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PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST FOR ST. MAARTEN
DATE ISSUED: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC)
VALID UNTIL: Thursday midday (12:00 LST) June 29, 2017

WEATHER:
This afternoon through tonight: Fair to partly cloudy and hazy with brief local showers.
Thursday morning through midday: Partly cloudy to cloudy and breezy with isolated showers possible.

CAY BAY--The annual hurricane drill HUREX brought together police, ambulance, Fire Department, Voluntary Corps of St. Maarten VKS and other emergency response services, as well as utilities company GEBE, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and SOL fuel supplier. The massive exercise took place at the GEBE power plant in Cay Bay on Tuesday morning.

The signing of a two-year contract by White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) with Social and Health Insurances SZV (see Tuesday paper) should not go unnoticed. It regards the AVBZ solidarity fund started in 1986, for which both employers and workers pay a premium.

Monday’s report that 40 inmates of the Pointe Blanche prison had received certificates for completing various courses was most welcome. There have been a lot of problems at the much-criticised penitentiary, but it’s important to note good things are also happening.

This newspaper has always maintained that especially violent crimes should lead to severe punishment of those responsible. This is necessary to act as deterrent and protect society as well as the local tourism economy on which the livelihood of practically every inhabitant depends.

However, it should not be so either that people are detained for years in what is, after all, called a correctional institution, without being rehabilitated. When that happens, justice tends to become a revolving door with many repeat offenders.

Those involved in trying to educate prisoners deserve credit for doing so under often difficult circumstances. Even if these efforts were to stop just one convict from ending up behind bars again soon after his or her release, that would already be a major plus.

It’s been said before: to be truly effective, repression and prevention must go hand in hand. Prison is by no means supposed to be fun, but time served should also be used in a constructive manner to help improve future behaviour whenever possible.

HAMILTON, Bermuda--A special assembly was held recently at East End Primary School to recognize fourteen students from P4-P6 for their participation in East End Primary’s first Braille Club.

MIAMI, Florida--The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) regrets the recent US reversal of its travel policies to Cuba and the likely effects on the socio-economic development of Cuba and the wider Caribbean region.

BRUSSELS--EU antitrust regulators hit Google with a record 2.4-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine for favouring its own shopping service, taking a tough line in the first of three probes of its dominance in searches and smartphone operating systems.

LONDON--Five decades since it heralded a transformation in the way people obtained and used cash, the world's first ATM was turned into gold for celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary.

TOKYO--A 14-year-old Japanese player of the traditional chess-like board game of shogi has captured the nation's heart by winning a record straight 29 matches, breaking a record held for 30 years.

LOS ANGELES--Australian model and actress Miranda Kerr has handed over millions of dollars worth of jewelry that U.S. authorities say was given to her as part of a Malaysian money laundering scheme, her spokesperson said on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON--The U.S. State Department on Tuesday placed China on its global list of the worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor, a step that could aggravate tensions with Beijing that had eased under President Donald Trump.

BOSTON--A Connecticut official said on Tuesday the state would reconsider policies that can limit gender-neutral bathrooms in public buildings following a lawsuit by Yale University, the latest skirmish in the broader U.S. fight about gender identity.

CARACAS - A Venezuelan police helicopter strafed the Supreme Court and a government ministry on Tuesday, escalating the OPEC nation's political crisis in what President Nicolas Maduro called an attack by "terrorists" seeking a coup.

MOSCOW/KIEV/WASHINGTON--A major global cyber attack on Tuesday disrupted computers at Russia's biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms with a virus similar to the ransomware that last month infected more than 300,000 computers.


PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Pro Bodybuilder, Alvin Andre, is on his way to Chicago this afternoon. “My flight is at 3:30pm. There is one stop in Atlanta. I should arrive in Chicago by 11:00pm,” said Andre.

St Maarten Netball Association is sending a delegation to Africa. The group consisting of President Javon Edwards, coaches Desmond Seymour, Lisa Timothy and Sashin Reid the under 21 captain
will represent the Friendly Island at the Netball Youth World Cup in Botswana July 8 to 16.

Dear Editor,

On upcoming Saturday, July 1, 2017 we will be celebrating Emancipation Day. When I hear the word emancipation I reflect on the words of the late reggae artist Bob Marley who said that we should “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” Those are powerful words. Now how do we do this?

Presently, many of us are under the spell of the slave master thinking that he is superior to us. We think that everything in existence came from him. We could never be so wrong. I will be attending the celebrations on July 1, 2017. I think it is a very important day and a tribute to those who made it possible such as one Tete Loke, but in order to emancipate ourselves we must know who we are and where we came from. Let me remind many who call the Netherlands our motherland, she is not and can never be our motherland. Our motherland is Africa whose name I learnt is really Alke-bulan mother of mankind or garden of Eden.

There are those who don’t want to accept the fact that our lineage came from there, but it is a reality. We have been indoctrinated and brained washed for thousands of years into thinking that we are less than while we are more than. The pyramids, the Sphinx are prime example of our intelligence. Only a brilliant mind could have created such structures which up until today, according to information, cannot be duplicated. I think it is high time we focus on who we are and what we are capable of, but in order to do so we must know our history which shows we were kings and queens in our country.

A family-oriented people. We all know where the phrase came from “it takes a village to raise a child.” We have to go back to the practices of old where the man took care of his family and society took care of its people. Africans were the real socialist.

This brings me to another song by the late South African artist Lucky Dube who sang the song with the words “am going back to my roots.” Because of our love that was shown towards all who came to Africa not knowing that it would have been to our own demise.

There is talk of making changes to our curriculum to talk about our local history, but please don’t forget our African history. Even though they destroyed millions of books, literature, paintings, destroyed and plundered. We are a resilient people and will bounce back. There lies within us the ability to create anything we set our minds on. Let us start by emancipating ourselves from mental slavery. Have a great emancipation celebration. Your servant.

George Pantophlet

Member of Parliament

Dear Queenie,

I have a friend who can’t seem to make or keep a date. If I call her to suggest going out for lunch or even just going shopping together, she’ll tell me she’ll let me know, but most of the time she ends up telling me she just can’t make it.

Recently I suggested we go to a community meeting together and she said she’d let me know, but when it got close to the date I still hadn’t heard from her so when my sister suggested we go together I called my friend to ask whether she was going, but she was too busy to talk to me and said she’d call me back later but she never did, so I just went ahead and went to the meeting with my sister. Now my friend is mad at me.

Queenie, was I wrong or was she?—Frustrated friend

Dear Frustrated,

In this case, you both were wrong. Apologise to your friend for not going to the meeting with her. And from now on, when she gives you the “I’ll let you know” routine, tell her you will take that to mean “No” unless and until she gets back to you with a firm “Yes.” Or just stop trying to arrange to do things with her.

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