International

European Union suspends all Boeing Max 8 & Max 9 flights

The European Union has grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 jets, the latest entity to do so after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people on Sunday.

That disaster came just five months after a similar Indonesian Lion Air jet plunged into the ocean, killing 189.

Prior to that move, a dozen countries suspended flights of the plane into or out of their airspace, including the United Kingdom on Monday.

A growing number of airlines are also putting a halt to flights of the new Boeing 737 Max 8, with some citing worried customers.

UK joins list of countries to ban Boeing Max 8s

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has banned the Boeing 737 MAX from operating in or over UK airspace "as a precautionary measure".

The decision comes after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people on board. It was the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max 8 model in less than five months.

Countries including China, France and Germany have also grounded the jets.

However, US officials say the aircraft are still safe to fly.

Venezuelan ferries keep coming as electrical blackout continues

With Venezuela entering its fifth day of an electrical blackout, Venezuelan ferries are operating as normal at the Cedros port. 

Around 2 pm, over 50 Venezuelans were waiting to be processed.

An Immigration source said two large vessels, fully booked, docked in Cedros on Monday. 

"A lot of vessels are registering right now for increased transportation. Due to power outrage in Venezuela, some paperwork could not be processed. We were expecting two more vessels but these could not be processed," the source added.

CARICOM leaders against politicising humanitarian aid to Venezuela

CARICOM leaders are concerned that humanitarian aid to Venezuela is being politicised. 

At the conclusion of the 30th inter-sessional meeting of the conference of heads of government of Caricom in St. Kitts, Nevis, a joint communique was issued with an official statement on the recent escalation of tensions in Venezuela. 

CARICOM reiterated its call for meaningful dialogue to bring an end to the ongoing conflict in the South American nation.  

T&T signs CARICOM Air Services Agreement

Trinidad and Tobago is now signed on to CARICOM’s Multilateral Air Services Agreement.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley signed the agreement on Wednesday, the second and final day of the 30th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in St Kitts and Nevis.

The CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement expands the scope for airlines owned by CARICOM nations to provide air services throughout the community.

PM holds bilateral talks with president of Estonia

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid have held bilateral discussions during the morning of day two of the 30th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in St Kitts and Nevis.

The talks included dialogue on Estonia’s experience as a small country leveraging technology to establish itself as a digital leader in Europe and the possibilities for collaboration to enhance Trinidad and Tobago’s e-Government initiatives.

Int'l: R. Kelly pleads not guilty to all counts of aggravated sexual abuse

R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

His attorney Steve Greenberg entered the plea for Kelly in a Chicago courtroom Monday. Greenberg also told the judge that Kelly has turned in his passport -- though the 52-year-old hasn't been able to post bail yet.

Kelly, one of the most successful R&B acts of all time, was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four victims, prosecutors said.Three of the accusers would have been underage at the time of the alleged crimes.

US Vice-President meets with Guaido amidst Venezuela unrest

US Vice President Mike Pence told the US-recognized interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, that the U.S. is behind him "100 percent".

Pence made the comment during a trilateral meeting in Bogota, Colombia with Guiado and Colombian President Ivan Duque Pence.

While in Bogota, Pence and regional leaders are expected to discuss strategy to hasten the departure of disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and how to get humanitarian aid currently piling up on the border in Brazil and Colombia into Venezuela, where supplies of food and medicine have run low.

R Kelly charged with aggravated sexual assault

An indictment has been handed down against musician R. Kelly by the Cook County State's Attorney office.

State's Attorney Kim Foxx will announce charges against Kelly at a news conference at 2 pm CT (3 pm ET), according to a release from her office.

A grand jury was convened in Cook County, Illinois, earlier this month in connection with new allegations against Kelly, two sources close to the case said.

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