Principal and founder of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Gianluigi Aponte and his senior management team met with Prime Minister Perry Christie and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Cabinet Negotiating Committee, February 11, at MSCs headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland for two days of deliberations on matters relating to the expiring concessions under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement and growth of MSC’s investments in The Bahamas.

    MSC is a global giant in shipping, with 80,000 employees worldwide and market capture of 70 percent of cargo transhipment in global trade. Their assets in The Bahamas already include shareholdings in the Container Port in Grand Bahama, development of a cruise port destination at Ocean Cay and in the Northern Bahamas.

    MSC is currently developing a partnership with educational and training institutions in The Bahamas for the production of maritime programmes and will undertake a national training and recruitment drive for mariners and ship crews as well as the expansion of cruise calls and other interests in The Bahamas.

    From left to right are: Mr. Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Executive Chairman; Sir Baltron Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister; Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism; Mr. Diego Aponte, MSC President; the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister & Minister of Finance; Mr. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group Executive Chairman; Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education; Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama; Her Excellency Rhoda Jackson, Bahamas Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)




    Although not one Bahamian government school student has ever applied to enter Yale University, tenth and eleventh grade students of Doris Johnson Senior High School learned Wednesday that it is possible to attend the Ivy League institution located in Connecticut and other American universities.

    Yale University graduate and American Diplomat John Ford joined students in the school’s Guidance Department’s Career Chat Room where he addressed them on college readiness. Mr. Ford and representatives of the US Embassy in The Bahamas are promoting the message to public school students that college is possible for them and so too is attending Yale University.

    At a cost of $60,000 a year for tuition and fees at Yale, a large number of students are admitted through financial assistance via scholarships, grants and loans to pay for education.

    Mr. Ford, who has been interviewing high school students for Yale for 25 years and other institutions prior to that, said until recently, Yale accepted and provided financial assistance for American students who could get admitted to the institution. The students’ only concerns were “good” grades and “good” test scores. Once admitted their families would demonstrate how much they could pay and Yale would make up the difference. However, debt after graduation was overwhelming.

    “I am here today to say that for any of you to get into a school like Yale it is difficult. What has changed is that it is not impossible.”

    He told the students that effective this year about 70-80 American universities are tweaking application forms. “They’ve tested the old form and found that it discriminated on ethnicity, race, gender and international applicants; not in an open way but in subtle ways. They found it is very much harder for overseas students to grasp what was on the application and to shine when they filled it out. So, it would be better and fairer than it was.”

    Responding to questions put to him by students, Mr. Ford outlined several things that colleges look for in selecting students.

    “They want to know who you are and if you show them who you are, then they can make a difference between you and someone else,” he said.

    “They don’t have any specific score that they are looking for; they don’t have a specific grade average. They expect to see very high scores, very good grades. The people who write recommendations on you to love you. They want those people to show you’re the greatest student they have seen in the last ten years.

    “While they don’t say you have to get a certain grade on your ACT or SAT tests they expect them to be very high. The significance of those tests is very important for you. They get stacks of applications for the most part from very good students. So, how do they differentiate between all of the students who are applying? The one benchmark they have a standard they can judge by are these tests because everybody takes the same tests. If you do well on the standardized tests then they know what your level of learning is.

    “What they really look for is distinction. It can be because you’re a great softball player. It can be because you play the violin so well that you’ve been invited to play with the Tampa Symphony. It can be because you’ve volunteered for the last 6 years at a home for old people who can’t afford proper care. And of those three things they would pay more attention to the last.

    “They are looking for who you are and part of how they determine who you are is by what you’ve done. They look for you to get outside yourself and to help others most of all. Maybe that sounds corny, but if you think about it, if you’re sitting around a table with stacks of applications, you’re trying to find what makes this person different. And that’s one of the best things that makes them different is helping other people; Doing something that’s more than just serving yourself.

    “Yale and these other schools want to admit people who do well in school, then they will graduate and bring glory and high repute to the school as alumni. They want people who will come back and be the Prime Minister of The Bahamas or the Bishop of the Anglican Church or the head of the College of The Bahamas or maybe a surgeon, a psychiatrist; somebody who will make a difference in the world.”

    Mr. Ford noted that most of all universities prefer to admit people who are going to bring distinction to the university after they graduate.

    “The candidate who stands out the most is the one who has served others – has made a difference,” he added.




    Companies at the forefront of helping to fund cancer research and patient care have come together to share their stories of the battle against this deadly disease, in the latest episode of the renowned ZNS show ‘A Familiar Walk’. Host Mario Newry takes a look at a health condition all too familiar to families globally, and recounts his mother’s lost fight with the disease. On the show, Mr. Newry is joined at the site of the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by Peter Capote and Eddy Cubas of United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS

    has been a sponsor of Sunshine Insurance’s ‘Race Weekend’ from its inception, and according to Mr. Capote UPS and Bahamas Couriers Limited (BCL) have made a sincere commitment to improving the lives of Bahamians, through such partnerships. UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs; therefore, Marathon Bahamas and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure were a perfect fit for the company.

    “Since 1951, The UPS foundation has maintained a tradition of providing support through grant programs and initiatives that help improve the quality of life in communities where UPS conducts business.” Mr. Capote said. Mr. Newry laments that cancer became an unfortunate part of his family’s story, after his Mother Ruth Newry passed away 10 Years ago. “That is why I am so passionate about raising awareness, because I have seen firsthand how it can impact others,” said Mr Newry. “The next edition of ‘A Familiar Walk’ will remind all to have courage in the fight against cancer. During the show Sir Franklyn Wilson, Chairman of Marathon Bahamas praised UPS’s commitment to Marathon Bahamas, and hailed Mr. Capote’s annual

    participation in the event. “This is what our country needs, a caring business community,” said Mr. Wilson.

    Mr. Newry explained that former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, saw corporate social responsibility as a necessary aspect of the Bahamas' business community. In the programme he quotes Sir Lynden's sentiment:

    “It is good when Corporate Bahamas become a pillar of social change in our Bahamian society, complementing the Government and philanthropy… we need the entire private sector to begin committing itself not just to making profits, but to fulfilling higher and larger purposes by contributing to building a better Bahamas.” He added: When I think of our Late Father of the Nation, I think of UPS and BCL; and its involvement with Marathon Bahamas. UPS is recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute and has been on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies list for more than 20 years.

    Mr. Newry said in the progamme that there is no inherent contradiction between improving competitive context and making a sincere commitment to bettering our society. “UPS and BCL through giving, have unlocked a vastly more powerful way to make the Bahamas and the Caribbean a better place,” he said.

    A Familiar Walk was created in memory of Mr. Newry’s mother and its latest edition will be air on The Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, Z.N.S. beginning February 18th. UPS is also a proud Partner of the show.

    Photo Caption: Photo caption 2: (L-R) Peter Capote, Sir Franklyn Wilson and Mario Newry at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.




    Executives of the Assemblies of God in the Bahamas paid a courtesy call upon Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Pictured from left: Rev. Dr. Beverley Strachan, Rev. Dr. Robert Lockhart, H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Rev. Dr. Patrick Paul, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, and Rev. Irene Russell. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)




    The Bahamas Christian Council called upon Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General (centre), at Government House on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)




    Members of the Bahamas Heart Association called upon Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Pictured from left: Lottie Palumbo, Claire Howorth, Coretta Owen, R.E. Barnes, H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Thelma Johnson, Deirdre Maycock, Polina Ross and Renee Barrow. Pictured also -- Thelma Johnson pins H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling. (BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)




    The Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) is pleased to announce the official dates for the 2016 and 2017 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Intense planning is underway for the 2016 event, which is intended to be even better than the inaugural event: The Grand Bahama Carnival Kick Off is scheduled for April 15-16, 2016 at Taino Beach, Grand Bahama, and the main event for May 5-7, 2016 at Da Cultural Village in Nassau.

    The BNFC has made a concerted effort to implement lessons learned from the inaugural year in order to improve the overall event experience, strengthen the marketing, generate greater economic impact for small businesses, increase the value to sponsors, attract international visitor participation and most importantly, contain the costs.

    Da Cultural Village has been redesigned; the overall brand positioning of the event has been rationalised; and new stakeholders have been included. The intent this year is to deliver an amazing event that is simultaneously a world class music festival, an interactive cultural experience and an unforgettable street party. Focusing on the festival’s three distinct aspects, the BNFC is committed to building a uniquely Bahamian carnival that delivers the perfect dose of music, culture and vibes to its thousands of followers.

    Pegging the dates to the second weekend in April and the first full weekend in May, respectively, the dates have been set for 2017 and beyond: The Grand Bahama Carnival Kick Off will take place on April 14-15, 2017 at Taino Beach, Grand Bahama, and the main event for May 4-6, 2017 at Da Cultural Village in Nassau.

    The BNFC’s first major initiative is launching the Music Masters Song Competition this week. However, in the coming weeks and months, the BNFC is also planning an official launch event, along with scheduled announcements of the Bahamian artists set to perform and other featured artists from around the region, and other promotional initiatives. Youth Culture Fest (April 9) is included in the line of events again this year, as well as Junkamania, the concert of Junkanoo orchestras inside Da Cultural Village. The Road Fever street party will take place on Saturday, May 7. Registered companies have already staged costume launch parties and are accepting costume orders.

    Paul Major, BNFC Chairman: “Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is going to grow from strength to strength each year because we are going to work smarter and harder to deliver value for the Bahamian people. We are aware of what is happening in our country in terms of the social and economic environment, and what is happening around the world in the entertainment and cultural arena. Our work certainly does not take place in a vacuum, but we remain firm in our knowledge that investing in the cultural industries is the right long term plan to help advance our economic and cultural development.

    “Last year, Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival established itself as a wholesome event with the perfect dose of music, culture and vibes. Now that the 2016 and 2017 dates are firmly cemented, we are going to work to deliver an even better experience along those lines this year and beyond.”




    The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) recently hosted a High-Level Operational Response Workshop on Bio-Incidents and Terrorist Attacks, the aim of which was to strengthen The Bahamas’ capabilities in the event of an incident. The three-day workshop was held at NEMA’s office on Gladstone Road and NEMA’s Way, January 19 - 21, 2016.

    The workshop was sponsored by the Ministry of National Security, Bahamas; and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA. The workshop involved about 30 participants from the Water & Sewerage Corporation, Atlantis Resort, ZNS, Bahamas Information Services, the National Emergency Management Agency, Nassau Airport Development Company, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ministry of Tourism, Department of Environmental Health Services, Ministry of Works and Urban Development, Department of Public Health, National Intelligence Agency, Bahamas Customs, and Doctors Hospital.

    The objective of the workshop was to aid the Bahamas Government in creating a coordinated inter-institutional response plan to a bio-terrorist incident. The OAS sees the importance of encouraging initiatives such as this in OAS Member States because of the potential threat of terrorism in the hemisphere. Having a coordinated response to a bio-terrorist incident will save many lives, as governments will be prepared in the face of a disaster.

    The CICTE facilitators and presenters at the workshop were: Tim McSherry, (retired) Director, Emergency Management, Jefferson County; Selwyn Jamison, Programme Manager, FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (FBI WMDD); Bill Wallis (retired) Director Fire Chief, US Department of Interior; Catherine Gibson, Project Officer, OAS-CICTE; and Todd Savage, Programme Manager, FBI WMDD.

    Presentations and discussions covered: a Review of Bahamian Bio-Defense Project, National Plan Progress Report; Progress, Successes and Obstacles, Inter-Institutional Communications, Disaster Response during Hurricane Joaquin; Lessons Learned and Debriefing, Disaster Response during Hurricane Joaquin; Response and Action, Public Messaging during Crisis, amongst other related topics.

    Photo Caption:

    Participants, presenters and facilitators during a High-Level Operational Response Workshop: Bio-Incidents and Terrorist Attacks, hosted by the a National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and sponsored by Ministry of National Security, Bahamas; and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA. The three-day workshop was held at NEMA on Gladstone Road and NEMA’s Way, January 19 - 21, 2016. Pictured among the participants, seated in front row from left are: Catherine Gibson, Project Officer, OAS-CICTE; Selwyn Jamison, Programme Manager, FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate; Todd Savage, Programme Manager, FBI WMDD; Tim McSherry, (retired) Director, Emergency Management, Jefferson County; Bill Wallis (retired) Director Fire Chief, US Department of Interior; and Captain Stephen Russell, Director, NEMA. (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)




    Nassau Flight Services rewarded its employees for excellence at its Second Annual Employee of the Year Gala Awards Ceremony at Holy Trinity Activities Centre, Stapledon Gardens, January 28, 2016, at which Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin thanked the staff for their hard work and dedication and congratulated the award winners.

    To the theme, ‘Excellence…Live It!’ the night of celebration conveyed a range of awards for customer service and leadership skills. More lighthearted accolades reflected a sense of enjoyment of staff members for the work environment. Awards included: Employee of the Year, Most Improved Department, Most Outstanding Department, Exemplary Leadership, the Chairman’s Award, and even… the ‘Peacock Award’ (to best dressed male and female), and ‘Celebrity Look-Alike’. (BIS Photos/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)

    Employee of the Year – Below Wing

    Employee of the Year – Below Wing, from left: Roskeino Neely, Cargo Manager; Ricardo Rolle, General Manager; Valarie Wallace, BTC VP Human Resources; Senator Gary Sawyer, Chairman, NFS; Christopher Moss, Employee of the Year Below Wing; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Laurie Lightfoot, NFS Director; Idena Burrows, NFS Director; George Watson, NFS Director; and Plato Thompson, Deputy General Manager.




    Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Hope Strachan, pictured centre, met with the Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas and other Financial Services Regulators on Monday, February 8, 2016. Pictured from left: Hillary Deveaux, Consultant to the Minister; LaTonia Symonette-Tinker, Consultant to the Minister; Christina Rolle, Executive Director of the Securities Commission; John A. Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas; Minister Strachan; Dominique Toote, Chief Examiner of The Compliance Commission; Michele Fields, Executive Director of the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas; Sherylee Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Financial Services; Jamell Bodie, Manager of Supervision for General Insurance; and Angelique Sawyer, Financial and Trade Officer, Ministry of Financial Services. (Photo/Courtesy, Ministry of Financial Services).






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