulate the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff who will be sworn in for her second term on 1st January. I wish to acknowledge the work of the Prime Minister of Haiti Laurent Lamothe who has announced his resignation from office. Please convey to them all our warm felicitations. On behalf of Prime Minister Perry Christie, the government and Peoples of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I appear here today to deal with a serious matter: the reputation of The Bahamas. Nothing is more important to us than that in the international arena, whether in the hemisphere or in the sub region or around the world. Reputation is everything. The respect which we have around the world, depends upon our reputation. In Shakespeare’s Othello, he writes: But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed. My nation of less than 400,000 souls thrives off its reputation. Tourism is our main business. People come to The Bahamas as tourists because they believe and perceive that it is better in The Bahamas, and it is. As I have represented my country in countries around the world, far from our shores or near to our shores, when I mention that I from The Bahamas, the response is “ Ah ha! The Bahamas”. One Customs and Border control officer at the New York airport once said to me: “ Why are you looking sad, you live in Paradise.” The Bahamas is paradise and we work very hard to maintain that reputation. Thousands of business people and non- Bahamian residents live in our country because it has a stellar reputation as a safe place for investment and wealth management: a well regulated, transparent jurisdiction. What we know however is that we must be eternally vigilant in protecting our reputation: correcting untruths and misperceptions where they exist and of course ensuring that within our borders and in our external relations we so conduct ourselves that we to the extent that our resources permit adhere to the highest standards and best practices as set by the international community. I am here today to reaffirm our commitment to the principles of the rule of law, due process, the international treaties on migration and all the instruments to which we adhere in the Inter-American system. Please be assured of that. This assurance goes out to friend and foe alike and has become necessary because of the misinformation that has been circulated by two innocuous administrative measures that were announced by The Bahamas, which took effect on 1st November 2014. The policies were contained in a one page document which advised the public that work permit applications would not be accepted for those people who did not have legal status in The Bahamas without them first being certified as being seen by one of our consular officers in their home country or in the nearest office to their home country. The second was that all non-nationals who live in The Bahamas would have to get and hold the passport of their nationality and obtain a residency permit, which would be evidence that they have the right to live and work in The Bahamas. These policies should not have been a surprise to anyone. The political party to which I belong announced that we would be perusing immigration reforms prior to our election to office in 2012. We announced that changes were coming in policies in the first budget debate following the general election in 2012. We announced in the budget debate of 2014 that changes were coming including specifically that there would be a requirement for the passport of the nationality of the individual. On 28th July on an official visit of the President of Haiti to The Bahamas, we advised the Haitian government that we proposed to do so and sought their advice on whether they could meet the expected demand for passports at their embassy. The President indicated that they could. This was followed up with a similar exchange at the margins of the United Nations in September with the Foreign Minister of Haiti, my distinguished colleague. We have since spoken with the Minister in the margins of the summit in Havana Cuba last week and the Haitian government has indicated that they will take measures to meet the demand. I thank them. In our conversations with the International Organization for Migration, we have sought assistance for capacity building in Haiti to solve any possible this problem in that regard. The narrative I have just unfolded is given for two reasons. First, to emphasize that this should not have been a surprise to anyone. Secondly, to show that in planning and executing these policies we consulted with all of the stakeholders in the country on whom there may have impacts. We met with leaders of Haitians in The Bahamas. The Department of Immigration which is charged with the responsibility for executing these policies has an enforcement unit. Each day, they go out and do immigration checks. The press both at home and abroad keep referring to these as round ups or raids. There are no round ups in The Bahamas. Round ups are for cattle not people. Words make a difference. On 1st November, they did what they usually do and in the course of one of these checks, parents abandoned their children and left the children unaccompanied in their homes. This was later borne out by the parent in the press who indicated that he ran and told the children do not to open the door. The constitution of our country empowers officers to arrest people who are committing offences on the following standard: a reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed, is being committed or is about to be committed. Officers are briefed on that standard and reminded of their responsibility in law to treat everyone with respect and with dignity and to afford everyone due process. So far as I am aware they have stuck to that standard. The government does not sanction any deviation from that standard. The International Human Rights Commission is invited along with the Organization for American States to come at any time and inspect our procedures and facilities and see whether what we are saying is correct. We are open and transparent and have absolutely nothing to hide. Where there are shortfalls, we are committed to ensuring that those are corrected. Why does the openness and transparency and our support of an open and transparent process become important? There are three allegations that have been made that bear addressing in this forum which go to the heart of the matter: our country’s reputation: There is a Queen’s Counsel in the Bahamas who heads a human rights organization which is connected around the world and whose allegations have made headlines in the hemisphere and around the world. The specific charges must be refuted: He has accused the government of: “institutional terrorism”; then “ ethnic cleansing”; then “ running Auschwitz in The Bahamas”, referring to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre. The latter statement alleged in particular that this minister was responsible for Auschwitz in The Bahamas. Madame Chair, words have meanings and when a Queen’s Counsel makes such a statement he must be put to proof. Certainly the government of The Bahamas is bound to respond. Let me be clear: there is no institutional terrorism, no ethnic cleansings, no Auschwitz in The Bahamas. No group is being targeted for elimination in The Bahamas, no mass murder is occurring in The Bahamas and certainly none which is sponsored or sanctioned by the state. There is no evidence anywhere that this is the case and we refute it absolutely. We once again repeat the invitation to the human rights bodies to inspect at any time and without notice. The fact is the United Nations Human Rights Commission has a representative in The Bahamas and they have been to the detention centre and can say whether or not we are operating gas chambers and engaging in mass murder in the Carmichael Road Detention Centre. The remarks are so outrageous and absolutely irresponsible and I condemn without reservation. In that unfortunate gentleman’s latest press statement, he has indicated that he will bring his complaints to the OAS. We will meet him head on and we stand here unflinching in the face of these spurious allegations. Next I would wish to address why the policies have become necessary. First with regard to work permits. We sought by the policy to address two issues: The message going out to source countries that all you have to do is make your way to The Bahamas and get a friendly employer who gets you a work permit then you are good to go. This was driving illegal migration. The policy is intended to put a stop to it. On the question of passports and a residency permit. The constitution of The Bahamas from 1973 does not grant citizenship to people born in The Bahamas at birth unless your parents are Bahamian. Unfortunately for many, they chose not at birth to get the passport of their nationality or a residency stamp and live in a kind of no man’s land until they reach their 18th birthday. It is at that time that the constitution says that you can apply for citizenship of the Bahamas but before your 19th birthday. The new procedures are meant to solve that problem. This will now mean that so long as your parents are lawfully in The Bahamas, anyone who is born in The Bahamas can get a residency permit to work and live in The Bahamas until such time as their citizenship applications are determined. This puts all in this class in a better position. I need to add that holding the passport of the nationality does not prejudice the right under the constitution to apply for citizenship. Also in most cases where citizenship is not granted, the applicant receives permanent residence with the right to work. Many people in that class have been using a Certificate of Identity document instead of the passport of their nationality. That document does not evidence permission to be in The Bahamas and so all official acts like opening a bank account or getting a driver’s license are off limits to those people who rely on that document. With this new residence certificate to be known as a Belonger’s Permit, this problem is resolved. This policy, therefore, is not about revoking anyone’s citizenship. No one’s rights are being taken away ex post facto. This is about ensuring that the rights of people are protected. What confounds us is how such an innocuous policy has suddenly become such a bête noir around the hemisphere. What has not helped is the irresponsible statements of a Florida legislator who has spread much of the misinformation about this, on the basis that she is concerned about the children of migrants. The rule Madam Chair is when an illegal migrant is repatriated to their home country, the children must go with their parents. That is the accepted practice around the world and we do not deviate from it. There has been criticism at home and abroad about keeping children in the detention centre. The Prime Minister has instructed that we find a suitable facility for alternative arrangements and the Department of Social Services has spoken to the Catholic Church and the Church of God in The Bahamas with the view to identifying such a facility. I was informed today that plans have been settled for the facility to house children away from the Detention Centre. Now to the question of resources. You can imagine that this costs The Bahamas millions of dollars per year. Money which we can scarcely afford. Repatriation alone costs us some 1.5 million dollars per year. We would wish source countries to do all that they can to stop the flow of migrants. At one point in October of this year we had three days of arrivals of one hundreds of people per day on rickety boats. We know that people have died making these journeys. I pointed out to the Haitian Foreign Minister an article which appeared in The Miami Herald of an interview with men on the street in the Isle de La Tortue. In it they said that the poverty was so extreme and they had no work that boats were being built to set off to The Bahamas and to the United States. The distinguished Permanent Representative for Haiti indicated yesterday that this matter was referred to their Minister of Justice and they can find no evidence of the boats being built to set off for The Bahamas. We must however be eternally vigilant. The International Organization For Migration ( IOM) has indicated that it appears that those who come to our country are mainly headed to the United States and their stay in The Bahamas is mainly temporary or preliminary to going to the United States. What this means is that this is a multinational problem and all countries in our sub region: Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States must work to solve the more deep seated issues connected with this matter, that of poverty, underdevelopment and political instability. So Madam Chair, The Bahamas comes today to set the record straight on this matter and we trust that we have disabused all countries of the notion that anything untoward is happening with the issues of migrants. We have struggled with this problem for centuries. We will continue to manage the problem consistent with our international obligations and with our laws. The challenges from excessive regular migration While the challenges of irregular migration and benefits of regular migration in the Americas are clear, perhaps more important as a discussion focus for this forum, and less discussed generally nowadays, is the contemporary phenomenon of brain drain and its associated negative externalities. It has become taboo in some corners to speak of the negative impact of brain drain on the developing world, however, the ongoing deleterious impacts, particularly on small developing countries, is also abundantly clear. This is the other excess that we as a region must contend with. As a region, the Caribbean, more than any other area, continues to lose a significant percentage of educated labour and labour force in general. The reason that brain drain is such a problem for the Caribbean is because of the high proportion of skilled immigrants which migrate, representing between 60 to 90% of skilled population in most countries of the region. The cumulative effect of loss of the ‘best and brightest’ has the potential to further exacerbate existing levels of poverty and inequality in society in home countries. Additionally, for many of our countries, the brain drain also signifies lost social investment which can come in the form of government investments into health care and education through the provision of primary and secondary schooling and tertiary funding, and these prior social investments form a considerable as a percentage of GDP in many Caribbean countries. To further compound the impacts of brain drain, beyond the lost investments in previous training, many of the skilled professionals that leave, such as nurses, doctors, teachers and engineers, remain under supplied in Caribbean. So here, as with the challenge of irregular migration, there is a need to focus on long-term drivers and push factors, on diminishing the hallmarks of often uneven and under – development, which continue to plague our Member States and which provide catalysts for migration. In order to ensure more retention of top human capital and attraction of those aboard back home, our Governments must redouble efforts at bolstering development particularly with a view to providing access to local tertiary education facilities, economies that provide sustained and diverse job opportunities and safe and vibrant communities in which citizens can live. Contemporary migration is a complex phenomenon that involves consideration of the individual’s, origin and destination country interests. While, today it seems that much of the gains from hemispheric talent are skewed towards the developed countries of the hemisphere, it is we as origin countries who must take up the mantle of solving our own problems and work to ensure that our economies and societies are competitive given the global reality of today. The OAS and migration Here the OAS has a key role to play in helping Member States, particularly developing States, through helping to promulgate policies that enhance the natural synergies between migration and development, diminishing excesses from regular and irregular migration that place a drag on development, particularly for small states, and focusing on ameliorating root causes which contribute to irregular migration and brain drain. Madame Chair, The OAS has a legacy and comparative advantage through the Universal Civil Identity Project of the America and its projects, particularly, those involving civil identity initiatives. All pillars of the OAS are relevant to meeting the negative challenges associated with hemispheric migration however; assistance in the areas of democracy, human rights and citizen security all help states continue to work in a holistic manner to resolve issues that might spur migration beyond the search for job opportunity or educational advancement prospects. As I indicated at the outset, migration in search of better opportunity is a natural human instinct. Human capital, as any capital, tends to flow to where it can be maximized and optimally used. Notwithstanding the naturalness of the instinct to seek out better opportunities, as with the imperative of States to manage regular immigration in order to maintain territorial integrity, there are imperatives on States to get a handle on migration of nationals, particularly skilled migration, to limit any negative impacts on development. It is this imperative that we as a hemisphere must more seriously address in order to ensure a future of sustainable development across the continent. The true developmental charge of the Americas for the next decade is that we must work in our Countries, collectively and through the OAS to gradually change the calculus which has spawned irregular migration and the brain drain so that there is more equitable and synergistic benefit from the vast human capital of the Americas going forward. The OAS we want My Country looks forward to working with the OAS to meeting the challenges posed by migration, both regular and irregular, in the Americas. We standing willing to host a conference of interested states in the hemisphere and sub region on this issue. Madame Chair, in 2012 I had the distinct pleasure of leading my country’s delegation to RIO De Janeiro, Brazil for the RIO +20 Conference. I am reminded that the negotiated outcome document was so adequately entitled “The Future We Want”. Keeping that theme in mind, The Bahamas also looks forward to working with other Member States to continue to shape the OAS we all want. As our hemisphere prepares for the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama, The Bahamas joins those who express hope that Cuba will join us around that table so that at the highest levels of discussion we will finally truly engage the full family of the Americas. I note the upcoming elections of the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General, and I remain hopeful that in my lifetime this Organization can be led by a Secretary General from CARICOM, certainly an achievement for the Organization which is past due, and a ceiling which must be broken. As the Organization embarks on management modernization, enhancing fiscal governance and general standards reform, The Bahamas remains committed to supporting this process so that our Organization continues to strive to meet international standards and expectations and so that this forum can remain the political forum par-excellence that it is and will continue to match the dynamism of the hemisphere it seeks to shape. In parting, I take this opportunity to extend best wishes to all for a safe and festive season. Madame Chair, Members. In Shakespeare’s Othello, he writes: But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed. The Bahamas stands by its good name. I thank you very much indeed.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis By Betty Vedrine Bahamas Information Services NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Minister of State for Finance, the Hon. Michael Halkitis expressed his confidence and optimism in the success of Bahamas Resolve Ltd., the government’s response to debt collection for delinquent accounts at the Bank of The Bahamas. During his contribution in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, December 10, Mr. Halkitis said he was ‘confident’ about the team tasked to recoup outstanding debts to the government, to the tune of $100 million dollars. With former Central Bank Governor and former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. James Smith, at the helm of the board of directors, coupled with a portfolio manager, the Minister said that ‘Resolve’ should be effective in carrying out the government’s mandate. “I am confident that this combination of the Board and portfolio manager will allow Resolve to maximize its collection on the portfolio of assets over which it has taken charge,” said Mr. Halkitis. As a consequence of the economic downturn, which plagued every facet of the economy, commercial banks including Bank of the Bahamas (BOB) found it necessary to realign their activities to reflect the economic climate. “The end result of the economic downturn has been that most of our commercial banks, faced with the protracted nature of arrears, have had to make significant provisions for loan losses–in some cases having a negative impact on overall profitability, when the adjustments were made.” These provisions were also made at BOB in order to mitigate a more negative impact. After early consultation with the Central Bank, he said it was necessary for the government, as the combined majority shareholder with the National Insurance Board, to intervene to help recapitalize the bank. In addition, the bank’s leadership was directed to reform the institution. Consequently, Bahamas Resolve Limited was formed, with the objective of removing the outstanding debts on the bank’s balance sheets and managing those debts separately from the banks other operations. Resolve was formed in October 2014. To ensure the bank’s liquidity following the transfer, the government made deposits totaling some $43 million to the bank over the period of June to October. “In July we also assisted, as the major shareholder with the payment of a preference share dividend of$1.1 million. This approach was also endorsed by the Central Bank, in view of the recapitalization needs which were evident at the time,” said Mr. Halkitis. “As payment to BOB, Resolve issued the bank with a $100 million promissory note. The note which has a maturity of to 10 years, pays interest at a rate of prime less one half of a percent — or -4.25% percent in today’s term. The promissory note is also backed by a letter of comfort from the Government,” he added. He said that this asset exchange results in the reversal of $49 million in loan loss provisions. At the end of October, Mr. Halkitis said that the bank’s capital ratios were ‘within the regulatory limits established by Central Bank.’ “Now, as majority shareholder, we have charged the leadership of the bank with developing a plan to steer the bank in a new strategic direction,” he said. “We are giving close attention to bolstering the capital position even further, and to how other strategic reforms can be launched, to which we would provide a further update to this Honourable House in the coming days.” Mr. Halkitis said that the entire exercise was carried out in order to safeguard the stability of a Bahamian-owned commercial bank, and was conducted with the endorsement of the regulator (Central Bank). “We will ensure the public sector stays intimately involved in doing business with the BOB, and that we find ways to deepen this relationship. It is our Bank. It is the people’s bank. The Bahamian public can expect to see and hear more from us on this matter.” PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Public park in Sea Breeze named in honour of former MP Mr. Carter at park naming ceremony. Mr. Carter poses with Prime Minister Christie, far left and current Member of Parliament for the former Holy Cross and current Sea Breeze constituency, Hon. Hope Strachan. Nassau, Bahamas – Smelling his flowers now and loving it, the public park in Sea Breeze was officially named the Edward Charles Carter Community Park in honour of the former Holy Cross Member and Cabinet Minister, Charles Carter who pledged to become intimately involved in the development and upkeep of the park that now bears his name. The renaming ceremony, tree lighting ceremony and caroling service took place on Friday night, 12th December at the park. The current Sea Breeze constituency was the former Holy Cross constituency. Also paying tribute was Transport and Aviation minister Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin and Prime Minister Christie who again pledged a tremendous policy thrust in the New Year to develop culture in The Bahamas. The Prime Minister told the large crowd on hand that as a country “we must do more” to assist Bahamian artists and artisans to access greater opportunities to realize their full potential to the benefit of the country. Local church choirs, soloists and the legendary Region Bells were also on hand to entertain the crowd as they led the caroling service. Charles Carter, a career journalist, is also a Bahamian historian, owner of Island FM Radio Station Carter Marketing in addition to serving as the Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs in the Pindling government. PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
VAT PSA 17 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Heart Ball's Victorian High Tea was a Great Success as Carolyn Evans (winner of 1st place raffle) and guests. Nassau, Bahamas – Afternoon tea at one London’s luxury hotels, the ambiance of Government House’s garden, a relaxing view of Nassau’s Harbour, soft orchestral music, hats, gloves, a fashion show, raffles and prizes, put them all together and you have a Victorian High Tea hosted by the 2014 /2015 Heart Ball Committee. Under the theme, “Victorian High Tea”, the 2014/2015 Heart Ball Committee hosted their 9th Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show, at Government House, Mount Fitzwilliam. The MC for the afternoon was Mrs. Sheila Bethel. She was dressed for the occasion. The event was deemed a great success by co-chair Coretta Owen. According to Mrs. Owen, “It was one of the best tea parties we’ve hosted. The logistics simply flowed”. The ambiance of Government House, coupled with the view of Nassau’s Harbour set the stage for what was to come. Students from Queen’s College, accompanied by their music teacher, Mr. Coleby, played live orchestral music that wooed the crowd and welcomed them. Guests entered this beautifully transformed setting, and sat at tables replicating tea time at various hotels in London, from the Savoy to the Ritz and much more. Many guests were excited and amazed at the transformation and the commitment of the table decorators who vied to win the table decorating contests. Twinning’s served cold and hot beverages throughout the afternoon. This coupled with the décor, treats, ambiance and entertainment, provided a relaxing and fun evening for family and friends. Vendors lined the southern boundary show-casing their work, affording guests the opportunity to preview and purchase possible Christmas gifts. The vendors included:Banesian Designs, Armani Jewelers, Sheekie’s Hand Made Products – Curly Curl, Exquisite Scents, HMP Bags, Rik Carey, J & J Photo Imaging, Beth’s Kitchen and Twinings. The guests were treated to a fashion show with stylish pieces from The Seventeen Shop, BCBG Cable Beach and Brynda Knowles Collection, modeled by Portia Nottage, Sheniqua Musgrove and Patrice Taylor. Guests were treated to a special segment consisting of a Hat Show with hats from Pamela Rolle’s Collection, designed by Keith Dawkins. The Rolle sisters modeled the hats, leaving guests wishing for more and seeking to acquire similar hats. Besides the teas, fashion and hats, guests and table decorators came hoping to win prizes. The winners of the table judging competition were Carolyn Evans. The 2nd and 3rd place prizes went to Coretta Owen and Latonia Tinker & Darel Clayton respectively. The winner of the Hat Competition, chosen from the audience, was Ms. Leah Rolle. The top prizes for the in-house raffle went to Keniqua Whitehouse. As a major sponsor, Twinings provided special prizes. They offered a table prize for one lucky winner at each table; that individual took home a tea chest filled with an assortment of Twinings teas. Additionally, Twinings topped their presentation for the afternoon with a special room raffle prize – a Twinings Tea party for 12, inclusive of dishes, teas, servers and more. This prize was won by Michelangiolio Baccelli. The 9th Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show, hosted by The 2014/2015 Heart Ball Committee, was sponsored in part by:Twinings, Milo Butler, Western Air, Cable Bahamas, RBC, Going Places Travel, ZNS, Barefoot Marketing, Love 97, Island FM, More 94FM, G & M Appliances, RIK, Beth’s Kitchen, Banesian Jeweler’s, Amani Jewelery, HMP Handbags, Brynda Knowles, BCBG Cable Beach, The Seventeen Shop, and Natural Products by Sheekie. According to Ingrid sears, the PR Officer for the Heart Ball Committee, “We are very grateful to all who helped us to make this event a great success; this includes our guests. Thank you for your support. The afternoon was very entertaining”. Ms. Sears went on to say, “We want the public to please remember us as the holidays approach. You can make a donation that can help to repair a child’s heart. No amount is ever too small and every penny counts. Also, our Annual Heart Ball is scheduled for February 14th, 2015, Valentine’s Day. Please save the date and plan to attend. You can share this memorable moment with family and friends, while helping to repair a child’s heart. Please invest in our future and help to repair a child’s heart”. The Heart Ball Committee is the fundraising arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, commonly referred to as The Heart Foundation. The Heart Foundation helps to repair the hearts of children who cannot ordinarily afford heart care. The Foundation relies heavily upon the generosity of others to accomplish their mission. The Heart Ball Committee hosts two major fundraisers to benefit The Heart Foundation; the Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show. To find out more about The Heart Foundation, The Annual Heart Ball or to support The Heart Foundation please call 327-0806 or visit sassoonbahamasheartfoundation.org. You can also follow The Heart Ball Committee on twitter and facebook. PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo. Photos: J & J Photo Imaging  Read More →
Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu. FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Director General of Tourism, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu announced the 2nd “16 Islands 16 Weddings” campaign, coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism at a press conference on Monday. The press conference was held so that Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie could announce new tourism initiatives for the island. Also present were: Tourism Minister, The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe and Minister for Grand Bahama, The Hon. Dr. Michael Darville. Mrs. Jibrilu said, “Tourism is The Bahamas’ economic engine. The 700 islands and 2,300 cays complement the 16-island destinations featured in the Ministry of Tourism’s marketing thrust.” Tourism in The Bahamas has enabled the advancement of the Bahamian population, provided foreign reserves, supported infrastructural developments and advanced our competitive advantage over competing destinations Mrs. Jibrilu said. She went on to say, “Our strategy must however, also reflect the plethora of products and diverse experiences throughout the 16-islands. To this end I am delighted to say that the Ministry is launching for the 2nd year its successful ‘16 Islands, 16 Weddings’ campaign.” Mrs. Jibrilu informed all present that on January 16, 2015 at 1600 hours (4:00pm), 16 couples from the United States will get married on 16 islands in The Bahamas, including Grand Bahama. This campaign was launched earlier this year in the US when couples were invited to enter the competition to have an all-expense paid wedding in The Bahamas. “We were told a great outcome would be to have about 400 people enter the competition. We are delighted to say that over 3000 couples entered the competition which we had to narrow to 16 winning couples.” She said, next year the campaign will be launched in Canada. “The success of this campaign is evidenced by the fact that all our Canadian potential partners – airlines, bridal stores, jewelers etc. have approached us with a view to participating.” Mrs. Jibrilu ended her speech with, “as the tourism economy begins to rebound, we see significant returns in the partnerships which the Government of The Bahamas has assumed in meeting its obligation to the citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.” PSA 18 from King Of Hearts Media on Vimeo.  Read More →
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