With a Myriad of Packages and Venues Across Four Resorts, The Mexican Hotelier Sets the Bar for Destination Weddings in Los Cabos for romantic, adventurous, laid-back and minimalistic couples LOS CABOS, Mexico (May 6, 2019) – Solmar Hotels & Resorts, the collection of seven all-suite properties in Los Cabos, leads destination wedding offerings in Los Cabos with a new variety of packages at their four most popular properties. Whether it’s an intimate beachfront ceremony with a stunning Baja sunset at Playa Grande Resort & Spa, or a glamorous affair at Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas’ the garden, a sensational wedding awaits couples who choose the Mexican hotelier for the treasured celebration. “We’re committed to providing guests Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ top-notch service, gourmet fare and stunning locations for their unforgettable wedding in Los Cabos,” said Ricardo Orozco, VP of Operations of Solmar Hotels & Resorts. “Our comprehensive lineup of packages allows couples with varying tastes celebrate the milestone at our properties,” he added. The carefully curated packages by Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ expert wedding coordinators include the following key elements for a successful celebration of love: A judge for a legal ceremony or minister for a symbolic occasion, wedding bouquet and boutonniere arrangements with local seasonal flowers, and a 20% discount on spa services (products not included). While all celebrations at Solmar Hotels & Resorts are focused on the couple, the hotelier understands that not all brides and grooms are the same and, for that reason, they’ve launched the following four wedding packages to celebrate the happy and unique couples: For the Helpless Romantics: Paradise Package at Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa ($2,399 USD) Set in the secluded cove of Los Cabos’ Land’s End, the Paradise package offers couples the backdrop of the majestic Pacific Ocean to proclaim their endless love to one another. A runner of white fabric outlines the bride’s grand entrance and leads to a beautiful gazebo dressed in seasonal flowers overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The package also offers flexible beauty options, as the couple can pick between one makeup and hairstyle session or one deluxe manicure. The newlyweds will also be able to enjoy a 50-minute couple’s relaxing massage at the Sea Cabanas, perched on the slopes of Mt. Solmar. For the Adrenaline Junkies: Rancho San Lucas Package at Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa ($5,399 USD) Couples seeking an action-packed package featuring a blend of beach and desert landscapes should look no further than the Rancho San Lucas package. Couples looking for adventure will be thrilled with the property’s saltwater lagoon which encompasses 120,069 ft³ and boasts sand-coated walls and floor along with decorative stones that were extracted from the Baja California Sur region. Additionally, the bride and groom along with all wedding guests are invited to jump off the hotel’s water slide or rope swing to plunge into the lagoon. The wedding entertainment begins with an hour of Harpist or Violinist during the ceremony, and includes 4 hours of DJ service to dance the sophisticated night away. The wedding guests will have a unique souvenir to take home with the one hour photobooth service also offered in the package. Finally, the couple has the choice of one makeup and hairstyle, or one deluxe pedicure, and one deluxe manicure and pedicure. For the Zen Seekers: Inspiration Package at Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa ($2,399 USD) Solmar Beach’s sweeping views mark the beginning to ‘I do’ for couples that choose the inspiration package. The ceremony will take place beachside, under a flower laced huppah with soft white fabric overlooking the ocean. The sound of crashing waves of the Pacific will not overpower the ceremony, as the package includes a sound system. The newlyweds will have a chance to relax with their choice of a soothing 30-minute back, neck, and shoulder massage or Hydrating facial. The inspiration package takes a special twist for those looking to relive the magical destination wedding experience again, as it includes a one year anniversary gift certificate for two nights. For the ‘Less is More’ Duet: Sweet Package at Solmar Resort ($1,299 USD)The first resort of the Solmar collection offers the Baja charm and minimalist setting that characterizes the sweet package. In addition to the aforementioned basics, couples will be able to lovingly say ‘I do’ under a decorated huppah with seasonal flowers, and toast to their everlasting love after the ceremony with an included bottle of sparkling wine. No matter which property couples choose to celebrate their union in marriage, Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ variety of packages offer multiple beginnings to a ‘happily ever after’. For more information and reservations, visit www.solmar.com/weddings. About Solmar Hotels & Resorts Since 1974, Solmar Hotels & Resorts has been welcoming guests to its collection of seven all-suite resorts located in Baja California Sur’s most desired beach destinations. Within the award-winning portfolio is Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa, Grand Solmar The Residences at Rancho San Lucas, Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, The Ridge at Playa Grande, Solmar Resort and Quinta del Sol by Solmar. Offering the quintessential, authentic Baja Mexico experience, Solmar Hotels & Resorts prides itself on providing high caliber service standards and warm hospitality. For more information about Solmar Hotels & Resorts, visit www.solmar.com, Instagram @SolmarResorts and Facebook page.
‘Technology in Media’ was the focus of a presentation by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) at the first Information Technology (IT) Exposition hosted on Friday, (November 16), by the Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”. The event, held under the theme: ‘Technology in Motion’, was attended by a number of organisations, representatives of which presented on how technology enhances work in various fields. Explaining the reason for staging the event, Acting Head of the IT Department at the all-girls school, Patrice Pryce, pointed to the rapid growth of technology globally and the need for the students to understand how technology enhances the various career fields. “Technology is everywhere and we just want to get the girls sensitised. They think IT is a career by itself and we (also) want them to know that it is a part of every single career,” Mrs. Pryce told JIS News. She said that JIS was a good choice for showcasing the integration of technology into the daily activities of the media. As the information arm of the Government of Jamaica, the JIS is a multi-faceted communication agency, which offers a wide range of media products and services for print, radio, television and the web. “The young people are going into media and we want them to know that in media there is technology,” Mrs. Pryce said. JIS Systems Administrator, Andre Allen, conducted a dynamic presentation, illustrating technology and its various applications, including software and hardware, which are employed in the production of JIS’ programmes. “It is important to see that IT is not something that you just learn about in class as theory. It is something that we must utlise in our various departments at work in a very practical way to produce books, news releases, videos for TV, audio for radio and of course, all the material you find on our website,” Mr. Allen said. Sixth form IT student of the school, Toussan Cawley, acknowledged the importance of technology in modern lifestyles and how essential it is to keep abreast with the various gadgets and methods. “Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and I’m young so I don’t want to be left behind,” she stated. The exposition began with an opening ceremony, followed by presentations from representatives of various agencies to groups of students in various locations on the campus. Other organisations included GeoInformatics Institute, Hawkeye, Guardian Life, Johnson and Johnson, The Gleaner, Teens for Technology, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Supreme Court.
National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says he is targeting a further reduction in all crimes for 2013. Jamaica recorded a seven per cent reduction in murders, shootings and other serious crimes in 2012, to register the lowest number of offences the country has seen since 2004. [RELATED: Murders at Nine-Year Low] Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on January 16, Mr. Bunting pointed out that while the reduction in murders was not as low as many would have liked, it was the lowest the country had seen in nine years with 1,087 being reported. The Minister further informed that he will be implementing a number of measures over the course of the year, and beyond, in an effort to achieve his target. Among them is the training of an additional 5,000 soldiers and police officers to boost the crime fighting capacity of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). “The approved establishment for the JCF is about 12,000 and the approved establishment for the JDF is about 5,500 and in aggregate, we were about 5,000 below that – about 9,000 roughly for JCF and about 3,500 for the JDF,” he pointed out. Mr. Bunting said his goal, therefore, is to increase the strength of the security forces to the approved establishment. He said that over the next five years the Ministry has set a target to recruit and train an additional 5,000 security personnel for the JDF and JCF. This recruitment and training programme has already been implemented with much success, he informed. Additionally, the Minister said one of the main crime fighting initiatives for 2013 will be increased vehicle checkpoints in many areas. “These checkpoints are not random. They are intelligence driven and are intended to obstruct the free movement of criminals,” he said. “Criminals can’t feel like they can move around with guns, with assault rifles freely without serious risk of being confronted by the police,” he argued. However, the Minister emphasized that the Government was against extra-judicial killings, which would be investigated by the Independent Investigation Commission (INDECOM). “We do assessments carefully to ensure that every use of lethal force is justified and if it is not justified, then INDECOM, on completion of their investigations, are going to recommend that those persons be charged,” he said. Mr. Bunting said the Ministry is also looking to increase mobility for members of the JDF and JCF by an additional 500 vehicles. “Roughly 50 per cent of the effort of the military in normal times is in support of policing, whether on land or the coast guard or the air wing. So, the 500 vehicles are really what we would provide each year between the police and the military,” the Minister noted.
Pre-selection for the Overseas Employment Programme, administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will be held between June 26 and July 17.This programme provides opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans on Canadian and American farms yearly.Recruitment for the programme is done based on the needs of employers.The last recruitment was done in 2015 and resulted in a pool of approximately 3,000 persons from which to select.To ensure successful placement in the programme, persons must satisfy a number of requirements. Candidates must:• Be between 21 and 45 years old• Possess a Tax Registration Number (TRN) and a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) number• Possess a valid passport• Be literate• Have not been refused a visa in the last year by the Canadian or United States of America authorities• Not have been previously deported from any country• Possess no criminal recordApplication forms are available through several avenues, including Members of Parliament, mayors and councillors, the Ministry’s parish offices, civic organisations, trade unions and agricultural schools.After the forms have been completed and submitted to the Ministry, they are processed and then interviews are scheduled islandwide.Normally, four locations are visited across the country – 110-114 East Street in Kingston; Mandeville, Manchester; Montego Bay, St. James and St. Ann.Director of Manpower Services in the Ministry, Andrea Miller Stennett, explains to JIS News that after the interview stage, candidates are put in a pool for placement.“They are then required to submit a police record before they do a medical examination. If the candidates are found to be in good health, they are placed with an employer and then we call them to do biometric tests,” she outlines.They then fulfil the visa requirements for Canada or the United States, after which travel arrangements are made.Mrs. Miller-Stennett, however, cautions candidates that even if they have met the requirements outlined by the Ministry, there is no guarantee that they will be employed.“The Ministry cannot guarantee placement on any farm overseas, even if the candidates are successful with our processes, because there is a visa process that they have to go through where the Canadian and US authorities make a determination as to whether or not they are admissible,” she says.Approximately 375 farmworkers left the island for Canada in January. Last year, 15,611 workers participated in the Overseas Employment Programme. Of this figure, 8,934, or more than 50 per cent, went to Canada. This represented an increase of 844 new workers when compared with the same period in 2015.More information on the Overseas Employment Programme can be found on the Ministry’s website: www.mlss.gov.jm or by calling 922-9500-14. Story Highlights To ensure successful placement in the programme, persons must satisfy a number of requirements. Recruitment for the Overseas Employment Programme, administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will be held between June 26 and July 17. Approximately 375 farmworkers left the island for Canada in January. Last year, 15,611 workers participated in the Overseas Employment Programme. Of this figure, 8,934, or more than 50 per cent, went to Canada. This represented an increase of 844 new workers when compared with the same p
The Government is targeting a reduction in the development approval process timeline from 90 to 60 days by March 2018. Speaking at the signing of the loan agreement with World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston on June 28, Mr. Shaw said the loan will also support the Administration’s targeted programme of fiscal consolidation and enhanced public financial management. Story Highlights The Government is targeting a reduction in the development approval process timeline from 90 to 60 days by March 2018.Additionally, the Administration has taken steps to reduce the time taken to establish a business by facilitating an electronic registration process, Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has said.These measures, he indicated, form part of the thrust to further improve Jamaica’s investment climate and competitiveness by removing impediments to the ease of doing business in order to facilitate investors.They are among the programmed reforms for which the World Bank has provided the Second Competitiveness and Fiscal Management Programmatic Development Policy Loan (DPL) in the sum of J$9.01 billion (US$70 million) for Jamaica.Speaking at the signing of the loan agreement with World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston on June 28, Mr. Shaw said the loan will also support the Administration’s targeted programme of fiscal consolidation and enhanced public financial management.He noted that this is another priority area for the Government which, he assured, remains committed to improving public efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness.To this end, Mr. Shaw said several initiatives aimed at achieving better expenditure oversight and management through public procurement and public sector pension management reforms are being targeted.He further said the Public Investment Management System has been established within the Finance Ministry to streamline the appraisal, approval and management of all public investments.Mr. Shaw said the provision is welcome as it will support the Government’s undertaking to achieve and fast-track higher levels of economic growth, provide additional employment, reduce poverty levels and inequality and streamline Jamaica’s energy sources, in addition to encouraging better fiscal management and strengthening the business climate.“The Government of Jamaica stands resolute in its commitment to this programme of reforms and welcomes the continued invaluable contribution of the World Bank. Jamaica looks forward to reaping the positive effects of the reforms on the economy and anticipates continued collaboration with the Bank in support of the Government’s overall growth objectives,” he added.For her part, Mrs. Sotirova said the loan is the third of three DPLs totalling approximately J$34.8 billion (US$270 million), which the Bank has provided under its Country Strategy for Jamaica since 2014.She indicated that it is a testament to the institution’s faith in Jamaica’s sustained and strong commitment to implementing a “really ambitious” reform programme “which has led to a favourable economic outlook.”In this regard, Mrs. Sotirova anticipates that Jamaica’s economic performance will continue improving, once the Administration stays the course.She also reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment “to be Jamaica’s long-standing partner in the implementation of an ambitious and sustained reform programme…and in bringing about prosperity and development for the Jamaican people.”Jamaica’s last loan allocation was the J$9.7 billion (US$75 million) First Competitiveness and Fiscal Management Programmatic provision, disbursed in March 2015, and which funded the initial phase of the Government’s reform agenda.The country has benefitted from a total of J$77.9 billion (US$605 million) in World Bank funding support for the overall reform programme. Additionally, the Administration has taken steps to reduce the time taken to establish a business by facilitating an electronic registration process, Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has said.
“We continue to argue that Garvey’s actions were not criminal, but were acts of liberation with moral justification. The Bill should be brought to the House in October to absolve National Heroes, including Garvey, and other freedom fighters of criminal liabilities arising from their acts of liberation and connected matters. Story Highlights Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is moving to clear National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, of all criminal charges that were laid against him in Jamaica. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is moving to clear National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, of all criminal charges that were laid against him in Jamaica.Addressing a civic ceremony to commemorate the 130 th birthday of Jamaica’sfirst National Hero, held at Lawrence Park, St. Ann, on August 17, the Minister said a Bill is being finalised that is aimed at absolving a number of iconic Jamaicans, including Mr. Garvey, of what she described as “acts of liberation”.The Bill will be presented to Parliament.“We continue to argue that Garvey’s actions were not criminal, but were acts of liberation with moral justification. The Bill should be brought to the House in October to absolve National Heroes, including Garvey, and other freedom fighters of criminal liabilities arising from their acts of liberation and connected matters. By including Garvey in this Bill, we are moving to ensure that his record will be totally cleared,” the Minister said.Ms. Grange said despite several failed attempts to get Marcus Garvey’s name cleared of criminal charges in the United States, the Government remains unrelenting in efforts to achieve that goal.“As a country, we have done a number of things to honour this great son of Jamaica and to remove the blots against his name… . We cannot give up this fight to clear his name,” the Minister emphasised.Meanwhile, Ms. Grange said in bad and good times, Jamaicans can take courage from the work of the National Hero as well as the statue which stands tall in Lawrence Park, St. Ann’s Bay.“Garvey’s statue looms large, and is a reminder of his influence on the world stage, a reminder of his determination, not just to uplift black people but to help us understand our innate power. In true Jamaican style, Garvey showed that nothing is impossible, despite opposition,” the Minister added.She praised Marcus Garvey for the role he played in influencing world leaders and power brokers to stop and take a look, not only at him and his work but at Jamaica, the country of his birth.The Minister said that the government of Namibia has advised the Jamaican Government that the main street in that country’s capital, Windhoek, will be renamed in honour of Marcus Garvey, with the ceremony set for later this year.
Scores of students from a number of high schools in the Corporate Area turned out for the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) Ninth Annual Anti-Tobacco Youth Forum held recently at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.The event was part of a cadre of activities in observation of Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month.While the key focus of the event was on tobacco use, other unhealthy practices such as poor eating habits and physical inactivity were also addressed.Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who addressed the students, urged them to make wise choices as it relates to their health.He lamented that there is a growing prevalence of physical inactivity among the youth.“Youngsters today are more interested in engaging with their electronic devices, and so they are living a more sedentary lifestyle than their predecessors,” he pointed out.Dr. Tufton encouraged the students to take the information garnered back to their homes and communities.He said they should encourage those they care about to practise a healthy lifestyle, including adopting good eating habits and getting annual check-ups.Executive Director of the JCS, Yulit Gordon, for her part, charged the young people in attendance to be responsible in their decision-making as it relates to their well-being, and avoid the dangerous practice of tobacco smoking.She indicated that tobacco-related illnesses globally have severely impacted healthcare systems, and a number of countries, including Jamaica, have moved to implement tobacco regulations to minimise the overall impact of tobacco use.Ms. Gordon further appealed to those who may have already begun using tobacco to take advantage of a cessation programme that is available through the JCS and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA). Ms. Gordon further appealed to those who may have already begun using tobacco to take advantage of a cessation programme that is available through the JCS and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA). Story Highlights Executive Director of the JCS, Yulit Gordon, for her part, charged the young people in attendance to be responsible in their decision-making as it relates to their well-being, and avoid the dangerous practice of tobacco smoking. Scores of students from a number of high schools in the Corporate Area turned out for the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) Ninth Annual Anti-Tobacco Youth Forum held recently at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
Story Highlights According to Director of Child Labour in the Ministry, Sacha Deer Gordon, the initiative will entail creating vulnerability maps that highlight areas where child labour is suspected to be taking place, for monitoring and eventual action. She was speaking at a recent labour forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is intensifying efforts to curtail child labour in Jamaica through a ‘Risk Identification Model’ programme being implemented to identify communities where this illicit activity is occurring, in order to facilitate interventions.According to Director of Child Labour in the Ministry, Sacha Deer Gordon, the initiative will entail creating vulnerability maps that highlight areas where child labour is suspected to be taking place, for monitoring and eventual action.She was speaking at a recent labour forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew.Ms. Gordon said the system will allow the authorities to “identify the highest probability where child labour may occur, and in what sector”.She cited a recent Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) study that revealed an estimated 38,000 children are involved in child labour locally.The Director said once the victims are identified, “we put plans in place to interrupt that trajectory”, adding that steps are taken to monitor their recovery, because “we don’t want them to re-enter child labour”.Ms. Gordon pointed out that business owners employing children under age 13 to work in their establishments are in breach of the Child Care and Protection Act, which stipulates that youngsters up to the age of 14 years can only be engaged in “light work” for no more than 14 hours per week.The Act further stipulates that children, aged 15, can only engage in full employment if they have completed secondary education.“But they cannot be engaged in hazardous work [below] age 16… and it has to be done under supervision and with proper instructions,” she said.Ms. Gordon said the Government continues to discourage child labour, emphasising that “it is something that we are saying must stop”.Efforts to this end include the Ministry’s establishment of a National Steering Committee, which meets monthly and utilises various mechanisms designed to promote child rights.Child labour is a criminal offence, with penalties ranging from $250,000 or three months’ imprisonment to a maximum of $1 million. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is intensifying efforts to curtail child labour in Jamaica through a ‘Risk Identification Model’ programme being implemented to identify communities where this illicit activity is occurring, in order to facilitate interventions.
All of us have faced difficulties and disappointments of one kind or another during the year, which is now closing. However, even as we look back on the challenges we experienced this year, we recognize the meaning of the Season, the traditions and the symbols which give us cause to enjoy the unique feeling that this special time of year brings. Story Highlights We celebrate another Christmas as a nation, and we are grateful for the reminders of the power of peace and goodwill in shaping our lives. Christmas is a time that brings together families, friends, and communities, in thanksgiving and celebration, for the gifts and blessings we have received throughout the year. My fellow Jamaicans at home and abroad,We celebrate another Christmas as a nation, and we are grateful for the reminders of the power of peace and goodwill in shaping our lives. Christmas is a time that brings together families, friends, and communities, in thanksgiving and celebration, for the gifts and blessings we have received throughout the year.All of us have faced difficulties and disappointments of one kind or another during the year, which is now closing. However, even as we look back on the challenges we experienced this year, we recognize the meaning of the Season, the traditions and the symbols which give us cause to enjoy the unique feeling that this special time of year brings.We fully embrace any opportunity to engage with each other in an atmosphere of cordiality and conviviality, and to appreciate how good it is to ‘dwell together in unity.’ At the heart of this fellowship and goodwill is the true message of Christmas- that of building harmonious relationships, and a world where peace reigns in the hearts of humankind.In the spirit of the Season, I urge us all to focus our minds on all that is positive in our past – our values, our faith, and our generosity of spirit. It is equally important for us to recognize where we have fallen short in our responsibilities to the vulnerable; draw inspiration from the Christmas Message, and resolve to correct our oversight or neglect.As we spend time in reflection and renewal, let us:• Remember and sympathise with, those who are spending their first Christmas without a loved one who was taken by crime, illness, road fatality, or other travails.• Spend some quiet time in taking stock of our individual lives, and our impact on community and country.• Strengthen the bonds of responsible family life, and protect our children.• Be constructive with our suggestions as we are critical of our faults.• Renew our long-term resolve to serve those in need and show kindness to those experiencing difficulties.• And let us continue to exude the warmth and generosity which reflect the best of our Jamaican traditions.During this time of faith and family, I hope you will experience the love, gladness and heart of Christmas.Lady Allen joins me in wishing for everyone a safe, holy, peaceful and joyous Christmas Season.Happy Holidays everyone, and may God bless us all. We fully embrace any opportunity to engage with each other in an atmosphere of cordiality and conviviality, and to appreciate how good it is to ‘dwell together in unity.’ At the heart of this fellowship and goodwill is the true message of Christmas- that of building harmonious relationships, and a world where peace reigns in the hearts of humankind.
Addressing the setting of the Council earlier in the day, Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, said the prohibition is a temporary measure and is being implemented to regulate the use of the areas. Story Highlights Representatives from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) will be meeting with party promoters on Tuesday (April 9) regarding the decision to ban the staging of entertainment events at parking lots in New Kingston. He noted that in some instances, persons use the parking lots without the requisite amusement approvals or authorisation from the municipality. Representatives from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) will be meeting with party promoters on Tuesday (April 9) regarding the decision to ban the staging of entertainment events at parking lots in New Kingston.Addressing the setting of the Council earlier in the day, Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, said the prohibition is a temporary measure and is being implemented to regulate the use of the areas.He noted that in some instances, persons use the parking lots without the requisite amusement approvals or authorisation from the municipality.“We will continue to support the creative industries but must do so with order. We have to ensure that there is a standard and protocols established for dealing with the use and clean-up. We have to establish conditions, and the promoters have to agree to that… and abide by what they agree to (or) we just can’t do it,” he said.Senator Williams said that the objective of the municipality is to bring order to the process and ensure effective monitoring of the parking lots, especially on weekends.“There is no 24-hour security at the parking lots, so people just turn up like a Saturday night or Sunday night and they use the parking lot for an event and we wake Monday morning to hear that an event was held,” he pointed out.“It’s generally an order issue, so it is (the) clean-up issue. It’s also the time when you do it, and that you are adhering to said times… . It is an issue of structure and order. We have to do these things but do it in a particular way that takes into consideration all the different factors,” he added.Senator Williams said after the meeting, “I’m very sure that we will have a structure to move forward; a structure that is agreed to by all.”The temporary prohibition was announced recently by the municipality.
Press Release zoom The port of Antwerp handled a freight volume of 148,344,168 tonnes during the first nine months of this year. That’s 3.7% more than the same period last year. Both the container volume and the liquid bulk volume were strongly up, which helps to explain the continuing growth. If the port stays on trend it will finish this year with a new record freight volume, breaking the last year’s all-time record of 190.8 million tonnes.The container volume rose during the first nine months by 6.0% to 81,127,972 tonnes, while the liquid bulk volume expanded during the past three quarters by 3.8% to 46,163,344 tonnes. The dry bulk volume came to 10,235,255 tonnes, a decrease of 6.5% compared with the same period last year. Once again, the amount of coal handled is mainly responsible for the decrease, having contracted by 39.6% or 1,175,659 tonnes during the past nine months.The number of ships calling at Antwerp during the past nine months was 10,526, a decrease of 2.3%. However the gross tonnage rose further by 1.9% to 251,604,830 GT, thus confirming the trend towards fewer but larger and more heavily laden ships coming to Antwerp.The port of Antwerp generated direct added value of EUR 9.9 billion (USD 12.5bn) in 2013, according to a flash estimate by the National Bank of Belgium. This puts the port slightly below the level for 2012, down by 1.6%. The direct employment rose in 2013 by 1.0%, to 61,873 full-time equivalents.At the beginning of this month the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington gave the go-ahead for 2M, the alliance between Maersk and MSC that is due to start operation at the beginning of next year and that has opted resolutely for Antwerp. The port maintains three calls on the route from the Far East, but in one of the calls Antwerp is the only port in the Benelux with both an import and an export call. On the trans-Atlantic route Antwerp goes from two to three calls.
zoom Indian-owned dry bulk specialist Mercator Lines (Singapore) Limited will not be run by an interim judicial manager as requested by the company’s creditor, the Singapore branch of HSH Nordbank AG.As World Maritime News reported yesterday, HSH Nordbank AG asked for an interim judicial manager to be appointed while the financially troubled company is undergoing restructuring. However, the bank’s application was dismissed by the High Court of Singapore on November 12.Following the request for an interim judicial manager to be appointed filed by HSH Nordbank on November 9, Mercator Lines requested for the trading of its shares at the Singapore Exchange to be suspended as of November 12.Mercator Lines is set to meet its creditor in court again on November 20, when the High Court of Singapore will hold two hearings in relation to the case, one for an application for leave to convene a meeting of scheme creditors to consider a Scheme of Arrangement filed by Mercator Lines, and the other for HSH Nordbank’s application for a judicial management.Following a USD 11.9 million net loss recorded for the quarter ended September 30, Mercator Lines marked three and a half years of consecutive losses.
zoom Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has restructured its existing US East Coast – West Coast South America route to connect Europe with East Coast South America, via the Strait of Magellan, West Coast South America, and West Coast Central America. The revised service, which offers a direct service from East Coast South America to West Coast South America and West Coast Central America, comes on the back of the company’s new vehicle transport contract.Namely, MOL signed an agreement to provide car carrier services for Toyota Argentina S.A. (TASA) to ports on West Coast South America and West Coast Central America.Vehicles produced at the country’s Zarate plant would be exported to the majority of the Latin American Region, the company said.The first shipment on the newly inaugurated route was launched on August 10 from the Port of Zarate, Buenos Aires.
zoom Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) is planning to cut its shipbuilding activities as the company decided to cease taking orders for large passenger ships, Nikkei newspaper cited undisclosed sources.The company reportedly opted for the move amid a plunge of 80 percent in new shipbuilding orders so far this year.Nikkei further reported that MHI would spin off its design and development division and share shipyards with other shipbuilders.After experiencing cost overruns in its cruise ship sector, the company decided to review its future position in the cruise shipbuilding industry, The Financial Times earlier said.MHI booked additional extraordinary loss of JPY 50.8 billion (USD 457.1 million) in its cruise ship business for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015 due to the delay in delivery of German-based cruise line Aida Cruises’ two new cruise ships AIDAprima and AIDAperla, ordered from the shipbuilder in November 2011.The additional amount pushed MHI’s overall extraordinary losses throughout fiscal year 2015 to JPY 103.9 billion.World Maritime News Staff
zoom Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä has been selected to equip the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled offshore construction vessel, being built at the Cosco shipyard in China, with propulsion machinery.Ordered by Belgian ship operator Dredging International (DEME), the vessel will feature Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engines, an LNGPac fuel storage, supply system and propulsion systems. The orders with Wärtsilä were booked in the fourth quarter of 2016 and in February 2017.The 210-metre-long vessel, the Orion, will be powered by four 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel electric propulsion engines, and two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines. Wärtsilä will also supply two custom made retractable thrusters, four underwater demountable thrusters, the Wärtsilä LNGPac storage and supply system, as well as commissioning, site supervision and extended project management services. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in the latter part of 2017.“The decision to utilise clean burning LNG fuel represents our commitment to provide environmentally sustainable solutions for our operations. Wärtsilä has extensive experience and vast technological know-how in this field, which is why we have selected them as our partner in this project,” Jan Gabriel, Head of newbuilding and conversion department at DEME, said.Scheduled to be delivered to its owners in 2018, the Orion will undertake operations involving the installation of offshore windfarms in locations around the world.
zoom The rate of import growth at US major retail container ports has begun to slow, but volume should nonetheless hit an all-time high by the end of the summer, the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates informed.“Year-over-year comparisons are slowing down but that’s largely because we had some unusual numbers early this year and strong volume in the second half of last year,” Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, said.“Despite that, we’re expecting some of the largest import volumes we’ve ever seen, and that’s because retailers are responding to strong consumer demand,” Gold added.US ports covered by NRF’s Global Port Tracker handled 1.61 million TEUs in April, representing an increase of 4.8 percent from March and 11.3 percent from April 2016.May was estimated at 1.69 million TEU, up 3.9 percent from the same time last year. June is forecast at 1.64 million TEU, up 4.1 percent from last year; July at 1.68 million TEU, up 3.5 percent; August at 1.74 million TEU, up 1.6 percent; September at 1.64 million TEU, up 2.8 percent, and October at 1.69 million TEU, up 1.3 percent.“The August figure would be the highest monthly volume recorded since NRF began tracking imports in 2000, topping the 1.73 million TEU seen in March 2015,” NRF said, added that the May and October numbers would be among the five highest ever recorded. The first half of 2017 is expected to total 9.6 million TEU, up 6.4 percent from the first half of 2016.The falling rate of growth in imports has been reflected in lower industrial output growth at factories in China, which increased 6.5 percent in April compared with 7.6 percent in March and is expected to drop further when May numbers are released, Ben Hackett, Hackett Associates founder, said“We can assume that part of the reason for the lower-than-expected increase was due to continuing slow growth in the Western Hemisphere,” Hackett said. “Retail sales continue to hold up but nothing coming out of Washington suggests an impetus to growth.”
zoom Vitol Netherlands has acquired 19.62% of the total voting capital of Latvian Shipping Company (LSC), LSC said citing a notification from energy and commodities company Vitol.This is equivalent to a total of 39,249,118 shares in the tanker shipping company.The sum Vitol paid for the shares was not disclosed.Since 2002, the largest shareholder of LSC has been Vitol’s subsidiary JSC Ventspils Nafta, owning 49.94% of the share capital.Given that Vitol’s existing shares in LSC amount to 99,880,361, the group’s total shareholding is now equivalent to 69.56% of the voting capital of LSC, the shipping company said in a statement.Currently, LSC’s fleet is comprised of sixteen Handy and MR ships with carrying capacities from 37,211 to 52,684 tons.
zoom French major CMA CGM has agreed to extend time charter contracts with containership charter owner Global Ship Lease (GSL) for two 2,207 TEU containerships.The vessels in question are the 2002-built Julie Delmas and the 2003-built Delmas Keta, which will be chartered for a period of 12 months, plus or minus 45 days at charterer’s option.The deal was agreed at a fixed rate of USD 7,800 per vessel per day, starting immediately upon expiration of the current time charters on September 11 and 20, 2017, respectively.Extension of charters for two containerships maintains fully chartered fleet on fixed-rate contracts“We are delighted to have secured extensions for these two time charters with the current charterer, CMA CGM, on an EBITDA positive basis. These agreements are consistent with our strategy of operating our 18-vessel fleet on fixed-rate contracts and our track record of maintaining fleet-wide utilization near 100%, thus enabling us to benefit from a predictable and stable cashflow stream,” Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, saidAs of August 31, 2017, GSL’s fleet has an average remaining charter term of 3.1 years, or 3.3 years weighted by TEU capacity, representing USD 530 million of contracted revenue.Looking forward, Webber added that supportive long-term fundamentals and an improving supply/demand balance for mid-sized and smaller containerships “will lead to continued market strengthening, further enhancing the rechartering prospects and economic value of our fleet.”
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay A new marine insurance blockchain platform backed by Maersk Group has been launched today to support marine hull insurance.Named Insurwave, the platform has been built by a joint venture between EY and Guardtime and leverages blockchain and distributed ledger technologies Microsoft Azure infrastructure and ACORD data standards.The platform is planned to support more than half a million automated ledger transactions and help manage risk for more than 1,000 commercial vessels in the first year.“By connecting participants in a secure, private network with an accurate, immutable audit trail and services to execute processes, the platform establishes a first of its kind digital insurance value chain,” a press statement from the platform developers reads.Industry leader A.P. Møller-Maersk is supporting the development of the blockchain technology as a pilot client and is continuing on the platform with its marine hull portfolio. Insurance industry leaders Willis Towers Watson, XL Catlin are also taking part in the project.“Our ambition is to drive the digital transformation of the transport and logistics industry and we see this platform as a testament to the value that can be extracted from streamlining areas of our industry that still rely on manual and often complex procedures.“Operating around 350 owned container vessels across the world, marine insurance takes up considerable resources for us. Moving it to this platform is helping us automate manual processes and alleviate a range of inefficiencies and frictional costs in the way we have used to trade marine insurance,” Lars Henneberg, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S Head of Risk and Insurance, said.The project moved from a concept a year ago to a fully functioning platform. However, the developers plan to expand the portfolio of the platform to other transport sectors.“The first phase of Insurwave rollout is focused on marine insurance, and EY, Guardtime and Microsoft plan to roll it out to other types of business insurance for the marine cargo, global logistics, aviation and energy sectors,” Shaun Crawford, EY Global Insurance Leader, said.According to insurance industry majors blockchain is set to disrupt the insurance industry.“With this blockchain, we are bringing together — for the first time — all the parties of the insurance value chain on a single platform. Ultimately, through the use of IoT and smart contracts, policies will be updated automatically to reflect the risks covered; and this combination of technologies will help improve efficiency in claims assessment and payment. Those are tangible wins for our clients, no matter their industry. And with the platform going live, we are now ready to start working on opening it up to other insurance segments,” Martin Henley, Chief Information Officer, XL Catlin, says.
zoomImage Courtesy: Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center – JRCC Larnaca Two crew members were seriously injured in an explosion aboard a Malta-flagged chemical tanker in the morning hours of December 29, according to Cypriot authorities.The 7,000 dwt tanker Athlos suffered an explosion, followed by a fire, some 3 nautical miles off the southern coast of Cyprus.The explosion threw five crew members overboard. Cypriot authorities recovered the seafarers and transferred all five, two of whom suffering extensive burns, to a hospital.The 2010-built vessel was crewed by 17 seafarers at the time of the incident, including 7 Greeks, 9 Indians and 1 Georgian. The explosion occurred shortly after the ship sailed from the port of Larnaca.Only hours after the incident, Cypriot authorities confirmed that the fire aboard Athlos, which is operated by the Greek shipping firm Enea Management, was under control.World Maritime News Staff