Panorama 2019 will be officially launched onSaturday, January 19, at bp Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain, from 5pm to 8pm. Renegades is the reigning Panorama champs. A release from Pan Trinbago said this year’s competition is in “Tribute to Our Cultural Icons” as the pan body recognises the recently-departed Ken “Professor” Philmore, Dr. Winston Bailey aka The Mighty Shadow and Winston Scarborough also known as D’Original Defosto Himself and their contribution to the national cultural landscape. The formal segment of the event will feature Pan Trinbago President Beverley Ramsey-Moore, who will reveal plans for this year’s event and the highly topical North Park. Later, patrons can fete withRenegades, Malick Folk Performers and DJ Klass is Class. Adding to the entertainment factor isguest performer D’Executive Band. While there is no admission fee, contributions/donations will be accepted. Patrons are invited to bring their coolers, however, there will be a fully stocked bar and food at the venue. This year, Panorama’s tag line is “Catching the Rhythm …. Feeling The Spirit”. Invitations have been issued to Minister of Community Development, Culture and The Arts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Carnival Commission, and the Mayor of Port-of-Spain. Panorama prelims will begin onTuesday, January 22 withthe South/Central Region National Single Pan Preliminaries and culminate with those in the Northern Region on Tuesday,January, 29.

Former Calypso Monarch Chuck Gordon

Like your favourite fruit in full bloom, Chuck Gordon is back in season with his juicy new release: “Portigal”. Chuck, real name Roderick Gordon, drips his trademark sugary vocal riffs and runs all over the Red Boyz produced groovy soca track. The two-time National Calypso Monarch (2014 and 2015) is dynamic with his delivery, aggressive and then restrained, before exploding into the sing-along hook. He sings: 'Come in, come in, push back, and come in, come in/Oh gosh this wine sweeter than Portugal/ She have meh holding meh head cause ah like de bacchanal' {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/bR01pVpG5Fk.jpg?itok=ABDOuKZ4","video_url":"","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} Penned by Trinidadianhitmakerr Jason “Shaft” Bishop “Portigal” is one of those listen-once-and-love songs. And the Bajan-based super-producers duo of Scott Galt and Michael Hulsmeier add that organic sound and feel with their live instrumental production style. “I’ve always said life is full of cycles and seasons. When you get in sync with the movement of energies it’s easier to find your place in a particular cycle and create your best work. And this is Portugal season,” an always introspective Chuck said of the work. Fresh off his run as the Siparia Kid in the second run of Rawle Gibbons’ critically acclaimed 1991 calypso musical 'Sing De Chorus' Chuck is an artiste in transition. The talented Laventille-born singer has for over a decade enjoyed success in both the tent and fete circuits with his thought provoking social commentary and groovy soca. Now he has sharpened his acting chops and is eager to further explore the theatrical arts. 'Sing De Chrous; returns for an abridged run on February 20, 25 and 26, under the trees at Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s. “As a performer, you draw on different parts of yourself to execute a particular performance. I have done theatre in the past and enjoyed the challenge the musical presented. I look forward to more opportunities to explore if further, but now we’re in calypso and soca mode. The work has already been done we present it and let the people decide,” he said. Log on to Chuck Gordon across all social media platforms for a taste of his new single “Portigal” and for updates on upcoming projects and performances.

Five stolen vehicles were recovered during a police exercise Wednesday afternoon in the Port of Spain Division. Four other cars were also searched and seized; however, up to 7 am today, while checks are still ongoing, there were no reports that these vehicles were stolen. The vehicles were seized during a massive police exercise spearheaded by Snr Sup Daniel, with assistance from ASP Edwards, Cpl Ceasar, PC Hinds, PC Hall, along with officers from the Barataria Police Station and the Emergency Response Unit. Among the vehicles recovered were a silver Tiida, which was traced to having been stolen from Arima on June 29, 2017; a white Mazda, which was traced to having been stolen from a Cunupia residenton April 8, 2015; a silver Note, traced to having been stolen from Petit Valley on June 7, 2016; a brown Nissan Almera, stolen from Morvant on November 27, 2013; and a silver Nissan Wingroad, which did not have its engine number nor chassis numbers registered on the licensing database. The four other cars which were seized were found to be intact and not reported stolen. They include two black Toyota motor vehicles, a black Mitsubishi, and an orange Nissan Cube. Investigations are ongoing into the vehicles which were seized.

Photo taken from screenshot of video shared via Facebook.

Couva Police are investigating a report of an armed robbery at a supermarket on Wednesday. The incident took place at about 2:00 pm at Summer Foods Supermarket located along McBean, Couva. Accordingto reports, two men - one armed with a firearm - entered the premises and announced a hold-up. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/hroRJO8D3iY.jpg?itok=a88NJm0y","video_url":"","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} They then proceeded to assault the proprietor of the store, demanding that he hand over cash and valuables. Fearful for his life, the 52-year-old businessmancomplied. Approximately $1,200 in cash as well asa quantity of assorted cigarettes, including Dumaurier, Raven, and Hemp, valued at $3,000, was taken from the traumatised proprietor. The said suspects then escaped on foot in a westerly direction. WPC Joseph is continuing inquiries. Anyone with information on these suspects is urged to contact the police immediately. A description of the men is as follows: The first suspest was described as a man of East Indian descent, approximately five feet, four inches tall, slim built, wearing a long-sleeved dark-coloured t-shirt, blue fisherman's hat, with a red and whitebag on his back. He was also clad in a pair of dark-coloured three-quarter pants. The second suspect was described as aman of East Indian descent, approximately five feet, 11 inches tall, slim-built, wearing a yellow-and-white long-sleeved shirt and a red hat. This man, police said, was armed with a firearm. Part of the incident was recorded on CCTV cameras. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Couva Police Station, or they can give the information anonymously at 555 or 800-TIPS or 482-GARY. More on this as it becomes available.

At least one autism awareness group has taken issue with statements made by Education Minister Anthony Garcia, following an incident in which an 11-year-old girl on the autism spectrum was injured in a fall. The child was not enrolled in any school. Following the reports, the Minister expressed confusion that the child was not enrolled in a school and said he intended to look into the matter. He further stated that there were still facilities prepared to accommodate her, despite her being autistic. Garcia was quoted as saying: "Her condition should be no set-back to taking advantage of all educational opportunities" and lastly stated "I'm surprised because there are facilities for autistic children". The Autism Parents Association of Trinidad and Tobago (APATT) challenged the Minister’s statement and refuted his claim that there were facilities to accommodate children on the autism spectrum. “APATT would like to categorically state that there are no public schools in Trinidad & Tobago to cater exclusively for the needs of children on the Autism Spectrum. We have met Mr. Garcia last year and shared this information with him and his team. We were asked for numbers which we have provided. We have been sharing for years through blog articles, newspapers, television, advertisements and radio shows the serious challenges Autism parents have to go through every day when they are unable to send their children to school,” the group said. The group further stated that it has long advocated for proper and public schools that can cater for the needs of children on the autism spectrum, adding that they are currently being denied the right to an education. “Incognizance can no longer be the reason or excuse for lack of action. Both, past and present governments have been made aware for a long time of the critical situation of Autism families in T&T,” APATT concluded.

Photo Caption: Team Antigua Island Girls will make history when they become the first all-black female team in the world to row across the Atlantic Ocean, completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (photo credits: Ben Duffy Photography Ltd.)

Antigua and Barbuda is getting ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome adventurous Atlantic rowers “Team Antigua Island Girls”, when they row into the historic Nelson’s Dockyard and into the record books as the first all-black female team in the world to row across the Atlantic Ocean, completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. According to the race tracker, the girls are due to arrive home by January 30. Dubbed the world’s toughest row, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a premier ocean rowing experience that begins in La Gomera in the Canary Islands. On December 12, 2018, the teams, 28 in total, set off on their journey braving the Atlantic Ocean, crossing 3000 miles with over 1.5 million oar strokes and little sleep, to get to their destination in Antigua. The first team to finish the Challenge, ‘Dutch Atlantic Four’ was welcomed into Antigua, with much fanfare on the evening of January 15, having spent 34 days out at sea. The Team Antigua Island Girls rowers: Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emanuel and Captain Kevinia Francis are expected to arrive later this month, where family, friends and mammoth crowds of well-wishers will gather at the Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to cheer them on as they row in and celebrate the successful end of their journey. Junella King, the alternate and fifth member of Team Antigua Island Girls, will meet her teammates in Antigua. “Antigua and Barbuda’s rich nautical heritage, and the unrivaled setting that competitors rowing into the Dockyard will encounter makes Antigua and Barbuda the ideal location for this event. We are excited to welcome all the rowers, their families and friends to Antigua and Barbuda for this experience,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez. “While this is the third time a team from Antigua and Barbuda has entered the Challenge, we are truly proud that the first all-black female team to row the Atlantic is comprised of four courageous Antiguan women. The entire nation is rooting for our girls and we are really looking forward to welcoming them home and celebrating the strength of women. This is history in the making, and it will truly be a momentous occasion for Antigua and Barbuda.” Team Antigua Island Girls have identified local charity, Cottage of Hope, as one of the main reasons for their row. Cottage of Hope is a non-profit organisation founded in 2009 that houses and/or serves girls who have been abused, neglected or orphaned. Cottage of Hope with the aid of funds raised by Team Antigua Island Girls will offer expanded services to young women who have come of age who are transitioning from a group home setting to living on their own. To donate to the charity and for more information about Team Antigua Island Girls go to:

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, centre left, speaks in the House of Commons, after MPs rejected a no-confidence vote against the government, in London, Wednesday Jan. 16, 2019. 
 (Mark Duffy, UK Parliament via AP)

The Latest on Brexit (all times local): 11:35 a.m. Britain's main opposition leader says Prime Minister Theresa May's offer of cross-party talks on a new Brexit deal is a "stunt" because she will not rule out leaving the European Union without an agreement. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to meet May until she takes no-deal "off the table." After May's EU divorce deal was resoundingly rejected by Parliament, she said she would talk to opposition leaders and other lawmakers in a bid to find consensus on a new plan. But Corbyn said that May has shown no sign of lifting her "red lines," which include leaving the EU's customs union and single market. Corbyn said in a speech Thursday that May "seems prepared to send the country hurtling toward a cliff-edge." He told her to "ditch the red lines and get serious about proposals for the future." ___ 11:15 a.m. The British Parliament expects to vote on Brexit again on Jan. 29 following extended debate on the government's plans and possible amendments. Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom told Parliament Thursday that the date has been set aside for a full day of debate and voting. Prime Minister Theresa May plans to return to Parliament on Monday to present her revised Brexit plan following the crushing defeat of her withdrawal plan. She will announce her "Plan B" after meeting with a variety of opposition parties in the coming days with the goal of finding some sort of consensus. Main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party has thus far declined to meet with the prime minister. ___ 10:15 a.m. The European Union's Brexit negotiator says he hopes British Prime Minister Theresa May's consultations with national political leaders can help break the deadlock over the terms of the U.K.'s departure from the EU and herald "a new stage" in Brexit negotiations. Michel Barnier said Thursday that "getting an agreement is in everybody's interest" and that "something has to change" to secure a divorce deal. Barnier told Portuguese lawmakers during a visit to Lisbon that in the absence of an agreement, negotiations between the U.K. and EU on contingency measures to prevent the breakdown of common infrastructure won't take place in "a climate of confidence." Barnier says he hasn't spoken about the possibility of postponing Brexit because the March 29 departure date was chosen by Britain and is written into U.K. law. ___ 10 a.m. France's government is kicking off a 50 million-euro (about $57 million) plan to prepare for the increasingly likely possibility that Britain will leave the European Union on March 29 without a plan. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Thursday that the government will start hiring 600 extra government employees including customs agents to handle cross-border trade and security. He said the plan also includes money for airports and ports, which are "most concerned" by the prospect of a so-called hard Brexit. He said "we strongly believe" Britain will leave with no exit deal, notably after the British parliament this week overwhelmingly rejected a divorce agreement worked out with the EU. France's parliament approved a special law this week allowing for the government to impose emergency measures to deal with a no-deal Brexit. ___ 9:30 a.m. The European Union's Brexit negotiator says the U.K.'s so-called red lines on how much ground it is willing to give in negotiations for its departure from the EU have "shut doors" to a broader agreement. Michel Barnier says of the EU's negotiating position, "If (the red lines) change, we'll change." He told lawmakers in Lisbon, Portugal that the withdrawal agreement is "balanced, respectful," adding that the EU hadn't reached such an "ambitious" agreement with any other non-EU country. In general, EU negotiators have found Britain to be inflexible in its desire to retain some of the economic advantages of trading freely with the bloc's countries while ending the free movement of European citizens into Britain and abiding by other EU guiding principles. Barnier was in Lisbon on a longstanding invitation to meet with local officials. Barnier said Wednesday in Strasbourg that he was more concerned than ever about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without an agreement following Tuesday's parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal. ___ 8:10 a.m. France's prime minister is a holding a special government meeting on how his country will cope with a possible "no-deal" Brexit. The French parliament adopted a law Wednesday allowing emergency measures after March 30 in the event Britain leaves without a deal. Such measures could aim to reduce problems in cross-border trade and transport, notably through the Eurotunnel beneath the English Channel, and allow British workers and retirees based in France temporary permission to stay until a longer-term deal is worked out. Britain's Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal with the European Union on Tuesday night. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately called for a no-confidence vote, but May's government survived it on Wednesday night. ___ 8:05 a.m. British Prime Minister Theresa May is reaching out to opposition parties and other lawmakers in a battle to keep Brexit on track after surviving a no-confidence vote. European Union countries are also debating Thursday on how to move forward now that the U.K. Parliament has rejected May's Brexit deal with the bloc and with the March 29 exit date looming. Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the deal on Tuesday night, in a crushing defeat for May. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately called for a no-confidence vote, but May's government survived it on Wednesday night. May invited opposition leaders for talks about how to secure another Brexit deal and avoid leaving the EU without a deal. But Corbyn has declined unless May takes the "no-deal" possibility off the table.

Loop Breakfast Bites is a round-up of the top international stories making headlines. [related node_id='c2a6efd4-204a-40bd-b0f5-37338cdc5b87'] [related node_id='a1498ef8-4797-4ac2-9609-8e14fe5f2b4a'] [related node_id='ded58dcc-10cf-4c2d-b968-ca4f55c79188'] [related node_id='8e55d78a-1277-4a03-8a2d-2739346f69a0'] [related node_id='1facfebb-f0ec-43e1-91b4-d02664dcc1a3']