Monday, December 31, 2012

Kim Simplis Barrow: Reflections, Inspiration And Outlook For The New Year

Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady Of Belize And Daughter Salima Barrow

A YEAR I WILL NEVER FORGETby: Kim Simplis Barrow
2012 is coming to an end and for many reasons it is a year I truly don’t mind putting behind me. As I sit here reflecting on the year that was, there is no denying that 2012 was a challenging one for me as I spent a great deal of it fighting for my life. I battled cancer the best way I could and just when it seemed that the victory could well be in sight, there was another major struggle to overcome. When I suffered heart failure at the end of May, I couldn't help but ask, “what the hell is going on?” I really needed answers. Answers I really didn't get, but I continued to fight and I also continued to hope and pray and believe. It was a tough year as I completed chemotherapy treatments, radiation, and restored my heart to an acceptable beating pulse after a very grim prognosis.


Despite the many adversities I had to face, many days I smiled! I smiled at the everyday miracles I experienced. My faith in the human spirit, the goodness and beauty in everything was ever so present. I am forever grateful for all the support and constant prayers that came and continue to come my way.

Yes, during 2012 I struggled with my health but nonetheless, I can gratefully say – it was a successful year. Oh yes it was! My daily inspiration: our beautiful Belizean children! They are the ones who gave me the strength and courage to keep working on my Special Envoy projects. This year I saw the budding fruits of my labours as after many years of planning and advocacy a number of things came together. The Inspiration Telethon was a complete success and construction of the Centre has started. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Prohibition Bill and the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Bill were approved by the Cabinet and passed through both the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous support. They are now just a signature away from becoming law. The drafting of amendments to the Criminal Code to increase penalties for perpetrators of sexual assault has started and we’re expecting that it will be passed into law in 2013. A few weeks ago we received the good news that the Challenge Gobie Foundation reached its million dollar mark for us to start construction on the first phase of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

And those are just the big highlights. There were many other victories: the annual launch of our Inspiration calendar and agendas, a very successful Annual Spirit of Christmas Concert that entertained over 300 children, the launch of several PSAs on sexual exploitation and child safety, increased public awareness on disabilities and cancer… just to name a few.

Overall, what I have learnt this year–indeed what I have lived this year–is that you don’t have to quit in the face of adversity, no matter how great a challenge! You should never give up no matter how horrible you feel, even if you are lying in the ICU! Life is many times ‘unfair’ and rough, we face unexpected events (cancer, job loss, death) but life doesn’t have to break us. WE MAKE LIFE!!!

That is my mantra: MY LIFE IS WHAT I MAKE IT! And in 2013 I intend to make it as rich and fulfilling as it can be; no matter the adversities, no matter the naysayers. I will continue to count my blessings, continue to cherish and support my loved ones, continue to appreciate my friends, continue my work on behalf of the children of this nation. And I will continue to look for the lessons as I face, head on, whatever challenge the new year may bring. I hope you will do the same!

Happy New Year to all! In the words of Afrobella I urge you to:
Slow down. Calm down. Look back at your year. Appreciate the journey you’ve made – the peaks and the valleys, the growth and the realizations. Be thankful for who you are, what you have, and the people who love you. Look forward to the upcoming year. Make plans that make sense for you, considering what you know you are capable of. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

I wish you peace, happiness, prosperity and love in 2013 no matter, or perhaps, despite what challenges may come your way!

Via twocanview.com

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!


Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year filled with love and hope.

Top Photo by Tom Anderson of Galleries Lafayette in Paris, France. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Massacre In America: Sandy Hook Elementary School


Hearts around the world were broke on Friday, December 14, 2012 as we learned of the senseless act of evil perpetuated against 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Many people urged U.S. politicians to honor the 28 victims, especially the children, by pushing for stronger gun control laws.

Below are some of their messages of condolences…

British Prime Minister David Cameron, said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of the "horrific shooting."

Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to President Barack Obama, saying she was shocked to learn of the "dreadful loss of life" and that the thoughts and prayers of all in the U.K. are with those affected by the events.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her "deepest sympathy" is reserved for relatives of the victims.

French President Francois Hollande said he was "horrified" by the shooting.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called Friday's attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a "senseless and incomprehensible act of evil."

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Union's executive Commission, said: "Young lives full of hope have been destroyed. On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed those sentiments in a letter to Obama expressing his horror at the "savage massacre," saying that his country knows the "shock and agony" such cruel acts can bring.

The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI conveyed "his heartfelt grief and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to the victims and their families, and to all those affected by the shocking event" in a condolence message to the monsignor of the diocese in Connecticut that includes Newtown.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin called the events "particularly tragic" given that the majority of the victims were children. "Vladimir Putin asked Barack Obama to convey words of support and sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and expressed his empathy with the American people," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his condolences to the American nation at the start of his remarks in Kabul on Saturday about Afghanistan's foreign policy.
"Such incidents should not happen anywhere in the world," Karzai said, adding that Afghanistan frequently witnesses such tragedies and can sympathize with those affected.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent a condolence message to President Obama for the families of the victims. "The sympathy of the Japanese people is with the American people," he said. In Japan, guns are severely restricted and there are extremely few gun-related crimes.

In the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III said he and the Filipino people stand beside the United States "with bowed heads, yet in deep admiration over the manner in which the American people have reached out to comfort the afflicted, and to search for answers that will give meaning and hope to this grim event."

And many more messages from all around the world…

Last night, December 16th, President Obama addressed the families of Newtown, offering the love and prayers of a nation, and vowing to use whatever power his office holds to protect our children from such unthinkable acts of violence.


Daniel Inouye: Hawaii Senator Dies

Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has died of respiratory failure at age 88. He was a decorated war veteran, was the President pro tempore of the United States Senate and the highest ranking Asian American politician in American history.

RIP

New Police Station For Southern Belize

This past weekend, Saturday, December 15, 2012, a new Police Station was inaugurated in the Maya Beach area, now designated as a precinct of the Placencia Formation in the Stann Creek District, Belize. 

The fully furnished and outfitted Police Station is the product of effective collaboration between the Ministry of National Security, the Placencia Police Formation and the business community and residents of the Peninsula, over 70 of whom have donated material, cash and labor. 

Present for the inauguration was Commissioner of Police, David Henderson and the officer commanding the Placencia formation, Inspector Mark Flowers. Speaking on behalf of the local business community and residents were Mr. Doran Yount, Coordinator for the Peninsula Community Crime Watch; Mr. Dan Edwards, co-organizer of the group; and Miss Deb Coston, Justice of the Peace and Warden of the US Embassy. The Building was blessed by Reverend Jeanne Marechal. 

Following the inauguration, the Commissioner of Police and the officer commanding the Placencia formation presided over the swear-in of 16 new Special Constables for the area. Another 12 additional special constables will soon be sworn in, for a total of 28 new special constables for the peninsula. 

The names of the 28 special constables are Shaleni Cawich, Kenneth Ferris, Joel Bo, Herman Choc, Aaron Krohn, Benifacio Cal, Jamie Leslie, Herman Ack, Adolphus Molina Jr., Jamal Martinez, Marion Muschamp, Norman Leslie Jr., Charlene Guzman, Juan Choc, Marcelo Pou, Michael Sheppard, Pedro Mas, William Parada, Patrick Patnett, Dennis Weiss, Jamal Martinez, Wilkie Garbutt, Egbert Feiger, Leonides Ramirez, John Rash, Neville Lopez, Eugene Paul Leslie, and Sinclair Diego. 

Hon. John Saldivar and the Ministry of National Security commend and congratulate the business community, special constables and residents of the peninsula for their invaluable contribution, participation and partnership as we work together to restore safety and security throughout our community.

Via CapitalNewsPost


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welcome To The US John McAfee: See You In Belize Soon!


John McAfee, founder of the anti-virus software maker McAfee, Inc,  has posted on his blog whoismcafee that he has been expelled from Guatemala.  He also spoke with Cory Johnson from Bloomberg.com  just as he was leaving the detention center.
McAfee has also posted to his blog that he is on the plane to Miami, Florida.

Serious Injury Threatens The Career Of Brilliant Cricket Club Captain


News has been received from Crooked Tree Village that the captain of Brilliant Cricket Club, Mr. Eldon Wade, is suffering from a chronic knee injury, which may end his cricket career, unless he undergoes major surgery abroad. Eldon has been suffering from an injury to his knee for several months until he was diagnosed with articular cartilage destruction from degenerative arthritis of the knee fused from sport injury. He was advised by his doctor to seek immediate surgery in Merida. The cost of the surgery is BZ $12,000.00.

Eldon is a senior cricketer and a member of the Belize National Cricket Association. He represented Belize on numerous occasions both at home and abroad. He was the Man of the Tournament when Belize won the Central American Cricket Championship in 2006. He is presently the captain of Brilliant Cricket Club and has coached youth cricketers in Crooked Tree Village for several years.

Eldon is in need of your help to raise the funds needed to pay for the arthroscopic surgery. His families and friends have established a fundraising drive to raise the needed BZ $12,000.00. If you are able to help, please contact Mrs. Josephine McGee at telephone 708-466-6141 or e-mail jo_jo_mcgee@yahoo.com for further instructions as to where to mail your contribution to this cause.

Eldon is looking forward to undergoing the surgery to correct the serious injury to his knee so he can return to the captaincy of Brilliant Cricket Club. He also looks forward to continuing to coach the youths of Crooked Tree Village.

Friday, December 7, 2012

PM Barrow Travels To Miami-Florida On Official Trip

The Office of the Prime Minister informs that the Hon. Dean Barrow departs the country today, Friday, 7th December 2012, for Miami, Florida where he will participate in scheduled official meetings over the weekend.

Prime Minister Barrow is expected to return to the country on Sunday, 9th December, 2012.


During Prime Minister Barrow’s absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize will act as Prime Minister.

[Photo: Prime Minister Barrow sits at his desk awaiting arrival of visiting ambassadors]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guatemala Denies McAfee Asylum

Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee was denied political asylum in Guatemala today and will be Belize bound for questioning. Police in Belize expect him to be flown back soon for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.

President Otto Perez Molina announced it will not provide asylum to John McAfee, and said that there is nothing to compel Guatemala to make the decision.

McAfee, 67, arrived in Guatemala on Tuesday last, accompanied by his Belizean girlfriend, Sam Vanegas, 20.

Upon his arrival, McAfee said he fears for his life, he states that he is pursued by the Belize government, which donated $ 80 million since 2005 to help develop the country, but realizing that the money was stolen by the authorities decided to stop supporting. He says he has sensitive information about corruption in the Belize government.

The businessman is suspected of murdering his neighbor, Gregory Viant Faull, 52, who was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head.

McAfee, the creator of the anti-virus program that still bears his name, was arrested on Wednesday, Dec 5th, for illegal entry into Guatemala. 

UN Climate Change Conference In Doha, Qatar


Press Release – Belmopan, 6th December, 2012 - The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Honourable Lisel Alamilla is presently leading a delegation comprised of senior technical government officials and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre representatives to the Climate Change Conference of the Parties — 18 (COP 18) being held in Doha, Qatar.

It is focusing on four main themes: a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol; successful closure of the ad-hoc working group on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA); a work programme for the development of a new legally binding climate change regime post-2020 under the Ad-hoc working group on the Durban Platform for enhanced action (ADP); and securing the necessary financing for developing countries to ensure we reach the target of a $100 billion USD annually by 2020.
Yesterday, Thursday December 5th, 2012, Minister Alamilla presented Belize’s position on Climate Change and the intended outcomes of the COP-18 to the High-Level plenary.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

McAFEE ARRESTED IN GUATEMALA

John McAfee, anti-virus pioneer, has been detained in Guatemala City by Interpol and Immigration Officials of Guatemala. McAfee was arrested on suspicion of illegal entry into that country. The San Pedro Sun has also received reports from the Foreign Affairs Office of Guatemala that McAfee is in the process of being returned to Belize tomorrow morning and it is believed that he will then be flown to San Pedro Town for police questioning in regards to the murder investigation of US National, Gregory Faull.

Via the San Pedro Sun

Saturday, December 1, 2012

JOHN MCAFEE'S LIFE AS A FUGITIVE MAY BE OVER


The whereabouts of John McAfee, the anti-virus software millionaire, turned blogger, on the run from Belize authorities may be coming to an end. The Belize police has been looking to question him since Nov 11, 2012 for the murder of his neighbor, American native, Gregory Faull in the town of San Pedro, Belize. Faull has been found shot to death in a pool of blood in his home. A 9-millimeter shell was found nearby. What happened after turned into a worldwide media frenzy.
McAfee started a blog while on the run and a post went up on it earlier today citing  "unconfirmed report," of his capture somewhere near the Belize-Mexico border. McAfee has used his blog in a jarring manner to tantalize the government and Belizean authorities while running (he claims) from pillar to post in Belize. Last week he claimed if he is captured that he has written enough material to keep the blog going for a year. Someone named Chad will be in charge of his blog in case of capture. 
If this mess is true, I am sure almost everyone in Belize is happy!!
The police in Belize has not yet confirm the capture. If there is anything new from Belize Police I will keep you updated. 
Here is the link to his personal blog:http://www.whoismcafee.com/
Below is his first interview on the run, in person, by CNN today. John McAfee maintains his innocence.
 http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/12/01/ac-savidge-mcafee-interview.cnn
And here is a very good NY Times story of John playing "Hide-and-seek in Belize: