Over 58 kilogrammes of cured marijuana were seized during a police exercise in Point Fortin on Tuesday. Police found the drugs in a camp some two miles into the forested areas off McKenzie Lands. Surrounding the camp, the officers also found marijuana fields containing approximately 3,000 fully grown marijuana trees, as well as 1,200 seedlings. The drugs were catalogued and the trees and seedlings were destroyed. From initial estimates, the total street value of all the drugs, trees, and seedlings at the camp, came up to TT$4.75 million. The exercise was conducted by officers of the South Western Division Task Force led by Inspector Nemai and included Sgt Saunders, PC Esahack, PC Ali, and others.

A 30-year-old woman is dead following a shooting incident in Quarry Village, Siparia on Tuesday night. While up to 7 am today details were still coming in, from initial information, the deceased has been identified as Ellen Lewis of Siparia. According to reports, around 8 pm, Lewis and a man known to her were seated in a white Nissan Tiida when the car came under fire. Police reports indicate that residents of the area reported hearing loud explosions, and upon investigating they found the vehicle, which then caught fire. The police and fire services were notified, and Lewis and the other victim were rushed for medical treatment. Lewis succumbed to her injuries. The man who was in the car with her at the time is warded in a critical condition at the San Fernando General Hospital, having sustained multiple gunshot wounds about his body. This individual, police said, was well known to them, having been linked to several firearm and drug-related offences. Police, therefore, believe the male victim may have been the target of the attack. Investigations are continuing.

15-year-old British teen Emily Eccles's jaw was ripped apart after she was flung from a horse in August. A Trini-born surgeon is getting praise for reconstructing her face.

A call has been made for a Trinidadian doctor to be knighted for reconstructing the face of a British teen. Dr Ricardo Mohammed-Ali, who is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, is the surgeon who took on the gargantuan task of repairing the face of Emily Eccles, 15. A very grateful Eccles wrote to the Queen requesting the surgeon be honoured for his work and her family has already started to raise money for the Children's Hospital Charity's appeal for a helipad in Sheffield and also for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Eccles, a high school student, was flung into a gatepost while riding a horse near Baslow, Derbyshire, in August. The horse was startled by a car. The freak accident left Eccles with half of her sliced-off jaw dangling from the rest of her head by just a sliver of skin. The surgery to reconstruct her face took five and a half hours. Despite the praise, Mohammed-Ali said it was a team effort. “It’s everybody just gelling together to make it happen,” he told the BBC. Mohammed-Ali is a UK trained and accredited Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals as well as a Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sheffield.

Poet Laureate Paul Keens Douglas will delvier the feature address at an event at NALIS to mark World Poetry Day. The event is free to the public.

This year’s observance of National Poetry Day which takes place today, October 15,focuses on the “Evolution of Poetry”. The commemoration will take place at the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS), AV Room from 5:30 pm, followed by a short reception. This event falls under the Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago Programme and will feature three first-time poetry authors, Miranda Dookeran, Martine Clarke and Léel Arlene Bain, as well as local publisher, Paula Obé Thomas of Bamboo Talk Press. As customary, our Poet Laureate, Paul Keens-Douglas will deliver the feature address. The commemoration is a collaborative venture of The Circle of Poets of Trinidad and Tobago and NALIS as part of a joint commitment to preserve, promote and explore our national heritage through poetry. The Circle and NALIS welcome all to attend this freecelebration of our local poets on this special occasion. For further information or to RSVP, please email: circleofpoetstt@gmail.com or contact Chantelle Anthony at 296-6639.

Policemen in riot gear move past a burning barricade during clashes with protestors in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Spain's Supreme Court on Monday convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in a secession bid in 2017, a ruling that immediately inflamed independence supporters in the wealthy northeastern region. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Thousands of people on Wednesday joined five large protest marches across Catalonia that were set to converge on Barcelona, as the restive region reeled from two straight days of violent clashes between police and protesters. The marches set off from several Catalan towns and aimed to reach the Catalan capital by Friday. They included families with children, elderly and young people, and banners reading "Libertat Presos Politics" (Freedom for political prisoners) — a reference to nine separatist Catalan leaders given to lengthy prison sentences by the Supreme Court on Monday, which ignited the protests. Catalan regional president Quim Torra left Barcelona, the seat of the regional government, to join one of the marches, saying he wanted to be next to the people. "These peaceful marches happening across the country (Catalonia) are the Catalan people's best response" to the court's verdict, Torra said. Torra, one of the leaders of Catalonia's separatist movement which wants the wealthy northeastern region to be independent from Spain, didn't criticise the recent street violence, which national political leaders have condemned. Peaceful protests turned ugly in Barcelona and other towns after Monday's verdict. Barcelona's police said 40,000 protesters packed the streets near the office of Spain's government representative Tuesday evening and a running melee broke out when they turned over metal barriers and threw objects at police. The outnumbered police used foam bullets, batons and shields to battle groups that rained down rocks, firecrackers and other objects on them. An organisation representing downtown Barcelona businesses, called Barcelona Abierta, said the violence in the city had caused "significant losses" and "deeply damaged" its image abroad. Spain's Interior Ministry said 54 members of Catalonia's regional police force and 18 National Police officers were hurt in the protests Tuesday. Health authorities say they treated 125 people, both police and protesters. Police made 29 arrests in Barcelona, the Catalan capital. More than 150 barricades in the streets were set ablaze by protesters, according to the ministry. Similar protests turned toward violence in other towns in Catalonia, which has seen a rise in separatist sentiment for the past decade. Roughly half of the region's 7.5 million residents support independence, with the other half opposing a breakaway, according to polls. Students in the restive region went on strike Wednesday, with organisers urging them to remain peaceful, like the majority of separatist rallies have been before this week. The marches and sporadic street protests continued to snarl traffic across the wealthy region. Flights and passenger movements at Barcelona airport have also been disrupted by protests. Traffic in downtown Barcelona was also slowed by the massive cleanup effort to remove the debris of burned barricades and trash. Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who is facing a national election on November10, began to meet with the leaders of the main opposition parties to discuss the situation in Catalonia. "(I want to issue) my firmest and complete condemnation of the violence that is trying to shatter the social harmony in Catalonia," Sánchez wrote on Twitter. "All support for the forces of security." Gabriel Rufián, a leading Catalan separatist and member of Spain's parliament, and some other high-profile secessionists, called for calm. "Nothing can justify violence," Rufián told Cadena SER radio. Most impromptu protesters have responded to an online campaign by Tsunami Democratic, a shadowy grassroots group that uses encrypted messaging apps to call for peaceful disobedience. Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said authorities were investigating the group. But on Wednesday, the group issued a statement appealing for an end to the violence. The Supreme Court found nine of 12 Catalan politicians and activists guilty of sedition and gave them prison sentences of nine to 13 years. Four of them were additionally convicted of misuse of public funds. The other three were fined for disobeying court orders.

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