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This Oct. 22, 2013, file photo shows Serena Williams of the US keeping her eyes the ball. Williams has been voted the AP Female Athlete of the Decade for 2010 to 2019. Williams won 12 of her professional-era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles over the past 10 years. No other woman won more than three in that span. (AP Photo/File)

Serena Williams dominated the decade, on the court and in conversation. There were, to begin with, the dozen Grand Slam single titles — no other woman had more than three over the past 10 seasons — and the 3 1/2 years in a row at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. And then there was the celebrity status that transcended tennis, making everything she did and said newsworthy, whether it was the triumphs and trophies and fashion statements or the disputes with tournament officials, the magazine covers or the Super Bowl ad with a message about women's power, the birth of her daughter or the health scare that followed. Still winning matches and reaching Grand Slam finals into her late 30s, still mattering as much as ever, Williams was selected by The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Decade on Saturday after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. The AP Male Athlete of the Decade will be announced Sunday. "When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time. ... I like to call it the 'Serena Superpowers' — that champion's mindset. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself," said StaceyAllaster, CEO of the WTA from 2009-15 and now chief executive for professional tennis at the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the U.S. Open. "Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that — she has endured it all and she is still in championship form,"Allastersaid. "Her records speak for themselves." Gymnast Simone Biles, the 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year, finished second to Williams in voting for the decade honor, followed by swimmer Katie Ledecky. Two ski racers were next, with Lindsey Vonn finishing fourth and Mikaela Shiffrin fifth. Three of Williams' five AP Female Athlete of the Year awards came during the last decade, in 2013, 2015 and 2018. She also won in 2002 and 2009. "She's been my idol growing up," Biles said. "She's remained humble. She's stayed true to herself and her character and I think that's really neat about an athlete," Biles said. "Once you start winning, some get cocky, but she's stayed true to herself, win or lose." It's the defeats that seem to drive Williams, helping propel her to heights rarely reached by any athlete in any sport. "Whenever I lose, I get more determined, and it gives me something more to work toward," Williams said in a 2013 interview with the AP. "I don't get complacent, and I realize I need to work harder and I need to do better and I want to do better — or I wouldn't be playing the game." With a best-in-the-game serve, powerful groundstrokes and relentless court coverage, she has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than anyone else in her sport's professional era, which began in 1968. More than half came from 2010-19: four at Wimbledon, three apiece at the U.S. Open and Australian Open, two at the French Open. That includes a run of four in a row from the U.S. Open in 2014 through Wimbledon in 2015, her second self-styled "Serena Slam." Williams also was the runner-up another seven times at major tournaments over the past decade, including four of the seven she's entered since returning to the tour after having a baby in 2017. In all, she made the final at 19 of the 33 majors she entered during the decade, a nearly 58% rate. The decade began inauspiciously in 2010, when Williams cut her feet on broken glass at a restaurant and was hospitalized with blood clots in her lungs. Among her many accomplishments, though: — reaching at least one Slam final every year, a streak that dates to 2007; — winning gold medals in singles and doubles (with her sister, Venus) at the 2012 Olympics; — becoming the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy in the professional era; — becoming the oldest No. 1 in WTA history and equaling Steffi Graf's record for most consecutive weeks atop the rankings; — leading the tour with 37 singles titles, 11 more than anyone else in the decade. The day she won Wimbledon in 2016, Williams discussed the way she constantly measures herself. "I definitely feel like when I lose, I don't feel as good about myself," she said. "But then I have to, like, remind myself that: 'You are Serena Williams!' You know? Like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Williams continued with a laugh. "And it's those moments that I have to just, like, come off and be like, 'Serena, do you know what you've done? Who you are? What you continue to do, not only in tennis (but also) off the court? Like, you're awesome.'"

Usain Bolt (Photo via Instagram)

Olympic medallist Usain Bolt is once again in The Land of the Hummingbird justfor Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Jamaica’s golden boy uploaded several Instagram stories showing him boarding a plane, bound for Trinidad. Bolt said: “Trinidad, we’re on our way…ready.” He was joined by several friends who also seemed in high spirits ready to enjoy Carnival as they danced to the latest soca hit by the Ultimate Rejects, which featured Bolt himself. According to sources, Bolt was also spotted at Punchy Wednesday: Book of Legends and might be spotted at A.M. Bush, a Caesar’s Army j’ouvert party that he has attended in the past. (Video: Olympic medallist Usain Bolt has a blast at Punchy Wednesday. Video courtesy Tahira Redwood) Bolt has several reasons to celebrate as he and his partner, Kasi Bennett, are expecting their first baby later this year. Several stars will be taking part in the ‘greatest show on Earth’ including Nicki Minaj, who has Trinidadian roots.

Pastor John Yarde speaking at the Jus' Worship press conference.

One of the most popular Christian bands the world over will be in Barbadosahead of Easter 2020 - Hillsong London. No matter your age, almost all gospel lovers and general fans of music know of the Hillsong worship group. Hillsong is a well-known, well-lovedChristian rock and worship group originating out of Australia’s Hillsong Church. Various groups like Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Hillsong Young & Free, and Hillsong London have operated under the Hillsong brand. In less than two months, on Friday, April 3, 2020, to be exact, the Hillsong London band will be headlining the gospel mega-show -‘Jus’ Worship’. This mega-show is set to be held at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. Along with Hillsong, some of Barbados’ most talented gospel artistes will be featured. This includes the likes of Pastor John Yarde, Russell Blackman and English-born, now Barbadian resident, Israel J. Allen. Jus’ Worship is an event hosted by the HiArt Entertainment group. This group has produced events with international gospel artistes Jonathan McReynolds and Travis Greene in the past. There was a recent press conference regarding the highly anticipated headline act - Hillsong. The panel consisted of Kevin Pinder the founder of HiArt Entertainment, Camille Martindale founder Unborn Justice and partner of Jus’ Worship, along with Pastor John Yarde and Israel J. Allen who will be representing the Barbadian talent pool to perform at the event. But, for HiArt Entertainment, Jus' Worshipis not just a gospel show, but achance for the local community to be a part of the activities. On April 2, Blackman, will be hosting a workshop for locals to attend. It will be held at the Hilton hotel at 6.00 pm. This workshop will be catered to worship leaders, pastors and those who operate the technology and multi-media at their local churches. Pinder says that the focus of the workshop is “to create a sound which can have an international impact while in keeping with Jesus”. Even though the workshop is for the public, all interested persons must purchase a ticket for Friday night’s show. Yarde, who is a ‘hot topic of the Bajan gospel world’, says that he is excited to be a part of this event. He is looking forward the most to the workshop. He sees it as an investment inthe local community. British-born, with Barbadian heritage, Israel J. Allen, is also honoured to play his role in this year's gospel mega-show. He sees this opportunity as “a bridge between two worlds”. Allen is also currently working on an album, which will be produced in Barbados.

Parents of students at the Maria Holder Nursery School learning the proper way to revive someone.

If someone is unconscious and you want to assist in reviving them“do not slap them in the face”. This is the advice given by Peterson Yearwood of the Barbados Red Cross Societyas he educated the parents of the Maria Holder Nursery School in providing first aid assistance during their annual health fair held on Valentine's Day. The health fair, preceded by a 'love walk', was the school’s way of encouraging children, as well as parents, to love themselves through living a healthy lifestyle. Yearwood said while it was admirableto offer helpin times of a medical emergency, he noted it could be harmful if the person providing the assistance is not physically fit. He gave parents several tips on what course of action to take when assisting someone who is unconscious. The first step, he explained, is to get consent from the person who is in need of help, if that person is able to consent. Yearwood demonstrated to parents how to revive a person, both adult and child, including carrying out chest compressions and givingrescue breaths. Additionally, he advised persons to call emergency services using the511 number as the operator may be able to assistvia the telephone. Yearwood said he believedall schools should have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Thisis a portable device which can check the heart’s rhythm and send shocks to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. This machine, he said,helps significantly in the reviving process. He also urged parents to check their surroundings carefully to ensure there are no health and safety hazards in the environment before they proceed in providing assistance. Persons are urged to contact the Barbados Red Cross Society for more information on training in first aid.

A spoonful of honey. (Photo: iStock)

Honey is known as the nectar of the gods and has botanical connections due to the fact that it is the end product of the pollen of flowering plants and trees that are harnessed by bees. The sweet-flavouredsubstance has been used for treating a variety of aliments for more than 5,000 years due to its wound healing and anti-bacterial agents. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO)recognises honeyas a natural cough remedy -honey mixed with lime juice and garlic has been a staple in many Caribbean homes. Honey has also been known to decrease the deleterious effects ofdiarrhea. It promotesincreasedpotassiumand water intake, which is particularly helpful when experiencing the condition. Consuming honeyis also known to counter acid reflux which is the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food by lining the esophagus and stomach. What's more is that the sweet flavour of honey makes it an great alternative for sugar in the diet. Added sugar in the diet provides excesscalorieswith no nutritional benefit, and this can lead toincreasedbody weightwhich comes with anincreased riskofhigh blood pressureanddiabetes. Honey can be added to food and beverages to sweeten the taste without the negative health impact of added sugars. However, since honey is still a sweetener, it is important to remain mindful of how much honey being is used. Other illnesses, ailments, and injuries that honey is said to be effective for includestress, weakness, sleep disturbance, vision problems, halitosis (bad breath), teething pain,asthma,hiccups, stomach ulcers, vomiting,bedwettingand frequent urination, high blood pressure,obesity,jaundice,hangoverrelief,eczemaand dermatitis andarthritis. While not all uses of honey are confirmed as effective, trying it as treatment will not make conditions any worse or cause harm. However, some doctors warn that honey must not be ingested by children less than 12 months old due to the risk of a type of food poisoning known as botulism. Overall, honey is another amazing natural produce. Sweeten your life today with honey!

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley beside the Prime Minister of Dominca, Roosevelt Skerrit at the closing press conference (Source: BGIS)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is seeking to reduce the region’s food importation bill by 25 per cent through a collaborative effort with the private sector. Yesterday, the Caribbean Congress of Labour and regional private sector organization presented CARICOM heads of government with a proposal to examineregional product integration in four sectors: food security, renewable energy, air and maritime transport, and information communications technology (ICTs). CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister Mia Mottley identified that the proposal would save the region US$420 million out of the regional food import bill which currently stands at USD $5 billion. “The report that came sets out a pathway towards us being able to work towards subsisting 25 per cent of our food import bill which at current movement stands at US $5 billion. We would look to cut out 25 per cent of that within the next five years. “What was heartening was that they carveda clear plan across livestock and crops, key areas that would save the region $420 million US but also have the potential to be able to earn foreign exchange outside of the region,” she explained. She highlighted that the Caribbean states will have to make the necessary changes to ease doing business so that product integration would be a seamless movement in the region. “We believe if we can stay the course on these issuesthat the people of the region, in the same waythat we hope that they see credible benefits to their telecommunications spend shortly, that they will also see in the course of the next few years a Caribbean that is committed to feeding itself more than it has within recent years,” Mottley also added. Revised CDF to take all CARICOM states forward The Barbadian Prime Minister also disclosed that CARICOM will be revisiting the structure of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) which provides financial assistance to disadvantaged countries. She noted that the Fund’s ability has been hindered by the economic challenges being faced by countries in the region and contended that its future advancement would be a “long term effort” by the CARICOM countries. “We feel strongly that we need to revisit the structure of the CARICOM Development Fund and to enable it to be able to raise additional funds whether from individual companies, institutions, regional countries, and extra-regional countries. This ultimately is what will drive the development of the disadvantaged countries or sectors that have been taken over by technological developments that would make these sectors obsolete,” said Prime Minister Mottley. “If done correctly, in my view, this is going to be one of the key pillars and anchors of the integration movement going forward. It will allow us to deal with disparities that exist in the size and capacity, and it will allow us to do so in a manner that . . . will be necessary to have a smooth movement forward carrying all from the largest to the smallest on this integration journey to which we are committed,” she continued.

Amazon retail

One Senator is striving to put to bed fears about the supposed new Amaxon Tax, as local Amazon shoppers got up in arms on social media. Firstof all, the 'W' in Amazon W Service stands for Web, not World, as portrayed in another section of the media today. Many Barbadians were and still are puzzled by the rumors surrounding the government's proposed "Amazon Tax", even hours after some persons in economics have tried to right the wrong. Bajans had already been informed of the impending legislation which sought to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases made from online international retailers such as Amazon and Ali Baba. Some Barbadians were unsure as to whetherthe legislation would affect regular online customers of Amazon in the coming days. Meanwhile, it wasreported earlier in another section of the media that retail giant Amazon had supposedly informed itscustomers that effective March 1, 202, "Amazon World Service (AWS)" would begin to charge VATat a rate of 17.5% to Barbadian customers. This was allegedly conveyed in an email correspondence showcasing that Amazon's new policies for Bajan customers were actively following the Barbadian legislation. The particular mediumalso reported that tax-compliant invoices were set to be issued to Barbadian customers from April 1 of this year and customers whose records indicate that their Billing Address or contact address is in Barbados are the ones who had received this email notification. In the hours sincethe story dropped, many Barbadians took to criticizing the move as another undue tax on the public by this new administration. Some immediately questioned the validity of the claim that the coming policy would affect Barbadians who are regular online shoppers of Amazon. However,on further investigation, it was noted that the reported story claimed that "Amazon World Service" had sent out the notice, but in contacting Amazon's tech response team, customers were told that the legislation was specific to users of "Amazon Web Services" and not on consumer products. Attempts to get direct clarification from members of the Ministry of Finance for comment came to no avail up to news time. But Senator Dr Crystal Haynes took toFacebook to attempt to clear up any misinformation that may have been spread to the public. In response to a direct question on the matter on her post, she emphatically stated that what was posted by the media house which "broke the story"was "not consistent with the policy or legislation." She went on answering many questions as well as attempting to reassure others by detailing how overseas purchases are in fact taxed for customers who intend to use them on Barbadian soil or ship them to Barbados and are taxed via customs. "To be clear, VAT is ONLY applied on goods and services consumed or accessed locally... Additionally, once VAT is paid upfront for your online purchase you will have an electronic copy of your receipt which reflects that your payment has already been made. You will not be charged VAT again on arrival of the goods unless a charge is due in relation to shipping cost or something unrelated to the actual transaction made for the purchase," the Senator said.