Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Guy Joseph says he is aware of the situation involving employees of the National Housing Corporation (NHC). A number of employees of the NHC stayed away fr...

Two nationals of the Dominican Republic, who left Trinidad via a Caribbean Airlines flight, were arrested in St Maarten for travelling on fake documents. According to a report from The Daily Herald, the man and woman arrived at the Princess Juliana International Airport on Saturday using a fake Costa Rican and Guatemalan passport. The report said officials suspected the couple intended to travel to another destination even though they did not have tickets for another location. Twenty-four hours earlier, another Dominican was arrested for attempting to leave the island for France on a fake Guatemalan passport. They were processed and are scheduled to be deported this week.

The 25th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP25, is well underway in Madrid, Spain. St Kitts and Nevis is actively involved in the deliberations, which focuses on adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance as it relates to climate change. During her presentation, Conservation Officer with the St Kitts and Nevis Department of the Environment, Cheryl Jeffers, noted with grave concern the upward trend in atmospheric concentrations, of major greenhouse gases. She said this calls for urgent action by all Parties. Ms Jeffers said the most recent report on the State of the Climate, provides a stark reminder of the importance of the long-term goals set out by the Paris Agreement. The objective, she said, is to avoid the worst impacts of future climate change, specifically, in the most vulnerable regions. The Conservation Officer said she recognizes the usefulness of earth observation data. However, she noted that smaller islands are challenged, when attempting to access adequate spatial resolutions, which she believes is imperative for informed decision making, specifically in the agricultural and water sectors. She said the variability of climate, is becoming a greater force to be reckoned with. Ms Jeffers said she will ensure that the concerns of St Kitts and Nevis and the wider region are adequately ventilated as discussions continue. COP25, started on December 2 and is scheduled to end on the 13th.

Marie Fredriksson, the female half of the Swedish pop duo Roxette, has died at age 61, her management agency said Tuesday. Frederiksson formed Roxette with Per Gessle in 1986. The two released their first album the same year and went on to achieve international success in the late 1980s and 1990s. The Dimberg Jernberg agency said Frederiksson died Monday "of the consequences of a long illness." It "is with great sorrow that we must inform you that one of greatest and most-loved artists is gone," the firm said. Fredriksson became ill in 2002 and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She underwent radiation treatment and had continued health problems. Frederiksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children, Josefin and Oscar.

Garnett Silk

The legacy of iconic reggae singer Garnett Silk lives on. Although he died 25 years ago, Garnet Silk remains a legend. He was a Rastafarian who sang about God, andhis songs such as "Zion in a Vision", "Kingly Character" and "Love Is the Answer" celebrate the true love of the Almighty. December ushers in an air of melancholy for the singer's family and friends as it represents the anniversary of the singer's tragic death in a fire. This year marks the 25th anniversary of his death. Silk had gone to spend time with his mother, Etiga Gray, in his Hatfield Ward Park hometown in Mandeville, where he was building her a house. Then on December 9, 1994, the 28-year-old, along with his mother, perished in a fire. The singer's thanksgiving service was held on December 25, 1994. "He lives on and we all in the music industry need to do more to make the younger generation knowabout the amazing works of Garnet Silk, his music...," veteran reggae artiste Anthony B told Loop News reporter Claude Mills. "His message was strong, meaningful deep and was inspirational to many youths in the little time he had in his musical career. He was an artiste and a man way ahead of his time so I would say Garnet Silk is, in my book, one of reggae music's legends and a pioneer for the Rastafarian culture and Jamaican ghetto youths of his generation ," Anthony B said. Anthony B added that Silk's influence extends to the current generation of musicians. "He left a mark in my mind and memories forever. Long live The Legend Garnet is the answer, love is the only way love is what we need in our hearts today," he said. Silk was a prominent member of the vanguard of roots-reggae artistes who rose to the forefront of the music scene even against the background of the trigger-pulling, profanity-spewing lyrics of the dancehall space in the early 1990s. His contribution to the industry helped to shape the sound of the genre into the new millennium. Songs such as 'Kingly Character','Nothing Can Divide Us', 'Zion In a Vision', 'Mama Africa', and 'It's Growing' still enjoy airplay even today. He is survived by Novlyn 'Lovey' Banton, and seven kids, four of whom he sired with Lovey Banton including singer Garnet Silk Jr.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., joined at right by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member, convenes the panel to hear investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he corrupted the US election process and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, stood at the Capitol for what she called a "solemn act.'' Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House. Trump insisted he did nothing wrong and his reelection campaign called it "rank partisanship." "He endangers our democracy; he endangers our national security," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, the Judiciary chairman announcing the charges before a portrait of George Washington. "Our next election is at risk.... That is why we must act now." Trump tweeted ahead of the announcement that impeaching a president with a record like his would be "sheer Political Madness!" The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares for voting, as it has only three times in history against a US president. Approval of the charges would send them to the Senate in January, where the Republican majority would be unlikely to convict Trump. Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the US ally faced an aggressive Russia. They say he then tried obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation. In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi faced a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution's bar of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump's actions toward Ukraine. House Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. When asked during a Monday eveningevent ifshe had enough votes to impeach the Republican president, Pelosi said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience. "On an issue like this, we don't count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it," Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "I haven't counted votes, nor will I." Trump, who has declined to mount a defense in the actual House hearings, tweeted Tuesday just as the six Democratic House committee chairmen prepared to make their announcement. "To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country's history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness! #2020Election," he wrote on Twitter. The president also spent part of Monday tweeting against the impeachment proceedings. He and his allies have called the process "absurd." The next steps emerged in the swiftly movingproceedingsasPelosi convened a meeting of the impeachment committee chairmen at her office in the Capitol late Monday following an acrimonious, nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee, which could vote as soon as this week. "I think there's a lot of agreement," Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the Democratic chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, told reporters as he exited Pelosi's office. "A lot of us believe that what happened with Ukraine especially is not something we can just close our eyes to." At the Judiciary hearing, Democrats said Trump's push to have Ukraine investigate rival Joe Biden while withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself. "President Trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," said Dan Goldman, the director of investigations at the House Intelligence Committee, presenting the finding of the panel's 300-page report of the inquiry. Republicans rejected not just Goldman's conclusion of the Ukraine matter; they also questioned his very appearance before the Judiciary panel. In a series of heated exchanges, they said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should appear rather than sending his lawyer. From the White House, Trump tweeted repeatedly, assailing the "Witch Hunt!" and "Do Nothing Democrats." In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution's bar of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Some liberal lawmakers wanted more expansive charges encompassing the findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Centrist Democrats preferred to keep the impeachment articles more focused on Trump's actions toward Ukraine. Nadler was blunt as he opened Monday's hearing, saying, "President Trump put himself before country." Trump's conduct, Nadler said at the end of the daylong hearing, "is clearly impeachable." Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the committee, said Democrats are racing to jam impeachment through on a "clock and a calendar" ahead of the 2020 presidential election. "They can't get over the fact that Donald Trump is the president of the United States, and they don't have a candidate that can beat him," Collins said. In one testy exchange, Republican attorney Stephen Castor dismissed the transcript of Trump's crucial call with Ukraine as "eight ambiguous lines" that did not amount to the president seeking a personal political favor. Democrats argued vigorously that Trump's meaning could not have been clearer in seeking political dirt on Biden, his possible opponent in the 2020 election. The Republicans tried numerous times to halt or slow the proceedings, and the hearing was briefly interrupted early on by a protester shouting, "We voted for Donald Trump!" The protester was escorted from the House hearing room by Capitol Police. The White House is refusing to participate in the impeachment process. Trump and his allies acknowledge he likely will be impeached in the Democratic-controlled House, but they also expect acquittal next year in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority. The president focused Monday on the long-awaited release of the Justice Department report into the 2016 Russia investigation. The inspector general found that the FBI was justified in opening its investigation into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia and that the FBI did not act with political bias, despite "serious performance failures" up the bureau's chain of command. Democrats say Trump abused his power in a July 25 phone call when he asked Ukrainian President VolodymyrZelenskiyfor a favor in investigating Democrats. That was bribery, they say, since Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine depended on to counter Russian aggression. Pelosi and Democrats point to what they call a pattern of misconduct by Trump in seeking foreign interference in elections from Mueller's inquiry of the Russia probe to Ukraine. In his report, Mueller said he could not determine that Trump's campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election. But Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice in the probe and left it for Congress to determine.

Chile's air force lost radio contact with a transport plane carrying 38 people on a flight Monday evening to the country's base in Antarctica, and authorities indicated several hours later that they were not optimistic about the aircraft's fate. The military said earlier that it had declared an alert and activated search and rescue teams. The C-130 Hercules carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers, including three civilians. The personnel were to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base. President Sebastián Piñera said via Twitter that he was with his defence and interior ministers at the air force headquarters monitoring developments. In a statement early Tuesday, the air force said the plane had not been heard from in more than seven hours and likely would have run out of fuel around 12:40 a.m. The air force "continues the search in the sector where communication with the aircraft was lost, in order to rescue potential survivors," the statement said. The plane took off at 4:53 p.m. from the southern city of Punta Arenas, which is more than 3,000 kilometres (1,860 miles) from the capital of Santiago. Contact was lost at 6:13 p.m., the initial announcement said. Drake's Passage, where the plane was missing, is infamous for severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and ferocious storms. But the air force said late Monday that the weather was good when the plane began its flight, or the mission would not have been carried out. Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Brigade told local media that a search was underway and a ship was in the general area where the plane should have been when contact was lost. Mosqueira said the aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact. No emergency signals had been activated, he said. He said the plane, whose pilot had extensive experience, had been scheduled to return Monday night.

Usain Bolt celebrates after one of his many victories during his decorated athletics career.

The Olympic sprint exploits of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, have been ranked by US news network ABC as the best among sporting performances over the last decade. Bolt’s double triple gold medal haul in 2012 and 2016 was hailed as the brightest spark in a decade filled with glorious sporting moments. “Bolt, the impossibly cool, wickedly fast sprinter from Jamaica, changed the sport of sprinting throughout the decade. Never was his dominance more evident than in London when he walked into the Olympics as something of an underdog -- despite becoming a worldwide celebrity following the 2008 games. He had lost in his country's qualifiers to up-and-coming star Yohan Blake before heading to London. But big-time stars come up big in big-time situations. The fastest man on the planet came out of the gates slow -- not unusual -- before passing American Justin Gatlin and Blake and shattering the Olympic record. Bolt cruised -- literally, taking a chance to peek at his rival Blake before the line -- to gold in the 200-meter final and then earned a three-event sweep with a gold in the 4x100-meter relay," stated the articlepenned by ABC’s Mark Osborne. Osborne added:"After the 100-meter final, (Bolt)called himselfthe "greatest athlete to live." Four years later, it was pretty impossible to argue he wasn't at least in the discussion. Bolt completed another three-event sweep in 2016 at the Rio Olympics just two days before his 30th birthday. By 2017, he'd won every 100-meter race he'd entered for four years. And while he lost at the 2017 world championships, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics will go down in history forever.” Bolt’s rise to the top of the track and field world was hailed over the historic Chicago Cubs comefrom behind 4-3 World Series baseball win in 2016 over the Cleveland Indians, the US women’s soccer team's World Cup victory in France last year, the four gold medal haul of US gymnastics star Simone Biles, and the Golden State Warriors NBA wins of 2015, 2017 and 2018. Other performances Osborne thought worthy of mention were Michael Phelps' exploits in the swimming pool, a physics defying touchdown by New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jnr and the New England Patriots spectacular victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 Super Bowl.

West Indies' Nicholas Pooran, third left, and Lendl Simmons, third right, shake hands with Indian players after their win in the second Twenty20 international cricket match between India and West Indies in Thiruvanathapuram, India, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Lendl Simmons guided West Indies to aneight-wicket thumpingofIndia in the second Twenty20 international inThiruvananthapuram, setting up a series decider in Mumbai on Wednesday. Simmons finished unbeaten on 67 from 45 balls, having receivedable support from Evin Lewis (40), Shimron Hetmyer (23) and the returning Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) as the Windiesreached a target of 171 with ninedeliveries unused. Shivam Dube had earlier compiled a maiden half-century for the hosts, impressing with 54 from 30 balls afterbeing surprisingly promoted to number three, yet Virat Kohli's men were ultimately overpowered as West Indieshit 12 sixes to India's five. The tourists were 26 without loss after five overs, but theyaccelerated in devastating fashion thereafter to win with ease. Simmons was the star turn, hitting four fours and as many sixes as he took full advantage ofbeing dropped by Washington Sundar on six, while Pooran scored at a strike-rate of 211on his comebackfrom a four-match ban for ball-tampering. Lewis and Hetmyer also provided the necessary impetus to get the Windies ahead of the required rate, the latter thumping three maximums before falling victim to a stunning Virat Kohli catch at long-on, which saw India's captain take the ball on the run before contorting his body superbly to avoid touching the boundary rope. India were left to rue Sundar putting down a routine chanceoff Bhuvneshwar Kumar to give Simmons an early life, though, and Lewis was also dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Dube, who cleared the ropes four times, and Pant (33 not out) were the only home batsmento make significant contributions toa score of 170-7,as the Windies' attack kept things relatively tight despite conceding a glut of extras.

Sean Steele (Left), Peterson Francis

Saint Lucia is one-step closer in seeing the installation of parking meters around the city circuit. This was highlighted Friday morning when Castries Mayor Peterson Francis signed official documents with the Managing Director of Smart Park; the entity responsible for the first-ever parking meters. The idea to install parking meters across the city was approved and sanctioned by the Government of Saint Lucia in its attempts to significantly reduce vehicular traffic in the city of Castries. The Smart Park Solution, Mayor Francis says, will work in tandem with plans for parking terminals and will include features that make provisions for payment through the ease of mobile devices. Managing Director or Smart Park Sean Steele summarized the ease of usability for the smart parking solution, which he says will be easily accessible to all Saint Lucians and is inexpensive as well. “Anyone with a mobile phone can pay for their parking; you do not need to have a smartphone to use the system. The system has many attributes that allows users to park safely from their vehicles, you can start and restart parking session from anywhere you are. The solution allows very cost-effective operation when compared to parking meters; there is no maintenance of the solutions so from an operations perspective you will maximize the revenue generation capacity,” Mr Steele explained. The parking meters will alert the user before their time is up and provide an option for the user to extend their metering time from any location, via phone. Smart Park looks to roll out the solution using a phased system, initially looking to install 200 spaces and continuing with a scheduled rolled out. The Castries City Council, which is the lead agency on the initiative, has entered into a business partnership with Smart Park. ‘The CCC has nothing to put out,” Mayor Francis declared. “We are going to partner with our associates and down the road we will be sharing the profits… Not the losses,” Francis continued. “We are looking at in the first year 60/40, the second year 65/35 and the third year 70/30 and move on from there.” Francis also disclosed that anti-vandalism measures are being discussed to ensure the longevity of the smart parking meters.

Newly elected executive of the St Lucia Kennel Club

The St Lucia Kennel Club elected a new executive following its recently concluded annual general meeting. A number of pertinent issues were discussed which included some of the aims and objectives of the club such as registering dogs with their pedigree; clarifyingdog breeds; participatingand encouragingthe training of dogs; promotingexcellence in the breeding of dogs and promoting the consideration and discussion of all questions pertaining to dogs. Other matters discussed at the meeting including finance, membership, constitution, veterinarians becoming honorary members of the club, affiliation to regional and/or international kennel clubs and the Dog Day Afternoon event. Members also paid tribute to the outgoing Chair of the Interim Committee, Mr Lokesh Singh, for the yeoman service he has given to the organisation in his role as president in the past and more recently as Chair of the Interim Committee. The newly elected committee will oversee the club's operation for the next year. The committee members include: 1. President Mr Colvis Samuels 2. Vice President Mr Eugene Gabriel 3. Secretary Ms Sancher Didier 4. Treasurer Mr Cletus St Marie 5. Public relations Officer Mr Terrol Compton 6. Registrar Mr Byron Fernelon 7. Floor member Mr Gregory Ragoonanan 8. Floor Member Mr Nigel Eudoxie