Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a stabbing which occurred on Saturday January 20, 2018, about 11:50pm at Augier, Vieux Fort. The victim was conveyed to the St Jude’s Hospi...

Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean recently announced the appointment of Esan Peters as Chief Information Officer and Managing Director, Technology & Operations, with effect from 1st February 2018. The former St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and Harrison College student has worked in the technology and financial services industries for the past 20 years. He held a number of progressively senior roles in the offshore software development sector from 1998 to 2002, where he worked on the development of technology platforms for trading, investment and portfolio management. Peters replaces Jude Pinto who held the positions for the last five years and who returns to Canada to take up a senior executive position with the bank’s parent company, CIBC. Prior to joining CIBC FirstCaribbean, Peters worked with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) from 2002, supporting various CDB financial systems. In 2004, he joined CIBC FirstCaribbean as a software developer in the Technology function to support the Treasury systems of the Bank, transitioning from Technology to Finance in 2005 as Manager, Financial Systems and later Senior Manager, Financial Systems in 2007. In that role, he was responsible for the financial accounting, planning and reporting systems of the bank. In 2009 he was promoted to Associate Director of Applications and took on additional responsibility for the Corporate Centre Technology function, including management of the data and business intelligence functions of the Bank. In 2014, he was appointed Director of Technology Application Services with overall responsibility for leading all aspects of application delivery for the organization including design, development, testing, implementation and support of software solutions for all business segments. In 2017, he was appointed Deputy Chief Information Officer & Senior Director Technology, responsible for leading the Architecture, Digital Client Experience, Data& Risk Services, Infrastructure & Application Support, and End User Technology functions for the bank. Esan is currently responsible for an annual budget of US$ 55M and the leadership of a team of 250. Peters holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Computer Science (with First Class honors) from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The International Monetary Fund upgrading its outlook for the world economy, noting surprisingly strong growth in Europe and Asia and predicting that U.S. tax cuts will give the American economy a short-term boost. The IMF on Monday forecast global growth of 3.7 percent for 2017, which would be the most substantial annual growth since 2011, and to 3.9 percent for this year and 2019. "Global growth has been accelerating since 2016, and all signs point to a continuous strengthening of that growth," IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a press conference at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. "This is very welcome news." The international lending agency says 120 countries, representing three-quarters of world economic output, enjoyed economic growth in 2017, creating the broadest global expansion in seven years. World trade is expanding, and consumers are more confident. The IMF expects the U.S. growth to accelerate to 2.7 percent this year, from 2.3 percent in 2017, citing increased investment as businesses take advantage of lower corporate tax rates. The 19 countries that use the euro currency collectively grew 2.4 percent in 2017, best since 2007, and will grow 2.2 percent this year, the IMF said. The Chinese economy, the world's second-biggest, is believed to have grown 6.8 percent in 2017. But China's growth is forecast to slow to 6.6 percent this year and 6.4 percent in 2019. Beijing is attempting to move the economy away from fast but unsustainable growth based on massive investment to slower, steadier growth built around consumer spending. The IMF warned that a long period of low global interest rates may have inflated the prices of assets such as stocks, raising the threat of a correction that could hurt confidence and growth. Lagarde urged countries to take advantage of healthy growth to enact reforms that will make their economies more efficient to spread prosperity to those who have been left behind. "Complacency is actually one of the risks should guard against," she said.

Police officers in St Kitts and Nevis said charges have been laid after over 18 pounds of marijuana were found stashed in a water heater. The St Christopher and Nevis Police Force said in a statementthat two people were taken into police custody in relation to the find. One person was released and Remeo Tweed of Kittstoddarts was charged by the Customs and Excise Department for False Declaration, Importation of Cannabis Sativa Concealed in a Container, Importation of Restricted Goods to wit Cannabis Sativa, and Attempted Fraudulent Evasion. Police alsocharged Tweed for the offences of Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Supply and Importation of Cannabis. He has since been released on bail. On January 17, 2018,Customs and Police Officers carried out a search on a package marked "Prestige Trucking Services". The box was being cleared by the owner of Prestige Trucking Services, Remeo Tweed. As a result of the search, 12packages with a "vegetable materialsuspected to be cannabis" were found inside a water heater that was enclosed in the box. The packages had a combined estimated weight of 8,337 grams (about 18 pounds).

One tourist couple visiting a Caribbean beach got some itchy visitors of their own. According to a report by Live Science, the British couple visited the Caribbean island of Martinique during a Caribbean cruise and after sunbathing on a beach on the French island reportedly developed itchy rashes on their behinds. The case, which was published on January 13, 2018 in BMJ Case Reports, said the woman felt a burning sensation on her rear end, which blossomed into an extremely itchy rash with 'red pinprick marks'. The woman's husband developed the same rash, and both went to the cruise ship's medical staff, who prescribed antibiotics and antifungal medications. However, the itchiness and burning continued. The couple then went to the hospital in Cambridge after returning from the cruise, 10 days later, only to be told that they had hookworms. Doctors diagnosed the 52-year-old woman and her husband with"cutaneous larva migrans," askin condition caused by a hookworm infection. The most common culprit for the infection in the Caribbean is the hookworm Ancylostoma braziliense, according to the case report. Even worse, five days later the woman developed a raspy cough and had trouble breathing. Her husband also developed a cough. Although hookworm larvae are unable to penetrate the basement membrane of human skin, some patients may get symptoms in their lungs if larvae get into the bloodstream and travel to the lungs, which proved to be the case for this unlucky couple. The couple was then given additional anti-parasitic medication and thankfully, the parasites were removed. Hookworm is commonly found in the Caribbean and the Americas.The hookworm larvae are excreted in the faeces of the infected animal host (usually dog or cat) onto sandy beaches or moist soil, where they can penetrate into the epidermis of human skin on contact. Initial symptoms typically include a burning sensation at the site of entry followed by the appearance of a slowly creeping, serpiginous rash over the next days to weeks. You can lower your risk of becoming infected with hookworms bywearing shoes when outdoors, especially in areas that might have faeces in the soil,drinking safe water, properly cleaning and cooking food andpractising proper handwashing. And the next time you decide to sunbathe on the sand, maybe you should spread a towel first.

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, left, reaches to embrace New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the AFC championship NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, January 21, 2018. (PHOTO: AP)

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl in search of a sixth title. They'll face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking for their first Lombardi Trophy. Brady led the Patriots (15-3) back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in theAFC championshipgame Sunday. Starting his 36th playoff game, Brady shook off an injury to his right hand and the loss of top target Rob Gronkowski to rally the Patriots to their record 10th Super Bowl appearance. The Patriots will try to match the Pittsburgh Steelers' six Super Bowl trophies when they face the Eagles (15-3) on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. Nick Foles, the backup QB who was thrust into the starting role when Carson Wentz blew out his left knee last month, led the Philadelphia to a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in theNFC championshipgame. Philadelphia Eagles' Corey Graham reacts after intercepting a pass during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise and moxie in going 26 for 33. The Vikings were hoping to become the first NFL team to serve as host to a Super Bowl in its own stadium, but they followed up their "Minneapolis Miracle" with a "Flop in Philly." So, they'll clear out their lockers long before the Eagles and Patriots and their fans take over U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl 52 in two weeks. Oddsmakers like the chances of Brady winning a sixth Super Bowl ring, making the Patriots nearly a touchdown favorite to beat the Eagles. The Patriots and Eagles, who last won an NFL title in 1960, several years before the first Super Bowl, met in the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with the Patriots prevailing 24-21. Hours after Brady's game-winning 4-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining in Foxborough, the Eagles won for the fourth time in five tries under Foles. It started out ominously, however. The Vikings celebrated Kyle Rudolph's 25-yard touchdown catch from Case Keenum on their opening drive by mimicking the Olympic sport of curling for their TD celebration. It was the Eagles who had all the fun after that. Patrick Robinson's spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league's stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium. "You know everyone was against us," Foles said. "Coming out here and stick together and (we) come away with an amazing victory against a great team." Blake Bortles and the stingy Jaguars (12-7) led New England 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions. The NFL's second-ranked defense kept Brady and the Patriots at bay for most of the game, but lost linebacker Myles Jack and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on consecutive plays on New England's winning drive. It was New England's 13th win in 14 games since their 2-2 start. Their only stumble since September was a 27-20 loss at the Dolphins on Dec. 11. Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after needing stitches to close a cut that happened on a play during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered. And, with the game — and the season — possibly on the line, the Patriots star came up big again. "I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win." Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns to Amendola. It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times — including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Falcons. "It's pretty amazing," Brady said. "Just to be on a team that wins these kinds of games, it's just a great accomplishment."

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

If Rafael Nadal wanted a fitness test in the first week, he got one in his almost four-hour, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman. After embracing at the net, his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarterfinal secure, top-ranked Nadal draped an arm around his Argentine friend and patted him on top of the head. "A great battle ... he's a good friend of mine," Nadal said. "This is the first big match that I played in 2018. One match like this probably helps. That's confidence for myself, that's confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity." Nadal lost last year's Australian Open final in five sets to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No. 1 ranking and win the French and U.S. Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee. He didn't play a competitive match before the season-opening major, and advanced through three rounds without dropping a set. That streak finished when Schwartzman took the second set to level the match, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back against Nadal. The key game of the fourth set lasted almost 13 minutes and 20 points, with Nadal finally holding after saving five break points as Schwartzman attacked him with everything he had. The 16-time major winner broke again in the next game and withstood more break points — seven in all in the last set and 15 of 18 in the match — before clinching it in 3 hours, 51 minutes. "It was a good test for me. It was a lot of hours on court. Moments under pressure," Nadal said. "So, yeah, a lot of positive things that I managed well." Nadal will next play sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, who collected his 100th Grand Slam match win with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta. "It was a big battle. I was really relieved I played such a good tiebreaker at the end," the 2014 U.S. open winner said. Of his Grand Slam milestone, Cilic said he hadn't been aware of it before the match "but it's beautiful to hear. "I had the 300th win of my career at the U.S. Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one. I hope I'm going to continue and gather three more here." Kyle Edmund reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal and continued 33-year-old Andreas Seppi's long drought with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win on Hisense Arena. Seppi has now played 52 majors without reaching the quarterfinals — he has lost in the fourth round five times. Caroline Wozniacki continued to cash in on her second chance, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova. After saving two match points and coming back from 5-1 down in the third set of her second-round win, No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was "playing with the house money" and had nothing to lose. "I think being almost out of the tournament, you have nothing to lose after that," Wozniacki said. "I played really well from being down 5-1 ... since then I've just kept that going." She has won both matches since in straight sets and will next play Carla Suarez Navarro, who came back from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6. After a tight tussle in the opening four games against No. 19-seeded Rybarikova, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, Wozniacki dominated the fourth-round match and conceded only six points in the second set. She even tried a between-the-legs "tweener" from near the baseline for the first time in a tour-level match. She didn't win the point, but said it was progress. "I think you can tell my confidence is high," Wozniacki, who finished last season by winning the WTA Finals title, said in an on-court TV interview. "I tried a tweener today and it went in." She looked at a replay on the stadium screen and joked "I'm admiring myself there." Elise Mertens reached the quarterfinals in her debut in the Australian Open main draw, beating Petra Martic 7-6 (5), 7-5 to extend her winning streak to nine matches including her run to the Hobart International title last week. "It's been amazing — good start of the year," Mertens said. "This is really a bonus."

Volcanic ash turned the snow on the mountain black

A volcano has erupted in central Japan, killing one man and injuring 11 others who were skiing on its slopes. The man who died was a soldier who was part of a 30-strong military group undergoing ski training on the mountain. He and seven other soldiers were hit by flying rocks during the sudden eruption, officials said. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said five of the soldiers were seriously injured. The four civilian skiers did not have life-threatening injuries, Gunma prefectural disaster officials said. Mount Kusatsu-Shirane last erupted in 1983. Only its crater had been off-limits because of low-level volcanic activity. The Japan Meteorological Agency has since banned access to the mountain. A large swathe of the snow-covered volcano was covered by dark gray ash later in the day. Town officials said everyone on the mountain hadbeen accounted for. About 80 skiers who took refuge at a gondola station at the top of the ski slope were brought down to the foot of the mountain, some by a military helicopter, others by snowmobiles.

Clouds are reflected in the U.S. Capitol reflecting pool at daybreak in Washington as Day Three of the government shutdown continues, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

The swift steps ending a messy and expensive government shutdown set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return Tuesday, but some say they fear they could find themselves in limbo again in a few more weeks. Congress sped toward moving to reopen government after Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations on Monday afternoon. The House approved the measure shortly thereafter, sending the spending bill to President Donald Trump, who quickly signed it. Ali Niaz, a Department of Labor employee who was sent home Monday, took advantage of the partial three-day federal paralysis to tap into shutdown discounts offered by a tavern in the nation's capital. He asked the bartender if the same deals would be "offered next month when the government shuts down again" — already pointing to when a temporary spending measure ends in early February. For days, the shutdown effectively cleaved the federal workforce in half as hundreds of thousands of workers were sent home while others declared essential employees stayed on the job. Felicia Sharp, a lab tech with the Defense Department at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia, was deemed essential and reported to work Monday. She said the whiplash that occurs when employees are furloughed makes it hard to plan upon returning to work. Sharp, who also serves as a local president for the American Federation of Government Employees, said the deal that keeps government open for a few weeks, "only just postpones the inevitable for a while." When the next deadline approaches, she predicted, "it will be the same situation all over again." During the 2013 shutdown, which lasted more than two weeks, Sharp took on two part-time jobs to make sure her bills were paid. J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers, said his members have been exasperated with the inability of Congress and Trump to negotiate a budget. "We can't be the ball for the pingpong game," Cox said, after Senate Democrats dropped their objections Monday to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other hot-button issues.

If there is an International Soca Monarch competition this year, Patrice Roberts won’t be in it. The ‘Sweet Fuh Days’ singer said the time has come to give way to younger artistes who need the exposure. “Last year was it for me, I don’t compete well; last year was my breaking point. I can’t do it anymore. I think it is an opportunity for someone else who never did it before. It has done so much for Soca, it put us on the map, gave us an opportunity to be seen on so many levels but that competition does make me question myself,” she told Loop in an interview. Currently, the standout artist of the season, Roberts’ decision reflects her growth not just in her career but her own self-development. She is a lot more self-confident, self-assured and comfortable with herself as a performer and person. She said giving birth to her daughter Lily has made her the woman she is today. “It taught me to less selfish. Everything was about me, now I have to think about someone else. It has me taught me how to be patient. My self-esteem has gone to 1000. From the moment I held my daughter, I saw the most beautiful human being ever and right there and then I started having confidence. If God could help me create something so beautiful then I am beautiful,” she said. Becoming a mother has also fuelled her creativity resulting in the work she has produced for the 2018 Carnival season. [related node_id='ac514062-e99e-48c3-9045-d13d684581e1'] “It has caused me to be so creative. Before I would stick to one thing, now I would push myself. I have a lot of potential, I don’t think the fans have seen it all yet which is why I pushed myself to work with Kees and Lyrikal and I have a song coming soon with Charly Blacks,” she revealed. While her collabs are enjoying steady rotation on the airwaves, it is her solo “Sweet Fuh Days” that has assured her numerous bookings for the Carnival season with many dubbing it a strong contender for the Road March title. If she does win, it will be her first as a solo artist. She shared the title with Machel Montano when they won in 2006 for the song “Band of the Year”. Roberts is overwhelmed with the response to her music. “I have been doing so much hard work through the years, I have been consistent and people are always receiving me. This year the love is just amazing. I just wanted to put out music, I just wanted to release songs and be different but the response, I wasn’t expecting it. Everything I released thus far have been received well, I am amazed. It shows how much fans care about you. I could feel the love,” she said. “Sweet Fuh Days” was written by composer/songwriter Jovan James but Roberts said when he sent the song to her team she wasn’t sold on it. However, her mother, who chooses her music, loved it and so did Barbados super producers De Red Boyz. “When I heard the production I said yeah. The melody reminds me of Superblue, I think we were missing that feel,” said Roberts, who included Superblue and Roy Cape in the video for the song. On people loving her song for the Road March, Roberts said: “I feel honoured to hear that but we just have to wait and see. It would be cool to do it on my own.” With Nailah Blackman leading the charge and other females such Nessa Preppy and Jadel lifting the profile of women in soca this year, Roberts, who is a veteran by comparison having started her career in Calypso as a teen, is holding her own. She said one thing she learned from years of performing alongside Machel is to keep thinking about her next move. “I stood quiet and I put a plan in action. After” Big Girl Now”, I thought about what I am going to do to create an impact,” she said. “I am a big fan of Nailah Blackman. She brings so much pizzazz to Soca. I love her style of music, she so unique and sexy. We were missing things like that and I would love to see more of us in the spotlight,” she said, stressing that she is not competing with anyone. When it comes to her personal style, Roberts has also been strategic. Now that she is a mother, her wardrobe has become a little more modest as she wants to set a good example for her daughter. “I don’t want my daughter to see me a certain way. I want to be her biggest role model, the person she emulates. From since last year, I have been thinking about my look. I always up in the night looking at stuff on Google. With my hair, I thought I want to do something different and play around with colours. I want people to know I am all grown up, I want them to see the strong girl from Toco who made it, who overcame everything and came into her own,” she declared. Roberts’ focus is not just on her music. Come April she will be launching a clothing line for girls under a company registered as her daughter’s name. She will also launch a Foundation in her daughter’s name as well. “I want to instil in her the importance of giving back. I want her to be a businesswoman from young and to have that mindset, my mother wanted that for me but she didn’t have the means.”

We know the struggle: money is tight but you still want to pump for Carnival. But, in between Christmas and the general cost of everything increasingthese days, for some, Carnival might have to take a back burner this time around. If you're keeping a close eye on your bank account but still want to step out for Carnival 2018, then check out our guide to fetes you can go to for under $675TT/$100US**. Happy pumping! COOLER LITGolden-Cooler Fete (TT$200-F / TT$250-M / TT$300-VIP) Jus Bring It Cooler Fete (TT300) Rome Big Bad Blocko (TT$150-TT$200) TRIBE I.C.E. (TT$280-TT$300) Hak Wai City (TT$200) Zele Cooler 2018 (TT$200) Black 2 Blue (TT$300-TT$320) Stumped(TT$225) iUP(TT$300) New We (TT$200-TT$300) J'ouvert Splash (TT$100) Out in South (TT$300-TT$420) Soaka (TT$400-TT$450) Illusions Block-O (TT$250-TT$300) Punchy Punch (TT$200-TT$250) Soaka Street Festival (TT$400-Female / TT$500-Male) Emoji Jam(TT$250) Jam Nation (US$38-US$90) Pree Dawn (TT$250) Tropical Luau Carnival (US$50-US$58) Beach House Cooler Fete (US$50) I.V. Cooler Fete (US$40-US$45) Candy Coated Love Fest (US$75) Jamboree Cooler Fete (TT$380) RevelNation: The Machel Exclusive(US$56) DRINKS INCLUSIVE Bacchanal Road (TT$450) Frazzled Plus (TT$450) Bacchanal Blocko (TT$575) Vice TT (TT$430-TT$450) ALL INCLUSIVE Soca with Hillview Old Boys Association (TT$475) Central Bank All Inclusive (TT$650) Evolve All Inclusive (TT$650) Blue Range AllInclusive (TT$600) Kairi People - Different All Inclusive (US$75) Feting Tigers Premium All Inclusive (TT$650) Fall Out All Inclusive (TT$675) TTHTI: Taste of Carnival (TT$500) NAPS Party in Paradise (TT$350-General / TT$600 VIP) Salybia All Inclusive (US$90) J'OUVERT Dutty J'ouvert (TT$450) Festival of Colour (TT$250-F / TT$300-M) CONCERT Ladies Night Out ($300-General / $500-VIP) Army Fete (TT$275-General / TT$500-Special Reserve) Machel Monday (TT$300-TT$600) Tuesday on the Rocks (TT$350) Big Bad Soca with Bunji Garlin and Cardi B (TT$300-TT$500) CRUISE Soca and Ice Cooler Cruise (TT$200) FalloutKruise (TT$250) Frazzled (TT$250) Soca Raff Up (US$55-$65) Scorch _uck Work (US$60) BessLimeCarnival Island (US$50-$100) Rum and Music Cooler Cruise (US$40) **While most fete tickets are usually advertised in TT dollars, some fete tickets are quotedin U.S. dollars.


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