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Twenty soldiers of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) Volunteer Element departed the country on Thursday, May 30th, to participate in military exercises at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, U.S.A., along with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Louisiana National Guard. The main purpose of the training exercise is to validate Combat Teams readiness for deployment. The soldiers will be trained in Wide Area Security, Combat Arm Maneuver and in Conduct of Offensive, Defensive and Stability Operations.

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The Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture was in El Salvador over the past weekend where he attended the inauguration ceremony for the new Salvadoran President, H.E. Mr. Nayib Bukele.

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UK scientists have been working with Belizean partners to tackle litter in the ocean by collecting data to reveal the extent and type of items present in the environment.

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For the first time ever, the Sir Barry Bowen Cup was presented to two graduating students and one alumni of The Island Academy during their graduation ceremony on Friday, May 31, 2019. The graduating class consisted of eight students. Madison Edwards, Louke Van Noord, Nicholas Lausen, Bryan Camal, Ryan Camal, Malik Jones, Annie Nuñez and Elizabeth Sanchez received their primary school certificates of graduation from The Island Academy. The graduating class of 2019 received their diplomas and awards for high mark, including other top students from Infant to Standard 5 classes.

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Saturday 1st June marked the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. The season runs from 1st June to 30th November 2019. However the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year, as shown by the formation of Subtropical Storm Andrea on May 20, which upon its formation marked the fifth consecutive year a storm developed before the official start of the season.

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The Ministry of Health alerts the public on the identification of products that are being sold as medicines but not officially recognized and registered by the Ministry of Health. Two recent inspections resulted in the identification and subsequent confiscation of these types of products and other related supplies from peddlers/street vendors. The Ministry advises that peddling of medicines is illegal.

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The International Costa Maya Festival is proud to introduce two beauty contestants for this year’s International Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant.

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Forty-one men and women of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) departed Belize on May 29th for Exercise Tradewinds 2019 which is being held in the Dominican Republic and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tradewinds is an annual exercise held jointly by the United States Southern Command and its multinational partners to promote regional security cooperation. This year’s exercise comprises 22 nations and over 18 different regional organizations and focuses on four main objectives.

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BTB holds its second annual BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge to promote attractions of Belize’s coastline The second Belize Tourism Board(BTB)Love Belize Sea  challenge,  a  grueling six-day  adventurous  extreme  race covering  over  218miles  of  sea paddling. The challenge commenced at Punta Gorda on May 22ndand concluded at the Rainbow Beach  in  Corozal  Town  on  Monday,  May  27thas  the  kayakers  crossed  the  finishing line  amid thunderous cheering and applauses from the spectators.

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As Hurricane Season 2019 approaches, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is stepping up its preparations, constantly assessing and enhancing its state of readiness. Tuesday, May 28, 2019, more than 20 persons from Belmopan and surrounding communities participated in a Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) Workshop.

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Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize met on Friday, May 24, 2019, with his counterpart H.E. Sandra Jovel Polanco, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, at the Organization of American States (OAS) Office at the Adjacency Zone.

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The Forest Department received a report on Saturday, May 24, 2019, at night that a jaguar had been poached in Toledo. The animal was beheaded and the carcass left near the dump area of the Punta Gorda/San Antonio road. This is the second such report of jaguar poaching in the last two years, and the pattern of beheading is the same. It is believed the poachers operate on orders of local or international buyers who seek the animal head for display or for other illegal ornamental uses.

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What authorities in Belize and Quintana Roo, Mexico and scientists never imagined in their wildest dreams, Omar Vasquez Sanchez has done! He built the first house entirely made of Sargassum, which could represent a worldwide milestone. Omar Sánchez Vázquez originally from Jalisco, lived part of his childhood in California, USA and returned Mexico to fulfill his “Mesican dream” in his birth country and created a new industry with organic materials that preserve the culture and environment.

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Twenty-five organizations and partner institutions participated representing a range of interests and areas of work

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019, volunteers from villages and communities throughout rural Belize District joined NEMO coordinators and assistant coordinators from the area for a workshop on Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA). This is to better prepare them, in the event of a disaster, to make an accurate assessment of the damage caused and the needs of those affected, both immediate and long term, so that the relief provided is adequately and rationally distributed.

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Belizeans Join Hands in Solidarity to Say No to Fossil Fuels and Yes to Clean Energy

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The Ministry of Finance announced that at midnight on May 22, 2019, the pump price for regular gasoline will decrease by 39 cents from $10.87 to $10.48 per gallon, while the pump price for kerosene will increase by two cents from $7.81 to $7.83 per gallon.

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Ministry of Human Development Hosts 3rd Social Protection Conference The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and UNICEF, is hosting the third in a series of social protection conferences on May 20-21, 2019 in Belize City. The two-day meeting focuses on “Social Protection Response in Emergencies” and will explore how the social protection system can be best used to support the poor and those most vulnerable in times of disasters and emergencies.

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a Chemical Diversion and Precursor Chemical Investigations Course from April 29 – May 10, 2019.  The two-week advanced training provided the regulatory framework and investigative and operational procedures for dealing with pharmaceutical diversion and chemical precursor proliferation, ultimately promoting citizen security in Belize.

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For the first time in years San Pedro has finally come out victorious in the Premier League Football Championship. With a loss against Bandits last week, San Pedro Pirates fans flooded the Ambergris Stadium to cheer on the home team at this past weekend’s game. It was in the second half of the game that Facundo Garnier scored the first goal for the San Pedro Pirates in the 66 minute of the game. Ten minutes later, Facundo Garnier centered a corner kick which Nelson Mora headed into the goal to give the Pirates the two to zero advantage, securing them their victory.

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