Barbados has recorded yet another shooting incident, this time inRuby Tenantry, St. Philip. One man sustained gunshot injuries, 28-year-old Neico Omali Blackman, after he was attacked by two mas...


A capture from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta cast member Scrappy's Instagram stories

A few cast members of the popular VH1 reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta touched down in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday. While there is no official confirmation of exactly why the show is in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s safe to assume they’re here to capture the cast enjoying the Carnival festivities. Cast member Tokyo Vanity posted an Instagram story from a bus en route to the capital city, pumping soca. In the bus, you can just make out someone who appears to be rapper Yung Joc, who is also part of the show’s cast. Another cast member, Scrappy, as well as the show’s executive producer Stephanie Gayle also posted to Instagram stories indicating that they had touched down on the twin island. While they’re yet to be spotted here, New York native Karlie Redd, who is also on the show, has long claimed her Trinidadian roots and reportedly spent much of her childhood here, and dancehall artiste Spice, who joined the cast two seasons ago, collaborated with Destra Garcia on a track called Troublefor Carnival 2019. We will update with more information as it becomes available.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaks during a press conference at CPD headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Chicago, after actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in on charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. The "Empire" staged a racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted to promote his career, Johnson said Thursday. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The Latest on the attack reported by Jussie Smollett (all times local): 2:15 p.m. A judge has set a $100,000 bond for "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging an attack against himself in downtown Chicago last month. The 36-year-old actor said little other than giving his name at the beginning of Thursday's hearing. Smollett's attorney asked Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. to release Smollett on his own recognizance. However, the judge said that would be inappropriate. Police allege that Smolletthired two brothersto help stage an attack on him late last month in downtown Chicago. He told police that two masked men beat him and hurled racist and homophobic slurs during the attack. ___ 1:25 p.m. TNT says it isn't going to air an upcoming episode of "Drop the Mic" featuring "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett "in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation." The cable network issued a statement Thursday saying it is shelving the episode of the battle-rap show that pitted Smollett against "Orange is the New Black" actress Danielle Brooks and "American Idol" star Clay Aiken against "Sharknado" star Ian Ziering. It will instead air an episode that pitted actress Raven Simonagainst comedian Ron Funches and boy band singers Joey McIntyre and Joey Fatone against one another. Police allege that Smollett hired two brothers to help stage an attack on him late last month in downtown Chicago. He told police that two masked men beat him and hurled racist and homophobic slurs during the attack. Smollett is due to appear at a bond hearing Thursday afternoon. ___ 12:40 p.m. An LGBTQ rights group is calling on anyone who feels let down by the allegations against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett to channel their anger and disappointment into productive activism to fight hate crimes. The Human Rights Campaign released a statement Thursday saying that a "rising tide of hate violence has had a devastating impact on Black people, LGBTQ people, religious minorities & those living at the intersections." The group says stopping such violence will require concrete action by lawmakers. Smollett surrendered Thursday on felony disorderly conduct charges. Police say the black and gay actor hired two brothers to help him stage a Jan. 29 attack in downtown Chicago in which he said two masked men beat him while hurling racial slurs at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. ___ 11:55 a.m. A spokeswoman for Jussie Smollett's attorneys says they may speak to reporters about the criminal case against the "Empire" actor after a bond hearing later Thursday. Anne Kavanagh said defense lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson didn't have any immediate reaction to theThursday morning news conferencein which police laid out the case against Smollett. Police say the 36-year-old actorhired two brothersto help himstage a Jan. 29 attackagainst himself. Smollett, who is black and gay, reported that two masked men attacked him as he was walking home early that morning and made racist and homophobic comments while they beat him. Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorderly conduct. His bond hearing is set for Thursday afternoon. ___ 11:40 p.m. The head of the Chicago police force says that as a black man who has spent his entire life in the city and knows its racial divides, he doesn't understand how anyone, especially a black man, could use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnsonsaid Thursdaywhile outlining the case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett that bogus police reports harm "every legitimate victim who's in need of support" and every resident of the city. Johnson noted that Chicago hosts one of the world's largest gay pride parades each June and said the city and police are proud of that and "do not tolerate hate in this city." Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorderly conduct. Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers who are also black to stage what the actor reported was a racist and homophobic attack against him early on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago. ___ 11:15 a.m. The studio behind the hit television show "Empire" says it is "evaluating the situation" regarding the charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is "considering our options." 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement Thursday saying, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options." Smollettsurrendered Thursdayon a charge of felony disorderly conduct. Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers, who are also black, to stage what the actor reported was a racist and homophobic attack against him early on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago. Johnson alleges that the reported attack was a "publicity stunt" that Smollett concocted because he was unhappy about his salary. Police saidthe brothersaren't considered suspects, but they didn't elaborate. ___ 11 a.m. Chicago's police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, says investigators have phone records that show there were extensive communications between Smollett and two brothers before and after he says they helped the actor stage an attack against himself last month. Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that the records show calls even while the brothers were in Nigeria after the staged attack early on Jan. 29. Police say the brothers left on a trip to Nigeria right after the attack and were detained at the airport upon their return to Chicago on Feb. 13. Johnson says the phone records "clearly indicate" that Smollett and the brothers talked to each other before and after the incident, including while the two were abroad. Police said the brothers are not considered suspects, but they didn't elaborate. ___ 10:45 a.m. President Donald Trump says "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett insulted millions with his "racist and dangerous comments." Chicago police said Thursday that Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack against him last month because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show. He reported Jan. 29 that he was attacked while walking home from a sandwich shop. Smollett claimed masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" - an apparent reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan. Smollettsurrendered Thursdayon a charge of felony disorderly conduct. Trump tweeted Thursday to Smollett: "What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA." ___ 10:35 a.m. Chicago police Superintendent says that among the evidence investigators have that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett staged the attack against him is a $3,500 check he allegedly paid two brothers to help him. Johnson said Thursday at a news conference that the brothers punched Smollett with gloves on during the Jan. 29 attack, but that investigators believe scratches and bruises on the actor's face were likely self-inflicted. Smollettsurrendered Thursdayon a charge of felony disorderly conduct. Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers, who are also black, to carry out the scheme. Johnson alleges that the reported attack was a "publicity stunt" that Smollett concocted because he was unhappy about his salary. Police saidthe brothersaren't considered suspects, but they didn't elaborate. ___ 10:15 a.m. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett owes the city an apology. Johnson ended a Thursday news conference about the charges against Smollett by saying justice would be for the 36-year-old actor to apologize, admit what he did and "then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this." Smollettsurrendered Thursdayat central booking on a charge of felony disorderly conduct. Police say Smollett, who is black and gay, paid two brothers who are also blackto help him stagea racist and homophobic attack against him on Jan. 29. Johnson saysinvestigators thinkSmollett had hoped that the fake attack would be captured by one of the city's many security cameras, but that didn't happen. He says the camera at the location where the attack happened wasn't pointed in that direction. ___ 10 a.m. Chicago investigators say they used public and private surveillance footage to track the movements of two brothers who they say "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett hired to stage an attack on him. Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said at a news conference Thursday that investigators were able tosee the brothers fleeand get into a cab and use camera footage to follow the cab to another part of the city. He says more surveillance footage showed the brothers at O'Hare International Airport, where they boarded a flight to Nigeria. Investigators determined the brothers had a roundtrip ticket and detained them for questioning when they returned to Chicago on Feb. 13. Police allege that Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to help him stage the attack. Smollettsurrendered Thursdayon a charge of felony disorderly conduct. The actor told police he was thevictim of a racist and homophobic attackin downtown Chicago early on Jan. 29. ___ 9:50 a.m. The head of the Chicago Police Department says investigators know that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett spoke to two brothers an hour before and an hour after he says they helped the actor stage last month's attack. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett "staged a hate crime" by claiming two masked men beat him,called him racist and homophobic namesand looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. He says the actor dragged "Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process." Johnson alleges that Smollettstaged the attackbecause he was unhappy about his salary. He says Smollett paid the brothers, who are black, $3,500 to help him. Police say the brothers participated for the money and are not considered suspects. Smollettsurrendered Thursdayat central booking on a charge of felony disorderly conduct. His lawyers say they will vigorously fight the charge. ___ 9:35 a.m. Authorities say the investigation into the attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett took a new direction when the attorney for two brothers initially viewed as suspects suggested that police question them and that the men were "victims," not offenders. Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said at a news conference Thursday that afterquestioning the brothersfor nearly two days last week, they were released and investigators no longer viewed them as suspects. Police Superintendent says Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack and "drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process." Wodnicki says the brothers testified before a grand jury before prosecutors charged Smollett on Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. Heturned himself inat central booking early Thursday. Smollett told police he wasattacked by two masked menas he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. ___ 9:20 a.m. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career." Johnson also said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He says Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary. Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday. Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. Police say the investigation shifted after they questioned two brothers who were in the area that morning. ___ 5:50 a.m. Chicago police say "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has turned himself in to face a charge of making a false police report when he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tells The Associated Press that Smollett turned himself in early Thursday at central booking. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson plans to hold a morning news conference and Smollett is expected to appear in court later in the day. The 36-year-old actor was charged Wednesday. The charge could bring up to three years in prison. It could also force the actor, who's black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating. ___ 12 a.m. Less than a month ago, "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime. Now he's accused of a felony. The 36-year-old actor was charged Wednesday with making a false police report when he told authorities he was attacked last month in Chicago by two men who hurled racist, anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck. The charge could bring up to three years in prison. It could also force the actor, who is black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating. A police spokesman says authorities are trying to negotiate Smollett's surrender. Doubts about Smollett's account started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police.


TravelMag announced the picks Feb 11, 2019.

Two beach towns in Barbados hit TravelMag.com's list for 'THE 20 MOST CHARMING BEACH TOWNS IN THE CARIBBEAN'. How is the Top 20 list compiled? TravelMagsurveyed more than 300 travel writers, social media influencers and travel professionals, asking them to pick the most charming beach towns and villages in the Caribbean. While there are plenty of dreamy destinations to choose from, here are the 20 destinations that received the most votes. According to the TravelMag author Holly Riddle who wrote the piece, some of the best treasures are found when tourists leave the resorts and venture along the unbeaten paths across the Caribbean islands. How were the destinations chosen? TravelMagsurveyed people in the know about the most charming destinations in the Caribbean islands. The catch? The area’s population had to be under 100,000. Locales on the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America were not considered. Which Barbados beach towns won? Oistins Riddle wrote: 'Oistins likewise has an extensive past. Here the Treaty of Oistins was signed in 1652, formally ending the skirmish between colonial settlers and the English Commonwealth over trade with the Netherlands. It’s not uncommon for travelers to be invited to join the locals for a weekend fish fry, which includes loads of fried seafood, music, dancing and even some shopping from the local craftsmen hawking their wares. The beaches of Oistins are also a good spot for plane spotting, as they sit right under the flight path of aircraft landing in Barbados.' Speightstown TravelMag stated: Founded in 1653, Speightstown was once a hectic and busy port city. While the small town remains the second largest on the island, its importance in trade and political affairs has waned. Now the quaint and somewhat forgotten feel lends a sense of having the entire place to yourself. Beyond the quiet beaches, travellers enjoy the historic architecture, eateries and shopping opportunities for local produce and handcrafts. Recently, a luxury marina development was added to the Speightstown landscape. Take advantage of this hidden gem before it begins to draw a larger tourist crowd. Also making the list were beach communities and beach towns in Anguilla, Aruba, Cuba, Bahamas, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico,SaintBarthélemy (SaintBarts), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Browne's Beach, Carlisle Bay in Barbados.

Citizens of the Caribbean and those in the Diaspora, as well as travel enthusiasts around the globe, will pour over the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards once announced. According to www.10best.com, tomorrow, February 22, 2019, is the day the islands will learn how they fared this toss. New to the 10Best Awards? Here's how it works: The 10Best travel experts select the top 20 nominees in contests covering food, lodging, destinations, travel gear, things to do...the list goes on. Then it's up to readers to make the final decision by casting votes daily. [related node_id='07cd6ba7-6a97-4be9-bfb8-aac76b56e7a1'] Tomorrow the island's will learn how they placed in seven categories. These are: 1.Best Caribbean Island for Romance There's a reason so many couples look to the azure waters, balmy breezes and luxurious accommodations of the Caribbean to dial up the romance. There's something seriously sexy about a toes-in-the-sand tropical escape with a special someone, and we want to know your favourite destination to set the mood. 2.Best Caribbean Dive Site The Caribbean has long attracted adventurers to its clear waters and technicolor underwater world, and today, it remains one of the most popular scuba diving destinations on the planet. From wreck dives to plummeting walls, there's a dive for just about everyone in this sun-kissed region. To learn more about these and other dive sites in the Caribbean and around the world, visitPADI Travel. 3.Best Caribbean Resort Powder soft sands, crystal clear waters, sumptuous accommodations and exquisite service characterize these top tropical escapes in the Caribbean, chosen by a panel of Caribbean travel experts as the best in the region. 4.Best Caribbean Beach [related node_id='a918d033-4861-4710-b06c-17b6f429b96d'] Beach junkies and sun lovers will find some of the world's most spectacular stretches of sand on the islands of the Caribbean. With so many palm tree-lined, silky sand expanses leading down to warm, azure water, it's hard to narrow it down to just 20. But that's the task we gave our panel of Caribbean travel experts. 5.Best Caribbean Attraction There's more to the Caribbean than just beautiful beaches (though we love those too). From waterfalls and caves to ziplines and historic plantations, Caribbean travellers have no shortage of things to see and do. 6.Best Caribbean Rum Distillery If there's one thing the Caribbean is known for as much as its beaches, it's its rum. The spirit was first distilled on the islands during the 17th century when sugar plantation slaves discovered molasses – a byproduct of the refining process – could be fermented into alcohol. Caribbean rum producers have spent the centuries since perfecting the process of distillation, aging and blending, and many of the world's best rums come from the Caribbean. 7.Best Caribbean Golf Course Laidback, fun, insanely beautiful – these are a few of the phrases you could use to describe the experience of golfing in the Caribbean, and there are more choices than ever for teeing off in the tropical sun. 2018 Awards for Barbados In 2018, Barbados was amongst the 10Best in the following categories: 1.Best Caribbean Rum Distillery -Mount Gay Rum at position 10 2.Best Caribbean Attraction -Hunte's Gardens at #8;St. Nicholas Abbey at #10 3.Best Caribbean Golf Course -Apes Hill Club Course at #4;The Country Club at Sandy Lane at #7 (Sandy Lane took this award in 2017).


FILE- In this May 18, 2006, file photo a worker puts the finishing touches on a sign unveiling the company's new look at a Payless Shoesource store at a mall in Independence, Mo. Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is shuttering its remaining stores in North America. The filing on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, came a day after the shoe chain began holding going-out-of-business sales at its North American stores. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The failing Payless ShoeSource chain will honour gift cards and store credit until March 11 as the company liquidates all operations. The Topeka, Kansas, company, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week, will allow returns and exchanges of non-final sale items through the end of this month for goods bought before Feb. 17. Payless said Wednesday that it received court approval to support the orderly closing of about 2,500 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as its e-commerce business. It also received authorisation to pay employee wages and benefits, as well as claims from critical vendors. Retail operations outside of North America, including company-owned stores in Latin America, are separate entities and are not included in the bankruptcy filing.

Payless attendant assisting children from Variety the Childrens Charity as part of the Christmas giveback in Barbados. (FILE)

Days after announcing plans to offload business in the United States and Puerto Rico, Payless Shoe Source is looking to improve its business model in Latin American and Caribbean with the launch of an online platform. [related node_id='5577cb96-2ff7-48d8-aee8-61038b1846ae'] The e-commerce platform, which was successfully rolled out in Costa Rica and Colombia in 2018, is aimed at maintaining Payless’ spot as the market leader or contending business across the 20 countries it currently operates in Central and South America and the Caribbean. With a renewed focus on the Latin American and Caribbean markets, Payless today announced plans to open new stores across the region later this year. “We are proud of our accomplishments in Latin America and the Caribbean, including our leading market share and strong store footprint,” commented Mario Zarazua, Chief Financial Officer for Payless. “We look forward to building upon our success in these regions by adding new stores and a broader online reach. While Payless’ North American stores have faced difficulty, due to a challenging retail environment, our thriving businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean have considerable profitable growth potential and remain an integral part of our long-term strategy,” Zarazua continued. Earlier this week, Payless announced that it will close all 2,100 remaining stores in the United States and Puerto Rico beginning in March 2019. The retail company noted that the closure in the two markets will not affect the Company’s stores in Latin America and the Caribbean and franchisee stores, which will continue operating business as usual in every respect. Payless has since filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Some Payless Canadian subsidiaries are also seeking protection pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List). It is expected that roughly 16,000 employees will lose their jobs. The store closings should conclude by the end of May. Founded in 1956, today Payless serves millions of customers through its extensive global network spanning 36 countries worldwide. Payless has 420 stores in Latin America, the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, and 370 international franchisee stores across the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Indochina, Philippines and Africa.