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The quietness of the night was shattered early Saturday morning when a man was gunned down in a street in Dutch Quarter. The incident occurred around 1:30am.

Urologists Dr. Carlos Rojas and Dr. Diego Ramos.


CAY HILL--Urologists at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently performed the complex “Laparoscopic Nephrectomy” surgical procedure at the medical institution.

Talk earlier this week of the Kingdom Charter going “in the waste basket” by Dutch Member of Parliament (MP) André Bosman isn’t very helpful to efforts taking place in Curaçao and St. Maarten to give content to a relationship the majority of their voters have chosen to continue in two separate referenda each. If with every problem a bomb is put under the kingdom, that would be very demotivating for persons who are trying to make the best of it.

Bosman represents the VVD led by Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, but that does not mean the entire party or government agrees with him. Coalition partner CDA’s Chris van Dam, for example, said, “You don’t get rid of family on a Tuesday afternoon.”

Incidentally, the Rutte cabinet just lost its majority support in the Second Chamber when a VVD faction member went independent, although he pledged to keep backing items from the governing programme. This once again illustrates that such a crisis can always occur in the kingdom’s parliamentary democracy system.

Political instability and especially some of the underlying reasons have certainly been a concern since St. Maarten gained country status per 10-10-10, as has the number of alleged – and in some cases proven – involvements in penal offences by parliamentarians over the years. Those kinds of transgressions are clearly being tackled and while that must indeed remain a priority, it does not justify dismissing all legislators as unreliable beforehand.

An interim cabinet with specific tasks given by the governor is being formed and elections are scheduled on January 9 for citizens to exercise their right to representation. Two new parties have registered, while three existing ones reapplied for their certification, indicating some movement within the field of candidates.

Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops rightly stated that the Netherlands cannot unilaterally abandon the charter. However, he does favour discussions on the future of the Kingdom and has invited the prime ministers of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten to form a workgroup for such.

Talking can’t hurt, but one needs to tread very carefully when it comes to abandoning the 65-year-old charter, and to take into consideration almost four centuries of historic ties; the good, bad and all in between.

With the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever the caretaker United Democrats (UD)/St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) cabinet is down to just four members, as the Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA portfolio remains vacant. Motions of no confidence had also been passed against three of these by the new Parliament, but they were not asked to leave office right away.

Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports (EYCS) Wycliffe Smith is now also Prime Minister in charge of General Affairs, while Justice went to Finance Minister Perry Geerlings and Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Christopher Wever took over VSA, which was being handled by Romeo-Marlin. Together with Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson they will “hold the fort” until an interim cabinet being formed by National Alliance (NA) leader Silveria Jacobs is appointed, with a term that ends when the next legislature to be elected January 9 is installed on February 10.

Both departing ministers in their separate releases mentioned urgent legislation against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism based on recommendations of the Caribbean Financial Actions Task Force (CFATF) to prevent the country’s blacklisting as a non-compliant fiscal jurisdiction with all possible consequences. Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on Thursday told the Second Chamber of Parliament in The Hague about the risk of non-working automated teller machines (ATMs) and tourists unable to use their bankcards.

The relevant two law amendments and draft revised Penal Procedure Code are the topic of a Parliament meeting today, Friday. With Romeo-Marlin and De Weever gone it’s not clear which – if any – of the remaining ministers will be present, but the proposals in question brought to the floor of Parliament by the outgoing government so far haven’t been well-received by the current coalition.

Much is therefore expected of United St. Martin Party (US Party) faction leader Roland Brison, who took it upon himself to present an alternative package that would meet the international requirements yet address some of the objections raised by elected representatives. As now-former prime minister Romeo-Marlin alluded to in her final statement as such, “the clock is ticking to the point of no return.”

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti--The killing of a journalist who had closely covered Haiti's political and economic crisis fuelled the anger of protesters on Friday, as they clashed with police and pressed calls for the president of the impoverished nation to resign.

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL

830 AM EDT Fri Oct 11 2019

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Special outlook issued to update discussion for the system southeast of New England.


  1. UPDATED: Early morning visible satellite imagery indicates that shower and thunderstorm activity has continued to become better organized near the center of a low pressure system located about 200 miles south-southeast of Martha's Vineyard. If this trend continues, advisories will likely be issued for this system as a subtropical storm later this morning. Upper-level winds are expected to increase over the system during the weekend while the low weakens and moves away from the northeastern United States. This low is already producing storm-force winds, and is expected to continue meandering off the coast through tonight, producing strong winds, coastal flooding, heavy rainfall, and rough surf along portions of the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States coasts.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...60 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...60 percent.


  1. A broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the western Caribbean Sea during the weekend. This system is forecast to move westward toward Central America early next week, and some development is possible if the low remains over water while moving near the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.


  1. A tropical wave, accompanied by a broad area of low pressure, is expected to move off the west coast of Africa on Sunday. Although the far eastern Atlantic is not climatologically favorable for tropical cyclone formation this late in the hurricane season, some development of this system appears possible early next week while it moves generally northwestward near or over the Cabo Verde Islands.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.


Forecaster Latto

WASHINGTON---U.S. health officials said on Friday there may be more than one cause behind the nationwide outbreak of serious lung illnesses linked to vaping, and that they have not yet seen a meaningful drop in new cases.

WASHINGTON--The United States and China agreed on Friday to the first phase of a deal to end a trade war, prompting President Donald Trump to suspend a threatened tariff hike, but officials said the agreement had to be put on paper and more work was required to get it finalized.

OSLO--Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

MOSCOW--Alexei Leonov, who became the first human to walk in space in 1965, died on Friday at the age of 85 after a long illness, Russia's TASS news agency reported.

LOS ANGELES--A fast-moving wildfire fueled by dry Pacific winds engulfed houses, roads and wooded areas near Los Angeles on Friday morning, killing at least one person and forcing some 100,000 residents to flee their homes, officials said.

WASHINGTON--President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, said on Thursday he plans to reduce the size of the National Security Council by about a third in coming months and limit the NSC's role to gathering options for Trump rather than directing foreign policy.

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT--Turkey intensified its air and artillery strikes in northeast Syria on Friday in an offensive against Kurdish militia that has raised the prospect of a humanitarian disaster and questions about U.S. President Donald Trump's policy in the region.

DUBAI--An Iranian-owned oil tanker was struck, probably by missiles, in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia's coast on Friday, Iranian media said, an incident that if confirmed will stoke tension in a region rattled by attacks on tankers and oil sites since May.

MINSK-- Georginio Wijnaldum's two first half goals handed Netherlands a 2-1 away win over Belarus on Sunday as they consolidated top place in Group C of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Wijnaldum opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a close-in header and then hit a scorching shot from outside the penalty box for his second nine minutes later.

It moved the Dutch to 15 points from six matches, three ahead of Germany, who were playing in Estonia later on Sunday.

Even if Germany beat Estonia, the Dutch will stay on top because of a better head-to-head record.

It will leave Northern Ireland, also still in contention, back in third place with 12 points, also from six games.

Wijnaldum had to stretch to get onto the end of a delicate chip from Quincy Promes for his opening goal.

The Liverpool midfielder then collected the ball outside the home team’s penalty area, took two steps before unleashing a rocket-like shot that gave goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor no chance.

But the Dutch were made to sweat after halftime as the home team pulled a goal back though Stanislav Dragun in the 53rd minute.

It set up a spell of tidy play from Belarus before the more polished Dutch wrestled control of the game away from them for the final 20-odd minutes.

Wijnaldum came close to his hat-trick 10 minutes from time but found his way blocked, only to set up Donyell Malen, whose close range effort was superbly saved by Gutor.

PRAGUE- - England suffered their first tournament qualifying defeat for 10 years when they lost 2-1 away to the Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 qualifying Group A clash on Friday.

Dear Editor,

  Let me start by stating that I will be as neutral as possible and in no way want to defend or accuse anyone of wrongdoing. There are always different sides to a story, but nowadays cameras can help to show the truth. In the paper of Thursday, October 10, I read a letter sent to you by Cathy Kangas, which prompted me to react.

   Mrs. Kangas, I have become more familiar with dogs’ behaviour, since at home we are also involved in the life of a Belgian Malinois. But that sceptical part of me reminds that if human beings can have psychological and/or psychiatric problems, so can animals. Just as there are no absolutes in human behaviour, I believe the same goes for animals. For this reason, I am not a favourite of having those dogs in the centre of people’s movement.

  For example, I am not sure how the dog will react to someone slipping in its immediate area. I have not taken time to observe how the dogs are handled or treated, so I cannot voice an opinion on that either. But the intention of this letter is not about dog training. In my forty-odd years as a police officer, I have witnessed  umpteen cases of overreaction from fanatics.

  Whether they were political party followers, animal lovers, car worshipers, you name them, we were called. And on too many occasions it was a question of overreaction, which is very understandable. Thankfully those cases were generally resolved in an amicable manner. Like I stated before, I am not defending anyone, but after taking in the contents of that letter to you by Cathy Kangas I believe that instead of writing to you, Mrs. Cathy Kangas,(who could have expected that that letter could be published) being a member of the board of Humane Society of the United States could know the ramification of that letter.

  I believe that Mrs. Kangas could have taken a different route. I do not believe that Mrs. Kangas is really out to destroy Sint Maarten because of an unpleasant situation which she writes could be remedied in another way. I do not believe that anyone personally offended Mrs. Kangas, I believe that the security officer was being cautious.

  Hopefully from the side of TEATT there will be a speedy reaction to avoid any further missed interpretations. Apart from the dogs used by security companies, what I know is that the situation as it is at the moment is not conducive for having loose dogs. By now we all should have realized that the behaviour of 10 dogs on an area of 100 square meters is much more visible than the behaviour of 10 dogs on an area of 10,000 square meters. 


Russell A. Simmons   

Dear Queenie,

  I just found out that my teenage son and his girlfriend are having sex and that they are using birth control, because her parents want us to pay for her birth-control pills.

  My son says he uses condoms that he pays for out of his allowance.

  Queenie, do we have to pay for her pills too?—The boyfriend’s parents


Dear Boyfriend’s parents,

  Once teenagers start having sex, at least it is good that they are being responsible about preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.

  Your son should continue to use condoms, but his girlfriend’s choice of protection is her responsibility and her parents’, not yours and your son’s.