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The Daily Herald. The leading newspaper in the North Eastern Caribbean
Updated: 10 min 24 sec ago

Parliament adopts ‘skeleton budget’

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 05:35

PHILIPSBURG--Parliament passed the 2015 budget with an 11-4 vote on Thursday night with just two days to spare before the deadline set by the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT.

The budget had to be established in December 2014. Government asked CFT for more time and was given the deadline of January 31.

Voting for the budget were the 10 Members of Parliament supporting the coalition and former coalition member MP Sarah Wescot-Williams (Democratic Party (DP)). The four National Alliance (NA) Members of Parliament voted against the budget.

Wescot-Williams said her s ... Read more

Princess Heights 1st to Green Key Eco-label

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 05:34

DAWN BEACH--Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel has become the first and only property on the island to be awarded the prestigious Green Key Eco-label certification, currently the largest global eco-label for accommodations, recognised and supported by the World Tourism Organization and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The award which serves to validate environmental responsibility, adds to the property's titles of St. Maarten's leading hotel 2013 and 2014 by World Travel Awards and the Certificate of Excellence from 2011 to 2014 by TripAdvisor.

The proper ... Read more

Gov’t instructed to raise fee on money transfers

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 05:33

PHILIPSBURG--Increase or create an international transfer fee to be levied on money transfer services such as MoneyGram and Western Union was an instruction from Parliament to Finance Minister Martin Hassink. The motion was adopted by Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Plenary Session of Parliament dealing with the 2015 budget on Thursday evening.

Thirteen MPs voted for the motion.

MP Sarah Wescot-Williams (Democratic Party) voted against the motion, saying she could not support the piecemeal approach to changing the tax system. She preferred a proper reform.

MP William ... Read more

Armed man in Dutch NOS building, demands airtime

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 05:30

HILVERSUM--A man wielding a pistol forced his way into the studios of Dutch national broadcaster NOS on Thursday demanding to be allowed to go on air, but was quickly arrested, television footage showed.

The man wearing a black suit and tie, later identified as student T.Z. (19), entered the studio after threatening a guard with a pistol, witnesses said.

An NOS radio reporter told International News Agency Reuters that no one had been hurt. NOS television stopped broadcasting because the studios had been evacuated. A number of staff had also managed to flee the building.

< ... Read more

Gov’t paid NAf. 1.31 million mobile phone bill to TelEm

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 06:09

page1a211~ Budget debate continues today ~

PHILIPSBURG--Government spent NAf. 1,131,844.78 last year in mobile telephone bills for civil servants. That amount covers 206 mobile phones from St. Maarten Telephone Group of Companies TelEm allotted to civil servants in "key positions," including emergency posts at the Fire and Ambulance Departments, pol ... Read more

Gov’t paid NAf. 1.31 million mobile phone bill to TelEm

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 06:09

page1a211~ Budget debate continues today ~

PHILIPSBURG--Government spent NAf. 1,131,844.78 last year in mobile telephone bills for civil servants. That amount covers 206 mobile phones from St. Maarten Telephone Group of Companies TelEm allotted to civil servants in "key positions," including emergency posts at the Fire and Ambulance Departments, pol ... Read more

Gumbs wants healthy debate on pension age increase

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:11

PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said he looked forward to a "healthy debate" on the increase of the pension age from sixty to 62 when it reached Parliament.

He told Members of Parliament (MPs) during the debate on the draft 2014 budget on Wednesday that the ordinance for the pension age increase by two years, was making its way through the necessary channels before it can be tabled in Parliament. "It is now at the Advisory Council and should be on its way back to government with intention to forward it to Parliament and we will deal with that when it reaches Parliament," Gum ... Read more

Gumbs wants healthy debate on pension age increase

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:11

PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said he looked forward to a "healthy debate" on the increase of the pension age from sixty to 62 when it reached Parliament.

He told Members of Parliament (MPs) during the debate on the draft 2014 budget on Wednesday that the ordinance for the pension age increase by two years, was making its way through the necessary channels before it can be tabled in Parliament. "It is now at the Advisory Council and should be on its way back to government with intention to forward it to Parliament and we will deal with that when it reaches Parliament," Gum ... Read more

Hospital director confirms patient not carrying Ebola

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:10

MARIGOT--Fears that a case of Ebola had entered the island yesterday were categorically dismissed as untrue by Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital Director Roland Toussaint yesterday.

He did confirm, however, that an individual was tested at the hospital on Wednesday morning and results were returned negative.

A Facebook post the same morning indicating a possible case of Ebola stoked concerns over the impact this would have on the island if found to be true.

"I was astonished when it was brought to my attention," said Toussaint. "I can assure you that we followed to the bo ... Read more

Hospital director confirms patient not carrying Ebola

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:10

MARIGOT--Fears that a case of Ebola had entered the island yesterday were categorically dismissed as untrue by Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital Director Roland Toussaint yesterday.

He did confirm, however, that an individual was tested at the hospital on Wednesday morning and results were returned negative.

A Facebook post the same morning indicating a possible case of Ebola stoked concerns over the impact this would have on the island if found to be true.

"I was astonished when it was brought to my attention," said Toussaint. "I can assure you that we followed to the bo ... Read more

Advice to examine BT&P 16M claim on St. Maarten

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:08

THE HAGUE--The Settlement Committee of Assets and Liabilities of the Country the Netherlands Antilles is advising a thorough investigation of the NAf. 16 million that the Bureau Telecommunication and Post BT&P claims from Country St. Maarten.

The Division Committee stated this in its end report of December 2014, which was presented to the three legal successors of the dismantled Country the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands ... Read more

Advice to examine BT&P 16M claim on St. Maarten

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:08

THE HAGUE--The Settlement Committee of Assets and Liabilities of the Country the Netherlands Antilles is advising a thorough investigation of the NAf. 16 million that the Bureau Telecommunication and Post BT&P claims from Country St. Maarten.

The Division Committee stated this in its end report of December 2014, which was presented to the three legal successors of the dismantled Country the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands ... Read more

Westin reportedly blocking public access to Dawn Beach

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 22:15

westin_picture_used

 

A quiet Dawn Beach in front of The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa.

 

DAWN BEACH--Two very specific complaints against The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa concerning the alleged blocking of public ... Read more

Westin reportedly blocking public access to Dawn Beach

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 22:15

westin_picture_used

 

A quiet Dawn Beach in front of The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa.

 

DAWN BEACH--Two very specific complaints against The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa concerning the alleged blocking of public ... Read more

Newark, New York flights cancelled

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:09

AIRPORT--Flights to and from Newark and New York airports were cancelled January 27 in connection with blizzards in the Northeastern United States, while on the day before flights came into St. Maarten, but could not leave.

The question of compensation in case of passengers being stranded falls on airline policy rather than the responsibility of ground handlers, who normally organise transport and lodging when needed. In this case the handlers for the airlines were Halley Aviation Services and Arrindell Aviation.

A Halley Aviation representative explained that airlines did not ... Read more

Newark, New York flights cancelled

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:09

AIRPORT--Flights to and from Newark and New York airports were cancelled January 27 in connection with blizzards in the Northeastern United States, while on the day before flights came into St. Maarten, but could not leave.

The question of compensation in case of passengers being stranded falls on airline policy rather than the responsibility of ground handlers, who normally organise transport and lodging when needed. In this case the handlers for the airlines were Halley Aviation Services and Arrindell Aviation.

A Halley Aviation representative explained that airlines did not ... Read more

D66 asks about reported volcanic activity in Saba

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:07

THE HAGUE--Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Wassila Hachchi of the democratic D66 party wants answers from Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk about reports in the media that Saba's volcano might become active again.

Hachchi submitted no less than 19 written questions to Plasterk on Tuesday following an article in Saturday's science section in de Volkskrant newspaper in which volcanologists Piet Vroon of Free University in Amsterdam and Manfred van Bergen of Utrecht University stated that there might be indications that the Mt. Sce ... Read more

D66 asks about reported volcanic activity in Saba

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:07

THE HAGUE--Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Wassila Hachchi of the democratic D66 party wants answers from Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk about reports in the media that Saba's volcano might become active again.

Hachchi submitted no less than 19 written questions to Plasterk on Tuesday following an article in Saturday's science section in de Volkskrant newspaper in which volcanologists Piet Vroon of Free University in Amsterdam and Manfred van Bergen of Utrecht University stated that there might be indications that the Mt. Sce ... Read more

Crew member dies in Statia boat accident

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:05

page12a210ST. EUSTATIUS--One man died after a fishing boat capsized in the waters between St. Eustatius and St. Kitts on January 27.

Harbour Master Austin van Heyningen, of the harbour in Statia, received a call at 4:03pm from the police, stating they had received a distress call from a vessel located South-east of Statia. It transpired that the fishing boat had capsized, leaving three people in the w ... Read more

Crew member dies in Statia boat accident

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:05

page12a210ST. EUSTATIUS--One man died after a fishing boat capsized in the waters between St. Eustatius and St. Kitts on January 27.

Harbour Master Austin van Heyningen, of the harbour in Statia, received a call at 4:03pm from the police, stating they had received a distress call from a vessel located South-east of Statia. It transpired that the fishing boat had capsized, leaving three people in the w ... Read more