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THIS WEEK CONTINUED…

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viagra canada sovaldi times;”>Soweto celebrates the historic NASSAU ACCORD

buy viagra times;”>In a relatively low key affair, the Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir is in The Bahamas this week to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the NASSAU ACCORD. 

Music enthusiasts would remember that this choir was formed in Soweto by choir directors David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer. Their blend of gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae and American popular music has won them two Grammy Awards. Their albums Blessed and African Spirit   both won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

It was in October 1985 right here in Nassau on the Cable Beach property now known as the Baha Mar resorts campus when Commonwealth Heads of Government held their inter-sessional meetings and high on the agenda was apartheid in South Africa and the imprisonment of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. The world community considered Nelson Mandela a prisoner of conscience and a political prisoner. 

As fate would have it, Tourism Minister the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe was the lead journalist from the Bahamas Broadcasting Corporation (ZNS) to cover this event and record its historic significance. The Religious Tourism Department of the Ministry of Tourism is playing host to this choir’s visit this week.

Then Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling was elected chair of the CHOCM, a policy decision was made to impose broad based sanctions against South Africa because of its race-based policies and the rest as they say is history. All formally banned political parties were legalized on 2nd February 1990; Mandela left the Victor Verster prison on 11th February a free man and was sworn in as the country’s president on 10th May 1994, forming the first majority rule cabinet since the imposition of apartheid. Mr. Mandela would serve until the 14th June 1999. 

During their tour, the Soweto Choir was serenaded by the National Boys Choir, the National Youth Choir and components of the College of The Bahamas Choir on Wednesday night at the Center for the Performing Arts. They also performed in concert during the Caribbean Music Festival in Rawson Square on Thursday evening at 7pm. 

Mitchell thanks diplomats and allies in Bahamas’ unsuccessful UNHRC bid

The Bahamas made history on Wednesday of this week as the first English speaking country in the Caribbean to contest a seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council. 

When the votes were tallied, The Bahamas secured 113 votes or the fourth most votes behind Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela. Under UN rules only the top three vote getters are elected to this prestigious council. 

In a press statement shortly after the election, Bahamas Foreign Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell issued a statement thanking the diplomats for their gallant efforts and the 113 UN member states who supported The Bahamas in its election bid.

In passing…

Rebuild Bahamas held a fundraising telethon at the Atlantis resort on Tuesday evening and managed to raise a reported $236,930 to assist with post hurricane relief and reconstruction efforts. On hand to show his support was Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie who underscored the demonstrable spirit of national unity in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Some of the participants who worked the phone banks were Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA; Hon. Melanie Griffin, Minister of Social Services and Community Development; Leon Williams, CEO of BTC; Hon. Khaalis Rolle, State Minister for Investment in the Office of the Prime Minister; Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, leader of the Opposition and David Burrows, Cable Bahamas Limited senior exec tive. 

The National Health Insurance commission convened a meeting on Wednesday morning at the office of the Prime Minister as the government continues to work towards its January 2016 implementation deadline. Prime Minister Christie, the chairman of the public/private committee, invited the media to reiterate the point that the process must and will be fully transparent at al material times. Also in attendance were Labour Minister Hon. Shane Gibson, Finance State Minister Michael Halkitis and National Security Minister Hon. Bernard Nottage.

The Caribbean Music Festival kicked off this week and on Thursday evening in Rawson Square, the 30th anniversary of the Nassau Accord was remembered. That thirty year old treaty led to the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa and the release of Nelson Mandela. Also awarded on that night were several Living Legend Awards. Our Bahamian thespian, music and cultural icon Ronnie Butler was honoured as a living legend.

On Thursday, the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) was reduced from $120 to $90 for a 100-pound cylinder, including Value Added Tax. This represents a sixteen percent decrease in the cost. Price Control Commissioner Ernest J. Bowe said it “couldn’t have come at a better time“ for Bahamian consumers ahead of the holiday season. Family Island rates have been cut to $70 for suppliers and $100 for distributors per 100-pound cylinder, inclusive of VAT and sea freight charges.

Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Brave Davis and CARICOM Ambassador Hon. Picewell Forbes visited Long Island and San Salvador today where Mr. Davis assessed ongoing post hurricane rebuilding efforts in those islands. He also delivered supplies including laptop computers to students in San Salvador. This corresponds to the assessments being conducted by the National Restoration and Reconstruction Unit headed by Jack Thompson, Barbara Burrows and Melanie Roach.

Reports surfaced on Friday afternoon that the China Exim Bank has foreclosed on the Baha Mar property and has appointed Raymond Winder of Delloite and Touche as receiver. Meanwhile Bloomberg Business reported yesterday that developer Sarkis Izmirlian offered to invest more of his personal funds into Baha Mar in order to avoid the property going into full liquidation.

Do not forget to turn your clocks back one hour before retiring to bed on Saturday night, 31st October 2015 as The Bahamas reverts to Eastern Standard Time at 2am on Sunday morning. This observance will continue until Sunday, 13th March 2016 at 2am.