Despite previous beating, Rihanna back with Chris Brown

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – It’s official: R&B diva Rihanna says she is back together with Chris Brown, who is still on probation for assaulting her in 2009, saying “It’s different now.”

“I decided it was more important for me to be happy,” Rihanna told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview published on Wednesday on its website.

“I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake,” she said of her renewed romance with singer Brown, 23, that has prompted consternation from fans and celebrity media because of their history.

“After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I’d rather just live my truth and take the backlash,” said Rihanna, 24, adding, “I can handle it.”

The couple’s reconciliation had been rumored for months, even before the pair unveiled a duet, “Nobody’s Business,” in November. That track was included on Rihanna’s latest album “Unapologetic.”

Brown pleaded guilty in 2009 to beating and punching Rihanna. He was sentenced to community service, anger management classes, given a restraining order and is still on probation.

The Barbadian singer told Oprah Winfrey in an emotional interview in August that she and Brown now had a “very close friendship,” and that she still loved him.

“When you add up the pieces from the outside, it’s not the cutest puzzle in the world,” Rihanna admitted to Rolling Stone, which hits newsstands this week with her gracing the cover above the headline, “Rihanna Crazy In Love.”

“You see us walking somewhere … and you think you know. But it’s different now. We don’t have those types of arguments anymore. We talk,” she said. “We value each other.”

But she noted that Brown is on probation with her as well, saying, “He doesn’t have the luxury of (messing) up again.”

“That’s just not an option … And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility.”

The interview was published three days after Brown’s latest dustup, which involved fellow musician Frank Ocean, over a parking space at a West Hollywood recording studio. Ocean has said he wants Brown prosecuted following the Sunday brawl.

In 2012 Rihanna was rated by Time and Forbes magazines as among the world’s and celebrity arena’s most powerful people.

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No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

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Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou

Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese container ship hit a wall of the new lane of the Panama Canal, a Canal Authority official and a local ship agent said yesterday, the third such incident since the expanded waterway opened one month ago amid design concerns.

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Little enforcement of Jamaica Tobacco Control Act douses its relevance

(Jamaica Observer) It has existed on Jamaican law books for three years now, but the one-time much heralded Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations Act 2013, seems to have virtually gone up in smoke.

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Big battle set for key Clico beachfront property in T&T

(Trinidad Guardian) Battle for No Man’s Land. That is what is shaping up on all fronts—from Government to the Clico owners of the property—as the spotlight continues to increase on one of the last pristine pieces of beachfront in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Died at hospital:
Isaiah Hospedales

T&T student killed for gold chain

(Trinidad Express) A 22-year-old man’s decision to wear a large gold chain while liming with friends on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook cost him his life early Saturday morning when he was ambushed, shot and killed for his jewelry.

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