Sunday, September 20, 2020

Philipsburg St. Maarten, September 5, 2020 – Another advice from our Council of Advice is in. This time it is the advice regarding the United Nations–Decolonization–St. Maarten, as presented to the Council by the Parliament of St. Maarten. MP Wescot-Williams recently shared some insight on the matter: “This dossier has been circulating in Parliament since 2018, consisting of numerous documents and in the view of some, it is making a case for St. Maarten to ‘have its decolonization process completed ”.

“Looking back at the Parliament meeting of June 18th,  in which the decision was taken to send this request to the Council of Advice, and  the disrespect and acrimonies during that meeting, I am happy the Council did not take long to render its advice. I did not expect and I am relieved to learn that our Council of Advice did not sway under political pressure. Whatever one might think of the process of decolonization, fact is that we are where we are today, 66 years of the Charter of the Dutch Kingdom, its flaws, its strengths etc.” said the MP.

In summary, the Council’s response to Parliament states:

  • It’s an outdated request
  • The questions regard St. Eustatius and the court case of that island
  • No evidence of country St. Maarten’s interest or of the Kingdom
  • The role of the Council is not one of providing material for a debate, but rather legally analyzing the choices made and giving advice on the basis of the law,  and at its discretion.
  • The Council has no role in political discussions and debates.

“It is obvious that the Prime Minister of St. Maarten is between a rock and a hard place.

Given where we stand today as a country, in front of seemingly insurmountable challenges of many kinds, I implore the Prime Minister of St. Maarten not to succumb to the political pressure from within her coalition to use our limited resources to engage in this entanglement at this time and waste time and money, which we do not have”, is the former Prime Minister’s advice to the current officeholder, PM Jacobs.

Talking about limited resources, MP Wescot-Williams  reminds the Prime Minister that her response on August 7, 2020 regarding Government’s alternative (Plan B) states:

In the event that the Netherlands are unwilling to agree to soften their proposal or even engaging in a dialog with Sint Maarten pertaining to our counterproposal then the Government of Sint Maarten is looking into raising funds through shares acquisition by third parties as well as seeking a loan by the Central bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten. These options are not mutually exclusive and can be done together in the form of a package. The evaluation process that is necessary to assess the feasibility of these options have already started and the Council of Minister have commissioned the SOAB to evaluate the worth of all government-owned companies.

More than a month later, how much closer are we to these “alternatives”? In my view, no closer than a month ago.

In July, I stated that the Government needs to make a course correction.

“Prime Minister, this has to happen now. You can no longer hold out on the people of Sint Maarten.

And for whatever it is worth, I offer you my hand. But we need to face up to the reality of the day. Think for a moment where we would have been today had we allowed the Irma relief funds (TF) to be caught up in the acrimonious debate about the “Netherlands owing us….”.

Today some of the few bright spots we have, come from that very fund. Again, with all its flaws and strengths.

  • PJIA reconstruction
  • St. Maarten  Hospital
  • The enterprise support project
  • Emergency income support and training
  • Roof Repair Project
  • Debris Management

“So Prime Minister, we need a course correction and I am counting on you. The people are counting on you”, MP Wescot concluded in her appeal to Prime Minister Jacobs.

ATLANTA (AP) — Rapper and actor T.I. has settled civil charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he helped promote a fraudulent cryptocurrency. T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, agreed to a civil settlement with the SEC that was announced Friday. He is paying a $75,000 fine and agreeing not to sell or market similar securities for at least five years. Harris got into trouble, the SEC said, because he used his social media accounts to promote FLiK, falsely claiming to be a co-owner, and asked an unnamed actor and comedian to also promote FLiK, providing language calling it T.I.’s “new venture.” The SEC says both of those moves broke federal laws against selling securities without registering with the SEC. The charges against Harris were part of a larger enforcement action against others including film producer Ryan Felton, who faces wire fraud and other charges in a 28-count indictment unsealed Wednesday.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Legal advocates are lining up on both sides of actor Bill Cosby’s appeal as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prepares to review his 2018 sex assault conviction. Cosby was the first celebrity to go on trial in the #MeToo era, and his appeal could resolve lingering questions about how the cases should be tried. For starters, the high court will try to clarify when other accusers can testify against a defendant — and when the additional testimony amounts to character assassination. Public defenders in Philadelphia, in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in Cosby’s appeal, noted that courts have given conflicting guidance on the issue.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Council of Fashion Designers of America gave its top fashion awards on Monday to Gabriela Hearst for womenswear and Kerby Jean-Raymond for menswear. The two designers led a group of winners that the CFDA said was the most diverse in the 39-year history of the awards. It was the second honor in two days for Jean-Raymond, the prominent Black founder of the Pyer Moss label, who was also named Designer of the Year by Harlem’s Fashion Row in a virtual ceremony on Sunday. The CFDA winners also included Telfar Clemens, who won the accessories award, and Christopher John Rogers, who won for American emerging designer. All four were first-time winners.

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s a scene in a new documentary about Paris Hilton, where the so-called socialite is speaking with former classmates from a Utah boarding school. They joke about how on her reality series “The Simple Life,” Hilton pretended to be clueless over many things— including how to perform any sort of manual labor. One bluntly described it as “some straight-up (expletive),” as they all laughed. “I don’t think you had like a high-pitch voice back then,” was another observation. None of this is a surprise to Hilton. What’s revealed in “This is Paris,” which debuted for free Monday on Hilton’s YouTube channel, is that the ultra-glam, baby-talking young woman whose standard line was “that’s hot,” was a manufactured caricature not just for fame but self-protection, too.