Saturday, May 21, 2022


Dubai Is the Place to Be. 5 Reasons So Many People Want to Go There

Dubai, the United Emirates has become a topic of discussion in the Bahamas, ever since Prime Minister Philip Davis and nearly 160 delegates left the country for the oil-rich middle eastern city.

Though the Bahamas is a country based on Christian beliefs, many Bahamians have taken a keen interest in the city where Islam is the official religion.

Here are the reasons why so many people wish to visit Dubai:

1. Its reputation of wealth has become the envy of the world.

Dubai is known for its ultra-rich residents, but most of the wealthy residents have migrated there. Only 15 percent are natives of Dubai.

A report shows that more than 2,000 wealthy people moved there in the first six months of 2021.


2. Mega malls have become great entertainment.

Dubai is known for mega malls and is home to the ‘Dubai Mall’ dubbed the biggest shopping center in the world. It has 1200 shops. People travel from all around the world indulge in the city’s shopping centers.

Dubai holds a month-long shopping festival in January with concerts and giveaways where shoppers win cars and gold.


3. It has a thriving food scene.

There are a variety of foods available—at, Arab, Persian, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, French, Japanese, Chinese, British, and American restaurants from low-end to high-end. Pop-up eateries are common.


4. It’s the modern art and design capital of the Middle East.

Art districts are littered throughout Dubai and some have sprouted up in the industrial Al Quoz area. Dubai has a diverse art scene. Art and design festivals like Art Dubai and Design Days are always taking place.

5. The Desert Safari experience is on most people’s bucket list.

The famous Liwa Desert is just miles and miles of red sand stretching endlessly into the horizon. A Liwa Desert Safari takes you deep into the true Arabian Desert, miles away from civilization and toward the Saudi border.


Davis Surrenders to Omicron as Cases Explode. His Speech Falls Short of a Plan to Contain It and Treat Bahamians

As COVID-19 cases rise to threatening levels, Prime Minister Philip Davis acknowledged that the country is entering a new phase in the pandemic.

Health officials reported 818 new cases on Friday and 291 new cases on Saturday.

With COVID-19 cases spreading like wildfire, Bahamians expected much from Davis’ speech on Sunday but many were left disappointed as he announced nothing new. He reiterated his government’s plan to implement widespread testing using the Rapid Antigen Tests and issue medical-grade masks to the public, which was a promise made on the campaign trail.

He seemed to have surrendered to the virus, telling Bahamians that “all of us will be affected…We will see high counts.”

He asked, “How ready will your body be to fight off the virus?”

Davis said a vast majority of Bahamians will become infected by the virus as the Delta and Omicron strains roam.

While a large portion of the Bahamian population remains unvaccinated, Davis warned that they will be ‘hit hardest’ in the new phase of the infectious virus.

Experts have described Omicron as more transmissible than Delta but less severe.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organisation warned that “while the new strain appears to be less severe when compared to Delta, in people vaccinated, it should be not be categorized as ‘mild.’

“Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people,” Ghebreyesus stressed.

Davis said Bahamians should double masks until his government can issue the medical-grade masks, and limit time spent indoors.

“We’re in the hardest days of it.

“We can weather the storm together,” Davis summed up.

Sidney Poitier: 10 Things to Know About the Legendary Bahamian-American Actor

Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian-American actor died on Friday at the age of 94.  He was a trailblazer in film and is remembered for paving the way for black actors.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said Poitier’s “light will continue to shine brightly for generations to come.”

Davis said Poitier’s “colossal achievements,” will be remembered including “his strength of character; his willingness to stand up and be counted; and the way he plotted and navigated his life’s journey.”

What to Know About Sir Sidney Poitier

  1. He made history in 1964, becoming the first black man to win a best actor Oscar award for Lilies of the Field. He went on to perform in other films, winning acclaim for Mr Tibbs, Porgy and Bess, A Patch of Blue and A Raisin in the Sun.
  2. He was a diplomat for the Bahamas, serving in Japan between 1997 and 2007 and the UNESCO between 2002 and 2007.
  3. He was born in Miami to Bahamian tomato farmers Reginald and Evelyn Poitier in 1927 . Poitier grew up in Cat Island in the Bahamas. His family later moved to Nassau and he was sent to live with relatives in Miami at age 14.
  4. Poitier admitted to lying about his age in his book, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography. He said he pleaded insanity to be discharged from the army after 9 months
  5. He held dual Bahamian-US citizenship.
  6. President Barak Obama gave him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. In 2009, Obama awarded Poitier the highest civilian honor for his achievements in art and humanitarianism.
  7. The Bahamas’ bridge that connects Nassau to Paradise Island was renamed in his honor in 2012.
  8. He imitated radio announcers and read newspapers to improve his reading skills after a heavy Bahamian accent and limited reading skills cost him his acting job at Harlem’s American Negro Theater.
  9. In recent years, Oprah Winfrey,  chose his 2000 memoir The Measure of a Man for her book club, introducing him to a new and younger generation.
  10. Poitier married actress Joanna Shimkus, his second wife, in the mid-1970s. He had six daughters with his two wives and wrote three books – This Life (1980), The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000) and Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter (2008).



Davis Spends Christmas in COVID Isolation After Close Contact with Family Who Contracted the Virus

Prime Minister Philip Davis is in COVID isolation following close contact with a family member who tested positive for the infectious disease.

In a COVID-19 Ministry of Health press briefing, Davis spoke from his home while in quarantine, stating that he was exposed to COVID-19 by visiting family members from the United States.

Though he tested negative after multiple testings, he is quarantined to ensure he is not ill and to prevent passing the virus on to others.

His wife, Marie Davis, and other family members tested positive for the virus, he said, though they were fully vaccinated.

The big picture

COVID 19 cases in the country are climbing after months of a lull.  Twenty-six cases were reported on Monday, 73 reported on Tuesday; and 140 cases on Wednesday. Though the new variant, Omicron has not been found in the Bahamas, health officials said they are monitoring the situation closely and have sent samples to Panama for testing.

Why it matters

Health officials around the world have described the Omicron as milder than the Delta variant but more transmissible.  In fact, It has overtaken Delta as the dominant strain in the USA and the UK.

Officials fear that the Christmas holidays will cause an explosion of new cases, resulting in overwhelmed hospitals, and deaths among people who are immunocompromised.

What Prime Minister Davis says

Davis said the country should expect difficult weeks ahead, as health officials gauge the increase of infections in the country and in Florida.  He said his government will operate as if the virus is already here and is preparing to distribute medical-grade masks; introduce new measures at the border– Bahamians and visitors will have to test negative within 3 days instead of 5; restrict indoor gatherings to 20 people and outdoor gatherings to 30 people; extend the vaccination program to the inner-city communities.

Davis Says ‘No’ to Christmas Carnival

The government has prohibited the operation of Christmas Carnival citing the great health risk it poses on the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a late-afternoon press conference, Press Secretary Clint Watson read a statement from Prime Minister Philip Davis who said McCafferty’s Enterprises Bahamas Limited will not be permitted to operate.

“The Carnival organizers submitted a fresh application supported by additional 35 pages of information which sought to address the concerns raised by the experts. The panel considered their submission closely but decided that the transmission risk associated with the Carnival remained too high and the protocols presented would not sufficiently mitigate against the spread of COVID,” Davis said in a statement.

Davis said he gave his final word on the advice of the Ministry of Health, adding that the opening of the rides will pose a great health risk to the public as the more transmissible Omicron variant continue to cause alarm in countries around the world.

Davis also said the opening will hamper the opening of schools in January.

The big story

The operation of the Christmas Carnival has become controversial in recent days as some argue it can become a super spreader event. Minister of Health Michael Darville denied the company was allowed to open even though the rides were permitted to set up on Clifford Park.

However, Senator Maxine Seymour tabled a letter in the Senate showing the Ministry of Finance had given the Progressive Liberal Party permission to import “equipment, apparatus, trailers and supplies” for the event.

This is the first time, Davis is lending his voice to the matter as many awaited his response to the debacle.

What’s next?

Lawyers for the company said yesterday it would still operate whether or not health officials approved their application.

Now that the approval application has again been denied by the government, reports are the company will leave the country.

It remains to be seen if the company will file a lawsuit against the government. When asked by a reporter if the government expects a lawsuit, Watson who did not take any questions from reporters only said he will address the matter on Friday.



COP26: Davis and Mottley Tell Rich Countries to Deliver on Climate Change Promises

Small island nations like the Bahamas are “out of time” in battling climate change and Prime Minister Philip Davis urged rich countries to take urgent action.

Speaking at the climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, Davis reminded developed countries that the Bahamas, like other island nations, is threatened with hurricanes that are increasing with intensity and frequency.

He reminded attendants of Hurricane Dorian’s devastating effect on the Bahamas, requesting funding and technology to rebuild “resiliently.”

“Our hurricanes are your fires and floods. Our hurricanes are your landslides and droughts.

“Please do what is needed, not what you can get away with. Turn promises and agreements into action,” he said.

“Don’t hide behind buzz words and hazy promises.

“Don’t let the failures of the past limit our ambitions for the present. Failure today can lead to destruction tomorrow.”

G20 leaders met in Rome lastweek to discuss climate change and agreed that 1.5 degrees celsius will be their target by 2030.

On Monday, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley urged delegates that a 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature would be a “death sentence” for island and coastal countries.

“We do not want that dreaded death sentence, and we have come here today to say, ‘Try harder.’ ”

Mottley warned that failure to provide enough funding to small island nations on the frontlines of climate change is “measured in lives and livelihoods.”

“This is immoral, and it is unjust,” she said.

Countries like China, the United States of America, India, and Germany are the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases, accounting for 80% of gas emissions.


Davis to Hold World Leaders Accountable for Climate Change Threat to the Bahamas

Prime Minister Philip Davis said he will ensure developed countries pay for the calamitous effect of climate change on the Bahamas.

After his arrival on Sunday, Davis said that the country’s voice will be heard at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in what has been called a make-or-break opportunity to save the planet.

“I want them to see what yesterday was for us and what tomorrow could be like for them, and to motivate them to do more for Small Island Developing States like us, because the cost to adapt and to mitigate in respect to the consequence of climate change is humongous and beyond our means in many, many respects.

“We want to be able to sensitize them to that and we need our voices heard to ensure that they pay for what has happened to small island states like us.

“We are not going to leave here without having a clear understanding of what we will get for what they would have done to us.”

Why it matters

Small Island States like the Bahamas, have suffered due to global warming. The intensity of storms throughout the years, like Hurricane Dorian in 2019, has been worsened by global warming, according to experts.

Scientists say storms draw their energy from ocean heat and more than 90 percent of the heat is trapped by greenhouse gas emissions, stored in the ocean. Storms then intensify quickly and become powerful.

The big picture

Countries like China, the United States of America, India and Germany are the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases, accounting for 80% of gas emissions.

World leaders met in Rome over the weekend for the G20 meeting with a goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, no date was set.

State of Play

US Congress is wrangling over how to finance its climate change pledge and whether or not the US can regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Ironclad Press Rules Imposed by Press Secretary Will Make it Harder to Hold Davis’ Administration Accountable

With only two weeks in the seat as press secretary, former Journalist and News Director Clint Watson imposed stringent rules for the press that will make it harder for reporters to hold the new government accountable.

The new rules include guidelines for special interviews, scheduled interviews and accreditation.

Here are the new guidelines

  1. Absolutely no interviews should take place while the Prime Minister or a Cabinet Minister is attending an event unless they are approved by the press secretary.
  2. Random Cabinet Office interviews will be discontinued.
  3. Only accredited journalists and staff will be permitted into Cabinet and OPM briefings.
  4. Reporters requesting specific responses to issues, should communicate with the Press Secretary Office by 6 pm the latest, the night before the briefing.
  5. All requests for interviews and comments from the Prime Minister and Cabinet will be facilitated through the press secretary.
  6. Reporters without a boom stand will not be permitted to participate in interviews.
  7. The press secretary or an officer from the OPM will advise at the event if the prime minister will be taking interviews and the parameters of such an interview. Failure to comply could result in credentials being reconsidered from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister press pool.
  8. The dress code should be business attire unless otherwise specified.
  9. A press officer will indicate the final question toward the end of the briefing, no further questions should be asked thereafter.
  10. Accreditation forms should be filled out by media houses and submitted to the Office of the Press Secretary for approval.

These hard rules would allow Davis and his Cabinet ministers to dodge reporters’ questions and evade responses to pressing and controversial matters.

Most newsworthy stories come when reporters ask questions on the sidelines of a public event. The powers of the press secretary as indicated by these rules, show that the new government desires to suppress information and limit what the public knows.

Watson, as a former journalist, knows this but has quickly changed positions since acquiring the new role.

In his former position as host of Beyond the Headlines, Watson consistently condemned the former administration, accusing them of avoiding the press. Now, he has created strict rules to silence the press, punish the media if they do not adhere, and ensure Davis and his ministers say less to the public.

Why does he see the need to protect them from the public? Why should he determine who gets access to public servants?

Watson’s role should be to manage and organize communications activities on behalf of the new government.

These rules are a return to the Pindling era when news media was heavily restricted.

Former Health Minister Duane Sands expressed his displeasure with the rules.

Journalists have taken to social media to decry the new press guidelines.


Based on the reading of the rulings, journalists could have credentials revoked. This could have an adverse effect on the public who wants to hold the government accountable.



New Press Secretary Clashes With Press

The newly appointed press secretary for Prime Minister Philip Davis clashed with a Nassau Guardian reporter at the end of a press conference on Wednesday following the Opening of Parliament.

Former Journalist and News Director Clint Watson in his new role, quickly wrapped up a press conference held by Davis to address the new government’s policies outlined in the Speech from the Throne, and to answer questions posed by reporters, when Watson asked that journalists make further inquiries with him as Davis was pressed for time.

“…If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I will get the answers for you,” Watson told reporters.

Travis Carroll, The Nassau Guardian’s assistant news editor then quickly approached Davis to get clarification on comments he made about issues arising on National Security Minister Wayne Munroe’s involvement in the reinstatement of his law firm’s clients as acting commissioners of the correctional facility, as Prison Commissioner Charles Murphy was placed on administrative leave.

Carroll asked Davis, “Do you have concerns that it may be a conflict of interest?”

Watson then intervenes, “Cub, cub, come on,” then hurries Davis away.

An irate Carroll responds, “Relax, Clint.”

Why it matters

During the campaign season, Davis assured journalists of his government’s promise to be transparent and answer all questions posed by reporters. He has used former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis as his measure saying he won’t avoid reporters’ questions.

Watson as the former host of Beyond the Headlines, has been a constant critic of Minnis for “avoiding the press.”

The big picture

Watson, in his position as host of the show, lobbied strongly for the Progressive Liberal Party. He resigned from the news station nearly two weeks ago to assume his new role when the party became the new government.

Meet Davis’ Remaining Cabinet Members

Eleven cabinet ministers were sworn in on Wednesday, totalling 21 Cabinet members to be a part of Prime Minister Philip Davis’ administration.

  • Obie Wilchcombe: Social Services and Urban Development
  • Keith Bell: Labor and Immigration
  • Vaughn Miller: Environment and Natural Resources
  • Jobeth Colby-Davis: Transport and Housing
  • Ginger Moxey: Grand Bahama
  • Mario Moxey: Youth, Sports and Culture
  • Basil McIntosh: State for the Environment
  • Myles Laroda: State in the Office of the Prime Minister
  • Pia Glover: State for Public Service
  • Lisa Rahming: State for Social Services
  • Zane Lightbourne: State for Education and Technical and Vocational Training