New Hurricane Season Has Many Weather Watchers Anxious: & FLOOD ALERT For The Weekend

The official start of the 2020 hurricane season is June 1st. to November 30th.. But there has already been two named storms., Arthur on May 16th. and tropical storm Bertha on May 27th.

The latest word for the Belize National Meteorological Service (BNMS) is that it is not so unusual for hurricanes and cyclones to form outside the official hurricane season.

There is also a FLOOD ALERT for this weekend, due to a tropical wave that is approaching Central America. The digitalBelize.LIVE weekend audio report was made at 7pm Friday May 29th. from the Belize National Met Service.

Today (May 29th.) a list of the new names for the season was released by the BNMS

The National Met Service said, via a press release
“The 2020 forecast is suggesting that tropical cyclone activity will be above normal in the Atlantic Basin (North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico). The prediction is for there to be thirteen to nineteen (13 to 19) named storms, of those six to ten (6 to 10) are expected to become hurricanes and three to six (3 to 6) are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).

An average season in the Atlantic Basin consists of twelve (12) named storms, six (6) hurricanes and two (2) major hurricanes. The main factors that were used to forecast an active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are:

What Does this Mean for Belize?
There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes that form in any given season to the number of storms that make landfall in Belize. One or more of the 13 to 19 named storms forecast to develop this season could hit the country, or none at all. Therefore history teaches us, as a nation located in such a vulnerable area, we should be prepared each year no matter what is the forecast is. – end quote –

Landing A Drug Plane In Belize Is A Very Attractive Choice To Traffickers

This morning – (Thursday, May 28th.) – at approximately 6am a twin engine ‘Hawker 800 Jet’ (also known in the British military as 125-700) made a ditched landing near the village of Sarteneja in northern Belize.

No drugs were found on the aircraft or in the area, but the $2-$3 million U.S dollar Hawker 800 jet-aircraft is of such a high value that it’s cargo (if there was cargo) must have been much more valuable than the aircraft for it to be abandoned by the occupants.

The location of the aircraft and the proximity to both land and sea, and Mexico is of notice to law enforcement in all countries in the region.

Belize has an almost perfect geographical location for traffickers, who have been using very sophisticated means of transport their illicit cargo. so-much-so that it is a challenge to one of the most advanced country in the world, the United States, where most illicit drugs are destined for.

A Sophisticated Game Of Cat & Mouse ( the mouse are very hi-tech)
Back in January, an extensive news article in Forbes Magazine said that the U.S. Coast Guard Could Face A Narco Submarine Epidemic In 2020 , Drug traffickers have even hired submarine designers and engineers from eastern-block countries to help them design and build subs.

Below: U.S Coast Guard intercepts a narco sub heading toward the U.S

This is a new / developing / Breaking News to digitalBelize.LIVE & Channel1Belize.com

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A Belize Free Of COVID-19 Is Uniquely Valuable – COMPOL’ Reminds The People & His Officers

Earlier today (May 27th.) the commissioner of police issued a memorandum to all police officers of the importance to keep up the enforcement of the new COVID-19 laws that are intended to protect everyone; and also to remind officers to use good discretion in this new normal of wearing face mask.

The official word on the SOe (state of emergency) states that it will continue until June 30th, but may be revised before that date, depending on, if the ‘COVID-19’ situation diminishes or increases.

The new-normal ‘Requiring Face-Mask’ has been a challenge to everyone, in most instances the person or person’s are not intentionally disobeying the law., but in some cases, there are people who do not want to abide by that simple requirement.

The extremely strict regulations (new Laws) are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The fine for not wearing a ‘face-mask’ while in any public space is a whopping $5,000.00, and the penalty for illegally crossing the border into Belize is ‘Straight to Jail’ no questions asked.

So far 817 people have been arrested for not wearing a face-mask or face covering since the SOe came into effect on April 1st. and extended to June 30th. and 194 people have been arrested for being outside during curfew hours of 8pm to 5am.

The following is a recent memorandum issued by the COMPOL to his officers in the field.

What’s The Whole Story About Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth Day: May 24 (old tradition)

Ask many Belizeans, what is ‘Commonwealth Day’ in observance of ?, and ‘you may hear many incorrect answers.

The holiday started out as an observance of a British queen’s birthday (Queen Victoria), and was originally called ‘Empire Day’.

Queen Victoria ( Britain )

Sometime in the 1990s ‘Commonwealth Day’ was renamed ‘Commonwealth & Sovereign’s Day’, by the government and those who were the organizers of events for the holiday, and to celebrate local cultures and the importance of being a part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Every year on May 24, the people of Belize observe Commonwealth Day. The routine events are horse races in Boom, youth events, and various gatherings in recognition of the Belizean culture. But since the COVID-19 crisis, none of the usual events will be held.

History of Commonwealth Day in Belize
The origin of Commonwealth Day goes back to the end of the 1800s, a time when Queen Victoria was perceived as a motherly figure that strongly represented the expansive British Empire. There were suggestions by many for a day that would honour her 67 year reign as queen of the British Empire.

After Queen Elizabeth died in 1901, the efforts of the ‘Earl of Meath’ to create a holiday to honour the creation of the Commonwealth of Nations was achieved, and an unofficial holiday was set-aside which was called ‘Empire Day’ and was set to be May 24th., the birthdate of Queen Victoria. It wasn’t until 1916 that Empire Day became an annual event.

In London on Commonwealth Day 2014, all the flags of the nations of the Commonwealth.
London; May 2014

For several decades Belize (British Honduras) participated in the Empire Day ceremonies. But as Britain’s global power waned and political views towards British imperialism grew strong, Empire Day converted to a more mundane British Commonwealth Day in 1958 and then again to Commonwealth Day in 1966.

The An·tith·e·sis Of The NameCommon-Wealth
In many of the countries that are part of the Commonwealth, the standard of living is very far from the wealth of others and definitely far lower thaN the standard of living in Britain. Why such a word was chosen to describe a day to observe the membership in the group of nations is rather facetious or even cunning.

In Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations on earth, and a member of the Commonwealth of nations, the average monthly income of its 165 million citizens is (one hundred seventy) $170.00 US Dollars / month.

We added up the population of all the Commonwealth countries, and it seems that 2.4 Billion people will be on holiday tomorrow, May 25th. 2020.
1. Antigua and Barbuda
2. Australia
3. Bangladesh
4. Barbados
5. Belize
6. Botswana
7. Brunei
8. Cameroon
9. Canada
10. Dominica
11. Fiji
12. The Gambia
13. Ghana
14. Grenada
15. Guyana
16. India
17. Jamaica
18. Kenya
19. Kiribati
20. Lesotho
21. Malawi
22. Malaysia
23. Malta*
24. Mauritius
25. Mozambique
26. Namibia
27. Nauru
28. New Zealand
29. Nigeria
30. Pakistan
31. Papua New Guinea
32. Republic of Cyprus*
33. Rwanda
34. Samoa
35. Seychelles
36. Sierra Leone
37. Singapore
38. Solomon Islands
39. South Africa
40. Sri Lanka
41. St Christopher and Nevis
42. St Lucia
43. St Vincent and the Grenadines
44. Swaziland
45. The Bahamas
46. Tonga
47. Trinidad and Tobago
48. Tuvalu
49. Uganda
50. United Kingdom*
51. United Republic of Tanzania
52. Vanuatu
53. Zambia
54. Zimbabwe

For more Information @ Research URL: Wikipedia

Some data and text collected from G.O.B webpages

Written & Compiled by digitalCaribbean.Live – digitalBelize.LIVE staff reporter:  digitalCaribbean.LIVE@gmail.com

Mysterious Double Murder In Hopkins Village

The peaceful seaside Tourist-destination of Hopkins has seen more than its share of violent crime in the past few years, and today another statistic has been added to the homicide numbers in that southern village in the Stann Creek District.

Police are investigating a double murder in the village of Hopkins. At approximately 9am this (May 22nd 2020) morning police were called out to a location in the village. They found the bodies of 2 men, one of them is an American national and the other is a Belizean national.

The Belizean man have been identified as Quintin Espinosa, 55, who had a gunshot wound to the head, and American national Roland Burley, 70, who also with a gunshot wound to the head.

Hopkins village is just south of Dangriga Town and about 30 miles north of Placencia, along the coastline,.

Back in December of 2019 Wendy Dardano (a 50 yr.old American national) was murdered by her room-mate and stuffed in a garbage bin outside the house where they both lived. The much younger man is awaiting sentencing for that heinous crime.

More details about this developing news story will be available VIA Updates, on this page.

What the hec! is all this noise about Tik TOK

It’s 9 pm., Do you know where your children are, They are probably on TikTok !

Here is the latest news about a 100 Billion Dollar company that you have never heard of, but your kids probably know the platform very well.

TikTok’s rating drops after Internet war erupts between influencers of short video platform and YouTube.” That was the main story in the Economic Times, on May 22nd. 2020, yes! You read that right, The Economic Times.

Most of us “over-thirth-something” would be baffled by how these new internet-based companies that have literally no products, but are worth so much.

How Much Is TikTok Worth
A recent article in Business Insider says that the parent company of TikTok made $12 Billion in 2018

Hey! Welcome to the 21st century, those are the dynamics of the new era.

So – What’s All The Rave About TikTok
Here is what wikipedia says about TicTok
“TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos.  ByteDance first launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016.

The following videos are excerpts from recently reviewed TikTok content

Later, TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in markets outside of China. It became available in the United States after merging with musical.ly on 2 August 2018. TikTok and Douyin are similar to each other, however they run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.

The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. The app is popular in Asia, the United States, and other parts of the world. TikTok and Douyin’s servers are each based in the markets where the apps are available.” -end quote-

TiKTok Usage In The Region & The Caribbean
Why do the kids love TikTok so much, you may ask. – well, approximately 3.4 million people in the Caribbean and Central America have the TikTok App installed on their phones.

A recent article in AdAge says that the usage of TikTok is far greater than expected. “U.S. CONSUMERS SPEND MORE TIME IN TIKTOK THAN AMAZON PRIME VIDEO:

Another statistics and usage tracking company ‘APP ANNIE’ says that more people use TikTok than you may think.

Interpretation: On the graph shown above, the global usage of TikTok has grown to 1.5 Billion hours as of December 2019 from 80 million hours in December of 2017.

New C.E.O From Disney
As the streaming-wars heat up with social-media-streaming-companies, TikTok announced that they will have a new boss at the helm, and on May 20th he joined the company. He is Kevin A. Mayer, the former head of Disneys streaming division, and is now CEO at TikTok.

These new type of companies have just come to the internet in the past 10 years, and many people will ask or say, – “I see no value in the content“. That may be true, but the thing about it is that many people love it and hundreds of millions of people flock to these type of Apps and platforms (Even from the Caribbean).

The strategists at these companies will capitalize on the AD revenue that will come in from so many people watching funny-and-meaningless content on their platform.

Written by digitalCaribbean.Live – digitalBelize.LIVE staff reporter:  digitalCaribbean.LIVE@gmail.com

ASK THE EXPERTS LIVESTREAM – Ministry Of Foreign Affairs – Government Of Belize – May 20th. 2020

This Live Stream ended at 1.55 pm Wednesday May 20th.
CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez will explain the repatriation process for Belizeans displaced abroad BY the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please wait a few moments for video to load below.

ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask your questions in the comment section during the live stream! Joining us today is the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez to discuss the repatriation process for Belizeans displaced abroad.

Posted by Government of Belize Press Office on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Big Business Of Pure Drinking Water

By: digitalBelize.LIVE ( in-depth business reporting )

Everybody needs it, and back when I was a kid there was very few things that tasted better than an ‘Ice-Cold-Glass’ of Belizean-Rain-Water from my uncles super-cold frig. Back then there were not many pigeons and you could trust the rain water to be clean and free from dust particles or bird and bat droppings.

Those days are gone, and today everyone needs good clean drinking water, and it has become big business in every country in the world, – ‘Oh how times have changed so quickly!’.

In Belize
There are many small drinking water bottling companies in Belize, but the largest by far is Bowen & Bowen, which makes the Crystal brand. Other small operations are Zeta Water, Nimbus, Aquatic and many others; In addition to the Refill shops that services local neighborhoods. Then there are also private and small business operators that produces purified drinking water and transport it to retailers in large tanks to refill bottles on-site.

It is such a profitable business that there are even ‘Private Label’ water brands, a business arrangement when a larger processing and bottling company makes and bottles a product for another company, then that company slaps a label on the bottle that is their brand.

How Much Water Is Consumed Everyday In Belize
On average, a population of approximately 400,000 people will consume 150,000 gallons of purified-drinking-water each day; based on an average consumption of 1.5 liters (1.5 quarts) per person per day. Based on those estimated figures 30,000 5-gallons bottles of drinking water are consumed each day in Belize.

The Purification Processes
A good water purification process is normally comprised of 4 primary processes, and some companies repeat some processes or have various stages of a process to improve the quality even further.

1) Filtration (several stages )
2) Ultra Violet
3) Reverse Osmosis
4) Chlorination and Softening

Quality Matters
Earlier this year i overheard a comment made by some primary school children that the ‘shillin-water‘ tasted funny, and some said it stink. The water that is in those pouches and other drinking water bottles are processed and purified tap water. Some processes are well maintained bottling facilities that produce really great tasting water, and, from time-to-time, some don’t !.

Inside those pouches and bottles is H2O and ?, because water can get stale or go bad inside pouches or plastic bottles. The quality of the plastic bottle or pouch is very important, because plastic does release chemicals into the water.

The origin source at almost all the water purification plants in Belize is BWSL tap water, which is river water, that’s why if you do some plumbing on your pipes you may see morass on the inside of the pipes.

Only ZETA says that the origin source of their water is an aquifer that is deep under Belize. In an interview with digitalBelize.LIVE the management of ZETA Water said “we are very serious about the quality of the water we sell, adding that the owner of the company is an engineer/scientist that knows every micron of the entire purification process, and knows how to maintain all the equipment in their main processing facility in Belmopan”. ZETA produces purified water and ice from purified water.

In all purification plants, the 1st Stage Filter is where most of the bacteria builds-up, which comes from all the decaying matter that is in river water. But the process also includes the Ultra-Violet stage, which decontaminates and kills 99.99% of all bacteria.

Business Competition & Protecting A Brand
Last year ( June 2019 ) the largest company in the purified drinking water business ‘Bowen & Bowen‘, felt like too many people were getting into the drinking-water business, and some were infringing on the brand ‘Crystal’. The company threatened legal action (letter) against anyone who was refilling ‘5 gallon’ Crystal water bottles.

The threats were largely ignored because you cannot stop the public from buying what they want. But the company did have a point, especially towards those who were intentionally refilling Crystal 5-gallon bottles and reselling it to consumers who paid the premium Crystal price of $5.50, and who were too busy to notice that those were not officially-sealed Crystal water bottles.

Great tasting water doesn’t come from a brand, it is the result of how good the purification system is and how well it is maintained, and how often the quality of the end product is monitored. The end result of some good business competition to produce a high-quality product is a benefit to the consumer.

In the United States the Bottled Water industry is required to follow the guidelines (laws) of the U.S Food and Drug Administration, and in Belize, the bottled water industry is supposed to be regulated by BAHA, Belize Agriculture and Health Authority.

Water Became Scarce During The COVID-19 Shutdown In Belize
During the COVID-19 Lockdown all the water bottling plants were shut down or produced very little output, thus there was an immediate shortage of drinking water, an alarming trend in the case of a national emergency. Most households had to resort to drinking and cooking with the ‘highly chlorinated water’ which at times seem to have so much chemical in it that even dogs don’t want to drink it.

Some of those days of shortage of drinking water was due to the COVID-19 shutdown, and in some case the companies did not have anymore filters, or the distribution network for bottled water was sporadic at best.

Clean drinking water is the most vital necessity in every household in Belize. The shortage of drinking water should not have happened.

A Global Trend
In an article in the Wall Street Journal (September 2019) – Water is becoming so vital and precious that a chinese company opened a spring-water bottling plant in New Zealand in 2015 and exports millions of gallons of New Zealand spring water to china and other Asian countries; their business has been criticized by locals.
On the east coast of New Zealand, a Chinese-owned company has been pumping increasing amounts of water from a local aquifer to quench growing demand among consumers for high-end spring water.”

Many years ago comedian Jim Gaffigan made fun of buying bottled water

A Boom For The Plastics Industry
“A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.

New figures obtained by the Guardian (a news organization in England) reveal the surge in usage of plastic bottles, more than half a trillion of which will be sold annually by the end of the decade.

The demand, equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water and the spread of a western, urbanised “on the go” culture to China and the Asia Pacific region”.

This United Nations Video has made many people aware
of how bad plastic pollution is affecting the oceans and sea-birds

Many consumers and people in the drinking water business do not think there is any alternative to the 5 gallon refillable drinking water bottle. But environmentalist say we better find a solution fast, because the oceans are becoming dangerously polluted with small plastic bottles, and drinking water bottles make up at least 15% of those pollution statistics.

When you purchase a small bottle of water (or any drink) in a small plastic bottle 40 % of what you are paying is for the cost of the plastic bottle that you are going to throw away.

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Produced and written by digitalCaribbean.Live – digitalBelize.LIVE staff reporter: digitalCaribbean.LIVE@gmail.com