There is a saying that the one thing you have in this world which no one can take from you is your good name. Many of us share the same surname or last name with other people in this world and you would be surprised to learn what is the most common last name in specific Caribbean countries. The following information was compiled byNetCredit,which in order to determine the most common name in every country,analyseddata from genealogy portalForebears.ioand other sources. Antigua and Barbuda The most common last name in this country is Joseph. According to Forebears, Joseph is also the most commonly occurring name in Saint Lucia where 0.41 percent are found and Dominica where 0.15 percent arefound with the surname.Notably in Haiti, the last name Joseph is carried by 521,600 people. Barbados The most common last name in this country is Clarke, which according to Forebears is derived from the official title, “the clerk,” the clergyman in holy orders.While Clarke is found most frequently in England, it is the most widely held last name in Barbados. Bahamas Rolle is the most common surname in the Bahamas which according to Forebears, is probably derived from the name of an ancestor, “the son of Rowland.”Forty-four percent of Bahamians carry the last name Rolle, with the name occurring in 69 othercountries. Belize Themost commonly heldsurname in Belize is Martinezwhere 0.05 percent are found with the name.Forebears note the surname Martinez is carried by more people in Mexico than anyothercountry. Cuba The most common surname in Cuba is Rodriguez where about six percent of the population carries the name.Forebears also mentioned thatRodriguez is the most widespread surname in the Dominican Republic where three percent live. Grenada Charles is the most widespread surname in Grenada where 0.41 percent reside.The last name Charles, according to Forebears, is also found in Tanzania, more than any other country. Haiti If you were paying attention earlier, you would remember reading that the surname Joseph iscarriedby over 500,000 Haitians.However, according to Forebears, the most common surname in Haiti is Jean, where it is carried by 668,437 citizens or 1 in 16 people. Jamaica Brown is the most frequently appearing last name in Jamaica where three percentlive with the surname.Forebears say it is also the most common last name in the United States where it is borne by 1.7 million people. Saint Kitts and Nevis/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines In these two Caribbean countries, the most common surname is Williams.The last name, according to Forebears, is alsowidespread in the Turks and Caicos Islands where 0.07 percent are found and the US Virgin Islands where 0.05 percent arefound with the name. Trinidad and Tobago Mohammed is the most common surname in Trinidad and Tobago where 0.43 percent reside.Forebears say it is the most common last name in Nigeria and existsin 186 countries. And in case you were wondering, the most common surname in the world is Wang.According to Forebears approximately 107 million people bear this surname, with it being most prevalent in China, Taiwan, and the United States.

Photo: Peoples Progressive Party/Civic

Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential candidate Dr Irfaan Ali has promised to create more jobs and improve access to education once he is given a chance to lead Guyana after the March 2 Regional and General Elections. Ali made the comment while addressing PPP/C supporters at a political rally in Linden, Region Ten on Sunday. “We are not only going to restore the 30,000 jobs that we have lost but we are going to ensure that we create 50,000 jobs that will put people back to work,” Ali said. He said the Government is lecturing Guyanese about the oil boom but has not created any programs to ensure citizens are trained to work in the sector. “We have to ensure we invest in the human resources by giving you the necessary skills, by ensuring that we equip the technical institute to function in the new economy and provide the training that is relevant to give you the job opportunities in the oil and gas sector. “We are going to ensure we build facilities that will equip you to be part of the future of this country. Not only creating jobs but making you entrepreneurs, ensuring that you can build companies that will benefit from the spin-off of the oil sector,” he stated. The party plants to reintroduce its controversial “Because we care” education grant and increase the subvention to GYD $50,000 per child. Ali chastised the Government focusing mainly on the oil and gas sector when Guyana’s bread and butter industries such as forestry and agriculture are suffering. He promised to construct better access roads and improve infrastructure so farmers in Region Ten can have better access to the local and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) market. “This is the approach that will ensure farming is sustainable (and make) farming work for the farmer and the people." Ali urged Guyanese to think of their future when they cast their votes on Election Day.


It appears two "Bad Boys" were too good for one "Dolittle" at the box office. "Bad Boys for Life" starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence brought in $59 million in the U.S. and Canada to score a No. 1 debut entering the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The action-packed, buddy comedy returned for the franchise's third installment after a 17-year hiatus with popular demand to outlast "Dolittle," starring Robert Downey Jr., which opened at second with a mediocre $22.5 million. Sony Pictures predicted that "Bad Boys" will make around $68 million over the four-day weekend. The film exceeded expectations, building momentum with favourable reviews including an A Cinema Score and a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "It's a great brand with two terrific stars, a beloved franchise and it feels like summertime in January," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. He said it was a smart move by Sony Pictures to release the film during January, an unusual month for blockbusters releases but it ultimately "reaped huge benefits." "Dolittle" barely topped the World War I film "1917," which claimed the top spot last week. The Sam Mendes-directed war film continues to hold strong with $22.1 million this weekend after going from 11 screens in its first weeks to more than 3,600. The Oscar-nominated epic wartime film has gained popularity after it won Golden Globes for best director and drama film a couple weeks ago. Saturday night, it won an award for theatrical motion picture at the Producers Guild Awards, which has gone on to win best picture Oscar 21 out of 30 times, including the past two years. "'1917' is really taking a lot of the oxygen and taking on a life of its own since the Oscar nominations and all of these awards," Dergarabedian said. "If you haven't seen '1917,' you're totally out of the loop for awards season." Along with "Bad Boys," Sony Pictures has two other films in the top 10 at the domestic box office including Oscar-contender "Little Women" and "Jumanji: The Next Level," which crossed $700 million worldwide. In another blockbuster, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" topped $1 billion globally after five weeks. The Disney's film focusing on the final chapter of the Luke Skywalker saga has also earned more than $492 million domestically. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "Bad Boys for Life," $59.1 million, ($38.6 million international). 2. "Dolittle," $22.5 million, ($17.2 million international). 3. "1917," $22.1 million, ($26.1 million international). 4. "Jumanji: The Next Level," $9.5 million, ($17 million international). 5. "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker," $8.3 million, ($10.9 million international). 6. "Just Mercy," $6 million, ($1.3 million international). 7. "Little Women," $5.9 million, ($6.2 million international). 8. "Knives Out," $4.3 million, ($3.1 million international). 9. "Like A Boss," $3.8 million. 10. "Frozen 2," $3.7 million, ($12 million international).

If the Producers Guild Awards are a true predictor of the Oscars' best film category, then the World War I film "1917" is poised to come away with the top honour in a few weeks. The Sam Mendes film won the award for theatrical motion picture at the untelevised ceremony Saturday night at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Many in the crowd seemed stunned after Reese Witherspoon announced the winner of the Darryl F. Zanuck Award, which has gone on to win the best picture Oscar 21 out of 30 times — including the past two years, with "Green Book" and "The Shape of Water." "This film was inspired by my grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and my hope was to honour his experience," said Mendes, who co-produced and directed the project. He also said it was his first time attending the awards, and thanked the guild for recognizing his film. "This was best experience of my professional life," he added. Released late last month, "1917" has made a splash during awards season, including another surprise victory in the best drama picture category at the Golden Globes. At the PGA awards, the war film bested other contenders like "Ford v Ferrari," "The Irishman," "Jojo Rabbit," "Joker," "Knives Out," "Little Women," "Marriage Story," "Parasite" and "Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood." "1917" has now built strong momentum heading into the Academy Awards on Feb. 9. In other categories, "Toy Story 4" took home the animation award, "Fleabag" won the episodic comedy television award and "Chernobyl" collected best limited series. "Producing a movie takes a village," said "Toy Story 4" co-producer Mark Nielsen, while fellow producer Jonas Rivera stood beside him. Multiple special honours were given out throughout the evening for production work including to Octavia Spencer, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos, "Friends" co-creator Martha Kauffman, the film "Bombshell," and Plan B Entertainment's Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. "When I started off as an actor, I wondered about producers, 'What the (expletive) do they do?'" Pitt jokingly said after accepting the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. Plan B has been behind "Moonlight" and "12 Years a Slave." "I'm now painfully aware of what you do," he said. "I commend you all. Our job as producers are protectors, stewards. ... Stewards of the story and protectors of the storytellers. And I find that to be an awesome responsibility." Spencer received the Visionary Award, struggling to deliver her acceptance speech through tears. The actress who starred in "The Help" and "Hidden Figures" said acting was her backup plan to being a producer, which was "the dream" for her. "As an actor, I learned that my job was to find the truth in every scene and bring humanity to the characters I portray," said Spencer, who runs the production company Orit Entertainment with Brian Clisham. Their company has produced the Apple TV Plus drama series "Truth Be Told," and Spencer is starring in and producing an upcoming Netflix limited series about Madam C.J. Walker. "Now as a producer, I understand that Brian and I must maintain that insight with the movie and television series we develop," she continued. "We look forward to adding fresh perspectives from diverse storytellers who enlighten, uplift and most importantly entertain."


Prince Harry has taken aim at the journalists who have dissected his life since the day he was born as he expressed regret for the way he has had to step down from royal duties. In a personal speech that referenced his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident while being pursued by paparazzi, Harry said Sunday he had "no other option'' but to step away as he and his wife, Meghan, seek a more peaceful life. "When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,'' Harry said at a dinner in London for Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV. ``You looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force. And my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.'' The comments were Harry's first public remarks since Saturday night, when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, announced the terms under which the prince and his wife will walk away from most royal duties, give up public funding and try to become financially independent. The couple are expected to spend most of their time in Canada while maintaining a home in England near Windsor Palace. The queen's statement said the agreement, reached after crisis talks, was a "constructive and supportive way forward." But Harry's speech made it clear that the couple had not gotten their wish to be able to carry on with some royal duties while becoming independent. "Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible," he said. "For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this,'' he added. "The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.'' Harry, 35, has made no secret of his disdain for Britain's tabloid media in the past, with both he and Meghan filing lawsuits against press outlets last fall. At the time, Harry gave an interview drawing parallels between the treatment of his wife and the media frenzy that contributed to the death of his mother. Harry praised his grandmother, the queen, and the rest of his family for supporting him and his wife in recent months. He called the decision to change both jobs and continents "a leap of faith" and said he hopes the move will allow him and his family to achieve a "more peaceful life." Under terms of the deal announced Saturday, Harry and Meghan will stop using their "royal highness" titles this spring and will lose all access to public funds once they stop carrying out official functions. Harry opened his speech by noting that many in the audience had watched him grow up and said he wanted them "to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share, not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry." He framed the decision to leave as his own, made on behalf of Meghan and their young son, Archie. He spoke of both during his remarks, telling the audience that eight-month-old Archie had seen snow for the first time a few days ago and "thought it was bloody brilliant." He then turned to his relationship with the queen and other members of his family. "I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother — my commander in chief — and I'm incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months," he said. Meghan and Archie and the couple's dogs are already in Canada, and it was not clear how soon Harry would join them or where in Canada they would live. The couple spent the holiday season on Vancouver Island, and Meghan worked for seven years in Toronto filming the TV series "Suits."

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that it's "extremely crucial" to take every possible measure to combat a new coronavirus that has infected more than 200 people in the country. His remarks, cited by state broadcaster CCTV, came the same day that the country reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected by the novel form of viral pneumonia, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak comes as the country enters its busiest travel period when millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. "The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan and other places must be taken seriously," Xi said, according to CCTV. "Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people's lives and health first." Health authorities in the central city of Wuhan, where the viral pneumonia appears to have originated, said an additional 136 cases have been confirmed in the city, which now has a total of 198 infected patients. As of the weekend, a third patient had died, bringing the death toll to three. Five individuals in Beijing and 14 in southern China's Guangdong have also been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, state broadcaster CCTV reported Monday evening. A total of seven suspected cases have been found in other parts of the country, including in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in the southwest and in Shanghai. The outbreak has put other countries on alert as millions of Chinese travel for Lunar New Year. Authorities in Thailand and in Japan have already identified at least three cases, all involving recent travel from China. South Korea reported its first case Monday, when a 35-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan tested positive for the new coronavirus one day after arriving at Seoul's Incheon airport. The woman has been isolated at a state-run hospital in Incheon city, just west of Seoul, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. At least a half-dozen countries in Asia and three US airports have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China. Videos posted online show people in protective suits checking one-by-one the temperatures of plane passengers arriving in Macao from Wuhan. A man surnamed Yang who works for the Macao Health Bureau confirmed over the phone that such checks are taking place in the southern Chinese region. Many of the initial cases of the coronavirus were linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, which was closed as authorities investigated. Since hundreds of people who came into close contact with diagnosed patients have not gotten sick, the municipal health commission maintains that the virus is not easily transmitted between humans, though it has not ruled out limited human-to-human transmission. China's National Health Commission said experts have judged the current outbreak to be "preventable and controllable." "However, the source of the new type of coronavirus has not been found, we do not fully understand how the virus is transmitted, and changes in the virus still need to be closely monitored," the commission said in a statement Sunday. Coronaviruses cause diseases ranging from the common cold to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS first infected people in southern China in late 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800. The Chinese government initially tried to conceal the severity of the SARS epidemic, but its cover-up was exposed by a high-ranking physician. "In the early days of SARS, reports were delayed and covered up," said an editorial in the nationalistic Global Times. "That kind of thing must not happen again in China." "We have made great strides in medicine, social affairs management and public opinion since 2003," the editorial said. China is putting forth its "utmost efforts to tackle the situation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday. The government has notified and maintained close communication with the World Health Organization and other relevant countries and regions, Geng said, adding that Wuhan has adopted measures to control the flow of people leaving the city. The virus causing the current outbreak is different from those previously identified, Chinese scientists said earlier this month. Initial symptoms of the novel coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath. On the Weibo social media platform, which is widely used in China, people posted prevention advice such as wearing masks and washing hands. State broadcaster CCTV recommended staying warm, increasing physical activity, eating lightly and avoiding crowded places. Some people said they had canceled their travel plans and were staying home for Lunar New Year.


Mohamed Salah ripped off his Liverpool jersey at a freezing Anfield after completing a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in stoppage time on Sunday and rousing fans on the Kop to sing: "We're gonna win the league." It's been a 30-year wait but there is no longer any trepidation from the Liverpool supporters as their team has moved 16 points in front at the Premier League summit. "Now you're gonna believe us," they chanted. It took Salah getting on the end of goalkeeper Alisson's inspired long ball with the final whistle about to blow for the Liverpool title party to begin with four months of the season remaining. Although Liverpool only held a slender lead heading into stoppage time — after Virgil van Dijk's 14th minute header — the ineffective United attack meant this victory never appeared in doubt. Liverpool could even afford to have two goals ruled out, as well as Salah scuffing a shot and captain Jordan Henderson hitting the post. Liverpool is closing in on a 19th English title, one behind the record haul United built with 13 Premier League successes under Alex Ferguson. But it is United's neighbour Manchester City that is the nearest but still distant challenger to Liverpool, 16 points behind in second place in its ailing title defence. United is 30 points back in fifth place, with closing the five-point gap on the fourth Champions League place the mission rather than winning the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

West Indies' T20 against Ireland was washed out.

Rain wreaked havoc as the second Twenty20 international between West Indies and Ireland was washed out in Basseterre on Saturday. No result was declared after the game was called off approaching 22:00 local time – Ireland boasting a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. Career-best figures from captain Kieron Pollard helped restrict Ireland to 147-9 from 19 overs, with a rain delay leading to a reduction in overs. Confidence was high in the Ireland camp after their memorable four-run triumph in the opening T20I in Grenada. But Pollard claimed 4-25 from four overs – the 10th best performance for the Windies in T20I history, dismissing Gareth Delany (44), skipper Andy Balbirnie (36), Gary Wilson (5) and George Dockrell (2). Sheldon Cottrell (2-10) and Romario Shepherd (1-38) also chipped in with wickets for the Windies. West Indies managed to start their run chase and they reached 16-1 after Lendl Simmons (10) fell victim to Paul Stirling (1-11) before the rain set in for good.


His Excellency Ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama and Acting Principal of the Piaye Combined School sign the agreement

Another school in the south of the island will benefit from the assistance from the Embassy of Japan under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP). Yesterday, Thursday, January 16, 2020, a signing ceremony was held for the GGP between the Embassy of Japan and the Piaye Combined School, which the acting principal of the school, Jeanneve Charlery-Etienne, described as “a day to rejoice”. In her address to the gathering at the school where the agreement was signed, Etienne said today is the beginning of a partnership which promises to improve the health and safety of present and future students and staff of this institution. “The Government of Japan has shown its commitment to support development at the grassroots level throughout the GGP. This signing ceremony today, signals the beginning of a project that allows for the provision of a grant totaling US$ 62,189 to be used for the construction of a new toilet facility for the students, a lunch area and renovation of the existing toilets for the staff room,” Etienne explained. She lamented that to date, no major rehabilitation works have been carried out on the students’ toilets of the school which was built in 1982. “We at the Piaye Combined School strongly believe that the health and safety of our students is paramount, and we continue to endeavor towards providing a more conducive environment for our students,” Etienne said. In his address, His Excellency, Ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama of the Embassy of Japan, said: “Today, I am extremely pleased to sign another agreement for our Grassroots Human Security Project. I am especially pleased to do so in this particular community which will improve the health environment of the Piaye Combined School.” He added: “I wish to see this project be completed on schedule and within budget once we signed the documents, so the students here will be able to utilize new, renovated facilities in the not too distantfuture.” District Education Officer (DEO) of District Seven, Kay Clarke-Nicholas, said: “We at the Department of Education and by extension, the Government of Saint Lucia are exceedingly grateful for the level of co-operation, collaboration and support between Japan and the people of Saint Lucia.” She said through a collaborative effort, the schools in the Choiseul area are becoming a better place, with a more conducive and safe learning environment for teachers and students.

Superintendent of Police, Mashama Sealy

Superintendent of Police, Mashama Sealyis giving back to the community. The senior police officer won in the category of Top Caribbean Career Move via the Regional Recognition Award Program for Public Law Enforcement in May 2019. Sealyreceived a trophy and cash from the Regional Recognition Ceremony which was held in the Cayman Islands. A handing over ceremony was conducted on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, to present a cheque tothree schools namely the Canaries Primary School, the Corinth Secondary School and the SDA Academy, eachnominated for assistance by the superintendent. A cheque of $6,500 in total was handed to the schools. “Although allocations for transportation and meals in schools have been doubled, unfortunately, there are still students who aren’t able to be part of this program. It takes a village to raise a child and so having being raised in a matriarchal home where the focus has always been education to be empowered, to be provided life skills, technical skills, vocational skills, I thought it prudent to focus on education because I believe that if we assist young people in that regard then they will be able to do a lot and be empowered to their best in society,” the senior police officer said. To be qualified to benefit from the funding, students have to attend school regularly, have to be disciplined, have good grades and must require the assistance. Five students from the Canaries Primary School will be receiving meal assistance, two students from the Corinth Secondary School will receive assistance for transportation and one student from the SDA Academy will receive tuition, all of which will be for one year. Deputy Commissioner of Police Milton Desir congratulated all the award winners from Regional Recognition Award Program over the years. He expressed his contentment with Superintendent Sealyas she chose to share her winnings with the various schools and congratulated her on behalf of the executive of the police force. According to Desir, St Lucia has won at least two awards from the Regional Recognition Award Program for Public Law Enforcement. The purpose of the Regional Recognition Award Program for Public Law Enforcement is to recognize outstanding officers who have contributed significantly to their organization, their communities and some aspect on a regional level. The program consists of three categories namely: • Top Caribbean Crime Fighter • Top Caribbean Community Police Officer • Top Caribbean Career Move


In 2019 Fay Ann Lyons was appointed Chairman of the International Soca Monarch

Fay Ann Lyons has stepped down as Chairman of the International Soca Monarch. Lyons, who appointed to the helmof the competition, will no longer be involved in the annual competition. Lyons told Loop she made the decision because she has not been given the go-ahead to plan anything and time is going. “I have no tools or anything to do the event so rather than try to rush the Soca Monarch I want to give the people a Soca Monarch they deserve. I had a Soca Monarch planned for 2020 with new exciting things that people can enjoy but I don’t own the competition so I have to wait for the go-ahead and if I don’t get it I can’t move,” she told Loop. Lyons said with February 2 the proposed date for the semi-finals, she said she didn’t have enough time to prepare. “It is too close. When I checked the work to be done, the logistics, etc I can’t go put out a Soca Monarch that Trinidad and Tobago and the world deserves to see in a week and a half. I have been ready since August,” she said. Last year Lyons earned kudos from the soca fraternity for pulling off a smooth Soca Monarch competition which favoured the artistes through its structure and organisation. A former Soca Monarch, Lyons placed emphasis on power soca, making the winner of the Power Soca category the overall winner. The title was won by Grenada’s Mr Killa with Swappi taking the Groovy title. When contacted, Geoffrey Wharton Lake, one of the owners of the ISM, said he would make a statement later today.

Mr Killa's Run Wid It had everyone picking up whatever was in sight and running with it from people to chairs.

Throughout the history of soca, there have been many songs that got us obeying every command. We made like bulls and trampled through the crowd for Machel Montano’s “Toro Toro”, we ran left and right in fetes thanks to Marvin and Nigel Lewis’ “Moving to the Left”, we hopped from one foot to the other for JW and Blaze’s “Palance”, sat on men’s shoulders for Ronnie McIntosh’s “Donkey” and thanks to Superblue we are still waving. These days, the songs encourage us to go beyond silly dances. In 2019, Mr Killa swept the nation and the International Soca Monarch title with ‘Run WidIt” and, thanks to his clever social media marketing showing Grenadians picking up items and running with it, many people followed suit, picking up everything from chairs to other people. Problem Child’s ‘Nasty Up’ is the latest song eliciting wild behaviour with its call for strange behaviour. “We go mash-up and buy it back, tear it down and build it back,” he sings in the chorus. The actions of patrons at fetes have one DJ expressing concern for the ramifications on the future of Carnival events, not just in the Caribbean but in foreign countries where the culture is not mainstream. Private Ryan’s concern was registered after the release of a video in which a young woman clad in a bikini is seen diving into a sea of people from a music truck during a J’ouvert party in Miami. Ryan, who was the DJ on that truck at the time, said in an Instagram post that the incident got him thinking. “Recently with “Nasty Up”, “Run With it” and the rise of music that encourages us to "mash up everything" are we setting ourselves up for something that could inevitably cripple us and our culture,” he asked. “What if venues start to deem us unruly because we destroy venues, tear up plants, rip down banners, remove trash cans etc. What if the person who dives or tries to outdo this moment gets fatally injured? What if on@ubersocacruisethey mash up essential things on the cruise ship and they don't want "our kind" back because we are too wild. I know for a fact in Trinidad Fire Services would have shut this down immediately,” said Ryan. He said he knew that many clubs and promoters that have discriminated against other genres of music such as dancehall and rock for the wildness and made it hard for them to get proper venues. Private Ryan’s questions stirred a debate among many people, some who disagreed with any call for censorship and called for West Indians to own their own venues to have events, while others urged DJs and mic-men to be more responsible in how they encourage people to behave. But is it the responsibility of DJs and their hype men? On whose shoulders does the responsibility lie when it comes to wild behaviour at Carnival events? In an essay titled Soca Music: Enjoy responsibly, published on Medium, Jeanelle Frontin, former General Manager of MusicTT, said she was hit in the face when someone flung a cup during Private Ryan’s Soca Brainwash at this year’s Miami Carnival. Jeanelle Frontin, former GM of MusicTT She said in reviewing the footage she took in the fete in an attempt to identify the cup thrower, she observed the happy crowd destroying all the plants and using the branches as rags and flags to the sound of “Nasty Up”. “One “mild concussion” diagnosis later, I began to wonder about the role of music and the responsibility of artists, DJs and mic-men, event promoters, broadcasters, and, of course, patrons when they all come together in a fete or on the road. Is destruction ever justified when it is in the name of good-natured fun or even “culture” (as I’ve heard some say)? Aren’t these people generally upstanding, rational, and well-intentioned outside of a party? Do the same rules apply when people congregate? Do they become sheep? If they do, whether by following the instructions of lyrics or mic-men, who then becomes the Shepherd? And, ultimately, whether in leading ourselves or others, how far is too far in the name of “culture” or fun?” she wondered. Commenting on the video of the girl jumping off the truck, Frontin wrote: “What if something serious did happen, and it was picked up by an international news channel and propagated by those without any understanding of our complex cultural choices, would our events even get Problem Child’s “insurance” anymore? Would venues (regional/ international) want our bookings in their spaces if they believed there would be damage to their property that would result in loss of use or worse? Would the world be open to understanding our culture if it is painted for us by the few who push it too far in the name of wildness? In examining where the buck stops, Frontin ultimately decides that in the mix of DJs, hype men, broadcasters, promoters, artists and patrons, the latter is the one to be held ultimately responsible for his/her behaviour. “I am not saying that all of the entities discussed above don’t have a part to play in promoting our culture while reasonably ensuring its safe enjoyment. However, each person who chooses to destroy a plant, rip out decor, and any other action for the sake of “following instructions” is individually responsible for what they have done. “If a mic-human instructs you to jump off a cliffto your death, good sense is what should kick in because you are not a child. The patrons of these parties are all adults. They can all be arrested and convicted as adults. In all the grey areas, that much is strikingly clear,” she said. The price for the destructive or life-threatening actions of promoters can have a serious impact on promoters and not just financially. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/Qw1agcPscuM.jpg?itok=vQy6Wt4H","video_url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw1agcPscuM","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]} Jules Sobion, head Roman of Caesar’s Army which does events regionally and internationally said any damage to a venue can affect their event insurance and the loss of the contingency fees which are deposited in the event of an incident. He said negative stereotypes also affect a promoter’s ability to book a good venue. He said in the US, Caribbean promoters aren’t accepted and it is difficult to book venues based on what may have transpired in the past or stereotypes based on past behaviour. He said he has been fortunate to book venues that have not been used by Caribbean promoters before but it is hard. “Our goal is to break out of the usual venues, our aspirations are high to get places we have never been before but many times we are faced with the stigma of what being a Caribbean promoter represents. They ask what you all coming to do here? We don’t do those parties here. So now we have to move with a liaison that will endorse us,” he said. Sobion said he, too, has had concerns about the new trend of singing songs that elicits extreme behaviour. He said his first encounter with a song like that was last year when Dominican Bouyon singer Asa Bantan sang “Do Something Crazy”, which sent people into a frenzy on the Ubersoca cruise. “So when I first heard it I was like ok and I thought I need to have him in a fete but then Mr Killa superseded him and he made it more commercial because he is more well-known here in Trinidad. So I saw the trend on Ubersoca when that song mash up the boat, they lifted up everything and I said this is going to be difficult for promoters and people having events,” said Sobion. He said one way promoters can protect themselves from extreme behaviour that might cause damage to property or people is to not hire an artiste even if the song is popular. He said that was a decision he had to make for a Carnival fete with Mr Killa. And while he agreed with Frontin that patrons should take responsibility for their actions, Sobion also believes the artistes have a role in limiting the wildness. “We had Problem Child in Mai Tai Miami but even though there was a frenzy it was not bad. It is part of the artiste themselves not taking it to that level,” he said. When contacted, Problem Child said adults should beresponsible for their actions. "If we as responsible adults are depending on music and movies to tell us how to act then we have already lost as a person. Each person should be their own person bigger than music," he said. Problem Child "If you don't know how far togo as an adult, you have issues within you that you can't blame anyone for but yourself. When my song is played, not everyone does something crazy. You know what this says? You have a choice to or not to." He noted, however, that in countries such as St Vincent, where he is from, and Grenada, that music and behaviour is the norm. "You would never hear anyone name a song for anything they choose to partake in," he added. Problem Child warned that we have to be careful about seekingacceptance about what belongs to us and damaging an artiste's potential to make a living. "No other genre has ever asked society to accept them. Every other genre has always been this is what it is and you are gonna like it for what it is or not. We have to be careful about thinking about our personal needs when we want to critique the music that also helps make us our funds becausewhen you say something to defend your right, your family and your finances you have to careful about hurting someone else's family income, finances and so on. While somebody is worried about if I can make money if this happens, in the same stride you should worry about would this person make money if I say something negative about theirmusic?" "You can't worry about amI gonna be good if I play this song, am I gonna be able to rent this place again when you have the choice to not play it. You can't do it and then be worried because some people do want to hear the song, some people do want to have a great time, some peopledo enjoy it," he said.


The European Union is extending sanctions against Venezuela for a year due to the political and economic crisis that it blames on the government of President Nicolás Maduro. EU foreign ministers decided at a meeting on Monday to prolong an arms embargo and ban on equipment sales that could be used against demonstrators until November 14, 2020. They also extended an asset freeze and travel bans against 25 Venezuelan officials. The EU says it's targeting the Maduro regime over "persistent actions undermining democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights." The ministers say the sanctions "are flexible and reversible" and do not target ordinary Venezuelans. The US, EU and many other governments recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president. They say Maduro wasn't legitimately re-elected last year.

Photo: Getty images

Two university students and a teacher were due to appear before an Arima Magistrate on Monday morning on allegations of marijuana possession after marijuana-infused brownies and cookies were seized. The trio was held around7.30 pm on Saturday along Farfan Street, Arima, for selling the sweet treats which werespiked with the illegal substance. According to police reports, a team of officers led by Sgt Mascall and including Cpl Gentle, PC Strachan, and WPC Caruth, all under the supervision of Sup Brandon John, received intelligence which led them to the Farfan Street, where the three were detained and searched. The officers found and seized several of the food items which had been packaged and prepared for sale/distribution. They also seized small quantities of marijuana which would be used in the preparation of the edibles. As a result, they were all detained and taken into custody. More on this as it becomes available.


Severe winter weather has struck parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods that left at least 48 people dead, officials said Monday as authorities struggled to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places. In Pakistan, where 30 people were reported killed, much of the damage struck southwestern Baluchistan province. Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, said 14 died there in the past 24 hours, mainly when roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall. Heavy snowfall had forced closures of many highways and some parts in the province were under six inches of snow. Eleven people were killed in eastern Punjab province, battered by heavy rains, and five others died in the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir, officials with the state-run emergency service said. The divided Himalayan region has witnessed heavy snow fall in recent days and power cuts have been reported. Emergency services said they were struggling to provide food and other items to snow-hit areas. In Afghanistan, at least 18 people, including women and children, died on account of the severe weather, according to provincial officials. Hasibullah Shaikhani, a press officer with the state ministry for disaster management, said most of the highways in Afghanistan were closed due to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches. Of the Afghan casualties, eight people were killed in southern Kandahar province, said Bahir Ahamdi, spokesman for the provincial governor. In western Herat province, seven people died, including five members of the same family, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, spokesman for the provincial police chief. Three people were killed in southern Helmand province, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor. Residents of the Afghan capital, Kabul, where temperatures dropped to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), abandoned driving and struggled to get to work on snow-covered roads.

The blowback over the US killing of a top Iranian general mounted Sunday as Iran announced it will no longer abide by the limits contained in the 2015 nuclear deal and Iraq's Parliament called for the expulsion of all American troops from Iraqi soil. The twin developments could bring Iran closer to building an atomic bomb and enable the Islamic State group to stage a comeback in Iraq, making the Middle East a far more dangerous and unstable place. Adding to the tensions, US President Donald Trump threatened to demand billions of dollars in compensation from Iraq or impose "sanctions like they've never seen before" if it goes through with expelling US troops. Iranian state television cited a statement by President Hassan Rouhani's administration saying the country would not observe the nuclear deal's restrictions on fuel enrichment, on the size of its enriched uranium stockpile and on its research and development activities. "The Islamic Republic of Iran no longer faces any limitations in operations," a state TV broadcaster said. In Iraq, meanwhile, lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution calling for an end to the foreign military presence in the country, including the estimated 5,200 US troops stationed to help fight Islamic State extremists. The bill is subject to approval by the Iraqi government but has the backing of the outgoing prime minister. In yet another sign of rising tensions and threats of retaliation over the deadly airstrike, the US-led military coalition in Iraq said it is putting the battle against IS on hold to focus on protecting its own troops and bases. The string of developments capped a day of mass mourning over Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets in the cities of Ahvaz and Mashhad to walk alongside the casket of Soleimani, who was the architect of Iran's proxy wars across the Mideast and was blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in roadside bombings and other attacks. Trump responded to the Parliament's troop withdrawal vote with a monetary threat, saying the US expected to be paid for its military investments in Iraq before leaving and threatening economic sanctions if the US is not treated properly. "We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that's there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We're not leaving unless they pay us back for it," he told reporters aboard Air Force One. "If they do ask us to leave, if we don't do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame," he said He added: "We're not leaving until they pay us back for it." State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus earlier said the US is awaiting clarification on its legal meaning but was "disappointed" by the move and strongly urged Iraq to reconsider. "We believe it is in the shared interests of the United States and Iraq to continue fighting ISIS together," Ortagus said. The leaders of Germany, France and Britain issued a joint statement on Sunday calling on Iran to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal and refrain from conducting or supporting further "violent acts." German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson specifically urged Iran to "withdraw all measures" not in line with the 2015 agreement that was intended to stop Tehran from pursuing its atomic weapons program. Iran insisted that it remains open to negotiations with European partners over its nuclear program. And it did not back off from earlier promises that it wouldn't seek a nuclear weapon. However, the announcement represents the clearest nuclear proliferation threat yet made by Iran since Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. It further raises regional tensions, as Iran's long-time foe Israel has promised never to allow Iran to produce an atomic bomb. Iran did not elaborate on what levels it would immediately reach in its program. Tehran has already broken some of the deal's limits as part of a step-by-step pressure campaign to get sanctions relief. It has increased its production, begun enriching uranium to 5% and restarted enrichment at an underground facility. While it does not possess uranium enriched to weapons-grade levels of 90%, any push forward narrows the estimated one-year "breakout time" needed for it to have enough material to build a nuclear weapon if it chose to do so. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog observing Iran's program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Iran said that its cooperation with the IAEA "will continue as before." Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi earlier told journalists that Soleimani's killing would prompt Iranian officials to take a bigger step away from the nuclear deal. "In the world of politics, all developments are interconnected," Mousavi said. In Iraq, where the airstrike has been denounced as a violation of the country's sovereignty, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that the government has two choices: End the presence of foreign troops or restrict their mission to training Iraqi forces. He called for the first option. The majority of about 180 legislators present in Parliament voted in favour of the troop-removal resolution. It was backed by most Shiite members of Parliament, who hold a majority of seats. Many Sunni and Kurdish legislators did not show up for the session, apparently because they oppose abolishing the deal. A US pullout could not only undermine the fight against the Islamic State but could also enable Iran to increase its influence in Iraq, which like Iran is a majority-Shiite country. Soleimani's killing has escalated the crisis between Tehran and Washington after months of back-and-forth attacks and threats that have put the wider Middle East on edge. Iran has promised "harsh revenge" for the US attack, while Trump has vowed on Twitter that the US will strike back at 52 targets "VERY FAST AND VERY HARD." He doubled down on that threat Sunday, dismissing warnings that targeting cultural sites could be a war crime under international law. "They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way," Trump told reporters. The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia warned Americans "of the heightened risk of missile and drone attacks." In Lebanon, the leader of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said Soleimani's killing made US military bases, warships and service members across the region fair game for attacks. A former Iranian Revolutionary Guard leader suggested the Israeli city of Haifa and centres like Tel Aviv could be targeted should the US attack Iran. Iranian state TV estimated that millions of mourners came out in Ahvaz and Mashhad to pay their respects to Soleimani. The casket moved slowly through streets choked with mourners wearing black, beating their chests and carrying posters with Soleimani's portrait. Demonstrators also carried red Shiite flags, which traditionally symbolize both the spilled blood of someone unjustly killed and a call for vengeance. The processions marked the first time Iran honoured a single man with a multi-city ceremony. Not even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who founded the Islamic Republic, received such a processional with his death in 1989. Soleimani on Monday will lie in state at Tehran's famed Musalla mosque as the revolutionary leader did before him. Soleimani's remains will go to Tehran and Qom on Monday for public mourning processions. He will be buried in his hometown of Kerman.