Police are investigating a road traffic accident which resulted in serious injuries to an elderly pedestrian. Around 9:30 pm on Tuesday February 19, a pedestrian was struck by a route taxi along...


FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. Chicago police said Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, they're still seeking a follow-up interview with Smollett after receiving new information that "shifted" their investigation of a reported attack on the "Empire" actor. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Chicago police investigated but dismissed a tip that on the night "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe, a department spokesman said Tuesday. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said a person who lives in the building or was visiting someone there reported seeing the three togetherthe night in question last month.However, he said video evidence allowed investigators to determine the report wasn't credible. Guglielmi said the two brothers did meet with prosecutors and police Tuesday in a Chicago courthouse. There was no immediate information about what they discussed. Smollett said two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck. Last week, Guglielmi said media reports about the attack being a hoax were unconfirmed by case detectives. But on Saturday, police announced that the"investigation had shifted"following interviews with the brothers and their release from custody without charges. Police haverequested another interview with Smollett. Smollett's lawyers have said the actor was angered and "victimized" by reports he may have played a role in staging the attack. "Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," the statement from attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement late Saturday. Anne Kavanagh, a spokeswoman for Smollett's lawyers, said they would "keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf." Kavanagh didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. A California misdemeanor complaint against Jussie Smollett in 2007 shows the actor pleaded no contest to giving false information to police when he was pulled over for driving while under the influence. Court records show that Smollett was accused of identifying himself as his younger brother and signing a false name on the promise to appear in court. Smollett also was later charged with false impersonation, driving under the influence and driving without a valid license. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and took an alcohol education and treatment program. The details of the complaint were first reported by NBC News. Also Tuesday, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said that she is recusing herself from the current investigation in Chicago. "Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case," Foxx's spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. Asked who Foxx is familiar with, Simonton said Foxx would have no further comment. Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay,reported he was physically attackedwhile he was getting a sandwich around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 near his home in downtown Chicago. He said the men shouted the slurs and yelled "This is MAGA country," an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." Smollett also said the attackers poured some kind of chemical on him. Police looked through hours of video surveillance from the area but found no footage of an attack. They did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question. On Wednesday police picked up two brothers at Chicago's O'Hare Airport as they returned from Nigeria and questioned them about the attack. They also searched the apartment where the men live. The men, who had been held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett, were released Friday. Guglielmi said the next day that information police received from the men "has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation."

The two brothers who were arrested and questioned in relation to the alleged racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett told authorities that not only was the attack staged but that they rehearsed it prior to the incident, according to police sources. Chicago news outlets also reported that the brothers told investigators thatSmollett paid them as much as $3,500 to orchestrate the incident. Chicago's Fox 32 obtained an itemized list of what was taken from the brothers home as evidence including a red hat,containers of bleach, a receipt which police says was for the rope purchased and put around Smollett’s neck, and a magazine that was similar to the one that was used to cut out letters for the hate mail that was sent to Smollett prior to the reported attack. There were also of theChicago Police Department sending the case to a grand jury. A police spokesman stated that while it's certainly a possibility, it's also very premature. Investigators would only resort to that if Smollett refuses to come in voluntarily for questioning. While Smollett’s lawyers released a statement saying they are cooperating with police, officers have said they’ve been given no indication his attorneys will actually bring him in. Hehas reportedly also hired a Chicago-based crisis management team who indicated that they do not plan to have Smollett talk to police right now. Meanwhile, Smollett's screen time on 'Empire' has been slashed. According to TMZ, hewas supposed to have nine scenes and a musical number which is currently being shot now, however, five of his scenes have been cut and the musical number has been axed. Empire production sources also told TMZ that Smollet is no longer the focus of the remaining four scenes.


Gorgeous moon: This breathtaking photo of the February 19, 2019 supermoon (Snow Moon) was captured in Laventille by Loop reader Marlon Hernandez.

The year 2019 has been off to a spectacular start ushering in three full moon supermoons. Yesterday, people across the world witnessed the second of 2019, which showcased the closest, brightest and largest full supermoon. There won't be another as close to the Earth until 2026. The first supermoon which was observed on January 21 coincided with a total lunar eclipse. The third supermoon, the Worm Moon, will occur on March 21 and will be the farthest one seen for 2019. But what exactly do we know about supermoons? Here are seven fast facts about the spectacular lunar event. 1. The term supermoon was first coined by Richard Nolle in 1997. Its official name is ‘perigee full moon’. But honestly, it’s much easier to say supermoon. Catchy term, right? 2. A supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth in its orbit. The moon appears a little brighter and closer than normal, though the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye. 3. A supermoon is quite a sight to behold – it’s bigger and brighter than a full moon of average size with an area of around 15 percent more. It’s also up to 30 percent larger and brighter than a micro-moon, the smallest and furthest full moon occurring for the year. According to EarthSky, the size difference between a supermoon and micro-moon is proportionally similar to that of a U.S. quarter versus a U.S. nickel. 4. The Earth’s oceans are affected by the extra pull of supermoons. The pull of the Moon through its full moon and new moon phases along with the Sun create larger-than-usual tides, calledspring tides. Extra high tides and low plunging tides are experienced during this time, typically following the supermoon by a day or two. 5. According to Forbes, each full moon has a historic name linked to activities or animals with significance to the time of year it occurs, like Harvest Moon, Wolf Moon, Buck Moon and Sturgeon Moon. 6. If you missed the first couple of supermoons for 2019, don’t be sad. A series of new moon supermoons will occur when the new moon closely pairs up with perigee (the point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is nearest to the earth) on August 1 and 30, then on September 28. 7. The closest full moon supermoon in recent time occurred on November 14, 2016. This was the closest since January 26, 1948, and that won’t be surpassed until November 25, 2034. But, keep your eyes on the skies as the closest one of this century will occur on December 6, 2052.

Karl Lagerfield has died at age 85

Karl Lagerfield, the iconic fashion design and creative mind behind Coco Chanel, has died. Lagerfield, 85, reportedly died in Paris following a short illness. No cause of death has as yet been given for the German designer. Last month, Lagerfieldmissedtwo of Chanel’s haute couture shows in Paris. His label said in a statement that he was tired. Lagerfieldwas the head designer and creative director of Chanel as well as Fendi and his own eponymous fashion label.


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.

Honda will close a car factory in western England with the potential loss of 3,500 jobs, British media and a local lawmaker said Monday, in another blow to a British economy made jittery by Brexit. Sky News said the Japanese carmaker is to announce Tuesday that the Swindon plant will close in 2022. Honda makes its popular Civic model at the factory, 70 miles (115 kms) west of London. Local lawmaker Justin Tomlinson confirmed the news in a series of tweets. He said he had spoken to Honda, and the company said the decision "is based on global trends and not Brexit as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021." He said no job losses at the plant were expected until 2021. Honda said it could not comment "at this stage." "We take our responsibilities to our associates very seriously and will always communicate any significant news with them first," the firm said in a statement. The Unite trade union, which represents workers at the plant, said it was looking into the reports. Des Quinn, the union's automotive-sector national officer, said the plant's closure "would be a shattering body blow at the heart of U.K. manufacturing." The news comes as British businesses are issuing increasingly urgent warnings about the damage being done by the uncertainty around Britain's looming exit from the European Union. The U.K. is set to leave the bloc on March 29 but has yet to seal a deal laying out the divorce terms and establishing what trade rules will apply after Brexit. Many businesses fear economic chaos if there isn't an agreement on the rules and conditions that will replace the 45 years of frictionless trade that came with being an EU member. The uncertainty has already led many firms to shift some operations abroad, stockpile goods or defer investment decisions. Earlier this month, Japan's Nissan announced that it would not build a new SUV at its plant in Sunderland, England, as previously planned. Nissan said it had made the decision "for business reasons," but added that "the continued uncertainty around the U.K.'s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future." Last week Ford said that if Britain left the EU without a deal on smooth future relations, it would be "catastrophic for the U.K. auto industry and Ford's manufacturing operations in the country." Christian Stadler, professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School, said automakers were being hit by several factors, including a cooling global economy and a European crackdown on diesel engines. "Add the fact that the supply chain for most British-made cars crosses the Channel several times as parts are shipped back and forth, so any delays at the border after Brexit could severely disrupt the industry's 'just in time' production method, and the U.K. starts to look like a less attractive place for international companies to build cars," he said.