Wednesday, January 19, 2022

July 18, 2021  -I greet you on behalf of the government and people of St. Maarten on this momentous occasion of the global celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day. I am grateful to the organizers for the invitation to have the honor to share this platform with illustrious dignitaries from the Caribbean and the Americas.

Today, we celebrate our collective power to make our world a better place for all. This movement for positive change, however, hinges on small steps each one of us can take to impact the lives of others. It is, therefore, most appropriate that the theme of this year’s Mandela Day is “One hand can feed another.”

The ongoing, mutating COVID-19 Corona Virus pandemic has thrown many of our people out of work and into poverty, with food security being a top priority for most governments within this region and the world. I am, therefore, happy to note that “Food Hampers for the poor and underprivileged” is on the program the organizers intend to launch today. This has been among the top priorities of my government as well since the onset of the pandemic and remains a campaign to which we are committed wholeheartedly as our food program and voucher system continues.

Our current initiatives are intended to help lessen the hardships the pandemic has inflicted on our people who have seen our tourism-based economy virtually grind to a halt. Thankfully, St. Martin is safely open again for business, but it cannot be business as usual in a world that has been plunged into a so-called “new normal”, which requires massive vaccination to combat this faceless yet lethal enemy.

However, we can continue to encounter unexpected challenges on this front as well, with a relatively large segment of the population showing a lack of confidence in vaccination. This phenomenon seems to be worldwide. Nevertheless, I am happy to report that as of July 15th, a total of 19,642 of our residents on Dutch St. Maarten, which is about just over half of our population, have been fully vaccinated and the Pfizer vaccine is the one that we have been using, with some 23,528 having received their first jab. We are well past our 50% mark and therefore continue to encourage our people on St. Maarten and within the region to get vaccinated at the highest rate possible.

We all know, that the COVID-19 virus is no respecter of borders, therefore efforts in one country would be ineffective unless similar measures are taken around our region and indeed around the world. Mandela himself wanted us to show “a fundamental concern for others” as we seek to improve the world that we live in. We cannot, therefore, turn a blind eye to the situation currently going on in both Haiti and Cuba; our sisters and brothers within this Caribbean region. When they hurt, we all feel the pain.

As we mark Mandela Day today, may I suggest that we take part of the 67 minutes we are called upon to dedicate in honor of his 67 years of service to humanity, to pray for peace and stability in both Haiti and Cuba where our brothers and sisters are facing not only food shortages but also a lack of adequate access to the very vaccines that will be able to save lives. Indeed, As Mandela told us, “It is in our hands to make our world a better one for all.” The world begins with our beloved Caribbean for, as they say, “charity begins at home.” So let one, feed one; let one, teach one.

Happy Mandela Day!

SXM Radio Online


September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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