Machel Montano and Jacob Desvarieux in Dominica.

Machel Montano is taking on the French market again, this time with a collaboration with Jacob Desvarieux, founder of Zouk band Kassav. The single, Dance, pits Montano with the legendary singer and even has him spouting some French. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/tqFyec5b7gA.jpg?itok=r_5tXBAc","video_url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqFyec5b7gA","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} "Voulez Vous, voulez vous, voulez vous danseravecmoi," he sings. The song is on the Ole Ting Riddim produced by St Lucian producer Lashley 'Motto' Winter. Patrice Roberts, Skinny Fabulous and Motto himself are featured on the riddim. The riddim is distinctly Zouk. Motto said he and Jacob came up with the melody. [related node_id='60d0d63e-a590-474e-82c6-fbbc46354ee0'] Kassav fans would remember Jacob's vocals from the populartrack 'Zouk La Sé Sèl Médikaman Nou Ni'. Premiering his song on his social media platforms, Montano said working with Kassav was a dream come true. "What a joy and privilege it is to release my new song#Dancèwith Jacob fromKASSAV', on the Ole Ting Riddim, produced byLashley Motto Winter. This one is definitely a dream come true for me to work with a group that has influenced my career in so many ways. I looked up to them, admired their greatness and learned a lot that helped me fashion my own style. This one is a tribute to the Zouk lovers, the French Soca lovers and to Caribbean Unity !!! Come take ah lil dance with we!," he wrote. In 2013, Montano did a remake of Mr Fete with French R&B singer Matt Houston and Kulu G after signing a licensing/publishing contract with Universal Music France affiliate AZ and an agreement with the company's management arm the Olympia Agency.

Nicolai Possemiers aka DJ Rakka

A Belgian DJ is over the moon with the official release of his first Soca riddim in Trinidad and Tobago. Nicolai Possemiers, known popularly as DJ Rakka, is co-producer of the Badang riddim which features Machel Montano, Chromatics, Olatunji, Ricardo Drue, MX Prime and Kevin Lyttle. Bunji Garlin is expected to join the riddim soon. Rakka, a staple at events such as Tomorrowland, has dedicated his career to promoting soca in Europe. Together with his friend, Trinidadian Darryl Rodulfo aka DJ D-One, he owns a party brand and digital platform called Soaked in Soca, the aim of which is to educate and inform Europeans about the Caribbean genre. Bunji’s song will premiere on the Soaked in Soca website. Rakka is also working on a documentary of the same name which he shot in T&T during Carnival 2017 and 2018. The riddim is a major achievement in his quest. “We want to promote the music with Soaked in Soca as soca music so people know that soca is a real genre and people need to listen to it, it needs attention. I am convinced that soca is going to blow up in the next months and I hope this riddim is the start and I still have about four or five riddims,” he said. He described the Badang riddim as a flight from Belgium to Trinidad. Rakka worked on the riddim with Keshav Singh, the Trinidadian producer who is part of the UK-Based production team Jus Now. Rakka and Keshav met in Trinidad in 2017 when the Belgian landed here on J’ouvert morning for his first Carnival experience. Stating that Keshav is like his brother, he said they met up in Belgium for his birthday to lime but since he had studio time booked they went in to work on the riddim. “We didn’t have a plan, we didn’t know if we were going to make wine Soca, regular Soca or power Soca, we didn’t have a clue. I collected all the voice notes that Keshav ever sent me. One of them is ‘Yo Rakka, I’m gonna meet you at the fountain. Badang!’and that is literally a WhatsApp note we cut and pasted and put in a loop. The claps at the start are just me clapping on my pants. We wanted something natural that people could play on the road,” he said, giving some insight into how the riddim came about. He said Keshav is responsible for the full melody of the riddim which he created with trumpets and some Belgian instrumentation. The two DJs used their connections to pull in the various artists. Rakka said while he is hyped about Bunji because he was the first to indicate interest in the riddim, he is hard-pressed to choose any one over the other. “I am hyped about all the artists, Olatunji he is great. I believe he has a great future and also a future in Europe especially with his excellent performance at X Factor. Kevin Lyttle is one of the only Soca artists people know in Europe ‘cause he had the ‘Turn Me On’ hit. Machel, yeah it is an honour to work with the king of Soca; that is a dream come true. MX Prime, he slaughtered the Riddim. Chromatics, he had that Hip Hop Soca thing, I never saw it coming but he killed it on the Riddim,” said Rakka. The DJ, dubbed the ‘Energy Bomb’ said he is counting his blessing to have worked with Keshav and all those artists on his first Soca riddim.


Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of PC Kryston Ramirez last Sunday. The two were arrested during Operation Strike Back (OSB) exercises conducted in the Northern Division, which led to the arrests of 11 others. The exercises were conducted in the Carapo and Peytonville areas, between Monday and Tuesday. Ramirez was gunned down in Arima around 2.30 pm last Sunday while liming at a sports bar. The arrests of the two suspects comes a day after a teenager was held for questioning in connection with the officer's killing. During the exercise five people were arrested in Carapo for gang related activities; two for possession of marijuana; two for obstruction, one for a shooting offence and another in connection with arson and sacrilege offences. The exercises were coordinated by ACP (Ag.) Mc Donald Jacob and spearheaded by Snr. Supt. (Ag.) Curtis Paul, including officers of the Northern Division, Guard and Emergency Branch, Inter-Agency Task Force, Central Division, North Eastern Division, Eastern Division, Canine Unit and Air Support Unit.

Three suspects are dead following an alleged shootout with police on Tuesday morning. According to police reports, members of the Northern Division Task Force went to a forested area at Maturita, Arima, near Dump Road where they were confronted by gunfire. The officers resorted to the use of force policy and all three men were fatally shot. Police have so far identified one man as 26-year-old Teddy Singh, of La Retreat Road, Arima, who was committed to stand trial for murder and escaped from the Arima Magistrates’ Court on May 15. Efforts are ongoing to ascertain the identity of the two other men. Police say two revolvers were recovered at the scene. Meanwhile, in a separate incident earlier in the day, police wounded a man allegedly involved in a home invasion at Maturita, Arima in which a female victim was assaulted. Officers from the Pinto Police Post and Emergency Response Patrol (ERP) responded to a report of a home invasion at Maturita, Arima around 5 am today. When officers arrived, three persons at the premises allegedly began shooting at the police and in accordance with the use of force policy, officers returned fire. Two men escaped, however, a third man was apprehended after he was found to be suffering from a gunshot wound to the right knee. He is currently warded at the Mt. Hope Hospital under police guard.


Though not as popular as it is used to be, the masquerade band was once a staple Christmas tradition in Guyana. The band was a sign that Christmas is in the air and took place about two weeks before Christmas in various parts of the country. The bands comprised traditional figures such as Mother Sally or the Long Lady, which were men on stilts dressed in female clothing and wigs and the Mad Bull, a menacing figure with large horns. According to one online account. the band would parade through busy streets, favouring those with rum shops where they coins would be tossed at their feet and a drink might be in the offing from a generous rum shop owner. The characters would be accompanied by a small ensemble of musicians. The masquerade band is said to have its roots in slavery.

Shelly-Ann Gajadhar, founder of career consultancy Alphastute

Soon it will be a new year and for many people, a new year brings with it the opportunity for new beginnings especially in their careers. For many, entrepreneurship, with its promise of financial freedom and flexibility, may be the new goal. But before you print out those business cards, do you know if there is a market for what you are offering? Shelly-Ann Gajadhar, an attorney and founder of Alphastute, a career consultancy, said while many people have great ideas, they fail to do any market research. “Forbes had an excellent article that talked about the biggest failures of entrepreneurship and it is that they do not do enough research, they do not do enough. They get caught up in the passion, the ideas, the intricacies of what they think they can do and the potential behind it but they create products not for the public but for themselves and when they don’t sell they wonder why,” she said. Gajadhar said at Alphastute, research is a pivotal pillar of everything they do. A company Gajadhar built in the United Kingdom to create, equip and build leaders of tomorrow, Alphastute works with aspiring entrepreneurs, leaders, risk-takers and innovators and those wishing to kick-start their professional careers. Gajadhar knows a thing or two about transitioning from one career to the next. A former State Prosecutor in Trinidad and Tobago who worked under the late Dana Seetahal, Gajadhar moved from law to business, graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2015 with a Distinction in International Business and Emerging Markets. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at King’s College in London where she teaches courses related to Organisational Research Methods and International Business. At the college, she sits on several committees and works as an Application Advisor with the Careers and Employability arm of the College, providing CV and job placement advice to postgraduate students and researchers. Alphastute, she said, was inspired by her job advising students. “The opportunity came for me to explain to persons back home about what are the options available to them because I was coming from a very knowledge intensive environment and also based on my own experience of spring-boarding from law into business, I had a lot of questions about how I was able to do that,” she said. She said she always served the Caribbean in an informal capacity through Skype appointments and last Carnival when she visited home she decided to establish her business. “I had about close to 60 clients waiting,” she said. “When I saw that demand I knew that people wanted my service. The clients all knew what they wanted to do, it wasn’t like I was interacting with clients who are confused. What I found most prevalent in client cases was transitioning and thinking outside the box, thinking about an option B, no longer wanting to work for someone else. There was an entrepreneurial spirit that was very evident but there isn’t an enabling environment, no one to turn to. It brought up a lot of issues. It was really about how we foster this bubble of entrepreneurship in what we are doing,” she said. Gajadhar is a fan of entrepreneurship and believes that it is something that can be developed. ‘It’s something that can be harnessed and fostered and that is why there are things like incubator hubs, vocational academies, mentorship and apprenticeship programmes that encourage and equip young people with skills to be an entrepreneur,” she explained. She said, however, it comes down to market demand and research, getting out into the field, conducting surveys, asking questions and testing product. She said with Alphastute, once a client undergoes consultation and she can assist and have the resources and personnel to conduct the research, it will be done and coaching provided along the way. “Timelines are important. A client can get caught up in that research phase. One of the things I realise working with Trinidadian clients is that they don’t know how to conduct research efficiently and concisely. It is because resources and access to data are uncertain,” she said. Using her own life as an example, Gajadhar said leaving a steady paycheck to jump into entrepreneurship is daunting. She said in her case, walking away from law after five years was scary. “I couldn’t explain what was happening to me to friends and family. It comes from a very deep, internal place, of finding who you are, what is the contribution you are going to make to this world. It is not about making money or who said what is the best job for you. What really drives you? It is a very difficult place but once you have the right guidance you are unstoppable,” she said. To contact Alphastute visit www. www.alphastute.com or go to alphastute on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. They also offer WhatsApp conversations at +44 7926 973822.


In this Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 photo piles of electronic waste is placed next to a drain chocked with plastic and garbage in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The world's burgeoning plastic waste crisis has won the attention of Britain's Royal Statistical Society, which chose 90.5 percent — the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled — as its international statistic of the year. The society, which chooses a winner from nominations made by the public, picked the statistic generated in a U.N. report based on the work of U.S. academics Roland Geyer, Jenna R Jambeck and Kara Lavender Law. Public awareness of the problem has been growing, particularly after filmmaker David Attenborough's documentary "Blue Planet II" showed sea turtles shrouded in plastic, among other horrors. Geyer says he was honored by the accolade and hopes "it will help draw attention to the problem of plastic pollution that impacts nearly every community and ecosystem globally."

Passengers sit on a train while police officers work the scene where two officers were killed after they were struck by a South Shore train near 103rd Street and Dauphin Avenue on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in Chicago.  (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Two Chicago police officers may not have seen or heard the commuter train that fatally struck them because they were focused on another train coming from the opposite direction, a department spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said "very limited" video from a body camera one of the officers was wearing helped investigators piece together how the tragedy might have happened. The officers had run onto an elevated area of the tracks Monday night on the city's far South Side to investigate gunfire. On the video, they "clearly acknowledge" a northbound train just before the southbound train hit them, Guglielmi said. "They must have thought the sound they heard was the northbound train," he said. "They must have missed the sound of the train right behind them." Officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary were doing surveillance after Shotspotter technology that detects the sound of gunfire alerted police about shots fired in the area. Between the sound of the first train and the fact that they were focused on finding a gunman, they were unable to move off the tracks. The man Mamolejo and Gary were pursuing was taken into custody by other officers a short time later, and a gun was recovered near where the officers were struck. Guglielmi said the man was being questioned and had not yet been charged with any crime. "These brave young men were consumed with identifying a potential threat," Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained to reporters at a news conference late Monday night. Later, Guglielmi said, Johnson led a delegation of the department's command staff to search the area along the tracks to ecover the remains of the two officers. Guglielmi said Johnson has met with the families of the two officers. The officers were assigned to the Calumet police district. Marmolejo, 36, had been a member of the department for 2 ½ years; Gary, 31, had been on the force for 18 months. Both were married with children. Marmolejo was the father of three children, one in high school and two younger children; Gary had a 6-month-old daughter. Four Chicago police officers now have been killed in the line of duty this year. The tragedy bore similarities to the 2002 death of Chicago Police Officer Benjamin Perez, who was fatally struck by a commuter train while conducting surveillance on narcotics activity on the city's West Side. Officer Samuel Jimenez was killed in a shootout last month after he chased a gunman inside a hospital on Chicago's South Side. That shooter also killed two other people before taking his own life. And in February, Cmdr. Paul Bauer was fatally shot while pursuing a suspect in the Loop business district. The total is the highest number of Chicago officers killed in the line of duty in one year since five were killed in 2010. Their deaths mark the first time two officers died in the same incident since 1990, according to Dave Bayless, spokesman for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. Mayor Rahm Emanuel mourned the officers on Monday night, telling reporters, "I think it's really important that we put our arms around the Chicago Police Department and hold them up and support them at this critical juncture, because we are so dependent on their professionalism and their sense of duty."