A second Valencia man was scheduled to appear before a Sangre Grande Magistrate on Tuesday, charged with the murder of Kelvin Lakewhich occurred on July 2, 2017. 33-year-old Nicholas Edwards also knownas ‘Pancho’of Pine Apple Drive, New City, Valencia, was charged on May 21 following advice received from Director of Public ProsecutionsRoger Gaspard. The 26-year-old victimof Bertram Street,was found dead along the roadway atKP Lands, Valencia, with a gunshot wound to the head. Edwards was arrested along Teak Lane, Valencia, by officers of the Valencia Police Poston May 14 after trying to evade police officers. The first to be charged with Lake's murder was 24-year-old Shondell Jack of Gill Street, Valencia, on July 28, 2017. Investigations were supervised by Inspectors Shaun Craig, Anil Maharaj and Andrew Stanislausof Homicide Bureau of Investigations (HBI), Region 2, while PC Andre Lewis, also of HBI Region 2, laid the charges against Edwards and Jack. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store:http://bit.ly/GetiLoop

Thedeath of Uber driverChristopher Mohammedwas terrible and could have happened to another driver, who said he almost suffered the same fate. The driver, who chose not to be identified, told LoopTT that he barely escaped with his life after he was also robbed and his car stolen while dropping off a passenger in east Port of Spain in March 2018. The father of four, who also works with the ride-sharing company, said he answered a call to pick up someone in Belmont, which he did, and then was asked to pick up several other people. He said he was then asked to go to a location in East Port of Spain where several people attacked him and stole his car. A 13-year-old boy was subsequently detained and questioned in connection with the incidents. The driver, who is also from Central Trinidad, said he later learned that prior to his robbery several other drivers had also been robbed in that area. He said if this had been made known to drivers along with information on the suspects then perhaps these robberies could have been prevented. He said the death of Christopher Mohammed was a terrible event and extended his condolences to his family. “To say I’m sad is an understatement. I’m sure there’s more to this story. I find it reprehensible that I was almost killed and my car taken and nothing (has been) done (to date),” he said. “I feel horrible about it...they have all the information about drivers but we have barely any information about passengers. It was like a field day and it will continue to be…we’re soft targets, and I feel so bad for this guy,” he said. He said if a driver turns down a call, they are given a 'time out' which means less calls that day because of the programme's reward system. He suggested the implementation of a ‘panic button’ option, which would allow for drivers to send for help to the company or to the police. “They need to put a panic button, something you can press that can alert the police. I was in the car and I suspected that I was going to be robbed but there was nothing I could do. If there’s a panic button then maybe drivers can contact the police or private security,” he said. The driver was also told by the company that he would be compensated for the loss of his car, however, although he has spoken with a representative, he has heard nothing since. He added although suspects were detained in connection with the robberies, he has had no word from the police on his stolen car. “It’s like a nightmare for me every night, what I could have done differently…how it happened was horrible and there was nothing I could do,” he said. 28-year-old Christopher Mohammed was found dead in some bushes near Mucurapo Road, St James on May 17. It is thought that he had been killed for his car, which has not yet been recovered. Mohammed, a former student of Hillview College, began working with the company in order to help pay off for his car which he recently bought. Facebook page Uber Drivers Trinidadstated that drivers are at risk as the system in Trinidad and Tobago is not cashlessand called for these safety concerns to be addressed. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store: http://bit.ly/GetiLoop

The winners of the 2018 School’s National Carnival Intellectual Chutney Soca Monarch Competition were presented with certificates and trophies at a prize-giving function on May 21 at theNCC’S VIP Lounge, Queens’ Park Savannah, Port of Spain. Addressing the winners and their parents, Education Minister Anthony said he was very impressed with the high level of creativity displayed by students. “As we attach the word intellectual it tells us that we want to develop the creative talents of our young people, creativity is important and we need to have creative thinkers in our country and this is one way of ensuring that we develop among our children the creative talents.” “In this competition, you can use your creative talents to express the way you feel and the way things around you would impact upon you, so the word ‘intellectual’ is so important to us today,”he said. Minister Garcia also emphasised the value of competitions saying, it teaches us how to win graciously andhow to accept defeat with dignity. “It is important for us to understand the true meaning of competition and therefore competitions like these assist us in our growth and development. So when we compete with each other, although wemightnot come first, but the fact that we are able to meet, greet, play and participate with each other, this is a very important teaching tool.” Garcia also pledged his personal support and that of the Ministry of Education to similar competitions put on by stakeholders. Newly appointed Chairman of the National Carnival Commission, Winston ‘Gypsy” Peters praised the Ministry of Education for supporting these competitions and urged students to start writing their own songs. He promised that the NCC will recognise and reward these students. Thewinners in thePrimary School categoryof the2018 School’s National Carnival Intellectual Chutney Soca Monarch Competition were; Jayda Celestine ofthe St. Michael's Anglican School;Sharla Zakiya Grant ofthe Lower Cumuto GovernmentandDabria Baptiste ofSt. Gabriel's R.CPrimarySchool. TheSecondary School winners wereAaron DuncanofSt. George's College,Nirmala Ramdass SinghofSan FernandoWest SecondaryandCatherine Chandlerfrom theUniversity of the Southern Caribbean. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store:http://bit.ly/GetiLoop

(File image of Jada Pinkett Smith via WikiCommons)

US actress Jada Pinkett Smith has spoken out about her battle with hair loss in her Facebook chat show. The 46-year-old mother of two said she had been getting a lot of questions about why she had been wearing a turban. "Well, I've been having issues with hair loss. And it was terrifying when it first started," she said in her show, Red Table Talk. Smith, who has appeared in numerous movies including the Matrix trilogy, Girls Trip and as a voice actor for the animated Madagascar films, said the problem started when “handfuls of hair” came out in the shower. "I was just like: 'Oh my God, am I going bald?' It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear," she said. “That’s why I cut my hair.” (Screengrab from Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk) Smith said she had undergone medical tests but doctors had not been able to find the underlying cause of her alopecia, though she believes it could be stress related. She said that she had found losing her hair difficult because she used to have very thick hair and taking care of it used to be a “beautiful ritual”. But the actress said she had come to terms with it by putting it in a “spiritual perspective”. “When I had to think about it, about what else would you put on the table for God to take? Take the hair! Take it!” she said. Alopecia is the general medical term for hair loss. In many cases it is temporary but sometimes it can last years. It can be due to an underlying condition, weight loss or a lack of iron among other things, the UK’s NHS public health website says.

Heather Jones is one of the designers nominated for the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards.

Trinidad and Tobago hasmade great representation at the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards and Fashion Showcase 2018, following the announcement of nominations. Local designers Heather Jones, of Heather Jones International; Christian Boucaud, of Christian Boucaud Designs and Tyron Kerr, who is one-half of the label Kerr and Marcelle Designs; have all been nominated for the 2018 Caribbean Style and Culture- Award of Excellence - Fashion Innovation. Trinidadian models Naomi Chin-Wing and Gabriella Bernard have also been nominated to receive the Model of the Year- Runway and Model of the Year - Editorial Award, respectively; while Makeup Artist Arlene Villarule–Felix has been nominated for the Caribbean Style and Culture MUA Award. [related node_id='dc7998cc-5d7d-45f1-ab63-32d84eb867a3'] These artists have been recognised for their contribution to the fashion industry both in Trinidad and Tobago and within the region and were selected from among a large number of submissions. In addition to receiving awards, these artists will also participate in the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards and Fashion Showcase which will be held on Saturday, June 30at the Silver Spring Civic Center in the heart of Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. The recipients are among a group of several other designers and models from countries such as Guyana, St. Lucia, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica whose work will be honoured at this event. The Caribbean Style and Culture Awards is a showcase of fashion, music and art, held annually in the month of June to commemorate and celebrate National Caribbean American Heritage Month. The Caribbean Style and Culture Runway Showcasebrings the newest collections from the hottest Caribbean fashion designers showcasing the very best from the Caribbean and South American Region. This is the ninth year that the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards and Fashion Showcase is being hosted. Over the years, the event has honoured the work of several renowned designers and models from across the Caribbean. Past recipients of awards from Trinidad and Tobago include Sharon Cox-Cole, Francis Hendy, Shaun Griffith-Perez, Claudia Pegus, Charu Lochan-Dass and many others. As the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards & Fashion Showcase head into its tenth year, the event will seek to expand its reach to include work from Caribbean photographers and makeup artists as we believe that these stakeholders all play a part of telling the stories of the Caribbean fashion industry to the world. Persons interested in becoming part of theexciting journey can follow the Facebook page CARIBBEAN STYLE & CULTURE for updates and other information.

Trinidad and Tobago author Samuel Selvon was honoured with his very own Google Doodle on his birthday, May 20, 2018. Selvongrew up in South Trinidad and migrated to the UK in the 1950s alongside the Windrush generation, where he wrote iconic books such as 'A Brighter Sun' and 'The Lonely Londoners'. Selvon, who passed away in 1994, is the first Trinbagonian writer to be given a Google Doodle. Google said Sunday's Google Doodle by guest artist Jayesh Sivan "depicts Selvon and other members of the Caribbean migrant community set against the backdrop of London, which served as the inspiration and setting for much of his works". Novelist, poet, and playwright, Sam Selvon started writing during his spare time while working in the oilfields, serving in the Royal Naval reserve, and writing for newspapers and literary magazines. In his early twenties, he wrote and published several short stories and poems in his native Trinidad. However, it was his move to England in 1950 which set the stage for his career to blossom. Drawing from his personal experiences as an immigrant, Selvon published his pioneering novel “The Lonely Londoners” in 1956. In it, he gave the unique Caribbean creolised English, or "nation language", a narrative voice of its own on an international stage. “The Lonely Londoners” was later followed by two more London-based novels: “Moses Ascending” (1975) and “Moses Migrating” (1983), both of which continued the saga of Caribbean immigrants and their experiences in London. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store: http://bit.ly/GetiLoop

Loop Breakfast Bites is a round-up of the top international stories daily. [related node_id='c89d9141-265a-4208-aafc-a74822afd3ed'] [related node_id='daa5c0c8-108c-4aa5-b950-d79cce380636'] [related node_id='2dabde08-1448-40fe-b6c0-222b557c3d68'] [related node_id='f6dcf767-861d-4bbc-a49d-8dd923a44a25'] [related node_id='188266ac-1e86-4efd-b960-88835b6c778e']

In this April 4, 2018 photo, Venezuelan chef Edgar Granadillo, center, lines up to send a remittance to his family living in Venezuela, from Bogota, Colombia. (AP Photo / Fernando Vergara)

The giant metal pots in the kitchen of a drab Bogota cafeteria are filled with simple dishes like vegetable rice. But Edgary Granadillo's delicate arrangement of the plates he sets before rushed lunchtime office workers hints at the finer dishes he once served. The former executive chef at a beach resort in Venezuela once commanded a staff of 65 cooks and made regular appearances on television cooking shows. Now he is laboring for $10 a day, with one sole aim: to send money back home. "The wages there aren't enough," Granadillo, 30, said, his dark, somber eyes keeping a careful eye on a bubbling saucepan of fish head soup. "People need to rely on a Venezuelan outside the country, who can send something, in order to survive." As the number of Venezuelans fleeing their country's deepening economic and humanitarian crisis climbs, a burgeoning lifeline for those back home is emerging — remittances. Skirting strict currency controls, dozens of transfer operations, mostly small-scale businesses run by a handful of exiles entirely online, have opened abroad to help emigres convert their dollars and pesos into Venezuelan bolivars that arrive within minutes in a relative's Venezuelan bank account. The remittances are big business. Independent experts estimate Venezuelans now send at least $1 billion a year to friends and family members that they've left behind. That money is critical at a time when Venezuela's minimum wage is now worth less than $2 a month, and the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who won a new six-year term Sunday in a contested vote many fear will spur even more people to leave, is taking note. Blaming the operations for feeding devaluation — and hoping to snag a piece of the pie — Venezuelan officials recently shut down several exchange houses and announced they would be opening their own. More than 100 people linked to remittance businesses have been detained in what officials dub "Operation Paper Hands." They are accused of speculating on the value of the bolivar by using the black-market exchange rate. The board of directors of Venezuela's top private bank, which held many of the remittance accounts, was arrested as part of the operation. Venezuela's chief prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, has warned that "new detention centers should be built for this type of crime," which he said was causing "grave damage" to the nation's economy. He added that while many of the business operators might be working from outside the country, avoiding arrest, officials have identified accomplices within Venezuela. "They might be abroad playing with the pain of Venezuelans, but we know who they work with," he said. Most remittances sent to Latin America come from migrants in the U.S., who send money to Mexico, Cuba and other nations in Central America and the Caribbean. In 2016, those money transfers valued $74.3 billion — in some cases, contributing more than 10 percent of a nation's gross domestic product. Venezuela historically had been a receptor of migrants, and thus a country people sent remittances from, but that has changed. "The majority — 100 percent, and if not 100 percent, more than 99 percent — of Venezuelans who leave the country are doing so in order to send money back to relatives," said Yulia Torres, founder of an Instagram account called "Venezuelans in Bogota" that has attracted more than 40,000 followers. "They might not ask you for it, but they absolutely need it," she said of relatives back home. To keep their accounts flush with bolivars, money changers must wade into Venezuela's murky black market, where they sell dollars held in accounts abroad at 100 times the official rate, which only state agencies and privileged insiders have access to. At a typical transfer shop, Venezuelans who operate the business maintain personal bank accounts within Venezuela while opening new ones in foreign currencies abroad. Migrants in Bogota, for example, deposit pesos into the business' Colombian bank account and the exchange operators transfer an equivalent amount of bolivars from their own Venezuelan account to that of the indicated relative. Ecoanalitica, a Venezuelan financial consulting firm, estimates about $1.1 billion in remittances were transferred to Venezuelans last year, a number analysts say could be higher given the difficulty in calculating informal transactions. Even on the lower end, that would mean upward of 4 million Venezuelans, or around 15 percent of the population, receive help from abroad. "Increasingly middle-class households need remittances in order to survive," said Jean Paul Leidenz, a senior economist at Ecoanalitica. "But we cannot just depend on remittances for hard currency income. Because they never enter the economy." Maduro has repeatedly accused Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos of waging an economic war against Venezuela by allowing "mafias" to horde large quantities of bolivars. While large stockpiles of bolivars have been found as far away as Paraguay, suggesting networks are speculating on the currency's value, analysts say Venezuela's current economic turmoil is driven by poor government decisions, such as issuing new money much faster than there is anything available to spend it on. Venezuela imposed currency controls in 2003 aimed at halting capital flight, but most economists say they have actually been driving the current financial crisis. Individuals and businesses must apply to receive dollars at the government-set official rate to import goods and cover other transactions. But except for the public sector and a few privileged insiders, most Venezuelans must turn to the black market, where one dollar currently fetches about 100 times more bolivars than at the official rate. Using that rate, analysts say Venezuela's official exchange houses would never be able to compete. "We are a solution," said Victor Aguirre, who repaired roofs in Venezuela and opened an online exchange business with a friend a few months after arriving in Colombia. A Panama-based manager at Rapid Cambio, one of the businesses recently blacklisted by the government, likened the government's detentions to a "witch hunt." Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of further reprisal, he said he plans to open a new business as soon as the dust settles. Like many migrants, Granadillo, the chef, makes barely enough money to cover his daily expenses. But in one day of working in Bogota he earns as much as he did in a month in Venezuela. The little he is able to send back doesn't go far, but his 62-year-old mother says she would go hungry without it. On a recent afternoon, Ana Teresa Rondon used the money Granadillo sent back to purchase a few peppers, an avocado and 3½ pounds of chicken that she said would need to last a month. "Without the remittance, I wouldn't be able to buy anything," she said. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store:http://bit.ly/GetiLoop


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