A harrowing video showing a 12-year-old schoolboy lying on the ground next his mother’s bloodied body has sparked outrage on social media. What was supposed to be day of celebration for the child turned into tragedy, as his mother was executed after attending his graduation ceremony. The heart-wrenching video was uploaded to Facebook shortly after the woman was gunned down along Santa Barbara Boulevard, Santa Cruz on Tuesday. In the 30-secondvideo, which has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook, the child is heard screaming and crying in agony as he holds on to his mother’s body on the ground. Social media users condemned the brutal killing of the mother of three, with many questioning why the video was recorded and uploaded to Facebook. Reports say the 36-year-old woman of San Juan was standing the roadway, when a white station wagon pulled alongside her and armed men emerged with what appeared to be rifles. The gunmen reportedly opened fire on the woman, before fleeing the scene. The victim, who was a state witness, died at the scene. An autopsy is expected to be conducted on Friday.

Update: 5:30 pm A woman is dead following a shooting in Upper Santa Cruz on Tuesday afternoon. According to initial reports, the incident took place around 2:45 pm along Santa Barbara Boulevard. Police officers were told that the woman was walking on the roadway after attending her 12-year-old son's graduation. A white station wagon pulled alongside her and armed men emerged with what appeared to be rifles. They opened fireand she died at the scene. Sources say the woman was shot 13 years ago and was a state witness in that matter. Police believe someone at the graduation tipped off her killers. The identity of the deceased will be withheld in the interest of protecting her underage son.


Photo courtesy the United Nations Trinidad and Tobago.

Navigating a strange country without speaking the local language is hard, but for refugees, it’s a life or death situation. However for non-English speaking refugees in Trinidad and Tobago, a lifeline has been given through free English classes offered through the Living Water Community’s Ministry for Migrants and Refugees. Since 2017, Living Water Community has worked with diverse partners including the University of West Indies and the JSM Language and Innovation Centre to provide English classes. The programme has already helped several non-English speakers learn to write and converse in English. The current programme is taught by Trinidadians and a Venezuelan National who lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago. According to LWC Community Based Protection Associate, Denise Pitcher: “Because of the dispersion of the (refugee) population across Trinidad Tobago, we’ve tried to set up classes in the most population-dense areas such as Arima, Port of Spain, San Fernando and Couva.” Reports indicate that the Couva location in central Trinidad has had much success, with several people receiving a certificate of completion. Accessibility to classes limited The main challenge has been finding a way to make it easy for refugees to attend. “The programme was really well received, the Couva class was very successful, however we’ve had trouble finding locations for the classes.” “These refugees have limited funds so we’re trying not to have them spend too much to get to the classes, so that’s a challenge.” The Couva class was taught by a CELTA (the Cambridge-accredited Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) trained teacher and resulted in 15 people completing the first course and approximately 21 people completing the second course. While numbers have dwindled somewhat, efforts are being made to make the classes more accessible. “For the other classes the numbers have dwindled a bit, so we’re going to evaluate and see what the barriers and challenges are to increase accessibility etc.” Integration is key Pitcher said it is critical for refugees to be able to integrate into local societyif they are to survive. “Many of them are being exploited because of their lack of knowledge of the English language, so in terms of a protection standpoint and security for them, English is important. If they’re going to be here and working they need to learn English.” “Trinidadians don’t know a lot of Spanish, we’re not really a bilingual country so it’s important for them to be able to learn to speak with us,"she said. (Stock photo byrawpixel.comfromPexels) Creating conversations Creating spaces for Trinidadians and Venezuelans to converse can benefit both parties, who can enhance their skills through a second language. One way of doing this is through the creation of conversational clubs, says Pitcher. “One thing we want to suggest is for Trinidadians to start conversational clubs. Refugees actually prefer those types of informal settings where they can learn the language.” “These clubs can be a mutually beneficial relationship where refugees can practice their English, while Trinis get to practice their Spanish,” she said. Living Water Community encourages anyone wishing to volunteer, however for now, the priorities are finding spaces to hold the classes and financial resources to ensure sustainability. Anyone who is able to assist with providing a space for classes or teaching assistance or would like to donate towards this causeis urged to contact the Living Water Community Ministry for Migrants and Refugees at contact@lwcrefugee.org or 612-7395. World Refugee Day, internationally observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Editor’s note: This series is done through collaboration with the UNHCR and United Nations Trinidad and Tobago office for World Refugee Day. Refugee versus migrant: What’s the difference? Refugees are defined by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of persecution for reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” is unable to return to his home country. The definition was widened under the1984 Cartagena Declarationto include “persons who have fled their country because their lives, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order”. By contrast, a migrant is defined as someone who chooses to move mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons. Refugees are defined and protected in international law: the1951 Refugee Conventionand its 1967 Protocol as well as other legal texts, such as the 1969OAU Refugee Convention, remain the cornerstone of modern refugee protection.

Photo: 'Lifted' is a short film by award-winning filmmaker Miquel Galofré which looks at the experience of a Venezuelan family in Trinidad as they encounter a group of Moko Jumbies. The film was produced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and T&T Rocks, and features interviews with Sticks in De Yard.

A short film featuring a Venezuelan family's experience in Trinidad has gone global, winning awards abroad and showing in several international film festivals. 'Lifted', a short documentary by award-winning filmmakerMiquel Galofré, produced in part by the UNHCR, follows the life ofa Venezuelan boy who came with his family from their home country, fleeing violence, starvation and more. While in Trinidad, he encounters a group of stiltwalkers, meets eight-year-old Trinidadian girl Jada, and learns how to stilt-walk. The film has since won several awards, including theMedia Prize in the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival held in Guadeloupe in March 2019, as well as appearing in the Caribbean Film Series at the Brooklyn Film Academy (BAM), also in March 2019. The film was also accepted into the Oaxaca Film Festival and the Global Impact Film Festival in Washington, DC and was a semi-finalist for the Latino Film Festival in Philadelphia, USA. The film was also screened at the Timehri Film Festival in Guyana this monthand is expected to screen in Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Peru for World Refugee Day, celebrated on June 20, 2019. In a UNHCR interview earlier this year, Carlos speaks of the beauty of his homeland, where he would return if he could. Sadly, a shortage of food, medical supplies, and the increasing violence due to political unrest has made his home uninhabitable. “The worst in our country would be the lack of food and the fact that, after being such a wonderful country with so many resources, after being one of the best in Latin America, now it’s become one of the worst, with a huge economic crisis,” he says. The UNHCR noted thatmany Trinbagonians are welcoming Venezuelans and other asylum seekers, helping them to integrate through activities like Moko Jumbie – stilt walking – a tradition introduced during slavery which is now a key part of Carnival celebrations. The short documentaryLifted, produced by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and directed by Miquel Galofré, follows Carlos and his family as they get back on their feet after fleeing hunger and scarcity in Venezuela. “When we go to Moko Jumbie it’s like a little break from our real life," Carlos said. “Trinidad and Tobago is such a rich, beautiful mix of different cultures. We hope that this film will allow people to understand the refugee experience a little bit better, and to understand each other a little bit better. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be embraced and accepted by their community,” says Leila Jane Nassif, UNHCR Chief of Mission in Trinidad and Tobago. Carlos is not allowed to attend school in T&T butattends a temporary learning facility run by Living Water Community, a local non-profit organization and UNHCR partner that provides refugees and asylum-seekers with humanitarian assistance. The family says they love practising stilt-walking with the groupSticks in De Yard. “When we go to Moko Jumbie it’s like a little break from our real life,” Carlos’ mother says. “The people are very pleasant there. They practice, we laugh, we ‘try to be normal.’” “The moment you stand up on a pair of sticks, everybody watches you, no matter who it is.” The local group Sticks in De Yard took on this tradition and opened it up to community members, including young refugees and migrants, to help build their self-confidence and better integrate in the community. Despite his fears, Carlos gets on a pair of orange stilts, about a metre high, and takes his first steps as Mekhai Weekes, another member of Sticks in De Yard, holds his hands. They go out on the public square and practice. “For me the best moment of the day was that, when you’re about to fall, the teachers are there to catch you and they don’t let you fall,” Carlos says laying on the square’s grass after the class. “The worst moment I think it’s when we have to leave because I haven’t had any bad moment yet,” he adds. Recently, Trinidad and Tobago's government established a one-year amnesty for Venezuelan refugees, which would allow them to work legally for up to one year in the country. UNHCR operates in Trinidad and Tobago at the request of the national government to assist the authorities, civil society partners and other actors in supporting the country’s asylum infrastructure and representing a safeguard against forced return. It also facilitates the provision of humanitarian aid, access to legal assistance, learning, and other support through its partner, Living Water Community, and by initiatives aimed at empowerment and solidarity conducted with academic, non-governmental and other groups, such as Sticks in De Yard. World Refugee Day, observed on June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. For more information go tohttps://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/


FILE - In this May 8, 2019, file photo, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash. Boeing is selling its 737 Max planes again. The company announced at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, June 18 that International Airlines Group signed a letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 aircraft. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Boeing is selling its 737 Max planes again. The company announced at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday that International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and other carriers, signed a letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 aircraft. Boeing said it's the first sale of the jet since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max in March. Another 737 Max crashed in Indonesia last year, and the planes are now grounded amid an investigation into problematic software. The letter of intent is subject to final agreement but is a vote of confidence in Boeing as it struggles to win back trust. The planes would be delivered between 2023 and 2027 to airlines owned by IAG. The combination of 737-Max 8 and 737-Max 10 planes would cost $24 billion at list prices, though companies usually strike deals for discounts. IAG expressed confidence that regulators will allow amended Max jets to fly again soon. The Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes killed 346 people. Analysts had predicted that Boeing might try to announce some Max orders at the air show to demonstrate that the plane - one of Boeing's most popular models - still has support. After a lackluster start to the Paris Air Show, Boeing's orders picked up Tuesday. It announced a deal with Korean Air and Air Lease Corporation for a total of 30 long-range 787 jets, and worth $6.3 billion at list prices. Airbus also announced several orders Tuesday, including from IAG.

Photo courtesy the US Geological Survey (USGS).

A powerful earthquake jolted northwestern Japan late Tuesday, and officials warned of a possible tsunami up to one meter (3.3 feet) high along parts of the coast. Some areas lost electrical power and some bullet train services were suspended, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or damage from the magnitude 6.8 quake. Only a minor swelling of the sea was observed in several cities about half an hour after it struck. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the earthquake was located off the western coast of Yamagata about 50 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of the city of Sakata. It said the quake was fairly shallow, about 10 kilometres (6 miles) below the sea's surface. Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth's surface. The agency warned of a possible tsunami along the coasts of the northwestern prefectures of Yamagata, Niigata and Ishikawa. Bullet train service was suspended in parts of the region because of power outages and for safety checks. About 9,000 households in Yamagata and Niigata lost power, according to Tohoku Electric Power Co. All seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata were off line and no abnormalities were reported. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said an emergency response team was set up at the Prime Minister's Office to assess the extent of injuries and damage. He urged residents of the affected areas to be prepared for possible aftershocks. An elderly man suffered a minor foot injury in Murakami city, where strong shaking was reported, public broadcaster NHK said. NHK showed broken glasses and dishes scattered on the floor of a bar in Tsuruoka which was empty after customers rushed out, leaving behind their half-eaten food on the counter. Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 offshore quake hit the northeast coast, causing a tsunami that took more than 18,000 lives and triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. There was no danger of a tsunami from Tuesday's quake on the eastern coast, where the Fukushima plant is located.