Friday, March 30, 2012

VIEW FROM CROOKED TREE VILLAGE: FIRST CASHEW OF 2012

The yellow variety; juicy and refreshing
The red variety; looking quite healthy and solid
Hiding this one from the birds
First juicy bite

I'm a great fan of Crooked Tree's organic cashew fruit and nuts, so when I see the fruits just budding I get in a particularly happy mood. The landscape in the village is still green, the lagoon still full of water; you can still find blooming wildflowers and thousands of birds. 

The cashew crop is almost upon us. The trees are in full swing for a bumper first crop. For those of you in North America with all that wacky weather, you are invited to come down here to get away from the hustle and bustle and be one with nature. Who knows if snow will not come for you in April!

Come and enjoy the warm holiday sunshine of Crooked Tree Village and the juicy and sweet cashew fruit. And believe me when I say Crooked Tree Village is inviting this time of the year.

Photos by Dr. Jane Crawford

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A CALL FOR PROTECTION FOR CROOKED TREE VILLAGE


Non-functioning for ten years before it was burnt down in 2010
Burnt to the ground on February 10, 2010

March 30, 2012

RT. Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow
Prime Minister of Belize
Belmopan, Belize, Central America


RE: Request for Police Station and Police Presence for Crooked Tree Village.

Dear Honorable Prime Minister Barrow,

This correspondence is in reference to a serious public safety issue for the villagers of Crooked Tree Village and the lack of a police station and police presence for Crooked Tree Village.

As you already know, Crooked Tree Village is one of the largest villages in the Belize District and it has been without a functioning police station for over ten years and no police officer presence for the past two years. Consequently, this situation has now presented a serious safety issue for the villagers of Crooked Tree. Last week, we received some troublesome news report about a major home invasion and robbery with weapons in Crooked Tree, which have left the villagers with major concerns for their safety and well being. Also, over the past six weeks there have been five additional home invasions and robberies. With this increase in serious crimes in Crooked Tree, the villagers are left with an out of control situation and a feeling of nowhere to turn.

The lack of police presence has created a pathway for criminals to rain terror over the Village and get away with their horrific activities putting the life of the villagers in serious jeopardy. Mr. Prime Minister, this is unacceptable. 

The only way to bring calm to the villagers and protect their safety will be to reinstate a permanent police officer immediately and begin to build a new police station.

In addition, Crooked Tree Village is known for its attractive Wild Life Sanctuary, which is also heavily promoted World Wide by the Belize Tourist Board. As a result, a large number of tourists visit the village annually. Any harm to any tourist can have a serious impact on the tourism industry and will drastically reduce tourism in Belize and in our village.

Mr. Prime Minister, the absence of law enforcement in Crooked Tree Village is having serious adverse effects on the residents of this beautiful Village. We trust that you will consider this serious situation and react immediately on behalf of the people of Crooked Tree Village.

Thank you in advance for a favorable action.

We pray blessings to your family and your Administration. 


Respectfully Submitted by,

Linda Crawford Elul 
Editor/Publisher

Nadine Gillett Herrera
President, Crooked Tree Village Reunion
And the Reunion Committee
www.crookedtreevillagereunion.com: E-mail: crookedtreereunion2008@yahoo.com


To all residents of Crooked Tree Village, descendants of Crooked Tree Village and friends of Crooked Tree Village. We would appreciate you adding your name and address in the comment section of this blog post so that it could be added to a petition we will be circulating in the village. This petition will be delivered to the PM's office in Belmopan. 

Together we stand united!!


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

KEEP FIGHTING FOR TRAYVON MARTIN


I wonder how many parents who are aware of Trayvon Martin’s murder are thinking: if that were my son, there would be a murder trial right now and consider taking justice into their own hands. I wonder how many district attorneys are thinking: to incite violence with a loaded weapon is premeditated murder and should never be considered terms for a claim to self-defense; especially after being told not to pursue by law enforcement. I wonder how many law enforcement officials are cursing the ineptness of Bill Lee for getting in the way of a legitimate homicide investigation. Perhaps him stepping down almost a month after the fact is his acknowledgement of justice denied; or perhaps he never cared enough to invest himself to work diligently with integrity.

The case of Trayvon Martin brings to question the particular role that race plays in our understanding of social events. It is never as if we are divorced from that consideration, however when a precious life is lost and dark questions loom in the daylight, we are forced to simply wonder. When a journalist from the Miami Herald can be insensitive enough to ask a grieving mother if her son ate chicken, then stifle her giggles, not being able to get past the racial innuendo that involves Black people and fried chicken, all we can do is wonder why her journalistic integrity has not been called to question or seen as compromised. How valuable is Black life?

Johannes Mehserle is now free after taking the life of Oscar Grant. Detective Michael Oliver along with Gescard F Ignore, Marc Cooper and Officer Michael Carey have all been acquitted-never having been tried in front of a jury of their peers after Oliver accounted for 31 of the 50 rounds found lodged in Sean Bell’s vehicle. Black people [especially] all over the world are wondering: How precious is Black life? In all three instances, (including the case of Trayvon Martin) a majority of white men had the authority to decide whether or not a Black man lives or dies. A decision made at the same instant that the round left the chamber, not even taking the time to consider the innocence of an unarmed man. In all three instances, this was based on suspicion alone.

Perhaps these are unrelated and isolated events that only represent a small percent of happenings. Or perhaps they are mere ripples in our waters of discord that have been spat out from the centrifuge that is the United States of America’s unequivocal dissonance on racial matters. As we spin wildly out of control, praying to whatever Gods may be, our disillusionment is only compounded by two simple what ifs. What if there are more untold stories of the like that haven’t made the news, and what if the racism imbedded in America’s institutions have run so deep that social movements for equality will continue to run their course and eventually be re-integrated into the social tapestry that is racist America.


Photo:Huffington Post

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Crooked Tree Village is normally a very peaceful and tranquil haven for birdwatchers from all over the world, but Tuesday night a villager was violently robbed in his home at gunpoint for over BZ$10,000.00

On Tuesday night, March 20th, around 8:30 p.m. two masked gunmen entered the home of villager Bill Tillett and held him up at gun point. The two demanded money, ransacked his home and robbed him of his gun, cell phone, and the keys to his home and tied him up in his bathroom. They reportedly rode off over the Crooked Tree Lagoon with $10,000.00 in cash. Mr. Tillett believed that the strangers were tipped off by a villager about the sale of some cattle he sold the day before.  Several hours after, the police arrived from Ladyville Village, but the criminals were nowhere to be found.

It is important to note that Crooked Tree Village, one of the largest villages in the Belize District, does not have a functioning police station or an officer assigned to the village. The Ladyville Village Police, which is about 23 miles away, is now assigned to manage Crooked Tree Village.

In May of 2011 I personally contacted Mr. Doug Singh, the then Minister of Police and Public Safety. Two meetings were set up at his office in Belize City, but Singh never showed up for these appointments. Mr. Singh later sent me an e-mail promising to go to Crooked Tree Village to hold community policing meetings and would work with villagers on establishing a new police station for Crooked Tree Village. Needless to say, the villagers are still waiting for Mr. Singh.

  


MIDDLE EAST WRAP: TRAGEDY IN TOULOUSE, FRANCE

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday paid condolence calls to the families of the Jewish school shooting in Toulouse, France. 

A round-up of the newspapers in Israel and the Palestinian Territories; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East. Haaretz-Maariv-Yedioth Ahronoth-Israel Hayom-The Jerusalem Post-Ynet-Arutz 7 News-Army Radio-and Israel Radio....plus Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency.


On Wednesday all the Israeli newspapers were dominated by the Toulouse shooting attack, in which a rabbi and three children were shot dead at a Jewish school on Monday, March 19, 2012 in Toulouse, France. All of the papers led with the news that the four victims of the attack will be laid to rest in Jerusalem.

But several hours after the newspapers were sent to print, French police tracked down the man believed to be responsible for the school attack and the killing of three French soldiers in the same city some three weeks ago. The man, named by the AFP news agency as Mohammed Merah, has apparently been under surveillance by France's domestic intelligence service for several years.


According to French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, the suspect claims to be linked to al-Qaeda and to have been in Afghanistan, where many Western Muslims are believed to have been trained by al-Qaeda. ‘He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions,’ Gueant said.

The media in France have linked the suspect to a group called Forsane Al-Izza (Knights of Pride) that was outlawed by the French government in January. If any of this turns out to be true, and the neo-Nazi angle speculated before proves to be false, then the attack takes on a whole new significance for Israel which had, until this latest development, seen the attack as part of increasing racial tensions within France, and not part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In other news, Haaretz reported that the Knesset Finance Committee yesterday approved the reallocation of NIS 61 million from the state budget including an extra NIS 25 million for the Jewish Agency to use beyond Israel's 1967 borders, including NIS 1.5 million for infrastructure in settlements in the Hebron Hills, NIS 8 million for the Golan Research Institute in Katzrin, and NIS 7.6 million for public buildings in the Jordan Valley and the Binyamin district. Meretz MK Gal-On opposed the latter transfer, saying it was not clear why allocations were being outsourced to a nongovernmental entity such as the Jewish Agency without oversight. She also questioned whether it was proper for the committee to approve such transfers.

In other settlement-related news, Peace Now held a protest Wednesday in the West Bank outpost of Migron over an agreement that will move the community. Peace Now has also petitioned the High Court against the agreement.

On the Palestinian side, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh movement claimed Tuesday that Iran had paid rival group Hamas to back out of implementing the reconciliation deal between the two factions. According to the spokesman, Ahmed Assaf, Iran paid Hamas tens of millions of dollars to avoid implementing the agreement. ‘We have information that Tehran paid tens of millions of dollars to Mahmoud Al-Zahar and Ismail Haniyeh during their visits to Iran,’ Assaf said.

Assaf explained that Iran has renewed its financial support for Hamas, after a six-month suspension that came about as a result of Hamas’ refusal to support Syrian President Bashar Assad during the uprising against his regime. The Hamas politburo recently agreed to a deal in Qatar with Abbas to form an interim government of technocrats. However, Hamas leaders in Gaza ambushed politburo chief Khaled Mish’al after-the-fact with a raft of new demands which observers say Fateh will never agree to. The last minute bait-and-switch by the organization’s Gaza leadership underscores a deepening rift within Hamas. Last week, Fateh officials admitted they do not expect Hamas leaders to follow through on the reconciliation deal ‘anytime soon.’

Meanwhile, In Gaza the Hamas government has ordered civil servants to offer rides to people during daytime work hours in order to survive the self-imposed lack of fuel. In addition, Hamas cut in half the fuel allowances for its 1,800 official cars, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.

Hamas ministers said the lack of fuel is due to the Israeli blockade, which has in effect been lifted on all materials not used for military activities. The local administration has refused Israel’s offers to continue fuel shipments. Hamas remains dependent on Egypt, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

Finally, in politics, incumbent Kadima leader Tzipi Livni has launched a new campaign aimed at scaring Kadima voters into voting for her in the March 27 leadership race, issuing a new slogan: ‘Without Tzipi Livni, there is no Kadima.’ Livni has not committed firmly to remaining in Kadima or in politics at all if she loses the race to MK Shaul Mofaz. ‘It is a fact and not a threat to leave,’ Livni's spokesman said regarding the slogan. ‘Kadima without Tzipi is a second Likud.’

Sources close to Mofaz mocked the new slogan, saying it was the first time that a candidate marketed a 60 percent downfall in a party's support as an achievement. The latest polls predict that Kadima would fall from its current 28 seats to 12 in the next general election. ‘It's a full hysteria campaign,’ Mofaz strategist Lior Chorev said. ‘It's pathetic.’



 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PM BARROW APPOINTS THE NEW CABINET OF BELIZE

The prime Minister of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, has today announced the members of his cabinet. 

Eleven of the seventeen elected parliamentarians from the ruling United Democratic Party were appointed as ministers while the remaining six were appointed as ministers of state in various ministries. 

Four senators were appointed as ministers through the senate. The Speaker of the House is Attorney Michael Peyrefitte while the cabinet secretary is Carlos Perdomo


 The cabinet members are as follows:


  • Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development – Rt. Hon Dean Oliver Barrow
  • Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture – Hon Gaspar Vega (CEO – Beverly Castillo)
  • Ministry of Trade Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection – Hon Erwin Raphael Contreras (CEO – Sharman Hyde)
  • Attorney General and Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Hon Wilfred ‘Sedi” Elrington (CEO – Alexis Rosado)
  • Ministry of National Security – Hon John Saldivar (CEO – Col. George Lovell)
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Development – Hon Michael Finnegan (CEO – Lawrence Sylvester)
  • Ministry of Works and Transport – Hon. Rene Montero (CEO – Carlston Goff)
  • Ministry of Tourism and Culture – Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. (CEO – Lindsay Garbutt)
  • Ministry of Health – Hon. Pablo Marin (CEO – Dr. Peter Allen)
  • Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation – Anthony “Boots” Martinez (CEO – Judith Alpuche)
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports – Hon. Patrick Faber (CEO – David Leacock)
  • Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People – Hon. Senator Liselle Alamilla (CEO – Dr. Wendel Parham)
  • Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities – Hon. Senator Joy Grant (CEO – Dr. Colin Young)
  • Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and NEMO – Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse (CEO – Candy Saldivar)
  • Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries – Hon. Senator Charles Gibson (CEO – Marion McNab)

Ministers of State

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (with special emphasis on Economic Development) – Hon. Santiago Castillo
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (with special emphasis on Agriculture – Hon. Hugo Patt
  • Ministry of State of in the Ministry of National Security ((with special emphasis on Immigration and Border Protection & Immigration Department) – Hon. Elvin Penner
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport (with special emphasis on Transport) – Hon. Edmond Castro
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (with special emphasis on the Conscious Youth Development Programme and the Gang Truce Programme) – Hon. Mark King
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (with special emphasis on Youth and Sports) – Hon. Herman Longsworth

Other GOB appointed Senators

  • Senator Mark Pech
  • Senator Juliet Thimbrel

Saturday, March 10, 2012

BELIZE PM SWORN IN


Belmopan, 9th March, 2012.

The Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow was today sworn in as the Prime Minister of Belize, by His Excellency, the Governor-General of Belize, Sir Colville Young.


"I, Dean Oliver Barrow, do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize; and will uphold the constitution and laws; and that I will conscientiously, impartially and to the best of my ability, discharge my duties as the Prime Minister of Belize, and do right to all manner of people without fear or favor, affection or ill will, so help me, God."


Mr. Barrow signed the oath and then the instrument of appointment, which is countersigned by the Head Of State, and with that, Prime Minister Dean Barrow entered his second consecutive term as Prime Minister - the first UDP leader to do so - worthy of a salutary greeting from the Governor General - who once taught the young Dean Barrow.


Governor General, Sir Colville Young: "I want to congratulate you and your party for your victory. I trust that it will be a victory not for the party, but for Belize, and that the new term, will be as fruitful for the prosperity and well-being of Belize. Once again, I offer congratulations to you and your team of valued partners."
The brief ceremonies were held at Belize House in Belmopan. This is Mr. Barrow’s second consecutive term as Prime Minister.
It is expected that the other members of Prime Minister’s Cabinet, as well as other key officials, will be appointed and sworn-in next week.


NEWLY RE-ELECTED PM BARROW ADDRESSES NATION


“Thank you Belize! You have renewed our mandate… the work continues.” In a press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the nation after a 17-seat UDP victory countrywide. PM Barrow says that those UDP candidates that did not win will play “an integral part” of the running of the country’s affairs.

“It was a furiously fought campaign and there was an outpouring of support throughout the country. With the heat of the battle behind us, we hope that healing of the nation can begin. The United Democratic Party government must be a government for all Belizeans,” explained PM Barrow. “Our stand for Belizeans nationalism will continue undiminished and undaunted and our pro-poor program will be expanded. We want to extend our hand to the opposition to the civil society and to the NGOs. We want to be accommodating. Work with us, we say to the entire society, but don’t test us because we will not back-out… or else it will be ‘tit for tat our butter for fish’.”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that a swearing-in of the new government will happen on Friday March 9th. On Tuesday, the appointment of a cabinet will be announced (by law 2/3 of 17, which is 11 elected parliamentarians can be cabinet minister). Four ministers will come from UDP appointed Senators. There will be 15 Cabinet Ministers.

BELIZE PRIME MINISTER RE-ELECTED


Belize City, Belize 8 March 2012 – Newly reelected Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said he will turn to Hugo Chavez for assistance in providing low cost fuel as part of his plan to reduce the cost of living in Belize. Mr. Barrow was speaking at a press conference in Belize City after narrowly escaping defeat in general elections held yesterday. His United Democratic Party won 17 seats versus 14 seats for the opposition Peoples United Party in the country’s 31 seat parliament. It had previously enjoyed a super majority of 25 seats  in parliament.

Mr. Barrow said that his government will continue its pro-poor agenda and that by importing fuel direct from Venezuela, he will cut down on high priced  imports from traditional fuel suppliers. He said that while the plan was not divulged in his party’s election manifesto, he would immediately open a dialogue with Venezuela to obtain fuel under the Petro Caribe plan promoted by Mr. Chavez. Currently Exxon, Shell and Texaco provide fuel imports to Belize. Mr. Barrow further promised to establish a government oil refinery within 18 months to process the country’s crude oil which is currently exported, in an effort to further reduce reliance on fuel imports. Mr. Barrow added that his government will look at producing its own bio-fuel and other fuel alternatives.

Mr. Barrow returns to power in a hotly contested election that has yet to be conceded by the opposition Peoples United Party. The PUP, claiming election irregularities, is going to court to contest the results of three constituency seats. An observer mission from the Organization of American States today held a press conference in Belize City where it made note of several issues in yesterday’s general elections. These include the use of state resources in the election campaign, the deployment of government vehicles and drvers to support government candidates on Election Day, and the exchange of cash for votes. Asked about the OAS observations at today’s press conference Mr. Barrow was dismissive and stated that the elections were free and fair but not perfect.


Read more: http://belizean.com/reelected-belize-prime-minister-will-turn-to-chavez-for-fuel-1100/#ixzz1omi8CveF

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

HAG PURIM…..PURIM HOLIDAY

The Scroll of Esther
Purim, the most joyous holiday on the Jewish calendar, is today at sunset! It commemorates the victory of the Jews over Persia's strongman Haman, whose plan was to exterminate the entire Nation of Israel.

And how ironic it is that Israel finds itself surrounded by modern day "Hamans", openly calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The current Hebrew month of Adar (אֲדָר) is known to be the happiest month of the Hebrew calendar. As Adar enters, we increase in happiness! Adar marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
  
The Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire were almost annihilated at the hands of the minister Haman. Haman persuaded the emperor, King Ahasuerus(אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ), to command the killing of all the Jews of his kingdom. The “submissive” queen Esther was able to change the king’s mind so the Jews were eventually rescued and were given more rights from the king. Haman, on the other hand, found himself hung from a tree with all his sons. 

The day of extermination turned to be the day of deliverance and the salvation, a day of joy and festivity. 

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. (Esther 8:16)

Since then, we celebrate Purim with much happiness and festivity, fulfilling the biblical commands of Reading the Megila (the book of Esther), sending gifts to friends, giving charity to the poor, and eating a festive meal. Throughout the years many other customs were added, such as masquerading, making noise with a rattle called Ra’ashan (רַעֲשַׁן) each time Haman is mentioned while reading the Megila, and eating Hamantash (אָזְנֵיהָמָן, ozney haman) – a three-cornered pastry shaped like the ears (or the hat) of the wicked Haman.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

GEARING UP FOR ELECTIONS IN BELIZE: MARCH 7, 2012

Prime Minister Dean Barrow (Top) and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca


Tensions are high as Belize gets ready for national and municipal elections.  In a few hours, Belizeans will be lining up to make their voices be heard, and will be choosing which party will lead the next government of Belize.
The last general election in Belize was in 2008, a race which pitted Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s United Democratic Party against the then dominant party, People’s United Party. Said Musa had led the country from 1998 to 2008.
Tomorrow's vote will occur in a “double election” format, whereby voters will first cast ballots in the general election and then in the municipal election.
The major issues in these elections have been the economy, and external debt.  The economy was projected to have grown 2.5 percent in 2011 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. And also on voters’ minds is Belize’s $546.8 million bond, also known in Belize as the “superbond.”  
In February of this year, Prime Minister Barrow indicated that the country might be considering defaulting on the loan and that led US rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Belize’s credit rating two notches deeper into junk territory.
According to Belize’s Election and Boundaries Department, there are a total of 177,742 registered electors in Belize’s 31 voting districts.
The vote will be monitored by an Organization of American States team headed by former US Ambassador to Honduras Frank Almaguer.
Good luck Belize. May the elections be fair and peaceful! Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

A THANK YOU MESSAGE FROM PRINCE HARRY


Prince Harry has sent a message of thanks to the Governor-General and the people of Belize for their warm and friendly reception over the weekend.  



Message from Prince Harry:

Thank you for such a warm and friendly welcome to such a beautiful country. In only 23 hours, I feel as though I have seen so much of Belize through the thousands of people who lined the way. I am hugely grateful for the very happy memories, and I’m very sad to leave. I will pass on your good wishes to my grandmother, our Queen, on her Diamond Jubilee.


Tenk yu,
['Thank you' in Kriol]


Harry.


Prince Harry was in Belize as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour in honor of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II, 60th year on the throne. During the Prince’s visit he  attended a massive citywide block party held in his honor at Belmopan City, the nation’s capital,  where he also conducted the naming service for Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard. He also explored the ancient Maya temple of Xunantunich.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM AWARD FOR SHIMON PERES

President Shimon Peres of Israel is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is America's highest civilian honor. Mr. Peres said that U.S. President Barack Obama is “a great president and a great friend of Israel,” and that security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is “the best we’ve ever had.”


Shimon was born a world away from here, in a shtetl in what was then Poland, a few years after the end of the first world war. But his heart was always in Israel, the historic homeland of the Jewish people. And when he was just a boy he made his journey across land and sea – toward home. 


In his life, he has fought for Israel's independence, and he has fought for peace and security. As a member of the Haganah and a member of the Knesset, as a minister of defense and foreign affairs, as a prime minister and as president – Shimon helped build the nation that thrives today: the Jewish state of Israel. But beyond these extraordinary achievements, he has also been a powerful moral voice that reminds us that right makes might – not the other way around. 


Shimon once described the story of the Jewish people by saying it proved that, "slings, arrows and gas chambers can annihilate man, but cannot destroy human values, dignity, and freedom." And he has lived those values. He has taught us to ask more of ourselves and to empathize more with our fellow human beings. I am grateful for his life's work and his moral example. And I'm proud to announce that later this spring, I will invite Shimon Peres to the White House to present him with America's highest civilian honor – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.



In many ways, this award is a symbol of the broader ties that bind our nations. The United States and Israel share interests, but we also share those human values that Shimon spoke about: a commitment to human dignity. A belief that freedom is a right that is given to all of God's children. An experience that shows us that democracy is the one and only form of government that can truly respond to the aspirations of citizens.
This is an extremely well-deserved recognition, because he has dedicated his life to peace. His whole life has been a message of peace; the alternative, war, is the last resort. Blessings and protection over you Mr. Peres and the State of Israel!


Photo: Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with President Obama in Washington on Sunday.(Moshe Milner / Israeli Government Press Office via Associated Press) 

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-peres-medal-of-freedom-20120304,0,6299468.story?track=rss
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120304/us-obama-text/

Saturday, March 3, 2012

24 HOURS IN BELIZE: COME BACK SOON PRINCE HARRY

Prince Harry gazes out over the plush landscape at the Xunantunich Mayan Temple in Belize 
Thank you for visiting Beautiful Belize, Prince Harry!! I think your visit boosted the moral of Belizeans today. 

On his final engagement, Prince Harry also visited the remaining members of BATSUB (British Army Training Support Unit Belize) in Belize where he laid a wreath at a monument erected for all the decease British Soldiers while on duty in Belize. He also met members of the Ex-service League.

Prince Harry left Phillip Goldson International Airport at 4:00 p. m on his way to the Bahamas to continue his tour.

Photo #1:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2109868/Prince-Harrys-Lion-King-moment-receives-hugs-dancing-girls-warm-welcome-locals.html
Photo #2: San Pedro Sun

FANTASTIC HARRY IN BELIZE



 Prince Harry's Belizean adventure continues with a tour of the Maya archaeological site of Xunantunich.


Harry is known as the Party Prince, and certainly lived up to his unofficial moniker, as he showed the adoring population he is not a stiff upper lipped monarch. Indeed after a few refreshments the Apache helicopter pilot was the life and soul of the festivities, and even danced and joked with Belizean women.  www.travelbelize.org
Read more Here:http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16181412 

Friday, March 2, 2012

PRINCE HARRY IN BELIZE ON A ROYAL TOUR

Photo:www.telegraph.co.uk
PM Barrow and First Lady, Kim Simplis Barrow-Photo:BelizeVacation
HRH, Prince Henry Charles Albert David touched down in Belize City today on his first official royal trip abroad as a representative for his grandmother, HRH, Queen Elizabeth II. Harry’s arrival marked the start of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Moments after the plane landed, the Royal flag was handed over to an element of the Belize Defense Force (BDF), who hoisted the Royal Standard of Prince Henry of Wales. As tradition, once a member of the Royal Family is on an official visit, the Royal Standard is flown next to the Belizean flag.
Before exiting the private jet Prince Harry was greeted onboard by Diane Lock, Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lock then escorted a smiling, happy and enthusiastic Prince Harry off the plane where he was officially introduced to the Queen’s representative in Belize, Governor General Sir Colvin Young. The Prince then proceeded to an elevated platform where he was presented with the Royal Salute followed by the Queen’s Anthem and the Belize National Anthem, which was performed by the official band of the BDF.
Accompanied by GG Young, the Prince was then introduced to the Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow who shook his hand and welcomed him to Belizean territories. The Prince was also greeted, as a tradition in any official visit, by the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, after which the British High Commissioner to Belize HE Pat Ashworth was introduced. After brief pleasantries with the officials, the Prince was escorted to the VIP lounge at the airport. Once inside the VIP lounge, the young Prince met in private with the wife of PM Barrow, Kim Simplis Barrow. The meeting lasted less than ten minutes after which Prince Harry departed to Belmopan City shortly before 4:45PM.
A group of Belizeans awaited outside the airport, hoping to get a glimpse of the Prince as he departed to Belmopan. Before boarding the escorting vehicle Prince Harry waved at the on looking crowd as they displayed signs that read, “Welcome to Belize Prince Harry, Enjoy Your Stay.”
Prince Harry left to the capital of Belize, Belmopan in a convoy of vehicles headed by escorting motorcycles from the Belize Police Department. The Prince will be meeting with the Governor General of Belize at the GG’s residence after which he will deliver an official message on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee at a street party.
Harry was grinning as he delivered an hilarious speech at the street naming ceremony
Socialization with the locals.....down to earth

A regal standard of dancing: Prince Harry showed he has plenty of rhythm at a street-naming and street party in Belize tonight.....Thedailymail.co.uk
Let's twist again: The royal appeared to have learned some Chubby Checker dance moves for the occasion...thedailymail.co.uk
Three's company: Harry could not hide his delight as someone else decided to join in on the fun....www.dailymail.co.uk
See something you like Your Highness? Harry seemed excited to see the bottles of liquor at the bar
www.dailymail.co.uk
A thirst quenching potion: After his exertions on the dance floor Harry seemed delighted to be having a cocktail..... www.dailymail.co.uk
He's back for more: Harry looked like he was having a great time as he prepared to drink another drink
www.dailymail.co.uk 
Let's hope he does not take after Prince Philip: With any luck he did not deliver a Duke of Edinburgh-style gaff.... www.dailymail.co.uk 
Back on the dance floor: Harry seemed to be relishing the chance to jive with this pretty young local

Friday night fever: The Prince appeared to be channelling John Travolta as he showed off his moves at this point....www.dailymail.co.uk

Photos:Paul Harrison-SkyNews
Maxfoster-CNN