Daily Archives: February 26, 2007

Former Bahamian Immigration Minister Suing Media For His Own Stupidity Over Anna Nicole Smith Photos… And Rolex “Gift”

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The disgraced former Bahamian Immigration Minister Shane Gibson has hired an attorney to “clear his name” over the published photos showing the Minister and everyone’s “yes” girl, Anna Nicole Smith, in bed together. (see BFP’s article link here)

Mr. Gibson has a little problem though. Amid allegations that he fast-tracked Anna Nicole Smith’s residency application, he told the House of Assembly that Smith qualified because she bought a million dollar home in the Bahamas. Oops… looks like Smith never purchased the home!

There is also the matter of a Rolex watch that was purportedly given to the Minister by Anna Nicole Smith. Although the Minister denies that he accepted any gifts from Smith in return for fast-tracking her application, he hasn’t denied accepting the Rolex – just that he never did anything in return for the gift!

Hmmmm… I wonder if Bahamas has any Conflict of Interest legislation or ethics rules in place for public officials?

What Rules Does Barbados Have Respecting Government Ministers Accepting “Gifts” ?

That’s easy!

None.

Story Links

Bahama Journal – Gibson Hires Prominent Attorney To Clear Name

Barbados Free Press – Bahamas Immigration Minister Does Honourable Thing Over Anna Nicole Smith Photos: Resigns

Barbados Free Press – Newspaper Publishes Photos: Anna Nicole Smith In Bed With Bahamas Immigration Minister!

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Filed under Celebrities, Politics & Corruption

Oh Oh! Barbados Tourism Authority President In Middle East – Trying To Sell Empty Cruise Ship Berths That We Have To Pay For!

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With Only Weeks To Go, Isn’t This Too Little Too Late?

IF IT SEEMS STRANGE that the President of the Barbados Tourism Authority is abroad making last minute travel arrangements for a major event scheduled years ago instead of working at home with everything going according to plan…. read on!

Stuart Layne is currently in Dubai – working with a travel company to lay on special flights for Middle East cricket fans and flogging empty berths on the Carnival Destiny cruise ship. The ship has promised a prayer room, Indian chefs and Bollywood entertainment to cater to Middle East clients, and Air India is doing special direct flights from the Middle East direct to Bridgetown where passengers will embark on Destiny.

What’s with the last minute arrangements? Why the big push?

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Sources Indicate Carnival Destiny Is Only 40% Booked – And Barbados Pays US$50 Extra For All Empty Berths – Per Day!

Barbados Free Press has been contacted by three different sources – each of whom state that the Carnival Destiny is running 40% to 48% capacity (depending upon the source) and that “something had to be done”. Thus Stuart Lane and former West Indies bowler Joel Garner are doing the media rounds in the Middle East in a last minute desperate push to try and market for Carnival Cruise Lines!

And why should the Government of Barbados care if Carnival’s ships are full or not? Haven’t we already paid millions for them to come to Barbados during Cricket World Cup? Well, apparently there’s this little detail in our contract: we pay US$50 extra per day for each empty berth.

1,000 empty berths equal US$50,000 PER DAY in surcharges.

Oops!

And that US$50 empty berth charge applies whether the cruise ship is anchored off Bridgetown or Trinidad or cruising between Cricket World Cup venues. That’s right, folks: we’re paying Barbados tax dollars to transport and accommodate cricket fans in other countries.

We’re also hearing that our local hotels and B&Bs are nowhere near full – and now the government BTA President is abroad selling cruise ship berths and not island accommodations!

We’ve also heard from one source that the Government of Barbados has promised to subsidize the Air India flights if they are less than capacity!

How Many Cruise Ships? How Many Cricket World Cup Visitors?

Take your pick, folks… Weren’t we hearing “100,000 visitors” last year? Weren’t we hearing “19 cruise ships” taking the overflow from our hotels?

Then “18” cruise ships… then “14” and now… the BTA President says “11” cruise ships and “Over 30,000 people will be coming to the island for the World Cup during the two-week period in addition to our regular visitors.”

Was it the cricket visa fiasco? Did everyone just over-estimate and become victims of wishful thinking?

Maybe things will be OK

Maybe there will be a last minute flood of visitors who will fill our hotel rooms and dine in our restaurants and not on cruise ships. Maybe our children won’t still be paying for this party 20 years from now.

Maybe.

Article Link: Gulf News – Special Facilities for UAE Cricket Fans To Watch Final 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Traveling and Tourism

BTA President: 11 Cruise Ships and 700 Yachts In Barbados For Cricket World Cup

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Stuart Layne In Dubai: Interviewed By Gulf Times – United Arab Emirates

The President of the Barbados Tourism Authority told The Gulf Times that the Government of Barbados has authorized 11 Cruise Ships and 700 Yachts to be anchored off Barbados to provide accomodation for cricket fans.

What Arrangements Have Been Made For Yachts’ Sewerage & Garbage Disposal?

I have no idea how the government intends to police 700 yachts anchored off our shores – with I presume hundreds anchored along Carlisle Bay. Security and safety has to be the first concern, but the environmental impact could be significant if the yacht crews and passengers aren’t conscientious about waste disposal.

Are we going to have garbage scows going from yacht to yacht? What about blackwater (sewerage) pumpouts? Where will the yachts go? How many yachts can the pumpout facilities handle each day? Is there a schedule or appointment times?

We already know that Health Minister Jerome Walcott hit the roof when he heard that the cruise ships will be dumping thousands of gallons of not-so-clean sewerage every day into Carlisle Bay. (see BREAKING NEWS: Nets To Be Placed To Hold Feces Off Carlisle Bay Beaches – Cruise Ships Will Dump In Carlisle Bay!)

Anyone For A Swim In The Surf? (Just Kidding!)

As for me and my family, we’ll be avoiding the sea on the west and south coasts for some time. Were not big fans of Bathsheba either with the raw sewerage that flows into the sea there. Shona and I love to dive for crab and lobster at a few “secret” spots along South Point, but I wish the ordinary person had a method of testing the sea water on any given day.

As we keep reminding our readers – Ain’t nothin be free. Everything has a price, and I hope the price Barbados ends up paying for Cricket World Cup isn’t too onerous.

Story Link: Gulf Times Interviews BTA President Stuart Layne

Photo: Unknown mega-yacht plucked from the web at random. Its humble, but its home! 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Environment, Traveling and Tourism

Google Alerts – A Valuable Tool That Allows Barbados Free Press To Break Some Stories Well Ahead Of Traditional Media

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How We Discover Many Stories: Google Alerts

ONCE AGAIN, it is always amazing what Google Alerts sends our way. If a newspaper in the Middle East mentions “Barbados” or one of the dozens of other words we have programmed – wham! We have the story on our desks five minutes later. Similarly, folks around the world who are interested in, for instance, “offshore investments” or “Barbados politics” or other subjects we cover use Google Alerts to receive instant notification when Barbados Free Press or other media publish a relevant article.

These folks may have never heard of us before, but if they set an alert and we cover their subject, they receive BFP’s article without us doing a thing.

Think of Google Alerts as a standing internet search on any word or topic – being made on your behalf 24/7 – with the results instantly emailed to you.

Working Together: BFP’s Readers Set Their Own Alerts And Then Inform Us About Stories

When we broke the story of the Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman arranging to break security at Cricket World Cup, it was because we received a Google Alert for “Barbados” within minutes of the Financial Express publishing their story. If one of us is actually at our computer when the alert comes in, Barbados Free Press can break news hours or even days ahead of the traditional Barbados media and newspapers.

We see it all the time: we cover a story first and then the Barbados newspapers pick it up only after they read about it at Barbados Free Press. (The Nation News has even sent out a photographer to shoot the same photo that we first published. It’s ok Nation News – you can use photos we shot any time. No need to send out another photographer. If you’re going to steal our story idea without credit, hey, you might as well steal Shona’s photos too!)

Many of our readers set their own alerts and then notify us when they find something noteworthy on the net. While there is much duplication as you would expect, the differences in wording and interests means that we receive many new stories each day from our readers – stories that we would never have come across without our readers’ assistance.

You Can Join Our Research Team

So this is a big Thank You to all our readers who send us dozens of interesting pieces every day. By creating their own Google Alerts about topics that interest them, BFP’s readers become additional eyes and ears for us all.

We don’t have the staff or time to cover even 10% of the tips we receive – we wish we could cover them all – but please keep them coming because there are some real GEMS in there every day! (That’s the best I can do at humour after working all night. 🙂 )

This is from the Google Alerts webpage

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

You can check out Google Alerts and start your own notifications here)

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media