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Janine Mendes-Franco

I am a writer and media producer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Follow me on Twitter @JanineMFranco.

Email Janine Mendes-Franco

Latest posts by Janine Mendes-Franco

From vaxxing to doxxing: The social media power of Nicki Minaj

After reporter Sharlene Rampersad pressed Minaj's relatives for an interview by implying their privacy would be more quickly respected by her local news outlet than by CNN, Minaj doxxed her.

Asking for a cousin's friend: The viral load of Nicki Minaj's vaccine misinformation tweet

The controversial tweet followed others that dealt with COVID-19 vaccination, including Minaj's announcement she would forego the Met Gala because attendance was vaccine contingent and she hadn't done “enough research.”

The origins of ‘liming’ in Trinidad and Tobago

"A most interesting ‘thread’ bringing out all kinds of intriguing prejudices (positive and negative) and biases."

Eleven years after its last devastating earthquake, an even stronger one hits Haiti

Not only was this earthquake more intense than 2010's, it was also closer to the surface, and was followed by several substantial aftershocks, prompting a tsunami alert in the region.

Prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines injured in protests over move to make vaccines ‘mandatory’

Protesters said the proposed amendments would infringe on people's rights, and accused the government of failing to engage in dialogue around the issue.

Floods take parts of Trinidad by storm

While the Met office warned that “August is likely to be wetter than usual,” no one quite expected the degree of flooding that took place.

In the face of elite tourism projects, the Barbuda Warbler isn't the only one that might lose its home

After 2017's Hurricane Irma, Barbudans were made to evacuate the island. Little did they know this would coincide with the washing away of their centuries-old communal land rights.

Bermudians are ‘bursting with pride’ as triathlete Flora Duffy brings home the country's first Olympic gold

Duffy completed the course a full minute and 14 seconds ahead of her closest competitor for a convincing win—and Bermudians cannot contain their elation!

CARICOM bristles at international community's slight as Haiti installs a new prime minister

An international Core Group's call for Jovenel Moïse's prime ministerial nominee to form a “consensual and inclusive government” struck a sour note with CARICOM, but he's been installed, anyway.

‘Ring de bell’: Brother Resistance, who mainstreamed Trinidad & Tobago's rapso music, has died

"It's a long, long time now we fighting for freedom […] I come with my bell just to second the motion, rock the rapso riddum.”

Developers say the reef at St. Vincent's Indian Bay is dead. These photos say otherwise

"I have witnessed coral regrowing in key spots throughout the bay. Imagine what's possible if we put some real, intentional effort into it; an artificial reef is not the solution."

Will President Moïse's assassination bring stability or unleash even more chaos in Haiti?

Moïse's killing comes just five months after the speech in which he claimed his political invincibility, making him the first sitting president to be assassinated in Haiti’s modern political history.

Elsa, the first major storm of 2021's hurricane season, sweeps across the Caribbean

With flash flooding, felled trees, and damage to homes and buildings, Elsa announces this year's hurricane season with unwelcome fanfare.

Was Michael B. Jordan's ‘J'ouvert’ rum cultural appropriation or a missed opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago?

While Jordan may have intended to pay homage to the roots of struggle from which the joyous festival emerged, much seemed to have been lost in translation.

Trinidad & Tobago marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, even as some seniors struggle at vaccine centres

The country's president advocated for the protection of the elderly, saying that their recent treatment at health centres is a "less than subtle form of elder abuse."

Vaccine hesitancy in smaller Caribbean islands benefits larger neighbours with high COVID-19 rates

Rather than have vaccine doses expire, regional governments have been donating part of their allocations to larger Caribbean Community (CARICOM) neighbours who need them.

Barbados’ prime minister chastises musicians for violent lyrics; artists defend freedom of expression

Prime Minister Mia Mottley dismissed the “artistic license” defence by noting that some people in Barbadian society lack the maturity required to not interpret the musical message literally.

Diversity is key: Speaking with Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, winner of the 2021 World Food Prize

"Immediate actions are needed as the numbers of those who are becoming malnourished and do not have access to nourishing foods are growing rapidly."

Sustainable nutrition: Speaking with Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, winner of the 2021 World Food Prize

"I hope this award will give me a platform to change the way we look at [and] work with food systems — moving the narrative from ‘just feeding’ to ‘nourishing.’"

‘We have to find something in ourselves': Vincentian photographer Nadia Huggins on the fallout of La Soufrière

"Food security and architecture; to me, they're the most interesting aspect of this whole eruption."

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