Friday, March 05, 2021

January 24, 2021   PHILIPSBURG—To read an article that shows a Member of Parliament in The Hague questioning our Party’s Leader for interacting with a Citizen of St. Maarten, and making that a focal point for discussion, at a time when our people are suffering through a global pandemic, economic decline, job loss, homelessness and an uncertain future, belittles the integrity of our elected leaders.

The UP Party issued the press release Sunday evening saying it found the article that appeared in the local newspaper portrayed an arrogant insistence by Dutch Politicians that they can dictate every action our elected officials take, without regard for the masses who they represent.

“The Honorable Rolando Bryson as President of Parliament has a responsibility to all citizens of this country and no one should be telling grown people who they can and cannot be in contact with. Whatever the Dutch Government’s gripe or burden with FrancescoCorallo is not for the citizens of St. Maarten or its politicians to carry. It is unreasonable to assume that as members of our small community, we cannot be cordial with each other or risk ridicule by the Dutch Government. Whatever their agenda, it is for them to address on their own terms,” the release stated.

Mr. Corallo is a major contributor to St. Maarten’s economic development through his various business initiatives that have kept hundreds of people employed even at a time when thousands have been laid off.

“We the United People’s Party formally declare this to be an insult to the intelligence of our people. The Dutch Government through its financial assistance has made many unreasonable demands in exchange for helping the people and the Government of St. Maarten addresses its financial shortfalls.

“Challenges that were magnified because of COVID-19, forced us to accept these conditions, which we are well aware constantly change after being met. However, to tell our politicians and parliamentarians they cannot associate with certain citizens of this country, or to suggest that by doing so they are doing something wrong/illegal is not a condition we will accept.”

The UP Party stands firmly in support of its Members of Parliament in their pursuit of Decolonization and in their efforts to bring public and private sector organizations together especially in this dark economic time. We urge the citizens of St. Maarten to recognize that though it is not a popular and exciting topic, finalizing the Decolonization of St. Maarten is even more important today as is evident by the boldfaced insinuation that our Political leaders should not speak to some of the citizens of this country. To do this is to besmirch one’s character. As far as we are aware every citizen has a legal right to a defense and innocent or guilty, is the role of the Court.

This is neither democracy nor politics but rather a petty attempt at slowing the process of rebuilding St. Maarten and keep us dependent.

The UP Party said it has not been critical of the Dutch Government after their new Cabinet fell in ruins over a scandal, but noted that “it does teach a valuable lesson. When your neighbors' house is on fire, don’t celebrate before you wet yours down.”

MP Bryson has nothing to hide and has a responsibility to represent the people of this country, whether they elected him or not. The nature of the conversation he had with the businessman could have been about anything including ensuring that the people in his employ are being cared for and have job security. After all, he was elected into office to serve the people.


February 28, 2021    NEW YORK (AP) — When drained of glamour, what’s left of the Golden Globes? That’s one of the biggest questions heading into the 78th annual awards on Sunday night. The show, postponed two months from its usual early-January perch, will have little of what makes the Globes one of the frothiest and glitziest events of the year. Due to the pandemic, there will be no parade of stars down the red carpet outside the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Its hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be on different sides of the country.

February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner. “I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like ‘Oh yeah, I’ll try this. I’ll take Tina Turner, one of the biggest icons in the world, and attempt to retell her story in this musical form,’” Hall says, laughing. “I had no qualms whatsoever.” That fearlessness has led to Hall’s first Tony nominations, as a producer and book writer for “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.” At the awards show, it will compete against “Jagged Little Pill” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical!” for Broadway’s best new musical crown.

February 26, 2021   NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series. For years, academic studies have sought to capture inequalities in Hollywood and to hold studios accountable for making film and television that doesn’t reflect American demographics. Those studies have generally relied on box-office or ratings data, often leaving out streaming platforms. Netflix is trying a different route with both more transparency and more company control. The streamer commissioned the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to analyze its 2018 and 2019 original, live-action films and series, and presented the results to members of the press Thursday in a video presentation. The results were, as Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder and director Stacy L. Smith noted, far more positive than most Annenberg reports, which have typically found only slow, sporadic improvement in the most popular films.


February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Four hours of morning television is a lot of time to fill, but new Black News Channel hosts Mike Hill and Sharon Reed don’t expect to run out of things to say. Their new program, which debuts Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern, is the centerpiece of Black News Channel’s relaunch to emphasize commentary and a more analytical approach to the news. Nearly invisible when it debuted last year, BNC is methodically becoming more available to viewers. “This is when I need my voice to be heard and I want my voice to be heard,” said Hill, who has worked at Fox Sports and ESPN. “So much is happening in our country.”

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February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking beyond the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, President Joe Biden and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for another top legislative priority — a long-sought boost to the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure that could run into Republican resistance to a hefty price tag. Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas’ recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure.

February 26, 2021    WASHINGTON (AP) — On a cold, gray February afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped out of the West Wing wrapped in a puffy black parka and clutching a folder of documents, seemingly oblivious to the Washington custom of having an aide schlep the paperwork. Viewed as an outsider to partisan politics, she now has a place in President Joe Biden’s inner sanctum, a Ph.D. economist who does the reading, knows the numbers and treats her staff as peers rather than underlings. Yellen, entourage in tow, had been at the White House to strategize about how to push through Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan -- a package that could determine how quickly the U.S. economy heals, how the Democrats fare in the midterm elections and just how much Americans can trust the government to solve the nation’s toughest problems.

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