Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has assured that Panorama and other Carnival events will happen in 2018. This, following a court judgement in which the National Carnival Commission (NCC) was ordered to hand over three million in gate receipts collected at this year’s Panorama. NCC took over the management of the gate following allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the Pan body. [related node_id='b2cef540-f154-4cd1-a396-13329d1d3dd7'] Responding to the judgement, the Minister of Arts and Culture said there is a seven-day stay in which NCC has to submit evidence of the monies paid to Pan Trinbago for salaries and other necessities outside of the gate receipts. She said last year, the Ministry paid Pan Trinbago three million dollars against the gate receipts to pay players. Stating that Judge Vashiest Kokaram is very concerned about the financing of Pan Trinbago and said there needs to be a firm discussion on how the Special Interest Groups are financed and supported by the Government. She said Government disburses money in four tranches but before each tranche, there is supposed to be monitoring of how the money was spent but that has not been happening. The Minister said discussions have been taking place but were stalled due to the court case but will resume. She said she does not expect a resolution of the issues before Carnival but assured that the events will take place. “While we are having these discussions we intend to have a Panorama and give support to the groups. We just want to regulate that. Discussions are ongoing,” she said.

Cardi B will perform with Bunji Garlin for Carnival 2018. The show, Cardi B and Bunji Garlin and Friends Live,is carded to take place on February 7, 2018 at the Brian Lara Car Park. The announcement was made via Team Soca’s Instagram. The Bronx rapper, who is half-Trinidadian, has had a meteoric rise to fame over the last year, becoming the first female rapper to rule without any other billed acts since Lauryn Hill in 1998. No announcement has been made yet about additional acts.Tickets can be bought online at Event Brite.

One woman is among four people to be charged in connection with the five million dollar heist at Piarco International Airport. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service tweeted that theDirector of Public Prosecutions (DPP) gave the advice to charge the female accused of receiving stolen property and money laundering. The three male accused are to be jointly charged with robbery with aggravation. [related node_id='beffcc45-5e61-4c25-941d-87ff0e1bb02d'] One of them is to be charged separately with money laundering while the other twowill face additional charges of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. On December 6, armedbandits stole a five million dollars from an armoured security vehicle which was transporting the money for delivery by air to Tobago. Of the money stolen $250,000 was recovered. The investigation into the heist was led by DCP Crime Harold Phillip and coordinated by the head of the CID Snr Supt Ajith Persad.

The son of a police officer is said to be in critical condition following a shooting in Tobago. Jabari Hall, 20, was shot on Friday night in thebackby a lone gunmanat Egypt Junction in Bethel, Tobago. He was airlifted to Trinidad for further treatment.

Critics, prizes and publishers all have their say on what qualifies as the “best” book, but now it’s time for readers to choose their best book of the year. For the first time, Trinidad and Tobago will have an annual literary award for local writers, and the winner is to be chosen by the people. On Friday, the Bocas Lit Fest, NALIS and Newsday came together to launch the People’s Choice T&T Book of the Year at the National Library. The initiative will promote local writing and give the public a chance to have their say on the many books published every year by voting for their best read. The People’s Choice prize aims to raise public awareness of the growing number of books by local writers released in Trinidad and Tobago, in the first instance in the past two years. In future books published in the previous year will be eligible. The prize puts the spotlight on the most popular reads. Through this prize, the public can debate, discuss and get excited about local books. Bocas Lit Fest, which runs a series of internationally recognised literary awards and is a standard bearer for literary excellence, adds this to its portfolio of prizes, which include the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the CODE’s Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean literature. “We’re thrilled about the potential for this prize to get people buying and reading books, and to bring attention to work being published every year by T&T citizens here in T&T,” says Bocas Lit Fest founder, Marina Salandy-Brown. Nominations for the People’s Choice T&T Book of the Year prize is open from December 16 to February 16,2018. All eligible nominated books will appear on the Bocas Lit Fest website. Voting will be hosted on the Bocas Lit Fest website and will take place in two stages. Stage one will run from February 23 to April 25, 2018 and will involve the selection of the top six books from all nominated titles. Stage two voting will take place May 1 to June 1, 2018, during which the public will choose among the Top Six to decide the winner. The announcement of the winner is to be made in early June. For details of guidelines for the People’s Choice T&T Book of the Year, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/peopleschoice

As we count down the days to Christmas, we know some of you are still wondering what to get for your friends and loved ones. At Loop, we believe in supporting our local artisans and there are tons of wonderful products made in T&T that you can purchase. Ceola Belix, Content Manager of LoopTT joins Laura Dowrich-Phillips in The Lounge to talk about her favourite local items as we present our second annual local gift-giving guide. Below is a list of all the items featured and where they can be found. Happy shopping!! Lend & Borough Available at the Artisan Collective at 101Art Gallery at Holder's Studio. Friday 15 - Sunday 17. Available at Meiling,#6 Carlos Street, Woodbrook. On Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/lendandborough/ Immortelle Beauty Available at the Artisan Collective at 101Art Gallery at Holder's Studio. Friday 15 - Sunday17. Available at the Southside Expo on December 16. Available at Upmarket on December 17 and December 23. Available online athttp://www.immortellett.com/ Bloom Plant Box Available online athttp://www.bymaking.com/ Cocoa Vintage Available at Christmas Pop Up at The Shop at The Normandie Hotel on December 16https://www.facebook.com/events/395596877527580/ Available at The Shop at The Normandie Hotel Available online athttps://www.cocoavintagejewellery.com/ Etienne Charles CDs Available online at his store or you can give the gift of tickets to his next show, Carnival, The Sound of a People on January 14 at Queen's Hall available at Haagen Daz, Wrapworks Deli or Queen's Hall or online. HalcianPierre's Art Halcianwill be at Upmarket this weekend at the Country Club in Maraval. Contact Halcian at 397-4999 Uncorked Wines and Spirits Limited The Total Local box is available at Uncorked on 22 Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain. Visit the Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/UncorkedTT/ Lisa's Fabrics/Lisa Faye Check out Lisagorgeous silk cape and other hand dyed silk creations as well as accessories at her store on 8A Patna street, St James. Check her out on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/LisasFabrics/?ref=br_rs LalaLumber Cheryl Lala's wooden toys will be available at the San Antonio Green Market in Santa Cruz this weekend. Contact her at lalalumbertoys@gmail.com or call 791-2771. Arielle Cowie To book Arie, find her on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ariellealexamusic/ If you are looking for local gifts this Christmas, check out some of the Pop Up Shops happening this season.


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