Ted Eustace and Roxanne Omalo. Photo: Dillon De Shong

The merry monarch has arrived and crowned Ted Eustace and Roxanne Omalo as the new King and Queen of Carnival, last night, at Dimanche Gras. This is Eustace’s fourth win and the 15 for the famil...


Photo courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says citizens have accepted the ban on glass bottles for Carnival. The ban took effect at 4 am on Monday and remains in place until the end of Carnival festivities at midnight on Tuesday. Griffith, who said J’ouvert celebrations on Carnival Monday were incident-free, commended citizens for obeying the glass bottle ban. Up to 11 am, J'ouvert celebrations were without incident. He restated that the banning of glass bottles was necessary as it would reduce injuries and possible death. Photo courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). While several persons were arrested for minor offences, Griffith said from all reports received, there were no life-threatening injuries related to J'ouvert. The Police Commissioner also thanked alcohol suppliers and distributors for their cooperation in observing the ban by having these drinks distributed and sold in tins and plastic bottles. Griffith also gave an update on operations across the country as Carnival celebrations get underway. Road checks were conducted at various points throughout the country including at Cocorite, Curepe, San Juan, Morvant Junction, Tunapuna, Lady Young Road, the Beetham Highway, Priority Bus' Route and Eastern Main Road, Laventille. Griffith assured that these checks were conducted to ensure that the citizens and the visitors enjoy a safe Carnival 2020. He noted that there was an increase in attendance at J'ouvert celebrations when compared to 2019 figures – indicating that citizens felt safer and more secure to attend 2020 festivities. Photo courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). The attendance figures for J'ouvert celebrations are as follows: Point Fortin - 1200 Sangre Grande - 4000 Port-of-Spain and Environs- 70,000 Tunapuna - 15,000 San Juan - 1900 Chaguanas and environs - 9000 Cedros - 10,000 San Fernando - 7000 Tobago - 8000 Siparia – 500 Biche - 200 The Police Commissioner said he was heartened by operations thus far, noting that a security lockdown and successful operations in Port-of-Spain for J'ouvert augur well for the remainder of Carnival Monday and celebrations on Tuesday. Police officers will be posted at every corner in areas where they are Carnival activities to ensure safe and secure celebrations for all. Police have operational support from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force to ensure security cover across the country for the duration of Carnival festivities. Griffith said he is looking forward to the cooperation of the citizens for the remainder of the Carnival festivities.

 Ted Eustace and Roxanne Omalo. Photo: Dillon De Shong

The merry monarch has arrived and crowned Ted Eustace and Roxanne Omalo as the new King and Queen of Carnival, last night, at Dimanche Gras. This is Eustace’s fourth win and the 15 for the family of Carnival Kings. He portrayed “Lords of the Savannah,” which was a hydraulic float that comprised giant replicas of the Pierrot Grenade and Midnight Robber, to earn 408 points (pts). “We used a way to move the costume rather than the traditional way. It’s the new technology and we tried to bring it to the mas. We brought the Pierrot Grenade and Midnight Robber to life tonight. We are bringing back the old but in a very good way,” Eustace said after his victory. The costume took three months to build and cost about $120,000 to make. It was designed by his brother Marcus and built by a team of artisans that Kevin Robertson. Meanwhile, Omalo was thankful for the second title and she said it was a fitting way to end her 10-year career in the annual Queen of Carnival competition. “We came out this year to recapture our victory from 2018. I went on stage and did what I had to do,” Omalo stated as she added that her hand was also broken. She will not be bowing out of Carnival completely since she has plans to produce a Kiddies Carnival band. Here are the Full results Carnival Queen Competition 1 Roxanne Omalo- Mother of Dragons 2 Sevel Nichols The Power of Love 3 Kerina Badal Guardian of the Horned Serpent 4 Jonell Dick- Aziza the Guardian of Lust 5 Savitre Holassie- Wrath of the Sea Witch 6 Mary George-Le Fue- Maman! Le Feu! (The Fire, Mama! The Fire!) 7 Kay Mason- Venetian Beauty 8 Peola Marchand- War of Conquest 9 Krystal Thomas-De Mating Dance 10 Amanda “Bailey” Mc Clean-The Maize Goddess-Goddess of Corn + Revival of Life Carnival King Competition 1 Ted Eustace Lords of De Savannah 2 Joseph Lewis- “Zharvakko”-The Voudun King of Death 3 Marlon Rampersad-Cyrus the Great 4 Raymond Mark “Lust”-The Beast that Consumes 5 Adrian Young-Daddy Jumbie/Papa Jumbie 6 Christoper D’eath-Winder of spider clock 7 Patrick Roberts Jr- The Red Dragon Lives Again, Thanks Mr Prime Minister 8 Earl Thompson-The Love of Power 9 Russell Grant- Montezuma, Deposed Emperor of the Aztecs 10 Ravi Lakhan- Diablo-Lord of Conflict and Terror


An anti-crime exercise in Maraval on Sunday night led to the arrest of one man in connection with a pistol and quantity of ammunition. Officers of the Western Division Task Force around 7 pm went to Paramin Village, where they observed three men standing on the side of the road. According to police, one of the men was armed with a rifle and pointed it at the officers upon seeing them. The officers shot at the man, in accordance with the Use of Force policy. The three men attempted to escape by running off into the bushes, but one of them was held a short distance away. Officers searched the man and found a silver and black Beretta pistol fitted with an extended magazine loaded with five rounds of ammunition in his possession. He was immediately arrested. Investigations are ongoing.

An anti-crime exercise carried out by officers of the ABM Task Force in Diego Martin on Carnival Monday led to the arrests of two men with counterfeit bankcards. The officers were on mobile patrol along Diego Martin Main Road, near the Starlite Shopping Plaza, when around 10.35 am they spotted a red Toyota Yaris suspected of being used by persons of interest in a series of ABM card skimming offences. The vehicle had two male occupants at the time. The officers intercepted the vehicle and a search resulted in the discovery of four counterfeit bank cards hidden under the hood. The men, a 24-year-old of Aranguez and a 28-year-old of La Horquetta were arrested in connection with the finds. Investigations are ongoing.


Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his rape trial, Monday, February 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of rape and sexual assault against two women and could be sent to prison for decades, sealing his dizzying fall from powerful Hollywood studio boss to archvillain of the #MeToo movement. He was convicted on charges stemming from a 2006 sexual assault and a 2013 rape. The jury found Weinstein not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, that could have resulted in a life sentence. The most damaging conviction, for the sexual assault of production assistant Mimi Haleyi, would carry a maximum sentence of 25 years. Weinstein, 67, had a look of resignation as the verdict came in, and was seen talking to his lawyers shortly after. The verdict followed weeks of often harrowing and excruciatingly graphic testimony from a string of accusers who told of rapes, forced oral sex, groping, masturbation, lewd propositions and that’s-Hollywood excuses from Weinstein about how the casting couch works. The conviction was seen as a long-overdue reckoning for Weinstein after years of whispers about his behaviour turned into a torrent of accusations in 2017 that destroyed his career and gave rise to #MeToo, the global movement to encourage women to come forward and hold powerful men accountable for their sexual misconduct. The jury of seven men and five women took five days to find him guilty. The case against the once-feared producer was essentially built on three allegations: that he raped an aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013, that he forcibly performed oral sex on Haleyi and that he raped and forcibly performed oral sex on “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra in her apartment in the mid-1990s. Three additional women who said they, too, were attacked by Weinstein also testified as part of an effort by prosecutors to show a pattern of brutish behaviour on his part. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes unless they grant permission, as Haleyi and Sciorra did. Jurors signalled their struggles with the Sciorra charges four days into deliberations. On Friday, after reviewing sections of her testimony and related evidence, they sent a note to the judge indicating they were deadlocked on the counts but had reached a unanimous verdict on the others. After some debate in the courtroom, the judge ordered jurors to keep deliberating. While Weinstein did not testify, his lawyers contended that any sexual contact was consensual and that his accusers went to bed with him to advance their careers. The defense seized on the fact that two of the women central to the case stayed in contact with Weinstein through warm and even flirty emails — and had sex with him — well after he supposedly attacked them. The hard-charging and phenomenally successful movie executive helped bring to the screen such Oscar winners as “Good Will Hunting,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love” and nurtured the careers of celebrated filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith. Weinstein now faces charges in Los Angeles. In that case, announced just as the New York trial was getting underway on January6, authorities allege Weinstein raped one woman and sexually assaulted another on back-to-back nights during Oscars week in 2013. One of those women testified as a supporting witness at the New York trial. The trial was the first criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations against Weinstein from more than 90 women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman. Most of those cases were too old to prosecute. During the trial, Weinstein regularly trudged into the courthouse stooped and unshaven, using a walker after recently undergoing back surgery — a far cry from the way he was depicted in court as a burly, intimidating figure whose eyes seemed to turn black with menace when his anger flared. Many of Weinstein’s accusers described him as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who could be incredibly charming at first, making jokes and showing interest in using his immense power to help their careers. But that was an act, they said, meant to gain their trust and get them to a place — often a hotel room or an apartment — where he could violate them. “If he heard the word ‘no,’ it was like a trigger for him,” his rape accuser testified. Several women testified that Weinstein excused his behaviour as the price for getting ahead in Hollywood. One said that when she laughed off his advances, he sneered, “You’ll never make it in this business. This is how this industry works.” The jury heard lurid testimony that Weinstein injected himself with a needle to get an erection, that his genitals appeared disfigured, that he sent Sciorra a box of chocolate penises and that he once showed up uninvited at her hotel room door in his underwear with a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a video in the other. The prosecution’s task was made more complicated because two of the women at the very centre of the case didn’t just abandon Weinstein after the alleged encounters: Haleyi testified that she had sex with him two weeks later, while the rape accuser whose name was withheld said she had a sexual encounter with him more than three years afterward. Like Haleyi, she sent Weinstein friendly and sometimes flirtatious emails, such as “Miss you big guy” and “I love you, always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call.” During a cross-examination from Weinstein’s lawyers so exhaustive that she broke down in tears on the stand, the woman said she sent him flattering emails and kept seeing him because she was afraid of his unpredictable anger and “I wanted him to believe I wasn’t a threat.” To blunt that line of questioning, prosecutors called to the witness stand a forensic psychiatrist who said that most sexual assault victims continue to have contact with their attackers and that they hope what happened to them “is just an aberration.” During closing arguments, Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno charged that Weinstein had become “the target of a cause and a movement” — #MeToo — and asked the jury to ignore “outside forces.” “This is not a popularity contest,” she said. She said the case against Weinstein amounted to “regret renamed as rape,” arguing that the women exercised their free will to try to further their careers. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told the jury that Weinstein considered himself such a big shot in Hollywood that he thought he could get away with treating women as “complete disposables.” “The universe is run by me and they don’t get to complain when they get stepped on, spit on, demoralised and, yes, raped and abused by me — the king,” she said, mimicking Weinstein. Rumours about Weinstein’s behavior swirled in Hollywood circles for a long time, but he managed to silence many accusers with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and the constant fear that he could crush their careers if they spoke out. Weinstein was finally arrested and led away in handcuffs in May 2018, seven months after The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed his alleged misconduct in stories that would win the Pulitzer Prize. Among other men taken down by the #MeToo movement since the scandal broke: news anchors Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, actor Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken. Weinstein, the product of a working-class family from Queens, achieved success at two movie studios he created with his brother Bob: Miramax — named for their parents, Miriam and Max — and then the Weinstein Co. The Weinstein Companywent bankrupt after his disgrace. A tentative settlement was reached last year to resolve nearly all lawsuits stemming from the scandal. It would pay Weinstein’s alleged victims about $25 million. Under the proposed deal, Weinstein would not have to admit any wrongdoing or personally pay anything; the studio’s insurance companies would cover the cost. Weinstein’s efforts to silence his accusers and thwart journalists who sought to expose his secrets included hiring Black Cube, an Israeli spy agency staffed by former Mossad agents. Asked one day as he left court why he hired that firm, Weinstein turned to a reporter and said: “For days like this.”

Loop Breakfast Bites is a roundup of the top international stories daily. [related node_id='6a5eb2d7-453b-4a06-9628-8683dd2757cd'] [related node_id='b7c890cd-f042-4d80-9ee8-21eb4ed1c0c7'] [related node_id='d86a1804-675c-4dfc-a058-1eb7ef6aff33'] [related node_id='65602a32-4de4-40e4-a80f-3df0cb4d1a28'] [related node_id='79792762-12cc-4ac7-b903-1f2cb1040fb8']