Thursday, November 26, 2020

PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Sunday, July 26, two cruise ships will be in port for the repatriation of their crew to their homelands.  The vessels are the Independence of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and MSC Cruises MSC Armonia. Both vessels will arrive on Sunday.  Independence of the Seas will depart on Tuesday while MSC Armonia will depart on Monday.

The repatriation of crew will be carried out based on the ports strict “Sterile Port Protocol” that falls under the scope of the Ordinance Public Health which is part of the International Health Regulations as issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

This protocol ensures public health safety and security at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities for all incoming vessels at the port.

Port St. Maarten was chosen due to its strategic location in the Northeastern Caribbean as well as its international connections with airports around the world. As a destination, St. Maarten has displayed its ability to facilitate such repatriation operations safely and efficiently.

The country’s infrastructure such as its homeporting facility and services at Port St. Maarten makes it easy for a cruise ship to have travel documents of crews processed and then taken directly to the Airport to board their international flight.

Additional services such as fuel bunkering and food provisioning, are also available that cruise lines can avail during their port call.

PARIS (AP) — A Congolese activist was fined 2,000 euros ($2,320) on Wednesday for trying to take a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum in a protest against colonial-era injustice that he streamed online. A Paris court convicted Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and two other activists of attempted theft, but the sentence stopped far short of what they potentially faced for their actions at the Quai Branly Museum: 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros in fines. Activists and defense lawyers viewed the case as a trial about how former empires should atone for past crimes. Diyabanza’s museum action took place in June, amid global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

LONDON (AP) — Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. He was 95. His family confirmed Wednesday that Kretzmer died after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease at the London home he shared with his second wife, Sybil Sever. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change. The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conchata Ferrell, who became known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on TV’s “Two and a Half Men” after a long career as a character actor on stage and in movies, including “Mystic Pizza” and ”Network,” has died. She was 77. Ferrell died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles following cardiac arrest, according to publicist Cynthia Snyder. Ferrell soldiered through more than a decade on “Two and a Half Men,” playing opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer until Sheen was fired from the sitcom for erratic behavior that included publicly insulting producer Chuck Lorre.