Sunday, May 16, 2021

February 27, 2021  There will be no Carnival celebrations this year, even if 60 percent of the population get the COVID-19 vaccine, Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said on Friday. This will be the second consecutive year Spicemas has been canceled due to the pandemic.

Grenada’s immunization rollout began on February 12 and health officials are working towards having 60 percent of the island’s population of 110,000 vaccinated.

“I don’t see how we will be able to achieve 60 percent by July, but even if we did, I think it will be a mistake to go and have a mass event because you will still have 40 percent of the people who will not have been vaccinated. I don’t think it is a smart thing,” said Prime Minister Mitchell during an interview with selected journalists, in a format adopted as part of the new COVID-19 health protocols aimed at avoiding any mass gathering of media workers.

He acknowledged that the Carnival period is not only a major revenue earner for the Government but also for many citizens who use the Carnival period to make a living.

Against that background, Mitchell said, discussions will be held on possibly providing assistance to those individuals.

“We have asked the Ministry of Culture to meet with the various stakeholders and see what can be done to aid the pain because many people live and operate their livelihood by cultural activities,” said the Prime Minister.

“Like we have done for the taxi association, [we will see] what can we do for the cultural artists and other people involved who live by the cultural activities in the country.”

Grenada’s Carnival climaxes in August annually but is normally launched during the second quarter of the year.

There were no celebrations in 2020 because of measures enforced to control and contain the spread of COVID-19. However, many people defied orders and held J’ouvert celebrations in communities and villages across the island.

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Entertainment

May 15, 2021  BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Janet Jackson’s ensembles she wore in the “Scream” music video opposite of her brother Michael Jackson are among the items up for bid in a three-day auction. Julien’s Auctions says her black circular bubble textured fabric long-sleeve shirt, black patent leather pants and black patent leather over-the-ankle boots sold for $125,000 Saturday. The auction called “Iconic Treasures From the Legendary Career and Life of Janet Jackson” will be held until Sunday, the singer’s 55th birthday. Jackson partnered with Julien's Auctions to sell more than 1,000 items from her career and personal treasures. The auction was held live in Beverly Hills, California, and shown on Julien’s website. A portion of the proceeds will go toward Compassion International, an organization that helps children escape from poverty.

May 15, 2021 HONG KONG (AP) — After more than seven decades in radio, a 96-year-old Hong Kong DJ bid farewell to his listeners Saturday with “Time to Say Goodbye,” sung by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. “Well, that’s it. Thank you very much for tuning in, goodbye, thank you for coming,” Ray Cordeiro said in both English and Cantonese before signing off ahead of the 1 a.m. news. It was the coda to a radio career that began 72 years ago, and a more than 50-year run for his show “All the Way with Ray,” which started on public broadcaster RTHK in 1970. Along the way, he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Tony Bennett, the Beatles and Cliff Richard and nurtured rising Hong Kong pop stars such as Sam Hui. In 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged Cordeiro as “The World’s Most Durable DJ.”

May 15, 2021  ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s major theme parks are adjusting their face mask policies after the federal government loosened its recommendations as more people get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Visitors to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios-Orlando were allowed Saturday to remove their masks when they are outdoors except when they are on attractions, inline, or riding a tram or other transportation. Masks remain mandatory indoors except in restaurants when seated. Disney requires they be worn except when actively eating and drinking. SeaWorld Orlando and its sister park, Tampa’s Busch Gardens, are going even further, allowing guests who say they are fully vaccinated to remove their masks throughout the parks. The two parks will not require proof of vaccination, but are asking guests to “respectfully comply.”

May 14, 2021  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Renée Zellweger is coming to network TV next season in a dramatization of a murder case recounted by “Dateline NBC.” The two-time Oscar winner’s role in NBC’s “The Thing About Pam” is a sign of how broadcast networks are banking on eye-catching names and familiar stories to draw viewers in a TV universe increasingly packed with new streaming services. The “Dateline NBC” story about a wrongful conviction was one of the true-crime series most popular sagas, the network said Friday in announcing its slate of new and returning series for the 2021-22 season. Zellweger’s NBC series is set for midseason. The fall will be dominated by dramas and reality shows, with NBC — once the home of “must-see” comedies including “Friends” — making the unusual decision to hold its sitcoms for midseason to give what its executives said is a better shot at success.

Business News

May 16, 2021  OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Even as railroads are operating longer and longer freight trains that sometimes stretch for miles, the companies have drastically reduced staffing levels, prompting unions to warn that moves meant to increase profits could endanger the safety and even result in disasters. More than 22% of the jobs at railroads Union Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern have been eliminated since 2017 when CSX implemented a cost-cutting system called Precision Scheduled Railroading that most other U.S. railroads later copied. BNSF, the largest U.S. railroad and the only one that hasn’t expressly adopted that model, has still made staff cuts to improve efficiency and remain competitive. The railroads acknowledge they have cut staff, lengthened trains and made other adjustments to reduce spending, but they are adamant none of the changes increase dangers. Regulators at the Federal Railroad Administration say they are tracking the changes and that the data so far does not show the new operating model is unsafe. But unions counter that with the stakes so high any time a train derails, the new system is risky.

May 16, 2021 LONDON (AP) — Travelers in England were packing their bags, bartenders were polishing their glasses and performers were warming up as Britain prepared Sunday for a major step out of lockdown — but with clouds of worry on the horizon. Excitement at the reopening of travel and hospitality vied with anxiety that a more contagious virus variant first found in India is spreading fast and could delay further plans to reopen. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to “take this next step with a heavy dose of caution.” “We are keeping the spread of the variant first identified in India under close observation and taking swift action where infection rates are rising,” he said. “I urge everyone to be cautious and take responsibility when enjoying new freedoms today in order to keep the virus at bay.”

May 16, 2021  DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As violence flares within Israel and on a day in which Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City killed at least 42 people Sunday, it was business as usual for a senior Israeli tourism official in Dubai as she promoted the country as a must-see destination for Muslim visitors. It might seem an odd proposition at an odd time given that major airlines have suspended flights to Israel amid the flare-up in violence and while the spread of coronavirus remains a threat. But at Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market, billed as the first travel and tourism event to happen in person since the global coronavirus outbreak, a small Israeli booth— tucked behind Slovenia’s— marketed the country as the “Land of Creation.” Promotional videos advertised Israel’s vegan culinary scene, its beaches and urged: “Book Your Trip Now” to Tel Aviv. And the devastating airstrikes on Gaza leading the world’s television news?

Fashion News

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