Caption (from left): Ras Shiloh, Ricardo Vasconcellos, Vishal Singh, Marlon Asher, Pressure Busspipe, Sizzla and Izac King in Enterprise, Trinidad and Tobago, last November. By Howard CampbellA group of Caribbean artists have come together to appeal for peace in crime-ridden Trinidad and Tobago.Sizzla from Jamaica, Marlon Asher and Izac King from Trinidad and Tobago, Pressure Busspipe of the US Virgin Islands and American singer Ras Shiloh, kick off their Life Of A Ghetto Youth Tour at the Garden Outdoor Pavilion in Lauderhill Lakes on June 10.Sizzla is also promoting an album of the same name to be released on July 7.There will be seven shows. The others are: June 11 in St Petersburg, Florida; June 15 in Charlotte, North Carolina; June 16 in Stone Mountain, Georgia; June 17 in Oakland, California; June 23 in Providence, Rhode Island; and June 25 in Norfolk, Virginia.Trinidadian Ricardo Vasconcellos told Caribbean National Weekly that the violence in his homeland inspired the album and tour.He, Marlon Asher and Izac King are from the tough community of Enterprise in central Trinidad where much of the turmoil in the twin-island republic takes place.“It’s the most dangerous part of Trinidad where Rasta war Muslim. Marlon Asher sister got killed there two years ago,” he said.Mary Jane is the lead single from Life Of A Ghetto Youth. It features the aforementioned artistes.Trinidad and Tobago’s crime problem is second to Jamaica in the Caribbean. Approximately 463 people were killed there in 2016, 53 more than the previous year.Over 1,000 persons were murdered in Jamaica in 2016. The US Virgin Islands also has a troubling crime rate.In November, Sizzla, Marlon Asher, Izac King, Pressure Busspipe and Ras Shiloh performed at VAS Lounge in Port of Spain, the Trinidad capital, in a show of unity.There are eighteen songs on Life Of A Ghetto Youth. Some are produced by Vishal Singh, Sizzla’s manager.The album will be released by VAS Productions.
Celebrity travel guide Anthony Bourdain is not very popular in parts of Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Trinidad Guardian newspaper.Bourdain went to the country recently as part of his ‘Parts Unknown’ series which airs weekly on CNN. Usually, he features the leisure spots of countries he visits; not so, this time.“His recent documentary on T&T, which should have been an opportunity to showcase local food and culture, unfortunately turned out to be more of a crime documentary on the country,” said Opposition Senator Daniel Solomon. “It tended to focus a lot on crime. At the end of it one had to ask, had we not been Trinidadians looking at that video, would we have wanted to come to T&T under those conditions?” Solomon pointed out in an address to the Senate on June 27.“It was a sad indictment on T&T… we have to look at the message we’re sending out on behalf of T&T ,”she added.Solomon referred to the video while debating an Opposition motion calling on the government to deal with another year of unabated crime. Bourdain’s hour-long expose aired on CNN June 25.The most scathing part of his presentation followed the show in which Bourdain spoke to host Anderson Cooper about the dangers of living in Trinidad and Tobago. Solomon said Bourdain noted there were 460 murders in 2016 and that the capitol Port-of-Spain’s murder rate was higher than those in three major American cities: Detroit, Oakland and Chicago.She conceded that, “The tragic part was a lot of it was accurate. It overshadowed everything beautiful about T&T; the doubles, Carnival, the food, our culture —T&T’s beauty.”Solomon was even more ominous when she addressed growing talk of her country becoming a recruiting center for ISIS.“It’s only a matter of time before an attack happens in T&T ,” she warned.
CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy (right) thanks Marc James, British Airways’ Key Partnership Manager (UK and Ireland), and a member of the airline’s cabin crew at World Travel Market in London this week. A generous contribution by British Airways to the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) was gratefully received by its president, Karolin Troubetzkoy last week.£25,000 handshakeSpeaking at World Travel Market in London, where the check was presented on behalf of British Airways and British Airways Holidays, Troubetzkoy warmly thanked the airline’s representatives: “This is not just a handshake, this is a £25,000 handshake! On behalf of our Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, we are extremely grateful!.”Also contributes to Caribbean Tourism OrganizationIn addition to the contribution to the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund of CHTA, which represents private sector tourism companies, Troubetzkoy noted the British airline also presented an additional £25,000 to the intergovernmental Caribbean Tourism Organization for its fund.The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund unites the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry with the noted Tourism Cares organization, which has helped to lead private sector relief efforts globally following crises. The fund invites tourism industry stakeholders and global allies to pool their resources in support of vulnerable areas of the Caribbean.It focuses on islands directly affected by the hurricanes, complementing relief efforts and empowering the tourism sector to combine and leverage resources to help the region bounce back better than before.Tax deductible donationsDonations are tax deductible where applicable and can also be made directly online at www.tourismcares.org/caribbean or by check payable to Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund c/o Tourism Cares, 20 Vernon St., Norwood, MA 02062, USA or by donating securitiesFor more on tourism recovery funds, click the link: JHTA establishes charity fund for devastated islands
The government of hurricane battered Dominica Wednesday rolled out new initiatives aimed at encouraging citizens to invest in the country even as it acknowledges it hadn’t been able to attract significant revenue since Hurricane Maria hit on September 18.Lower interest ratesPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that his administration had agreed on lowering interest rates from three to two per cent for loans to persons in the tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.“It is still a significant sum of money all put together…we are talking about EC$35 million available to the private sector,” he said, noting that the funds and the new terms would become available from Monday.In addition, he said a new facility, which would be “almost like a grant” would be made available later this month through the state-owned financial institutions to people who are still encountering difficulties in repairing their homes despite having received payments from the insurance companies.But he warned those financial institutions that the government was prepared to take over the initiative, due to become operational on December 18, if they take more than three days from the receipt of an application to provide the funds..“If that is not done we will terminate the agreement with these institutions,” he said, adding that the state would be prepared to administration the loan program.To attend CARICOM summitSkerrit, who is due to leave the island to attend the Cuba-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday, said that since the storm, the government’s revenue had been severely impacted.He said for the month of October, the government had collected just over four million EC dollars with the bulk of that, EC$3.3 million, coming from value added tax.
Tallahassee, Florida – Hundreds of United States immigrants with deep national roots are facing a conundrum. Although they have green cards, they may not naturalize – all because of their lawful employment at marijuana farms.Although legal in some form in nearly 40 states, including Florida, marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act, and therefore illegal on the federal level. Employment in the marijuana industry is considered “poor moral character,” and is reason enough to deny an otherwise eligible applicant U.S. citizenship, the renewal of their work permit, or even reentry into the United States.Less than four months ago, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued policy guidance clarifying how the federal controlled substances law applies to naturalization determinations. The policy states that, “an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws.” The guidance goes on to say, “manufacturing marijuana, which includes production, such as planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting, may lead to immigration consequences.”Tallahassee-based immigration attorney Elizabeth Ricci, of Rambana & Ricci, PL.L.C., believes this issue highlights the injustices faced by immigrants.“Immigrant farmworkers should be able to be employed in the legal marijuana industry without fear that their past or present employment will disqualify them from fully participating in society as U.S. citizens,” said Ricci.In 2016, over 70 percent of the Florida electorate voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. It is expected that by 2023, some 25,000 Floridians will work in the industry in positions ranging from accountants to budtenders.Ricci is hopeful the U.S. Department of Justice will uphold states’ rights by respecting voters, and lawmakers will request a formal adjustment of policies that negatively impact the legal immigration status of marijuana industry workers. Ricci hopes to shed light on this issue so that legal immigrants receive the treatment they deserve as permanent residents, and are not disenfranchised.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, (CMC) – The Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) urged customers, to disregard a video, currently circulating on social media, regarding a travel advisory.While the airline gave no particular details, it said that the “travel advisory for Caribbean Airlines is outdated and without merit”.The airline, which flies to several Caribbean islands, as well as Venezuela, Cuba, the United States and Toronto, among other destinations, said the “video is over six years old”, and the airline asks its valued customers to please disregard this outdated social media posting.“Caribbean Airlines thanks its valued stakeholders for their continued support and cooperation,” CAL said in a statement, posted on its website.
Practicing for the first time in four weeks, Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans appears closer to returning to action after working on a limited basis Wednesday.The former Buffalo Bills wideout, acquired for a fourth-round pick during the preseason, has not played since Week 2 while dealing with a left ankle injury. In Evans’ absence, rookie Torrey Smith has emerged as the No. 2 receiver behind Anquan Boldin and caught the game-winning touchdown in Pittsburgh last Sunday night.Evans expressed optimism on Wednesday that he could make his return to action against the Seahawks on Sunday after missing the Ravens’ last six games.Left guard Ben Grubbs did not appear on Wednesday’s injury report after practicing all last week on a limited basis before playing against the Steelers. The fifth-year offensive lineman is still experiencing pain in the injured right toe that sidelined him for six games, but expressed confidence that he will be able to continue playing through the discomfort.The Baltimore offensive line has missed Grubbs leadership and stellar play at guard. Despite the Ravens struggling to gain yardage on the ground, the offensive line appeared to gain a boost with the 2007 first-round pick’s return against the Steelers.“Ben’s played guard all those years and is very familiar with our system, so things were a little smoother in there,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Andre [Gurode] did a great job while he was in there, for what he had to overcome especially, to learn the position. Ben’s the left guard, he’s the starter, so it smoothed things out a little bit for us.”Veteran center Matt Birk was the only Ravens player not to participate during Wednesday’s practice. It’s expected that Birk was receiving a periodic day off as he deals with a nagging neck issue and rests his surgically-repaired knee.Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also returned to the practice field after being sidelined for the last three games with a hamstring injury.The Seahawks were without starting wide receiver Sidney Rice, who has been dealing with a lingering foot injury. Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.BALTIMOREDID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Matt Birk (neck)LIMITED: RB Anthony Allen (thigh), LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (head), LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle), TE Kris Wilson (calf)FULL: CB Chykie Brown (knee)SEATTLEDID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Cameron Morrah (toe, knee), WR Sidney Rice (foot), LB David Vobora (concussion)LIMITED: QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
Cillian Barry: SportCaller – How FTP is adapting to the new world with soft-touch engagement April 3, 2020 Share COVID-19: How the virus is impacting sports events across the globe March 13, 2020 GambleAware donations top £10m for 2019/20 April 21, 2020 Submit Share Related Articles StumbleUpon The Formula One curtain raiser gets underway this weekend, with Melbourne once again playing host as the razzmatazz rolls back into town.Australia welcomes the glitz and glamour, to open a season which sees Lewis Hamilton aim to become back to back World Champion for the second time in his career.The enigmatic Englishman, Britain’s most successful driver, is favourite to take the crown once again, with his Mercedes team also tipped for yet another constructors title.An odds compiler for the Sky Betting and Gaming Formula One team, discussed what makes Hamilton so highly fancied, and which of his rivals could potentially spoil the party: “Hamilton’s Mercedes team have proven themselves the benchmark in the ‘hybrid’ era of F1, winning each of the last four drivers’ and constructors’ titles, and it will take an almighty effort to knock them off their pedestal. “Nico Rosberg was able to edge out Hamilton over a season but his replacement Valtteri Bottas has yet to do so consistently, so the Englishman remains the man to beat. Hamilton is embarking upon his 12th season at the pinnacle of motorsport and has figured in the title fight in all bar a couple of those years so knows what it takes to handle the pressure of a championship campaign. “Of his rivals, only Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have won the F1 title – all three remain strong competitors but the pace and reliability of the Mercedes gives him the edge over the Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen and Alonso’s McLaren. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo might yet prove more realistic challengers to the crown than those three as Red Bull gradually work their way back to the front of the grid.” Before adding who has been popular with bettors thus far: “Alonso is always popular with the punters, who are keen to see him fight for the title he last won in 2006. “McLaren have finally ditched the underpowered and unreliable Honda engine for a Renault supply, and while teething troubles are inevitable Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne are hopeful to be battling for podium finishes at the very least. “Elsewhere we’ve had to cut Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen to score podium finishes this year after they impressed in testing earlier this month. The works Renault team also look well-set to give their more illustrious customer teams, Red Bull and McLaren, a run for their money.”With plenty of excitement around for race fans, much will be said and written following the conclusion of this weekend’s race, set to take place Sunday March 25.However, with a season that now spans some 21 races, how much can be made can be made of this weekends conclusion, and should bettors look at it as the standard for the season ahead: “Car development will continue relentlessly throughout the year but past seasons have shown how difficult it is for a team to vault themselves back into contention if they’re off the pace in the opening race. “Red Bull were thereabouts by the end of last season but it was irrelevant in terms of the championship as their title hopes had disappeared after a tough first half-dozen races. History suggests that around half of all winners of the opening race go on to take the drivers’ title so the result in Melbourne will be a valuable pointer for the rest of the season.”Concluding, a brief analysis of the UK’s F1 market was offered, with an insight as to what potentially needs to happen to elevate it into the realm of a major betting market player: “F1 currently accounts for just under 1% of total sports stakes for Sky Bet. It’s outside the top 10 alongside sports such as athletics and baseball. We offer over 30 separate markets every weekend, from free practice through to fastest lap of the race and whether the safety car will be deployed. “And we have a full range of ante-post markets including 85 (and counting!) RequestABet season specials individually priced to order.“Hamilton’s profile as a four-time champion and a household name who transcends his sport is a blessing but another British driver at the sharp end of the field would be a big boost. “The period when he and Jenson Button went head-to-head at McLaren generated plenty of interest, especially as it coincided with Michael Schumacher’s comeback and the Vettel/Mark Webber rivalry. “Hopefully George Russell or Lando Norris can recreate those circumstances in future years but for this year we’ll settle for punters’ favourite Verstappen providing Hamilton and Vettel with some serious competition.”
Submit BlueRibbon signs strategic partnership with The Stars Group August 18, 2020 Related Articles PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Share Moving to complete its $4.7 billion acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G), Toronto TSX-listed the Stars Group Inc, has further announced that it will launch a private unsecured loan offering for $750 million.Updating the market, the Stars Group governance will undertake its additional $750 million debt financing through private/institutional investors, with the loan placement set to mature in 2026.The Stars Group debt notes will be offered and sold in the United States in accordance with the corporate financing rules of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act.The TSX firm’s private loan offering follows last week’s corporate announcement that the company will undertake a new public share offering, divesting a total of 25 million common shares at a target price of $38.Undertaking a corporate enlargement following the successive acquisitions of CrownBet, William Hill Australia and SB&G, the Stars Group has expanded its corporate debt facility to circa $5.1 billion.Undertaking its corporate refinancing to assist its enlarged capacity, the Stars Group will seek to become ‘the world’s most valuable listed online gambling firm’. ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure August 27, 2020
UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles Submit Publishing its latest industry opinion, strategic consultancy Regulus Partners details that sector leadership needs to carefully balance the right narrative/debate on tackling the delicate and complex matter of problem gambling…__________________The hair shirt is this season’s must-have fashion item for the well-dressed gambling executive, and this week was the turn of the GVC executive team to adopt sackcloth and ashes in atonement for sins of the past as the company published further details of its harm prevention strategy. Positively for GVC and the wider industry, this recognition is crucially met with the understanding that gambling can be positive for many as well as potentially harmful for a few. Striking this balance, as well as driving meaningful harm mitigation, is crucial for the sustainability of the industry, in our view.Over the last couple of years, we have had a number of these corporate epiphanies, including William Hill’s hard-hitting ‘Nobody Harmed’ campaign. These are to be welcomed as much for their recognition that harms related to gambling can be severe and may be (at least in part) preventable by more conscientious action from operators.At the same time, there have been concerns that desperation to show that gambling companies care may result in visible but diffused and possibly not very effective activity. More than that, these campaigns may actually be serving to tip the balance of policy away from the consumer. The long overdue recognition of harm is to be applauded but when even the industry forgets that many people derive enjoyment and positive well-being from their services, we are in trouble.This week’s ‘Changing for the Bettor’ announcement from GVC appeared to go some way to correcting that balance – with a tacit pledge to raise the bar in terms of customer service and consumer enjoyment in sympathy with harm prevention – critically, globally, not just in the UK where the fire is currently burning brightest (though gaining public UK ministerial support). As we have commented before, painting gambling in the darkest of hues may appeal to the sanctimony of elements of the public health lobby but it is unlikely to be in the true interests of consumer well-being.A similar notion was also explored in the CEOs panel discussion during this week’s CMS Gambling Conference. In probing the question of how to find ‘a healthy regulatory balance’, the panellists (Anna Hemmings from GamCare, the Gambling Commission’s Neil McArthur, Rank’s John O’Reilly, Bet Victor’s Andreas Meinrad and Richard Noble from Aspers) observed that many of the things that operators might do to prevent harm are consistent with basic customer service (while some aspects of current legislation perhaps get in the way of both).This underscores an old gambling adage, often repeated by industry insiders but rarely believed by wider stakeholders: ‘problem gamblers are bad for business’.In a world of anonymous punters, dissipated behaviour (in both senses) and few checks, this statement is hard to effectively defend (sure, customers blow out and stop gambling, but then they can be enticed back – too much of this sort of behaviour has been unearthed by regulators recently). However, when sustainability can be empirically defended by both demonstrable behaviours and data, a dialogue which is about building effective gambling businesses is much more likely to occur and be believed. For this to happen, good customer service is a great place to start.__________________ StumbleUpon Share GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020