A 67-year-old woman is recovering after she was assaulted during a home invasion. According to reports, around 11 am on Friday, the woman had just arrived at the premises along Ragbir Street, St Augustine when she observed the front door to the house had been rooted out. Upon entering she was accosted by three men dressed in dark clothing. They announced a robbery and started beating the victim about her body demanding money. The men were only able to steal $75, since no valuables are usually kept on the property, the woman explained to police. The suspects eventually escaped on foot. The victim then made checks but nothing else appeared to be missing from the house. She notified the police and PC St Clair is continuing inquiries.

Police are investigating after a loaded firearm was found in the mailbox at a security guard’s Sangre Grande home. The guard, who is the son of a retired police officer, told police that around 10.30 am on Thursday he was at his home in Sangre Chiquito when he went to check his mail. When he opened the mailbox he observed a black plastic bag. He opened the package and said he was shocked to discover a firearm. He immediately notified the police and officers from the Eastern Division responded. The weapon, police said, was a .38mm revolver, loaded with two rounds of ammunition. The weapon was dusted for prints by crime scene investigators and is to be sent for ballistic testing. Police are expected to review CCTV footage from cameras in the community to help determine who the weapon could have belonged to.

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(Image: Full moon courtesy of Rachel Kramer via Flickr)

You'll probably all have noticed the full moon this week. And if you didn't see it, you'll most definitely have felt its effects. But what is a full moon and how often does it happen? And why, for centuries, has the belief persisted that a full moon makes people act a little bit strange? Loop checks it out. What’s a full moon? A full moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun and the Sun’s light shines directly on it, giving it a circular appearance. Full moons can be seen about once a month or, to be extra precise, about once every 29.53 days – which is the time it takes for the lunar cycle to complete.When the Moon is full, it appears large and bright in the sky. Sometimes the Earth’s shadow blocks the light - that’s called a lunar eclipse. But eclipses don’t happen that often because both celestial bodies tilt, so the Moon generally passes to the north or the south of the Earth’s shadow. Do full moons make people crazy? Well, many people have thought that it does at many times in history. The word lunacy – meaning madness – actually comes from the Latin word for the Moon, luna, underlining the belief that people could be affected by its cycle. The idea of a werewolf – a human who changes into a ferocious beast at the sight of the full moon – has also existed for hundreds of years. Today, some people believe that when the Moon is full, crime rates, disturbances and hospital admissions go up. In 2007, one UK police force said it was putting extra officers on patrol for full moon nights because of a rise in violent incidents. Brighton Police Insp Andy Parr told the BBC: "From my experience, over 19 years of being a police officer, undoubtedly on full moons, we do seem to get people with, sort of, stranger behaviour - more fractious, argumentative.” (Image: 1941 illustration of a story about werewolves via WikiCommons) What does the science say? Over the years, countless studies have looked at links between the lunar cycle and things like murder rates, traffic accidents, mental health episodes, animal behaviour and even ice hockey fights. Some found links while others shot them down. In 1985, a group of US and Canadian academics looked at all the studies to date and conducted a deep dive into their data. In their research, they found that several of the studies that found a link contained statistical or other errors. On the traffic accident studyfor example, they found that researchers had overlooked the fact that the full moon days they studied mostly fell on weekends – when traffic accidents usually go up anyway. Their conclusion was unequivocal, stating: “Our review supports the view that there is no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behaviour.” So that ended the debate? Not at all. Research is continuing. In 1998, a three-month project at a British jail identified a rise in violent incidents around the full moon. In 2000, two studies looked at whether dogs bite people more during the full moon – one said they did and the other said they didn’t. In 2012, Canadian scientists found no evidence that the Moon influenced behaviour in people with mental health issues after a three-year study. Two years later, an animal protection group in the UK said it received 12 percent more calls about animal cruelty when there was a full moon. In 2013,one study found that the lunar cycle affected how we sleep – three years later, another found that it didn’t. And in 2017, a team found that motorcyclists were more likely to crash during a full moon – but said it was because they were distracted by it rather than any behavioural effect. Where does that leave us? Regardless of what the science is or isn’t telling us, both anecdotal and polling evidence show some people believe in the power of the full moon. Experts say it’s partly because the media – films, TV, newspapers - perpetuate the idea of the Moon as some kind of spooky or mystical force. They also saypeople are more likely to notice things that support their beliefs – so if something strange happens when the full moon is out, they are inclined to attribute it to that. So there you have it! Clear as mud. Whatever you believe, why not take a moment to look up at the Moon on Sunday night because one thing is for sure – a full moon is always beautiful. For the latest news, download our app at http://bit.ly/GetALoopJM for Android; and at http://bit.ly/GetiLoopJM for IoS.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited northern England on Saturday to thank voters and newly elected Conservative Party lawmakers in the working-class heartland that turned its back on the opposition Labour Party in this week's election and helped give him an 80-seat majority. Speaking in Sedgefield — the constituency once held by Labour former prime minister Tony Blair — Johnson acknowledged the seismic shift that helped sweep him to victory in Thursday's election. "I know that people may have been breaking the voting habits of generations to vote for us," he told supporters. "And I want the people of the northeast to know that we in the Conservative Party and I will repay your trust." In a victory speech outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, Johnson called for an end to the acrimony that has festered throughout the country since the divisive 2016 Brexit referendum, and urged Britain to "let the healing begin." Johnson's campaign mantra to "get Brexit done'' and widespread unease with the leadership style and socialist policies of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn combined to give the ruling Conservatives 365 seats in the House of Commons, its best performance since party icon Margaret Thatcher's last victory in 1987. Labour slumped to 203 seats, its worst showing since 1935. While Johnson was on a victory lap Saturday, Corbyn — who has pledged to stand down next year — was under fire from within his own party, where there was little sign of healing starting any time soon. Former lawmaker Helen Goodman, one of many Labour legislators to lose their seat in northern England, told BBC radio that "the biggest factor was obviously the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader." Another former Labour lawmaker criticized the election campaign more broadly as muddled. Anna Turley told the BBC that the party put forward an overwhelming number of policies and voters "just didn't believe we were the party that could deliver on any of it." Armed with his hefty new majority, Johnson is set to start the process next week of pushing Brexit legislation through Parliament to ensure Britain leaves the EU by the January31 deadline. Once he's passed that hurdle — breaking three years of parliamentary deadlock — he has to seal a trade deal with the bloc by the end of 2020. "We've just been going over the timetable we can definitely get it in before Christmas, and we're out on January31," Johnson said. While Johnson's large majority means he has relatively clear air ahead on Brexit, he faces turbulence over renewed calls for a referendum on Scottish independence following the strong election showing of the Scottish National Party. The front page of Saturday's edition of The Scotsman newspaper featured photos of Johnson and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon and the headline: "Two landslides One collision course." Johnson owes his success, in part, to traditionally Labour-voting working-class constituencies in northern England that backed the Conservatives because of the party's promise to deliver Brexit. During the 2016 referendum, many of those communities voted to leave the EU because of concerns that immigrants were taking their jobs and neglect by the central government in London. In Sedgefield, he paid tribute to his new lawmakers who turned those concerns into a big election victory. "Thank you for your wonderful achievement in transforming our party, transforming the political map of this country," he said.

In this July 9, 2018, file photo, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir attends a ceremony for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)

A court in Sudan convicted former President Omar al-Bashir of money laundering and corruption on Saturday, sentencing him to two years in a minimum-security lockup. That's the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against al-Bashir, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s. The verdict comes a year after Sudanese protesters erupted in revolt against al-Bashir's authoritarian rule. During his three decades in power, Sudan landed on the U.S. list for sponsoring terrorism, and the country's economy was battered by years of mismanagement and American sanctions. Al-Bashir has been in custody since April, when Sudan's military ousted him after months of nationwide protests. The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians. Sudan's military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country's military-civilian transitional government has not indicated whether they will hand him over to The Hague. The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which was the backbone of the protest movement, welcomed Saturday's verdict as a "moral and political conviction" against the former president and his regime. Under Sudanese law, al-Bashir, 75, will be sent to a state-run lockup for elderly people who are convicted of crimes not punishable with death. But he will remain in jail amid an ongoing trial on separate charges regarding the killing of protesters in the months prior to his ouster. The former strongman appeared in the defendant's cage on Saturday wearing a traditional white robe and turban. He had arrived in a white Land Cruiser SUV amid tight security at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute in the capital, Khartoum. As the verdict was read, a handful of al-Bashir's supporters briefly disrupted the proceedings, shouting Islamist slogans before being pushed out of the courtroom by security forces. Hundreds of al-Bashir's supporters also protested near the presidential palace in Khartoum, where security forces closed off access to the palace and the military's headquarters. Defense lawyer Mohammed al-Hassan said Saturday's verdict was expected and that an appeal would be filed before a higher court, adding that the ex-president's "morale is high." Al-Hassan also said security forces detained al-Bashir's second wife, Widad Babakr, last week for questioning about her alleged bank accounts and assets. That's part of a wider corruption-related investigation into the al-Bashir family's wealth. Babakr had been under house arrest in Khartoum since al-Bashir's overthrow. Prosecutors had questioned al-Bashir last week over his role in the Islamist-backed military coup which brought him to power in 1989. Anti-government demonstrations erupted last December over steep price rises and shortages, but soon shifted to calls for al-Bashir to step down. Security forces responded with a fierce crackdown that killed dozens of protesters in the months prior to his ouster and arrest. Millions of U.S. dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were later seized in al-Bashir's home. In August, al-Bashir told the court he had received through his office manager $25 million from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. He said the crown prince did not want to reveal that he was the source of the funds, so he did not deposit the money in the country's central bank. He said the money was being used for donations, not for his own benefit. Al-Bashir, however, did not provide documents or records for the spending.