Grid List

200 PM EDT TUE AUG 23 2016

POINTE BLANCHE--The house and offices of businessman of O.E.J.A were searched on Tuesday morning in connection with the ongoing Mahi Mahi investigation into a shooting incident at The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort parking lot on May 29. The owner of Checkmate security and a hotel in Pointe Blanche was arrested following the search.

House searches on Tuesday also took place in Sucker Garden at the houses of G.W.M and A.R.L.B. They have also been arrested.

The Prosecutor’s Office has not released any details surrounding the suspects or what was confiscated during the searches of three offices of O.E.J.A.

Earlier this year, three persons were arrested for being suspected of their involvement in the shooting and money laundering. The latter suspicion has to do with a large sum of money that had been found in one of the cars and has been confiscated by police.

Two of the suspects K.L. (33) and A.J. (43), both from St. Maarten, have since been released from the hospital and are currently detained at the Pointe Blanche Prison.

The third suspect L.W. (37), also from St. Maarten, who was flown out to the Dominican Republic for medical treatment due to the injuries he sustained during the shooting, has since then returned to the island but remains a suspect in the case.

This brings the number of arrested suspects in this investigation to five.

A draft amendment to the Civil Code for the recognition of so-called registered partnerships (concubine arrangements) now being handled in Aruba’s Parliament has caused quite some commotion. The law proposal is meant to afford gay couples who still can’t get legally married on the island the same basic rights as wedded heterosexuals.

It’s a controversial matter at best, as much of the predominantly Roman Catholic population does not agree. The Diocese of Willemstad recently reinforced that view by stating that for the church weddings are between men and women.

However, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten are all part of the Dutch Kingdom. That means that legal lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual (LGBT) marriages conducted in the Netherlands must be respected and honoured by the other three countries as well.

As the islands in question, based on their autonomy, continue to not allow same-sex marriages themselves, this situation could create a discrepancy between already-wedded gay couples who come from Holland with their status as such secured and residents who don’t have that possibility locally. Many of the latter have in fact been prompted to go tie the knot in Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba which, as the Caribbean Netherlands, fall under European Dutch legislation in this regard.

Whether one is for or against same-sex marriages, civil rights should in principle be equal for all. For example, one man in Aruba said his male partner whom he married 15 years ago in the Netherlands had died recently, but he couldn’t get a widower’s pension because the marriage was not recognised.

Surely, that can’t be the intention, so the law proposal seems like a reasonable compromise to deal with a thorny issue and prevent inhabitants from being treated as second-class citizens. It is something St. Maarten too would do well to consider eventually.

The death of a child run over by a vehicle at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM sent shockwaves throughout the community on Saturday. The boy was hit by a shuttle bus outside the departure hall.

The horrible incident also raised many questions, as it did not happen out on the main road, but rather right in front of the terminal where passengers are dropped off and near a “zebra-path” crosswalk.

NEW YORK, United States--The United Nations (UN) has finally acknowledged that it played a role in an outbreak of cholera in Haiti in 2010 that has since killed about 10,000 people and continues to sicken thousands every year.

NASSAU, Bahamas--Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Off Shore Island is on track to re-open its doors in October, revamped and renovated, in time for what it said is shaping up to be its best winter season ever.

NEW YORK-- Pfizer Inc <PFE.N>, beating out numerous other bidders, said it agreed to buy U.S. cancer drug company Medivation Inc <MDVN.O> for $14 billion in cash, adding its blockbuster prostate cancer drug Xtandi to the company's growing oncology roster.

RIO DE JANEIRO--At least 500,000 foreign visitors arrived in Brazil to attend the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the government said on Friday, citing recent immigration figures that met a forecast made well before the Games.

NEW YORK-- U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte lost the last of his four major sponsors, Japanese mattress maker Airweave, days after he admitted to exaggerating his story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio during the Olympics.

SYDNEY/RIO DE JANEIRO-- When the No. 1 TV station of sports-mad Australia revealed its Olympics broadcast would wipe $50 million from annual profits, it was more than a warning for shareholders - it was a sign that the business model of the Games was being shaken up.

WASHINGTON-- - A judge ordered the State Department on Monday to review and determine the potential release of 14,900 documents, most of which are believed to be emails to or from Hillary Clinton, that turned up in an FBI investigation of her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

WASHINGTON-- A top aide to Donald Trump said on Sunday the Republican presidential nominee's plans to deport 11 million people who are in the United States illegally were a work in progress and that he was committed to a "fair and humane" approach on immigration.

BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Opponents of Libya's U.N.-backed unity government dealt the beleaguered body a blow on Monday by voting to reject it in a rare session of the eastern-based parliament, though the government's supporters dismissed the move as unconstitutional.

ABOARD ITALIAN WARSHIP GARIBALDI-- The leaders of the euro zone's biggest economies held talks on Monday in the aftermath of Britain's shock decision to leave the European Union and said Europe had to turn its back on populists who blamed Brussels for all its problems.

RIO DE JANEIRO- - As the Olympic hoardings are taken down in Rio de Janeiro and the Carnival atmosphere subsides, there is relief that cash-strapped Brazil avoided making a mess of the Games but also a nagging suspicion it did not make the most of them either.

PHILIPSBURG--Henderik Ekema had been out of the ring for more than five years. He had moved to St. Maarten and was raising a family.

Dear Editor,

It’s with great pleasure and gratitude that the Foresee (4C) Foundation read the recent communication through our local media that the Minister of Finance has taken a firm decision to adjust the legislation on filing taxes, understandably under certain conditions.

Believing in the 4Cs of Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical thinking, we sincerely thank all persons and entities who have played a crucial role in this process “foreseeing,” recognizing and acknowledging the crucial role that non-profit NGOs and numerous volunteers make for the betterment of St. Maarten.

Special thanks goes out to Minister of Finance, Richard Gibson Senior, President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams and Head of the Parliamentary Educational Committee Rudolph Samuel, who was instrumental in accommodating Foresee Foundation to share this information and all Parliament members who showed their deep involvement.

Additionally, commendations must go out to all dedicated and community-serving NGOs, their board members and volunteers, such as the afternoon school programmes, community centres, service clubs, youth and senior citizen organizations, ambassadors of nature, culture, local arts, animal welfare, health and sport organizations, educational and socially involved partners, charity foundations, organizations who cater for the under-privileged, etc., all of whom would have been adversely affected had this legislation continue to stand.

All of them are often the unsung heroes in our community and we are grateful to have received the opportunity to share our concerns while also encouraging everybody who has a true heart for St. Maarten to move forward on making real change by showing empathy and compassion on a daily basis.

Finally, a big thank you to all our local media who have shared this information with our St. Maarten community and who have pushed these shared concerns towards a positive decision.

On behalf of the Foresee Foundation Board and all its project members and volunteers in the DigiKidz, DigiWorkz and Philipsburg jubilee library Medialab, For The Win Gaming, C-TEC and beyond.

Jose Verschueren-Sommers

Alston Lourens

John de Vroom

Melissa Gumbs

Sjurensly Valies

Dear Queenie,

After my boyfriend and I had been together for a couple of months I found out he was cheating on me with his ex. I told him I knew about it and he told his ex to get lost and he came to me wanting to set a date to get married.

The problem is he keeps lying to me. He’ll tell me he’s spending the night at home chilling out but then he doesn’t answer his phone. Once I even stopped by to see him, but he wasn’t there. But he keeps talking about us getting married.

Queenie, should I stick it out or dump him?—Baffled

Dear Baffled,

By all means stick it out – if you want to spend your life being lied to and cheated on. It is not likely that your boyfriend will change his ways just because he has taken marriage vows. He already has shown that he will not – cannot – keep his promises.

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