Rihanna at the opening of Fenty (FILE)

Rihanna puts her money where her mouth is. The Barbados singer, actress, business, mogultold everyone to "pull up" for blacks on issues impacting the black communityand in her latest demonstration, she has cancelled all business on June 2 in honour of Black Out Tuesday, across all her investments. On her Instagram, she wrote: "we ain’t buying shit!!! and we ain’t selling shit neither!! gang gang!#BLACKOUTTUESDAYAF!!!@fenty@fentybeauty@savagexfenty💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿" And a woman of her word, the sites - Fenty.com, fentyxsavage.com and fentybeauty.com all had powerful messages and were blacked out for the day. But she said it is a day of action, not inaction. The millionaire called on persons to donate to Black Live Matters (BLM) and Color of Change amongst other charities and movements which fight against police brutality and which promote equality. While some celebs were playing the "Christian card", refusing to participate and supportor crying over the looting at Brand name stores, Ri Ri led by example and pulled up for those suffering in a country where she is an immigrant. On Fenty.com, visitors saw: We are not staying silent and we are not standing by. The fight against racial inequality, injustice, and straight up racism doesn’t stop with financial donations and words of support. In solidarity with the Black community, our employees, our friends, our families, and our colleagues across industries we are proud to take part in #BlackoutTuesday. [related node_id='70ab61d5-eb5c-49bb-b9c9-a868ac0a4e07'] FENTY willNOTbe conducting any business on Tuesday, June 2 – globally. This is not a day off. This is a day to reflect and find ways to make real change. This is a day to#PullUp. Over at SavagexFenty, it said: We are not staying silent and we are not standing by. The fight against racial inequality, injustice, and straight up racism doesn’t stop with financial donations and words of support. In solidarity with the Black community, our employees, our friends, our families, and our colleagues across industries we are proud to take part in #BlackoutTuesday. Savage X Fenty willNOTbe conducting any business on Tuesday, June 2 – globally. This is not a day off. This is a day to reflect and find ways to make real change. This is a day to#PullUp. And on FentyBeauty, it said: WE ARE NOT STAYING SILENT AND WE ARE NOT STANDING BY. THE FIGHT AGAINST RACIAL INEQUALITY, INJUSTICE, AND STRAIGHT UP RACISM DOESN’T STOP WITH FINANCIAL DONATIONS AND WORDS OF SUPPORT. IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE BLACK COMMUNITY, OUR EMPLOYEES, OUR FRIENDS, OUR FAMILIES, AND OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS INDUSTRIES, WE ARE PROUD TO TAKE PART IN #BLACKOUTTUESDAY. FENTYBEAUTY.COM WILL NOT BE CONDUCTING ANY BUSINESS ON TUESDAY, JUNE 2. THIS IS NOT A DAY OFF. THIS IS A DAY TO REFLECT AND FIND WAYS TO MAKE REAL CHANGE. THIS IS A DAY TO #PULLUP. View this post on Instagram VOTE. Ya ain’t got shit else to do man! Get yo ass off the couch and go vote!!! I don’t wanna hear another excuse!! Stop believing that your vote and voice don’t matter! This the illest way to protest...vote for the change you want!!! A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:41pm PDT Three days ago on her IG, she wrote: "For the last few days, the magnitude of devastation, anger, sadness I’ve felt has been overwhelming to say the least! Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart! To the point of staying away from socials, just to avoid hearing the blood curdling agony in George Floyd’s voice again, begging over and over for his life!!! The look of enticement, the pure joy and climax on the face of this bigot, murderer, thug, pig, bum, Derek Chauvin, haunts me!! I can’t shake this! I can’t get over an ambulance pulling up to an arrest, a paramedic checking a pulse without removing the very thing that’s hindering it! Is this that f***ing normal??? If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for “drugs” or “resisting arrest”....then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???! #GeorgeFloyd#AhmaudArbery#BreonnaTaylor" Black Out Tuesday came about after the most recent murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. One white ex-cop has been charged with Third Degree murder so far, but the black community is demanding 'Justice for George' and saying 'One down, three to go' as they protest and demand that charges be laid against the other three officers who did not intervene tosave Floyd.

Soca Queen Alison Hinds

The Queen of Soca is celebrating her golden jubilee today and she took to her Instagram earlier to share her special day with some of her many fans from across the globe. Today (June 1) Queen Alison Hinds turns fifty. [related node_id='c53ae0f4-81f4-4b97-8c02-759a1f4f2799'] In a compilation video put together by her Perception Management team a plethora of stars from across the world sent personalized greetings to the Soca Diva. Among some of the famous faces extending greetings were Trinidadian soca queens Patrice Roberts & Destra Garcia, Mr Bombastic himself Shaggy, Jamaican Dancehall sensation Shenseea, cricketer Dwayne Bravo among other well-known local, regional and international artistes, some from as far as Ghana. Longstanding Square One bandmates Cecil "O’Shaka" Riley, Terry “Mexican” Arthur and Anderson ‘Blood’ Armstrong, were also featured in the video with the latter exuberantly sing-songing: “Alison, you reached the big 5-0, so I just want to say Happy Birthday to you” while O’Shaka welcomed her to the fifties’ club. Trinidadian counterpart Destra, with whom Alison often shares the soca stage smilingly added: “You inspired me to do this, to be in this world of soca music. You are an icon, you are a legend, you are queen, and we just want to applaud you and celebrate you, your Majesty in all you mightiness!” As the rhythmic instrumental to her latest release “West Indian” played in the background the cadre of stars extended their love and best wishes. Alison’s husband Edward and daughter Saharan fittingly endedthe light-hearted two-and-a-half-minute clip with a playful high-five birthday greeting of their own. Hinds took to her IG live to respond to the touching tribute. “That was emotional. Thank you to everyone, every one of you, my colleagues, my friends. I am at lost for words right now. I am just very, very thankful!” the Soca Diva gushed while shedding a few tears. Her social media pages were flooded with greetings and out-pourings of love from fans and loved ones. Alison has stamped her brand theworld over, flying the Bajan flag high where ever she lands. She has made an indelible mark and deservingly wears the crown as Soca Queen of the world. Happy Birthday, Alison!

Getting married during a global pandemic isn't any little girl's dream, but Shontelle Simone Farrell nee Bridgeman wasn't going to let COVID-19 rain on her parade. Initially, the wedding was slated for June 27, but the couple decided to bring the date forwardto April 16. However, after the Barbadian Government implemented a curfew on March 27, the worried couple threw caution to the wind and decided their wedding would be held within the next seven days. On April 3 at 1 pm, the same day the government imposed a 24-hour curfew after recording 46 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, Shontelle and Anthony Leroy EmmanuelFarrell tied the knot. What was supposed to be a glorious occasion surrounded by friends, family and laughter was muddied by the outbreak. The attendees were limited to the priest and two witnesses who helped to live stream the wedding on Facebook.Whatever fairytale wedding they imagined for themselves had been dismantled by the reality of COVID-19. "You are supposed to be excited but everything is so close so it was mixed emotions.I am a planner, I like to cross every T, dot every I, but I was just walking through that week and the entire process was challenging because it was either postpone the wedding until we don’t know when which wouldn’t work for me, or bring it up and let us do something private and that was not the initial plan," Shontelle told Loop News. The six days before the wedding were a blur for the couple who rushed 'here, there and yonder' to do final preparations. Shontelle's dress wasn't finished and Anthony still didn't have a suit, but against the oddsthey successfully pulled ofa last-minute attempt. The glaring absence of their friends and family on their big day could be felt, especially for Shontelle who wanted her grandmother to see her on her wedding day. "I would have been raised by my grandmother from three months old so she would have been that person even during this entire process that was there for me so imagine being raised by someone from three months old and then on one the most important days of your life having to make a decision. She is over 70 and she is high risk so it was about saying 'okay, I want you to be there but I don’t want you to be out'," Shontelle explained. Anthony also lucked out becausehis family members from overseas were unable to make the wedding, but he was able to feel their presence and love via their comments and reactions during the Facebook Live event. "My family is large so the challenge was not having my family to share the moment so I can see their face and laugh and hug and kiss and share stories about when I was small. Every family gets together is like an event so not having that was a downside of it," he said. "When I got home and I watched it and I saw the comments, I felt my friends and family were part of the journey as well. Watching reading the comments, I felt like they were a part of it. It was a lot of jokes in the comment section and I could imagine what it would have like if they were physically there with us." During the two-month shutdown, the newlyweds haven't been able to see their family members and it has also dampened their honeymoon plans. Shontelle and Anthony were ecstatic about vacationing on the beaches of Panama in June/July, but as COVID-19 would have it, those plans are postponed. The positive of the global pandemic and shutdown is that it made them closer. Not only were they living together for the first time but due to the island-wide shutdown, they would be together 24/7. Shontelle and Anthony are insurance advisors for Guardian Life of The Caribbean and their 'alone' time is limited to evenings after work. Battling a hectic and busy work schedule, working from home has given them time to enjoy each other's company. "I don’t think if things were normal or the country had open back up earlier, the amount of time we spent with each other would have been the same. I don’t think we could have done that because our jobs are very busy and time-consuming. This is my first time since secondary school that I had a vacation and I did nothing," Anthony revealed. Shontelle echoed: "The shutdown brought us closer. It would have been the first time for us living together and it allowed us to get through some of those teething challenges because we were always in the same space." With the country reopening, the couple is looking forward to hosting a celebratorybarbeque or 'potluck' for family and friends later this year.

103-year-old COVID-19 survivor Jennie Stejna throws back a Bud Light for old time's sake.

“Feisty” is the way Shelley Gunn describes her 103-year-old grandmother. That quality shone through earlier this month when the Massachusetts woman’s beloved centenarian grandmother, Jennie Stejna, came back from the brink of death to survive a bout with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has ravaged older Americans. WATCH as Stejna takes a sip of her Budd's Light beer. (Video courtesy of WWLP) “She always had that feisty fighting spirit,” Gunn, who recently moved to Easton from Washington state, told The Enterprise of Brockton. “She didn’t give up.” Three weeks ago, Stejna was the first person to test positive for the coronavirus at her nursing home, Life Care Centre of Wilbraham. The outlook was grim. As Stejna’s condition worsened, Gunn, her husband, Adam, and 4-year-old daughter, Violet, called to say what they thought were their final goodbyes. Gunn thanked Stejna for everything she had done for her. When Adam Gunn asked if Stejna was ready to go to heaven, she replied, “Hell, yes.” But on May 13, Gunn got the news that Stejna had recovered. “We’re truly very thankful,” Gunn said. To celebrate, Stejna enjoyed an ice-cold beer, something she loved but hadn’t had in a long time, Gunn said. Her beer of choice? BudLight. Stejna has two children, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Devastation in Indonesia (FILE)

The Arch Cot tragedy of 2007was referencedby a parliamentarian seeking to make the point that when catastrophes strike in Barbados, funds need tobe paid to those wronged or impacted, and in a timely manner. Speaking to the fact that "there is a requirement laid at the doorstep of insurance companies in Barbados" to have their own Catastrophe Reserves, Bishop Joseph Atherleyquestioned if the insurers are indeed managing such a Reserve. [related node_id='dc539fe2-8a74-4c34-bb5d-96f5b767c712'] He said: "There is a Catastrophe Reserve Fund to be held by insurance companies in Barbados. "What is the level of compliance with respect to the Catastrophe Reserve Funds which insurance companies are obligated to hold in the event of a massive natural disaster . . .and for which they have some responsibility,liability in terms of responding?" As the House debated the Catastrophe Fund Bill, he said that he was not asking this question for asking a question sake. The Opposition Leader raised thequestion in what he deemed "a serious manner", adding: "What level of compliance or no-compliance if any isthere at the level of insurance with respect to that disaster reserve, catastrophe reserved requirement if it still exists, which I would imagine that it does?" Speaking to complainants' not getting their owed sums after judgements are rendered, he even called out government as a possible guilty party when it comes to such. "I remember not too long ago, in relative terms, a major incident, tragedy, in Arch Cot, Britton's Hill and there was so much attention given to the matter at that time driven by a sense of compassion, empathy. The national interest in the matter was high. Government responded with its full force and [I] know much of that was embroiled in legal issues subsequently. "Mister Speaker, I have not heard anything to the date as to whether full settlement was ever given to that matter? "I mention that in this context, [because] we have a situation in Barbados where sometimes and often so, judgements are rendered, liability is incurred based on those judgements but there is no enthusiastic and early followthrough. And situations like that are just left to lie. Peoplesuffer." He said that better needs to be done on the part of government so as to set the proper example too. "It would have to be admitted that government and I don't speak of the Barbados Labour Party government or former Democratic Labour Party government, I speak of government as an institution, we would have to admit that even government inBarbados has been guilty of thatwhen they have owedmonies to people, and judgements have been rendered and payment isnot followed through on." Therefore, with the 2020 Hurricane season upon us and two named storms out of the way already, he said that these are the type of questions that need to be answered: "I wonder how much of that exists out there in the insurance community." Editor's note: An earlier version of this article had 2017 instead of 2007.

Mark Prescott, Vice President – Insurance Operations at Sagicor General Insurance Inc.

Sagicor General Insurance is calling on homeowners to safeguard their investments 'like yesterday', as the 2020 hurricane season is already underway. Forecasts speak to18 named storms for this year’s hurricane season, andSagicor General Insurance’s Vice President – Insurance Operations Mark Prescott is strongly advising property owners to ensure that their homes, shops andstoresare adequately protected against potential losses. So far, two named storms formed during May - Arthur and Bertha. [related node_id='e1ceecc3-2036-41c5-9c9f-9fa2ae6a9bed'] Warning Barbadians not to forget the destruction inflicted by storms throughout the Caribbean’s history, most recently the devastation left behind after HurricanesHarvey, Irma, Maria and Dorian, he said: “This year’s hurricane season is expected to be 25 per centmore active than what had been experienced from 1950 to 2019, with eightof the named storms forecast to be hurricanes and at least threeexpected to be Category 3 or higher”, said Prescott. “Property owners should, therefore, take heed and seek adequate financial backing for what is typically their single largest investment.” According to a press release issued, Prescott stated that in addition to inspecting their property and taking the time to execute repairs to help it withstand the elements and reduce the potential for damage and destruction, owners should review their insurance policy to make sure all details are up to date and that the level of coverage is accurate. He said:“After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home or commercial property, the thought of having to use their own financial resources to repair, rebuild or replace due to storm damage is a daunting one. "Insurance, therefore, provides them with the peace of mind that if their structure were to indeed suffer the worst, they can have a home or an office to return to, thanks to Sagicor being there for them financially as we have been for our clients across the region for decades.” The Vice President also made the point that the value of insurance in the context of the upcoming hurricane season is even more critical at this time given the current state of affairs. “We are cognizant of the fact that many individuals have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we want to urge those who already have their properties insured to do their best to keep those policies in place. If they are experiencing financial difficulties, we encourage them to come to us, explain their situation and we will do our best to work with them. The worst possible thing that could happen to any of these individuals at this time is to experience significant damage or loss of property without the financial ability to repair, rebuild or replace.”