Shaggy with his wife, Rebecca Burrell, at the press conference at Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Recording artiste Orville ’Shaggy’ Burrell saysquestions raised aroundfunds held in the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation have left him feeling disheartened and at a point where he and his team will be thinking long and hard about the way forward. The artiste, speaking at a press conference inside the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew on Monday, said not only did the development leave him feeling disappointed, but it was most impactful when his nine-year-old daughter came to him and said she knew why he was going to the meeting at the hospital. “Something happened to me a little while… Rebeca (his wife) was asking why you were in a bad mood coming out; my little nine-year-old daughter comes to me and says, ‘Daddy, I know why you going to the meeting, to tell them that you didn’t steal the money.’ That lick mi heart; that’s my nine-year-old,” said Shaggy. The artiste said the development has left him thinking about the way forward with his charitable work. “In moving forward, I have to really think about this with my team. I am going to sit down with William, who has been an amazing advisor to me, Rebecca, Jackie, Sharon, just my core team, and really figure out how we move forward from this part because this was disheartening,” said Shaggy. “So when uno a write uno paper them and a say uno little things, think very carefully how uno do them, and it’s not that we didn’t have a conversation before with yuh people before we spoke before the article was published. Be careful!” urged Burrell. “And let’s not take this from what it is, whatever uno tabloid and uno deflection, and whatever a gwaan ina uno politics, (this) has nothing to do with the children of Jamaica." He was a picture of emotionas he sought to explain the delay in the hospital receiving the benefits from his Shaggy and Friends Concert which was held nearly two years ago, to aid the institution. "We have the children's hospital at heart. Everything we do with this foundation is about the children of Jamaica," Shaggy said. The funds raised from the charity concert had been earmarked to be used to put additional beds in the intensive care unit of the hospital. However, despite the handing over of a symbolic cheque for $100 million after the concert, the hospital said last week that it was yet to receive the equipment or the money that was raised from the event. "Mi neva touch nuh money," Shaggy said at the press conference. "Mi neva move nuh money. The money is there! Full transparency; that's what we are about," he said. The entertainer said the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation was waiting on the expansion of the ICU space at the hospital to facilitate the additional beds. Furthermore, he said it was never the foundation's policy to hand over funds raised directly to the hospital, but rather to meet the medical facility's needs through the purchase of items. However, he said following a commitment made by the hospital’s chairman, Kenny Benjamin, to expand the ICU through the addition of another building, the Shaggy foundation has agreed to hand over the $100 million to build and equip additional wards, among other uses.

Scott Hapgood and his wife

A Connecticut man charged in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla has declined to return to the British Caribbean territory for the latest pretrial hearing. A spokesman for Scott Hapgood says Anguillan officials have not given assurances that his client would be allowed to return home on bond. Spokesman Jamie Diaferia says there also have been death threats against Hapgood. Hapgood and his family say a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation and demanded money before attacking them. Mitchel died and Hapgood was charged with manslaughter. Elected officials including US Senator Richard Blumenthal had expressed concern about Hapgood's safety. Diaferia said Anguilla officials rejected an offer for Hapgood to appear by video link for Monday's hearing.

NCB Financial Group Limited managing director Patrick Hylton addresses journalists at an investor briefing in Kingston. (File photo)

NCB Financial Group Limited (NCBFG) posted a net profit of J$30.7 billion for the financial year ended September 30, 2019, and asset growth of 65 per cent or J$632 billion over the prior year to J$1.6 trillion. Using historic values for the Jamaican dollar vs the US dollar (US$135.16 to J$1on September 30, 2019), assets in September were US$11.83 billion. The company has grown steadily and currently servesmarketsin21 countriesacross the English and Dutch Caribbean, including Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Curacao, Aruba, St Maarten and Bonaire. The growth in the asset base at year end was primarily due to the consolidation of Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL), with total assets of J$580 billion. Abouthalf of groupassets are now outside of Jamaica. NCBFGis now battling for the position of largest financial group within the Caribbean. It is contending for the position withRepublic Financial Holding Company Limited, which acquiredthe operations of Scotiabank in seven markets this year; and GNB Financial Group Limited, which is set totake a controlling stake in FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB)via a66.73 per centof the shares in the banking group, leaving parent company CIBC with the remaining shares. Previous to the GNB/CIBC announcement on November 8, CIBC ranked second in size as a financial group in the Caribbean. It hadUS$11.5 billion in assets and market capitalization of US$2.1 billion, as at July 31, 2019. GNB, a groupwholly owned by Starmites Corporation, the financial holding company of the Gilinski Group, aims to addCIBC’s 16 Caribbean markets to its own operationin Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Panama, and Cayman Islands. GNB’sexisting assets, as reported on Friday, are valued atapproximately US$15 billion in combined assets. While up to date information is unavailable, as at September, the banking group holding the Caribbean region’s largest asset base was Republic Financial Holdings. InSeptember, RFHCsecured the approval of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to RFHL in Anguilla, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. RFHListherebyexpected to add to an asset base ofUS$12 billion. For NCB Financial group, the results were historic,with net profit attributable to stockholders at J$29.6 billion, an improvement of sixper cent or $1.6 billion over the prior year. The company leaped several regulatory hurdles to concludeacquisition of a majority stake in GHL, a major financial services group providing life, health, property and casualty insurance, coupled with pensions and asset management services. Performance was also bolstered by the divestment of a stake held inJMMB in the first quarter resulting in a $3.3 billion gain from the disposal; a$2.3 billion provisional gain on the revaluation of the associate interest in GHL following the acquisition of the majority interest in the third quarter; andthe sale of Advantage General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) at the end of the fourth quarter, realising a gain of $2.6 billion. Banking and investment activities grew - despite credit impairment provisions - by 16 per cent, or $10.3 billion, to $76.1 billion with net interest income increasing by $11.6 billion or 33 per cent. Net fee and commission income grewby 21 per cent or $3.3 billion. Customer deposits ticked past the $500 billion mark, meanwhile.Some $22billion in non-performing loans were attributed to consolidation with Clarien Bank and Guardian Holdings. Insurance results climbedby $10.6 billion to $14.4 billion with thegrowth attributed to the consolidation of GHL’s insurance activities which contributed $7.1 billion to net insurance revenues. Directorssaid in the company’s published financials thatthey are eyeing further regional expansion as a driver for further growth, applying technology and further consolidation to increase efficiencies. The company’s stockvalue has climbed 36 per cent year to date to $204 per unit as at Friday, November 8. Board members declared an interim dividend of $0.90 per ordinary stock unit. The dividend is payable on December 6, 2019 to stockholders on record as at November 22, 2019.

Fashion designers listen attentively at a Caribbean Export Development Agency workshop.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency, in cooperation with the European Union and the Caribbean Market Center is engaging fashion designers in the region in workshops intended to move them forward in their careers. In Bridgetown, Barbados, regional stylists concluded trainingthis week underthe Caribbean Fashion AcceleratorPart Two programme, subsequently followed by the International Fashion Festival (IFF), held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, where they showcased runwaydesigns. Sixteen designers from Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, StVincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago were involved in the workshop which was led bySandra Carr of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design at the University of Trinidad and Tobago who has done work with global brands, Calvin Klein and Valentino. The two-week workshop focused on brand development and refining products for the export market. Caribbean Export, in a release on the training event, said designers were required to collaborate and develop a collection to premiere at the IFF. Ahead of their runway show they received feedback and critique from fashion industry experts Sharifa Murdock, co-founder and owner ofLiberty Fairs; Ouigi Theodore, founder of theBrooklyn Circus; Danielle Cooper, a fashion influencer and Channing Hargrove, a Fashion writer forRefinery 29. Barbadian Carla Gittens and Jamaican Moses Fenell, former reality stars of the television show Mission Catwalk, produced a line called Maison de Lori et Moses. The events, which ran over two weeks, offered training in mood boards, colour, fabric and international finishing techniques.They also cut patterns, sewed and created brand packaging. Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM). It is also aiming to increase competitiveness among regional producers who export to global markets. It is currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 11thEuropean Development Fund (EDF).

(l-r) Kayla Young (Cayman Compass), Ciara Bradley, Ben Somerville, Dejea Lyons, Connor Childs, Daphne Ewing-Chow (Loop News)

Youth from the Protect Our Future environmental group at theCayman International School recently received an hour of mentorship from local journalists, on thought leadership, writing and the media industry. The journalists, Kayla Young from the Cayman Compass, James Whittaker from the Cayman Compass, and Daphne Ewing-Chow from Loop News, met with the group at the offices of the Compass on November 8, wherethey discussed the principles and demands of being a thought leader. The group was then taken for a tour of the printing press by printer, Donovan Nelson, and were invited to the studio where they created a short video shot by videographer Alvaro Landauro. The four 16 year olds,Dejea Lyons,Ciara Bradley,Ben Somerville andConnor Childs, shared the challenges of having their voices heard, given their young age and their inability to vote. Protect Our Future is astudent group of environmental advocates. The movement was started at Cayman International School and has generated buzz within the local community with their appearances on local radio stations and posts on social media. They have become well-known fortheir vocal protest against the construction of the port. “We need to redirect the priority of the port to other major local issues like the landfill or the problems at Clifton Hunter School," said Connor Childs."Wehave some of the best beaches in the world. I would hate to have this taken away." “The only reason we are standing up is because it is in the hands of those who can vote, and we can't but we are the ones who will be affected the most," saidBen Somerville. "Our voice is effective. We do know something,” saidCiara Bradley "This matters to me because I am Caymanian," said Dejea Lyons."We are not registered voters so we have to keep our ears and eyes out as much as possible so we can do as much as we can. We hope we can help craft people’s opinion."

The Loop team was been hot on the trail of the“Pirate Invasion” or Landing PageantFloat Parade which is typically the most popular event on the Pirates Week calendar andfeaturesaconvoy of decorated floats, dancing pirates and other characters in a parade through Georgetown. This year's event tookplace on November 9, and was one of the most colourful on record, withhundreds of impressive pirate costumes on display. With all due respect to the official judges, these were our favourites! Best Guy Squad Best Gal Squad Best Guyand Gal Squad Most Impressive Group Man Who EVERYONE Wanted A Selfie With Best Vehicle Best Mother and Child Costume Best Couple Best Family Best Pet Best Kid Squad Stand Out Woman Stand Out Man