A family of five, which includes three children, is now homeless following a fire in Sangre Grande on Monday night. While no loss of human life was recorded, police said that two dogs and a parr...


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Homicide officers have been given a full description of the man who shot and killed 34-year-old Devon ‘Pressie’ Rajaram on Monday afternoon. However, despite this, police said they officially have no motive for Rajaram’s death. They did note, however, that Rajaram was ‘well known’ to officers, as he had been held several times in the past for narcotics related offences. As a result, they were examining all leads, including the possibility that the 34-year-old man may have been killed in a drug deal gone wrong. According to police reports, at about 3.15pm on Monday, Rajaram was standing in the yard of aneighbouralongCiperoRoad, St John’s Village, when a grey Nissan B14 vehicle pulled alongside him. One man exited the car with what appeared to be a handgun and shot at Rajaram several times. The suspect then returned to the car and fled the scene. Rajaram was found with several wounds to his abdomen. Residents of the area notified the police and emergency health services, and the injured man was rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival. The scene of the incident was visited by a team of officers includingCplMohammed andCplCampbell.

A vehicle which had been rented by one of Monday’s quadruple murder victimshas been discovered in Tableland. The vehicle, a Toyota Aqua, had been set on fire, in what police suspect was an attempt to destroy evidence.It was found at about midday alongCocosanRoad, Tableland, via its last GPS point. It has since been moved and is expected to undergo forensic examination by crime scene investigators. The car, police said, had been rented to murder victim Aaron George, 35. On Monday morning, George was found dead in some bushes off Daly Road, New Grant. Near his body were two other victims -Venezuelan nationals Guimar JoseRausseoand JoseSeranno, as well as Darnel Mitchell, 35.Policesaid all victims appeared to have been shot dead. Rausseolived at Hope Road, Princes Town.Police said George had three known addresses including Hope Road, Princes Town, Balmain Gardens, Couva andFyzabad.Mitchell lived inthe Manzanilla area. Investigations are continuing.


Clouds pass over the SpaceX Falcon 9, with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of the rocket, as it sits on Launch Pad 39-A Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The launch of a SpaceX rocket ship with two NASA astronauts on a history-making flight into orbit was called off with 16 minutes to go in the countdown Wednesday because of thunderclouds and the danger of lightning. Lift-off was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon. The commercially designed, built and owned spacecraft was set to blast off in the afternoon for the International Space Station, ushering in a new era in commercial spaceflight and putting NASA back in the business of launching astronauts from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade. But thunderstorms for much of the day threatened to force a postponement, and the word finally came down that the atmosphere was so electrically charged that the spacecraft with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard could get hit by a bolt of lightning. "No launch for today — safety for our crew members @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken is our top priority," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted, using a lightning emoji. The two men were scheduled to ride into orbit aboard the SpaceX's bullet-shaped Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, taking off from the same launch pad used during the Apollo moon missions a half-century ago. Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had arrived to watch. The flight — the long-held dream of SpaceX founder Elon Musk — would have marked the first time a private company sent humans into orbit. It would also have been the first time in nearly a decade that the United States launched astronauts into orbit from US soil. Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take US astronauts to and from the space station. During the day, thunder could be heard as the astronauts made their way to the pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and a tornado warning was issued moments after they climbed into their capsule. The preparations took place in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed an estimated 100,000 Americans. "We're launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. We haven't done this really since 2011, so this is a unique moment in time," Bridenstine said. With this launch, he said, "everybody can look up and say, 'Look, the future is so much brighter than the present.' And I really hope that this is an inspiration to the world." The mission would put Musk and SpaceX in the same league as only three spacefaring countries — Russia, the US and China, all of which gave sent astronauts into orbit. "What today is about is reigniting the dream of space and getting people fired up about the future," he said in a NASA interview before the flight was scrubbed. A solemn-sounding Musk said he felt his responsibilities most strongly when he saw the astronauts' wives and sons just before launch. He said he told them: "We've done everything we can to make sure your dads come back OK." NASA pushed ahead with the launch despite the viral outbreak but kept the guest list at Kennedy extremely limited and asked spectators to stay at home. Still, beaches and parks along Florida's Space Coast are open again, and hours before the launch, cars and RVs already were lining the causeway in Cape Canaveral. The space agency also estimated 1.7 million people were watching the launch preparations online during the afternoon. Among the sightseers was Erin Gatz, who came prepared for both rain and pandemic. Accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, she brought face masks and a small tent to protect against the elements. She said the children had faint memories of watching in person one of the last shuttle launches almost a decade ago when they were preschoolers. "I wanted them to see the flip side and get to see the next era of space travel," said Gatz, who lives in Deltona, Florida. "It's exciting and hopeful." NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to transport astronauts to the space station in a new kind of public-private partnership. Development of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however. Boeing's ship is not expected to fly astronauts into space until early 2021. "We're doing it differently than we've ever done it before," Bridenstine said. "We're transforming how we do spaceflight in the future."

In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, file photo, guests peer through the closed gate to Universal's Islands of Adventure beside Universal CityWalk, in Orlando, Florida. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

SeaWorld and Walt Disney World will reopen in Orlando, Florida, in June and July after months of inactivity because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to plans a city task force approved Wednesday. The proposals will now be sent to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval. The plan calls for SeaWorld to open to the public on June 11. Disney plans a tiered reopening, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Last week, Universal Orlando presented its plan to reopen on June 5. That plan also has been approved by the Orlando task force, which sent its recommendation to the governor. "We are developing a series of 'know before you go' communication vehicles and our objective is to reinforce our health and safety messages to guests before they arrive on our property so they are aware and prepared for the new environment," Disney's senior vice president of operations, Jim McPhee told the task force. He also said the parks would open with limited capacity, but he didn't specify the number of guests who would be allowed in initially. In a statement, the company said attendance will be managed through a new system that requires advance reservations for park entry. Earlier this month most of Florida's counties entered a modified Phase 1, reopening restaurants and retail at a limited capacity. South Florida, which has been hardest-hit by coronavirus cases, was added to Phase 1 earlier this week. DeSantis has said he's eager to get businesses reopened and is expected to approve plans to reopen the theme parks, which are major pieces of Florida's tourism industry. Disney World also plans smaller, soft openings prior to July 11, but no specifics were provided. SeaWorld is planning an employee appreciation event on June 10 before opening to the public the next day, said Interim CEO Marc Swanson. When Disney Springs, a complex of restaurants and shops near Disney World, reopened, the company formed "social distancing squads," which McPhee said have been popular with guests. He said they are "a dedicated team of highly energetic and informative cast members who are committed to engaging and inspiring our guests to follow the appropriate guidelines." Both parks said they will require guests and employees to wear face coverings and social distancing will be enforced throughout their properties. Guests and employees will also undergo temperature checks before entering the parks. Disney employees will be required to do temperature checks before heading to work, McPhee said. They'll also undergo temperature checks at the park, he added. Fever is one of the symptoms of the coronavirus. Fireworks shows, character meet-and-greets and parades will be suspended to meet social distancing requirements, McPhee said. An inspection team from Orange County visited SeaWorld and Disney on Tuesday to see whether proposed plans would be in compliance with guidelines recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, officials from the parks told the task force. Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings said he has sent letters of endorsement for opening the theme parks to the governor's office. Earlier this month, Shanghai Disneyland became the first of Disney's theme park resorts to reopen, with severe limits on the number of visitors allowed in, mandatory masks and temperature checks.


In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, file photo, guests peer through the closed gate to Universal's Islands of Adventure beside Universal CityWalk, in Orlando, Florida. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

SeaWorld and Walt Disney World will reopen in Orlando, Florida, in June and July after months of inactivity because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to plans a city task force approved Wednesday. The proposals will now be sent to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval. The plan calls for SeaWorld to open to the public on June 11. Disney plans a tiered reopening, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Last week, Universal Orlando presented its plan to reopen on June 5. That plan also has been approved by the Orlando task force, which sent its recommendation to the governor. "We are developing a series of 'know before you go' communication vehicles and our objective is to reinforce our health and safety messages to guests before they arrive on our property so they are aware and prepared for the new environment," Disney's senior vice president of operations, Jim McPhee told the task force. He also said the parks would open with limited capacity, but he didn't specify the number of guests who would be allowed in initially. In a statement, the company said attendance will be managed through a new system that requires advance reservations for park entry. Earlier this month most of Florida's counties entered a modified Phase 1, reopening restaurants and retail at a limited capacity. South Florida, which has been hardest-hit by coronavirus cases, was added to Phase 1 earlier this week. DeSantis has said he's eager to get businesses reopened and is expected to approve plans to reopen the theme parks, which are major pieces of Florida's tourism industry. Disney World also plans smaller, soft openings prior to July 11, but no specifics were provided. SeaWorld is planning an employee appreciation event on June 10 before opening to the public the next day, said Interim CEO Marc Swanson. When Disney Springs, a complex of restaurants and shops near Disney World, reopened, the company formed "social distancing squads," which McPhee said have been popular with guests. He said they are "a dedicated team of highly energetic and informative cast members who are committed to engaging and inspiring our guests to follow the appropriate guidelines." Both parks said they will require guests and employees to wear face coverings and social distancing will be enforced throughout their properties. Guests and employees will also undergo temperature checks before entering the parks. Disney employees will be required to do temperature checks before heading to work, McPhee said. They'll also undergo temperature checks at the park, he added. Fever is one of the symptoms of the coronavirus. Fireworks shows, character meet-and-greets and parades will be suspended to meet social distancing requirements, McPhee said. An inspection team from Orange County visited SeaWorld and Disney on Tuesday to see whether proposed plans would be in compliance with guidelines recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, officials from the parks told the task force. Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings said he has sent letters of endorsement for opening the theme parks to the governor's office. Earlier this month, Shanghai Disneyland became the first of Disney's theme park resorts to reopen, with severe limits on the number of visitors allowed in, mandatory masks and temperature checks.

What will the 'new normal' look like for schools? Speaking at the health briefing on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram said Ministry of Health officials have met with the Ministry of Education's Permanent Secretary and Chief Education Officer on the reopening of schools. Parasram said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has a specific guideline for the reopening of schools. The guideline, he said has been shared and discussed with the Ministry of Education. The CMO noted that social distancing is extremely difficult in a school setting. Going forward, Parasram said emphasis must therefore be placed on frequent handwashing and sanitisation of surfaces. Most importantly, he stressed that children and teachers should stay home if they are ill. "It is very difficult to do social distancing for children, as I have said on this forum many times. Social distancing is extremely difficult in a classroom setting as well. What we have to rely on is frequent handwashing. We have to rely on frequent sanitisation of frequently touched surfaces for instance, doorknobs, desktops, chairs etc." "The most critical one is that children need to stay home and teachers as well, if you are ill, so that we don't get ill persons in that environment. Once you get ill persons in a school environment that virus or that disease tends to spread very quickly through the school environment, as we have seen with gastroenteritis, hand, foot and mouth disease, influenza and the normal common cold. We expect that the same would happen with COVID-19, if that becomes introduced into that environment." Schools have been closed since March 13.