Tweet Breaking development shows something is happening with the GOLDEN KNIGHTS! Nassau, Bahamas — Breaking News coming into Bahamas Press right now confirms Bahamian Olympian Chris ‘Firebrand’ Brown – the man who led the Bahamas to Gold in the 4X400m has been dropped from the team after failing to show up for a qualifying IAAF event! BP’s reliable agents on the ground tell us Brown has been replaced by Bahamian sprinter Steven Gardiner, who is now listed as the second fasted man in the world in the 4X400m. BP understands the other qualifiers for the 4X400m will be Latoy Williams, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller; all of who qualified at IAAF world standard times. BP – your #1 news source is now watching these breaking developments, as 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil on Aug 5-21! We report yinner decide!  Read More →
Tweet Victim is 34-year-old, Tarass “Raz” Markel Hanna 74th Homicide victim is 34-year-old, Tarass “Raz” Markel Hanna Nassau, Bahamas — Breaking news coming into Bahamas Press is suggesting we might have another suicide incident in the Yellow Elder community. Details are sketchy however we are investigating. Meanwhile, Bahamas Press has identified that man fatally shot in the Wilson Tract community yesterday. He is 34-year-old, Tarass “Raz” Markel Hanna, and is a resident of the Wilson Tract community. Yesterday, he and another man were walking in the area when an argument began between the two men and a gun was pulled. Hanna was fatally shot as he ran for cover. He died at the scene. We report yinner decide!  Read More →
Tweet FLYING SQUAD OFFICERS SEIZED 5 POUNDS OF DANGEROUS DRUGS, 2 SUSPECTS BEING SOUGHT According to reports, around 4:00pm yesterday officers from the Flying Squad acting on intelligence went to a home located at East Street near Andros Avenue to execute a search warrant for dangerous drugs and firearms. On arrival two adult male occupants of the home fled on foot. A search was conducted of the home and five (5) pounds of marijuana was found. Police are searching for the two suspects.  Read More →
Tweet PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS – This past Saturday, June 27th, hundreds of Atlanteans swarmed the communities of New Providence with the aim of putting meaningful and tangible effort into their desire to make a difference in those communities. Over the past 20 years, Atlantis, Paradise Island has exercised its commitment to helping build a better New Providence for all, giving ‎more than $28M to support local charities, youth and sporting organizations, Junkanoo, community park development and redevelopment, beach restoration and the creation of green spaces, among other projects. It is this culture of ‘giving back’ that ‎has inspired individual team members and departments to want to do more. Atlantis President & Managing Director Paul Burke and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Retail Ed Fields agree this first Atlantis Employee Give Back Day is not only a great way to wrap up the resort’s 20th anniversary festivities, but it also serves to highlight the countless selfless efforts of the team employed at the resort. “While much is known about Atlantis’ corporate giving, not much is known about the commitment and dedication of our team members who of their own volition regularly and consistently give back to the community without any fanfare or personal promotion… basically everydivision, and even in some cases individuals, have charities they consistently support.‎ That is amazing and it is indicative of who we are as a company. It demonstrates that our community involvement is more than just Atlantis the company writing a check to local charities, but that there is a real commitment on the part of our team members in building a better Bahamas,‎” says Burke. Fields adds, “Over the years we’ve had so many of our colleagues go out and host initiatives to help others in the community, whether we’re talking about the Water Features Blood Drive that is hosted twice a year to support the blood banks at both PMH and Doctor’s Hospital, the regular monthly visits by the Coral & Beach Tower Housekeeping team to the Good Samaritan Home for the elderly, the Public Relations Department’s efforts, as well as that of team members in areas like the Casino, throughout the year to help bring awareness to the scourge of breast cancer among Bahamian women or Marine Water Park Operations conservation efforts, it all shows a readiness and genuine commitment to help create a better way of life and we as a company couldn’t be more proud to have them on our team.” The Atlantis Employee Give Back Day ‎saw team members donning custom printed t-shirts with the words “making a difference in our communities” on them, assisting with clean up and refurbishment efforts at local parks, beaches and ponds, and spending quality time with the residents of local children’s and elderly homes. One group of team members even hosted a fun day at the Bethel Baptist Church for the children in the Bain & Grants Town area, where they were able to enjoy a hearty breakfast, some fun and games and take home a bag of goodies. Another team went the extra mile at Good Commission Ministries on Wulff Road, building them new cabinets and doing other renovation works within the building.  Read More →
Tweet Baha Mar lights are even after owing BEC 19.5 Million while the straw vendor and domestic workers lights are off! PART 2 Workers headed home from Bah Mar on Monday! Nassau, Bahamas – On Monday before 2:00 pm some two thousand employees at Baha Mar were told to vacate the property as an exercise to fumigate the entire area of pests began. Workers packed their belongings and went home. A short time later, as some made their exits off the Cable Beach property, a letter began being passed around informing workers of the Chapter 11 development and that they should not return to the property the following day. UTTER CONTEMPT FOR BAHAMIANS! The entire exercise had caught the Christie Government off guard! In fact, members of the Government – just a week before – were heard patting themselves on the back that a deal between the Chinese Import Export Bank, Baha Mar Officials and the China Construction Company had been reached. But the group, in whom the government had planted so much trust, had betrayed them and left them shaking their heads in bewilderment! UNBELIEVABLE! What we note to be contemptuous is the fact that no one at Baha Mar saw the need to hold a staff meeting and share the future plans of the development with those who had left stable employment for the pie in the sky! This is reprehensible! Utter Contempt for Bahamians! Also last night, Baha Mar was lit up like a Christmas tree in defiance to the people who own and run BEC. Almost every light [including room lights] were on as if the hotel is being occupied and is paying its exorbitant light bill at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation! And what is just disgusting is the fact that Baha Mar owes BEC some $19.5 Million and has listed them as a creditor in the Chapter 11 filings in the Delaware Court! Utter Contempt for Bahamians! From what we see here in the scheme of things is the fact that Baha Mar is not an honest transparent partner in all this mess! It fumigated the “rats and roaches” – all concocted in a lie laced in untruth – with the innocent workers left pessimistic over their future, many sold a lie and now cheated in a career decision! Baha Mar’s operators have left workers ill-informed as to any real strategic plans, and worse, they left their partners dumbfounded [INCLUDING THE CHRISTIE GOVERNMENT]. This is incredible! We at Bahamas Press shall not remain silent in the midst of this unholy, UNGODLY conundrum! Utter Contempt! We will have more to say on these developments! We report yinner decide!  Read More →
Tweet Christie Cabinet press conference on Bahamar. June 30, 2015 – Nassau, Bahamas Yesterday, without notice, Baha Mar filed a bankruptcy Chapter 11 petition in Delaware USA. This action was taken at a point when my personal intervention over several months with all three parties involved, led to substantial agreement on a packaged solution for additional funding by China Export Import Bank, the resumption of construction work by the general contractor, and the project completion. This is supported by exchange of correspondence as recently as June 26. The Government wants to reiterate that the number one priority of all stakeholders involved with the Baha Mar project should be its swift completion and opening. It is of great importance to the nation and to all Bahamians that Baha Mar opens successfully. We must all work towards this goal as a matter of national priority. This is not the time to play politics, but rather, we must unite to ensure the best interest of The Bahamas and all Bahamians is met. In the interest of promoting transparency and national unity on an issue that clearly transcends partisan politics, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to attend a briefing on the matter. The Government remains committed to being open and transparent with the Bahamian people, as it has since the beginning of this project. Any claim that the Government or I have been misleading the public as it relates to the status of Baha Mar is completely false. The Government has been working with all parties and negotiating in good faith, and with an end goal of a successful opening of Baha Mar. The decision by Baha Mar to file for Chapter 11 under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code does not change our end goal. Negotiations must continue to progress immediately to ensure the successful opening as soon as possible. As previously stated, the Government will not take sides, but rather continue to support all stakeholders in coming to a resolution. As the Government of The Bahamas, we take the side of the Bahamian people, and we are acting to ensure the needs and interests of the people are first and foremost. This project will provide great economic opportunities for our country. Collectively, our sole focus should be on Baha Mar opening so that the jobs of current and potential employees are protected. This goal should not be and will not be, distorted by politics.  Read More →
Tweet FNM Press Conference Statement after Baha Mar Bankruptcy Announcement Hubert Minnis – Leader of the Opposition Minnis: Christie Government flatfooted and in the dark yesterday when news of Baha Mar’s bankruptcy filing broke  Nassau, Bahamas – The following is a press statement released at a press conference held by the Free National Movement on Tuesday, June 30th: The FNM is deeply concerned with developments at Baha Mar. We are especially concerned for the 2000 plus employees of the Resort whose continued employment is in jeopardy. And we are concerned for all the Bahamian contractors engaged by the developers who have no idea when Baha Mar will be in a position to make good on monies owed to them for work completed and continuing up to a few days ago. The FNM is alarmed that the project agreement originally negotiated by Christie and rescued from disarray by the last FNM Government is now unravelling before our eyes. Prime Minister Perry Christie and his Government appear clueless as to their next move. They were caught flatfooted and in the dark yesterday when news of Baha Mar’s bankruptcy filing broke in the news media. Why? And this after months of assurances from Mr. Christie and several of his Cabinet that a resolution was at hand. We in the FNM renew our call for the Government and very particularly for the Prime Minister to come clean with the Bahamian people and to state factually and succinctly the exact circumstances governing developments at this major development. The Prime Minister has for weeks now assured the Bahamian people that a resolution to the problems at the Baha Mar construction site were imminent. Early this year the prime minister travelled to China to meet with the project financiers. He returned to Nassau giving assurances that all was on track for the March opening of the resort. He never told the Bahamian people exactly what the China Export Import Bankers told him. And he never told the Bahamian people exactly what the China Construction Team told him either. Just “good news” is all that he said. We understand that as early as that trip the prime minister undertook to pay Baha Mar the outstanding $21 million owed by the Government for infrastructure development. This was not reported at the time and the Government did not pay the moneys either. Prime Minister Christie subsequently toured the Project site with his Cabinet Ministers and members of the media in tow. At that time he and his Government continued to buy into the developers’ and contractors’ story that after two announced delays in the opening of the Resort all was then well and on schedule for a March 2015 opening. Many in the public, looking at the site from the outside, had their doubts but some trusted that the Prime Minister, who was on the inside, must know more. And they accepted that if Mr. Christie said all was well, it must be so. Well Mr. Christie either did not know or understand or he chose to mislead! Then on 14th May the media reported that the prime minister had assured reporters from both national newspapers that a shortage of funds was not the cause for the impasse at Baha Mar. This notwithstanding reports also revealed in the media that someone in the Christie administration had indicated that the “developer did not have the cash to finish the project or pay the contractor”. Now we know it is a money problem plus…! On May 21st it was reported that the prime minister was involved in another round of talks with all the parties to the dispute. At that time he told reporters he was hopeful that a resolution would be found but on the 26th May, the Minister of Tourism was advising Baha Mar in the press that the company ought not announce another opening date Over the past two months the prime minister has repeatedly told the Bahamian people that he was on his way to or from a meeting with representatives of the developer, the construction company and the banker. He has been “fervently” hopeful for a resolution to the problems affecting the development or excitedly waiting for confirmation of “good news”. As recently as in his Budget Communication Mr. Christie, in his capacity of Minister of Finance, spoke about his great expectations for the Resort. One evening, in the midst of heated debate on the Budget, Mr. Christie advised that he had to make a phone call or meet with the representatives of the China Exim Bank; then he had to speak with Mr. Izmirlian who was just returning from meetings with the Bank and always this was in anticipation of “good news” relating to the project. On 1 June the Nassau Guardian asserted: “Christie told us, as far as he knew the issue of withheld payments to the general contractor has been resolved but he said that ‘other issues’ had come up…” Prime Minister Christie is also reported as advising the Guardian on 1 June that “the government’s outstanding issue with Baha Mar over payments for the government’s portion of the costs associated with the new West Bay Street and related infrastructure had been resolved.” This was not mentioned in the Budget Communication. Then the media heralded reports that the Government would “give” or pay its $21 million debt to Baha Mar connected to the road and infrastructure but suggested that this was in some way connected to the payment of salaries of Bahamians engaged at Baha Mar. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell, who had earlier travelled to China with Christie re-enforced this belief as late as in this morning’s newspaper – though today’s report indicates that Mr. Mitchell spoke to the media before the news of the bankruptcy filing broke in the US media. As the governments obligation to pay its share of costs for the construction of the road and related infrastructure is a part of the Heads of Agreement and has nothing to do with the payment of salaries at Baha Mar, it is unlikely that the China Exim Bank or the China Construction Company would be minded to accept Mr. Mitchell’s contention that the $21 million to be paid by the Government would be assigned to salary payments. As is now abundantly clear none of Mr. Christie’s announcements of resolution and good news were based on believable facts. Mr. Christie needs to explain why he willingly became the purveyor of untruths on the status of this project to the Bahamian people. It is now time for Mr. Christie to come clean with the Bahamian people and on the behalf of the Bahamian people I demand that he tell us the truth.    Read More →
Tweet More trouble ahead as Bahamar goes after China Construction in the UK! Opening of the new Baha Mar resort on New Providence island in the Bahamas is again delayed. The photo shows construction under way – FILE PHOTO. Photo: CRAIG KARMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Nassau, Bahamas — Just one day after filing for bankruptcy protection, the developer behind the troubled Baha Mar Resort & Casino has filed a civil suit against the Chinese parent company of its main contractor. On Monday, Baha Mar Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware bankruptcy court, citing debts related to its stalled $3.5b Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas. Baha Mar Ltd. said the voluntary bankruptcy was the result of “financial consequences of the repeated delays” by the general contractor, CCA (Bahamas) Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned firm China Construction America. Baha Mar’s suit, which was filed in the English High Court, accuses CCA’s parent China State Construction Engineering Corp of failing to meet stated guarantees and performance obligations. Both developer and contractor have publicly blamed each other as responsible for the project’s repeated delays, which have raised concerns about the viability of the venture. Baha Mar Ltd.’s lawsuit seeks various financial remedies from CCA. Baha Mar also says it has been unable to convince its primary lender, Export-Import Bank of China, to provide the additional funding needed to see the project through to completion. The bank rode to Baha Mar’s rescue in 2010, agreeing to provide capital totaling nearly $2.5b after the project stalled following the 2008 global economic slowdown. But Baha Mar says the bank is refusing to release the final $112m of this guarantee. On Tuesday, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie expressed confidence that the troubled resort “will not only open soon but will fulfill its promise as an important new dimension in Bahamian and regional tourism.” Christie said his government would “not be taking anyone’s side” in the dispute but would “at all times continue to optimize its value as a mediator between the parties.” In the bankruptcy filing, Baha Mar Ltd. CEO Sarkis Izmirlian said he would finance an $80m debtor-in-possession facility that would help the property meet its interim payroll requirements, but employees appear far more pessimistic. The Nassau Guardian quoted some staffers saying they were convinced their next paycheck would likely be their last.  Read More →
Tweet BP investigation on Bahamar – Part I ROBERT Sandy Sands suggests Bahamians are not discplined enough to gamble? Nassau, Bahamas — When in 2011 Scotia Bank Bahamas Ltd. recorded its first ever loss in the country, we at Bahamas Press knew that something would go terribly wrong at Bahamar. Many forget how Bahamar could not meet that debt and had to hide behind an equity settlement in order to allow the project to continue. In that year of 2011 the Tribune’s Business editor reported details of that loss at Scotia Bank: “SCOTIABANK (Bahamas) exceeded its 2011 internal projections through an almost $59 million reversal of its first-ever annual loss, its managing director telling Tribune Business it is targeting a “better year” for 2012 despite forecasts of a “three-five year” banking industry recovery. Kevin Teslyk told Tribune Business that 2011 was “the turnaround we expected to see”, after it turned 2010’s $29.127 million net loss into a $29.868 million profit, putting the writedown on its $200 million-plus loan to Baha Mar firmly behind it.” We in the Bahamas now see the tremors of that bad loan with Bahamar. Scotia Bank this year saw layoffs and branch closures in an unprecedented move to realign the bank into the future. Why couldn’t Bahamar pay a debt, which was just over $200 million, and what makes the people of the Bahamas, and by extension the Government of the Bahamas, believe they would ever be able to repay a debt to the Chinese Import Export Bank to the tune of $3.5 Billion? Add to that a new list of creditors published in a court in Delaware yesterday with unpaid bills by Bahamar amounting to the tune of millions? What happened to the money if Bahamar hasn’t paid it bills??? They were collected from the Brand Owners, they collected from the Chinese Bank and they collected money from the Bahamas Government – yet- they run out of money??? Stay tuned as Bahamas Press will begin to present some short piece to remind our readers how we got to this Bankruptcy action by Bahamar and the sending home of workers yesterday! What a mess! We report yinner decide!  Read More →
Tweet Photo used is a file photo from out of the area by J. Campbell…. Nassau, Bahamas — Breaking news coming into Bahamas Press right now confirms we have a fatal shooting at Wilson Track. The crime scene is located at the end of Andros Ave. east off East Street. The scene is bloody. The victim was shot to the upper body.  Read More →
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