The police in the Northern Division have arrested and formally charged three St. Peter residentsfor the offence of murder in connection with the death of34-year-old, Ricardo Orlando Rock. The body ...

A new study that analysed four years' worth of films found that female-led movies have consistently outperformed those in which men get top billing. The studyanalysed the 350 top-grossing films worldwide released between January 2014 and December 2017. Researchers found that in films with small, medium and large budgets, all averaged better global grosses when a woman was listed as the lead star. Conducted by the talent agency Creative Artists Agency and the tech company shift7, the study found that films that passed the Bechdel test do better, too. The Bechdel test, an invention of the cartoonist Alison Bechdel, rates whether a movie features two female characters having a conversation about something other than a man. Researchers found every $1 billion film at the box office — including films like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," ''Jurassic World" and "Beauty and the Beast" — passed the Bechdel test. Among films that cost more than $100 million to make, the ones that passed the Bechdel test grossed on average $618 million worldwide, while those that didn't averaged $413 million. "Women comprise half the box office, yet there has been an assumption in the industry that female-led films led were generally less successful," CAA agent Christy Haubegger, who participated in the research, said in a statement. "We found that the data does not support that assumption." For budget data and determining lead actor, researchers depended on data from the Nielsen's box-office data collection company Gracenote. Gracenote's Studio System defines a "female lead" as a woman who is listed first in official press materials. Of the 350 films studied, 105 qualified as female-led and 245 registered as male-led. The greatest gap was in larger budgeted films. In movies with a budget greater than $100 million, there were 75 male-led films and 19 female-led films. The study was conceived through a group that formed through the gender equality initiative Time's Up, including Amy Pascal, former chairman of Sony Pictures.Earlier researchby academics has chronicledsimilar rates of inequalityin top-grossing Hollywood releases, andthe financial benefits of inclusion. "This analysis affirms data showing that diversity has a positive impact on a company's bottom line," said Lisa Borders, Time's Up president and chief executive. "As studios consider their fiduciary responsibilities to their investors, these findings offer a clear approach to delivering the best results."

Bazodee is heading to India. The Machel Montano love story featuring Bollywood star Kabir Bedi will be screened as part of the Chennai International Film Festival on December 14. In making the announcement on Instagram, the soca king said this is the first time films from Trinidad and Tobago will be screened at the Festival. "So I’m glad our movie will be included in this inaugural group. Many thanks to the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in New Delhi, India &@discoverfilmttfor showcasing and promoting Bazodee," he wrote. The movie will be screed at the Devi Bala Theatre in Chennai. Bazodee premiered globally in 2016 and has since been screened in the US, Barbados, Jamaica, Montreal, Canada and London, UK. The movie won the Audience Award and Best Music Award at the Latin Asian Film Festival, which took place in London. Bazodee stars Montano, British Asian actress Natalie Perera, Trinidadian/British actor Valmike Rampersad and Indian/Russian star Staz Nair.

Earlier today Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith appealed to members of the pubic to come forward with any information regarding the location of the now widely reportedorgy party, Sex Island. But, law enforcement can breathe easy as after a week of speculation that the drug-fuelled sex partywould be hosted at a private island off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, the true location of the event has been revealed. [related node_id='dc357678-2134-4542-9d5d-a3726eca1657'] Sex Island, is in fact, being held at a five-star hotel resort with a private beach on the northern coast of Margarita. According to an article from The Sun, the sexy getaway takes place at the Isla Margarita, a popular tourist resort island off the north-eastern coast of Venezuela. Isla Margarita has nearly half a million inhabitants and is home to the capital city of Venezuela’s Nueva Esparta state, La Asuncion, where prostitution is legal. According to the article, the luxury hotel shown in Sex Island’s promotional photos and videos is the Hesperia, part of Spanish hotel chain NH Group which has 348 hotels in 28 countries. The five-star hotel is equipped with a golf course, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, and a private beach. The four-day eventbegins on Friday and ends next Monday.

The Antiguan Island Girls have begun their historic row across the Atlantic. The four women,Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emmanueland Kevinia Francis, the skipper, left Antigua to begin their rowing adventure as part of theTalisker Whisky Ocean Challenge, the premier ocean rowing event in the world. The race, which begantoday in La Gomora, Canary Islands will end in Harbour Bay, Antigua. The women, the first all-female Caribbean team and all black team to compete in the event, are hoping to break the current record of 34 days set by a Chinese team. They are estimated to complete the challenge on February 5. As of writing the girls are in 20th position out of 28 teams and 13th in the fours. The Talisker Whisky Ocean challenge is said to be one of the most gruelling rowing competitions with participants expected to burn a combined total of 750,000 calories.

Minister Dwight Sutherland chatting with members of the Royal Barbados Police Force prior to commencing his Swan Street tour.

The Small Business Minister has broken his silence on the issue of vending at schools to say that vending provides options and vendors should be included, not excluded. Speaking on the matter for the first time in the wake of the recent situation at Grantley Adams Secondary School in St. Joseph, where vendors were removed from the school's premises, and access to the big pasturewas banned to prevent students from pursuing the vendors. [related node_id='013e6318-7145-41d0-a7ea-a7f72c568979'] The Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland told the members of the media today, Wednesday, December12, 2018, "I don’t think that one canteen can serve all of the students at a school, and I heard BARVEN [Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs] in the background saying it’s impossible. "But it’s true.I went to Lodge School and I bought ham cutters from the vendors." The Minister said that as a boy he refused tostand up in a canteen line wasting much precious time. Instead he wentto vendors on the periphery because they provided options. However, he agreed with the Minister of Education SantiaBradshaw that "Vendors need to get on board with the nutritional value of vending. "So as opposed to eliminating, we have to integrate and make sure they provide nutritional value to the students. And we have the space for all of them in my view." He said that he has spoken with the Minister of Education and he knows that she hasspoken with BARVEN to bring relief shortly. "So we won’t see any more challenges around school vending." Asked what about the canteen's paying to be part of the school's landscape and their annual profits, the Minister dispelled the notion that vendors eat away said profits. "People have been doing this for eons and made profits. So you can’t now tell me that you are not making profit at this time, when you were makingprofit, yes these are tough economic times, but you were making profit before. Let’s work hand-in-hand, Don’t let’s try to eliminate people. Let’s try to integrate people." He called on all parties to work together to "come up with plans that are beneficial to the students. "So when you operating a canteen at a school I expect you to make a profit and indeed I bought from canteens but I also bought from the vendors and there were [sic] never any animosity between the vendors and the canteen, cause I would see them cooperating and communicating for the betterment of the student with the product offering." But he once more reiterated that the vendors must work on improving and abiding by the necessary health standards as well. The Minister was speaking on the sidelines of his tour through Swan Street and along Bolton Lane in Bridgetown. He used the opportunity to interact with the vendors and hear their concerns.

Minister Dwight Sutherland chatting with a young retail vendor.

The product of a vendor, with first-hand knowledge of the benefits and value of vending, Minister Dwight Sutherland has stressed, "vending is critical". However, he has tasked vendors and their Association to put good service and proper health practices on the front burner going forward. He uttered this sentiment that vending is part and parcel of Barbados' culture in many ways to various vendors plying their trade along the length and breadth of Swan Street in Bridgetown today, Wednesday, December 12, 2018; and he even ventured down Bolton Lane, where activity has returned following the October 19th fire that gutted four businesses. [related node_id='286449e5-bf70-4e2c-97ac-784e0b8f0ceb'] The Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce not only chatted and gave comforting words of encouragement to the vendors, but he also pulled his pocket and made a slew of purchases along the tour. Speaking to the media after hearing the concerns and opinions of the over 30 vendors and businessowners who have taken the initiative to erect tables outside their stores in an effort to lure in passers-by or to catch passing sales, he said: "One of the things we have to respect is that vending has been a way of life from slavery days, whereby people would have plied their trade whether selling fruits, whether selling whatever to feed theirfamilies and indeed vending has taken people in this country out of poverty. It send[sic] many children to school including myself. I am testimony of a grandfather who was vendor in Ellerton, St. George... so indeed I am supportive of vendors. "We just need to give them the respect that is due to them and also give them the space that they require to be part of the landscape of this country." This was met with applause and cheers from the members of the BarbadosAssociation of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), who walked alongside the minister and ministry officials on the tour. Minister Sutherland assured them that like the Prime Minister Mia Mottley, he too is "passionate about vending." However, noting the complaints about crowded streets and sidewalks in The City, with budding concerns of overcrowding if more people get involved, he said that more important than providing added space for vendors, attention must be paid to standards. Sutherland told the media, "...But we havereached a stage now that we have to make sure that the vendors within Swan Street as well, vendors at school, vendors on the beach, vendorswithin the markets operate to certain health standards. That is funadamental for me because we are providing a service to people in this country. So the health standards aremore critical for me than the space." Therefore, he took a moment to urge BARVEN to focus on the standards as they seek to build-out vending as a key stakeholder with the government. "Health is very critical, and the product offerings." But he did not dismiss the question of space. Vendors can branch out of Town He said, "We have a plan." Though he admitted that it may not be a short-term solution. He added, "Space is a critical issue, space utilisation will be critical." Speaking of an idea from BARVEN about vending and carpark spacesin Bridgetown, he posited that we still have spaces that we need to utilise especially recognising that in these tough times some of thepeople who have been laid off may resort to vending. Furthermore, the Minister reminded that there are numerous types of vending beyond street vending and vending in town. Using other Caribbean islands as an example, he said the government has not limited vending to the streets. "People are now driving around doing vending and indeed I have seen a number of persons now who were laid off have become vendors. They have accessed the Trust Loan Fund and are plying their trade as a vendor or as vendors. "It's not limited to Bridgetown!" He shared, there are the beaches, highways and by-ways. "You may say we are cramped for space in Bridgetown, but I don’t want our vendors to limit themselves to Bridgetown." With Operation Yuletide in full effect, members of the Royal Barbados Police Force were also included on the tour and others could be seen patroling neighbouring streets around Swan Street.