Thu, 28 May 2020 13:15:11 +0000 $1.3 bil. deficit

Peter Turnquest.As the government contends with what he described as the biggest “fiscal setback in the last 100 years”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest yesterday announced the Minnis administration’s intention to borrow $1.3 billion in the 2020/2021 fiscal year. During a two-hour-long budget communicati

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Thu, 28 May 2020 07:25:51 +0000 New real estate bill brings transparency to the industry

KERRY PETERS The Real Estate Agents Bill 2020 – passed by the Senate on May 20 – will bring sweeping changes to the industry, including the mandatory registration and licensing of all real estate agents and brokers, as well as jail time and fines for non-compliance. The vote capped an eight-year effort by the Association of Real Estate Agents (Area) since its incorporation as the recognised body for real estate entities in 2012 to regulate an industry long known as a haven for money laundering, tax evasion and fraud. As a result, the legislation is anchored to a set of measures designed to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in real estate transactions and protect the public against unscrupulous real estate agents and those involved in white-collar crime. Once the President signs it into law, it will also safeguard buyers and sellers from becoming unwitting participants in financial schemes related to terrorism or other crimes. “Without regulation, without controls real estate has been found to be one of the largest avenues in which people can launder money and support the financing of terrorism and so on,” said Area president Mark Edghill during an interview with Business Day. [caption id="attachment_827544" align="alignn

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Thu, 28 May 2020 07:22:11 +0000 Young designer blends climate change awareness and fashion

RESEARCH by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shown that between 1993 and 2016, Antarctica lost at least 127 billion tons of ice per year. During that time, Greenland reportedly lost 286 billion tons of ice per year. Elsewhere, glaciers have retreated in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, and Alaska. Closer to home, warmer ocean temperatures have been linked to the formation of more intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. With this, the Caribbean can expect to see hurricanes like 2017’s Irma, 2018’s Michael and 2019’s Dorian form more frequently. These extreme changes and weather events are just some of the effects of climate change. With the ongoing climate and environmental crises, young entrepreneur Ricardo Richards, 22, has been inspired to use his online fashion brand, Exotic Apparel, to raise awareness about the issues. [caption id="attachment_827519" align="alignnone" width="768"] Born and raised in Arima, Ricardo Richards learnt his fashion design skills while studying visual arts, clothing and textile at the Arima Central Secondary School. - Photo Courtesy Ricardo

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Thu, 28 May 2020 01:17:25 -0500 EU proposes coronavirus recovery fund

The European Union proposed on Wednesday a ?750 billion (US$825 billion) recovery fund to help countries weather a painful recession triggered by the coronavirus and bridge divisions over the conditions that should be attached for access to the...

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Wed, 27 May 2020 18:16:34 +0000 Imbert hopeful UNC will support revenue authority

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert on Tuesday said he is hopeful that the Opposition UNC will accept the need for TT to have a revenue authority and support the legislation to establish it. During a virtual news conference hosted by his ministry, Imbert was asked if Government feared the Opposition would not support the TT Revenue Authority Bill 2019 when it comes back to the House of Representatives for debate. He replied, "It's not a fear, it's a recognition of reality." The bill requires a three-fifths majority for passage. This equates to 25 votes in the House. The Government and Opposition have 23 and 18 MPs respectively in the House. But Imbert observed, "Time has a way of changing things." He said Government was able to pass the bill in the Senate on May 1, with all nine Independent senators supporting it. While the Opposition's six senators voted against the bill, Imbert said he did not want to assume this meant the Opposition will vote against the bill again in the House. He explained that one-third of the country's labour force is outside of the national insurance system and the tax system. Imbert said if some of these people were included in these systems, "there would be a greater revenue collection." He also said all of the studies received by Governmen

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Wed, 27 May 2020 17:58:27 +0000 Govt to borrow $1.3 billion

Peter TurnquestThe Minnis administration will seek parliamentary approval to borrow $1.3 billion in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, which starts July 1. In his budget communication today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the fiscal deficit is budgeted at some $1.3 billion, or […] The post Govt to borrow $1.3 billion appeared first on The Nassau Guardian

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Wed, 27 May 2020 16:42:27 +0000 Deficit to rise to $1.3 billion

Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest presents the 2020/2021 budget statement in the House of Assembly today. AHVIA J. CAMPBELLThe deficit is projected to rise to $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2020/2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said in his budget communication in Parliament today. “This is the largest deficit to be incurred by any government in the history of The […] The post Deficit to rise to

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Wed, 27 May 2020 06:36:24 +0000 What’s new with the ‘new normal’

IT’S the new normal, so TT’s health officials have been saying. The phrase, the new normal, is not new. The phrase was first used by American economic adviser and businessman Mohamed El-Erian in a 2010 lecture to refer to financial conditions following the 2007-2008 financial crisis. But what does the new normal mean in the age of covid19? In an April 29 Newsday article, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram described aspects of the new normal as "continued hand hygiene, observing cough etiquette, social distancing; using masks where appropriate and the continued sanitisation of surfaces.” The Ministry of Health has since launched an advertising campaign about the new normal. The campaign tells people to wear a mask; keep distance from others; stay home if ill; wash hands often with soap and water and or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; cough into a tissue or into the crook of the elbow; avoid touching the face and clean then sanitise surfaces. But the definition of new normal is deeper than that for sociologist Dr Tyehimba Salandy and Independent Senator and Medical Board president Dr Varma Deyalsingh. Salandy says the new normal has wide-ranging implications for education, international travel, employment, international relations, the tourism se

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Wed, 27, May, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho dies at 98

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Stanley Ho, the Hong Kong-born tycoon who made billions transforming neighbouring Macau from a sleepy Portuguese outpost into the world's biggest gambling hub, died on Tuesday at the age of 98, his family said.Known as the “godfather” of Macau's casinos, Ho was instrumental in turning the semi-autonomous city on China's southern coastline into a gambling boomtown.

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Wed, 27, May, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Fontana revenues up but profits down for March quarter

Fontana Limited has achieved revenues of $1.17 billion for its third quarter ended March 31, 2020. This represents a 33 per cent increase over the $885.1 million recorded in the previous corresponding quarter.However, in its financial statement posted Friday last, company chairman, Kevin Chang indicated that Fontana has been significantly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the government protocols that have been implemented.

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Wed, 27 May 2020 00:15:17 -0500 France deploys $8.8 billion to rescue ailing car industry

France’s government is injecting more than €8 billion ($8.8 billion) to save the country’s car industry from huge losses wrought by virus lockdowns, and wants to use the crisis to make France the No. 1 producer of electric vehicles in Europe....

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Wed, 27 May 2020 00:54:15 +0000 Lasting effect of COVID-19 could hamper ‘rock-star lifestyles’

By Clifton Ross SPORTSMEN and women worldwide are usually considered royalty and it’s reflected in their most often lavish lifestyles, but remnants of COVID-19 could slowly reverse the way athletes live. It’s no hidden secret that most of the world’s top athletes from basketball, America football, soccer and good old fashion baseball, generate billions of

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Tue, 26 May 2020 09:39:04 +0000 Column: What Supplements Should You Take?

[Column written by Dr. Annabel Fountain] Every year, $35 billion is spent by Americans on vitamins, minerals, botanicals and other supplements. Is this multi-billion dollar industry selling snake oil? Thank you again to Olivia Benyak-Pitcher for assisting me with this article. Olivia is a pharmacist who owns and operates My Pharmacy in Charities House on Point […](Click to read the full article)

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Mon, 25 May 2020 13:40:51 +0000 Big business opposes bill to access US$12.1B Pension Fund

Santo Domingo.- Business leaders and merchants from Santiago say they expect that the bill that looks to access 30% of the Pension Fund will not pass because, they say, it could have an effect contrary to what’s intended. Fernando Puig, executive director of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce, said that the current health crisis cannot be financed by workers and warned that the disbursement of these savings could trigger inflation. “If of the more than RD$700 billion (US$12.1 billion) that are in the APFs, 30% are available to launch it on the market, we are talking about around 220 billion pesos, which would definitely create price instability that would cause a greater evil that what you are trying to solve,” said Puig. He added that this would be “disrupting what […]

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Tue, 26 May 2020 09:00:00 -0400 Germany hands lifeline to Lufthansa airlines

FRANKFURT/BERLIN – Germany threw Lufthansa a 9 billion euro ($9.8 billion) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline. The largest...

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Sat, 23 May 2020 01:11:51 +0000 Ganja activist confronts Imbert

A video showing Finance Minister Colm Imbert ignoring pro-marijuana activist Nazma Muller has been shared on social media. Muller confronted Imbert as he was entering his car which was parked in front the Red House in Port of Spain. She began asking him questions related to the cultivation of marijuana. “All of our farmers are suffering,” she said. “What is he going to do about it?” She then moved closer to the vehicle and went to the driver’s side to continue, but Imbert simply took out his jacket from the vehicle and walked to the passenger’s side. Muller continued, “Mr Imbert. Minister of Finance, sir, what do you think about ganja as an option? Billions of dollars, sir – in revenue. Why can’t the ganja farmers get their licenses, sir? Mr Imbert, I’m a citizen of the republic, I’m asking you a question, sir.” Imbert then proceeded to take out a comb from his car and neatened his hair. He never replied or acknowledged her presence. Muller then posted on Facebook, saying, “Laugh all you want...Ganja may well have to fund the national budget next year.”

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Fri, 22 May 2020 07:00:00 -0400 America pledges up to US$1.2 billion for vaccine

BENGALURU/LONDON – The United States has secured almost a third of the first one billion doses planned for AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine by pledging up to US$1.2 billion, as world powers...

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Fri, 22 May 2020 00:20:27 -0500 COVID overcomes PanJam profit

PANJAM INVESTMENT Limited, whose quarterly earnings are usually counted in hundreds of millions, even billions, reported one of its most dramatic quarters in March with a profit of what for that company can be described as a measly $12 million,...

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Fri, 22 May 2020 00:13:43 -0500 Jamaica losing two-thirds of tourism earnings to COVID - IMF assistance to offset ‘profound BOP shock’

Before the pandemic, Jamaica’s tourism and travel receipts were tracking above US$3 billion. Remittances were fairly close behind at around US$2.3 billion. But projections in the International Monetary Fund’s, IMF, newly released country report on...

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Thu, 21 May 2020 23:50:25 +0000 American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic

(CNBC) – America’s billionaires saw their fortunes soar by $434 billion during the U.S. lockdown between mid-March and mid-May, according to a new report. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had the biggest gains, with Bezos adding $34.6 billion to his wealth and Zuckerberg adding $25 billion, according to the report from Americans for Tax […] The post American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic appeared first on Antigua Observer Newspaper.

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Thu, 21 May 2020 11:38:08 +0000 Royal Caribbean Extends Cruise Suspension

Royal Caribbean, which lost $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020, has extended its cruise suspension amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A spokesperson said, “Given ongoing global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through July 31, 2020, with the exception of sailings from China, […](Click to read the full article)

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Thu, 21 May 2020 09:30:46 +0000 The coronavirus threatens China’s ‘Belt and Road’ loans

By Maria Abi-Habib and Keith Bradsher As the coronavirus spread around the globe, Pakistan’s foreign minister called his counterpart in Beijing last month with an urgent request: The country’s economy was nose-diving, and the government needed to restructure billions of dollars of Chinese loans. Similar requests have come flooding in to Beijing from Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka […] The post The coronavirus threatens China’s ‘Belt and Road’ loans appeared first on Antigua Observer Newspaper.

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Thu, 21 May 2020 07:47:52 +0000 Dillon: Housing boost coming

HOUSING Minister Edmund Dillon disclosed that as the construction sector reopens on Thursday, as part of Government's covid19 reopening strategy, the housing sector will receive a much needed boost in activity. At a virtual Housing Development Corporation (HDC) distribution ceremony in Point Fortin on Tuesday, Dillion said the ministry's small and medium contractors housing initiative will be starting "once the stay at home restrictions are lifted" with respect to the construction industry. On May 16, the Prime Minister announced an early start to phase two of the reopening strategy on May 21 (Thursday) instead of May 24 as covid19 preventative measures continue to work well. This phase involves the reopening of the manufacturing and construction sectors. Dillon explained the small to medium contractors housing initiative will see these contractors building houses which will be accessible to people with incomes of between $250,000 to $500,000 per month. "Three (housing) developments are being evaluated and are ready for awards" Dillon said. He also disclosed that in the coming weeks, the HDC will hold random draws to distribute 1,100 units to qualified applicants on its database. He thanked the private sector for partnering with Government to build affordable housing for the public "Thr

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Thu, 21, May, 2020 06:10:03 GMT Royal Caribbean loses US$1.4 billion in first quarter

NEW YORK, United States (AP) — Royal Caribbean lost US$1.4 billion in the first quarter after the novel coronavirus forced its entire fleet to port. Wall Street, however, overlooked the massive loss yesterday, focusing instead on bookings for next year.The Miami cruise company said that bookings for 2021 are within “historical ranges”.

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Thu, 21, May, 2020 07:01:00 GMT Work on Portland leg of highway continuing despite budget cut

THE Portland leg of the Southern Coast Highway Improvement Project is continuing at a fast pace despite a $6.6-billion cut in the amount the Government allocated to spend on the massive road programme this fiscal year.In the First Supplementary Estimates for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year tabled in Parliament last week, the allocation for the long-touted road improvement project was reduced by more than 50 per cent, from $12.9 billion to $6.2 billion.

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