A man who attempted to hide a bag of marijuana in his crotch was arrested on Tuesday. The suspect was one of two men held in Sangre Grandeby officers of the Special Operations Unit. The officers, led by Sgt Harper and Cpl Ramnarine, received intelligence which led them to “known drug blocks” in the Sangre Grande area. Along Coronation Road, the officers had cause tostop and search one man who had an “unnatural bulge” in his pants. He was found to be carrying 22 grammes of marijuana. Near Brierley Street, the officers also had cause to stop and search a man. He was found to be carrying a quantity of cocaine. The two were expected to be questioned and brought before a SangreGrande Magistrate. PC Cielto, PC Singh, PC Lezama, and PC Samuel also assisted during the operation.

Businessman Emile Sanowar. Photo via Facebook.

Businessman Emile Sanowar is expected to appear before a Port of Spain Magistrate on allegations of firearm and ammunition possession. Sanowar was one of 20 men who were detained by police on Monday morning following a party at a house onLady Chancellor Road. He was charged late Tuesday by officers of the Port-of-Spain Division. He is being represented by a team of attorneys including Jagdeo Singh and Renuka Rambachan. Another man is expected to appear on allegations of possession of cocaine, while a third man is aiding with inquiries. The 17 other men have since been released. Police said in the operation on Monday morning, officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) raided the house, and found 22-women.


October 31 is Halloween, the beginning of a three-day perioddedicated to the remembrance of the dead. However, despite its intent, Halloween has become a day most known for dressing up in costumes and, here in the Caribbean, as evidenced by the proliferation of Carnivals, we love to dress up in disguise. While many look to foreign cultures for inspiration, the trendy television characters and movie superheroes, the Caribbean contains its own inspiration in the form of folklore characters. Here are five folklore characters we think would make fantastic Halloween costumes. La Diablesse If you want to get your sexy on, La Diablesse provides great inspiration. Known in Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia’s folklore, she is said to lure men to their deaths with her poise and sexuality. She wears long dresses to hide her cloven hoof and a wide brim hat that hides her demon face. Heart Man Part of Barbados’ folklore, this character is a man who dressed in all black and carves out the hearts of people, especially bad-behaved children, and feeds them to the devil. You could portray this fearsome character with hearts pinned all over a black outfit. Put a modern twist on the La Diablesse with a stylish hat Bakku/Baccoo/Buck Known as Bakku/Baku/Baccoo in Guyana and Barbados and Buck in T&T, this creature is a short man with sharp teeth and claws who makes its owner wealthy but exacts payment in return. A great idea for kids who can dress up in suits with buckets to collect money. Duppy Forget Caspar. In the Caribbean, namely Jamaica and Barbados, we know about the Duppy, a malevolent spirit that haunts people. Another great character for your children to portray while doing their trick or treating. Make your soucouyant costume a sexy one with this type of fiery outfit Soucouyant/Ole Higue Known as a Soucouyant in Dominica, St Lucia, Guadeloupe and T&T, Ole Higue in Jamaica and Guyana, hag in The Bahamas, Asema in Suriname and Loogaroo in Haiti and Grenada, this woman sucks the blood of her victims, shedding her skin and turning into a ball of fire to fly across the skies. You can update this portrayal with a sexy red dress to represent fire and wings.

Photo: Alina Doodnath

Cat cafés have taken off in the US, Europe and Japan and now Trinis will be able to cuddle, care for and perhaps even adopt some of these furry felines at a local cat café in St Augustine. The veterinary clinic and cattery, owned and operated Drs Wade Seuk­er­an and Car­olyn Mike of Ten­der­heart An­i­mals in St Au­gus­tine, is part of an attempt to get people to learn more about cats and help find homes for cats who were taken off the streets and rehabilitated. Dr Seukeran said despite the best efforts of local NGOs and supportive citizens, the number of stray cats is growing, and people are resorting to cruel measures such as poisoning and killing them. [image_gallery] (Photos courtesy Epidemic Studios) Having practised for 25 years, Dr Seukeran said the idea just evolved naturally after they created a space for cats at the clinic’s location in St Augustine. “It kind of evolved on its own, we always focus on showing compassion and care, that’s why our veterinary clinic is called Tender Hearts Vet Clinic.” He said the clinic initially started off as a home for the Trinidad and Tobago Marine Mammals Stranding Network, where they would receive calls to rescue stranded dolphins. They began receiving many calls about stray dogs and cats and he said there were so many calls, it became disheartening. “There are so many stray dogs and cats and we got many requests to help out with them, it became very depressing. It hurts that we weren’t able to do very much as we didn’t have the capacity to hold many strays at our facilities, and people whose pets we cared for would tell us that they had a box full of kittens and they wouldn’t be able to care for them for various reasons.” “We realised that pets in general have it really hard in Trinidad, and the people who try to fix these problems, for example the rescue organisations, vets and everyone who tries to care for them, the resources are not enough, and they aren’t able to properly tackle the problem, the animals are multiplying too fast,” he said. He said eventually they put aside a space for the kittens, who began bonding with each other and others who visited them. And so, the idea for the café was born. “It just happened that I had some extra space at the clinic and we decided let’s keep a few of these kittens and let’s try to get them adopted. Little by little we fixed up the room until it became pretty much a cattery, a space perfect for cats.” “The people who brought the cats also didn’t want to take them to shelters, so we made an agreement that if they brought supplies we would try to get them adopted.” “Eventually we got 10 of them and the cats liked each other and became a colony. They became like a group, and they really like each other and the people who come to see them.” He said what they saw was both surprising and beautiful. “I really didn’t expect to see what I saw after a couple of weeks, they became so loving and welcoming. When people came to see how they were going and others came to visit, the response was so overwhelming, people were like ‘wow I didn’t know they could be so friendly’, it was an eye-opener for a lot of people.” He said for people who are lonely, such as the elderly, this can also be a great therapeutic space. “We all know that bonding with animals can be very therapeutic and I realised there’s a lot of potential here.” “They’re pretty much therapy cats now,” he said. Changing perceptions about cats Dr Seukeran said many Trinis don’t like cats and view them as pests, which is one of the ideas he wants to tackle with this new café. “I would hear people say ‘I hate cats, I’m not a cat person’…it’s part of our culture, people would have been raised to think cats are like vermin and they don’t know the relationship between a human and a cat can be very loving…it’s mainly due to ignorance.” “What we want to do is to help change people’s attitudes about cats, to help them experience what it’s like to be with cats, and for people who like cats, it’s just for them to come and just spend time with cats if they live in spaces where they can’t have pets.” “So maybe people who don’t like cats might come here and realise ‘hey this isn’t so bad, maybe I should get one’,” he said. He said the café part of the idea came as he was spending time in the cattery. “I was just observing them and I thought, this would be a nice place to have a cup of coffee, maybe do work on my laptop and just kind of have a quiet space to relax,” he said. He said it can also be a great place for animal lovers to network. “This can be a really great place for people to come together to share ideas and find ways to help animal welfare. This way, we can help people to find their own cats.” “We want to change people’s hearts and minds towards cats,” he said. The café part of the venue is kept separate to the cattery, however, the meeting space is also cat-friendly. The cats have all been spayed and are regularly checked and kept clean. Dr Seukeran said the venue can also be used for events. “It’s coffee, conversation and cats.” (Photo: Dr Seukeran pets one of the cats at Tenderheart Animals. Photo courtesy Epidemic Studios.) The Tenderheart principle Dr Seukeran said Tenderheart Animals focuses on four pillars of care for animals, including nutrition, immunity, preventing parasites, and encouraging healthy behaviour, covered by the acronym NIPB ‘Nip It in the Bud’. “Practicing veterinary medicine in Trinidad is very demanding and frustrating. I quickly found that I had to remind myself constantly why I do this. I called it Tenderheart to steer me back to that place whenever I needed it. This cat cafe is an application of the Tenderheart principle to the neglect, abuse and ignorance about cats in Trinidad,” he said. Calls for better animal welfare legislation Dr Seukeran said that a review of animal welfare legislation is currently underway and he is eager to see these revised laws implemented. “I am elated to see our welfare legislation being reviewed and public comment invited. This is a rare opportunity for us to improve the lives of the animals we share this space with and by doing so improve our own lives as well. Animal health is public health.” He said he hopes that people will speak out as much as they can to help bring more awareness of animal welfare, to help update legislative protections. “I hope the public can contribute as much as possible to making animal welfare amendments effective. We need people to speak up so that the people in charge can make the changes we need to stop animal cruelty,” he said. For more information or for bookings contact Tenderheart Animals on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tenderheartanimals/


View of a truck, seen in rear, that was found to contain a large number of dead bodies, in Thurrock, South England, early October 23, 2019. Police in southeastern England said that 39 people were found dead Wednesday inside the truck container believed to have come from Bulgaria. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Police in southeastern England launched a murder investigation after 39 people were found dead early Wednesday inside a large cargo truck that authorities believe was registered in Bulgaria and came into the country via Ireland. The truck, which British police said entered the UKon Saturday via the Welsh port of Holyhead, was found across the country at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, a town 25 miles (40 kilometres) east of London on the River Thames. Police did not formally tie the deaths to human trafficking but a link was assumed because of the way the victims were crammed into the truck's container. The truck's apparently circuitous route into and around Britain also raised suspicions among shipping experts. A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland who was driving the truck was arrested on suspicion of murder, police said. He has not been charged or identified. "To put 39 people into a locked metal container shows a contempt for human life that is evil," lawmaker Jackie Doyle-Price, who represents the region in parliament, told Parliament. Police were called to the truck at 1.40 am, alerted by ambulance workers, but it was unclear how the workers heard of the tragedy. "This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened," Essex Police Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner told reporters at a press conference. "We are in the process of identifying the victims, however I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process." Police said one victim appeared to be a teenager but gave no further details on the victims. A cordon has been put around the white tractor-trailer and access to and from the industrial park has been restricted. Mariner said police were working with local authorities in Thurrock to mitigate "any impact our investigation scene will have" on the region. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged in a tweet to work closely with Essex Police to establish exactly what happened and later told Parliament that people smugglers would be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "All such traders in human beings should be hunted down and brought to justice," he said. The tragedy recalls the death of 58 migrants in 2000 in a truck in Dover, England, and the deaths in 2015 of 71 migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who were found suffocated in the back of a refrigerated truck that was abandoned on an Austrian highway close to the Hungarian border. Smaller numbers of migrants have occasionally been found dead in trucks in Britain in recent years. Bulgarian authorities said they could not yet confirm that the truck had started its journey in Bulgaria but were working closely with British authorities. "We are in contact with our embassy in London and with British authorities," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tsvetana Krasteva said. Essex police say the force has not yet identified the 39 victims or where they came from. Deputy police chief Pippa Mills said a key line of inquiry will be how the truck entered Ireland, then got on a ferry to Holyhead in Wales, on the western side of the British mainland. She refused to describe the gender of the victims. Seamus Leheny, Northern Ireland policy manager for the Freight Transport Association, called the route used by the truck "unorthodox" since it apparently involved traveling to Ireland from somewhere in Europe and then entering Britain via a ferry over the Irish Sea to a major passenger port in Wales. He said that choice may have been influenced by increased security and checks in the major English port of Dover and the French port of Calais, which are both on the English Channel. Dover and Calais, which have been under pressure from human traffickers for years, have sniffer dogs, monitors and more advanced technological surveillance due to the fact that they are the endpoints for the Channel Tunnel between France and Britain. "People have been saying that security and checks have been increased at places like Dover and Calais, so it might be seen as an easier way to get," Leheny said. "It's a long way around and it'll add an extra day to the journey." The truck then traveled by road across Britain to Grays. Richard Burnett, chief of the Road Haulage Association, said the truck may have traveled from the French port of Cherbourg to the Irish port of Rosslare before continuing by road to Dublin and taking a ferry to Holyhead in Wales. Burnett said it is "highly unlikely" the truck would have been subjected to a physical check on that route because those ports have far fewer checks then Dover and Calais.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in the House of Commons in London following the debate for the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, October 22, 2019. (Jessica Taylor, UK Parliament via AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was weighing Wednesday whether to push for an early election or try again to pass his stalled European Union divorce dealafter Parliament blocked a fast-track plan to approve his Brexit bill before the UK's scheduled departure from the bloc on October31. Lawmakers backed the substance of Johnson's divorce deal in principle late Tuesday but rejected the government's plan to fast-track the legislation through Parliament in a matter of days, saying it didn't provide enough time for scrutiny. The government is now waiting for the EU's response to its request for a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline. European Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet that because of Tuesday's votes in London he would recommend that the other 27 EU nations grant Britain a delay to its departure to avoid a chaotic no-deal exit in just eight days. European Parliament President David Sassoli echoed that sentiment, saying that European leaders should accept the Brexit extension because that will "allow the United Kingdom to clarify its position and the European Parliament to exercise its role." But in London on Wednesday, talk quickly shifted to holding an early election. British Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC that Parliament's failure to break the logjam means "we are left with the option of a general election ... That seems to me to be the only way to break this impasse." Britain's next scheduled election is in 2022. If Johnson wants an early election, he needs to win a vote in Parliament to call for an election or lose a no-confidence vote, which so far opposition parties have refused to call. The main opposition Labour Party, whose leader Jeremy Corbyn met with the prime minister on Wednesday, said it would "support a general election when the threat of a no-deal crash-out is off the table." But some lawmakers urged Johnson to push on with passage of the Brexit bill, saying it could pass if lawmakers had time to study it properly. "I would have thought it can be done in a matter of weeks," said Labour lawmaker Richard Burgon. Johnson won a major parliamentary victory on Tuesday when lawmakers in principle backed his Brexit plan, voting 329-299 to pass a bill to implement the divorce agreement that Johnson struck with the EU last week. But minutes later, legislators rejected his fast-track timetable by a vote of 322-308, saying they needed more time to scrutinise the bill. Without speedy passage of the bill, Britain won't be able to make an orderly exit from the bloc on October 31, a central vow of Johnson's three-month-old Conservative administration. House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg conceded Tuesday that "it is very hard to see how it is possible" to leave the EU with a deal on October31. Johnson had grudgingly asked the EU to delay Brexit to comply with a law passed by Parliament ordering the government to postpone Britain's departure rather than risk the economic damage that could come from a no-deal exit. All 27 other EU leaders must agree to an extension, which would be the third time Britain's departure date has been postponed. Johnson has not abandoned his Brexit deal, which sets out the terms of Britain's departure from the EU after almost five decades of membership. It will form the centerpiece of his Conservative Party's campaign if there is an early election. Johnson hopes an election will give his Conservatives a majority in Parliament so he can push through his plans. "One way or another, we will leave the EU with this deal to which this House has just given its assent," Johnson told lawmakers after Tuesday's votes.