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Breaking News: Shots fired at OMC leader Olivier Arrindell and his wife.

~ Wife shot to death. ~

PHILIPSBURG:--- Gunmen fired shots at the leader of the Oualichi Movement for Change (OMC), Olivier Arrindell, somewhere in the Cupe Coy area tonight.
SMN News learned that Arrindell was also shot but not severely injured. SMN News further learned that Arrindell’s wife was assassinated as shots were also fired at her. The source further explained that the woman was shot in the front seat of a car that Arrindell drove. Arrindell then drove his vehicle and rushed to the Sonesta Maho Resort, where his wife died in his car in the taxi parking area of the resort. Arrindell ran for cover in the resort lobby.

Arrindell’s young daughter was also in the vehicle; SMN News also learned Lawrence Lake was also shot.
In a short video, Arrindell announced he was shot and showed his followers the wound he received, but he did not mention the status of his wife. In a second video, Arrindell said that an attempt was made on his life and that he was shot in his back; he also said he is holding all political parties accountable for attempted murder.
Police Spokesman Felix Richards confirmed that a shooting took place somewhere in the Maho/ Cupe Coy area.  Richards said that based on preliminary information he received, three persons had been shot and that two of the victims were in good condition. At the same time, Ambulance personnel were busy working on the third person.

Police have since confirmed that the third victim, a female, is deceased. The deceased has been identified as "Sabine".


Continuation Public Meeting of Parliament regarding approval of the outline agreement ENNIA & Ratification of the decision list of IPKO.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will sit in a Public meeting on July 18, 2024.

The Public meeting, which was adjourned on June 27, 2024, will be reconvened on Thursday at 11.00 hrs. in the Legislative Hall at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of Finance will be present.

 

The agenda points are:
2. Approval of the Outline Agreement ENNIA, including Annexes A, B, and C (IS/621/2023-2024 dated April 19, 2024)
3. Ratification of the decision list of the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) held from June 7-10, 2024, in the Hague, the Netherlands (IS/798/2023-2024 dated June 11, 2024)

 

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

All persons visiting the House of Parliament must adhere to the house rules.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary sessions will be carried live on TV 15, Soualiga Headlines, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, www.pearlfmradio.sx and www.youtube.com/c/SintMaartenParliament

 

SZV and Minister of Public Health sound alarm for urgent health financing reform.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Over the years, Social & Health Insurances SZV has been flexible in its policies to include measures that allow director majority shareholders (DMS) who fall outside the scope of the law to get access to medical insurance. However, in recent cases where SZV attempted to collect unpaid premiums for the registered insured, the Court of First Instance reminded SZV that premiums for sickness, accident, and severance insurance could only be collected for the registered insured, as defined by the respective ordinances. SZV is now faced with the risk of being non-compliant with the laws and increased financial risk, and as a result, has been conducting urgent meetings with the Ministry of Public Health and stakeholders to emphasize the urgency of implementing changes to the Sickness and Accident and Cessantia National Ordinances.
“The urgency we are faced with to address these changes in the law is not new. We continue to get one step closer to realizing that more persons can access health insurance, but the time is now to have these laws implemented finally. SZV is being reminded to be more strict in implementing the laws, but in doing so, it will have a major social and financial impact. We continue to be as flexible as we can, so people do not suffer more than they have to, but the real solution is to change the laws.” – Mr. Glen A. Carty, SZV Director.

An example of a group of persons who fall outside the scope of the law includes company directors who own more than 50% of the company's shares. In accordance with case law, the DMS cannot be regarded as an employee within the meaning of the National Ordinances for Sickness, Accident, as well as for the Cessantia National Insurance, due to the lack of authority relationship (In Dutch: gezagsverhouding).
SZV management has recently decided to move forward with its people-centric approach and delay the implementation of the DMS policy effective September 1, 2024. This policy entailed the cancellation of insurance for director majority shareholders who were registered as insured employees prior to September 1, 2022. This decision to delay is until further notice and is based on a broad analysis of the expected social and financial impact during the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“It is clear that we need to secure access to health insurance for a wider group of persons in our community. SZV has been addressing these persons' concerns, which includes additional assessments to provide alternative options for getting access to insurance from SZV or otherwise. Together with SZV, we will work towards realizing fast-tracked changes in the laws and policies, where possible. Compliance with the laws is important, and as we look toward Health Financing Reforms, we must create laws and policies that support the prosperity of our people, the health and wealth of our country.” - Minister of VSA, Veronica Jansen-Webster.
Company directors who are registered at SZV will be informed via e-mail and the SZV Employer Portal of the recent developments surrounding their insurance entitlement and next steps. SZV takes this opportunity to remind all employers to ensure that their company information, contact details, and employee registry are up to date in the Employer Portal, as this greatly improves the communication exchange with SZV about their registration, decisions, and compliance support.

ODM calls on Boat Owners/Mariners to Review Hurricane Season Preparatory Plans.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):---  The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is advising boat owners/mariners to review their hurricane preparatory plans, so they can be ready to take action in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the country during the upcoming peak months of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season which is from mid-August to mid-October.

ODM is requesting mariners to make special preparations to stay with friends or in a hotel and not to remain on their vessel during the passing of a hurricane while moored in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond.

ODM is also calling on the marine community and service providers who have a direct relationship with mariners to also remind their clients about seeking safe shelter/mooring in the event of a storm/hurricane strike.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and resources you need on how to prepare your family, home, or business for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” The information here is also valuable for new residents.

Listen to the Government Radio station SXMGOV – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. You can also follow weather related news and information as well as national addresses by the Prime Minister, chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) by going to @SXMGOV Facebook Page.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

Public Entity Saba Launches User-Friendly and Enhanced Government Website.

SABA—As part of the ongoing efforts to enhance digital services and accessibility for Saba's residents, the Public Entity is proud to announce the launch of phase one of its newly updated government website on July 22, 2024.
As part of phase one, the new website features a refreshed visual interface designed to make navigation simple and intuitive. Residents and visitors will find it easier than ever to access essential information about various government departments, processes, and services. With the addition of detailed descriptions of departmental functions and procedures, the website aims to serve as a comprehensive resource for the community.
Key enhancements include:
Improved Accessibility: The new layout ensures that information is more accessible, with user-friendly menus and a search function to quickly find relevant content.
Online Forms and Submissions: Residents can now access and submit applications for permits, licenses, grants, and subsidies online, reducing the need for in-person visits and streamlining administrative processes.
Comprehensive Information: The website now provides extensive details on the services offered by different departments, helping residents understand and utilize government resources more effectively.
This initiative is part of the broader Saba Package Agreement (2023 - 2027), which focuses on increasing digitalization and strengthening government services. Supported by the previous State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitalization, Alexandra van Huffelen, the project underscores the commitment to modernizing public services for the benefit of all Saba residents.
Governor Jonathan Johnson remarked, "This new website is a significant step forward in our goal to enhance the usability and accessibility of government services for our community. We are excited about the positive impact it will have on our residents' daily lives."
On July 22nd, residents are encouraged to explore the first phase of the new website via the link www.sabagov.nl and take advantage of the improved features designed to make interacting with the government easier and more efficient.

 


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