Grid List

MARIGOT--The airports of Grand Case (Esperance) in St. Martin and Pamandzi in Mayotte in the Indian Ocean are among sixteen French airports to be separated from the Quebec-based Canadian company SNC Lavalin, reports in the Canadian press have revealed.

PHILIPSBURG--The abrupt deduction of back taxes from civil servants has been queried by independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo via letter to Finance Minister Richard Gibson. She asked in the letter whether Gibson had notified civil servants of this action “as many complained that arrangements for repayment were already in place and no notifications were given” to them.

News that the United Bus Association has adopted a colour code for different routes (see Saturday paper) is most welcome. This kind of system to help organise public transportation in St. Maarten makes all the sense in the world.

In addition, residents of Pointe Blanche received the good news that they will be getting up-to-now non-existent bus service. Of course, no mention was made of other areas still lacking such, including Middle Region and Oyster Pond, but at least it’s a start.

The black off-duty sign is also good idea, so that people can easily see which buses are actually available. Hopefully the planned discussions with Government will go well so that the new policy can become the general rule, because the association does not represent the majority of bus owners.

The latter is somewhat regrettable, because being part of a joint organisation can be beneficial for the individual operators and the sector as a whole. For example, medical insurance is available and some who have paid the premium will receive it from September.

This newspaper has consistently spoken out against the idea of establishing a large bus company for reasons of efficiency, because of the impact that would have on what are now basically independent entrepreneurs and their families. Some no doubt would still get jobs as drivers there, but certainly not all.

However, maintaining the current set-up also entails a huge responsibility for licence-holders and their assistants to be true public transportation professionals in every way. The association’s efforts seem geared towards just that and deserve support.

The signing of an agreement to regulate the legal status and salary scales of police officers reported on in today’s paper is obviously good news. Some might want to suspect politics could be involved, as the election campaign is in full swing, but these matters have been pending for years with various Ministers working on them.

Intriguing was the second document calling on the next Justice Minister taking office after

VIRGIN GORDA, BVI--Sir Richard Branson saw “his life flash before my eyes” during a bike crash close to a cliff edge that left him needing hospital treatment.

KINGSTON--Jamaica’s former Prime Minister Bruce Golding has described as shocking, reports out of Brazil and the United Kingdom which paint sprint king Usain Bolt as a womaniser. “The reports are disturbing, and if true, are far below what is expected of our most celebrated contemporary icon,” the former prime minister said. Golding said “Bolt’s management would clearly have dropped the ball, but he himself would have to take responsibility for his actions.

NAIROBI--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent.

BAGHDAD--Iraq's government would consider selling crude through Iran should talks with the autonomous Kurdish region on an oil revenue-sharing agreement fail, a senior oil ministry official in Baghdad told Reuters.

MEXICO CITY--Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, a musical icon across Latin America for more than 40 years, died on Sunday of a heart attack at age 66, broadcaster Televisa reported.

LONDON-- When marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa crossed the finish line at the Rio Olympics, he crossed his arms above his head in an "X", a sign of protest against the Ethiopian government's treatment of his people, the ethnic Oromo.

WASHINGTON--Democrat Hillary Clinton on Saturday received her first national security briefing since accepting her party's nomination for the presidency last month.


CHICAGO--Chicago police on Sunday said they have arrested two brothers and charged them with the fatal shooting of basketball star Dwyane Wade's cousin as she pushed a baby in a stroller, a murder that has stunned a city plagued by a surge in gang-related violence.

AMATRICE, Italy--Rescuers believe they have found more bodies buried deep in the rubble of the ruined town of Amatrice, five days after a devastating earthquake struck central Italy, killing at least 290 people.

MADRID--Spain's liberal newcomer party Ciudadanos ("Citizens") agreed on Sunday to back acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a confidence vote, but the support is not enough to end an eight-month political stalemate.

PHILIPSBURG--Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada; in that order, emerged as the three qualifiers at the end of the U21 World Youth Netball Qualifiers for the Americas Federation of Netball Association (AFNA) at L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium last night.

BELGIUM-- German Nico Rosberg steered clear of the chaos unfolding behind him and cruised to an unchallenged win in a disrupted Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Dear Editor,

The election period is one where many new ideas are born. Numerous candidates have already made statements on taxation. Through the medium of your newspaper I would like to address the following questions to those candidates who have made statements:

Gracita Arrindell (PPA) has proposed a property tax. Would this tax be on used and unused property? Would it be on the value or the rental produced? How would the tax be calculated and if the calculation is to be on property value, who would do the evaluation and what would be the cost of setting up this institution?

Frans Richardson (US Party) has proposed replacing all personal taxes with indirect taxes. Has he calculated the cost of conversion from one tax system to another? Has he considered the VAT model over the Sales Tax model? Why does he believe that poor people will be less burdened by indirect taxes compared to direct taxes?

Maria Buncamper (US Party) has said that there are neighbouring islands that have eliminated profit tax. Which territories is she referring to?

Richard Gibson (NA): How badly is the present TOT structure impacting our economy presently and limiting job creation?

The discussion of taxation is an important one as country St. Maarten should be looking to ensure that our tax system not only minimises the negative impact on our less fortunate, but also maximises the incentive for economic opportunity and to ensure sufficient public revenue to allow for investment in critical projects.

Robbie Ferron

Dear Queenie,

I’m a senior citizen who recently joined a senior citizens group for the social contact, but all they seem to do is complain about the weather, their health, the food, you name it they don’t like it, and it’s depressing.

So now I’m the one who is complaining – about them!

Any suggestions, Queenie?—Gloomy Gussie

Dear Gussie,

Find another group to hang out with, one with a purpose in life such as a volunteer organisation. There is nothing like being able to help others to improve one’s own outlook on life.

St. Maarten appoints first STA Director

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