Friday, October 22, 2021

April 18, 2020  THE HAGUE - Solidarity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a lovely principle, but it needs to be mutual and equally invested in by all partners, according to Member of the Second Camber of the Dutch Parliament Chris van Dam of the Christian Democratic Party CDA.

“One of the most beautiful articles in our Charter is article 36 which states that the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten help and support each other. That is the core of the principle of solidarity within the Kingdom. In cases of hardship, you help each other. And that hardship is definitely present,” said Van Dam.

Van Dam noted that based on this solidarity principle, the Netherlands has already taken several measures. “Free of charge,” he said, mentioning 42 Intensive Care units, medical expertise and teams, equipment and supplies, support from Defence with people and means, including the largest ship Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman, extension of the police assistance in St. Maarten.

“And, for the coming six weeks a loan, without conditions, against zero per cent interest, to be repaid in two year, whereby State Secretary Raymond Knops didn’t exclude that he is open to talk about turning this into a grant at the end of the trajectory,” said Van Dam.

The member of Parliament (MP) said that he was all in favour of solidarity. However, that principle needs to be applied by both sides of the ocean. “Whoever thought that true solidarity can only materialise in the form of an unconditional grant from the Netherlands, needs to realise that solidarity is a mutual principle. And they also need to consider that despite multiple warnings, the Caribbean countries did insufficient to improve their financial immune system.”

Van Dam remarked that various entities have repeatedly pointed out the need for reform: the Committees for Financial Supervision, the Dutch government, Dutch MPs, the International Monetary Fund. Trimming down the governmental apparatus, getting the public finances in order, increasing the pensionable age, reducing the salaries of elected officials, tackling corruption, especially in St. Maarten.

While the coronavirus is most certainly the catalyser of the current economic hardship, it is not the only cause, stated Van Dam. “The resilience of the countries needs to be strengthened, and we already know for years what is necessary to achieve that. Nobody should be surprised that with the need for support growing, the Netherlands will want to give content to the mutual aspect of solidarity. This, in aid of the countries, to tackle the true causes.”

Van Dam said he was a real support of financially assisting the Dutch Caribbean countries. “But on a mutual basis. And that mutuality means that the countries really get to work with reform.” He noted that setting conditions was also applied in granting European subsidies: setting conditions for the state of law, financial management and budget regulations. “That is not Dutch stinginess, but a way to help each other.”

The MP reiterated that the coronavirus also hit the Dutch economy very hard and that the number of unemployment allowances has increased by 40 per cent. He said it could not be explained to the Dutch taxpayer that the hardships and reforms of the past years, including an increase of the pensionable age, would not apply to countries that receive financial support. “Even if this is within our own Kingdom.”

Unity is of utmost importance at this moment, both within the Kingdom and within the countries, said Van Dam. “Just as in the Netherlands an opposition minister of the Labour Party has joined the cabinet, I hope that the members of the Committees for Financial Supervision show unity, that the MEP and AVP parties will build Aruba together, that the income freeze will collectively be embraced in Curaçao and that in St. Maarten the general interest will dominate in politics,” he stated.

Van Dam’s final call: “Let’s support each other within the Kingdom as family members, in good and bad times, but to also always tell each other the truth. And let’s not see this beautiful article 36 as a one-way street, but as a mutual principle.”

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.

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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.

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