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Barbadian superstar Rihanna at Grand Kadooment 2017.

The sweetest summer festival has been known to attract personalities from around the world, who want to soak up pulsating soca tunes, forget about their stresses and have a good time. This was true for Crop Over 2017, as international sports stars, billionaireheiresses, fashion models, among others joined Barbadian superstar Rihanna on the road Monday. Speaking of RiRi, she was no doubt aneye-catcherat this year's festival. Adorned in a sparkly ensemble withturquoise,green, and pink feathers, her costume caught the eye of the media all over the world, includingVogue Magazine which spoke to its designer from the Aura Experience band,Lauren Austin. Rihanna's partner on the road during Grand Kadooment 2015, Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton, was also back for Crop Over this year. Before taking to the streets this time around, he was spotted having a fun day at the beach and at the1Love Concert at the Concorde Experience. He and headliner at that concert, Machel Montano, were among those enjoying Kadooment Day. Also present for this year's celebrations was the man whose jaw-dropping mugshot did not only have women all over the world wanting to frame the photo of hismesmerisingeyes on theirwalls,but took him from the prison walls to the catwalk. Jeremy Meeks - who continues to bebetter known on social media as #prisonbae - has not just been taking in the Crop Over festival after jumping withKrave the Bandon Monday. He continues to be seen around the island stroking his stuff on the beaches' runway. Speaking of Meeks, 26-year-old billionaireheiressChloe Green was right by his side throughout the trip.The socialite who was on Season 3 of the UK reality show 'Made in Chelsea,' is the daughter of businessmanSir Philip Green. The two who have been very open about their romance in recent weeks, have beenproudly exploring the island andwere spotted togetheron Monday. These were just some of the personalities from around the world,regionand Barbados we saw at Grand Kadooment 2017. Take a look at the gallery to see who else we spotted. [image_gallery]

Members of the Iza Vybe band.

Iza Vybe the band was hands down the highlight of the night last Thursdayas Elevate Events, Booze Cruise and Jus Jay Events combined to host Lifted Crop Over under the theme 'Elementz' - Steel, Riddim, Fiyah. Heavy rains threatened the Southern Pit area of the Bushy Park race track, but patrons who braved the weather did not regret their decision to come out. The Iza Vybe band had the party rocking, as they seemed to have a beat for each tune and hyped up the crowd during and between DJ sets. Their stage was elevated at certain points of the night, which brought more attention and excitement to their performance. "The venue was not super muddy and even with the rain falling every now and then I still had a splendid time. I really like what they did with the band this year. I don't know the name of the band but they really brought a different feel to the event I think is always needed. They hyped up the crowd from start to finish. Good job to those fellows and to the promoters. I look forward to seeing what you'll be bringing next year,"said one patron. Another individual described the event as "organised" and "on point", adding,"I love the idea of the elevating stage and the band joining in with the DJs and performers. I haven't seen anything like this in a while. I can't really find anything bad to say except the rain that has nothing to do with the promoters." DJs Puffy, Payou, Shep Beats and Konata, Bubbles and Evolution, Vibenation and performers Nikita, Stabby, Marzville also kept the crowd entertained until the event's 1:00 a.m. finish.


There is nothing like a social media debate to get persons impassioned and when soca stars such as Edwin Yearwood and Mikey Mercer stir that pot, it is bound to be steaming hot. The past week saw those two cause great debate on Facebook around a topic that has gained great prominence in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean over the past year - feminism. It was on March 11 of this year that men and women took to the streets in Barbados in solidarity with Caribbean neighbours, who were similarly protesting gender-based violence and harassment in theircountries. Driven by theLife In Leggings movement, which initiated from a social media hashtag used by Caribbean women to share experiences of abuse and harassment, their outcry sparked much debate about a woman's right to be unmolested no matter what she wore or how she behaved. Now a similar debate is buzzing once more and it seems to be playing to a soca tune. On Saturday Edwin Yearwood stirred up the discussion once more, with his plea to women to "respect yourselves," stressing that it is only when women refuse to behave in a certain way that they will gain respect from males: "One dayyoung women will play a big part in stamping out huge parts of disrespect from somemen .I'm not here this morning to blast men or cuss them I'm here to just ask my sisters to respect and love yourselves somemore .You don't have to join the crowd and spin on your head with hardly anythingon .Call me old I don't mind but I'm willing toBetthe man that loves you doing that at the party isn't going to love you living in hishouse .He won't see you as a mother or a woman he won't see beyond the split andspin .Show me the man that shows you respect when you have none for yourselves and I'll show you a man that goes bush hill looking to marry and settle down." Adding that "whenyou have goals and respect yourselves you cut more than half of the numbers who will step to you," he told women that if they take this step they will not only helpthemselves,but also "help some young men who aspire to be with women like yourselves to grow as well". While many persons supported this view an applauded the soca artiste for his comments, his stance did not go down well with many who commented on the post. Alexine Jackman brought the "Christain" opinion on the matter - "So to the Christians, the ones who claim to followchristand his example as written in the New Testament Bible, There was no instance where Jesus said to anyone, "Icantrespect you if youdontrespect yourself".Jesus showed Unconditional Regard to theives, prostitutes, liarsetc etc.Hedidnttell Mary " you are a whore anddontrespect yourself so Icanthave you washing my feet.My point is - Treat other HUMAN BEINGS with the respect thatYOUwould want to be treated with!" N'Delamiko Beywrote - "This is a circular argument grounded in blaming the victim. We are tired of itallyuh... your answer can't keep being these shallow inhuman responses.Doesn't matter what a woman wears or if she is spinning naked on her head top, the only person responsible for rape is the rapist.If you blaming the victim in any shape or form, you are the backside in the equation, the root of the problem." Sherry Rousestressed that many women who respect themselves are stilldisrectedby men - "I love how the onus for respect towards women...is placed on women. As if every woman out here being disrespected is experiencing it because they somehow don't respect themselves. How about teaching young boys and grown old men, that women are to be revered and protected because trust, many have forgotten that fact and manyactas though they were never taught it. A woman could respect herself, wear 3/4 of cloth, only sing hymns and keep her.legs closed until marriage...there are still many men who would use crass language towards her, attempt to bed her and then cuss her out when she doesn't acquiesce. Men, ESPECIALLY black men, need to start protecting the women who look like their mothers, sisters and daughters & stop making wack excuses for why they cannot and will not. How you dance or what you wear has nothing to do with this." Mikey Mercer also took some licks on Facebook recently and it was all to do with a social experiment. He explained what it was all about in the post: While many persons shared his sentiments, he received some backlash. Alexine Jackmansaid - "Men can afford to have "more manners" than women in public because men have more safety than women in public and can afford to be more relaxed and pleasant. Full stop.People on this post talking about yes women get harassed but they should still tryto be polite to the nice ones. That's b**s**t. If you have to walk through a bad neighborhood where people get robbed and killed all the time and you got robbed there before...Are you still going to give everyone who approaches you a chance? Are you going to smile and be mannerly or are you going to put on your screw face and try to look as tough as possible so no one tries to mess with you? For women, being in public can be like constantly walking through a dangerous neighborhood.And no one tells the people walking through the bad neighborhood to fix their face, they work on fixing the f**k**g neighborhood.Therefore, if you want pleasant women walkingboutthe place, then the work needs to be done to make it safer for us,otherwiseyacouldtekthe screw face." Andre Holder understood her views, he wrote - "These "unmanerly" women, what else did you observe about them? Did they make eye contact? Some women think that men perform certain gestures as an opening to an unwanted conversation or disrespectful remark. How many of the women responding in this post go through this daily?" Where do you stand on these issues? Take a look at the gallery to see what persons had to say. [image_gallery]

This fall, American Girl releases Native Hawaiian Nanea Mitchell. (American Girl Photo via AZCENTRAL.com)

American Girl has made its first Native Hawaiian doll. The doll's name is Nanea Mitchell and she goes on sale Monday. The doll is 18 inches (46 centimeters) tall and is priced at $115. Her character grows up during World War II. Her wardrobe includes 1940s-era outfits, hula attire and many accessories. A five-member advisory board helped ensure historical accuracy and cultural authenticity when creating the doll, the company said. "We hope Nanea's powerful story of resilience, responsibility to others, and contributing for the common good — or kokua, as it's known in Hawaii — will resonate with girls and show them they have the power within to face the obstacles that come their way," said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. To celebrate the doll's launch, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program through the end of the year, matching every dollar made at its website and stores up to $75,000.


This fall, American Girl releases Native Hawaiian Nanea Mitchell. (American Girl Photo via AZCENTRAL.com)

American Girl has made its first Native Hawaiian doll. The doll's name is Nanea Mitchell and she goes on sale Monday. The doll is 18 inches (46 centimeters) tall and is priced at $115. Her character grows up during World War II. Her wardrobe includes 1940s-era outfits, hula attire and many accessories. A five-member advisory board helped ensure historical accuracy and cultural authenticity when creating the doll, the company said. "We hope Nanea's powerful story of resilience, responsibility to others, and contributing for the common good — or kokua, as it's known in Hawaii — will resonate with girls and show them they have the power within to face the obstacles that come their way," said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. To celebrate the doll's launch, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program through the end of the year, matching every dollar made at its website and stores up to $75,000.

Payless ShoeSource has announced that its North American entities successfully emerged from its Chapter 11 restructuring as the number one specialty footwear retailer in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world with about 3,500 brick and mortar stores – 400 of these in Latin America and the Caribbean. Following the completion of the company's restructuring, Paul Jones will retire as Chief Executive Officer. The post-emergence Board of Directors will begin a search to identify a new Chief Executive Officer to lead Payless forward. In the interim, Payless will be led by a newly appointed Executive Committee comprised of Payless' Chief Financial Officer, Michael Schwindle, Payless' Chief Operating Officer, Mike Vitelli, and headed by Martin R. Wade, III, Chairman of Payless' post-emergence Board of Directors and interim Chief Executive Officer. "We have accomplished our goals of strengthening our balance sheet and restructuring our debt load, positioning Payless to create substantial value for our stakeholders and achieve long-term success," said Paul Jones. "In a year where so many major retail companies have filed for Chapter 11 restructurings, Payless is the first to successfully emerge as a stronger and healthier enterprise for the benefit of its customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and lenders. That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Payless, and I thank them for the honor of having worked with them over these past five years. Our new owners believe wholeheartedly in the future of Payless, and I am confident that they will identify a new leader who will complement our outstanding and deeply committed management team, while sparking new ideas and approaches," Jones continued. "Payless remains poised to execute on the Company's go forward strategy, and is excited to continue to serve our loyal customers in North America and around the globe," said Michael Schwindle, who will be a member of the newly appointed Executive Committee. "On behalf of everyone at the Company, I want to extend our collective thanks to Paul. We are grateful for his exemplary leadership and his contributions to the Company's strategic direction, which have helped build a strong foundation for future growth," Schwindle concluded. During the process, Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Payless, Guggenheim Securities, LLC as its investment banker and financial advisor, and Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC as Chief Restructuring Officer. Working with the management team, these advisors have ensured that the Company entered and exited Chapter 11 in just over four months, an accelerated pace which has given the Company the best chance for success going forward.


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