The US National Hurricane Centre said Tropical Storm Sebastien is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday night, as the storm continues on its path toward the central Atlantic. In an update, the NHC said the storm had winds of approximately 60 miles per hour and was travelling approximately north-north-east at eight miles per hour. The storm does not pose a threat to the Caribbean and there were no hazards approaching land. Details are as follows: ...SEBASTIEN EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE BY TONIGHT... SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...23.5N 60.5W ABOUT 405 MI...650 KM NNE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 30 DEGREES AT 8 MPH...13 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK ---------------------- At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the centre of Tropical Storm Sebastien was located near latitude 23.5 North, longitude 60.5 West. Sebastien is moving toward the north-northeast near 8 mph (13 km/h). A faster northeastward motion is expected during the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Sebastien is forecast to become a hurricane by tonight, but a weakening trend is expected to begin by late Friday. The system is likely to become an extratropical cyclone by Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km) from the centre. The estimated minimum central pressure is 999 mb (29.50 inches).

Action speaks louder than words.

Ever heard the term ‘rent-a-tile’? Ask any of the seniors in your community, and they will tell you that the term refers to a time on the dance floor when there was greater focus on closing down the space between two dance partners. Cool and deadly beats promoting smooth and steady movements between two people moving so close that many would say not even breeze could pass between them. Two persons moving as one in no greater space than that of a single tile, often no larger than 10 inches square. But with the increase in tempo in many of the modern musical beats, that art form among dancers has gradually been fading. However, all may not be lost asthis video circulating on social media of a baby boy in a rural community displaying with easethe art that many seniors in their heydays would have practised for months on end to perfect, has been creating quite the buzz. Watch the video below and have a pleasant Loop morning.


Koffee performing at Reggae Sumfest 2019 (File Photo)

The nominees in the Best Reggae Album category of the 62nd Grammy Awards have been announced. The nominees are 'Rapture' by Koffee; 'Mass Manipulation' by Steel Pulse, 'As I Am' by Julian Marley, 'The Final Battle: Sly & Robbie vs Roots Radics' by Sly and Robbie and Roots Radics, and 'More Work to be Done' by Third World. This is the first nomination for Koffee, who is the youngest solo reggae act to have secured a nomination in the category. Koffee's short but powerful set 'Rapture' contains five songs. For purposes of eligibility, to be considered an album, recordings must contain at least five different tracks and a total playing time of 15 minutes or a total playing time of at least 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. Steven"Cat" Coore performs with his Third World bandmates at Rebel Salute. (File Photo) The Grammy nomination nod rounds out a successful year for Koffee that has seen her enjoy tremendous success. She displaced Vybz Kartel as the Jamaican act with the most streams outside the country. According to official figures released by streaming service YouTube, the coveted spot of most streamed single is the sole province of Koffee's 'Toast' which beat all comers to grab the pole position with 3.91 million streams over the past 12 months. Tommy Lee's 'Blessing' is in the number two spot, having racked up 3.49 million streams. Teejay's 'Owna Lane' shows up strong at #3 with 3.02 million streams while Kartelslips to #4 with 'Any Weather' (2.41) and Squash rounds out the top five with 'Beat Dem Bad' (2.03). Could Koffee become the first female to win a Reggae Grammy? In over three decades of history in the Reggae Grammy category, only four females have ever been nominated, none of them actually walking away with the award, the last of whom was Etana who was nominated in 2018 with her 'Reggae Forever' set.

Magnum Ambassador  Spice (left) is joined on set by Donisha of Loud Fashion and Marlon Samuels aka The Icon for the first episode of her new talk show Spice It Up! The show premieres on Wednesday November 13 at 4pm on Magnumhub.tv

Newly minted Magnum Ambassador, dancehall artiste Spice steps into a new role with her new talk show,'Spice it up'. Spice it Up, which is powered by Magnum, made its debut on MagnumHub.tv on Wednesday, November 13. The first episode featuredDonisha of Loud Fashions and Marlon Samuels, aka the Icon, along with Richie Feelings discussing a range of issues that affect a romantic relationship, according to press release by Magnum. In the first episode, 'What if the Tables Turned', Spice posed the question: 'Do you embrace Bun fi Bun?' Donisha indicated that she was the receiver of unfaithfulness from her partner and did not reciprocate, however she now endorses the concept of repaying a cheating partner with unfaithfulness. Marlon Samuels laid out a simple response:“I keep my thing simple, so I usually have more than two and three girls. When me a gi bun mi cannot keep up so I don’t know when I’m getting bun…. It’s hard to focus on one woman in times like these when it is 40 women to one man."


Thanks to the generosity of neighbours, Hayde Chacin and husband Jose Calderón are surviving their elderly years on the outskirts of Venezuela's second-largest city of Maracaibo. The manager of a nursery down the street gives them a bit of rice when they have nothing else to eat. The night watchman at a restaurant across the street runs a hose every other day to their house to fill up buckets of water. Neighbourhood trash heaps provide discarded plastic bottles that they cash in for pennies and wood to burn for cooking on an open fire in the backyard. They complain government social programs fall short. "The two of us live in poverty — but we're proud," said 60-year-old Chacin. The couple focuses on daily survival, accepting their hard lot even as Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó pushes for street protests in his protracted campaign to oust President Nicolás Maduro. Few in Maracaibo have responded to Guaidó's efforts to reignite his movement, despite it being a city hard hit by crisis. Its residents endure daily power outages in a region that's punishingly hot. Vast oil reserves pumped from Lake Maracaibo once made Venezuela one of Latin America's wealthiest nations. Critics blame two decades of socialist rule for destroying an oil industry that today produces a fraction of what it did at its height two decades ago. The Venezuelan government blames USsanctions for many of its problems. Some banks of the lake are constantly covered in a slick of spilled oil from the broken platforms, making it hard for local fisherman to make a living. The smell of crude wafts into a city with more than 1 million residents. Thousands of Venezuelans flocking to Maracaibo's ornate basilica each year at this time traditionally ask for help overcoming illness or conceiving a child. But many faithful say the economic crisis driving the exodus of millions has made them ask for something bigger than themselves. "I've come here to pray for Venezuela, asking for a miracle much larger, that they help all Venezuelans escape this crisis," said 36-year-old worshipper Jessica Araujo. She became emotional while talking about her husband's departure to Colombia four months ago with the promise to send home money to his wife and their two young children. So far, no money has come, she said. Worshippers launched the holiday season with a ceremony on Monday that drew masses, even as the crisis strains budgets and breaks up families. They gathered around the Virgin of Chiquinquira, one of Venezuela's most revered Catholic icons. Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million residents have fled Venezuela, most going to nearby Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. They search for better jobs to send money home, but they often confront backlash and hardships as their numbers steadily grow. Guaidó in January declared presidential powers, vowing to end socialist rule, but his attempts have stalled, despite backing from more than 50 nations, including the United States, which has targeted Maduro's government with far-reaching sanctions aimed at forcing him out. Maduro has not budged from power. In Maracaibo, located in Venezuela's western Zulia state along the Colombian border, many residents say they've abandoned political marches, lacking faith in leaders or fearing for their personal safety. Araujo, 36, said she couldn't join the demonstration, having to care for her two young children, ages three and four. Her husband left for Colombia, promising to send back money from selling street food, but he calls her only to report difficulty making a living, she said. She's thin and continuing to lose weight, living on $5 or $10 that friends occasionally send her from abroad. "With this, I'm surviving," she said. "There are so many hungry children in the streets." Maracaibo residents on Monday held a celebration opening the holiday season, but the faithful continued to fill the pews the next day. They quietly bowed their heads, many saying they reflected on their family members and friends driven far away by the crisis. Johan Bolivar, 31, sells vegetables nearby at the city's largest open-air market. He said vendors like him have begun packaging small bags of vegetables, called "combos," made up of a single tomato, onion and potato. It's cheap for customers who can't afford large quantities of produce, he said. Bolivar, who works his small vegetable stall with his wife in the crowded, noisy market, said he doesn't join opposition protests because he would lose out on sales, money he needs to feed his young family. He also said that at each protest, there are a few who choose to turn to violence, putting everybody in danger. "If something happens to me in a march, who's going to look after me and my family?" he said. "What politician is going to stand up for me?"

Pope Francis urged more efforts to combat the "humiliation" of women and children forced into prostitution as he began a busy visit Thursday to Thailand, where human trafficking and poverty help fuel the sex tourism industry. During an open-air Mass at Bangkok's national sports stadium, Francis denounced the scourges afflicting the poorest of the region. He urged Thais to not ignore the women and children trafficked for sex or migrants enslaved as fishermen and beggars. "All of them are part of our family," he told an estimated 60,000 people in the stadium for the evening service. "They are our mothers, our brothers and sisters." The United Nations considers Thailand a key trafficking destination as well as a source of forced labour and sex workers who are trafficked at home or abroad. The UN drug and crime agency said in a report this year that trafficking for sexual exploitation accounted for 79% of all trafficking cases in Thailand from 2014 to 2017. Of the 1,248 victims detected, 70% were underage girls, the report said, citing data from Thai authorities. The UN says sex tourism is a factor in fuelling the trafficking of more victims, who sometimes are forced, coerced or deceived into sexual exploitation. Francis' homily was the second time in a day that he referred to the plight of women and children forced into the sex trade. Earlier, Francis praised the Thai government's efforts to fight human trafficking in his first speech delivered at Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's Government House offices. But he appealed for a greater international commitment to protect women and children "who are violated and exposed to every form of exploitation, enslavement, violence and abuse." He called for ways to "uproot this evil and to provide ways to restore their dignity." "The future of our peoples is linked in large measure to the way we will ensure a dignified future to our children," he said. The US State Department has faulted Thailand for failing to fully crack down on traffickers who induce young Thai girls into pornography, as well as the exploitation, including via debt bondage, of migrant workers in commercial fishing enterprises. The Thai government has insisted it has made significant progress and has vowed continued cooperation with international bodies. Prayuth didn't make any reference to the problem in his remarks to Francis, though he stressed that Thailand had made great strides in promoting human rights. "We have sought to strengthen the family institution and ensure equal opportunities for all groups in society, especially women and children," he told Francis after a brief private meeting. Francis has made the fight against human trafficking one of the cornerstones of his papacy, calling it a crime against humanity. Under his leadership, the Vatican has hosted several conferences on eradicating trafficking, featuring women freed from forced prostitution. And during his papacy, an international network of religious sisters, Talitha Kum, has gained greater prominence following decades of quiet efforts to rescue women from traffickers. In his evening homily, Francis told the faithful that as missionaries, they cannot ignore the plight of those considered "unclean." "Here I think of children and women who are victims of prostitution and human trafficking, humiliated in their essential human dignity," he said. "I think of young people enslaved by drug addiction ... I think also of exploited fishermen and bypassed beggars." Francis had a busy schedule on his first full day of activities of his weeklong tour, which will also take him to Japan. Small crowds of Thais greeted him at each destination, including a few hundred who gathered under a scorching sun to wait for him at the St. Louis Hospital, a private nonprofit founded by then-Siam's Catholic archbishop in 1898. Piyanut Phatpirom, a Thai Catholic, said Francis' visit would help strengthen her faith. "I intend to follow the teachings that the pope has given, for example kindness, mercy, loving others, having kindness, helping those in need," she said. Francis also met with Thailand's supreme patriarch of Buddhism at the Wat Rachabophit temple and dutifully removed his shoes before entering the jewelled, intimate room. Amid the scent of fresh roses inside, Francis committed the Catholic Church to working more with Thailand's majority Buddhists to launch projects to care for the poor and the environment, "our much-abused common home." There are fewer than 400,000 Catholics among Thailand's 65 million people, yet Francis said they nevertheless have enjoyed freedom in their religious practice. On that note, he gave the patriarch a copy of his much-vaunted human fraternity document calling for interfaith solidarity, which he penned this year with the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni Muslim learning. Pranee Sirapraphaphun, from Thailand's northeastern province of Chaiyaphum, travelled 12 hours by bus with over 500 followers from the same diocese to attend Francis' first Mass, which featured Thais from the north where Catholic missionaries have been active for hundreds of years. "I'm so glad, I will go back to live a good Catholic life with delightfulness, overwhelmed and forgiving," Sirapraphaphun said before Mass got underway. On Friday, Francis' agenda includes meetings with local Thai clergy, Asian bishops and separately a meeting with leaders of different Christian denominations and other faiths. Throughout his stay, Francis has been accompanied by Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, his second cousin and an Argentine missionary who has lived in Thailand since the 1960s and is serving as his interpreter. By all indications, she is also serving as a counsellor. She has joined him in the car heading to his appointments, taking the usual place of the local archbishop to fill him in on details, customs and background. It's a rare case of the pope consulting a woman, since his usual advisers are all men.


West Indies women.

West Indies women failed to avoid a series whitewash against India women as the Caribbean side went down by 61 runs in the fifthT20Iat the Guyana National Stadium on Wednesday night. Chasing a victory target of 135, West Indies women were restricted to 72 for seven from their allotted 20 overs as off-spinner Anuja Patil grabbed two wickets for just three runs. The other two spinners, Radha and Poonam Yadav, got a wicket each and never allowed the Windies batters to get any sort of momentum during their chase. Opener Kyshona Knight was the top-scorer with 22 while Shemaine Campbelle scored an unbeaten 19. The West Indies were 13 for twoin the fourth over and they never recovered from that position. Earlier, India opted to bat after winning the toss and were reduced to 17 for two in the fourth over as openers -- Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana - went back to the pavilion after scoring just nineand sevenrespectively. Jemimah Rodrigues and Veda Krishnamurthy then rescued the visitors with a third-wicket partnership of 113 which help them set up 134 for three from their allotted 20 overs. Rodrigues scored 50 runs before she was dismissed by Aaliyah Alleyne withthe penultimate delivery of the innings. Krishnamurthy scored a 48-ballunbeaten 57, which included four boundaries. India had also won the three-match ODI series2-1. BRIEF SCORES: India Women: 134 for 3 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 50, Veda Krishnamurthy 57 not out; Hayley Matthews 1-23); West Indies Women: 73 for 7 in 20 overs (Kyshona Knight 22; Anuja Patil 2-3).

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.

Jose Mourinho seemingly has Gareth Bale in his Tottenham plans, but he will have to wait until before the start of next season. Mourinho was named Spurs head coach on Wednesday, a day after the Premier League club sacked Mauricio Pochettino. Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of talk around his potential movements in the transfer market – including a Tottenham return for Bale. TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES BALE, BUT CAN'T SPEND IN JANUARY Mourinho's arrival atTottenhamoffersBalethe perfect escape route from Real Madrid, according to AS. The star attacker left Spurs for Madrid in 2013, but is set to leave the LaLiga giants at season's end, the report says. Marca reports Madrid have ruled out a January exit for Bale. That would suit Mourinho, who has been told there is no money to spend in the January window, according to The Guardian. ROUND-UP - Mourinho has more pressing matters atSpurs. The Mirror reportsChristian Eriksen,Jan VertonghenandToby Alderweireld, who are out of contract at season's end, are intrigued by the prospect of working under Mourinho and are open-minded about their futures. - It could have been different for Spurs. According to the Daily Mail, Leicester City managerBrendan RodgerswasTottenham's first choice before they turned to Mourinho. - Meanwhile, the sackedPochettinomay not be out of management for too long.BarcelonaandBayern Munichare ready to pounce for the former Spurs manager, according to The Sun. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at Camp Nou, while interim boss Hansi Flick will coach Bayern until at least the end of the year. -Zlatan Ibrahimovicmay be getting closer to sorting out his future. Sky Sport reportsAC Milanspoke to the departing LA Galaxy striker's agent Mino Raiola on Wednesday about the possibility of a return to San Siro. -Pierre-Emerick Aubameyangis in no rush to renew his Arsenal contract and with good reason. Sport reports the forward is waiting to find out how seriousBarcelona's interest in him is before extending a deal that runs until 2021. - Needing a striker,Manchester Unitedare considering a January move for Roma'sEdin Dzeko, according to ESPN FC. Dzeko has scored five goals in 12 Serie A games this season, and United are looking to finally bolster their attack after losing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season. -Olivier Giroudhas made just one Premier League start for Chelsea this season and the striker could be set for a January exit. La Gazzetta dello Sport saysInterare considering a move for Giroud in January as they look for a back-up for Lukaku.


Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Junior overall winner for the region Noel Allder.

Barbados is in the winner's circle of theFlorida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Children's Essay Contest for the third consecutive year. Thepen continues to be extremely mighty, andtwo Barbadians demonstrated this once again whenthey were able to secure the first place prizes locally and regionally in the FCCA2019 Children’s Essay Contest. The two went up against juniors and seniors from countries including Puerto Rico in the North and all the way down into Central America. Taking the overall regional first place prize in the Juniors was Barbados' Noel Allder of the St. Paul's Primary School. In 501 words, nine-year-old Allder took readers across the length and breadth of Barbados but according to him he barely scratchedthe surface of places of interest, weather, sport, culture and heritage. However, he told his readers that one page in an imaginary book on Barbados is a must read; that is a page onour people. He wrote: "Bajans, as we are called, are critical to cruise passengers repeating their experience. We were the heartbeat of Barbados. We are warm and friendly. I may only be nine years old, but I think that if we let a cruise passenger pair with a Barbadian, after the conversation hotels will be filled with stay-over guests." The question posed to the young budding writers and possibly future authors was 'How should the impression of my country attract cruise passengers back as stay-over guests?' In closing, Allder said, "My answer is simple: one taste of Barbados and cruise passengers are ready to book their long-stay vacation. After all, Barbados is the Gem of the Caribbean Sea." Allder won USD $3000 for himself, and USD $3000 for his school, along with a cruise for two compliments of Foster and Ince Cruises. And his sentiment about his island home was shared by the regional third-place and local first place writer in the Seniors, 14-year-old Niobe Holder. Photo credit: Prime Minister Mia Mottley encourages the young winners (L-R): Niobe Holder, Tamya Bowen and Noel Allder. Holder who is a student of Christ Church Foundation School said that when her essay boils down, in essence it sent the message that any cruise passenger toBarbados will learn "one day is not enough." She stressed that he or she must come again, and again. She won USD $1000 for herself and USD $1000 for her school, as well as a Foster and Ince Cruise for two. Marsha Alleyne, Chief Product Development Officer with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. chaired the awards ceremony held at Ilaro Court, while Prime Minister Mia Mottley presented the prizes to the writers. Tamya Bowen of Queen's College also accepted her prize as the first place winner at the local level in theFCCA Foundation Children's Poster Competition 2019 during the ceremony. The theme for the Poster competition this year was 'Solutions for Ocean Pollution'. Holder and Allder have up to one year to take their cruises.

Commissioner of Police, Severin Monchery (left) and Acting Superintendant of Police De Freitas

“Children of today are keepers of tomorrow” was the theme for the activities to commemorate International Children’s Day, which was held in Vieux-Fort yesterday, November 20, 2019. The event, which was organized by the Community Relations Branch (CRB) of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), commenced with a church service at the Victory Pentecostal Church, which was graced with the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Severin Monchery. In his brief address to the attendees, Monchery urged the children to be at their best at all times and associate with the right persons. “Children are all born good people, but some of them turn out to be criminals,” Monchery said, adding that their future depends on how they live today. According to him, what is needed in Saint Lucia at the moment is love. “We walk around with anger and hate…” he lamented. He called on the general public to offer guidance to our children so as to make them good citizens. In his message, which was directed to the police officers, Bishop Thomas Eristhee of the Victory Pentecostal Church said that there are good and bad people in every profession. “We have some good police officers, but as much as you have good ones, you will have bad ones,” Eristhee said. He identified some of the qualities of a good cop as one who finds the facts, weighs it and avoids bribes. “A lot of time people will try to bribe you but hold your head up…bribe may come, and you may take it,” Eristhee said. Among some of the other attendees were officers of the Saint Lucia Prison Service, Saint Lucia Fire Service, port police officers, children from several schools in the south of the island and representatives of several government departments. Students were awarded at the service for leadership and perseverance, and fathers for their interest they demonstrated in their children general upbringing. After the service, a march pass was held in the town of Vieux-Fort.