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Unqualified teachers

By Hilbert Haar ~ What is the definition of a qualified teacher? This question popped into my mind when I read about Minister Wycliffe Smith's summary of the state of affairs in the schools on our island. LOGIN TO READ MORE...THERE IS MORE TO THIS...

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Dear Reader

In our last edition we publish a press statement from the Public Prosecutor's Office wherein reference was made to ' illegal Venezuelan workers '.

In response to our intro on this topic, we received an email à titre personnel from Dr. Antonio Carmona Bá ez, president of the University of St. Martin (USM).

The email reads:

Dear Editors,
I kindly request that you do not refer to undocumented foreigners as "illegals". No person is illegal. Immigrants who are not residing in a country legally should be refered to as undocumented.
Kind regards,
Dr. Carmona

Eventhough the editors at did not write the press release issued by the Public Prosecutor's Office, we still would like to respectfully beg to differ with Dr. Carmona.

If people overstay their legal stay in St. Maarten, what are they? Illegals or undocumented? We are certain they still have their official travel and identification documents with them.

If people arrive on St. Maarten in a speedboat in the middle of the night - a speedboat by the name of El Diablo comes to mind -, what are they illegals or undocumented?

If these people then find work in the construction sector on St. Maarten, what are they? Illegal workers or undocumented workers?

Granted, they may not have official work documents allowing them to work legally, but we certainly don't consider illegals to be undocumented. We are certain they have passports, identification cards or birth certificates, if not on their persons, somewhere where they are living or back in their home country. The term 'illegals' in our opinion refers to their status in the country or to their work-related status as an illegal worker in a company.

The status of being 'undocumented' is a whole different issue. We can imagine refugees fleeing from a war-torn country with nothing but the clothes on their backs as being considered undocumented immigrants. They are certainly not refugees nor immigrants by choice. Someone making the choice to enter a country or to stay in a country illegally with the intention to work illegally cannot be considered an immigrant and certainly not a refugee, political nor economic. That person is simply committing an illegal act or acting illegally. Therefore, as editors we see nothing wrong in such persons being semantically refered to as illegals. But that is just our opinion. And we are certainly not passing judgement on them. We surely understand and sympathize with the plight of the Venezuelan people or any other people for that matter who are seeking to better their economic lives however they can, legally or illegally.

What do you think?

Should foreigners residing in St. Maarten illegally be refered to as undocumented? Or is the use of the word 'illegals' just a matter of semantics?

Please let us know your opinion.

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NA MP Jacobs says Minister ECYS presented erroneous info

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - National Alliance (NA) Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Silveria Jacobs in a press statement late Friday night accuses the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (ECYS) Wycliffe Smith of presenting to...

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Teen Times

The CONSTANT fire and smoke coming from the landfill aka The Dump is...slowly killing us. There is no other way to say it. In the next issue of Teen Times we will tell you and show you how your...

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Knops: 'It will take time to find solution for the dump"

PHILIPSBURG - "It's a shame that the dump is still there", says State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops during his fifth working visit to Sint Maarten. Knops visited the prison, and the dump. He says he sees progress...

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SMN-News Exclusive :
PM gives order to dismiss 50% of Postal Workers

~ Post Office building infested with mold, building was never insured by Government ~

PHILIPSBURG --- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Leona Romeo Marlin has given the Manager of the Post Office Antonia Willison orders to dismiss at least 50% of the staff, most of whom are calling in sick since the passage of hurricane Irma on September 6th, 2017.
SMN News learned that most of the postal workers have been calling in sick due to the lack of proper working space and the fact that all the mailmen are working in the mold-infested building that was destroyed. SMN News further learned that due to the mold several of the workers have taken ill and government is unable to repair the building since it was never insured by government.
The source said that Romeo Marlin met the board and management last week again since the Post Office is not making enough funds to sustain its staff and again the Prime Minister indicated that 50% of the workers must be sent home.
The Post Office has lost income since they scaled down their operations such as the “Money Gram” one of its main sources of income.
The ongoing saga of the massive layoff has been going on for the past months. It is understood that the Prime Minister wanted to house the postal workers at the former Census and Receivers Office but it is not yet known when the transfer will take place.
It is clear government does not have a clear plan for the Post Office and its workers. However, it is unclear as to whether the coalition partners support the Prime Minister plans to dismiss the workers that are working inhumane conditions for over a year now, while most of the mailmen have been working at the Post Office for more than 25 years and have mortgages and other financial obligations.
Free BirdSleuth Caribbean Training Offered to Teachers...

SINT MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) - Everyone loves birds. They are majestic and inspiring. They are dedicated parents. Their sweet songs fill the air with life. They're also a great way to learn about nature and science.

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The Great Train Journey - part 4

By Hilbert Haar ~ On a Wednesday afternoon, we wander over to the visa center of the Chinese embassy in Ulaanbaatar. We ask someone why it is open now - since the official opening hours to apply for a visa to China is from 9 a.m. to 12 noon ...

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The Great Train Journey - part 3

By Hilbert Haar ~ We leave Irkutsk on a Monday morning - rising early because the train leaves shortly after 8 a.m. for a trip of 22 hours to Ulanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Our cabin is more luxurious than the one on the train from Moscow to...

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The great train journey - part two

By Hilbert Haar ~ On a Thursday at 3 o'clock in the morning our train rolls into the main station in Irkutsk, with around 600,000 inhabitants one of the largest cities in Siberia. Finally we are out of the digital wilderness - we've had no internet..

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The Great Train Journey - part one

By Hilbert Haar ~ This is how it began on a Sunday morning in Moscow. We took a taxi to the Kazanskaia station; that was already quite a little trip through town, but it only set us back 300 roubles, roughly $4.50. While I am sitting on a little...

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Delivering happiness

By Hilbert Haar ~ Ah, there is one more thing that has struck me as a significant difference between St. Maarten and the Asian countries where I am currently traveling. LOGIN TO READ MORE... THERE IS MORE TO THIS ARTICLE ...

Read more Judicial News
Raids conducted in investigation into employing illegals

PHILIPSBURG - Raids were conducted this morning, September 11, 2018 at 3 construction companies at the Sonesta Maho Hotel. These raids were conducted in the interest of the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Human Trafficking...

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Coast Guard with 340 Kilo Drugs Bust

Willemstad- Yesterday morning around 4 AM a coastguard patrol aircraft Dash aircraft reported that they saw an unlit contact at Awa Blanku that was sailing in the direction of Fuikbaai with two (2) persons on board. The Rescue & Coordination...

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PHILIPSBURG -- On Wednesday, September 12th, Customs Officers at the Princess Juliana International Airport along with Immigration, Justice K9 and the Alpha Team held a joint control.
3 Passengers with the initials N.Z, J.L, and JN.L, all Haitians nationals, were caught trying to leave Sint Maarten with a total of US $ 44.656. The Public Prosecutor issued fines. By law, it is required for persons traveling with monies above USD $11.000 or the equivalent in other currencies to declare the funds by Customs officials. No arrest was made.
Customs will continue to intensify controls on both airport and harbor facilities.

23 undocumented Venezuelans captured in Curacao

WILLEMSTAD:--- This morning around 2:00 am the Steunpunt Curacao received a report from the RCC that they saw on the radar an unlit vessel south of Klein Curacao that was operating at low speed (4 knots).

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Academy Surpasses Regional Average in Maths in '18 CSEC...

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - Despite the hardships after monster Hurricane Irma, moving to a borrowed school building, and having fewer, truncated periods late into the evenings, St. Maarten Academy students were still able to beat the odds and...

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SMGA President Velda Blackett calls for unity by diversity

PHILIPSBURG - The incoming President of the St. Maarten Guyanese Association Velda Blackett has called for "unity by diversity". She pointed out that even though Guyanese living on the island may have difference of opinions and may argue and in...

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Ear, Nose and Throat specialists to start at SMMC October 1

CAYHILL -- A group of 13 Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialists have been recruited and will start at St. Maarten Medical Center’s (SMMC) per October 1st, 2018 on a rotational basis.

Read more Curacao News
De Brabander appointed as Chairman of Insel Air

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Lars de Brabander (56) on Monday will formally begin working as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Insel Air International B.V. for a period of six months. De Brabander has a vast amount of experience in international...

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Announcement: InselAir ticket office at Sambil to be closed

WILLEMSTAD - InselAirs' ticket office at Sambil (Curaçao) will be closed as of September 17th 2018. InselAir will continue to welcome its customers at the Ticket Office at Hato Airport (6am-8:30pm), at InselAirs' main office at Dokweg...

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Man arrested who wanted to bribe police

WILLEMSTAD - During the police raid of La Tasca and the surroundings of the nightclub, a man was also arrested who tried to bribe the officers. He sat in the car with his Colombian lover when the police wanted to see their papers. Then the man...

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Minister of Finance addresses budget issues in letter to Cft

WILLEMSTAD - During the weekly press conference of the Council of Ministers, Kenneth Gijsbertha of Finance explained about his letter to the Committee of Financial Supervision (CFT). The Minister hopes that the detailed letter explaining how the...

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Payment arrangement for UTS debt to government

WILLEMSTAD - The telecommunication company UTS has made a payment arrangement with the government regarding the money owed. This was announced by the Minister of Finance Kenneth Gijsbertha during the weekly press conference of the Council of...

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SMN-News Exclusive :
Philipsburg Jubilee Library may have to close its doors due to lack of funding and mold infestation

~ No plan in place to safeguard national heritage ~

PHILIPSBURG -- The Council of Ministers denied the request of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library who wanted to move from their current location to a building owned by Super Plaza that is currently available.
SMN News understands that Minister of ECYS Wycliffe Smith placed the topic on the agenda of the Council of Ministers meeting on September 4th, 2018 which was turned down by his colleagues in the Council of Ministers. SMN News learned that Minister Smith is not too happy with the decision of the COM. Click here to read more...
Civil Registry Department launches Online Appointment option

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Public Service Center Department (PSC) and the Civil Registry Department (CRD) have launched a valuable, time saving service for the general public-online appointments.

Read more Parliament News
September 15 International Day of Democracy 2018

Great Bay, St. Maarten - 'International Day of Democracy 2018 is held on September 15th every year, and it has been running for 10 years. It is a United Nations, (UN), day of observation, to review the state of democracy in the world and uphold...

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Florence kills 7, triggers flash flooding, massive rainfall

More than 24 hours have passed since Florence made landfall, and the storm is no longer a hurricane, but flooding issues only continue to mount across the Carolinas. Excessive rainfall will contribute to more catastrophic flooding across...

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No further tropical development for the next 10 days in...

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - The long-term weather forecast doesn't show any tropical development off the coast of Africa near the Cabo Verde Islands for the next 10-days.

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Weather Forecast: Monday to Wednesday

DATE ISSUED: Sunday, September 16, 2018 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Monday evening (18:00 LST) September 17, 2018 Tonight through Monday evening: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers and a chance of isolated thunderstorms. Forecast High:...

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SHTA organizes photo contest for VISIT magazine cover

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) is organizing a cover photo contest for the 2019 edition its magazine VISIT. The association invites local artists and frequent visitors to send in their most...

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LACNIC, Google to headline 'Internet Week in Trinidad ...

The Latin American and Caribbean Internet Registry (LACNIC) and Google will hold a series of workshops next month as part of Internet Week Trinidad and Tobago, an event intended to advance the Internet development agenda of the wider region. The...

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NAGICO launches the Hurricane Xtra Policy

PHILIPSBURG (Monday, July 23, 2018) - Today, NAGICO Insurances unveiled a new insurance product called the NAGICO Hurricane Xtra Policy. It's designed as a supplemental coverage to insure uncovered expenses that may arise following a hurricane as ...

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Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset hosts Slumber Reading Fun

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset will be hosting a Slumber Reading Fun Pajama evening for children between the ages of 6-12, on September 28 th, 2018 from 7:00pm-10:00pmß. The Reading Slumber fun will be held at...

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Caribbean Wellness Day/Week promotes good health and...

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) - Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) was observed across the region on September 8 to promote good health and well-being. In 2011 the CWD was expanded to become Wellness Week in the Americas commencing on September 8...

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Review LuminAID Packlite Max, a Solar Powered Phone Charger

ST. JOHN'S ESTATE - The Wizards, specializing in computer repairs and onsite services, is now the official reseller for an environmentally-friendly product that has a very unusual feature: A solar powered LED lantern that is a phone charger as...

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SHTA & Carib Beer Call for Sharing 2019 Events to Show...

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and Carib Beer call on companies and NGO's to send in events they are planning for 2019 for their National Event Calendar. The 2018 calendar, published only...

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Poll sponsored by  StMaartenFlowers.comwhere you order online and we deliver offline.
Should Government solve Garbage/Waste Problem or Should the Private Sector take the Initiative?
Yes, the Private Sector should take the initiative
Yes, we need to start Reducing, Reusing & Recycling (RRR)
No, Garbage is a Collective Problem
No, people are not willing to pay for commercial garbage sorting - Regional News
Commissioner Kroon Happy with Road Repair Progress

Kralendijk- Commissioner of infrastructure, James Kroon, says he is pleased with the progress of the road repairs being executed at the intersection of Kaya Caribe and Kaya Amsterdam. During a site visit yesterday, Kroon took a look at the...

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First Group of EZ Air Pilots Wrap Up Simulator Training

Kralendijk- A first group of EZ Air pilots recently wrapped up their certification process for the Beechcraft 1900D, which were recently acquired by the carrier, aiming to expand their operations with regular flights out of the ABC-islands....

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FOR SALE: Red 2018 Hyundai Grand i10

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Call us today at +1-721-523-3564 or whatsapp +1-721-588-0800. Or email to schedule an appointment. Visit for more information.. Online News Stories
China to lend Venezuela $5 billion

By Caribbean News Now contributor BEIJING, China - China has agreed to extend a $5 billion credit line to cash-strapped Venezuela, as President Nicolas Maduro headed to Beijing, Bloomberg News reported. Venezuelan finance minister, Simon Zerpa,...

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Let's Cruise - Eastern, Western, Southern Caribbean... is offering cruise vacations on the best and biggest cruise ships in the world with brand name cruises and destinations in the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and the Mediterranean, ...

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The New Venezuelan Currency Is Just Three Weeks Old and...

CARACAS - It's just been a few weeks since the rollout of Venezuela's new money, and inflation in this new monetary era is already 100 percent. After a week and a half of no changes in the Bloomberg Cafe Con Leche Index, the price of a cup of...

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Court upholds injunction on demolition of historic prison

By Melanius Alphonse ~ Caribbean News Now associate editor CASTRIES, St Lucia - Following the recent partial demolition of the historic Royal Gaol in Castries through yet another 'no bid' contract by the government of...

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UK frustrated by Cayman Islands lack of cooperation in AML

By Caribbean News Now contributor LONDON, England - British law enforcement officers trying to combat money laundering are being frustrated by a lack of co-operation by the authorities in the Cayman Islands, BBC News reported. The National Crime...

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US Coast Guard repatriates 22 migrants to the Dominican Rep

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The US Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos repatriated 22 migrants to the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. The migrants were interdicted as the result of two separate cases by the Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser in the...

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Local hotelier hails Naomi Osaka's Haitian heritage

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The general manager of Le Plaza Hotel in Port au Prince, Marc Pierre-Louis, has hailed Naomi Osaka's stunning victory at the US Open as "an achievement of which all Haitians should be incredibly proud." Speaking in the...

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Cohen & Klein

Comprehensive training programs

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CDB Approves Project to Support Economic Reforms in BGI

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday September 13, 2018 - The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of US$400,000 to help the Government of Barbados further develop its economic reform programme. The approval...

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Dutch Queen ambushed by desperate mother in Schiedam

By Janene Pieters ~ September 14, 2018 - 08:43 Queen Maxima was ambushed by a desperate woman in Schiedam on Thursday. The Queen was visiting the YETS Foundation when the woman suddenly came running at her, trying to give her a letter, RTL...

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New robot performs first surgeries at Groningen hospital

Surgeons at the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG) recently successfully performed the first surgeries with the help of the hospital's new surgical robot. The operations were successful and the patients are doing well, the hospital...

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Dalai Lama to meet sex abuse victims in Netherlands

The Dalai Lama will meet with victims of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers in the Netherlands on Friday afternoon, responding to an urgent appeal 12 victims sent to him. As far as is known, this is the first time that the Dalai Lama is meeting...

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"Violent incident" leaves one seriously hurt in Amsterdam

One person was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a "violent incident" in a home on Vlietstraat in Amsterdam on Thursday night, the police said on Twitter. The victim was found on the street. The police responded to the scene shortly...

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Woman falls through sinkhole in Limburg village

A woman fell through the sidewalk in the Limburg village of Merkelbeek, near Brunssum, on Friday morning. She was walking with her husband when the ground suddenly sank away beneath her. She was injured, NOS reports. The sinkhole was caused by...

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Catholic church rapidly disappearing from The Netherlands

The Catholic Church is rapidly disappearing from the Netherlands. Over ten years the entire archdiocese of Utrecht will probably only consist of 10 to 15 churches that still hold the Eucharistic celebrations, compared to the current 280 churches, ...

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SXM Daily News - 14 Sep 2018
SXM Daily News September 14, 2018

SXM Daily News September 14, 2018

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