Reggae Sumfest 2018

April 2015 Archives

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) - South African police said Tuesday they had arrested three people for the rape and murder of an 86-year-old nun of Austrian origin nearly two weeks ago.

Sister Gertrud Tiefenbacher, from the Sacred Heart Home Convent in the village of Ixopo, southwest of Durban, was found murdered in her room after being suffocated with a towel, and her hands tied with an electric typewriter cord.

Police said the three male suspects, aged between 25 and 35, would appear in a local magistrate's court on Wednesday on murder, robbery and rape charges.

"They were found in possession of some of the stolen property which were positively identified as property belonging to the victim," police said in a statement.

"It is alleged that foreign currency had been taken from Tiefebacher's room. It is also suspected that the victim was raped before she was killed."

Austrian-born Tiefenbacher was buried on Monday in Ixopo after a church service at Sacred Heart, where she worked as a school secretary and administration officer for 40 years.

Her family in Austria were unable to attend the funeral, according to a report by News 24.

The service was attended by fellow sisters and former pupils.

The killing shocked the small village, which was the setting for South African author Alan Paton's novel "Cry the Beloved Country".

"We still cannot believe she is gone but she is in the Lord's hands now. She did not deserve to die this way," one nun told News 24.

Tiefebacher moved to South Africa 50 years ago to work for the Roman Catholic Church.





Reggae Sumfest 2018

sean-paul-photo-6.jpgGrammy-winning international Dancehall star Sean Paul gave a blazing performance last Thursday inside the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. Fans saw the chart topping artiste deliver a fast paced set with new releases including a sample of his recently released Full Speed Riddim.

"Much love goes out to my DC fans. Dutty Blaze was great and blazing! It is the US Capital so I had to go Full Speed with a capital performance for the fans, who certainly played their part by allowing me to feed off their energy," said Sean Paul.

Sean Paul's Washington performance comes days after a sold-out performance in the Kingdom of Bahrain where he also blazed the stage at Klub 360. The performance coincided with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, serving as a pre-race spectacle to the Formula 1 event.

The Full Frequency artiste delivered a stellar, high energy set with hits from his lengthy catalogue which kept patrons in high gear as they anticipated the F1 Grand Prix series race. Sean Paul's latest work, the Full Speed Riddim was perfect for setting the stage for another clash between top F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The international star and his team also took time out to venture to the track where they were entertained by the Formula 1 drivers during the preliminary rounds.





Spragga Benz embarks on Shotta Culture tour

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spragga-benz.jpgThis summer the dancehall icon Spragga Benz will be igniting stages around the world as he returns to Asia and Europe to present the "Shotta Culture Tour." The promotional tour will include a series of performances spanning from clubs to festivals including the Reggae Jam Festival in Germany and Reggae Geel in Belgium.

The tour will also feature special performances from Amlak Redsquare who is well known for spreading conscious lyrics and a revolutionary feel to reggae lovers near and far. Supporters can look forward to a well-crafted tour with a real reggae and dancehall vibe on one stage.

Right at the heels of an impressive showcase featuring Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Jo Mersa Marley and Kymani Marley, Spragga Benz continues to keep busy with a steady flow of performances and solid collaborations. With the recent debut of the "Back Bite Riddim" and a slew of new music, fans can count on a bunch of new material from Spragga Benz along with some old faithfuls to keep the crowds entertained.

When asked, "What is Shotta Culture?" Spragga Benz stated, "It is the culture that I live, the culture that I am from. I call [it] Shotta Culture because it represents freedom of expression, quality and standing up for what you believe in."

The "Shotta Culture Tour" starts out in Japan covering several cities throughout the country before heading to Germany and then to Belgium.





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aidonia-photo-3.jpgSix women were arrested on Saturday following the release of a video of them performing dance routine that just happened to involve some twerking and just happened to be right in front of some WWII monuments in southern Russia. Welp.

The women will serve between 10-15 days in jail for their dancing, the charge being "petty hooliganism."

According to one report in a Jamaican newspaper, t he women were dancing to dancehall artiste Aidonia's song, Touch You Tonight.





dexta-daps.jpgPopular dancehall artiste Dexta Daps was once again the topic of discussion yesterday. However, this time, it was not for his hit-making abilities.

The artiste was involved in a tussle with police officers at the Sangter International Airport in Montego-Bay.

According to reports, the artiste parked his car in a restricted area and was accosted by the police. This resulted in a verbal altercation, which then became physical.

In a video, which is being circulated by social media, a crowd gathered outside the airport as several officers attempted to put handcuffs on him. They were however met with resistance, as he refused to be placed under arrest without a valid reason.

One officer grabbed him by his waistband, while they struggled to place him in the back of a waiting police car. Dexta Daps could be heard asking why he was being arrested, several times throughout the video.

At one point, a fan of the artiste attempted to wipe the sweat off his face during the tussle."Wha me do fi get arrest? Me have the right to know whe unu a lock me up fah ..." were some of the words uttered by the 7-11 singer.

After more heated exchanges, including several expletives, he agreed to go with the officers, but not in the car. Up until news time, it was not clear whether he had been arrested or even charged.

When contacted, a member of his management team told THE STAR that there was an incident, but that he was working to resolve it.





BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) - An elderly widow who authorities say was among dozens of victims of a Jamaican lottery scam told jurors in federal court she lost about $300,000 and borrowed against her insurance policy with the hopes of collecting $19 million to help her family.

Edna Schmeets, 86, testified Monday in the trial of Sanjay Williams, one of 32 defendants charged in a global case that authorities say involves at least 72 victims, most of them elderly. Several people have pleaded guilty and 14 defendants are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, is the first person to go to trial.

Williams, who is from Jamaica but was arrested when he flew into North Carolina, came into court wearing orange prison clothes and carrying two garbage bags that appeared to contain documents and books. After trial recessed for the day, he asked US District Judge Daniel Hovland if he could have a laptop at his desk Tuesday to review DVDs. Hovland agreed.

Schmeets calmly recounted a series of phone calls from scammers who wanted "another check and another check and another check" from her in order to cover taxes and fees for the purported prize. She said she eventually became suspicious of the lottery, but by that time had emptied her savings account.

"I was feeling pretty bad because they said, 'Absolutely don't tell anybody about this,' until I got the $19 million," she said.

One of the banks contacted Schmeets' children about big checks she was writing to Shannon O'Connor in Florida, and eventually the case reached the FBI after the family filed a complaint. FBI Agent Frank Gasper testified Monday he travelled to Florida to interview and arrest O'Connor, and that opened the door to the wide-ranging case.

Prosecutor Nick Chase said in his opening statement that Williams sold lists of potential victims to scammers, known as "lead lists" or "sucker lists." Some of them were on Williams' website gamblersleads.com, Chase said.

Schmeets, whose husband died in 2010, said she was first contacted in the fall of 2011 by someone who identified himself as Newton Bennett. Authorities say she was the first victim in the scam.

"Edna Schmeets was very excited. She thought it was a great opportunity to help her children and grandchildren," Chase said. "But there was no prize."

Defense attorney Charlie Stock told jurors that a lot of people accused in the scam used fake names and IDs and said they are not credible witnesses in the case.

"How do you believe any of them?" he asked.

O'Connor has pleaded guilty.

One of the defendants charged in the case is a prominent Jamaican disc jockey. Deon-ville O'Hara, also known as ZJ Wah Wa, has pleaded guilty.





Clansman boss Tesha Miller's brother killed

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tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgThe brother of incarcerated Clansman gang boss Tesha Miller is among four murder victims in the old capital of Spanish Town between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Police have ramped up their efforts to keep a lid on the escalating violence between former cronies of the notorious gang that has been imploding for more than a year. The communities of Quarry Hill, Dela Vega City and Lakes Pen have been saturated with cops.

The dead man has been identified as Tashoy Miller.

Police report that they were called to a scene after loud explosions were heard. When they arrived, Miller's crumpled body was found lying in its own blood in front of a business establishment. The incident happened minutes after 8:00 am on Monday.

Members of the Clansman gang have long been at odds over leadership of the once organised criminal outfit and a number of lives have been lost. At least three of Tesha Miller's siblings have been killed in the conflict.

On Sunday evening, 30-year-old Lucien Simpson, otherwise called Kevin, of Dempshire Pen in Spanish Town, was slaughtered. Another man was also injured. Simpson and the injured man were reportedly among a group of persons when two gunmen pounced and opened fire. Both were taken to hospital where Simpson was pronounced dead and the other man admitted.

The other murdered persons were killed in spate incidents in Portmore.

A man, who is yet to be identified was shot and killed in Gregory Park. The body was clad in a black sweater, white short pants, and a pair of blue and white Nike slippers. The police say he is about five-feet-six-inches long.

Nineteen-year-old Ackeen Glanville of Confidence Avenue in Mandeville, Manchester, was shot dead by unknown assailants at Port Henderson Road.





No evidence that Jamaican teen was ISIS recruit

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe police have confirmed that their investigations have uncovered evidence that the 15 year old St. Mary boy held two weeks ago was being recruited by the terrorist group ISIS.

However, in a statement on Sunday, the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) said the teenager's actions had aroused suspicion.

It said the matter was triggered by peculiarities concerning the boy's travel arrangements.Including the fact that he was a first time traveler, was traveling as an unaccompanied minor on a trip that would require international connections and using a route that has become the focus of security concerns in the region.

The route booked for the minor, would involve him traveling from Jamaica with connections in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and The Netherlands ending in Istanbul, Turkey.

The police say this route has been under international scrutiny as it is a known route for persons traveling to join ISIS.

In addition to the particular concerns about the route being traveled, investigators said there were other issues that elicited the focus of intelligence efforts.

These include: the claim that the student would be staying at a particular hotel in Istanbul although there was no hotel in the name provided, there was no evidence his grandmother would be traveling to Turkey despite the boy's claim and the inability of family members to assist the police in clearing up several of the anomalies that emerged during the investigation.

As the probe continues, the police are giving the assurance that extreme care will be taken to avoid any infringement of individuals' freedom of religion. On Sunday, it was reported that lawyers for the 15 year old boy are to sue the State.They will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages for false arrest and defamation of character.





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A post mortem examination conducted on the body of 12-year-old Jamelia Johnson has concluded that she was not pregnant. The police are also awaiting the results of tests conducted on the child to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted.

Jamelia's body was found in bushes at Riversdale in St Catherine last week, two days after she was reported missing. Irate residents of the community torched the house of one of her relatives and blamed them for her untimely demise. The police were forced to escort her relatives from the area for their own protection.

A man who was taken into custody in connection with her murder has been released while police in the parish interrogated her mother on Friday.





unbroken-element-i-talented-i-gifted-pic.jpgConfident of the potential that exists to normalise the business of reggae music to ensure its profitability and eager to strip away the multiple layers of ignorance, while working with exciting new talent, the architects of Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment are ready, willing and able to rock the musical boat. Comprising financial whiz kid, Rohan Silvera (C.E.O), producer extraordinaire and multi-instrumentalist, Clive Hunt; marketing specialist, Tyehimba Kafele, and company secretary Elaine Stewart, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment is a full service record company zeroing in on all the needs of the artists who they represent. Although this entity is new on the scene, the individual and combined expertise and experience of this visionary team, makes the word 'new' something of a misnomer.

Some of the goals and objectives of the Company is to build artists with entrepreneurial skills; offer guidance and sound advice in regards to production, performance, branding, marketing, merchandising; shed much-needed light on blurred areas such as publishing and rights and generally show reggae artists how to further monetize their careers.

Acknowledging that partner Clive Hunt is respected as a super producer, Caribbean Rockaz will also show to the world that Mr. Hunt possesses a vast wealth of knowledge about the intricate business of music publishing and licensing deals and he is looking forward to imparting this knowledge to the artists who come on board. "There definitely needs to be more record companies in Jamaica offering full service to the artists with whom they work and we envision Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment as game-changers in the ever evolving musical landscape," says Tyehimba Kafele. She adds: "In this era Record Labels continue to sign 360 contracts with artists and many of our reggae/dancehall acts don't fully understand the implications of such contracts."

Kafele brings her usual passion, intensity and high standards to this venture, even while voicing her frustration about the local overtone that "things don't work like that in Jamaica" whenever a discussion about the importance of business models in music arises. "It's as if there is the rest of the world and then there is Jamaica. That is not so, Reggae music can follow the worldwide model and be more profitable, just like any other genres and Caribbean Rockaz intends to move forward based on international best practices. This is not about playing around in a fish bowl; it's all about swimming in the ocean," she declares.

However, Kafele is upbeat that despite the challenges, there has been genuine support and encouragement from those persons in the music industry who shares their vision. Already, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment has signed its first act, a brand new group out of Spanish Town which goes by the name Rockaz Elements. The core members include siblings I-Talented (Alex Taffe) and I-Gifted (Ainsworth Taffe) and their childhood friend Unbroken Element (Raymond Dawkins), all of whom grew up in the church, where they honed their skills. A multi-talented outfit whose skills include singing, song-writing, production and playing instruments, Rockaz Elements has been in development for eight years preparing for this momentous journey. Their debut single, Always Be Burning, a timely marijuana expose, will be officially released this month, and the accompanying music video has already been packaged. "We are really excited about working with Rockaz Elements. What we have seen them create with little is inspiring and we look forward to playing an integral role in their artistic development," stated CEO Rohan Silvera.

While Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment prefers to work with new acts, they also welcome on board established artists who do not fit into the stereotypical mode. "First and foremost, we have a goal to build careers that are manageable. We have zero tolerance for loose cannons. Reggae music has a long way to go and we are aware of the challenges of infusing a level of discipline and structure, but we have a workable model. Reggae music has never been dead and will never die", Silvera continues.

With that being said, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment is ready to claim their place in the global development of this music which is acknowledged as the heartbeat of the people.

CAPTION: Members of the group, Rockaz Element (Pic called Unbroken element)





Lil Wayne's tour bus shot at

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lil-wayne-photo-3.jpgLil Wayne's two tour buses came under gunfire early Sunday morning in Atlanta, Georgia, with local cops confirming that the vehicles were shot 'multiple times.'

Witnesses reported the gunfire erupted from two passing cars as they left the Compound night club. No one was injured in the incident.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy said officers were called to the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Peachtree Road at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday 'regarding someone shooting at a bus that Lil Wayne was on.' 'Witnesses could only provide a limited description of the suspect vehicles,' Espy said. 'They were described as two white vehicles, possibly a Corvette-style vehicle and an SUV.'

The rapper performed Saturday night at the Compound club and the shots rang out minutes after the buses left the nightclub and were traveling on Interstate 285.

TMZ reported Weezy and a few other Young Money execs and artists, including Lil Twist and Super Hood, were on board at least one of the buses at the time of the shooting.

Right now, law enforcement says they have no suspects in the shooting.





nicki-minaj-flashes-ring.jpgNicki Minaj flashed her huge engagement ring on Saturday in New York City and used Instagram to shoot down rumors of a rift with Beyonce.

The 32-year-old singer showed the gigantic heart-shaped ring - purportedly from her 27-year-old hip hop artist Meek Mill - while making her way through JFK International Airport on Saturday.

The Super Bass singer wore a white blouse with black ripped trousers and cheetah-print high-heeled boots.

Nicki also posted fan art on Instagram in the form of a drawing showing her and Beyonce earlier this month at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California.

The drawing showed the two superstars serenely reclining next to each other with drinks nearby.

'Didn't post pics from that night but I love this sketch of me and Bey at Coachella. You are freaking incredible @ebonyt, it really sums up how we were feeling that day...super free & chill,' she wrote in the caption for her more than 20 million followers on Instagram.

Nicki and 33-year-old Beyonce stood together on the side of a Coachella stage as they watched Drake perform at the outdoor festival.





Aarhus Reggae Festival artist lineup announced

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aarhus-reggae-festival-natty-king.jpgOn June 19th and 20th Reggae and Dancehall lovers in Aarhus, Denmark will experience the city's first ever two day Reggae festival. The event will take place at V58 (on the 19th) and Voxhall Entertainment Center (on the 20th).

As this is the first festival of this kind to be held in Aarhus, the promoters are being very careful as they are trying to select artists that they believe will get the event off to a good start. So far they have booked Natty King (from Jamaica), Etzia (from Sweden), Alpheus (from the UK), Empress Black Omolo (from Kenya), Lise Ranks (from Denmark), Pops Jabu (from Zimbabwe), Slo Down, Total Hip Replacement and Mwakenya (from Denmark). A lot more artistes will be added over the coming weeks.

Maria Jackson Entertainment is the official media/marketing company for the Aarhus Reggae Festival. All media inquiries regarding this event should be directed to mariajacksonent@gmail.com





Sizzla relocates to Zimbabwe; opens new studio

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sizzla-photo-6.jpgReggae artiste Sizzla has thrown in the towel on Jamaica and relocated to Zimbabwe, this after being given a farm for performing at President Robert Mugabe's 86th birthday celebrations in February.

"I am here to stay, Zimbabwe is home. I have received tremendous welcome," Sizzla reportedly told the state-owned Sunday Mail weekly newspaper. According to newzimbabwe.com, Sizzla's publicist Olimatta Taal confirmed that rather than pay the artiste in cash for performing at President Mugabe's birthday bash, Zanu-PF handed the Jamaican a farm located close to the town of Chegutu.

"Instead of giving him cash (for his performance) they gave him land. It is very honourable that he would take land instead of cash," Taal was quoted as saying.

Taal also stated that his Zimbabwe move had nothing to do with allegations that he was on the run from Jamaican authorities for gun crimes allegedly committed less than a month before President Mugabe's party.

Sizzla has reportedly also been granted a work permit and was working to consolidate business enterprises he has established locally to complement his singing profession. The singer said he plans to set up agro-industries on his farm to help local youths under his Jamaican social responsibility banner and has also made enquiries about investing in the local textile sector.

Sizzla has since set up a recording studio in the plush northern Harare suburb of Borrowdale where he resides and is working with local reggae groups such as Transit Crew to put together his debut album on Zimbabwean soil.





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Nick Cannon, host of America's Got Talent, has been keeping the information hush hush surrounding his movie project, King of the Dancehall.

However, reports are that Beenie Man, widely regarded as the 'King of the Dancehall' in entertainment circles, will do a performance in the movie, and he may also land a cameo role.

"Beenie Man will be performing a song in the movie but we have been approached for him to actually be cast in the film and have a speaking role. Beenie is definitely interested in being part of the film, after all he is the King of the Dancehall," Rohan 'Blue' Smith said.

Since last December, Nick Cannon has frequented the island doing castings as well as undergoing dance training for the upcoming movie. Several artistes which span dancehall, rap and R and B, will be making cameo appearances.

Big names such as international rap superstar Busta Rymes have been spotted on the island this week. The rapper, who has Jamaican roots, was featured on Instagram posing for a picture with well known wardrobe personnel, Dexter '3D' Pottinger. Canadian/Jamaican singer Kreesha Turner, who is seen posed on the back of a bike sprayed in the Jamaican colours, is also a lead in the film. Turner is signed to Cannon's Ncredible label.





kern-spencer-daughter.jpgKern Spencer's Following The Spencers premiered Saturday at 10.30 pm on CVMTV.

The show, which is produced by Super K Studios in association with BOJTV, will showcase the Caribbean lifestyle through the eyes of a family that is involved in TV production. Kern Spencer said the idea came about after several persons asked him to write a book about his journeys and struggles in life.

"Since the encouragement to write a book started, I kept jotting down key points to start the book. Then I realized that our company had so much video and audio footage, which reflected Caribbean lifestyle, that was going to waste, so I said to myself, why not do a reality TV show," said Spencer.

A former junior minister in the People's National Party government, Spencer has had his image stained by allegations of corruption. He was jailed for benefiting improperly under the Cuban light bulb programme, but after six years before the courts, he was freed. Spencer said he will not be held hostage by the past. He said there is a demand for programmes like his and he will be seeking to capitalise on the opportunities.

"Families such as the Kardashians are doing it and making millions of dollars and are creating employment for persons," he said.

"The Caribbean, and in particular Jamaica, has so much that could excite viewers from all over the world," said Spencer, while adding that the production aspect of the reality TV Show will also bring about significant employment for persons involved in the industry, ranging from script writers actors, producers, camera men, editors and publicists.





jamaica-win-at-penn-relays.jpgJamaica's senior athletes, college students and high school boys came up big as the curtains came down on the 121st staging of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

The senior athletes copped 2 USA vs Rest of the World titles while the country's top high school boys and colleges including Calabar, St. Elizabeth Technical and the University of Technology secured Championship of America titles.

Jamaica's 4×100 meters team of Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, Schillonie Calvert and Nathasha Morrison captured the 4×100 meters for a third year in a row, winning in 43.70 seconds.

The 4×400 meters team of Christine Day, Patricia Hall, Anastacia Le-Roy and Stephanie McPherson fended off the Americans to win in 3:26.58 seconds. The men's 4×100 meters team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Jason Livermore and Asafa Powell had to settle for silver however after clocking 38.88 seconds to finish behind a USA Red team featuring Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isiah Young and Ryan Bailey (38.68 seconds).

Jamaica finished second behind the USA in both men and women 4×200 meters logging times of 1 minute 21.45 and 1 minute 31.97 seconds respectively.

Meanwhile World Junior 200m bronze medallist Michael O'Hara helped Calabar to the High School Boys' 4×100 Championship of America title. The Calabar quartet of Zandre Blake, O'Hara, Jullane Walker and Seanie Selvin covered the Franklin Field Stadium track in 39.63.

Jamaica took the top four spots with St. Jago 39.89 (Raheem Chambers, Chad Walker, Nathon Allen, Ivan Henry), St. George's College 40.17 (Amoy Brown, Jelani Walker, Akeemo Minott, Joshua Darby) and St. Elizabeth Technical 40.42 (Rohan Cole, Okeen Williams, Hujaye Cornwall, Robin Black).

Clayton Brown, Odaine Lewis and Jullanie Walker were also High School Boys Championship of America winners on Saturday's final day. Brown of Jamaica College (JC) cleared 2.09m to take the boys' high jump title inside the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia. He beat Lushane Wilson of St. Jago 2.06m. In the boys' long jump, Walker and Travis Riley gave Calabar 1-2 with 7.45m and 7.34m respectively.

Odaine Lewis of Cornwall College topped the boys' triple jump with 15.37. JC's Obrien Wasome took second with 15.28m and Campion College's Jordan Scott, third with 15.19m.





pj-patterson.jpgNew York - Western Union and GraceKennedy will hold their annual town hall series from May 4th to May 8th, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York; Toronto Canada and Miramar, Florida under the theme, "The Caribbean Diaspora - Borderless Possibilities." The keynote speaker for this year's series is the P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and President of Heis Consults Ltd.

"These forums are very important to us as they provide an excellent opportunity to engage the Caribbean diaspora - not just to network with our customers and get their feedback but also importantly, to encourage their participation in the discussion about issues that are critical to their home countries. Their contribution is very valuable as we explore ways to continue the development and promotion of the Caribbean while improving the quality of lives for those who live within the region," said Michelle Allen, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Money Services.

This year's discussion topics include "Corporate social responsibility - changing lives, cultivating generations through educational investment." Western Union and GraceKennedy will also share information on their commitment to education and support of the diaspora.

Each session will include a question and answer segment following the keynote speaker's presentation. Please visit www.networkcaribbean.ca for more details and to register.





Police and ministers of religion met with members of the Drumilly community in St. Ann Saturday morning within hours of a double murder in the deep rural district.

Dead are 24 year old Demar Smith, also called Chunky, a bus conductor of Drumilly, and his girlfriend 15-year-old Amoya Brown, of Good Hope, Clarendon. The two were chopped to death just before day break at Smith's house.

Members of the community immediately went in search of a man, who like Smith, was a tenant at the house.

Up to news time, there was no information on his whereabouts, but police have asked the man who they have not named, to make contact with the police.

In the meantime, Smith's sister, Sidonie Smith, was distraught and said her brother was killed for nothing at all. She said there seemed to be a dispute over electricity, which she said had been cut off to a section of the house, her brother occupied. Even as community members searched for the alleged killer, the St. Ann police community safety and security branch, led by Sgt. Lorna West-Small took a team to the scene for grief counselling.

Among them were Inspector in charge of Claremont Velrose Wilson, Methodist Minister Racquel Clemmings and Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Bancroft Lopez. The community members, including siblings of Smith, were addressed by the police who asked for their cooperation.

The numbers of senior police officers for St. Ann were given out for easy reach by community members. The church leaders also prayed with the community members.





Kenny Benjamin's Serenity Farms up for sale

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The Kenny Benjamin-led Guardsman Group has put its recreational property in St Catherine up for sale.

Serenity Farms, located in Bushy Park, St. Catherine was once marketed as a tourist destination for families looking to get away from the city to experience nature and a relaxing retreat.

The property consists of flat farmland with development potential with access to water, electricity and includes several buildings, ponds and a house.





ian-lyn.jpgWanted for questioning by the Fraud Squad, Ian Lyn, the former director of Carmax Jamaica Limited, has broken his silence, declaring that he is not a thief, even as the cops say allegations of impropriety against the company he formerly ran has climbed to $160 million.

"First of all, let's make it clear that I am not a director of Carmax, since last October. I haven't been the head of operations for six months. Second, I am not a thief, because that is diametrically opposed to who I am. And third, the allegations are far from the truth," Lyn told The Sunday Gleaner by telephone from an undisclosed location overseas.

According to Lyn, he was never the majority shareholder in the company which traded in used cars. He added that he did not flee Jamaica to avoid possible fraud charges, similar to those levelled against Daren Blake, a director in Carmax.

"I am out of the country on business. I am many things, but I am not a thief. It is against who I am and everything that I strive to do for all the years of my business life," reiterated Lyn, a former president of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers' Association.

However, Lyn refused to say when he would be returning to Jamaica to face the music, following a plea from the Fraud Squad for him to turn himself in for questioning. Instead, the car dealer referred our news team to his lawyer, Shantez Stewart. The attorney later said he is taking instructions from his client and could not say when Lyn will make himself available to the cops.

"My client advised me to go to the Fraud Squad and present certain information, which I did. Having done that, we will now allow all the processes of the judicial system to proceed," said Stewart.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has already indicated that the police are considering their options, following Lyn's failure to turn himself in.

Last week, auto broker Roderick Byles obtained a Supreme Court order which placed Carmax into receivership. The assets of Blake and Lyn, who holds an American passport, were also placed into receivership.





asafa-and-kaci.jpgFrom New York to New Zealand there's probably at least one Jamaican everywhere on the globe at any given point in time.

Well, two of yard's most recognisable faces brought some Jamaican sunshine to chilly Philadelphia. Kaci Fennell and Asafa Powell linked up for an appearance on Fox News, where the duo spoke about the upcoming Penn Relays.

"?#?Yaadies? link up in Philadelphia, for Fox News and talking about the ?#?PennRelays? that are coming up," the reigning Miss Universe captioned a photo of the two of them on social media.

Asafa also took to social media to announce the yardie link up.

"Just did a great interview with Alex and Mike and Kaci Fennell on @fox29 #teamjamaica Penn Relays #gooddayphilly #myfox29philly," said the track star on Instagram.

Asafa is back on the team representing Jamaica at the Penn Relays this year.

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konshens-photo-4.jpgDancehall artiste Konshens is definitely staying busy as he continues his college pop up campaign as he visits another College in the New York area unannounced to the students, while currently promoting his soon-to-be-released single, 'Physically Fit'.

During his promotion, Konshens visited several radio stations and media outlets discussing what he is up to now. Most recently, Konshens released a video for his single, Winning, which is receiving great feedback and is now featured on MTV Iggy.

MTV Iggy is a division of Viacom Media Networks, focused on bringing cutting-edge global music and pop culture to the US. The music video for Winning, which is directed by RD Studios, gives viewers an innovative form of visuals while bringing the importance of the lyrics through with a greater impact. Known for his hit single Winner, Konshens sends a similar message several years later, letting fans know he's still Winning, still hungry and "still focused".

The single is currently garnering much airplay and is being considered as another anthem for Konshens and a message many demographics can relate to. "Winning, is a single that you can play in any club, whether hip hop, latino, Caribbean or Caucasian, everyone knows the feeling of being hated on, the struggle to win and the feeling of winning," says Power 105.1 DJ Norie.





Promoter denies sex at dance

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A video showing a half-naked woman and a man attempting to have sex at the popular Nipples Tuesdays dance recently have been making the rounds on social media.

The video shows the man wearing a condom and having difficulty getting his member up. He is then assisted by the woman in stroking it, before she takes off her undergarment. She then jumps into his arms and they fall to the ground. The video clip then ends.

The large crowd which gathered around the two while the music was being played were amused by the young man who tried repeatedly had no 'nature'. Some encouraged the woman, who was visibly upset, to start him up with oral sex. There were more than 10 camera phones rolling.

Attempting to bring clarity to the incident, promoter Mark Ward said the two did not have sex. He added that the incident happened after the party, now known as Magnum Way Up Tuesdays.

"It is after the party had finished in the morning. I had to get someone to take her home. I saw her in the party and she was there doing her thing. I told her she could not be there doing that," he said.

According to Ward nothing happened because she had been prevented from carrying out her actions.

"Nothing happened. People didn't allow her to do whatsoever she wanted to do," he said. Ward also claimed his event has a strict rule in which live sex cannot happen.

"It is not a go-go club. If people try to do that we break it up," he pointed out.





ribbiz-b-day-photo-1.jpgThere is no better way to celebrate one's birthday than with the three magic ingredients: good food, good friends and good vibes.

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On Thursday night, all three of the magic ingredients came together inside Ribbiz Ultra Lounge as Brian 'Ribbie' Chung celebrated his birthday.The lounge was filled to capacity, with a crowd that spilled over into the Acropolis gaming lounge.

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Nonetheless the packed lounge was "Turnt-all-the-way-up" with music by DJ Audley and DJ Kamal Bankay, who kept the good tunes coming all night long to a party-crowd that grooved well into the wee hours Friday morning.

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The birthday man himself spent the evening on the floor greeting patrons and dancing up a storm, occasionally taking over the DJ booth showing off his skills at mixing.

Not only did Chung show he had some talent at selecting the tunes, but he also showed off his birthday haircut, a pink fro-hawk. Talk about living it up on his birthday. Check out all the fun moments from Ribbie's party in the slider below.





Lambert Brown lashes out at critics

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lambert-brown.jpgOne of the persons re-appointed to the National Housing Trust, NHT, Board has come out swinging amid calls that he and three previous members should not remain Directors of the entity.

Trade unionist Lambert Brown says the arguments presented for him and the three Directors to be removed from the Housing Trust Board are baseless. Mr. Brown last night declared that he will remain a Director. He said a request was made and he agreed to stay on. He noted that the audit did not speak to corruption or the incompetence of the members.

Brown, Percival Latouche, Robert Buddan and Office of the Prime Minister representative Sonia Hyman have been retained on the new Board, which will be led by former Cabinet Secretary Dr. Carlton Davis.

And at least one civil society advocate is taking issue with the reappointment of the four NHT Directors. Carol Narcisse says the Prime Minister missed an opportunity to address the negative perception of the entity's Board.

She described the re-appointments as astounding. She said in the wake of the public outcry and auditor general's report she does not understand how the Prime Minister re-appointed those members.





Dr Carlton Davis new NHT chairman

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carlton-davis.jpgDr. Carlton Davis, a former Cabinet Secretary, is the new Chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT), replacing Easton Douglas.

Daisy Coke, an actuary, is Deputy Chairman.

This is the second occasion that Dr. Davis will be serving as NHT Chairman, having done so in the early 1990s.

Some other members of the NHT's new Board are Robert Buddan, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, Senator Lambert Brown and Lisa Harrison.

Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer made the announcement on Wednesday at a Jamaica House media briefing.





19 cable channels ordered removed

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broadcasting-commission-cordel-green.jpgSubscribers to cable television in Jamaica will see their viewing options reduced by the end of May as the Broadcasting Commission has ordered the removal of 19 channels, due to copyright breaches.

The channels to be removed, in the first instance, are Encore Black, Showtime East, Encore Family, Showtime West, Encore Love, Showtime TOO, Encore Suspense, Showtime 2, Encore WAM, Showtime Showcase, Encore Classic, Starz Comedy, Encore Drama, Starz West, Encore Mystery, Starz Kids & Family, Encore Movie Plex, Starz Multiplex, and The Movie Channel Xtra

Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Commission said the action being taken was in an effort to regularize access to these channels and ensure that "Jamaica's reputation is not sullied." It was, he said, "the natural outcome of a process, which began with a comprehensive coypright audit." Furthermore, he said, there were some rights holders "who are becoming far more aggressive in protecting their content."

Additionally, he said, "there is more content also being acquired by local television stations; there are channel owners who have invested in programmes that they themselves don't create, which are programmes from other channels that they go and purchase to make up their offerings, and we have to see about whether their content is being devalued if they are in the same market legally, competing with other channels that are in the market illegally.

Asked what might be the implications for Jamaica, should this action not be sustained, Mr. Green cited trade issues that would arise. Intellectual property rights are part of bilateral trade agreements and treaties, he said, warning that "any disregard for rights holders abroad might be reciprocated," noting that Jamaica also creates content, which must be protected.

Nine of the channels are from Encore, five from the Showtime group, four from Starz and the channel known as The Movie Channel Extra. CAPTION:Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission





12-year-old-murdered.jpgResidents of Barnes Avenue, off Maxfield Avenue in St. Andrew on Friday morning protested the beating of a 22 year old woman by a gunman earlier in the morning. The incident occurred shortly after midnight.

The young woman has been admitted to hospital.

According to the police, she was standing with friends at the intersection of Maxfield Avenue and Whitfield Avenue when a man approached them.

The man reportedly pulled a gun and dragged the young woman to an abandoned building along nearby Barnes Avenue where he attempted to sexually assault her. She resisted and was hit repeatedly in the head with the gun. The man also smashed her head against the pavement.

The police were called and she was taken to hospital.

12-y-o girl murdered; residents blame parents, burn house to the ground

The identity of the 12-year-old girl who was found dead in bushes in the Riversdale community here this morning has been released. She is Jameila Johnson, a student of the Harewood Primary School in the parish, who reportedly went missing on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education has corroborated earlier police reports, stating that Jamelia asked her grandmother for tissue paper and proceeded to the outdoor pit latrine. A three-day search was launched, ending in the discovery of the decomposed remains of the child.

Yesterday, a group of angry residents, after learning about the little girl's death, went to her family's home and set the house on fire. The child's mother and grandmother were also attacked by the mob and had to be escorted from the community by the police.The group claimed that it was neglect by the family that led to the child's death.

The ministry has since condemned the killing citing that it is "distressed at the senseless killing of the nation's children".

"We grieve with the relatives and friends of Jameila Johnson," it said in a media release Friday.

Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites has expressed sadness over the killing of Jameila. He says that guidance counsellors from the ministry's regional office will provide grief and trauma sessions to the affected students and staff.

Since the start of the year, two other young girls have suffered similar fates. Santoya Campbell, a 14-year-old Westmoreland girl went missing on January 26 and her body was found two days later stuffed in garbage bags under a bridge.

According to the grief-stricken relatives, Santoya, who was a grade eight student of Frome Technical High, did not reach school after leaving her home early the morning she went missing. Similarly, another 14-year-old girl, identified as Kayalicia Simpson of a St Thomas community was hacked to death and her mutilated body dumped metres from her house on March 3.

Police reports are that about 5:00 am that day the grade eight student went outside her house as she prepared for school. About half-an-hour later her body was found lying face down in bushes close to the one-room wooden structure in which she lived. Post-mortem reports on the 14-year-old girls later revealed that they were both pregnant at the time of their deaths.





Take Back The Mic comes to Jamaica

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tifa-no-no-no.jpgTake Back The Mic (TBTM), considered the World Cup of Hip-Hop, has been launched in Jamaica.

It is a reality competition that puts fans in the driver's seat to discover and promote the most soulful hip-hop artistes from around the globe.

TBTM has also made visits to Colombia and Brazil.

Jamaica's Tifa, Five Steez, and Italee are semifinalists in the international competition.

The finale will be held in Miami on May 4.





Nick Cannon in Jamaica filming movie

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nick-cannon-photo-1.jpgNick Cannon, movie star and host of America's Got Talent, is in Jamaica preparing for a movie shoot.

Cannon has frequented the island, doing castings as well as undergoing dance training for the upcoming movie, King of the Dancehall.

Local and International entertainers are slated to make cameo appearances.

Also in Jamaica is Jamaican roots rapper Busta Rhymes. Both Busta and Nick were spotted partying together.





st-lucia-gay-teen-facebook.jpgAuthorities in St Lucia have launched a search for a Jamaican man who they say is a person of interest in the murder of an 18-year-old male on Tuesday.

The teen, Anthony Augustin of Grand Riviere, Gros-Islet was reportedly an open homosexual; local media reported the teen went missing after leaving to meet a young male he met earlier on Facebook.

Augustin's body was fished from the Trouya Beach at around 1:30pm on Tuesday. He was found with a laceration to his throat and 56 stab wounds. A post mortem, conducted on the body yesterday, concluded that he died from hemorrhagic shock secondary to a stab wound.

No arrests have been made in connection with the murder but Police are trying to locate a St Lucia-based Jamaican man who has been identified as a person of interest in the investigation.





Carmax director denied bail

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carmax.jpgCarmax Jamaica Ltd Director Darren Blake was on Thursday denied bail in the in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court as the court felt that he would interfere with the ongoing fraud investigation.

At the same time, the court was informed that 88 people have filed complaints and the amount defrauded is now at J$162 million.

?Blake was remanded into custody until May 1.

Blake was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13, for several counts of fraudulent conversion, following reports from a number of people who allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles.





Sign bearing PJ Patterson's name stolen

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pj-patterson-prime-minister.jpgThe sign bearing the name of P.J Patterson, a former prime minister of Jamaica, on a section of Highway 2000 has been stolen.

The official renaming of that section of the Highway took place last Friday, but Stephen Shaw, Communication and Customer Service Manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) confirmed that the sign has been stolen.

He said a new sign will be erected shortly.





Shocking revelation at West Kingston Enquiry

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west-kingston-enquiry.jpgThere was a shocking revelation at the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry about what was purported to be a copy of the Jamaica Gazette Supplement dated May 13, 2010.

The document, which contained a proclamation about a State of Emergency, was previously tendered into evidence. However, Supervisor in the Gazette Department at the Jamaica Printing Services, Dempsha Thompson, said the document was fake.

He made the revelation during his examination in chief by Counsel for the Commission Simone Mayhew. He pointed out to the Commission a number of errors including inconsistent page numbering and format.

Having taken the Commission through the series of faults with the document, he was asked by Chairman

Thompson testified that the gazette produced by his office was done on May 24, 2010, which was a public holiday. He said the document for publication was delivered to the Jamaica Printing Services by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force 15 minutes after he arrived for work.

The three member panel looking into the May 2010 security forces operations during the hunt for Christopher "Dudus" Coke will be touring sections of West Kingston on Friday. The tour , scheduled to begin at 9:30am will last for approximately three hours.

A report from the Office of the Public Defender said 74 civilians and a member of the Jamaica Defence Force were killed in West Kingston during the operations.

Ellington testifies

Former Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, denied that the High Command had prior knowledge that the Government would have authorised the execution of a warrant for the arrest of Christopher Coke.

Ellington was being cross examined by attorney representing the Office of the Public Defender, Lord Anthony Gifford.

The former Commissioner testified that when the announcement was made that the authorities would be proceeding with the warrant he was not surprised.





Huge ganja find in Portland

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Portland police on Thursday seized a large quantity of ganja at Burlington in Snow Hill during an operation in the parish to clamp down on praedial larceny.

Deputy Superintendent in charge of operations at the Portland Police, Patrick Bennett, said no one was arrested, however, they will be pursuing the owner of the property.

"This is just a small step in the right direction as it relates to the reduction of praedial larceny," he said.

Bennett added that police have not received tickets to issue to persons who are in possession of more than two ounces of ganja following an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.





willie-nelson.jpgMusic legend Willie Nelson is jumping into the movement to commercialize marijuana and plans to roll out his own brand of cannabis that he intends to make "the best on the market."

The singer-songwriter announced in a statement Monday that Willie's Reserve will be grown and sold in Colorado and Washington, two states where recreational use of the drug is legal.

A release explaining Willie's Reserve says it reflects Nelson's appreciation for "the many varieties and range of the plant's qualities."

The release says the 81-year-old Nelson will collaborate with master growers to define standards for the strain.

Nelson is a longtime supporter of marijuana for personal use and has spoken of its benefits for hemp production.

He's also pushed for the end of laws criminalizing use of the drug.





luciano-photo-1.jpgGhanian dancehall artiste Mykell O'mint, aka Jupitar, has accused Jamaican reggae singer Luciano of disrespecting dancehall acts in that African country.

According to a report in ghanaweb.com, the artiste is taking issue with Luciano for his comments about dancehall artistes not having a future.

The comments were allegedly made on Ghanian radio network, Hitz FM. Luciano reportedly said that dancehall artistes tend to lose their way over time, citing dancehall acts Vybz Kartel and Tommy Lee. According to Luciano, it was reported, some countries do not give opportunities to dancehall artistes due to their bad behavior.

"Dancehall music was there long ago and I will not be the one to stop it, but make sure you don't mislead people. Reggae turn but Dancehall burn up! Don't lose your way. Don't lose your way I say," Luciano reportedly said.

But Ghanaian singer Jupitar dismissed Luciano's reasoning, adding that it is disrespectful for the Jamaican singer to come to Ghana and make those comments.





Lawyer Jade Hollis arrested

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Cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged 47-year-old Jade Hollis, an attorney-at-law of Caribbean Close, Kingston 10 with four counts of fraudulent conversion on Tuesday.

Hollis was collared at the Norman Manley International Airport upon her return to the island at about 12:30 pm, following a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions Office (DPP). Hollis was retained as a carriage of sales of a real estate company and allegedly fraudulently collected over $12 million.

She is to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, May 13. Her bail was set at $3 million with surety.





Children's home for teen terror suspect

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe lawyer representing the 16-year-old St Mary boy, suspected of trying to join terror group ISIS in the Middle East, is to appear in the Supreme Court on Wednesday to get him released from custody.

The Family Court on Tuesday ordered that the Child Development Agency house the youth in a children's home instead of a juvenile centre? in Kingston.

At the same time the judge transferred the matter to St Mary, saying she had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

This, according to a source, ?despite the police saying they had no further interest in the teen.

The teen's legal team wants him to be released in the care of his father.





norman-manley-airport.jpgThe Government has announced that five potential bidders will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal stage for the privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport.

They have been identified and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team, which has been established to supervise the privatisation process.

Making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr the Hon. Omar Davies, said the five firms are from Europe, Asia and South America.

"We take particular pleasure in the fact that two shortlisted consortiums include Jamaican partners. I have also been informed that a third is actively seeking collaboration with Jamaican firms involved in the aviation industry," the Minister noted.

Dr. Davies informed the House that bidding documents will be issued at the beginning of June, and it is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by early next year.





dudus-disguise.jpgFormer Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, said the reason why no reports were made of criminal activity in the former garrison community was because Christopher 'Dudus' Coke's criminal gang ruled with an iron fist and enforced a code of silence.

He made the disclosure during the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry on Tuesday.

"The police were prevented from investigating murders and other crimes because the gang enforced a code of silence.

"It was nearly impossible to carry out normal policing duties there," Ellington said during cross-examination from attorney representing the residents of Tivoli Gardens, Alexander Williams.





Cops make appeal to Carmax fraud victims

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carmax.jpgThe police are again appealing to members of the public who may have been defrauded by the Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC).

The appeal is renewed contrary to reports carried in a section of the media on Monday that investigators might have to consider whether to stop taking complaints.

Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited Daren Blake, was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13 for the offence Fraudulent Conversion, following reports of several persons who allegedly entrusted him to sell their motor vehicles. However, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved unsuccessful.

He appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on March 27, however the matter was postponed until Friday, May 1.

The C-TOC has intensified its probe and is appealing to possible victims to come forward and make their reports to C-TOC at 967-1389.





gyptian-reggae.jpgReggae singer, Gyptian, renowned for his silky smooth ballads, is the perfect embodiment of true Rasta love in his brand new single, Addicted To Your Love, produced by Konsequence Muzik.

Set over a soothing riddim, and tightly locked into a slick groove, the song is as compelling as it is catchy and already music critics are predicting that Addicted To Your Love will be another monster hit from the highly-touted reggae crooner.

Gyptian belts out the catchy hook and the complementing verses with the confidence and credibility for which he is known to deliver his titillating love songs. He has taken the riddim and made it his own, little wonder therefore that the producers have named the riddim after the song. And, with the exception of the single, Shotta, by Guidance, there are currently no plans to release any more songs on Addicted.

"Right now, we are focusing on these two singles," says Alberta-based producer, Tristmar Peart, CEO of Konsequence Muzik. He explained that originally the idea was to have Busy Signal on the riddim, but a friend listened to it and declared that Gyptian was the man.

"Well, it worked out perfect. Although we are new producers, Gyptian listened to the riddim, fell in love with it, and in no time he voiced this song, which we know has the potential to be a mega hit," Peart said.

Addicted To Your Love is receiving love from radio, both in Jamaica and in North America and disc jocks have been pulling it up, a sure sign that they too are addicted.

"Gyptian has done justice to the riddim and as producers we are very pleased," Peart added.





morgan-heritage-photo-1.jpgSensational roots reggae quintet, Morgan Heritage, has made quite an impressive iTunes debut at number 2 with the pre-order sales of their highly anticipated 10th studio album, Strictly Roots.

"The album has been available for pre-order on a digital platform and we also had physical copies and other album bundles on order as well for the buying public," Gramps explained. He added, "The fact that pre-order sales alone have taken us to number two on iTunes is a great indication of things to come. It is more than encouraging and we are grateful that this is happening for us as a group, especially now, and we would like to thank our fans for their unwavering support."

Strictly Roots, on their very own Cool To Be Conscious (CTBC) label, was released digitally on April 20th, 2015 and physically April 21st. The album features a wide variety of guest performers including platinum selling pop/dancehall phenomenon, Shaggy; American reggae and R&B vocalist, J Boog; third generation ambassadors from the Morgan and Marley families, Jemere Morgan and Jo Mersa Marley; reggae sensation, Chronixx; lead singer Eric Rachmany from rock, world and reggae band, Rebelution; and Bumble Bee from the American Grammy-nominated pop reggae band, SOJA.

Throughout 2015, Morgan Heritage will be touring in support of Strictly Roots, and have already embarked on their month-long tour of the United States, which kicked off in April and has seen the quintessential live reggae band enjoying near-capacity and totally sold-out venues . Among the sold-out concerts have Cactus Jacks in Phoenix, Arizona on April 17 and Los Angeles on April 18, and according to the group, "It has been sensational!"

Morgan Heritage is also pleased to announce the release of their new, free-to-download, fan community mobile application.The app is powered by TopFan, who is excited to partner with Morgan Heritage, which now has the distinction of being the first reggae band to have a next generation fan community with the company. Available on all Apple iOS and Android devices, Morgan Heritage's official mobile community enables fans to listen to their music, watch music videos, read their latest news, enter contests, buy tickets to their tour, and much more.





Bobbi Kristina off life support

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bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgThe Houston family is now changing their tune, saying Bobbi Kristina is OFF life support, but they continue to maintain there's no real hope for recovery.

The Houston family reportedly told TMZ, Bobbi Kristina is breathing without the assistance of a ventilator. They say, "According to the doctors she's breathing on her own but the trach has to stay."

But the family still maintains Bobbi Kristina has "global and irreversible brain damage and remains unresponsive."

It appears the Houston and Brown families have different ideas about how to handle the prospect of long term care ... something that is now a real possibility.





50 Cent vacations in Montego Bay

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50-cent-in-montego-bay.jpgDiamond-selling American rapper 50 Cent joins a list of celebrities who have chosen to spend their vacation in Jamaica in recent times.

The rapper/businessman, known for his album Get Rich or Die Tryin, landed in the island unannounced. However, on Saturday evening he took to his Instagram page to inform his fans that he was spending time in the island with his grandfather, who actually selected Jamaica as his place of recreation.

The rapper, who lost his mother during his formative years, is known to be very close to his grandfather and even posted a photograph on his Instagram page, in which he shared the same hotel bed with the senior citizen.

The photograph had the caption: "Come to Jamaica, my grand-father wanted to go, so we are here. He does whatever he wants to do". The controversial rapper also followed up with another post, posing with Montego Bay's mayor Glendon Harris.

For that photo, he wrote the caption: "So the mayor of Montego Bay stop by to make me feel at home. BOSS LIFE".

50 Cent and his G-Unit affiliates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo have performed in the island twice. They recently revealed in an interview that Jamaica is one of their favourite places to perform, outside of the US.

"I cannot forget Kingston, Jamaica. That's one of the realest places. A lot of rappers talk and that is cool, but Jamaica is like a tested ground, and there are not a lot of rappers from here that can walk the streets of Kingston," Young Buck said.

50 Cent has sold over 30 million albums world-wide and has won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 13 Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.

The rapper is also promoting a new beverage called EFFEN Vodka.





TV personality's nude pics a fake?

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A popular blogger and TV personality is the latest victim of a cyberattack after sexually explicit photos bearing her image were circulated on social media over the weekend.

According to media reports, unscrupulous persons have allegedly created a Twitter and Instagram account, which are being used as the platform for posting these nude photos.

On Friday, when our news team first saw one of the fake social media pages, there were only three posts made.

One of the posts was purported to be a face shot of the fashion blogger, while the other two, a faceless nude shot and a half face shot, were all captioned.

One of the captions read, "Dat wat u doing - selling u video for money to buy dress and shoes blue movie star?"

While a previous post read, "Same face, same nose don't lie."

Efforts to get a comment from the blogger proved futile and persons associated with her have said that she does not intend to respond publicly or she may be pursuing legal recourse.

However, several posts from her official Twitter account, which were seemingly made the same day the 'malicious' images were made public, appear to be referring to the situation. Meanwhile, the blogger is the latest popular female personality to have images purporting to be her circulating around the Internet.

In recent months, two dancehall artistes, Spice and Pamputae, also fell prey to similar cyberattacks.





Cops kill St Thomas wanted man

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Ricky Ricketts, who was being sought by the St Thomas police, was killed yesterday in an alleged shoot-out with members of the security forces.

It is understood that Ricketts was among ten men wanted for questioning regarding several crimes under investigation in St Thomas.

According to reports, Ricketts engaged the police in a gun battle when they attempted to apprehend him in York in the parish.

A revolver was reportedly taken from the deceased.





portia-lisa-monymusk-visit.jpgDetectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are to conduct a high level review on Monday of the evidence collected in last week's quadruple killing in Clarendon.

Head of the CIB, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, said the review will determine whether the police have evidence to link any of the two persons in custody.The two men were picked up last week following the killing of three teenagers and a 35-year-old accountant in the Monymusk Housing Scheme.

Powell said investigators have collected several statements in the case.

Concerning the policeman who was questioned in the incident, Powell said he has been cleared. The policeman's gun was also examined by investigators. Powell said the cop was not considered a suspect, but was questioned based on information received by the police.

Leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness and National Security Minister Peter Bunting visited the scene of the quadruple killing on Sunday. Holness said the police must solve the case to send a signal to criminals.

The National Security Minister urged residents to assist the police in their probe.

"Any murder is bad enough, but when you have these multiple murders, the records show that if these persons are not apprehended, the records show that they will continue to act with impunity.... we have to pay special attention to this and find the perpetrators and bring them to justice," Bunting said.

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shelly-restaurant-photo-1.jpgJamaica's Pocket Rocket, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser Price, yesterday opened her very own restaurant on the campus of the University of Technology, UTech.

Already patrons are raving about the food, t he priced and the decor and the fact that Shelly is hand-on in the restaurant.

YardFlex popped by on the opening day and here is our review: "The prices are great! Food is recommmendable! Best menu on the Utech campus! Smoked salad wrap with callaloo! Tuna melt, crispy fish, chicken salads! The cherry mint lemonade Sell Off!!I had mine made by Shelly herself!! Thumbs up."

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UWI poised to make big bucks from ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgPredictions are being made that with the University of the West Indies, Mona, now licensed to grow marijuana for research purposes, the industry should be earning nearly US$1billion in the next few years.

Executive Director of the Mona School of Business and Management, Dr. Densil Williams, argues that Jamaica can potentially reap huge rewards based on the new ganja licensing regime. Plans for the UWI include spending more than $16 million for the growing of ganja plants and the construction of greenhouses. Dr Williams gave his assessment of where Jamaica should be in another few years. He said in another 5 years we could secure 10% of the global market share amounting to over a billion US dollars.

In the meantime, Principal of the UWI Mona Campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, has outlined some of the conditions that the university intends to treat based on its cannabis research. He says once it begins taking extracts from the plant, it will target a range of diseases including hypertension, epilepsy and pain.

Professor McDonald predicts that as the clinical research progresses industry standards and practices will also evolve.

And Professor McDonald has outlined that small scale ganja farmers stand to benefit from supplying the University for its research. He gave a timeline within which the arrangements with these farmers are expected to begin. He explained that the University will be able to contract farmers under its license as well as government will be issuing licences. He estimates that after using the greenhouse approach farmers will be contracted in over a month's time.









LIME Anguilla ambassadors for New York concert

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british-dependency.jpgNew York, NY (April 14, 2015): Recently named LIME Anguilla Brand Ambassadors, British Dependency will travel to New York to perform at the launch of Caribbean Dreamers Live concert series on May 12, 2015 at Le Poison Rouge.

British Dependency fuses various genres with their three-piece ensemble, drum, guitar and bass. There's, a unique and eclectic sound appeals not only to those with a discerning musical palate but also those who are avid reggae fans. Adding to their vintage sound is a fresh take on the overall feel and look of the band which consists of Anguilla's first female bass player, Joyah along with drummer, Jaiden and lead vocalist and guitar player, Ishmael.

Pat McKay, Program Director at Sirius XM Radio, who will also serve as host of Caribbean Dreamers Live once remarked, "It's exciting to get to know the group who, at this point in their growth, already have much of the tangible - they make original music - and intangible factors - multiple-creative-skills, looks, intellect - separating them from the pack. I feel very hopeful this group represents where the music is heading so get on board!"

No strangers to the Tri-state area, fans can expect the Band to perform singles such as, "Do You This," "One," "Wisdom," "Selah," "Casket Closed," and "Small Minded People" from their debut album Finding Wisdom which was released on November 20, 2013, as well as single "Close Your Eyes" from their sophomore album The Conversation, slated for release later this year.

Caribbean Dreamers Live is a concert series that showcases the unique sound and talent of artists in a live setting. With New York, 'the city that never sleeps,' as the backdrop, concertgoers are transported to the Caribbean with live unfiltered music of the tropics in the form of Reggae, Soca, Calypso and Compa, among others. To catapult the experience globally, the concert is streamed live via www.CaribbeanOneTV.com.

The concert will also see performances by Leon and the Peoples, Trinidadian/French artist, NAILA, Dutch artist, Tasha's World, Soca artist, Jadine and reggae artist, Mr. Kool with an appearance by Ky-mani Marley.





Bolt strikes gold in Rio

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usain-wins-brazil.jpgWorld sprint king and triple world record holder Usain Bolt cruised to victory in a 100 meters sprint challenge at the Mano a' Mano in Rio de Janeiro which was his first outing over the distance this season.

Bolt did not have the best of starts, but he was able to recover after 50 metres to pull away from Ryan Bailey over the last 30 meters to finish in 10.12 seconds, 0.12 seconds clear of the American who clocked 10.24 seconds.

Brazilian Jose Carlos Moreira was third in 10.51 and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands was fourth in 10.53.

Bolt who was competing in his third Mano Mano challenge said afterwards despite a sluggish start he won't complain.

Bolt is next scheduled to race in the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas from May 2-3.

Meanwhile in the women's challenge, Jamaican veronica Campbell-Brown won her first 100m race of the season in 11.04 seconds.

The two-time Olympic sprint champion easily beat U.S. Olympian Carmelita Jeter (11.19), Jamaican Kerron Stewart (11.30) and Brazil's Antonia Rosa (11.59 seconds).





sean-paul-photo-5-more-details.jpgNew York: International DJ Sean Paul is among the top dancehall/reggae acts confirmed for the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY. The event takes place on Memorial Monday, May 25th, a federal holiday in the United States set aside for remembering those who died while serving the US armed forces.

"Memorial Day is an important day that is set aside to remember fallen US war heroes" Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio, producers of the event said.

"Sean Paul's appearance will help the festival attract not only the traditional Jamaica/Caribbean, reggae/dancehall patrons but mainstream fans who have long embraced Sean's music. He has established himself as the top artiste from the Caribbean and has consistently demonstrated the ability to score international hit songs," Clarke noted.

The Grammy winning artiste continues to make news internationally. He recently teamed with N.A.S.A. and Lizzo on a hot new single titled 'Hands Up Don't Shot" that addresses the hot button issue of police brutality, that continues to plague people of African decent in the USA.

freddie-mcgregor-photo-1.jpg Clarke said this year's festival will be filled with added excitement given the diversity of the lineup which includes veteran reggae crooner Freddy McGregor. Known worldwide for his riveting reggae ballads, McGregor began his musical career in the early 60's under the musical direction of the legendary Coxone Dodd. In 1972 he formed the Generation Gap band, recording "Homeward Bound" and "Justice & Equality" for producer Geoffrey Chung. After the demise of the group, he launched his solo career, mining gold with "Big Ship" which broke into the top ten of the reggae charts in England and Jamaica.

During his 50 plus years, McGregor has received numerous accolades including an International Award of Merit from the Canadian Reggae Music Award and an award for Best International Artist from the BBC Radio London Reggae Awards. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to Jamaican music.

Other confirmed performers at Oracabessa Festival are Christopher Martin, dj Josey Wales, Tarrus Riley, Dexta Daps, Alaine, Suga and the Grace Thrillers featuring Shirley Willis.





jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgReggae superstar Jimmy Cliff is one of several acts slated to perform at Wickerman Festival in Scotland scheduled for July 24 and 25.

According to the Evening Times, the singer will be joined by electronic group Stereo MCs, singer Neneh Cherry, garage rockers The Sonics, psychedelic rocker Julian Cope, and hip-hop group The Sugarhill Gang.

"This year's Wickerman Festival is shaping up to be an epic weekend and we know that fans will be blown away by the fantastic live performances that our latest batch of artists will deliver," said Brian Reynolds, Wickerman spokesman.

"Jimmy Cliff, The Sonics and The Sugarhill Gang are legendary, genre-defining artists who will ensure that this year's festival will be a brilliant celebration of music," he continued.

Cliff is known for hits including Many Rivers to Cross and Sitting in Limbo.





To many, April 20 is just another workday. But to marijuana enthusiasts around the globe, 4/20 is a holy day, one to be considered above all others as a time to celebrate -- and consume -- cannabis.

The counterculture holiday doesn't appear on any official calendar, but it's pretty popular all the same. The origins of 4/20, aka National Weed Day, can be traced to Northern California where, in the 1970s, pot smokers began using the code "420" - the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress - as a reference to toking up.

Planning to observe 4/20? Here are 20 funny quotes to share on every pot smoker's favorite holiday.

1. "That is not a drug. It's a leaf." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. "They've outlawed the No. 1 vegetable on the planet." -- Timothy Leary

3. "The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it." -- J.W.D. Henderson

4. "I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is a flower. God put it here." -- Willie Nelson

5. "Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn't like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton." -- Jay Leno

6. "When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point." -- Barack Obama

7. "I know you're supposed to tell kids not to do drugs, but, kids, do it! Do weed! Don't do the other stuff, but weed is good." -- Kevin Smith

8. "To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a big mistake." -- Bill Hicks

9. "You bet I did, and I enjoyed it." -- Michael Bloomberg

10. "I think pot should be legal. I don't smoke it, but I like the smell of it." -- Andy Warhol

11. "?Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see." -- Thomas Jefferson

12. "If you substitute marijuana for tobacco and alcohol, you'll add eight to 24 years to your life." -- Jack Herer

13. "It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics ... dope and all that crap. It's a thousand times better than whiskey -- it's an assistant -- a friend." -- Louis Armstrong

14. "I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast." -- Ronald Reagan

15. "Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere." -- George Washington

16. "If you grew up in the '60s or '70s and didn't do drugs, I don't trust you." -- Danny Danko

17. "There are only two kinds of dealers. Those who need forklifts, and those who don't." -- Tom Forcade

18. "The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties, I tested everything." -- Bill Lee

19. "Of course I know how to roll a joint." -- Martha Stewart

20. "I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits -- and millions of Americans agree with me." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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A demonstrator participates in a rally sponsored by the Marijuana Party of British Columbia by smoking a giant hash-and-marijuana hash joint in downtown Vancouver April 20, 2005. Commonly known as 4/20, April 20 is a popular day among cannabis users.





Yardflex 4/20 Weed Day Feature

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4/20 Rallies: Marijuana Advocates In US, Canada Use National Weed Day To Send A Message About Legalization

Marijuana users are doing more on April 20 than just getting high. Some pot enthusiasts in the U.S. and Canada are using the unofficial pot smokers' holiday to declare an end to federal bans on cannabis. Advocates turned out in Denver over the weekend for the annual 4/20 festival to shop marijuana-themed products, listen to live music, and, of course, toke up. A political rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, centered around pot is scheduled for Monday.

About 125,000 people attended the 4/20 event in Denver this past weekend, according to the Denver Post. "It's a well-rounded atmosphere," Miguel Lopez, the event's founder, told the Post. "There are people here from all financial backgrounds...We push all the 4/20 rallies to head there to extend the national, grassroots narrative that's been going on for 45 years."

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Four of those states - Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington - and D.C. have legalized weed for recreational purposes. Advocates of marijuana legalization in the U.S. say that while pot will likely remain illegal at the federal level for at least another decade, they expect states to continue to move toward legalizing weed for either medical or recreational use.

Further north, in Canada, organizers of the annual 4/20 rally at Vancouver's Art Gallery said this year's upcoming event will be particularly important because of the federal election coming up in the fall of 2016. The rally's theme is "Grow the Vote," and coordinators say they're going to encourage people to register to vote, according to News 1130. While medical marijuana is now legal in Canada, recreational pot is still banned at the federal level.

"Policy costs of enforcing prohibition against marijuana are astronomical," Craig Jones of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada told CKNW AM radio. "All they do is clog the courts, and saddle otherwise law-abiding people with criminal records. The police figured this out a long time ago and because Vancouver is Vancouver, they figured it out a lot earlier in Vancouver than they did in the rest of Canada."





Baby's body found in barrel

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barrel.jpgThe Santa Cruz Police in St Elizabeth are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a little girl in Grosmond District near Braes River.

She has been identified as Jaydeen Myers who was 1 year and 11-months-old.

Reports are that the little girl went missing between 1 pm and 7 pm yesterday Saturday April 18.

Police say relatives went in search of her and she was found unconscious in a barrel inside the house, which stores clothing and food.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Investigations continue.





Cops featured on CISOCA's high profile list

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The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says allegations of wrongdoing by police personnel continue to feature on what it calls its high profile list.

Head of CISOCA, Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart, says the accused have been cooperating with investigators.

"The list is about 25, among them police, teachers ....people before the court. We are not looking at those that we are actively investigating," said Ross-Stewart who was speaking at the latest RJR Group News Forum.

The reports will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions

The CISOCA says it will not be deterred by the status of persons in probing allegations against them.





Cops seize Uzi sub machine gun in Spanish Town

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uzi.jpgPolice seized an Uzi sub-machine gun during an operation in the March Pen Road area in St Catherine on Saturday.

Spanish Town police report that about 4:00 pm, a team of police went to premises and during a search the weapon was found.

A dozen 9mm cartridges, and a ballistic vest we're also found.

No one was arrested in connection with the find. The police say they are investigating.





JPS rolls out pre-paid service today

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jps-building.jpgThe Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will launch its "Pay As You Go" metering service today. It will allow JPS customers to control daily usage of electricity with the pre-paid service.Two thousand customers in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine will initially benefit.

Tishan Lee, head of Marketing at the JPS, explained that under the current phase, certain residential and business customers can sign up.

According to Miss Lee, there is no risk of customers running out of electricity, as they might run out of pre-paid telephone credit.

"You are alerted when you are running low, so before you run out of credit, you can just call you and we'll forward you an additional five kilowatt hours until you get the opportunity to top it up," she explained.





Tufton unhappy with 'Dudus' reference

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christopher-tufton-photo-1.jpgJLP senator, Dr Christopher Tufton, has taken issue with Foreign Minister A.J. Nicholson for his veiled reference to the Dudusgate saga, which strained relationship between Kingston and Washington in 2010.

Tufton, who was a member of the Bruce Golding-led Government, which handled the extradition request of Dudus, said he sees no reason for Nicholson to talk now about the restoration of Jamaica's good name.

Nicholson, in updating the Senate on the visit of US President Barack Obama to the country recently as well as the Summit of the Americas in Panama, said the visit of the president is an indication that Jamaica's name has now been restored.

But while he pointed to the testy period of strained relationship, Nicholson did not name the Dudus saga.

"If there is one thing that the events of the past week or so have unequivocally demonstrated, it is that in just three short years, we have once again taken our hard-won place as a respected voice on the international stage," Nicholson said.

"In just three short years, we have resumed our rightful place as a leader in international relations and foreign policy. In just three short years, we have restored that most vital of commodities - trust," he added.

Tufton, however, said it is unfortunate that Nicholson has chosen to resurrect the matter.

"There have been high and low points, challenges if you will, at various points in our independent history. The truth is generally speaking, I am not sure, while we accept that the visit is a positive one, I am not sure if that point needed to be emphasised, about relationship been restored," Tufton said.

Nicholson said in the Senate that "when the administration led by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller took office in January 2012, we realised that there was much work to be done to re-establish Jamaica's reputation in the international arena as a leader in the sphere of international relations and foreign policy."





Thief shot while robbing policeman

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The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is reporting that a man was shot in the Nugent Street area in Spanish Town.

According to the CCU, at about 6 pm, the man attempted to rob a police officer at a barber shop on Nugent Street, but the robbery was thwarted by the officer who challenged the robber and shot him.

A firearm was recovered. The robber was then transported to the Spanish Town hospital where is now receiving treatment.

Earlier in the day, a cordon and search operation in the Spanish Town area, led to the seizure of a Tarrus 9 mm pistol and 12 live rounds at March Pen Road.

No one was arrested in connection with the illegal weapon.





Small ganja farmers to be protected

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ganja-image-1.jpgJustice Minister Mark Golding says the government will not agree to any arrangement that would see multilateral companies take over the ganja industry and exclude local farmers.

He says the authorities are conscious of the need to ensure that those who have been involved in the industry for many years in the shadows or unlawfully , should be afforded the opportunity to be part of a lawful industry if they want to be part of it.

The minister was responding to questions posed by listeners this morning on IRIE FM's The Africa Forum with host Ka'bu Maat Kheru.

Entertainer Mackie Conscious asked, "if any plans will be put in place to prevent multilateral companies from taking over the ganja industry from the small man who suffered fighting for its legalization?"

Senator Golding indicates that how the small ganja farmer is protected is an area that needs to be worked through.

However he says, one way to do this would be to ensure that foreign investors have local partnerships.





usain-bolt-in-rio.jpgJamaica's global sprint superstar Usain Bolt is now in Brazil where his down to compete in a 100m sprint event in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

According to event organisers, Bolt will face two international rivals and a local sprinter in the event, which will be held at the Brazilian Jockey Club.

It will be Bolt's third consecutive appearance in the event, which he also won in 2013 and 2014. While in Rio de Janeiro, Bolt walked into a small gym at the base of Rio de Janeiro's Mangueira favela on Thursday, took three shots on the basketball court - at least one from 3-point range - and made all three.

Leaving the basketball court, Bolt posed for selfies, took his own video and even ran a 20-metre race on the track with several young girls. A few kids at the complex's small football field climbed a chain link fence to have a look. Bolt seemed to enjoy himself, raised his arms a few times in mock gestures of triumph and took time to look at the selfies of others.

After competing in Brazil, Bolt is scheduled to run in New York on June 13, Paris on July 4 and in Lausanne on July 9 as he prepares for August's IAAF World Championships in Beijing and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

'This will be my last Olympics, but I am definitely looking forward to it,' the 28 year old said, 'I'm excited now that it's getting closer. I'm looking forward to being here and competing. Yes definitely.'





Jah Reefa making an impact

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jah-reefa.jpgWith the first quarter of 2015 out of the way, rising singjay, Jason Brown aka Jah Reefa has already released three songs which are definitely paving the path to success for this talented Jamaican entertainer.

The songs include Password, Summertime (featuring Binx ) and Teacha Gone which was produced by Crownus Records. Passionate about the music, the artiste, who travels between Jamaica and Cayman, where he now resides, is a workaholic. On any given day of the week you can find Jah Reefa at the recording studio creating new material and keeping his vocals in top shape.

"I'm not waiting on anyone to hand me a thing" the artist said "I work hard that's all I know, it's how I was raised," says the artiste, whose older brother, Coolant Brown toured with the Wailers as lead singer, before launching his own solo career.

Quite upbeat about the impact that the singles have been making, Jah Reefa was full of thanks for those who have supported him by helping to push out his music.

"The radio disc jockeys have been extremely helpful, both in Jamaica and in Cayman and I really appreciate it. The sound system selectors deserve a big up. There's nothing like being in a big dance and hear a selector draw your tune," Jah Reefa, who was recently in Jamaica for a family gathering declared.

Born in St Thomas, Jamaica, he grew up among a music loving family, at times Jah Reefa and his cousins would often entertain their family and friends with lyrical clashes idolizing the songs of Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, as a child he had a typical Jamacian childhood playing football, cricket and entering talent shows.

While attending Seaforth High School in 2002 Jah Reefa relocated to live with his parents in the Cayman Islands where he finished high school; he continued to develop his love for music by frequently writing and recording at Black Gould Studio "every-night after football practice" he explained "that's where I learned to develop my own style and took the term "lyrical content" to a new heights.

Jah Reefa brings a unique hardcore flavor to the Dancehall scene and is creating a waves on the local scene and have opened shows for Damian Marley and Shaggy. Last year Jah Reefa traveled to Ireland where he performed at the Electric Picnic to an audience of 45,000 onlookers. "It was a great experience, I've been to Ireland before but never on a musical journey. To see how people gravitate to my music have more than boosted my confidence the artist said"





K-Anthony heading to the top

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k-anthony.jpg"Heading To the Top" the new video from Gospel / inspiration singer, K-Anthony has made it to the number two spot on the "Cross Caribbean Countdown". The video premiered two weeks ago and has been picked up by television stations across the globe. The project is one of encouragement and inspires listeners to work towards their objectives.

Former C-Sharp band member, Dwain "Wiya" Campbell undeniably complements the track. Wiya not only added his vocal prowess but he is also the producer of the record under his Barbwiya label, "This project is the quickest production I've ever done! It's hard work, but fun. We did the entire song in minutes. One room, one session."

K-Anthony mentioned he's thrilled about the collaboration with Wiya, "His skills as a musician and good interpretation of sounds helped to shape the idea I initially had in mind. I truly wanted to break down barriers of faith and fate. Just letting people know that God is ready to lead in your everyday life."

He clarifies why there was no mention of God on this single, being a dedicated Christian and the songs lyrical composer. "It can only be God, the book of Esther doesn't once mention God, but we know from Mordecai's experience who it is that controls the destinies of his people".

The concept he says, "is about the journey of life and influenced by personal struggles, experience and determination. Truth is, you will go nowhere until you decide to move towards it".

Directors, Pear Tree Media and Di Raw Rawtid Yute (D.R.Y.), shot "Heading to the Top" in both Canada and Jamaica. The Video is available on YouTube and VEVO. The single is obtainable via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all other major online stores.





Swedish reggae artiste Etzia breaks new ground

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etzia-chapter-done-cover-front.jpgSwedish Reggae singer Etzia who has done collaborations with Charly Black, Future Fambo, Lutan Fyah and Collie Buddz recently partnered with Partillo Production on her latest EP entitled 'Chapter Done.'

Both individuals have worked ceaselessly to create a unique sound that many are saying is a whole new genre. It is a collection of tropical vibrations mixed in with some Nordic elements. To hardcore Reggae fans it is reminiscent of dub, roots and house all in one. They are calling this new sound Traphall.

Persons familiar with Traphall says it is properly defined as a music which consists of reggae, dancehall, hip hop and electro. When asked why they have decided to focus on this genre for 'Chapter Done', Partillo says "this type of original sound is needed to satisfy Etzia's vocal expression".

'Chapter Done' is produced by some very established musicians and producers (based in Europe), namely Partillo, Mastah L and Nils Dahl. The EP is available on ITunes now; persons may download it at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/chapter-done-ep/id972474872 and DJs can send an email to mariajacksonent@gmail.com for a promotional copy.





Merciless' wife died of heart attack

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merciless.jpgDancehall deejay, Merciless, has revealed that his wife, Keisha Gibbs-Bartley died as a result of a heart attack.

A news report says the distraught entertainer who says he found the body of his wife in their bed after returning from a dance with fellow entertainer Little Hero.

The family of the entertainer's wife, who isn't Jamaican, has requested for her to be buried in the United States. Merciless says funeral arrangements are yet to be made. However, he says he will host a nine night at their home in Longville Park Clarendon, in her honour.





vybz-kartel-photo-23.jpgA well-known former associate of controversial dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel was shot and killed during a drive by shooting this morning.

The deceased, businessman Jamie Ridley of a Kingston 8 address, was killed during a fish fry held in the Braeton Phase One community.

Two other persons were shot and injured during the incident including dancehall personality 'Poochie Face Off', the girlfriend of Ridley The incident occurred at a fish fry about 1:30 am, where patrons were gathered when a Toyota Corolla motor vehicle pulled up.

It is said that the occupants of the vehicle opened gunfire hitting Ridley and two other persons.

An off duty police who was at the scene reportedly challenged the men, however they managed to escape.

The injured were taken to hospital where Ridley was pronounced dead and the others admitted.

No motive has been established for the shooting.

Meanwhile, a reliable source has confirmed to YardFlex that reports of Vybz Kartel being stabbed in prison two days ago are not true.

"A bare lie. Nutten no go so...just rumour dem a spread."





Police hunt for mother of dead baby found at dump

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The police say they have received more information in the case where the body of an infant was discovered by residents at the Riverton Dump on Friday.

"We have received new information suggesting that the truck from which the body of the baby was dumped had hours earlier collected garbage in the Wickie Wackie area located in East Kingston," one of the detectives in the case said.

The police said based on the latest information they have now turned their attention to the Wickie Wackie area.





Cops find illegal gun shop in Salt Pond

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ak47-ammunition.jpgThe Police are reporting that the location in the Salt Pond area where an AK 47 rifle was seized on Wednesday was a base being used by criminals to sell illegal guns and ammunition.

Salt Pond, is an area located on the outskirts of Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The Police reported that about 5:45 am, they went to the area and during the operation, a man was shot dead.

The dead man has been identified as Nesta Halstead.





Teen charged for murder of 11-month old boy

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11-month-old-baby-killed.jpgCharges have been laid against the teenager who was held in connection with the shooting death of 11-month-old Omar Lindo on Charles Street in Kingston on Monday, April 6.

The teenager is booked to appear in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April 22.

He was nabbed by the Kingston Central police in Courage district, Gordon Town, St Andrew, on Saturday, April 11.





16 year-old mother and baby missing

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Sixteen-year-old Natasha Chambers and her seven-month-old daughter, Briana Henry, both of Grove Road, Kingston 10, have been missing since Friday.

Natasha is of fair complexion, slim build and is about 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall. Briana is of fair complexion and is about 51 centimetres (1 foot 8 inches) tall.

Reports from the Half-Way-Tree police are that Natasha and Briana were last seen in their community. At the time they went missing Natasha was dressed in a green blouse, blue jeans skirt and a pair of green and yellow sneakers. Briana was dressed in a blue dress and a pair of black and white slippers. They have not been seen since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Natasha and Briana are being asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree police at 926-8184-5, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





3 shot in Portmore drive-by

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Three persons were shot one fatally in the Braeton area of Portmore, St Catherine early Saturday morning.

The deceased has been identified as 34-year-old Businessman Jamey Ridley of a Kingston 8 address.

The incident reportedly at a fish fry about 1:30 am, where patrons were gathered when a Toyota Corolla motor vehicle pulled up. It is said that the occupants of the vehicle opened gunfire hitting Ridley and two other persons. An off duty officer who was at the scene reportedly challenged the men, however they managed to escape.

The injured were taken to hospital where Ridley was pronounced dead and the others admitted.

No motive has been established for the shooting.





Kingston College marches for 90th anniversary

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kingston-college-march.jpgApril 16, 1925 marks the founding of Kingston College (KC), and 90 years to that date students at the all-boys institution lined the length of North Street for a historic march to the site where the school was first established.

The sea of khaki interspersed with streams of purple could be seen from any vantage point along North Street on Wednesday.

The sporadic outbursts of celebratory cheers were complemented by energetic fanfare provided by the marching band.

The march culminated outside the walls of The Gleaner, where a plaque highlighting the location as the site of the building which housed the first 49 students of the school is erected. This was where the students gathered for prayer and reflection.

Vice-principal Everton Burrell was in a jubilant mood as he marshalled students at the historic event.

"Today is the exact day, 90 years ago, Kingston College was founded right at the same spot where The Gleaner Company is right now. As a symbolic event, we decided to march to the spot," he said.





Laughter erupted in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court after a man told the court that he was not urinating on the street but was hiding his money inside his brief.

Constantine Savage was arrested and charged with littering after he was reportedly caught urinating on a street in downtown Kingston. But on Monday when he appeared in Court, Savage pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying, "I was not urinating; I was putting my money in my brief, that is what happened".

"Keeping it safe and warm," Magistrate Judith Pusey uttered amidst laughter from the court.

Savage's bail was then extended for him to return to court for trial on June 2.





Bahamian R&B singer, Johnny Kemp, dies in Jamaica

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johnny-kemp.jpgBahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, who is best known for the hit song "Just Got Paid," has died in Jamaica. He was 55.

Jamaica police said Friday that Kemp was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay on Thursday morning. It had not yet been determined how he died.

Police said Kemp arrived in Jamaica on a cruise ship but added that they did not have further details.

Reach Media Inc. said Kemp had been scheduled to be on a Caribbean cruise this week, but the U.S.-based parent company of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" said it did not have further details.

Kemp was nominated in 1989 for a Grammy Award for "Just Got Paid" in a category that included Bobby Brown and Luther Vandross. The song was a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart.

Kemp appeared on a 2007 Keith Sweat DVD called "Sweat Hotel Live" and had been performing at musical events across the U.S. in recent years.





jodi-jinx-sean-paul-wife.jpgEarlier this week, the Gleaner took it upon itself to erroneously report that popular entertainment personality Jodi 'Jinx' Stewart Henriques appeared pregnant in her carnival costume.

The Gleaner's report elicited a firestorm of comments on the matter with many taking to social media to have their say.

Jodi has now decided to respond. Below is what she has to say on the matter.

"It's very unfortunate that the media puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way at all times. It's also disappointing that a national newspaper would publish something so personal without seeking a comment from those likely to be affected. Should Sean and I wish to expand our family, we will decide how, when and with whom we share that information.

"Until then my body size, shape and dimensions are not for public comment."

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'My Jam' is World Happiness Day theme song

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mr-vegas-photo-11.jpg International recording artiste Mr Vegas has once again given the masses something to talk about.

Within five days of his My Jam video being premiered onZumba'sYouTubechannel, it scored over 137,000 views. The feel-good single featuring Pitbull was chosen by Zumba to celebrate World Hapiness Day, an annual event held on March 20.

Mr Vegas shared that he was 'excited' to work with Pitbull as he has given the song much more life and has added his worldwide appeal to it.

He added: "My Jam is very upbeat and fun. Its purpose is to bring joy and happiness to all who listen".

Most recently, Mr Vegas performed at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, as a part of their newly established Sounds from the Caribbean showcase. His performance of My Jam, among other classics such as Heads High and I'm Blessed, was well received.

Large Up, the media sponsor at the event, described Vegas' performance as a 'tough act to follow'.

The contributions of Mr Vegas to the music industry and to the fans have surely not gone unnoticed as he has also been featured in international entertainment magazines, inclusive of OK Magazine, USA Star, Radar Online and many more, in the past week.





Tuff Gong hosts Record Store Day Saturday

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tuff-gong.jpgTuff Gong International will be hosting Record Store Day at the studio located at 220 Marcus Garvey Drive and at The Bob Marley Museum, located on Hope Road, St Andrew, on Saturday.

Debby Bissoon, brand manager at the Bob Marley Group of Companies, explained the concept of Record Store Day.

"It is a day that celebrates music, the makers of records and also as a way of giving back to the people, as we offer a discount on records," she said.

She also said the day is dedicated to iconic musicians. "Record Store Day is special because it celebrates the works of some iconic musicians and also proves that people are still interested in the original versions of music and will still buy them to play and collect," she said.

Tuff Gong International is the largest entertainment record distributor in the Caribbean, and has distributed records for Universal, Warner and Destiny.

"We are the only record company in the Caribbean with such an exclusive agreement. We are talking about Bob Marley's Tuff Gong International, and that, in and of itself, sets the Company apart. Records will be sold for 50-70 per cent off their standard rates," Bissoon said.





Ed Sheeran gives Noah Powa the thumbs up

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ed-sheeran.jpg International selector-turned-artiste Noah Powa, who also doubles as a comedian on social media, is now reaping the fruits of his labour, after remixing Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud'.

The raunchy remix video has been making the rounds on social media and has recently been featured on VH1. According to the website, "Powa remixed Sheeran's beloved track, and what resulted is an x-rated version that's perhaps better fit for honeymooners."

Though some viewers were horrified at how raunchy Noah Powa's lyrics were, Ed Sheeran himself gave it his stamp of approval.

The remix was brought to Sheeran's attention, who tweeted ''I'm so down with that''.

Noah posted on his Instagram page that he was not expecting the overwhelming feedback he has received so far.

"People, I swear to God I never expected this. I swear. VH1 talking about the song. Even the original singer, Ed Sheeran, tweeted about it ... . God is good."





Women sexually assault teenage girl with bottle

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Two St Catherine women were recently charged with gross sexual assault after being accused of inserting a bottle inside a teenager's private area two years ago.

The two women will stand trial in the St Catherine Circuit Court in September this year.

The matter was decided in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court recently after Resident Magistrate Llyle Armstrong ruled that a prima facie case has been made out against the women.They are scheduled to appear in the Michel Mass Session of the St Catherine Circuit Court in September 2015.

It is alleged that in 2013, the two accused lured the 17-year-old complainant to a house in Linstead, St Catherine. They then held her down and used a bottle to sexually assault her. The complainant had to seek medical attention.

A subsequent report was made to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. Both women were later charged with gross sexual assault.





Number portability next month

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The Government is assuring that number portability will be available to Jamaicans next month. Number portability entails and facilitates the retention of numbers assigned to telephone service users, regardless of their provider.

Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell said that he has issued a Number Portability Administrator licence to Porting Access B.V., a company out of the Netherlands, which is working to ensure that this deadline will be met.Paulwell was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

To last for a period of 10 years, the licence took effect on March 16, 2015. The company is mandated to establish, operate, manage, coordinate and maintain a number portability central reference database and an automated central order handling system and related activities for the provision of number portability.

Paulwell pointed out that this number portability arrangement will allow Jamaicans to move from one service provider to another while retaining their mobile and fixed telephone numbers. He said it will also enable greater competition amongst players within the telecoms industry.

Studies indicate that the introduction of number portability facilitates greater competition in the telecoms market, which can result in lower prices and more innovative products and services.

Number portability can also eliminate some of the costs, delays and inconvenience that businesses and individuals encounter when changing from one telecoms provider to another. The rules on number portability have been gazetted since September last year.





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The People's National Party (PNP) has condemned the slaying of three teenagers and an adult male in Hayes in Clarendon on Wednesday.

"We mourn with the families and school communities of the three student boys. One each from Central, Vere Technical and Garvey Maceo High schools," a release from the ruling party said.

The men were shot in the back of the head after being ordered to lay face down.

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Party President and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller wholeheartedly condemned the murders.

"We condemn this dastardly act. Our youth are our country's best and most promising resource. We must protect them. These recurring images of our mothers crying for the lives of their children who are brutally murdered break the spirit and stride of our entire nation all of us have a role to play to bring these acts of terror to an end. In this regard I add my own call for the community members to assist the investigators by telling all that they know so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice" she said.

According to the release reports emerging from the community as to how the four (the three teens and the adult male) were murdered is all the more shocking and painful.

"Our prayers are with the families that have been left to mourn all four. We go further by joining May Pen Mayor Scean Barnwell by asking the entire community to find the resolve to cooperate fully and openly with the police as they investigate this incident," the release said.





The man charged in connection with last month's quadruple killing in Richmond Hill, St James, was denied bail when he appeared before the Montego Bay Criminal Court on Thursday.

Kelvin Hodge,29, otherwise known as "Tafari" was charged last week with four counts of murder as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was remanded until April 29.

Hodge is charged with the execution style killing of Lois Watson,28 and her eight year old daughter, Shaya Prince, at their home on March 19. Junior Scott,26 and Kemali Walker,22 were also killed in the attack.

Investigators say Hodge, who was the boyfriend of Watson, carried out the attack after she ended their relationship.

Meanwhile, two other suspects held in the case have been released.





Resident shoots robber dead in Mona

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gun-crime.jpgQuick action by a licensed firearm holder resulted in the death of one of three robbers in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday evening.

Three robbers reportedly attempted to hold up a resident of the middle class community but were challenged by the licensed holder.Shots were fired and when the smoke cleared the man lay dead. His identity has not yet been ascertained. Meanwhile, his two cronies managed to escape.

Armed robbers have been plaguing Mona for weeks and a number of persons have been held up and robbed at gunpoint. Despite the efforts of the police, the robbers have managed to elude them.

While not joyous over the loss of life, one resident said that the dead man had it coming.

"A life is a life, but robbers are making the lives of the residents of Mona hell and maybe a message has to be sent," she said.





12 reasons to eat more turmeric

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Turmeric is anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory super spice. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Known as "The Queen of Spices", it can be found in many Indian dishes for its wonderful earthy flavor and golden color. It has been around for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of health problems, going from pain control to fighting cancer.

Curcumin, the magical substance, which gives turmeric its golden color and its many health benefits, has been well-studied over the past decades. It works as a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

But that's not all... turmeric is jam packed with healthy nutrients such as fibers, calcium, vitamins and minerals. It is non-toxic, even in high doses, and doesn't usually cause any side-effects. However some people may experience an upset stomach, nausea or dizziness. If this is the case, turmeric must be used in moderation to reap its benefits.

You also need to remember that while turmeric is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that turmeric has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body. To increase its bioavailability in your body read this article for more information.

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Turmeric In A Nutshell

  • Cancer prevention: turmeric fights free radicals and helps to maintain healthy cells. It is believed that curcumin blocks the enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells. Turmeric is one of the top 14 foods that protects against cancer development.
  • Alzheimer's prevention: turmeric improves the overall brain health and may prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer's by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. These are types of proteins that play a role in various neuro-degenerative disorders. And indeed turmeric is one of the top 5 foods and supplements to delay Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Diabetes control: turmeric improves blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance to prevent diabetes type II. However, when combined with strong medicines it may cause a low blood sugar level. See here another 6 best foods to control diabetes.
  • Natural painkiller and prevents arthritis: due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties it helps with stiff or creaky joints and arthritis. It is one of the natural remedies that are covered in the article about natural remedies for arthritis, and is also one of the foods that help to reduce inflammation in your body.
  • Wounds healer: a paste made from turmeric can quickly heal minor cuts, burns or bruises due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It helps to repair your skin and may even be used to treat psoriasis or other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Improves digestion: stimulates the gallbladder, reduces bloating and gas and may be helpful to treat bowel inflammation. However when suffering from a gallbladder disease, turmeric should not be taken as a dietary supplement, as it may worsen the condition.
  • Liver detox: turmeric works as a natural liver cleanser and improves blood circulation.
  • Weight control: turmeric increases the bile flow, which is important to break down fat.
  • Promotes healthy skin: prevents skin pigmentation, tone the skin and when frequently used in your skin care products it can give your face the perfect glow. Turmeric is one of the top 10 foods to get the best skin ever.
  • Heart health: turmeric reduces the bad cholesterol, prevents blood clots and plaque build-up in arteries.
  • Boost Immune system: Its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties help to strengthen your immune system. Turmeric is wonderful to soothe a sore throat or fight a cold or flu.
  • Mood improver: turmeric has been used in alternative medicine to treat depressions and provides a better night's rest.

Adding more turmeric to your daily diet is one of the best things you could do to improve your overall health. So if you love turmeric and are interested in herbal remedies, you can find more useful information about turmeric and other herbs in the e-book Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.





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Dancehall singjay Raine Seville recently teamed up with New York-based director Muztang Media to film the music video for her collaborative single, Chat Mi, with fellow dancehall artiste Lisa Hyper.

The two-day shoot was executed at locations near D'Amor and Waterford Gaza Strip where Lisa Hyper is popular.

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According to the sometimes controversial Raine Seville, the music video will be dynamic.

"The video will showcase a lot of confidence, high fashion, high energy, attitude and fierceness from both of us, to complement the lyrical content. I am extremely excited about it," she explained.

Chat Mi sees the artistes sampling the popular Sly & Robbie-produced Bam Bam rhythm. The song has been released for more than a month and has been receiving airplay on local radio.





chronixx-photo-8.jpgChronixx was in the line of fire last week for his 'waste man' comment that was supposedly aimed at United States President Barack Obama, and this week he is being blasted by veteran dancer Patsy Ricketts, who says he is ungrateful.

Ricketts is the mother of reggae singer J.O.E (also known as Lil Joe), who passed away in 2011. Chronixx's connection to J.O.E can be heard in Warrior when he sang, "Jah ova evil, sword inna hand" as 'Jah Ova Evil' is what J.O.E said was the definition of his stage name.

But Ricketts was not mincing words on Tuesday, when she took to Facebook describing Chronixx as ungrateful.

"My son Alty George Nunes also known as Jah Ova Evil (J.O.E) passed in 2011. Soon after he passed, Chronixx came into our lives, he actually slept in my son's bed and stayed with us for about two years. From there, he worked on his hits Behind Curtain, Warrior and even his recent hit Spirulina. We had frequent reasonings about Rastafari, which he seldom agreed on, but we decided to put our energy into him because we saw the talent," Ricketts said on her Facebook page.

"I will not forget the night when our youths started posting posters of Chronixx on light posts, we blogged on the Internet for him. in general, we pushed him forward. He obviously decided that he had used us enough and has never turned back to even say thank you, now who is the waste man."

As a Rastafarian, Ricketts also stressed that she does not want Chronixx to advocate on her behalf.

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"We at Jah Ova Evil have completely disassociated ourselves from this young man. I do not wish for him to be an advocate for me as a Rastafarian or as a Jamaican because in order for one to be a good ambassador one has to take a page from His Imperial Majesty's book, e.g being a good diplomat which simply means choosing your words wisely," she said.

Last week, Chronixx was blasted for comments he made on social media where it appeared that he called Obama a 'waste man'.

Following Obama's visit to Jamaica, Chronixx posted a picture of Marcus Garvey on social media platform, Instagram, with a caption that said, "This man ... Still have criminal record in the United States and we glorifying some waste man! This man was hunted and imprisoned by our Jamaican government ... who some years later, paved a peaceful and safe path for the US president to address is a ... "race of good for nothings". That's why black faces don't mean anything to rasta anymore."

However, the post did not go down well with some persons and was subsequently removed.





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Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica says that unless there is a security risk, controversial Jamaican dancehall deejay,Alkaline, cannot be prevented from performing in the island.

Alkaline is expected to be the main act for a concert to be held at the Saaman Gardens in Canefield, Dominica, on May 2, 2015.

Vice president of DomInica Association of evangelist churches Arlington Wilson, last week said artiste like Alkaline should not be allowed to perform in Dominica, adding that the association will be meeting to discuss the matter.

Last February fellow entertainer Tommy Lee Sparta was denied entry into Dominica.

The government in a statement later indicated that this was because the entertainer was deemed to be a security risk.





Teenage terror suspect remains in custody

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The 16-year-old Jamaican who was sent home from Suriname on Saturday on suspicion that he was heading to Turkey to join the terrorist group ISIS is to remain in State custody until Tuesday.

The Family Court today ?said an assessment is to be made of his home situation before a final order is made on Tuesday on whether to send him home.

His attorney had applied to the court to have him released from custody.

The teen's family has since denied claims that he was a part of a terrorist group, saying he was headed to England to be with his mother.





Carmax CEO arrested for fraud

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The Fraud Squad of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged Daren Blake, Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited for the offence of Fraudulent Conversion on Friday following several complaints.

He was initially booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on March 27 where the matter was postponed until May 1, 2015.

Reports are that between December 2014 and March 2015, several persons allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles, valued about $54,500,000.

The vehicles were sold however, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved futile.

Members of the Fraud Squad are asking for Mr. Ian Lyn and affiliates of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to report to the Fraud Squad offices on Duke Street by 9:00 a.m. on April 17.





UWI, UTech get ganja licence

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THE University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be the first two educational institutions to be issued with licences to grow marijuana for research purposes under the new provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which took effect yesterday.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell made the announcement yesterday in his presentation in the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House .

He said that, as the country moves to build an industry for medicinal ganja, it is crucial for research institutions such as these to have the required authority to cultivate the plant. "If Jamaica wants to establish itself as a centre of excellence for research in ganja, this should be the home of research and development in ganja," he said.

Paulwell pointed out that, as it stands now, institutions are allowed to use marijuana for research, but under the auspices of the police. The science and technology minister stressed that the licences come with strict conditions. "It's not a free-for-all... or to promote smoking of ganja, it is to recognise that this product has tremendous value," he said.

He also sought to allay apprehension about who would benefit from a local medical ganja industry, stating that the market was large enough to accommodate small and large farmers and urged cooperation and sharing of information to allow sharing of the expected benefits.

The licence will be for a specified period and subject to monitoring of the research activities to ensure that they are in keeping with what was approved.





2 suspects held in quadruple murder

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The Clarendon police say two suspects have been held in connection with last evenings quadruple murder of four males in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon.

The suspects were held this morning in the parish. Their identities are, however, being withheld pending further investigations.

Fourteen-year-old Ricardo Briscoe, 14-year-old Raymond Givans, 15-year-old Alex Turner and 35-year-old Marquis Hamilton, all of Clarendon addresses, were murdered execution-style.

According to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit, the three boys were walking along the roadway about 9:00 pm when they were pounced upon by two armed men who forced them onto Hamilton's premises. The men then allegedly demanded money and phones from them, however, their demands were not met.

The four were subsequently shot.

The Police High Command has since ramped up its security presence in major towns, business districts and communities in the parish.





Man hangs himself in Falmouth market

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shocked.jpg Twenty year-old Jevaun Ricketts of Deeside in Trelawny, hung himself in the Falmouth Market around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

A cord was used to do the act in one of the unoccupied stalls.

According to reports, Ricketts suffered from a mental condition and was exhibiting this in his community before journeying the approximately 12 kilometres from his home to do the act in the Trelawny capital.

Scores of onlookers gathered to get a glimpse of the tragic situation.





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A new date has been set for the murder trial of entertainer Desmond Ballentyne more popularly known as Ninja Man.

The case was postponed when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court on Monday. The trial was rescheduled because the witnesses were unavailable.

The controversial deejay also expressed happiness after the judge gave him permission to take bookings for overseas performances during the first six months before his return to court.

Ninja Man, along with three other persons are being charged with the 2009 murder of Richard Johnson in the Mall Road Area of Kingston. The trial was previously postponed in November because a case was being heard.





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Citing the many barriers to effective heart care in Jamaica, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) has announced its groundbreaking intervention of now offering free heart assessments and emergency coronary angiograms to all Jamaicans in need of critical cardiovascular care.

A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test. It is done to find out if a person's coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where and by how much.

"We are of the view that cardiovascular-care delivery in Jamaica will be greatly enhanced through a process of open access to rapid and prompt coronary angiograms at the time when patients need this the most and especially for those patients most at risk," explained HIC chief executive officer, Professor Ernest Madu.

In response to the access issues in cardiovascular emergencies, which also includes, information deficit and a lack of resources, the HIC has designed a new model, which will see the most vulnerable group of Jamaicans benefiting from open access to emergency heart care.

Under this model, which the HIC calls its 10th-anniversary gift to Jamaica, the HIC Chest Pain Center will offer free emergency physician evaluation for anyone with chest pain or cardiac complaints after hours. If the doctor determines they need an angiogram, it is also offered free, and patients would only be required to purchase the low-cost RAPID Angiokits that are available through various suppliers in Jamaica.

Cardiac Illness

Additionally, free angiograms will now also be offered at HIC to: all patients in Jamaica identified to be having a heart attack, chest pain or other cardiac complaints, strongly suggesting a heart attack; all patients hospitalised at any hospital in Jamaica, who have been told that they would need an angiogram during that hospital stay; and all patients presenting at any A&E in Jamaica, who are told that an angiogram would be needed because of their complaints."We believe that an open and accelerated access to coronary angiograms without financial consideration will lead to a quick diagnosis and allow clinicians to define proper treatment strategies, and give patients early diagnosis and families, well-deserved comfort and peace of mind," Madu added.This latest Heart Institute innovation follows several corporate social-responsibility innovations including: the launch of a 24-hour emergency response-heart care service in July 2014; free heart testing for CARIFTA athletes; the opening of Jamaica's first dedicated 24-hour Chest Pain Emergency Care Center to the public in September 2014; a series of free specialist hypertension clinics; and heavily discounted heart-related testing at varied points throughout the year.

CAPTION: It's all smiles for Heart Institute of the Caribbean executives. Chief executive officer (CEO), Professor Ernest Madu (left); and president, Dr Dainia Baugh, interact with heart health partners, chairman and CEO of US-based Netmedical, Dick Govatski (second left); and Dr Douglas Waldo, vice-president, clinical services, International Health Services. The quartet was discussing details of the institute's 10th-anniversary announcement, which will see the most at-risk Jamaicans receiving free emergency angiograms.





Assassin hits Billboard with int'l collab

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assassin-agent-sasco-photo-1.jpg Dancehall artiste Assassin's latest international collaboration Blacker The Berry, with American rapper Kendrick Lamar has charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

The song, which appeared at number 86 last week, is Kendrick Lamar's second single from his album To Pimp A Butterfly. The album is a follow-up to his debut LP Good Kid M.A.A.d City, which was nominated for a Grammy and went on to sell over a million copies.

Blacker The Berry features an Assassin verse, and sees the deejay using his wordplay skills, to tell a tale of African success. The song was released in Black History month and ruffled feathers in the United States music industry because of its strong message which tackles the issue of racism.

Steven J Horowitz of Billboard gave the song four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing that "Lamar swings at racial injustice, letting rage break his usual cool veneer."

Pitchfork Media named it Best New Track with reviewer Jayson Greene saying that the song "might be Lamar's most focused and upsetting performance."

Assassin aka Agent Sasco, was also commended by several music critics for his work on the song, Notably. Fader magazine recently called the dancehall artiste "The new crossover King."

The magazine's article further stated; "Assassin's voice cuts through rhythms with a force befitting his name. His rugged flow (a big, booming, Buju Banton sort of beast) and pointed, observational lyrics have made him a staple, if not an outright star."





Assault case against Chuck Fenda dismissed

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Reggae artiste Chuck Fenda and his babymother were sent to mediation when they both appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrates' court before senior RM Lyle Armstrong on Tuesday.

The accused, Chuck Fenda, whose real name is Leshorn Whitehead was charged with assaulting his babymother.

Allegations outlined were that on March 23, 2015, at about 9:30 pm, the entertainer went to pick up his daughter in Portmore where an argument developed with his babymother. It was said that he boxed and kicked her all over her body causing swellings on her face, a cut to her neck and bruises to the knees.

The two, who were seen talking amicably before the case was called up, were sent to the mediation department and a successful agreement was made.

The case was then dismissed against Chuck Fenda.





JPS cuts electricity rates

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The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has announced that its customers will now be paying US 25 cents per per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity.

The company said this rate was the lowest for electricity in Jamaica since 2010.

"The dramatic reduction in overall energy cost is due to lower fuel charges, as well as the improved efficiency of JPS' generating units. Since last year, JPS customers have been benefiting from lower Fuel and IPP Charges on their bills, as a result of the reduction in the price of oil on the world market. The Fuel & IPP Charge on bills this month is J$14.670 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared to J$18.449 last month" JPS said in a release.

This means a seven percent reduction in the April bill for the average residential customer, compared to his/her March bill. The Fuel and IPP Charge on bills is coming down from a high of $J28.828 / kWh in March last year when oil prices were at their highest for 2014, the release continued.

JPS said that in addition to the lower cost of the oil used for electricity generation, the company is also passing on to customers the gains from the improved efficiency of its generating plants.





Caribbean Broilers cuts prices

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For the second time this year, Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group has cut the price of their products in Jamaica.

Effective April 20, the company will lower its prices, right across the board, for all their business lines, which includes their flagship brand in the CB Foods division - CB Chicken, their fresh pork line - Copperwood Pork, their convenient ready to eat line - Caribbean Passion, their Grade A egg brand - Chippenham Eggs, their Omega enriched Smart Egg line and lastly their Bad Dawg Sausages program.

The good news also extends to farmers, who will also see a price reduction on purchases of all Nutramix animal feeds.

As with a similar decrease seen just a few months ago, in January 2015, further reduction in some key input costs, such as grains, has given the company the ability to reduce their selling prices and pass on savings to the trade.

Dr. Keith Amiel, Corporate Affairs Manager explained that, "If you've been following the commodity markets, you'd realize that grains have been trending downwards which have allowed us to purchase our raw materials at better prices and this has in turn allowed us to pass savings on to the consumers".

He further shared that "When the markets are going North we are forced to pass on the price increase to the market and so naturally, when things go the other way, its only right that we pass on the savings as well.





25 year-old woman commits suicide

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A 25-year-old woman is believed to have committed suicide at her St Andrew home Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that the woman, identified as Jodi-Ann Williams, sent several messages to friends telling them that she loves them and she was sorry.

The circumstances leading up to her death is not known at this time.

She was later found hanging from the roof of her house. Police were summoned to the scene about 2:30 pm.





Cuba to be removed from terror list

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US President Barack Obama has decided to lift the U.S. designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In a message to Congress on Tuesday, the White House said that the long-awaited decision effectively removes the principal impediment to establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as pledged by Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro last December.

Congress has 45 days to consider Cuba's removal from the list before it becomes effective, but cannot interfere with Obama's decision without voting separate legislation, a measure that the White House has deemed unlikely.

At a news conference Saturday, Obama said that the majority of the American people, as well as a majority of Congress, approves of his opening to Cuba.

Cuba was first designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982, at the height of the Cold War. Cuba's removal would leave only three countries on the list--Iran, Sudan and Syria.





Commercial sex trade remains illegal

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey, says the commercial sex industry cannot be regularized, as it is still illegal under the law.

Responding to a question at the latest RJR Group News Forum, Harvey said the industry should be monitored and this would protect those involved as well as members of the public.

"We need to get to a stage where the industry is regulated and we provide the necessary supervision and oversight that we don't have underage children, we do not have abuse of the persons involved, we limit the issue related to human trafficking and all of those things related to and impact sex work," he said.

The idea of regularising the commercial sex trade was proposed several years ago but received opposition from the religious community.





Controversy surrounds JLP NE St Catherine seat

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There are more rumblings in the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) this time over reports that Sharon Hay Webster has been campaigning in the constituency of North East St. Catherine which is held by Gregory Mair.

Hay Webster is an aide to JLP Leader Andrew Holness.

The contents of a letter from Mair to the Party's Chairman Robert Montague demanding an urgent investigation into Hay Webster's campaign in his constituency and attempts to undermine his political organisation, have been leaked.

Mair also wants answers on whether she has applied for the seat, was interviewed by the selection committee, provided with the list of Party workers in the constituency and given the green light to campaign. In his letter to the JLP Chairman, Mair said he wants Hay Webster out of his constituency.





Third person charged in killing of Mario Deane

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A third person has been charged with the fatal beating of Mario Deane,31 at the Barnett Street Police lock-up in St James last August.

Damion Cargill, who has a hearing disability, was charged on Friday with murder and conspiracy to murder following a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He appeared in court shortly after.

Cargill will make his next court appearance on April 29.His attorney Franklin Haliburton says his client may not be aware of the charges against him.Haliburton says a 10 page document submitted to the court by a language specialist who interviewed Cargill stated that he is not able to understand sign language.

The other accused, Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan were charged in October last year. It is alleged that the inmates attacked and beat Deane who died three days later in hospital.





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Bacchanal Queen Destra Garcia found herself on the wrong side of Bacchanal organisers last Friday after the curvaceous soca icon lashed out against what she described as segregation facilitated by the organisers, strict VIP rules.

Destra was in the middle of her set during the Bacchanal Jamaica J'ouvert fete at Mas Camp, Stadium North, and about to perform her song Mash It Up, when she encouraged patrons to remove the barriers which separated the VIP from the general patrons. However, as several revellers proceeded to remove the barriers, the security crew stepped in to prevent this.

A seemingly upset Destra decided she was not going to continue her performance if the barriers were not removed. she called on the organisers to give the necessary instructions. However, they, too, refused. The refusal further threw Destra into a rage. She lashed out at what she described as class segregation.

Co-organiser of the event Michael Ammar Jr was spotted marching across the stage during Destra's rant in an attempt to proceed with the show. But Destra stood her ground, proclaiming herself to be the Queen of Bacchanal, and would not settle for segregation.

"It's been three years now I telling them to move this VIP area, but they don't listen," she said.

She then handed over the microphone to her backup singer, Silva, refusing to sing another song until the barriers were totally removed. Silva sang some popular soca songs while revellers again removed the barriers, this time without much opposition from security personnel.

Destra then returned to the stage, swept her eyes across the venue, and said she was satisfied with the adjustments. She also apologised to the organisers for her rant and told the audience her actions may have compromised the potential for her to be booked for other Bacchanal events.

"I told you move the damn fence for this song. I make no apology for my behaviour, I am the Queen of Bacchanal. I can move your damn fence, I don't promote segregation. Black, white, chiney, I don't care. Bacchanal is supposed to mean one people. Because of the problem I caused here tonight, you may not see me again, but it's ok," she said.

She then performed Max It Up, Start A Whine, and concluded with her 2015 hit Lucy.





Andrew Holness guest judge for Magnum

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Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, is expected to make an appearance as guest judge during the live staging of the popular Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall on Saturday. According to Robert Nesta Morgan, deputy opposition spokesperson on Youth and Education, the opposition leader has a deep appreciation for Jamaican culture.

"He was asked if he would be interested in being a guest judge on the show and he agreed. A lot of persons may not know, but Mr Holness has a deep appreciation for Jamaican music and culture," Morgan said. He added that Holness made an appearance on TVJ's Intense and has also been to other entertainment events.

"Mr Holness is someone who understands the importance of culture, importance of reggae music and the importance of dancehall, not only as a means of people enjoying themselves, but as an economic opportunity. The music industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. One of the things Mr Holness is interested in is putting forward policies to make Jamaican music more popular and stronger," he said.

He said Holness is looking forward to being part of the show.





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Gully Bop's fiancée, Shauna Chin, was called in by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) to speak about allegations that she had collected money for a show in Canada. Yesterday, the rumour mill was alive with news that Chin was arrested.

However, she stressed that she does not take bookings and Heavy D has been Gully Bop's official booking agent since December. Chin said the issue started when she saw a message on Gully Bop's Facebook page from a man claiming he had sent US$3,000 (J$345,000) via Western Union as downpayment for five dates in Canada. Despite his insistence, Chin said she explained to the man that she did not receive any money for bookings. The man later made a report to MOCA.

Chin said she visited MOCA with documents to prove she did not conduct any business with the complainant.

Heavy D also stressed that he is the only person who does bookings for Gully Bop. He said the dates which the man claimed he had bookings for have been booked by another person as far back as February. Heavy D said his system is very difficult to defraud.

"A whole heap a people a claim seh dem book show. But we have a special thing weh we use and book. My system, you cannot fraud this. Chin neva write a contract yet," he said.

"The official booking contact for Gully Bop is bookings@heavydpromotions.com. If you don't get bookings from that, you don't get no booking."

He stressed that all of Gully Bop's relevant information is also available on his website, gullybopmusic.com.





PARAMARIBO, Suriname (CMC) - Suriname law enforcement authorities have confirmed that two police officers involved in a fracas at the Guyana embassy earlier this month have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

Over the weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Lackin apologised to his Guyanese counterpart Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett after Georgetown said it wanted an expeditious explanation from its Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community neighbour after the police attempted to arrest the chauffer of its diplomat on the compound of the Guyana Embassy.

Guyana said that the incident occurred on April 1, when an unidentified Surinamese national parked his vehicle in front of the gate of the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo, in clear sight of a "no parking sign".

It said during the fracas the shirt of its Ambassador Keith Gorge was torn.

The Corps Police Suriname (KPS) said the police officers involved in the scuffle at the Guyana embassy had been suspended and that a thorough investigation of the incident will follow.

"Management of KPS regrets the actions of the policemen on the premises of the Guyanese embassy and will take disciplinary action, based on the outcome of the investigation," the KPS said in a statement.

The police said that while it regretted the incident, non-diplomatic personnel of the embassy were also at fault when they assaulted the motorist and damaged his car.

It said that that is why the officers tried to enter the embassy to arrest embassy personnel, which indeed was in violation of the Vienna Convention.

"(Just) a few weeks before this incident, a memo was sent out with special instructions regarding the rules that apply to diplomats and buildings of diplomatic representations that fall under the Vienna Convention," police said.





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Jamaica's two most promising junior athletes, Michael O'Hara of Calabar High, and Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys will be barred from participating as high school athletes at the prestigious Penn Relays set for April 23-25.

The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) issued a statement today saying that both athletes are ineligible to participate based on a ruling from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (PIAA).

"In a communiqué to ISSA, the PIAA today said that both athletes are deemed to have received benefits related to their athletic skills and performances which are not available to all students at their high schools," noted the ISSA statement.

On this basis, both athletes cannot represent their respective schools at the 2015 Penn Relays," it concluded.

Hyde is the World Youth and Youth Olympics 110m hurdles champion and the World Junior 400m hurdle champion but has signed a deal with telecommunication provider LIME as their ambassador.

O'Hara, who is the World junior 200m champion, recently signed with LIME's telecommunication rival Digicel, as their ambassador.

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Madonna kisses a disgusted Drake at Coachella

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madonna-drake-kiss-photo-2.jpgDreams do come true! Last month, Madonna dished to Us Weekly exclusively about her secret crush on Drake, and she finally got her moment with the rapper.

The Queen of Pop, 56, made a surprise appearance at the Coachella Music Festival on Sunday, April 12, taking the stage in Indio, Calif. during Drake's performance of his single "Madonna." She turned up the heat on the headliner, 28, as she sang "Human Nature," a single off of her 1994 album Bedtime Stories.

The moment started innocently enough, with Drake sitting in a chair on the stage as Madonna danced around him in a skimpy black outfit and over-the-knee black leather boots. Drake didn't know what he was in for, however, when Madonna decided to check off one of her longtime goals in the middle of the show.

"The lifelong ambition I still want to fulfill is to go on a dream date with Drake - and only kiss him," Madge told Us in March as a part of her once-in-a-lifetime 25 Things You Don't Know About Me interview.

She did just that and more on Sunday night, strutting up to Drake as he reclined and tilting his head back to meet hers. Madonna then went in on the rapper, gratuitously making out with him and inspiring a gasp from the Coachella crowd.

The "Worst Behavior" performer seemed into the kiss at first, stroking Madonna's hair before she batted his hand away. It seemed to get a little too intense for the Degrassi alum, however, when he threw his hand down and gave a strong grimace as Madonna finally pulled away.

"Oh s--t," Drake said after wiping his mouth and covering his eyes with his hand. "What the f--k just happened?"





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Dancehall artiste Mr Vegas found the perfect opportunity to showcase his latest hit single 'My Jam' when he made an unforgettable appearance at South by Southwest at The Palm Door in Texas recently.

South by Southwest is a major festival held each year to showcase the artistic talents of various people around the world. This year South by Southwest included a Caribbean stage for which Mr Vegas wasted no time in making an impact. Large Up, the media sponsor of the even,t described Vegas' performance as a 'tough act to follow'.

Leading up to Vegas' mind- blowing performance were other memorable Caribbean artistes. Cultural artiste Kabaka Pyramid and his band Bebble Rockers opened the show with his conscious music, after which Nyla from Brick and Lace and Laza Morgan performed a few of their popular singles. Gyptian took the stage next and soon after Mr Vegas.

The My Jam deejay had the crowd soothed and rocking to his tune as he recited classics such as Heads High and I Am Blessed. Significant to his performance was his ability to connect with his audience.

He had patrons engaged in a dance off competition as he sang his single Bruk It Down. Soca extraordinaire Machel Montano went after Mr Vegas and had the crowd raving to his upbeat performance. Both artistes stole the show.





Bugle's video debuts on MTV Jams

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Singer and songwriter Bugle is still reaping the benefits following last year's release of his debut album Anointed. The album features the single Move Dem (with Julian Marley).

The video for Move Dem, which was directed by Jerome Hyde, made its premiere Sunday on MTV Jams. On Wednesday, the video will premiere on VH1 Soul. Move Dem continues to enjoy rotation on the local airwaves. The video has so far hit over 250,000 views on YouTube.

Bugle is currently enjoying radio action with songs including Caramel (Daseca Productions), Be Proud (Dunwell Records), Survivor (DJ Frass Records), False Prophets (ZJ Chrome) and Nuh Like Da Style Deh (Troyton Music).

Nuh Like Da Style Deh is Bugle's biggest song in the streets at present. It is featured on the popular Intoxxicated rhythm. In a media release, Bugle spoke about the inspiration behind the song.

"The song is about everyday happenings in the streets where the least thing happens, all you can hear is derogatory words and expletives. Mi just a mek a man know say win nuh run dem joke deh," said Bugle.

Bugle recently released videos for the singles False Prophets (directed by Jerome Hyde) and Survivor (directed by The Creative Inc).





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At least two church denominations have decried dancehall artiste Ishawna's latest single, Glory, as being "sacrilegious and blasphemous". The song, released over the Easter weekend, sparked a firestorm of criticism online because of the lyrics and racy content. In the song, Ishawna compares the sexual act to being filled with the Holy Spirit.

"Ishawna is a bright and beautiful young lady. And while I believe in the creative license of artistes to express themselves, I believe we all have a responsibility to avoid offending the sensibilities of all groups in society. To pair sex and worship in this manner is unfortunate and misguided, to say the least. It is sacrilegious and blasphemous," Bishop Everton Thomas of Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Slipe Road, and Portmore, said.

Bishop Thomas suggested that the dancehall artiste and her management team pull the song immediately.

"Ishawna doesn't need to go to this extreme to build her ratings and, I would suggest that she pulls this one," Bishop Thomas said.

The controversial Ishawna also uses religious metaphors and makes overt references to God and sex.One church minister who chose to remain anonymous, described the song as "very disturbing".

"The first time that I sat down and listened to this woman tell her story on Winford Williams' Onstage programme, my heart went out to her because of the physical abuse she suffered. But now, I fear that she has lost her way. She is on a very slippery slope. She may be on the verge of losing her soul. She is opening some very dangerous doors given the words that are coming out of her mouth," the minister said.

Reverend Carla Dunbar of Praise Sanctuary Church of God Apostolic, Cavalier , St Andrew, chose not to lambast Ishawna. She admitted that she did not know Ishawna's marital status and in what context she had penned the song.





Ganja law effective Wednesday

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The recently amended Dangerous Drugs Act commonly referred to as The Ganja Law will take effect this Wednesday.

According to the Justice Ministry the law is expected to among other things reduce the number of cases before Resident Magistrate's Courts and acknowledge the constitutional rights of the Rastafari community which uses ganja as a sacrament.

It will also facilitate the creation of a regulated legitimate medicinal and industrial marijuana industry.

Justice Minister Mark Golding said in a release that Jamaica is approaching the reforms in a responsible manner, and in keeping with international obligations.

There will be a public education campaign to discourage ganja use by adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups.





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The family of the 16 year old Jamaican boy who was refused passage through Suriname on the weekend is claiming that he is being wrongly accused.

Immigration officials in Suriname said they suspected he was traveling to join the militant group ISIS.

The Surinamese police said the teenager arrived on a flight from Jamaica, intending to transit to the Netherlands, from where he would travel to Turkey.However, his family is refuting the claim of an ISIS connection.

At his home in Bailey's Vale, Port Maria in St. Mary, his grandfather Alveren Hunter said his grandson was travelling to the Netherlands to visit his grandmother who he had not seen for years.

"That rumour is very bad, he was going to the Netherlands to his grandmother for vacation ....."

Hunter believes the authorities got it wrong as he says his grandson is not the religious type. But he acknowledged that the Koran was found in the teen's room during a search by the police on Saturday.

"He is not a Muslim..... the only church he goes to is to play football ...."

His aunt, Avril Hunter says the situation has left the family upset and concerned as it will cast a shadow over her nephew's future.

The teenager who returned to the island on Friday is in police custody.





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History was made in Panama on Saturday, when President Barack Obama of the United States and President Raul Castro of Cuba met for discussions on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas.

This was the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries for more than half a century. There had previously been no such contact since the Cuban Revolution which brought Fidel Castro, Raul's older brother, to power in 1959. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion, supported by the American CIA, and the decision to establish a communist regime in Cuba at the height of the Cold War, accentuated by the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the imposition of a decades long American economic embargo, have characterised the bad relationship that has existed between the two neighbours ever since.

Mr. Obama described the recent improvements in relations between the two countries, with several measures announced in December, as a "turning point." While there has already been a significant easing of some economic restrictions, the embargo officially remains in place, and on Saturday Mr. Castro has called for the lifting of the US economic blockade.

President Obama reiterated his Administration's position that it was time to "try something new" and that it was important for the US to engage more directly with the Cuban government and the Cuban people. He added that over time it would be possible to "turn the page" on old divisions but he acknowledged that there were still significant differences.

Mr Obama said that immediate tasks include normalising diplomatic relationships between the two countries and opening a US embassy in Havana and a Cuban embassy in Washington DC.





Hillary Clinton is running for president

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After years of often-breathless speculation about her future, Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in politics: She's running for president. The former first lady and secretary of state officially entered the 2016 presidential race with a video announcement to supporters Sunday, saying she wants to be the champion of "everyday Americans."

"Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," Clinton told supporters at the end of a more than two-minute-long video posted on her official campaign website, hillaryclinton.com. "Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion so you can do more than just get by."

The video represented a sharp tonal shift from her announcement video in 2008, which featured Clinton addressing voters while sitting on a couch in her Washington, D.C., home. In contrast, Clinton is only seen and heard in roughly the last minute of Sunday's video, which features testimony and footage from families, young workers and gay couples.

While she told voters in 2008 that she was "in to win," Clinton told voters Sunday that she is "hitting the road to earn your vote, because it's your time." "I hope you'll join me on this journey," Clinton added.





Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles, gets married

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Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles, 61, is getting married for a second time.

TMZ report that Tina and her fiance actor Richard Lawson, 67, are tying the knot this Sunday evening on a super yacht outside of Newport Beach, California, and Beyoncé and husband Jay Z are onboard.

The site also reports that Solange and Blue Ivy are also in attendance, and all guests are wearing white.

The boat is said to have a capacity of 300, and there were many guests seen arriving for the big day.

It was first rumoured that Tina and her beau Richard had got married in October last year. Richard is known for his work on the soap All My Children, as well as starring in the 1982 horror Poltergeist.

It has been a busy time for weddings in the family, after Tina's daughter Solange tied the knot with music manager Alan Ferguson in November last year.

The couple tied the knot at the Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans in front of 100 friends and family, including Beyonce, Jay and singer pal Janelle Monae.

It is not known if Beyonce's former manager and father Mathew Knowles was there. Mathew, 63, was Tina's first husband and the pair were married for 31-years from 1980 to 2011 and had two children together Beyonce and Solange. In June 2013, Mathew married former model Gena Charmaine Avery in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

CAPTION: Happy news! It has been reported that Tina Knowles, 61, and her fiance actor Richard Lawson, 67, are tying the knot this Sunday evening on a super yacht outside of Newport Beach, California.





Bobby Brown made his first public appearance this weekend since the hospitalization of his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who remains in a medically-induced coma.

Brown was appearing as part of the Soul Food Festival near Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday evening, and he was emotional when he spoke about the difficult few months he and his family have experienced.

"I must tell y'all ... this feels really, really, really good," Brown told the crowd.

The 46-year-old singer - who, up until this point, had been by his daughter's side since she was hospitalized in late January - expressed his gratitude to the festivalgoers, who were enthusiastic with their support.

"I want to think all y'all for coming out tonight and supporting me and my family," he continued, before getting noticeably emotional.

"Rough times are rough times. Hard times are hard times. I don't know what the hell I'm going through right now but I'm giving it to God and lettin' him deal with it," he said.

Even though Brown was candid about his current struggles, the show must go on.

"There's only one thing I ask of y'all tonight, just enjoy yourselves tonight," Brown said.

This won't be the only public appearance Brown has booked. He is reportedly slated to perform several tour dates in Australia in May.





Rapper Nelly on drugs charges

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Rapper and reality TV star Nelly is facing felony drug charges after being arrested in Tennessee on Saturday.

Tennessee Highway Patrol said in a news release that Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes, was pulled over about 9:20 a.m. because the bus he was riding in failed to display a U.S. Department of Transportation and International Fuel Tax Association sticker.

According to the release troopers smelled marijuana when they reached the bus.

When troopers searched the bus, they found five rocks that tested positive for meth, as well as a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Troopers also say they found numerous handguns. The St. Louis native is facing charges of felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Nelly, 40, was taken to the Putnam County Jail.





16-y-o from Jamaica stopped from joining ISIS

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isis-photo-1.jpgOnline publication devsur.com is reporting that a 16-year-old boy from Jamaica was refused passage through Suriname yesterday (April 11) as immigration officers suspected he was travelling to join terrorist organisation Islamic State group in Turkey.

The police reportedly issued a press release stating that the teen arrived at the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport on a flight from Jamaica, intending to transit to the Netherlands, from where he would travel to his end destination Turkey.

"He was denied entry to Suriname because we received information from a regional intelligence service that he wanted to join the Islamic State group," the police reportedly said.

The online publication stated that after the boy was interrogated and additional information received from Jamaica, the decision was made to send him back to Jamaica on the next available flight.

The teenager's name was not given.





shocked.jpgTragedy struck a family in Nairne Castle, Claredon on Saturday when a three-year-old boy shot and killed his mother at his grandmother's home.

According to initial reports, at around 3 pm, the child took his father's gun and shot his mother, Rhea Ricketts, otherwise called 'Lucky', between her eyes. She was pronounced dead at the Spaulding Hospital.

The father, who is a policeman, had gone with his wife to collect their children, who had been on holidays. The father fell asleep and the child removed the firearm and shot his mother.

The family, who is from Spanish Town in St Catherine is still trying to come to terms with her tragic death. A relative described her as a fun loving person, who was easy to get along with. Her brother Junior Ricketts said the other family members are devastated.

"It's a very devastating moment, this is like a nightmare. I couldn't possibly imagine that this would have happened to us," he said.

Ricketts recalled the moments leading up to when he got the news. He said he was on his way to the house when he saw a family member running towards the house. He asked and was told his sister had been shot and killed by her son.

"When I rushed down here I saw my mom crying and I came up to the van and asked what was wrong and that was when I saw my sister lying in the van back. I looked at her and asked what was wrong then I realised blood was coming from her face and there was a hole between her eyes," he said.

Ricketts said he rushed his sister to the hospital and the doctors pronounced her dead on arrival.





Two men accused of using their bus as a "mobile hotel" for another man to have sex with a schoolgirl appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrates' court on Friday.

The accused men, Omar Berry, a 24 year old conductor and Roshane Johnson, a 29 year old bus driver, both residents in Linstead, were granted bail. Bail was set at $250,000 each with 1 or 2 sureties, and both are to report to the Linstead Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.

They are both charged for aiding and abetting, while another accused is before the Children's Court for having sex with a person under the age of 16 years old.

Allegations are that Johnson and Berry were on their bus while the other accused was on the back seat having sex with the minor. It was further outlined that Johnson was driving around in circles telling them to hurry up cause he needed to pick up passengers.

Their case was transferred to the Linstead RM Court and will be mentioned on April 22, 2015.





Congrats Mayor Browne Burke on your Doctorate

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Yardflex.com takes pleasure in congratulating Kingston Mayor, Angela Brown-Burke on receiving her PhD.

The mayor presented her doctoria thesis last week and already social media is buzzing with her achievement.

Congratulations Dr. Burke!





Teen held in murder of 11-month-old infant

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The Kingston Central Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of 11-month-old Omar Lindo of Charles Street, Kingston.

The suspect, a male teen, was held in an operation in Courage district, Gordon Town, St. Andrew, which was carried out on Saturday.

Arrangements are now being made for him to be interviewed in the presence of his attorney.

Omar was shot dead in his yard on Monday, April 6. A six-year-old child was also shot and injured in the incident.





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Reggae/dancehall artiste Busy Signal says President Barack Obama's visit to Jamaica presents opportunities for the island. According to the Jamaica Love singer, he has no issues with the government spending millions to renovate sections of the Corporate Area for the president's visit because Obama deserves presidential treatment.

The artiste, who commented during a recent interview, said he has hopes of returning to the US to spread his music.

"A president deserves presidential treatment in every way. The work and preparation that the island made I see no problem with that because if a first world president is coming here it's a good thing. People make preparations for stuff like this because it's a great look for the country with Obama coming here," Busy Signal said.

Currently without a US visa, the deejay also took the opportunity to beg President Obama to return his travelling rights to the United States.

"Mi just wah tell Obama sey big up yuself, big up yu family, big up United States. Pardon the turf president, yu know wey mi mean and mek the thing work. Mi wah reach een and duh the things the right way. Wi nah get wi self inna no more trouble Obama, yu know how the thing set," he said.

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Busy Signal's mentor Bounty Killer also commented on social media that he wants to ask Obama to return his United States visa.

"The world boss is here mi a guh deh guh ask him bout my visa yo," he said.

Several dancehall and reggae artistes are currently without United States visas, and are forced to stick to European, Caribbean and South African markets. Recording artiste Tommy Lee Sparta also made a public plea at Sting, to be issued a visa.





stevie-face.jpg Reggae singer Stevie Face recently celebrated the first anniversary of his Advanced Service Station - which is located in Albion, St Thomas - with huge bash.

The event, which featured Agent Sasco as the special guest performer, along with the musical jugglings of FAME FM top jock DJ Nicco, Renaissance Disco, and Copper Shot, was a huge success, attracting more than 2,000 patrons.

"I am very grateful for the support of the people of Albion and the surrounding areas. They came out in their numbers and partied with us as we celebrated our first anniversary," Stevie Face said.

During the day, patrons were also treated to customer appreciation events at the Advanced Service Station and at its sister operation, Advanced Alignment & Accessories.

"The customer appreciation day events that were held at both business places were well attended. A number of major companies were onsite at both locations, displaying their products and giving away samples to our customers. We also had Irie FM doing a live broadcast, it was a tremendous success," the artiste said.

Stevie Face is looking forward to a number of overseas engagements. He is also getting ready to work on several new studio projects.

"I have a lot of overseas shows coming up. I'm also looking forward to a tour of Europe this year. Summer is just around the corner and I want to put out a couple new songs in time for the summer as well," the singer revealed.





Demarco nominated for major awards

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demarco.jpg After claiming the top spot on major charts and eclipsing the million mark on VEVO with his monster hit, 'Puppy Tail', dancehall star Demarco continues to affirm why he's among the top brass of the industry.

Following recent announcements by the organisers of the Music Industry Achievers Awards (MIA) and The People's Choice STAR Awards, the blonde singer has collectively nabbed four nominations at the upcoming award shows.

In the People's Choice STAR Awards, Demarco is nominated for 'Male Deejay of the Year' and 'Song of the Year' for one of 2014's biggest anthem, Good Book. His nominations in the MIA Awards are of a similar reflection.

Alluding to the achievement Demarco said: "Last year my team and I broke a lot of new ground that saw the official launch of True Gift Entertainment (TGE) and rebranding and evolving of me as an artiste. It was a challenging year several regards, but the nominations are testament that hard work and a focused mind will always reap good rewards. "

The fifth staging of the Music Industry Achievers Awards is set to unfold on Friday, April 24, at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.

Meanwhile, Demarco was in top form at the Easter Weekend, delivering a pair of noteworthy performances to large gatherings at the St Ann Kite Festival in Richmond, Priory, and the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show in St James.





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Popular Montego Bay-based race car driver Daryl King died while watching Furious 7 on Thursday night. King, who was living with a heart condition, died while entertaining himself with a film dedicated to his favourite pastime.

The car racing enthusiast was the winner of the 2013 Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club/Drivers Rallysport club rally sport title. Racing is deep-rooted in King's family. Daryl's late father, Raynor King, and his cousin, Richard Rerrie, are former local car racing champions.

Several persons expressed sadness at King's passing on Facebook.

"Race in peace. RIP to mi real solider, fallen solider," Shackeil Says Hi wrote on King's Facebook timeline.

Rudolph Sam Wahrmann wrote: "Miss you cous cant believe but the creator knows best and you are in good hands. This does not feel real."

Furious 7 is the latest edition of Fast and the Furious, the American movie franchise centred around street car racing.





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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Jamaica's leader asked President Barack Obama on Thursday to exonerate black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey, who was convicted in the U.S. of mail fraud in the 1920s and remains a prominent historic figure on the island.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said she told Obama it is the "deep desire of the government and people of Jamaica" to have Garvey exonerated of the conviction that got him deported back to his Jamaican homeland in 1927.

"I asked the president to consider the matter and to offer any support within his authority during his tenure in the White House, and beyond," Simpson Miller said after Obama departed the island to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Garvey was the first person named a Jamaican national hero following the island's independence in 1962, and the government put his likeness on coins. He died in 1940.

U.S. officials did not immediately provide comment about Simpson Miller's request regarding Garvey, who once inspired millions of followers with messages of black pride and self-reliance. Obama made no mention of Garvey during his public comments in Jamaica, which focused on a wide range of regional issues including energy security, trade and climate change.

Born nearly 50 years after the abolition of slavery in Jamaica, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica in 1914 and then built it into a mass movement in New York from 1919 to 1927. From his Harlem base, Garvey urged blacks to be proud of their African ancestry at a time segregation was deeply implanted in the U.S. and European colonialism still stretched around the world.

Garvey's Pan-African philosophy urged blacks to return to the continent of their ancestors.

His supporters in Jamaica and abroad contend the U.S. charges were trumped up to silence Garvey.





Red Stripe beer delivered to the President

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United States President Barack Obama will get his desire for a cold mug of Jamaican Red Stripe beer on Air Force One.

In fact, 48 bottles of the Jamaican beverage have been delivered to Air Force One for the American president.

A taste of the Jamaican beer was one of two wishes the president made around 10 minutes before Air Force One landed at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday night.

The other wish to visit the Bob Marley Museum was materialised in a surprise stop at the Hope Road-based landmark, just over an hour after Obama touched Jamaican soil.

Yesterday, Red Stripe sought to make the other wish come true, delivering two crates of beer at the Norman Manley International Airport which were received on the president's behalf by his Secret Service agents.





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The bus conductor who was implicated in the death of 14-year-old Kayalicia Simpson has been formally charged with murder by the St Thomas police on Wednesday.

He is 29-year-old Damion Ewin of Newland Housing Scheme in Yallahs. Ewin has also been charged with committing sexual offences in the same matter. On Tuesday, March 3, relatives found the girl's body and summoned the police. She was found with multiple chop wounds to the head and neck.

The post-mortem examination revealed that Kaylacia was pregnant. She was a student of the Donald Quarrie High School in Kingston.

Ewin will appear before the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April, 15.





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Police said a boy found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday is a ward of the state.

Eleven-year-old Jevon Thompson, who gave his particulars as eight-year-old Kevin Washington of Miami, United States of America, is a ward at Reddie's Place of Safety in Kingston 2.

Reports are that about 12:55 p.m., Jevon was found wandering at the airport. He subsequently reported that his parents were waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom and upon his return, they were not there.

Checks by the police revealed that Jevon went missing on multiple occasions and was placed at the facility in September, 2014. He was taken by the police to the home yesterday.





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Reggae artiste Chronixx yesterday cleared the air, explaining that he did not disrespect US President Barack Obama in a social media post he made earlier in the day.

This, after finding himself at the receiving end of harsh criticisms from fans.

Chronixx posted a picture of Marcus Garvey and captioned the photo: "This man ... Still have criminal record on the United States and we glorifying some waste man! This man was hunted and imprisoned by our Jamaican government ... who some years later, paved a peaceful and safe path for the US president to address is a ... "race of good for nothing's". That's why black faces don't mean anything to rasta anymore".

His post was met with harsh criticisms as many believed his 'waste man' comment was aimed at Obama. Many called him out for his hypocrisy, stating that he has performed in the United States several times.

"Waste man? But yuh deh pon TV inna waste man country a perform your songs ... . Such hypocrisy," one commentator said.

Another stated: "You are a fraud. How dare you address the man as such. You sing conscious lyrics, but you do not practice what you preach ... Give back your American visa since you are so high and mighty."

Another said: "The blatant disrespect of my President! (Your comment) was uncalled for. You earn wages in America."

Others however, agreed with Chronixx's statement, calling for the expunging of Garvey's criminal records. Chronixx later commented that those who wished to unfollow him, were free to do so.

"...Will go on more American stations this year and chant liberation again and again and again. When I speak, I don't really think about career and things like that. Nuh frighten fi career either, never born with career."

Fans of the artiste were still ruffled by his post. This prompted him to further elaborate on what he meant.

He wrote: "I love every human on this planet, and as hard as it is, I show nothing but perfect love even to the waste man dem at home and abroad. Love has nothing to do with truth! And I did not call the president a waste man."





chronixx-photo-8.jpgDem she if yuh spit in di sky it fall inna yuh eye. Well, Chronixx get nuff cussing and tracing off over the Obama 'waste man' comment. Him fan dem give it to him and so him did haffi tek dung the post.

But a what dis we a hear bout him puppa? A lickle birdie tell we she smaddy box dung Chronixx pupa, Chronicle, because dem seh Chronixx disrespek Obama, the real world boss. People seh Chronixx a hide out, so if yuh can't ketch Quako, yuh ketch him shut.

Chronicle, if a so it go, we really sorry, cause dem really shouldn't drag you inna dis. But, tell yuh son seh next time him fi kibba him mout.





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Tessanne Chin, the 2013 winner of The Voice (USA) recently performed at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, ahead of the youth forum with President Barack Obama.

She sang for young leaders and trailblazers including Usain Bolt, Warren Weir, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Senator Imani Duncan Pryce, politicians Lisa Hanna and Dayton Campbell; Miss Universe Jamaica, Kaci Fennell as well as leaders from CARICOM.

During what could be described as a spirited performance, Chin stated "Lawd, excitement a bubble up inna mi."

She reeled off hits such as 'Anything Is Possible', 'Everthing Reminds Me Of You', which featured Agent Sasco, and Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song'.





Blakkout Tour invades Portland Saturday

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Blakkwuman22 Music's Blakkout Tour will be happening this Saturday, April 11th at Echo Night Club in Buff Bay, Portland.

The event which is a stage show and dance will see artists such as Karamanti, Likkle Lightning, Desire, Asante Amen, Spotless, Chapter, Jayharno, Tasha T, Jahnny Scorchy and a host of others touching the stage. Music will be provided by DJ Dalvy and Digital T with Disc-Jock Redeem playing his role as the master of ceremony.

There will be quite a few surprise artists and guest DJs. The event is scheduled to start at 9pm and admission cost is only $300. There will be refreshments on sale all night long.

Blakkout Tour is sponsored by Jam Yard Promotion, Vibz Yaad Radio, MJ Magazine, Vibes Link Music Production and Vibes Link Radio, Jam Rock Herbal Tonic Wine and Maria Jackson Entertainment.





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Dancehall act Bounty Killer is hoping President Barack Obama will assist him in regaining entry to the United States.

Obama arrived in the island for a one-day visit yesterday.

Bounty Killer, whose real name is Rodney Price) posted a video last night on the social networking site Instagram showing the arrival of Obama, the deejay wrote: "The world boss is here Jamaica". Shortly after, he commented under the video saying: "Mi a guh up deh go ask him 'bout my visa [Up Park Camp].

The reference to Up Park Camp, the Jamaica Defence Force's base, is where the President went via Marine One on his arrival.

In 2010, Bounty Killer's American visa was cancelled. At the time, an e-mail advisory was sent to airlines travelling to the US not to board the artiste, along with three other deejays, as their visas were in the process of being revoked.

President Obama engaged in a number of activities earlier today, including bilateral talks with the Jamaican Government and with Caricom heads of government.





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KINGSTON, Jamaica - An eight-year-old US child by the name of Kevin Washington from Miami, was found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday, April 8. He is of dark complexion, slim build, about four feet tall and was dressed in a grey shirt, brown shorts and a pair of blue and green crocs slippers.

Authorities are reporting that about 12:55 pm, Kevin was at the airport with his parents, waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom. When he returned, his parents were gone. He gave his father's name as Junior Washington and his mother's name as Christina.

The police are asking people with information that can assist Kevin Washington in reuniting him with his family to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Division (C-TOC) at 967-5948, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





The attorney for a man killed in a boat accident in The Bahamas says the matter is likely to go to the Coroner's Court for a ruling on whether anyone should be held accountable for the death.

Sandals Resorts chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, was among the people on the Tropical Cruises-owned fishing boat which crashed on April 3. The exact circumstances of the crash could not be ascertained.

According to Tropical Cruises, Stewart was the only member of his family on the boat.

"All concerned are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased at this time," said a Tropical Cruises spokesman in a statement issued to the media.

Meanwhile, Wayne Munroe, the lawyer for the family of Timothy Ferguson, the man who was killed in the accident, said he has not had any communication with the police or Stewart. Munroe also said issues related to civil liability may arise.





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Aubrey Stewart, youth advocate and a former Head Boy of Cornwall College, shared an embrace with President Obama after introducing the world leader at a Town Hall meeting at the University of the West Indies on Thursday.

During his introduction of President Obama, he seized the opportunity to encourage young individuals to overcome their respective circumstances.

"My dream is for young people to convert every negative feeling into a feeling of hope. My country is rich with culture and talent ... and I ask you to be inspired by this nation."

Stewart also encouraged collaboration among the CARICOM nations.

When President Obama arrived on to the podium he affectionately said: "Greetings massive ...big up. It is great to be here in Jamaica."

Obama is the first US President to visit Jamaica in over 30 years.





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The University of West Indies (UWI) Assembly Hall is filled to capacity as young Jamaicans eagerly await audience with US President Barack Obama.

Obama is scheduled to hold a youth town hall forum at 2:30 pm. The audience is filled with primarily university students and young professionals, including many celebrities.

Among the well known personalities at the event are Youth Minister Lisa Hanna; world's fastest man Usain Bolt; Olympic Gold medallist Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce; singer Tessanne Chin; beauty queen Kaci Fennell; Members of Parliament Raymond Pryce and Dayton Campbell; Opposition spokesperson on education Kamina Johnson Smith and Opposition caretaker Delano Seiveright.

Hanna revealed that Obama will announce a partnership to help Jamaican youth. "As a young woman in the government, it means a lot because Obama is very passionate about youths," Hanna said before the function.

"He has worked on a lot of youth projects," she added.

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Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and US President Barack Obama this morning held bilateral discussions on Jamaica's economic programme with the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

Mr. Obama expressed support for Jamaica's efforts in dealing with its public debt, investments in youth and efforts at strengthening governance.

He said issues of energy and climate change were also discussed and will take centre stage when he meets with Caricom leaders this afternoon.

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President Obama also spoke about Security and the strains drugs trade is placing on Jamaica.

President Obama said the relationship between Jamaica and the US is more than a friendship between states. He said due to the long history, the two countries were more like family bond.

Mr Obama said he intends to return with his wife Michelle and the family sometime in the future.

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President Obama visited the Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica on Wednesday night. The president took a brief tour of the museum which was once home of Jamaica's reggae icon in the capital. Earlier he met with U.S. embassy personnel and their families at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel where he is staying.

The stop was not previously listed on Obama's schedule and reporters were barred from covering the tour, according to a pool report.

Obama reminisced as he looked at a wall of framed records inside the museum and said "I still have all the albums," according to a New York Times photographer who was allowed on the tour.

Marley's hit song "One Love" played over speakers as the president exited the museum.

Obama spoke about his admiration for Marley in an interview with MTV in 2012.

"I remember in college listening, and not agreeing with his whole philosophy necessarily, but raising my awareness how people outside of our country were thinking about the struggle for jobs and dignity and freedom," he said.

Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Jamaica since 1982. The president will meet with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Thursday morning before meeting with Caricom leaders at the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies.

He will travel Thursday evening to Panama to attend the Summit of the Americas.





President Barack Obama arrives in Jamaica

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president-obama-greetings-massive.jpg US President Barack Obama arrived in Jamaica shortly after 7:30 pm on Thursday aboard Air Force One that landed at the Norman Manley International Airport.

This marks the second visit to the island by a sitting president of the United States, the first being Ronald Reagan in April 1982.

The president was met by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Chairman of Caricom Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas and leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness.

The welcoming party will included other Ministers, Members of the Senate, Judiciary, defence and the diplomatic corps.

Shortly after his arrival, Obama was whisked away by helicopter.









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Jamaica remained champions of Caribbean junior track and field after the country's junior athletes amassed a whopping 85 medals to finish atop the medal standings at the Carifta games which ended last night in St Kitts.

Jamaica grabbed two gold medals in the 800 meters under 18 and under 20 boys division, Leon Clarke won the under 18 section in one minute 56.75 seconds, Jevaugney James took the silver for Jamaica in 1 minute 58.21 seconds.

Paul Tate was in gold medal form winning the under 20 final in one minute 52.43 second, as the other Jamaican in the race Devaughn Smith had to settle for bronze after stopping the clock in one minute 52.59 seconds.

Lisa Buchanan took the bronze in the girls under 20 final in 2 minutes 13.26 seconds.

Shanice love snatched the gold in the girls under 20 discus event after throwing the implement some 49.39 meters.

The Jamaicans closed the championship on a high after winning all four mile relays on offer in the under 18 and under 20 categories.

Jamaica finished with 41 gold medals, 25 silver and 19 bronze in their overall tally of 85, just four medals shy of the record 89 won at last year's staging.

Usain Bolt to compete in World Relays in May

Usain Bolt will compete in next month's IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said on Tuesday.

The May 2-3 competition, which will be held in Nassau, is the newest addition to the IAAF's global events and will feature over 600 athletes in five relay disciplines and the distance medley relay for both men and women.

"I am happy to be part of the Jamaican team. I am fit, healthy and ready to run," Bolt said in a statement.

"I hear the meet was a lot of fun last year and there was a great atmosphere. Jamaica has a long and successful tradition in relays and when we put on our colors we always do our best to make the country proud."

The event will serve as a qualifying competition for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Bolt was part of the Jamaica 4x100 meters relay team that won gold medals in London and Beijing and he has also featured in three world championship winning teams in the same event.

The Jamaican won gold medal in 100 and 200 meters at both those Olympics and he currently holds the Olympic and world records in both 100 and 200 meters.





maya-angelou-stamp.jpg The poet Maya Angelou may well be one of America's greatest literary figures. But you'll find someone else's words on a postage stamp to be unveiled Tuesday by the U.S. Postal Service that honors the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

The stamp features the late Angelou's picture, her name and the quotation: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." That was in fact penned by Joan Walsh Anglund, an 89-year-old children's book author, according to The Washington Post.

The quote appears on page 15 of Anglund's book of poems "A Cup of Sun," published in 1967, The Post reports.

"Yes, that's my quote," Anglund told The Post. But she doesn't seem to mind the mix-up. "I love [Maya Angelou] and all she's done," she said, "and I also love my own private thinking that also comes to the public, because it comes from what I've been thinking and how I've been feeling."

The quotation does recall the title of one of Angelou's most famous works, her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969), and it is widely associated with her.

Even President Barack Obama attributed the quotation to Angelou during the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal award ceremony. The poet herself received a National Medal of Arts in 2000.

After being informed that Anglund had confirmed that the quotation was hers, a Postal Service spokesman issued a statement saying that had it known beforehand, the service would instead have used another quote - from Maya Angelou herself. Still, as Mark Saunders, U.S. Postal Service spokesman, put it, "The sentence held great meaning for her, and she is publicly identified with its popularity."

Angelou, who was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, died on May 28, 2014.





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A white South Carolina police officer was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday after video showed him fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed black man in the back.

North Charleston Police Officer Michael T. Slager, 33, can be seen shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott after a confrontation on Saturday, according to The Post and Courier. Slager chases Scott and shoots at him eight times in the video .

Scott died there, though it wasn't clear if he died immediately.

The graphic video raises questions about Slager's original assertion that he used his gun because he felt endangered.

The confrontation started when Slager had reportedly pulled over Scott because of a broken taillight. It escalated into a foot chase as Scott allegedly fled because there were family court-issued warrants for his arrest. Slager pursued Scott into a grassy lot and claimed that he fired his Taser to subdue him.

Moments later, Slager reported on his radio, "Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser," according to the Times.

Earlier this week, an attorney for Slager said the cop felt threatened after Scott tried to overpower him and take his Taser. Today that attorney told The Post and Courier that he's "no longer involved" in the case.

But first images in the video are of Slager shooting at Scott as he runs away from him. It also appears that Slager drops the Taser near Scott after he was gunned down, according to The New York Times.

Police reports also say that responding officers performed CPR and delivered medical aid to Scott, but the video shows Scott face down in handcuffs for several minutes after the shooting. Another officer shows up and appears to give Scott aid, but never performs CPR.

Police Chief Eddie Driggers said Tuesday that Slager had been arrested.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that FBI investigators would work with the State Law Enforcement Division, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, and the state's attorney general to investigate any civil rights violations in Scott's death. Mayor Keith Summey added during a news conference that as a result of the video and Slager's "bad decision," the officer would be charged with murder.

Scott had been arrested about 10 times in the past, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for hearings, according to the paper.

"He has four children, he doesn't have some type of big violent past or arrest record. He had a job, he was engaged," a lawyer for Scott's family told the Times. "He had back child support and didn't want to go to jail for back child support."

In a statement released Tuesday night, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) said, "What happened in this case is not acceptable in South Carolina." Senator Tim Scott (R) said "The senseless shooting and taking of Walter Scott's life was absolutely unnecessary and avoidable," adding that he would be watching the case closely.

The shooting in North Charleston comes on the heels of several high-profile cases of police officers using deadly force against unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland and New York. This is one of the few times the offending officer has been charged with murder.

"What if there was no video? What if there was no witness? Where would we be without that video," Justin Bamberg said at a presser with the family on Tuesday night. Bamburg is one of the Scotts' family attorneys and also represents South Carolina's House District 90.

Family attorney L. Chris Stewart called the witness who recorded the video a "hero," saying that video evidence disproved initial reports that Scott reached for the Slager's Taser. Stewart added that the witness is working with investigators and may eventually come forward.

Bamberg told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that the witness contacted the family following the shooting. They were the first to watch the video.

"If there was no video, I do not believe that officer would be in jail," Bamberg said. "From what the video shows, I think that provides the necessary ammunition to hold this officer accountable."

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, a state agency also known as SLED, was later contacted and promptly launched an investigation.

"I don't think anybody can see that and not see that what that officer did was murder Mr. Scott in cold blood," Bamberg said. "What would have happened if this witness did not have the courage to stand up and do the right thing and decide that what he witnessed was wrong? I'm glad we don't have to ponder that."





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From video premieres on Billboard.com to song previews on Yahoo! Music, while purposefully saturating every music playing platform in between, internationally acclaimed roots reggae band, Morgan Heritage, is in full work mode as they prepare to drop their highly anticipated 10th studio album, even as they embark on a month-long tour of the United States.

With So Amazing, the second single from the upcoming album, Strictly Roots enjoying a brilliant preview on Yahoo! Music and upping the global attention the sibling band has been attracting, Morgan Heritage has proven that as a unit they are definitely so amazing. As online lifestyle/entertainment portal, AXS.com states, "The buoyant reggae pop number (So Amazing) is about adoration for a lover but the title could just as easily apply to everything Morgan Heritage does."

Undoubtedly, So Amazing has an appeal that is as eclectic as it is universal, as was the intention of the Royal Family of Reggae during the creative process, and somewhere along the line, the track was generously soaked in sweetness. A review posted by Ital Roots Radio states: "The song is pristine in quality and virtually flawless. It's clear and clean, feel-good, pop-reggae with mass appeal. Peetah Morgan is on fire - his vocals immaculate, and with Jemere and J Boog adding their sweetness, there is so much honey in these three voices combined, beware of diabetes."

So Amazing is described by the group as "the type of song that puts you in a fun loving mood" and certainly on one level it shows the versatility of the highly respected reggae quintet, which is renowned for their didactic social commentary and refreshingly authentic rockaz style of roots reggae. It is collaborations such as these, in this case with J Boog, Jemere Morgan and Gil Sharone, that are the hallmark of Strictly Roots and help to place this album in a category labeled 'keepsake'.

With promotion for their Strictly Roots tour in high gear, Morgan Heritage, along with special guest, Jemere Morgan, will make a memorable stop at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on Thursday April 9, where fans will be treated to a catalogue of hits from reggae's premier live band.

Strictly Roots is set for release on all major digital platforms on April 20 and the physical copy on April 21.





Kabaka Pyramind speaks his mind #WELLDONE

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Outspoken entertainer Kabaka Pyramid has accused the Jamaican government of being reactive instead of being proactive.

Kabaka comments came following the government's spruce up campaign a day before the arrival of President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The conscious reggae singer who recorded the track "Well Done" which pokes sarcasm at the Jamaican Government tells Music News that the people should stand up.

Many Jamaicans through social media platforms and other mediums have criticized the Jamaican Government using the #welldone. One comment stated that the "government refused to deal with real issues but treated people like tissue."





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Less than a day before the start of the visit by President Barack Obama, Wednesday night into Thursday, there are few details about the President's itinerary.

Sources cite security concerns for the lack of details even as arrangements are made to ensure security and a sense of order around public places on the route of the President's party and at places he's expected to visit.

Officials have been clearing stalls and informal structures in areas around the route from the airport and also at Heroes Park which President Obama is to visit.

Vendors who operated food and fruit stalls at the Harbour View round about and also those who sell fish and food at the Rae Town Beach found the stalls destroyed at the weekend.

Several wooden stalls were also smashed between Sunday and yesterday at Manchester Square to the south of heroes park. That location is well known for the selling of crabs.

Up to now it is not clear if Mr Obama himself will use the roads from the airport and along Michael Manley Highway into New Kingston. It is being speculated he will be taken by helicopter into new Kingston to his hotel. However, members of his entourage will use that stretch of roadway.

Parts of the road ways and intersections in New Kingston have already had new surfaces.

The main events are expected to be the welcome at Norman Manley International Airport, a meeting with the cabinet followed by a joint appearance of President Obama and Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller who are likely to sign an agreement.

That will be followed by the Heroes Park visit and a town hall meeting with youth leaders from across the Caribbean at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus on Thursday evening.





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The police are have identified 17-year-old Voshorney Green AKA Vos - or as reported in another medium, Fashornie Green, also known as 'Fuzz' - as the suspect behind Monday's gruesome murder of an 11-month-old child in Kingston Central.

"Based on the information we have, this teenager is known to frequent Luke Lane and surrounding areas and we want to use this opportunity to call on the accused to turn himself in to the police," Deputy Superintendent Percival Anderson, head of the Kingston Central Police Division, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

According to the police, at around 11:20 am on Monday, a man was standing along Chancery Lane when he was attacked by another man armed with a gun.

Reports are that the man, in a bid to escape, ran into a yard. The gunman, who was in hot pursuit, fired several shots at the man.

Eleven-month-old Omar Lindo, who was being bathed by his mother in the yard, was fatally shot during the attack.

Yesterday Member of Parliament for the West Kingston Desmond McKenzie condemned the act and called on the police to leave no stone unturned in their search for the suspect.





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LOCAL authorities were, up to late yesterday, unable to say whether businesses along Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston will have to keep their doors closed for at least a day as a result of today's visit of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama.

Located along the strip, one of the major corridors to be blocked off from vehicular access from 5:00 pm today to 5:00 pm tomorrow, are financial institutions, places of entertainment, restaurants, government agencies, and at least three shopping centres.

Emancipation Park, a major public space for Jamaicans from across the island, will also be closed at midday today. Other major and access roads to be closed off include sections of Camp Road, Arnold Road, Half-Way-Tree Road, Hope Road, Slipe Road, Caledonia Avenue, Caledonia Crescent, Arthur Wint Drive, Central Avenue, North Avenue, Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts, Old Hope Road, Eureka Crescent, Ripon Road, Oxford Road, Belmont Road, Haining Road, Trinidad Terrace, and Slipe Road

At a press conference at Jamaica House yesterday, head of the Police Border and Security Branch, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) James Golding said the businesses would be contacted in order to make arrangements, but information minister Senator Sandrea Falconer insisted that due to security concerns, the public could not be given details of the plans for access.

"We would not be allowed to give detailed information with too much of an advance. What we will be doing is contacting the business owners on Knutsford Boulevard, in addition to all the mass media announcements that we will make, and they can make that determination as to how they will treat it," she said.





15 year-old boy accuses policeman of buggery

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A 15-year-old boy is accusing a cop of buggery after the policeman allegedly accosted him, took him to a location and molested him.

It is reported that the boy made a report after confiding with a relative.

The news team understands that the cop has reportedly not shown for work since the matter was reported to his superiors.

It is not clear whether or not the police officer implicated has been officially removed from front-line duty.

The rank of the officer at the centre of the controversy has not been ascertained.

Some police officers within the parish said they were unaware, while a few said they were not at liberty to speak on the matter and directed our questions to the commander in charge and the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU).

However, several calls to the commander's mobile phone proved futile and the CCU said they were not aware of any incident of that nature.





Obama trip no longer a state visit

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Jamaica House says the trip to Jamaica by US President Barack Obama is no longer being designated a State Visit as had been previously agreed and communicated.

In a release issued last night, Jamaica House said the change takes into account the time constraints of the short duration of the visit and the established nature of a State Visit in the Jamaican context.

"Throughout the planning of the visit there has been, and continues to be, continuous dialogue between counterparts in the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the United States," a Jamaica House Spokesperson said in the release.

Jamaica House also said the Governments of Jamaica and the United States are committed to ensuring a successful and productive visit.

President Obama will arrive in Jamaica on April 8.

On April 9 the US President will have bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. He will also hold a summit with the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community and lay a wreath to honour veterans of World War I and World War II.

President Obama will also host the President's Town Hall forum with Caribbean and Regional Young Leaders.

He departs Jamaica on April 9.





Cops being sensitised to ganja amendments

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Police officers are being sensitised on the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Police High Command recently reported.

Though the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) awaits a commencement day notice by Minister of Justice Mark Golding before the law can take effect - it is warning the public that until that happens, strict adherence to the law should be maintained.

The Bill to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act, to decriminalize ganja for medicinal, religious, scientific and therapeutic purposes, was passed in the Senate on February 6 with five amendments. It has been signed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and is to be gazetted.

It seeks to make the possession of small quantities of ganja, amounting to two ounces or less a non-arrestable offense, but ticketable infraction.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds reckoned that while there is an amendment to the law, regulations must be passed to bring it into effect.

"The amendment speaks to smoking and possession, so the police will respond to the law as they are obligated to," he said.

Hinds further emphasised that the cultivation of marijuana still remains illegal without a licence.

The government had previously indicated that it intends to set up a licensing authority to regularise the cannabis industry.





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United States and Jamaican officials have ramped up security operations three days ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.

At least four US Army helicopters arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport on Sunday. Obama will arrive in Jamaica on April 8 via US Air Force One.

Despite feverish road repairs and beautification activities by the government in preparation for the President's visit, Loop News understands that Obama will be airlifted to an undisclosed location in Kingston after arrival at NMIA.

At least three hotels have been booked out ahead of Obama's two-day visit.





An events promoter was hauled before the Spanish Town court and fined a whopping $50,000 or face six months in jail for operating an event without the required permit.

He appeared before a RM A. Nembhard and pleaded guilty with explanation. However, his attempts to defend himself triggered titters of amusement from court personnel.

RM Nembhard, who appeared to be getting increasingly irritable as the man rambled on, cut him off abruptly and summarily fined him $50,000 for operating an event without the required permit.

He told the judge that he didn't have the money to pay the fine, but his pleas were ignored.

The man's co-accused also pleaded guilty, and was fined $15,000 for operating a sound system without permission. However, he pleaded with the judge that he had only $5,000.

She accepted his pleas and he was allowed to pay a part of the fine and leave.





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The policeman who was shot and killed by his colleague during a botched robbery attempt has been identified. He is Constable Kemar Beckford of the Negril Police Station.

News reports are that Beckford was on sick leave when he and a crony attempted to rob a bar in which a senior cop was a patron. A shoot out ensued and Beckford was cut down. Both robbers wore masks. It is suspected that the second robber escaped.

Two persons were also injured in the melee while the senior cop received grazes from two projectiles. A Glock semi-automatic pistol with several rounds of ammunition was taken from Beckford's body. Glock pistols are issued to some cops.

The incident happened in Hopewell, Hanover early Saturday morning.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is probing the incident.





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Food vendors who operate in Heroes' Circle in Kingston are upset after their stalls were today demolished by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

A visit to Heroes Park is on the tight itinerary of US President Barak Obama's visit to Jamaica. His delegation, part of which is already in the island, visited Heroes Circle today.

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This morning, personnel from the KSAC visited the area and removed stalls on the sidewalk along the popular roadway.

A vendor, Marsha, says she and other vendors were not given proper notice about the removal. Another vendor described the KSAC's action as "cruel and uncaring".She stressed that many of those who have been selling along Heroes Circle have been doing so for generations and that food vending is the main source of income for several families in the area.

The woman further emphasised that she relies on her vending to send her children to school and to pay for the medication for a sick child.

Less robberies in New Kingston; more in Mona, Liguanea

The St Andrew Central Police say there has been a significant reduction in robberies in New Kingston and its environs, following the removal of a group of homeless men and drug addicts from the Shoemaker Gully.

The police and the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) moved the men in December. Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, head of the St Andrew Central Police, reports that a round-the-clock monitoring of the gully by the police has resulted in a major reduction in robberies.

He also disclosed that the police have launched a search for a group of bikers, linked to robberies in the division, especially in the Mona and Liguanea communities.Over the past several weeks, the bikers have stolen money, cellular phones and jewellery from their victims.

"They would look out for persons who go to the bank, and they would seize the opportunity... ladies, if they have their handbag, they would grab it... and they have... persons at different locations, and so they would just mount the bikes and disappear," he explained.

He said two of the bikes were seized last week. He added, however, that there is also a car being used in some of these robberies. SSP Bailey is urging members of the public to be on the look-out for the men and to call the police if they are spotted.





11-Month-old baby shot dead

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An armed gunman shot and killed an 11-month-old infant this afternoon in Central Kingston. Another child who was shot is reportedly battling for life in hospital.

The dead infant has been identified as Omar Lindo.

The incident reportedly happened around 12:50 p.m. on Chancery Lane.

According to the grandmother of the child, Lindo was killed while his mother bathed him in the yard.

The police have not established a motive for the shooting.





Kes the Band stirs up Beach J'Ouvert

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The massive crowd here at Beach J'Ouvert is at fever pitch level as Kes and the Band deliver with a commanding performance.

Doing it like a boss with hits after hits including Wotless and Stress Away, Kes and the Band sent patrons raving when they further engaged the crowd with reggae favourite Too Experienced and Couple Up showcasing their versatility.

Speaking shortly after the performance lead singer of the band Kes said, "It's been a year of new music and new vibes, every year you grow and you bring a different energy".

"[With] Kes and the Band you can expect energy man, we [always] bring something fun and New..." he added.





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ST ANN, Jamaica - Top female act Lady Saw; new sensation Dexter Daps; high-riding singjays I-Octane; the fiery prophet, Capleton; singer Christopher Martin and young veteran, General Degree comprise the reggae/dancehall segment of the 12th staging of the Jamaica International Kite Festival scheduled for Easter Monday.

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On the gospel side, the festival which will be held at the Shazz Entertainment Ground in Priory, St Ann, will showcase the talents of Kevin Downswell, Lt Stitchie, Koko Doo, and Richie Stephens. Several of the island's top acts are scheduled for.

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Start time is 10:00 am.

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The Kite Festival is a highly respected family showcase which has an enduring reputation of providing the highest quality entertainment and all the right facilities for total enjoyment.

Attractions include a kiddies village with ferris wheel, waterslide and train ride. Cash prizes will be awarded in the kite competition.





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Jamaica's Akeem Bloomfield continued his phenomenal rise in the 400m capturing the 400m Under-20 gold at the Carifta Games in a record 45.85 seconds. The previous record was 47.26 held by Henri Delauze of the Bahamas set last year when the age group category was shifted to Under-20.

Delauze finished third this year in 46.81 seconds behind Rai Benjamin of Antigua who was second in 46.19 seconds. Jamaica's other finalist, Terry Thomas was fifth in with 48.38 seconds.

Only last Saturday, Bloomfield, of Kingston College, ran an astonishing 44.93 seconds at the GraceKennedy ISSA Boys and Girls Athletics Championship having just taken up the event on the instruction of his coach Neil Harrison.





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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica's Christopher Taylor was one of the outstanding athletes on yesterday's second day of the 44th CARIFTA Games at the Silver Jubilee stadium in Basseterre, St Kitts as he broke Usain Bolt's 13 year old record in the Under 18 boys 400m.

Taylor who won the Class 2 event at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys championships last weekend, ran 46.64 seconds to erase Bolt's 47.33 seconds set in 2002 in Nassau, Bahamas.

Jacob Clair of Trinidad was also under the old mark with 46.73 seconds to take silver while Devaughn Ellington of Jamaica was third with a personal best 47.43 seconds. Ellington just edged the Bahamas' Jamal Walton, last year's bronze medallist who was also clocked in in 47.43 seconds and they had to be separated by a photo finish.

Jamaica won three of the four 400m gold medals and both of the girls 100m titles to finish the day with a preliminary count of 29 medals- 14 gold, seven silver and eight bronze. The Bahamas have thus won 13 medals with four golds, two silver and seven bronze while Barbados won two golds in their seven medal haul so far.





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Hardware & Lumber Ltd, through its Rapid True Value and AgroGrace divisions, continues its emphasis on strategic retooling and repositioning to satisfy market needs. The relocation and expansion of the AgroGrace Mandeville store demonstrates this commitment to maintaining market leader position in a highly competitive landscape.

AgroGrace began modestly as a department of parent company GraceKennedy Ltd., focused primarily on the distribution of fertilizers and other basic agricultural inputs. Today, the company proudly claims its place as Jamaica's leading supplier for agribusiness, public health and pest management and home gardening.

The new store location at 18 Ward Avenue, Mandeville boasts an expanded range and assortment of products in a larger and more customer friendly setting, as the company continues to raise the bar to improve customer experience. Satisfying the customers' needs is a key priority for AgroGrace.

Along with the branch in Southfield, St. Elizabeth, the new store in Mandeville is strategically located to serve the entire southwestern and central areas of the island, where agriculture is a significant contributor to the local economy.

"Through our linkages with world class suppliers, we source quality seeds, herbicides, pesticide, equipment and other agricultural inputs." comments Chief Executive Officer for Hardware & Lumber Ltd., Donna Donna stated.

A key element to the success of the business is the network of knowledgeable technical sales and marketing development representatives provided through AgroGrace. The team is responsible for providing support to farmers, resellers and other stakeholders on the best application and usage of the products and equipment.

General Manager for AgroGrace, Olive Downer-Walsh pointed out that the entire staff and management feel a great deal of pride to be standard bearers in advancing the productivity of Jamaica's agricultural and public health sectors.

Downer Walsh further asserts that, "While we celebrate the fresh new look and new arrivals, please know we are equally passionate about engaging with the communities in which we serve. Excellent customer experience is not a "buzz word" for us, it is our passion, matched only by our commitment in supporting the success of our customers through training, information sharing and the products we distribute."

PHOTO CAPTION: L-R: Everton Palmer, Palmer's Enterprise; Olive Downer-Walsh, General Manager, AgroGrace; Doreen Lawson, KDL Livestock and Agri Supplies; Donna Doran, Chief Executive Officer, Hardware & Lumber Ltd.





Government plans to sell Petcom

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The Jamaican Government is proceeding with plans to sell the State-owned company, Petcom.

Petcom, which is a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, comprises 24 service stations and 14 LPG filling plants, island-wide.

Information Minister Senator Sandrea Falconer disclosed at Wednesday's post Cabinet media briefing that the divestment is scheduled to be completed by September.

Cabinet has approved the establishment of an enterprise team, "to coordinate, manage and execute the privatization of Petcom, and provide the requisite administrative and technical support," she disclosed.

The Enterprise team will be chaired by Professor Edwin Jones. The other members are Christopher Cargil, Christopher Lecky, Richard Dawkins, Narine Small, Catherine Williams, and Coleen Weise.

Petcom recorded more than $10 billion in revenues last year.





Road rage murder in quiet community

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St Andrew Central police were called to a homicide scene along Ziadie Avenue in Ziadie Gardens, St Andrew late Thursday night.

Upon arrival, cops discovered the body of a male lying in a pool of blood on the road, beside a white Honda Accord motor car. The body had gun shot wounds and a fractured leg, police report.

The dead man has been identified as Derron Rolando Whittaker, 35, of Havendale in St Andrew.

Cops suspect that the deceased was the driver of the Honda motor car, believed to have been involved in a traffic accident with another vehicle, leading to a dispute. Gunshots were reportedly fired and the other vehicle subsequently drove away. It is also believed that Whittaker was ran over by the said vehicle.

Several spent shells were found at the scene.





The police have released the identities of the two men whose bodies were found on Friday on a dirt track in Nain, St. Elizabeth. They are Nicholas Foster of Precious Plains in Manchester and Donald Jacobs of Lititz in St. Elizabeth.

It's reported that Jacobs who was facing charges of robbery, rape and abduction, was out on bail.

Investigators say three live rounds were found in the pocket of one of the deceased. Items believed to have been stolen in an earlier robbery at New Building in Nain were also found.

The St. Elizabeth Police theorize that Jacobs and Foster were killed by their accomplices after they failed to account for a missing illegal gun.





Riverton fire cost the gov't $235-Million

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Director General at the Office of Disaster of Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Major Clive Davis says the government has spent in excess of $235 million to extinguish the recent 12-day fire at the Riverton Landfill

Major Davis made the announcement at a Jamaica House press briefing in St Andrew on Wednesday, adding that heavy equipment and trucks will also be withdrawn from the site by Saturday.

He also said that ODPEM is now in the process of closing off extinguishing operations at the dump, and by Saturday "we anticipate that the site will be completely covered and what you will see is an increasingly stockpiling of cover material for any future activities there."

For his part, Minister of Local Government Noel Arscott assured that there would not be a repeat of the incident, based on measures being put in place by the government and the fire suppression equipment that have been procured.





Jamaican scammer jailed in Florida

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A 26 year old man in Broward, Florida who admitted he was part of a Jamaican lottery scam that targeted seniors in the U.S. was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison when he appeared in court on Friday.

Mikhail Williams, admitted he handled more than US$87-thousand in wire and cash transfers from 21 elderly victims who were tricked into believing they had won a lottery or sweepstake.He pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani said Williams squandered a second chance he was given in 2010 when investigators from the U.S.Postal Inspection Service warned him that money he received was part of a lottery or sweepstakes scam. Williams, who is Jamaican, was warned he could face prosecution if he continued to participate.

In court he claimed he had no direct contact with the victims, did not realize how old they were and only took a percentage of the money before sending the rest to Jamaica.

Williams will be deported after his prison term.





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US authorities have arrested a Philadelphia woman with a connection to Jamaica and charged her with attempting to provide support to militant group Islamic State (IS).

The US Justice Department said the woman, who was arrested on Thursday, was planning to travel overseas to join the organisation.

Keonna Thomas, 30, also known as Fatayat al-Khalifah and YoungLioness, was charged with trying to provide material support and resources, including herself as a fighter, to a foreign terrorist organisation.

It's alleged that having applied for a passport in February, she e-mailed a radical cleric in Jamaica, saying she had deactivated her Twitter account until leaving for Syria to avoid attention.

Under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance, she allegedly e-mailed an IS extremist based in the group's stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria. According to the Justice Department, if convicted, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Thomas is the second Syria-linked terror case involving US women announced by prosecutors in days. Two women were arrested in New York on Thursday and charged with planning to build a bomb and attack the United States, allegedly inspired by Al Qaeda and IS.

Jamaica's Ministry of National Security last month dismissed a claim by a US army General that Jamaicans have joined ISIS in Syria.





A policeman has reportedly shot a colleague dead during a botched robbery at a bar in Hopewell, Hanover. The incident occurred early Saturday morning.

News reports are that the dead cop, whose identity has not yet been released, attempted to rob a bar in the rural district when he was challenged by a cop who was on spot.

The senior cop reportedly shot his armed colleague dead before realising that he was in fact a member of the constabulary who was stationed in the neighbouring parish of Westmoreland at the Negril Police Station.

A patron and a bartender are nursing injuries while the heroic cop was slightly injured during the shoot-out.





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The body of a woman believed to be the wife of a popular deejay Merciless was discovered on Friday at her home in Longville Park, Clarendon. It is suspected that she may have committed suicide by ingesting pills.

She has been identified as Keisha Gibbs-Bartley. According to the Corporate Communications Unit, Bartley was found at her Longville Park, Clarendon home about 11 a.m. last Friday by a neighbour who allegedly observed her in distress.

Other reports are that a few minutes after 11 am on Good Friday, a neighbour saw the woman's body on the floor of her home with what appeared to be pills nearby.

The neighbour alerted the police and fire personnel from the Old Harbour Fire Station. The police were called to the scene and the body removed. No foul play is suspected at this time.

When contacted, Merciless, who appeared distraught, said that he did not want to comment on the matter.













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Co-founder of Randy's and VP Records, Pat Chin, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at next month's A2IM's Libera Awards.

The event takes place June 25 at Highline Ballroom in New York City. The 'Lifetime' is among the top accolades at the Libera Awards, which recognises the year's top independent music label achievers.

Chin founded VP with her husband Vincent in 1979. They previously operated Randy's in downtown Kingston. Vincent Chin died in 2003.

VP is the largest independent distributor of dancehall/reggae. Based in Queens, the company has released numerous albums by dancehall's elite including Beres Hammond, Beenie Man and Sean Paul.

Last year's Lifetime Achievement Award went Bruce Iglauer of Chicago blues label, Alligator Records. That company first distributed Mutabaruka's album, Check It!, in 1983.

The Libera Awards' board of directors includes some of the most influential people in 'indie' music. Among them are Tommy Boy owner/CEO, Tom Silverman; Hopeless Records owner Louis Posen and Concord Music Group president Glen Barros.





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Former Gaza artistes Lisa Hyper and Gaza Slim are feuding over Vybz Kartel.

Lisa Hyper, apparently ticked off that Gaza Slim had been throwing words at her, made a youtube video with a x-rated song playing in the background to the effect of "Ah My C- That'.

"Mi know him (Vybz Kartek) from mi a five, so mi learn more than yu eediat gal, mi learn now fi perform, cause no matter how much song yu have a play," Lisa Hyper taunted.

Lisa Hyper also delivered a veiled threat to Gaza Slim.

"Hey gal, know wah yu a do, know how yu a throw word. Ah me this, never change, hear that? Don't mek dem fool yu! Good," Lisa Hyper said.

Contacted afterwards, Lisa Hyper declared:

"Mi nuh have beef with no gal!!! As a matter of fact, I don't even consume beef. Just look out for the collaboration with myself and J Capri called 'Love to Remember', a Jam 2 production," she said.

Other singles include Galtuff/Mantuff featuring Tactical and My Man That for All Faces Production.

"The song in the background playing in the video is All Faces song and that will be released in April...I have a next collaboration coming out for All Faces as well, but that's a surprise," she said.

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Sizzla fined $1000 for using expletives

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Reggae entertainer Sizzla has been fined 1000 dollars after he pleaded guilty for using expletives on a show at the police station in Falmouth, Trelawny.

He was invited by the police to do an entertainment event organised by the police Community Safety & Security Branch.

The Falmouth Police confirmed on Tuesday that the entertainer was arrested and later charged by the officers for using expletives during his performance.





Tessanne and Cuff 'split' real or fake?

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Yardflex can't help but wonder if Voice winner Tessanne and her hubby Michael Cuffe JR are really heading for 'splitsville', or is Team Tessanne simply manipulating us in order to achieve a bigger goal.

After all, Beyonce and Jay-Z were dogged by split rumours during her entire Mrs Carter tour.

The outcome. It was one of the highest grossing tours in the US in 2014.

So, does Tess have a new single coming out? Or perhaps she was too quiet and they needed a little buzz around her so "somebody" started a SPLIT rumour?

Let's watch and see.





Life for 21st Hapilos CEO!

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The CEO of 21st Hapilos Digital Distribution Kevin 'Clement' Reynolds has been sentenced to life in prison with 20 years being added for the murder of a man in Maryland United States, in 2002.

The head of the company who was convicted earlier this year was yesterday sentenced to life for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and an additional 20-year sentence for the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony at the Montgomery County court, according to WUSA9 TV, a TV station that covers news in Washington DC, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia.





Kenyan university death toll now at 147

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The number of people killed in an attack by al-Shabab Islamist militants on a university campus in north-eastern Kenya has risen to 147, Kenyan government officials say.

The operation to secure the Garissa University College campus was now over, with all four attackers killed, they added.

Officials said 587 students had been evacuated, 79 of whom were injured.

Nine critically injured students were airlifted to the capital Nairobi for treatment, they added.

But each student had been accounted for by the end of the evacuation. Masked gunmen had stormed the university early on Thursday morning.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned what he called a "terrorist attack" and said the UN was ready to help Kenya "prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism".

The United States said it was offering Nairobi assistance to take on al-Shabab and will continue to work with others in the region to take on the group.

The Kenyan government has named Mohamed Kuno, a high-ranking al-Shabab official, as the mastermind of the attack.

A BBC Somali Service reporter says Mr Kuno was headmaster at an Islamic school in Garissa before he quit in 2007.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta offered his condolences to families of the victims and ordered "urgent steps" to ensure police recruits could begin training immediately. "We have suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel," he said.

Earlier, al-Shabab told the BBC its members were holding Christians hostage and freeing Muslims. The gunmen reportedly ordered students to lie down on the floor, but some of them escaped. Student Augustine Alanga told the BBC's Newsday programme: "It was horrible, there was shooting everywhere."

He said it was "pathetic" that the university was only guarded by two police officers.





Several real estate assets have been seized by the State and a man arrested following a major police operation in Ironshore, St James on Thursday afternoon.

Following an operation by the Financial Investigation Division, and the Major Organization Crime and Anti Corruption Agency (MOCA) three houses, one valued at J$65 million were seized.

Spokesman for MOCA West, Corporal Kevin Watson, says the owners have been charged with money laundering.

Law enforcement personnel in the US have also made arrests in connection with today's operation.





Attorney-at-law Leroy Equiano who is accused of defrauding the Legal Aid Clinic of millions of dollars has been charged.

Mr Equiano, who was taken into custody on Monday, was charged yesterday evening by investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency.The attorney, who is a Director at the Legal Aid Clinic, has been charged with several counts of fraud involving more than $8 million.

Mr Equiano was offered station bail in the sum of $500,000 and is booked to appear in court next week Friday.

MOCA reported that his arrest followed months of investigation into the alleged misappropriation of millions of dollars at the Clinic.

The police are also probing an incident in which thieves broke into the offices of the Legal Aid Clinic two weeks ago and remove computers as well as documents.

He is the fourth attorney arrested in recent weeks.

Miguel Lorne, Harold Brady and Patrick Bailey were detained last month and charged with fraud.





Three Cuban footballers who are accused of raping an American tourist in western Jamaica were not pointed out in an identification parade that was conducted on Wednesday.

However the three, while not being charged, remain in custody.

The police said they are awaiting the results of a DNA test to commence the next level of their probe.

The three Cubans were arrested after the woman complained to the police. The incident reportedly took place at a resort in Montego Bay this week.

The Cubans were in Jamaica for a football friendly, which ended in a 3-0 win for the Reggae Boyz.





Another child killed

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An 11-year-old boy was shot and killed in Clarendon on Wednesday.

Homicide investigators have yet to ascertain a motive for the heinous act. The dead child has been identified as Steven Williams, of Fourth Street, New Bowen, Clarendon.

Police report that, at about 8:15 pm, residents heard explosions and summoned them. When the cops arrived, Steven was seen with gunshot wounds along Fourth Street.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.





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US President Barack Obama is to arrive in Jamaica on April 8.

The Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller had announced that Obama would arrive on April 9.

However Consular Officer for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Kingston, Joshua Polacheck, says the April 8 arrival date is not a change in schedule as it was planned long ago that the US President would arrive ahead of a full working day on April 9.

"Think about the travel time from Washington, if he is going to work on the morning of the 9th he would have to leave Washington like 4 in the morning", Polacheck explained.

A check on the White House's website show a release issued on March 18 which states that President Obama will visit Jamaica and Panama from April 8-11.

Meanwhile, Polacheck says officials are finalising President Obama's schedule for his visit to Jamaica. He says among other things the US President will be holding bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson as well as meeting with leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Yesterday, the Ministry of National Security issued a statement saying the National Reserve of the Jamaica Defence Force has been called out to strengthen security Obama's visit. National Security Minister, Peter Bunting said the calling out of the Reserves is among several security measures being pursued. Bunting also said the public should expect traffic diversions and road closures for the visit.

Additionally, there will be air space restrictions to be communicated by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.





Top cops probing Trelawny gun find

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Top-level investigators from the Criminal Investigation Bureau have taken over the investigation into the large gun find in Trelawny on Sunday.

Police sources say the find is a link in the chain of what they say is a bigger plot, a belief that has seemingly triggered the high-level investigation.

Meanwhile, the two men who were held in connection with the seizure, are still in police custody.

Eleven guns were recovered when a pick-up with two men was intercepted by the police in Scarlett Hall, Trelawny on Sunday.

The weapons include a grenade launcher, an M-16, an AK-47, a Sniper Rifle, one Intratek Submachine, and an Uzi Submachine gun.





Tickets for Rio 2016 Olympics now on sale

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With top prices comparable to those at the London Games in 2012, ... tickets for the 2016 Rio Olympics went on sale in Brazil today.

The most affordable of the 7.5 million tickets will be sold for 40 reais or Us $12 and all purchases can be paid for in up to five instalments.

The most expensive tickets in Rio - for the athletics, basketball, beach volleyball and volleyball finals -- are priced at 1,200 reais or US $75 far above Brazil's minimum monthly wage of 788 reals.

Tickets for the popular opening ceremony will cost up to 4,600 reais or Us $1440 . The announcement came as many Brazilians struggle to keep their heads above water amid a deepening economic crisis.

The Olympics competition schedule was also released today with eight finals on the last day, Sunday august 21 and the men's football tournament is the first sport to kick off on August 3, two days before the opening ceremony.

Tickets for the seven football matches scheduled for Sao Paulo have been held back due to an impasse over who will foot the bill for the renovations at the Corinthians arena.





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Nicki Minaj is getting cozy with a royal.

The "Only" rapper got a visit from members of the royal family at her London concert this past Saturday, and posted this snapshot of her and the late Princess Diana's nephew Louis Spencer together backstage.

Obviously, the handsome 21-year-old -- who is the eldest son of Charles Spencer, Diana's brother -- isn't bad on the eyes ... Seriously, this guy's giving Prince Harry a run for his money!

"The Royal Family stopped by. @louisspencer Nephew of Princess Diana ?? - he said he wants to marry me ?? #LONDON #ThePinkprintTOUR," Nicki posted on her Instagram.

The joke proposal aside, the now single 32-year-old rapper was clearly just as enamored with Viscount Althorp as he was with her -- she posted a second pic with him, writing, "Check out our wedding photo."

Louis, however, wasn't the only royal in attendance. Nicki also gave a shoutout to his sister, Lady Kitty Spencer.





Family Friend hurting over Bobbi Kristina

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Chaka Khan, who has been close to Bobbi Kristina Brown's family for decades, said that she was "definitely hurt, disappointed" over the 22-year-old's condition. The daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston has been in a medically induced coma after being found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Atlanta home on Jan. 31.

Chaka, a close friend of Whitney, Bobby Brown and her mother Cissy, has known Bobbi Kristina since she was born. The 62-year-old singer, who has battled drug addiction like the late singer, said that she felt let down after reports surfaced of police finding drugs at Bobbi Kristina's home.

"I've been in conversation with the family," Chaka said, according to U.K.'s Mirror. "Everyone's devastated, everyone. I love Bobbi Kristina, I love Whitney, I love Bobby Brown. I love Cissy - I love them all.

"But we just have to wait for what happens next. All I want to do is be there for them. I just need to pray," she reportedly said, adding: "Whitney would be devastated. I wish she was here."

Chaka reportedly said that she is "pretty close to feeling what she (Whitney) would have felt and what she's feeling right now."





Booyaka! at Wickie Wackie Saturday, April 25

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Booyaka! Come and experience some of the greatest music that has come out of Jamaica over the years. Many music legends have passed on leaving us a legacy in music. Booyaka reunites all of their great music --- in one big showdown at Wickie Wackie on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

A new concept in entertainment --- just music, less talk, and pure vibes. Browse through the Booyaka Wall of Fame and get info on some of your favorite legendary artistes.

A night of pulsating hit after hit, from legends such as Alton Ellis, John Holt, Sugar Minott, Gregory Isaacs, Jacob Miller, Jack Ruby, Nicodemus, Tenor Saw, Garnett Silk, Nitty Gritty, King Tubby and many more. Booyaka! ... linking music & history.

MC Emprezz will bring out the vibes, joined by Fire Links and celebrity guest selectors. Booyaka on the beach -- Save the date!





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On Easter Sunday, April 5 Coco Tea and Sizzla Kolonji will lead an electrifying Reggae charge at the Escape to Jamdown "Voices of Reggae" event slated for The Zen Night Club in Trinidad.

The event also features Prophet Benjamin, Jah Melody and new Jamaican sensation D Quan. Tickets go on sale for three days only beginning Thursday, March 19.

Patrons can purchase tickets at Cache-Nationwide, Converse Store-Price Plaza Chaguanas, Dev's Babershop- Cocoyea, Bazo's Towne Centre Mall POS. The Original Diary Bar - Aripita Avenue, Woodbrook and the Zen Box Office.

The event is sponsored by Blink bmobile, Hennessy, Black Label, ache, Mackeson, Smirnoff and MIB.

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Due to popular demand, two Welcome to Jamrock cruises will sail from the Port of Miami to Jamaica this year -- Nov. 30 through Dec. 5, and Dec. 5 through Dec. 10. "We were almost sold out for 2015 without doing anything, so we made the decision to put on two cruises,"? says Dan Dalton. "As of mid-March, both ships are 85% sold out, and we will be entirely sold out months in front of the cruise. Our only advertising is the few thousand dollars spent on boosting Facebook posts."?

Both cruises will offer identical entertainment rosters featuring some of the greatest acts Jamaica has produced. Joining Damian and his older brothers Julian, Ky-Mani and Stephen Marley are the world-renowned, prolific drum and bass duo Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, backing Mykal Rose, former lead singer of harmony trio Black Uhuru. (Sly and Robbie produced four Black Uhuru albums with Rose for Island Records including Anthem,? winner of the inaugural Best Reggae Album Grammy in 1985.) Also making their cruise debut are venerable band Third World, UK-born Maxi Priest, who topped the Hot 100 in 1990 with "Close To You"?, vocal powerhouse Barrington Levy, rapidly ascending Rastafarian sing-jay Protoje, (who debuted atop the Reggae Albums chart this week with "Ancient Future"?), fiery chanter Capleton, dancehall's energy god Elephant Man, singing and deejaying harmony quartet TOK and the sole female act, mold-shattering singer/songwriter Tanya Stephens.

Returning this year are sibling roots band Morgan Heritage, thunderous deejay Cham, silky crooner Christopher Ellis (from the Marley family's Ghetto Youths camp) and contemporary roots singer/songwriter Tarrus Riley and his Blak Soil Band, led by the revered saxophonist Dean Fraser.

At the midpoint of each cruise, December 3 and 8, respectively, as the ships navigate Jamaica's waters, the lineup will be comprised of artists, who, for assorted reasons, do not have US visas/work permits: the emotive singer Jah Cure, versatile sing-jay Busy Signal and his mentor the iconic deejay Bounty Killer are all returning this year and will be joined by former Vybz Kartel protege deejay Popcaan.

Dalton admits that organizing two back-to-back cruises isn't the ideal solution for accommodating the thousands of reggae lovers who want to set sail this year, and he is currently in discussions to secure a vessel with nearly 4,000 available cabins for Jamrock's (single) 2016 voyage. "Although the Pearl has functioned beautifully for us, we will be announcing the details of the larger ship and 2016's specific dates and artist lineup from this year's cruises. Passengers will have first dibs."

Working alongside Marley and Dalton on the presentation of the cruise are Brian Edelman of William Morris Endeavor, longstanding booking agent for Damian and Stephen Marley, WME's Cruise Division head Mike Rosenfeld and California-based Flying Dutchmen Travel, who specialize in music-themed cruises and handle the Jamrock cruise's ticketing. Tiered pricing for the 2015 cruises begins at $724.00 for an interior cabin and increases to $2,774.00 for an ocean view owners suite. Meals and entertainment (not including alcohol, of course) are included.





Anju Blaxx releases riddim from prison

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anju-blaxx-photo-1.jpg Despite being locked down in a US jail, Anju Blaxxx's UIM Records has released a new rhythm.

The 11 track juggling titled "Mildew" features the likes of Alkaline, Blak Diamon, Bugle, Chris Martin, Popcaan, Movado and others.

Tanya Thelwell, Manager of UIM Records says the label will continue to produce quality music as they have a slew of productions by Anju Blaxxx, Kadeem and Dinearo.

She also noted than another riddim that he producer was working on will also be released in the next few weeks.

Anju Blaxx is in the US fighting scamming charges.





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A contingent of nearly 70 exponents of reggae music will leave Kingston, New York, Atlanta and Miami later this week for Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa, to participate in the inaugural staging of the Abi-Reggae International Music Festival and Conference, set to take place from April 9 to 12.

The combination of a reggae festival and a music and cultural conference is being described as groundbreaking, and the first of its kind on the continent of Africa. The four-day event will be headlined by A-list Jamaican acts Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths of the I-Three, Third World, Morgan Heritage and Ky-mani Marley. They will be joined onstage by Alpha Blondy and other regional West African stars.

Also joining the contingent travelling to West Africa are Dr Julius Garvey, the son of Jamaica's first national hero, the Rt Excellent Marcus Garvey; Mutabaruka, dub poet, musician and radio host; Jelani Niaah, University of the West Indies lecturer; Copeland Forbes, legendary tour manager and oral reggae historian; Herbie Miller, cultural archivist, and other cultural luminaries.

The Abi-Reggae extravaganza, is the brainchild of Hon Moussa Dosso, a senior minister of government in the French-speaking Côte d'Ivoire. He visited Jamaica in 2013 and met with key music industry talent and executives on island including Jimmy Cliff and Chis Blackwell, both of who have endorsed the event. Jamaica's former minister of culture, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, is consultant producer for Abi-Reggae and she has direct responsibility for the coordination and management of the entire Jamaican contingent.

"Everything is being done to have a tremendously successful inaugural event," Grange explained. "Abi-Reggae will benefit the music industry and Jamaica in a substantial way by strengthening the cultural ties between Jamaica and the continent of Africa," she continued.





tommy-lee-photo-11.jpgROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) - Attorney General Levi Peter Tuesday said it is likely an out of court settlement will be reached regarding the deportation of Jamaican dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta last year.

Lee, whose real name is Leroy Russell, and three others - Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace - were deported one day after they arrived here to perform at a show in February.

"Hopefully there will be more to say over the next couple weeks but there is communication between us," Peter told a news conference, adding "there isn't a settlement but obviously as I indicated previously if it appears right from the discussion between us the matter should be settled amicably that is to say outside of the court that's what will happen because commonsense sometimes has to prevail.

"Hopefully there will be more to say over the next week or couple weeks," he added.

Lee has threatened to take the matter to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) saying his removal from Dominica was a breach of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement, CARICOM, and the free movement of skilled workers across the Community.

Earlier this month, Jamaica's Deputy Solicitor General and Director, International Affairs Division, Dr Kathy- Ann Brown, indicated that Roseau was seeking a friendly resolution to the matter. Police had detained the deejay and members of his group when they arrived on a private jet to perform in Portsmouth in February last year.

The Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches had been calling for a boycott of the concert featuring Sparta, who it claimed glorifies Satan during his performances.





Five April Fools' Day Facts

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April Fools' Day 2015 is here. That is no joke.

April 1 is famously the day when jokers and pranksters get their kicks by conning the unsuspecting and gullible among us with sometimes cruel but always fun tricks. If you get satisfaction from fooling others, this day is for you. If you're one of those people that gets easily fooled, you might just want to call in sick that day and not leave your house or interact with the outside world at all, for that matter.

But who would create such a potentially dastardly day, and why would we continue to celebrate it? Unfortunately, like many holidays and customs we observe every year, no one really knows the exact origins of April Fools' Day. However, there are plenty of theories as to how this day came about, although who's to say which are legitimate and which may be jokes that keep on getting told? Well, that's the fun - and frustration - of April Fools' Day, I suppose.

In any case, these five facts about the history and origins of April Fools' Day are sure to help you celebrate the holiday right.

1. It May Have Religious Origins

Though April Fools' Day is not a religious holiday, its origins may be related to religion, which is surprising, considering this day encourages activities you probably wouldn't learn in Sunday School. Many trace the origins of April Fools' Day back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII adopted the Gregorian Calendar (yup, it's named after him), effectively moving New Year's Day from the end of March to Jan. 1. Though the change was widely publicized, some people didn't get the memo, while others simply didn't want to transition to the new calendar, so they continued to ring in the New Year at the end of March. Those who didn't make the change were mocked for their folly and called "April Fools."

2. Everyone's Got A Theory

As with most traditions that are ingrained in our culture today, some don't think this calendar change was the start of April Fools' Day and have offered up other theories. Some believe that the origins of April Fools' Day go back to the Ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, which celebrated the resurrection of the god Attis and involved dressing up in disguises. There were several other renewal festivals like this in Europe that April Fools' Day may have grown out of because revelers played pranks and there was a sort of "anything goes" attitude adopted. However, the fact that some April Fools' Day origin stories are pranks in and of themselves doesn't help.

3. It Really Took Off In 18th Century England

April Fools' Day as we know it today became popular around 1700 in England. Without Netflix, what else were they going to do for fun?

4. Celebrations Aren't The Same In Every Country

Americans know that on April Fools' Day, it's either prank or be pranked. However, countries around the world bring their own unique flavor to the revelry. The holiday is known as Poisson d'Avril in France, which means "April Fish" in English. Accordingly, children tape a picture of a fish on the backs of their classmate and wait until they discover it. Scotland's version of April Fools' Day is a two-day affair with Hunt the Gowk Day on April 1, where people are sent out to deliver fake messages, and Taily Day, which is all about pranks involving people's behinds and may have inspired the "Kick Me" sign. The 13th day of the Persian New Year known as Sizdah Bedar usually falls on April 1 or April 2 in Iran, and people have reportedly played pranks during this holiday since 536 B.C. On this holiday, which is usually celebrated outside, it's also customary to throw away green vegetables called sabzeh, which represents getting rid of any bad luck for the coming year.

5. People Have Gone Crazy All In The Name Of Pranks

People get really into April Fools' Day, you guys, and these famous pranks throughout history are mind-blowingly good. In 1957, the BBC fooled viewers into thinking that the Swiss were not only growing spaghetti on trees, but that they also had a shortage of the crop. Since 1986, a press release for a phoney April Fools' Day parade in New York has circulated. Taco Bell took out a full-page ad in six of the country's major newspapers in 1996 saying that the fast food chain had purchased the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell, which many Americans did not find amusing. I can't wait to see who offends, I mean, makes us laugh this year.





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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) - The St Kitts and Nevis Government has expressed regret at the death of Canadian athlete Daundre Barnaby who died while swimming with his teammates here on Friday.

Sports Minister Shawn Richards says all efforts to assist Barnaby were unsuccessful when he encountered difficulty after he went into the ocean. After a three hour search, Barnaby, a native of Jamaica who became a citizen of Canada, was recovered from the water.

"All efforts to assist Mr Barnaby were unsuccessful. An extensive search and rescue effort was immediately launched by the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, the St Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard and local diver, Mr Kenneth Samuel," Richards said.

"After more than a three hour search Mr Barnaby was recovered from the water. Tragically, the attempts to resuscitate him failed."

Barnaby had travelled to St Kitts with 20 other athletes and eight officials for the team's annual training camp, Canada athletics reported. He was swimming recreationally with teammates when he disappeared and reports suggest he apparently lost his footing and was dragged away by an undertow.

"He chose to give of his skills and competence in sharing with his peers and with the youth of our Federation. This speaks volumes of a young star gone far too soon," the sports minister said.

"It was Tuesday of last week that I met with the staff and team members of Athletics Canada and realised firsthand the family-like spirit of interactions; I am truly touched by their loss; by our loss."

Barnaby, 24, a 400-metre specialist, was from St Ann, Jamaica and became a Canadian citizen in time to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.

The runner, from Brampton, Ontario, last represented Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.





It has been revealed that the Kingston Legal Aid Clinic is under the scrutiny of the Ministry of Justice in the wake of concerns about its operations.

The revelation follows yesterday's arrest of an attorney who was linked to the Legal Aid Clinic.Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding last night told RJR News he ordered an audit of the agency.The findings were submitted to the Ministry

The Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency confirmed a report carried by RJR News that the attorney was taken into custody during an operation in the Corporate Area. A raid was also conducted at the Legal Aid Clinic on Tower Street in downtown Kingston. Several items were seized and investigations continue into a case of forgery and misappropriation of several million dollars in clients' funds. The detainee will be interviewed today.

In the meantime, the Justice Minister has signalled that changes are coming to the operations of the Legal Aid Clinic. He says he will have to look at the overall management arrangements.





Warning issued over Portmore fish kill

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A warning has been issued by the police about a fish kill in Portmore, St. Catherine.

The police are advising members of the public that a large quantity of the fish populary called Sprat, believed to have been poisoned and seen floating in the Bridgeview/ Edgewater canal must not be retrieved and consumed.

The police and members of the National Environment and Planning Agency, are trying determine the cause of the fish kill. Members of the public should be on the lookout for persons selling the fish and make a report to the police.





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The man who admitted to hatching a hoax that he was contracted to assassinate Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Horace Chang, was slapped with a 30-month sentence on Tuesday.

He is Maxie Robinson, who police say has a long fraud rap sheet and was recently released from prison. Robinson was informed of his sentence when he appeared in the Corporate Area

Resident Magistrate's Court. He was charged with Creating Public Mischief.

In the aftermath of Holness' announcement of a reshuffled Shadow Cabinet in January, Robinson made a report that he was one of three men who had been contracted to carry out the hit.

He later admitted that the report was false.





Justice Sarah James-Thompson sentenced a sex offender to a total of 82 years in prison for molesting a teenager two years ago. The sentence was handed down in the St Catherine Circuit Court last Friday.

The 45-year-old St Ann accused pleaded guilty to all charges during the preliminary inquiry. He was given sentences of 45 years for rape, 15 years for abduction, 12 years for robbery with aggravation, and 10 years for grievous sexual assault.

Justice James-Thompson ruled that the accused is not eligible for parole until he has served 35 years of his sentence.

The court heard that in May 2013, the complainant, who was then 13 years old, was on her way to school in St Catherine when the accused held her and dragged her into bushes.

He placed a machete at her throat, while he raped her. He also robbed her of the $550 lunch money she had. After the ordeal, the complainant made a report to the Linstead police in St Catherine. An investigation was launched and he was subsequently picked up by the police.

He was positively identified by the complainant during an identification parade.

The investigating officer in the matter was Detective Constable Tracey-Ann Cooper-Prince of the Linstead Criminal Investigation Branch.





12 year-old stabbed to death by classmate

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shocked.jpgA 12-year-old Grade six student is dead and his classmate in police custody after a dispute over a chair got violent at Barrett Town All-Age School in St James Monday morning.

The dead boy has been identified as Shyheim Lewis of Barrett Town.

According to hismother, Jacinth Johnson, she was at home when she got the news that her son had been wounded and rushed off to the school.

She said she was told that there was a dispute between her son and a classmate over a chair and Shyheim was stabbed. .Johnson said it was reported to her that her son was stabbed while standing on the corridor. According to the mother he was stabbed in the side and received a cut to the face. The child died at hospital.

Both boys are said to have sat the Grade Six Achievement Test last Thursday and Friday. Shyheim's mother said her son wanted to attend Maldon High and he had dreams of becoming a soldier.

Meanwhile, Ms Johnson has raised several questions about the circumstances leading up to her son's death.





patrick-bailey.jpg Prominent attorney Patrick Bailey who was taken into custody on Monday has been charged with fraud.

He was detained by the Fraud Squad.

Reports are that Bailey was arrested in connection with a J$100 million real estate deal.

Bailey has been released from custody following his arrest yesterday by Fraud Squad detectives.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, says Mr. Bailey was the subject of a lengthy investigation in relation land deal in 1996. He said he found it necessary to lay charges against him.

He will appear in court next week Wednesday.

He is the third attorney arrested in recent weeks.

Miguel Lorne and Harold Brady were detained last month and charged with fraud.





Reggae Sumfest 2018

Spragga Benz embarks on Shotta Culture tour

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spragga-benz.jpgThis summer the dancehall icon Spragga Benz will be igniting stages around the world as he returns to Asia and Europe to present the "Shotta Culture Tour." The promotional tour will include a series of performances spanning from clubs to festivals including the Reggae Jam Festival in Germany and Reggae Geel in Belgium.

The tour will also feature special performances from Amlak Redsquare who is well known for spreading conscious lyrics and a revolutionary feel to reggae lovers near and far. Supporters can look forward to a well-crafted tour with a real reggae and dancehall vibe on one stage.

Right at the heels of an impressive showcase featuring Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Jo Mersa Marley and Kymani Marley, Spragga Benz continues to keep busy with a steady flow of performances and solid collaborations. With the recent debut of the "Back Bite Riddim" and a slew of new music, fans can count on a bunch of new material from Spragga Benz along with some old faithfuls to keep the crowds entertained.

When asked, "What is Shotta Culture?" Spragga Benz stated, "It is the culture that I live, the culture that I am from. I call [it] Shotta Culture because it represents freedom of expression, quality and standing up for what you believe in."

The "Shotta Culture Tour" starts out in Japan covering several cities throughout the country before heading to Germany and then to Belgium.





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aidonia-photo-3.jpgSix women were arrested on Saturday following the release of a video of them performing dance routine that just happened to involve some twerking and just happened to be right in front of some WWII monuments in southern Russia. Welp.

The women will serve between 10-15 days in jail for their dancing, the charge being "petty hooliganism."

According to one report in a Jamaican newspaper, t he women were dancing to dancehall artiste Aidonia's song, Touch You Tonight.





dexta-daps.jpgPopular dancehall artiste Dexta Daps was once again the topic of discussion yesterday. However, this time, it was not for his hit-making abilities.

The artiste was involved in a tussle with police officers at the Sangter International Airport in Montego-Bay.

According to reports, the artiste parked his car in a restricted area and was accosted by the police. This resulted in a verbal altercation, which then became physical.

In a video, which is being circulated by social media, a crowd gathered outside the airport as several officers attempted to put handcuffs on him. They were however met with resistance, as he refused to be placed under arrest without a valid reason.

One officer grabbed him by his waistband, while they struggled to place him in the back of a waiting police car. Dexta Daps could be heard asking why he was being arrested, several times throughout the video.

At one point, a fan of the artiste attempted to wipe the sweat off his face during the tussle."Wha me do fi get arrest? Me have the right to know whe unu a lock me up fah ..." were some of the words uttered by the 7-11 singer.

After more heated exchanges, including several expletives, he agreed to go with the officers, but not in the car. Up until news time, it was not clear whether he had been arrested or even charged.

When contacted, a member of his management team told THE STAR that there was an incident, but that he was working to resolve it.





BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) - An elderly widow who authorities say was among dozens of victims of a Jamaican lottery scam told jurors in federal court she lost about $300,000 and borrowed against her insurance policy with the hopes of collecting $19 million to help her family.

Edna Schmeets, 86, testified Monday in the trial of Sanjay Williams, one of 32 defendants charged in a global case that authorities say involves at least 72 victims, most of them elderly. Several people have pleaded guilty and 14 defendants are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, is the first person to go to trial.

Williams, who is from Jamaica but was arrested when he flew into North Carolina, came into court wearing orange prison clothes and carrying two garbage bags that appeared to contain documents and books. After trial recessed for the day, he asked US District Judge Daniel Hovland if he could have a laptop at his desk Tuesday to review DVDs. Hovland agreed.

Schmeets calmly recounted a series of phone calls from scammers who wanted "another check and another check and another check" from her in order to cover taxes and fees for the purported prize. She said she eventually became suspicious of the lottery, but by that time had emptied her savings account.

"I was feeling pretty bad because they said, 'Absolutely don't tell anybody about this,' until I got the $19 million," she said.

One of the banks contacted Schmeets' children about big checks she was writing to Shannon O'Connor in Florida, and eventually the case reached the FBI after the family filed a complaint. FBI Agent Frank Gasper testified Monday he travelled to Florida to interview and arrest O'Connor, and that opened the door to the wide-ranging case.

Prosecutor Nick Chase said in his opening statement that Williams sold lists of potential victims to scammers, known as "lead lists" or "sucker lists." Some of them were on Williams' website gamblersleads.com, Chase said.

Schmeets, whose husband died in 2010, said she was first contacted in the fall of 2011 by someone who identified himself as Newton Bennett. Authorities say she was the first victim in the scam.

"Edna Schmeets was very excited. She thought it was a great opportunity to help her children and grandchildren," Chase said. "But there was no prize."

Defense attorney Charlie Stock told jurors that a lot of people accused in the scam used fake names and IDs and said they are not credible witnesses in the case.

"How do you believe any of them?" he asked.

O'Connor has pleaded guilty.

One of the defendants charged in the case is a prominent Jamaican disc jockey. Deon-ville O'Hara, also known as ZJ Wah Wa, has pleaded guilty.





Clansman boss Tesha Miller's brother killed

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tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgThe brother of incarcerated Clansman gang boss Tesha Miller is among four murder victims in the old capital of Spanish Town between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Police have ramped up their efforts to keep a lid on the escalating violence between former cronies of the notorious gang that has been imploding for more than a year. The communities of Quarry Hill, Dela Vega City and Lakes Pen have been saturated with cops.

The dead man has been identified as Tashoy Miller.

Police report that they were called to a scene after loud explosions were heard. When they arrived, Miller's crumpled body was found lying in its own blood in front of a business establishment. The incident happened minutes after 8:00 am on Monday.

Members of the Clansman gang have long been at odds over leadership of the once organised criminal outfit and a number of lives have been lost. At least three of Tesha Miller's siblings have been killed in the conflict.

On Sunday evening, 30-year-old Lucien Simpson, otherwise called Kevin, of Dempshire Pen in Spanish Town, was slaughtered. Another man was also injured. Simpson and the injured man were reportedly among a group of persons when two gunmen pounced and opened fire. Both were taken to hospital where Simpson was pronounced dead and the other man admitted.

The other murdered persons were killed in spate incidents in Portmore.

A man, who is yet to be identified was shot and killed in Gregory Park. The body was clad in a black sweater, white short pants, and a pair of blue and white Nike slippers. The police say he is about five-feet-six-inches long.

Nineteen-year-old Ackeen Glanville of Confidence Avenue in Mandeville, Manchester, was shot dead by unknown assailants at Port Henderson Road.





No evidence that Jamaican teen was ISIS recruit

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe police have confirmed that their investigations have uncovered evidence that the 15 year old St. Mary boy held two weeks ago was being recruited by the terrorist group ISIS.

However, in a statement on Sunday, the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) said the teenager's actions had aroused suspicion.

It said the matter was triggered by peculiarities concerning the boy's travel arrangements.Including the fact that he was a first time traveler, was traveling as an unaccompanied minor on a trip that would require international connections and using a route that has become the focus of security concerns in the region.

The route booked for the minor, would involve him traveling from Jamaica with connections in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and The Netherlands ending in Istanbul, Turkey.

The police say this route has been under international scrutiny as it is a known route for persons traveling to join ISIS.

In addition to the particular concerns about the route being traveled, investigators said there were other issues that elicited the focus of intelligence efforts.

These include: the claim that the student would be staying at a particular hotel in Istanbul although there was no hotel in the name provided, there was no evidence his grandmother would be traveling to Turkey despite the boy's claim and the inability of family members to assist the police in clearing up several of the anomalies that emerged during the investigation.

As the probe continues, the police are giving the assurance that extreme care will be taken to avoid any infringement of individuals' freedom of religion. On Sunday, it was reported that lawyers for the 15 year old boy are to sue the State.They will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages for false arrest and defamation of character.





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A post mortem examination conducted on the body of 12-year-old Jamelia Johnson has concluded that she was not pregnant. The police are also awaiting the results of tests conducted on the child to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted.

Jamelia's body was found in bushes at Riversdale in St Catherine last week, two days after she was reported missing. Irate residents of the community torched the house of one of her relatives and blamed them for her untimely demise. The police were forced to escort her relatives from the area for their own protection.

A man who was taken into custody in connection with her murder has been released while police in the parish interrogated her mother on Friday.





unbroken-element-i-talented-i-gifted-pic.jpgConfident of the potential that exists to normalise the business of reggae music to ensure its profitability and eager to strip away the multiple layers of ignorance, while working with exciting new talent, the architects of Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment are ready, willing and able to rock the musical boat. Comprising financial whiz kid, Rohan Silvera (C.E.O), producer extraordinaire and multi-instrumentalist, Clive Hunt; marketing specialist, Tyehimba Kafele, and company secretary Elaine Stewart, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment is a full service record company zeroing in on all the needs of the artists who they represent. Although this entity is new on the scene, the individual and combined expertise and experience of this visionary team, makes the word 'new' something of a misnomer.

Some of the goals and objectives of the Company is to build artists with entrepreneurial skills; offer guidance and sound advice in regards to production, performance, branding, marketing, merchandising; shed much-needed light on blurred areas such as publishing and rights and generally show reggae artists how to further monetize their careers.

Acknowledging that partner Clive Hunt is respected as a super producer, Caribbean Rockaz will also show to the world that Mr. Hunt possesses a vast wealth of knowledge about the intricate business of music publishing and licensing deals and he is looking forward to imparting this knowledge to the artists who come on board. "There definitely needs to be more record companies in Jamaica offering full service to the artists with whom they work and we envision Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment as game-changers in the ever evolving musical landscape," says Tyehimba Kafele. She adds: "In this era Record Labels continue to sign 360 contracts with artists and many of our reggae/dancehall acts don't fully understand the implications of such contracts."

Kafele brings her usual passion, intensity and high standards to this venture, even while voicing her frustration about the local overtone that "things don't work like that in Jamaica" whenever a discussion about the importance of business models in music arises. "It's as if there is the rest of the world and then there is Jamaica. That is not so, Reggae music can follow the worldwide model and be more profitable, just like any other genres and Caribbean Rockaz intends to move forward based on international best practices. This is not about playing around in a fish bowl; it's all about swimming in the ocean," she declares.

However, Kafele is upbeat that despite the challenges, there has been genuine support and encouragement from those persons in the music industry who shares their vision. Already, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment has signed its first act, a brand new group out of Spanish Town which goes by the name Rockaz Elements. The core members include siblings I-Talented (Alex Taffe) and I-Gifted (Ainsworth Taffe) and their childhood friend Unbroken Element (Raymond Dawkins), all of whom grew up in the church, where they honed their skills. A multi-talented outfit whose skills include singing, song-writing, production and playing instruments, Rockaz Elements has been in development for eight years preparing for this momentous journey. Their debut single, Always Be Burning, a timely marijuana expose, will be officially released this month, and the accompanying music video has already been packaged. "We are really excited about working with Rockaz Elements. What we have seen them create with little is inspiring and we look forward to playing an integral role in their artistic development," stated CEO Rohan Silvera.

While Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment prefers to work with new acts, they also welcome on board established artists who do not fit into the stereotypical mode. "First and foremost, we have a goal to build careers that are manageable. We have zero tolerance for loose cannons. Reggae music has a long way to go and we are aware of the challenges of infusing a level of discipline and structure, but we have a workable model. Reggae music has never been dead and will never die", Silvera continues.

With that being said, Caribbean Rockaz Entertainment is ready to claim their place in the global development of this music which is acknowledged as the heartbeat of the people.

CAPTION: Members of the group, Rockaz Element (Pic called Unbroken element)





Lil Wayne's tour bus shot at

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lil-wayne-photo-3.jpgLil Wayne's two tour buses came under gunfire early Sunday morning in Atlanta, Georgia, with local cops confirming that the vehicles were shot 'multiple times.'

Witnesses reported the gunfire erupted from two passing cars as they left the Compound night club. No one was injured in the incident.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy said officers were called to the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Peachtree Road at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday 'regarding someone shooting at a bus that Lil Wayne was on.' 'Witnesses could only provide a limited description of the suspect vehicles,' Espy said. 'They were described as two white vehicles, possibly a Corvette-style vehicle and an SUV.'

The rapper performed Saturday night at the Compound club and the shots rang out minutes after the buses left the nightclub and were traveling on Interstate 285.

TMZ reported Weezy and a few other Young Money execs and artists, including Lil Twist and Super Hood, were on board at least one of the buses at the time of the shooting.

Right now, law enforcement says they have no suspects in the shooting.





nicki-minaj-flashes-ring.jpgNicki Minaj flashed her huge engagement ring on Saturday in New York City and used Instagram to shoot down rumors of a rift with Beyonce.

The 32-year-old singer showed the gigantic heart-shaped ring - purportedly from her 27-year-old hip hop artist Meek Mill - while making her way through JFK International Airport on Saturday.

The Super Bass singer wore a white blouse with black ripped trousers and cheetah-print high-heeled boots.

Nicki also posted fan art on Instagram in the form of a drawing showing her and Beyonce earlier this month at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California.

The drawing showed the two superstars serenely reclining next to each other with drinks nearby.

'Didn't post pics from that night but I love this sketch of me and Bey at Coachella. You are freaking incredible @ebonyt, it really sums up how we were feeling that day...super free & chill,' she wrote in the caption for her more than 20 million followers on Instagram.

Nicki and 33-year-old Beyonce stood together on the side of a Coachella stage as they watched Drake perform at the outdoor festival.





Aarhus Reggae Festival artist lineup announced

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aarhus-reggae-festival-natty-king.jpgOn June 19th and 20th Reggae and Dancehall lovers in Aarhus, Denmark will experience the city's first ever two day Reggae festival. The event will take place at V58 (on the 19th) and Voxhall Entertainment Center (on the 20th).

As this is the first festival of this kind to be held in Aarhus, the promoters are being very careful as they are trying to select artists that they believe will get the event off to a good start. So far they have booked Natty King (from Jamaica), Etzia (from Sweden), Alpheus (from the UK), Empress Black Omolo (from Kenya), Lise Ranks (from Denmark), Pops Jabu (from Zimbabwe), Slo Down, Total Hip Replacement and Mwakenya (from Denmark). A lot more artistes will be added over the coming weeks.

Maria Jackson Entertainment is the official media/marketing company for the Aarhus Reggae Festival. All media inquiries regarding this event should be directed to mariajacksonent@gmail.com





Sizzla relocates to Zimbabwe; opens new studio

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sizzla-photo-6.jpgReggae artiste Sizzla has thrown in the towel on Jamaica and relocated to Zimbabwe, this after being given a farm for performing at President Robert Mugabe's 86th birthday celebrations in February.

"I am here to stay, Zimbabwe is home. I have received tremendous welcome," Sizzla reportedly told the state-owned Sunday Mail weekly newspaper. According to newzimbabwe.com, Sizzla's publicist Olimatta Taal confirmed that rather than pay the artiste in cash for performing at President Mugabe's birthday bash, Zanu-PF handed the Jamaican a farm located close to the town of Chegutu.

"Instead of giving him cash (for his performance) they gave him land. It is very honourable that he would take land instead of cash," Taal was quoted as saying.

Taal also stated that his Zimbabwe move had nothing to do with allegations that he was on the run from Jamaican authorities for gun crimes allegedly committed less than a month before President Mugabe's party.

Sizzla has reportedly also been granted a work permit and was working to consolidate business enterprises he has established locally to complement his singing profession. The singer said he plans to set up agro-industries on his farm to help local youths under his Jamaican social responsibility banner and has also made enquiries about investing in the local textile sector.

Sizzla has since set up a recording studio in the plush northern Harare suburb of Borrowdale where he resides and is working with local reggae groups such as Transit Crew to put together his debut album on Zimbabwean soil.





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Nick Cannon, host of America's Got Talent, has been keeping the information hush hush surrounding his movie project, King of the Dancehall.

However, reports are that Beenie Man, widely regarded as the 'King of the Dancehall' in entertainment circles, will do a performance in the movie, and he may also land a cameo role.

"Beenie Man will be performing a song in the movie but we have been approached for him to actually be cast in the film and have a speaking role. Beenie is definitely interested in being part of the film, after all he is the King of the Dancehall," Rohan 'Blue' Smith said.

Since last December, Nick Cannon has frequented the island doing castings as well as undergoing dance training for the upcoming movie. Several artistes which span dancehall, rap and R and B, will be making cameo appearances.

Big names such as international rap superstar Busta Rymes have been spotted on the island this week. The rapper, who has Jamaican roots, was featured on Instagram posing for a picture with well known wardrobe personnel, Dexter '3D' Pottinger. Canadian/Jamaican singer Kreesha Turner, who is seen posed on the back of a bike sprayed in the Jamaican colours, is also a lead in the film. Turner is signed to Cannon's Ncredible label.





kern-spencer-daughter.jpgKern Spencer's Following The Spencers premiered Saturday at 10.30 pm on CVMTV.

The show, which is produced by Super K Studios in association with BOJTV, will showcase the Caribbean lifestyle through the eyes of a family that is involved in TV production. Kern Spencer said the idea came about after several persons asked him to write a book about his journeys and struggles in life.

"Since the encouragement to write a book started, I kept jotting down key points to start the book. Then I realized that our company had so much video and audio footage, which reflected Caribbean lifestyle, that was going to waste, so I said to myself, why not do a reality TV show," said Spencer.

A former junior minister in the People's National Party government, Spencer has had his image stained by allegations of corruption. He was jailed for benefiting improperly under the Cuban light bulb programme, but after six years before the courts, he was freed. Spencer said he will not be held hostage by the past. He said there is a demand for programmes like his and he will be seeking to capitalise on the opportunities.

"Families such as the Kardashians are doing it and making millions of dollars and are creating employment for persons," he said.

"The Caribbean, and in particular Jamaica, has so much that could excite viewers from all over the world," said Spencer, while adding that the production aspect of the reality TV Show will also bring about significant employment for persons involved in the industry, ranging from script writers actors, producers, camera men, editors and publicists.





jamaica-win-at-penn-relays.jpgJamaica's senior athletes, college students and high school boys came up big as the curtains came down on the 121st staging of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

The senior athletes copped 2 USA vs Rest of the World titles while the country's top high school boys and colleges including Calabar, St. Elizabeth Technical and the University of Technology secured Championship of America titles.

Jamaica's 4×100 meters team of Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, Schillonie Calvert and Nathasha Morrison captured the 4×100 meters for a third year in a row, winning in 43.70 seconds.

The 4×400 meters team of Christine Day, Patricia Hall, Anastacia Le-Roy and Stephanie McPherson fended off the Americans to win in 3:26.58 seconds. The men's 4×100 meters team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Jason Livermore and Asafa Powell had to settle for silver however after clocking 38.88 seconds to finish behind a USA Red team featuring Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Isiah Young and Ryan Bailey (38.68 seconds).

Jamaica finished second behind the USA in both men and women 4×200 meters logging times of 1 minute 21.45 and 1 minute 31.97 seconds respectively.

Meanwhile World Junior 200m bronze medallist Michael O'Hara helped Calabar to the High School Boys' 4×100 Championship of America title. The Calabar quartet of Zandre Blake, O'Hara, Jullane Walker and Seanie Selvin covered the Franklin Field Stadium track in 39.63.

Jamaica took the top four spots with St. Jago 39.89 (Raheem Chambers, Chad Walker, Nathon Allen, Ivan Henry), St. George's College 40.17 (Amoy Brown, Jelani Walker, Akeemo Minott, Joshua Darby) and St. Elizabeth Technical 40.42 (Rohan Cole, Okeen Williams, Hujaye Cornwall, Robin Black).

Clayton Brown, Odaine Lewis and Jullanie Walker were also High School Boys Championship of America winners on Saturday's final day. Brown of Jamaica College (JC) cleared 2.09m to take the boys' high jump title inside the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia. He beat Lushane Wilson of St. Jago 2.06m. In the boys' long jump, Walker and Travis Riley gave Calabar 1-2 with 7.45m and 7.34m respectively.

Odaine Lewis of Cornwall College topped the boys' triple jump with 15.37. JC's Obrien Wasome took second with 15.28m and Campion College's Jordan Scott, third with 15.19m.





pj-patterson.jpgNew York - Western Union and GraceKennedy will hold their annual town hall series from May 4th to May 8th, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York; Toronto Canada and Miramar, Florida under the theme, "The Caribbean Diaspora - Borderless Possibilities." The keynote speaker for this year's series is the P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and President of Heis Consults Ltd.

"These forums are very important to us as they provide an excellent opportunity to engage the Caribbean diaspora - not just to network with our customers and get their feedback but also importantly, to encourage their participation in the discussion about issues that are critical to their home countries. Their contribution is very valuable as we explore ways to continue the development and promotion of the Caribbean while improving the quality of lives for those who live within the region," said Michelle Allen, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Money Services.

This year's discussion topics include "Corporate social responsibility - changing lives, cultivating generations through educational investment." Western Union and GraceKennedy will also share information on their commitment to education and support of the diaspora.

Each session will include a question and answer segment following the keynote speaker's presentation. Please visit www.networkcaribbean.ca for more details and to register.





Police and ministers of religion met with members of the Drumilly community in St. Ann Saturday morning within hours of a double murder in the deep rural district.

Dead are 24 year old Demar Smith, also called Chunky, a bus conductor of Drumilly, and his girlfriend 15-year-old Amoya Brown, of Good Hope, Clarendon. The two were chopped to death just before day break at Smith's house.

Members of the community immediately went in search of a man, who like Smith, was a tenant at the house.

Up to news time, there was no information on his whereabouts, but police have asked the man who they have not named, to make contact with the police.

In the meantime, Smith's sister, Sidonie Smith, was distraught and said her brother was killed for nothing at all. She said there seemed to be a dispute over electricity, which she said had been cut off to a section of the house, her brother occupied. Even as community members searched for the alleged killer, the St. Ann police community safety and security branch, led by Sgt. Lorna West-Small took a team to the scene for grief counselling.

Among them were Inspector in charge of Claremont Velrose Wilson, Methodist Minister Racquel Clemmings and Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Bancroft Lopez. The community members, including siblings of Smith, were addressed by the police who asked for their cooperation.

The numbers of senior police officers for St. Ann were given out for easy reach by community members. The church leaders also prayed with the community members.





Kenny Benjamin's Serenity Farms up for sale

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The Kenny Benjamin-led Guardsman Group has put its recreational property in St Catherine up for sale.

Serenity Farms, located in Bushy Park, St. Catherine was once marketed as a tourist destination for families looking to get away from the city to experience nature and a relaxing retreat.

The property consists of flat farmland with development potential with access to water, electricity and includes several buildings, ponds and a house.





ian-lyn.jpgWanted for questioning by the Fraud Squad, Ian Lyn, the former director of Carmax Jamaica Limited, has broken his silence, declaring that he is not a thief, even as the cops say allegations of impropriety against the company he formerly ran has climbed to $160 million.

"First of all, let's make it clear that I am not a director of Carmax, since last October. I haven't been the head of operations for six months. Second, I am not a thief, because that is diametrically opposed to who I am. And third, the allegations are far from the truth," Lyn told The Sunday Gleaner by telephone from an undisclosed location overseas.

According to Lyn, he was never the majority shareholder in the company which traded in used cars. He added that he did not flee Jamaica to avoid possible fraud charges, similar to those levelled against Daren Blake, a director in Carmax.

"I am out of the country on business. I am many things, but I am not a thief. It is against who I am and everything that I strive to do for all the years of my business life," reiterated Lyn, a former president of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers' Association.

However, Lyn refused to say when he would be returning to Jamaica to face the music, following a plea from the Fraud Squad for him to turn himself in for questioning. Instead, the car dealer referred our news team to his lawyer, Shantez Stewart. The attorney later said he is taking instructions from his client and could not say when Lyn will make himself available to the cops.

"My client advised me to go to the Fraud Squad and present certain information, which I did. Having done that, we will now allow all the processes of the judicial system to proceed," said Stewart.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has already indicated that the police are considering their options, following Lyn's failure to turn himself in.

Last week, auto broker Roderick Byles obtained a Supreme Court order which placed Carmax into receivership. The assets of Blake and Lyn, who holds an American passport, were also placed into receivership.





asafa-and-kaci.jpgFrom New York to New Zealand there's probably at least one Jamaican everywhere on the globe at any given point in time.

Well, two of yard's most recognisable faces brought some Jamaican sunshine to chilly Philadelphia. Kaci Fennell and Asafa Powell linked up for an appearance on Fox News, where the duo spoke about the upcoming Penn Relays.

"?#?Yaadies? link up in Philadelphia, for Fox News and talking about the ?#?PennRelays? that are coming up," the reigning Miss Universe captioned a photo of the two of them on social media.

Asafa also took to social media to announce the yardie link up.

"Just did a great interview with Alex and Mike and Kaci Fennell on @fox29 #teamjamaica Penn Relays #gooddayphilly #myfox29philly," said the track star on Instagram.

Asafa is back on the team representing Jamaica at the Penn Relays this year.

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konshens-photo-4.jpgDancehall artiste Konshens is definitely staying busy as he continues his college pop up campaign as he visits another College in the New York area unannounced to the students, while currently promoting his soon-to-be-released single, 'Physically Fit'.

During his promotion, Konshens visited several radio stations and media outlets discussing what he is up to now. Most recently, Konshens released a video for his single, Winning, which is receiving great feedback and is now featured on MTV Iggy.

MTV Iggy is a division of Viacom Media Networks, focused on bringing cutting-edge global music and pop culture to the US. The music video for Winning, which is directed by RD Studios, gives viewers an innovative form of visuals while bringing the importance of the lyrics through with a greater impact. Known for his hit single Winner, Konshens sends a similar message several years later, letting fans know he's still Winning, still hungry and "still focused".

The single is currently garnering much airplay and is being considered as another anthem for Konshens and a message many demographics can relate to. "Winning, is a single that you can play in any club, whether hip hop, latino, Caribbean or Caucasian, everyone knows the feeling of being hated on, the struggle to win and the feeling of winning," says Power 105.1 DJ Norie.





Promoter denies sex at dance

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A video showing a half-naked woman and a man attempting to have sex at the popular Nipples Tuesdays dance recently have been making the rounds on social media.

The video shows the man wearing a condom and having difficulty getting his member up. He is then assisted by the woman in stroking it, before she takes off her undergarment. She then jumps into his arms and they fall to the ground. The video clip then ends.

The large crowd which gathered around the two while the music was being played were amused by the young man who tried repeatedly had no 'nature'. Some encouraged the woman, who was visibly upset, to start him up with oral sex. There were more than 10 camera phones rolling.

Attempting to bring clarity to the incident, promoter Mark Ward said the two did not have sex. He added that the incident happened after the party, now known as Magnum Way Up Tuesdays.

"It is after the party had finished in the morning. I had to get someone to take her home. I saw her in the party and she was there doing her thing. I told her she could not be there doing that," he said.

According to Ward nothing happened because she had been prevented from carrying out her actions.

"Nothing happened. People didn't allow her to do whatsoever she wanted to do," he said. Ward also claimed his event has a strict rule in which live sex cannot happen.

"It is not a go-go club. If people try to do that we break it up," he pointed out.





ribbiz-b-day-photo-1.jpgThere is no better way to celebrate one's birthday than with the three magic ingredients: good food, good friends and good vibes.

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On Thursday night, all three of the magic ingredients came together inside Ribbiz Ultra Lounge as Brian 'Ribbie' Chung celebrated his birthday.The lounge was filled to capacity, with a crowd that spilled over into the Acropolis gaming lounge.

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Nonetheless the packed lounge was "Turnt-all-the-way-up" with music by DJ Audley and DJ Kamal Bankay, who kept the good tunes coming all night long to a party-crowd that grooved well into the wee hours Friday morning.

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The birthday man himself spent the evening on the floor greeting patrons and dancing up a storm, occasionally taking over the DJ booth showing off his skills at mixing.

Not only did Chung show he had some talent at selecting the tunes, but he also showed off his birthday haircut, a pink fro-hawk. Talk about living it up on his birthday. Check out all the fun moments from Ribbie's party in the slider below.





Lambert Brown lashes out at critics

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lambert-brown.jpgOne of the persons re-appointed to the National Housing Trust, NHT, Board has come out swinging amid calls that he and three previous members should not remain Directors of the entity.

Trade unionist Lambert Brown says the arguments presented for him and the three Directors to be removed from the Housing Trust Board are baseless. Mr. Brown last night declared that he will remain a Director. He said a request was made and he agreed to stay on. He noted that the audit did not speak to corruption or the incompetence of the members.

Brown, Percival Latouche, Robert Buddan and Office of the Prime Minister representative Sonia Hyman have been retained on the new Board, which will be led by former Cabinet Secretary Dr. Carlton Davis.

And at least one civil society advocate is taking issue with the reappointment of the four NHT Directors. Carol Narcisse says the Prime Minister missed an opportunity to address the negative perception of the entity's Board.

She described the re-appointments as astounding. She said in the wake of the public outcry and auditor general's report she does not understand how the Prime Minister re-appointed those members.





Dr Carlton Davis new NHT chairman

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carlton-davis.jpgDr. Carlton Davis, a former Cabinet Secretary, is the new Chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT), replacing Easton Douglas.

Daisy Coke, an actuary, is Deputy Chairman.

This is the second occasion that Dr. Davis will be serving as NHT Chairman, having done so in the early 1990s.

Some other members of the NHT's new Board are Robert Buddan, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, Senator Lambert Brown and Lisa Harrison.

Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer made the announcement on Wednesday at a Jamaica House media briefing.





19 cable channels ordered removed

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broadcasting-commission-cordel-green.jpgSubscribers to cable television in Jamaica will see their viewing options reduced by the end of May as the Broadcasting Commission has ordered the removal of 19 channels, due to copyright breaches.

The channels to be removed, in the first instance, are Encore Black, Showtime East, Encore Family, Showtime West, Encore Love, Showtime TOO, Encore Suspense, Showtime 2, Encore WAM, Showtime Showcase, Encore Classic, Starz Comedy, Encore Drama, Starz West, Encore Mystery, Starz Kids & Family, Encore Movie Plex, Starz Multiplex, and The Movie Channel Xtra

Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Commission said the action being taken was in an effort to regularize access to these channels and ensure that "Jamaica's reputation is not sullied." It was, he said, "the natural outcome of a process, which began with a comprehensive coypright audit." Furthermore, he said, there were some rights holders "who are becoming far more aggressive in protecting their content."

Additionally, he said, "there is more content also being acquired by local television stations; there are channel owners who have invested in programmes that they themselves don't create, which are programmes from other channels that they go and purchase to make up their offerings, and we have to see about whether their content is being devalued if they are in the same market legally, competing with other channels that are in the market illegally.

Asked what might be the implications for Jamaica, should this action not be sustained, Mr. Green cited trade issues that would arise. Intellectual property rights are part of bilateral trade agreements and treaties, he said, warning that "any disregard for rights holders abroad might be reciprocated," noting that Jamaica also creates content, which must be protected.

Nine of the channels are from Encore, five from the Showtime group, four from Starz and the channel known as The Movie Channel Extra. CAPTION:Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission





12-year-old-murdered.jpgResidents of Barnes Avenue, off Maxfield Avenue in St. Andrew on Friday morning protested the beating of a 22 year old woman by a gunman earlier in the morning. The incident occurred shortly after midnight.

The young woman has been admitted to hospital.

According to the police, she was standing with friends at the intersection of Maxfield Avenue and Whitfield Avenue when a man approached them.

The man reportedly pulled a gun and dragged the young woman to an abandoned building along nearby Barnes Avenue where he attempted to sexually assault her. She resisted and was hit repeatedly in the head with the gun. The man also smashed her head against the pavement.

The police were called and she was taken to hospital.

12-y-o girl murdered; residents blame parents, burn house to the ground

The identity of the 12-year-old girl who was found dead in bushes in the Riversdale community here this morning has been released. She is Jameila Johnson, a student of the Harewood Primary School in the parish, who reportedly went missing on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education has corroborated earlier police reports, stating that Jamelia asked her grandmother for tissue paper and proceeded to the outdoor pit latrine. A three-day search was launched, ending in the discovery of the decomposed remains of the child.

Yesterday, a group of angry residents, after learning about the little girl's death, went to her family's home and set the house on fire. The child's mother and grandmother were also attacked by the mob and had to be escorted from the community by the police.The group claimed that it was neglect by the family that led to the child's death.

The ministry has since condemned the killing citing that it is "distressed at the senseless killing of the nation's children".

"We grieve with the relatives and friends of Jameila Johnson," it said in a media release Friday.

Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites has expressed sadness over the killing of Jameila. He says that guidance counsellors from the ministry's regional office will provide grief and trauma sessions to the affected students and staff.

Since the start of the year, two other young girls have suffered similar fates. Santoya Campbell, a 14-year-old Westmoreland girl went missing on January 26 and her body was found two days later stuffed in garbage bags under a bridge.

According to the grief-stricken relatives, Santoya, who was a grade eight student of Frome Technical High, did not reach school after leaving her home early the morning she went missing. Similarly, another 14-year-old girl, identified as Kayalicia Simpson of a St Thomas community was hacked to death and her mutilated body dumped metres from her house on March 3.

Police reports are that about 5:00 am that day the grade eight student went outside her house as she prepared for school. About half-an-hour later her body was found lying face down in bushes close to the one-room wooden structure in which she lived. Post-mortem reports on the 14-year-old girls later revealed that they were both pregnant at the time of their deaths.





Take Back The Mic comes to Jamaica

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tifa-no-no-no.jpgTake Back The Mic (TBTM), considered the World Cup of Hip-Hop, has been launched in Jamaica.

It is a reality competition that puts fans in the driver's seat to discover and promote the most soulful hip-hop artistes from around the globe.

TBTM has also made visits to Colombia and Brazil.

Jamaica's Tifa, Five Steez, and Italee are semifinalists in the international competition.

The finale will be held in Miami on May 4.





Nick Cannon in Jamaica filming movie

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nick-cannon-photo-1.jpgNick Cannon, movie star and host of America's Got Talent, is in Jamaica preparing for a movie shoot.

Cannon has frequented the island, doing castings as well as undergoing dance training for the upcoming movie, King of the Dancehall.

Local and International entertainers are slated to make cameo appearances.

Also in Jamaica is Jamaican roots rapper Busta Rhymes. Both Busta and Nick were spotted partying together.





st-lucia-gay-teen-facebook.jpgAuthorities in St Lucia have launched a search for a Jamaican man who they say is a person of interest in the murder of an 18-year-old male on Tuesday.

The teen, Anthony Augustin of Grand Riviere, Gros-Islet was reportedly an open homosexual; local media reported the teen went missing after leaving to meet a young male he met earlier on Facebook.

Augustin's body was fished from the Trouya Beach at around 1:30pm on Tuesday. He was found with a laceration to his throat and 56 stab wounds. A post mortem, conducted on the body yesterday, concluded that he died from hemorrhagic shock secondary to a stab wound.

No arrests have been made in connection with the murder but Police are trying to locate a St Lucia-based Jamaican man who has been identified as a person of interest in the investigation.





Carmax director denied bail

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carmax.jpgCarmax Jamaica Ltd Director Darren Blake was on Thursday denied bail in the in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court as the court felt that he would interfere with the ongoing fraud investigation.

At the same time, the court was informed that 88 people have filed complaints and the amount defrauded is now at J$162 million.

?Blake was remanded into custody until May 1.

Blake was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13, for several counts of fraudulent conversion, following reports from a number of people who allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles.





Sign bearing PJ Patterson's name stolen

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pj-patterson-prime-minister.jpgThe sign bearing the name of P.J Patterson, a former prime minister of Jamaica, on a section of Highway 2000 has been stolen.

The official renaming of that section of the Highway took place last Friday, but Stephen Shaw, Communication and Customer Service Manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) confirmed that the sign has been stolen.

He said a new sign will be erected shortly.





Shocking revelation at West Kingston Enquiry

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west-kingston-enquiry.jpgThere was a shocking revelation at the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry about what was purported to be a copy of the Jamaica Gazette Supplement dated May 13, 2010.

The document, which contained a proclamation about a State of Emergency, was previously tendered into evidence. However, Supervisor in the Gazette Department at the Jamaica Printing Services, Dempsha Thompson, said the document was fake.

He made the revelation during his examination in chief by Counsel for the Commission Simone Mayhew. He pointed out to the Commission a number of errors including inconsistent page numbering and format.

Having taken the Commission through the series of faults with the document, he was asked by Chairman

Thompson testified that the gazette produced by his office was done on May 24, 2010, which was a public holiday. He said the document for publication was delivered to the Jamaica Printing Services by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force 15 minutes after he arrived for work.

The three member panel looking into the May 2010 security forces operations during the hunt for Christopher "Dudus" Coke will be touring sections of West Kingston on Friday. The tour , scheduled to begin at 9:30am will last for approximately three hours.

A report from the Office of the Public Defender said 74 civilians and a member of the Jamaica Defence Force were killed in West Kingston during the operations.

Ellington testifies

Former Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, denied that the High Command had prior knowledge that the Government would have authorised the execution of a warrant for the arrest of Christopher Coke.

Ellington was being cross examined by attorney representing the Office of the Public Defender, Lord Anthony Gifford.

The former Commissioner testified that when the announcement was made that the authorities would be proceeding with the warrant he was not surprised.





Huge ganja find in Portland

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Portland police on Thursday seized a large quantity of ganja at Burlington in Snow Hill during an operation in the parish to clamp down on praedial larceny.

Deputy Superintendent in charge of operations at the Portland Police, Patrick Bennett, said no one was arrested, however, they will be pursuing the owner of the property.

"This is just a small step in the right direction as it relates to the reduction of praedial larceny," he said.

Bennett added that police have not received tickets to issue to persons who are in possession of more than two ounces of ganja following an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.





willie-nelson.jpgMusic legend Willie Nelson is jumping into the movement to commercialize marijuana and plans to roll out his own brand of cannabis that he intends to make "the best on the market."

The singer-songwriter announced in a statement Monday that Willie's Reserve will be grown and sold in Colorado and Washington, two states where recreational use of the drug is legal.

A release explaining Willie's Reserve says it reflects Nelson's appreciation for "the many varieties and range of the plant's qualities."

The release says the 81-year-old Nelson will collaborate with master growers to define standards for the strain.

Nelson is a longtime supporter of marijuana for personal use and has spoken of its benefits for hemp production.

He's also pushed for the end of laws criminalizing use of the drug.





luciano-photo-1.jpgGhanian dancehall artiste Mykell O'mint, aka Jupitar, has accused Jamaican reggae singer Luciano of disrespecting dancehall acts in that African country.

According to a report in ghanaweb.com, the artiste is taking issue with Luciano for his comments about dancehall artistes not having a future.

The comments were allegedly made on Ghanian radio network, Hitz FM. Luciano reportedly said that dancehall artistes tend to lose their way over time, citing dancehall acts Vybz Kartel and Tommy Lee. According to Luciano, it was reported, some countries do not give opportunities to dancehall artistes due to their bad behavior.

"Dancehall music was there long ago and I will not be the one to stop it, but make sure you don't mislead people. Reggae turn but Dancehall burn up! Don't lose your way. Don't lose your way I say," Luciano reportedly said.

But Ghanaian singer Jupitar dismissed Luciano's reasoning, adding that it is disrespectful for the Jamaican singer to come to Ghana and make those comments.





Lawyer Jade Hollis arrested

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Cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged 47-year-old Jade Hollis, an attorney-at-law of Caribbean Close, Kingston 10 with four counts of fraudulent conversion on Tuesday.

Hollis was collared at the Norman Manley International Airport upon her return to the island at about 12:30 pm, following a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions Office (DPP). Hollis was retained as a carriage of sales of a real estate company and allegedly fraudulently collected over $12 million.

She is to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, May 13. Her bail was set at $3 million with surety.





Children's home for teen terror suspect

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe lawyer representing the 16-year-old St Mary boy, suspected of trying to join terror group ISIS in the Middle East, is to appear in the Supreme Court on Wednesday to get him released from custody.

The Family Court on Tuesday ordered that the Child Development Agency house the youth in a children's home instead of a juvenile centre? in Kingston.

At the same time the judge transferred the matter to St Mary, saying she had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

This, according to a source, ?despite the police saying they had no further interest in the teen.

The teen's legal team wants him to be released in the care of his father.





norman-manley-airport.jpgThe Government has announced that five potential bidders will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal stage for the privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport.

They have been identified and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team, which has been established to supervise the privatisation process.

Making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr the Hon. Omar Davies, said the five firms are from Europe, Asia and South America.

"We take particular pleasure in the fact that two shortlisted consortiums include Jamaican partners. I have also been informed that a third is actively seeking collaboration with Jamaican firms involved in the aviation industry," the Minister noted.

Dr. Davies informed the House that bidding documents will be issued at the beginning of June, and it is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by early next year.





dudus-disguise.jpgFormer Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, said the reason why no reports were made of criminal activity in the former garrison community was because Christopher 'Dudus' Coke's criminal gang ruled with an iron fist and enforced a code of silence.

He made the disclosure during the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry on Tuesday.

"The police were prevented from investigating murders and other crimes because the gang enforced a code of silence.

"It was nearly impossible to carry out normal policing duties there," Ellington said during cross-examination from attorney representing the residents of Tivoli Gardens, Alexander Williams.





Cops make appeal to Carmax fraud victims

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carmax.jpgThe police are again appealing to members of the public who may have been defrauded by the Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC).

The appeal is renewed contrary to reports carried in a section of the media on Monday that investigators might have to consider whether to stop taking complaints.

Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited Daren Blake, was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13 for the offence Fraudulent Conversion, following reports of several persons who allegedly entrusted him to sell their motor vehicles. However, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved unsuccessful.

He appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on March 27, however the matter was postponed until Friday, May 1.

The C-TOC has intensified its probe and is appealing to possible victims to come forward and make their reports to C-TOC at 967-1389.





gyptian-reggae.jpgReggae singer, Gyptian, renowned for his silky smooth ballads, is the perfect embodiment of true Rasta love in his brand new single, Addicted To Your Love, produced by Konsequence Muzik.

Set over a soothing riddim, and tightly locked into a slick groove, the song is as compelling as it is catchy and already music critics are predicting that Addicted To Your Love will be another monster hit from the highly-touted reggae crooner.

Gyptian belts out the catchy hook and the complementing verses with the confidence and credibility for which he is known to deliver his titillating love songs. He has taken the riddim and made it his own, little wonder therefore that the producers have named the riddim after the song. And, with the exception of the single, Shotta, by Guidance, there are currently no plans to release any more songs on Addicted.

"Right now, we are focusing on these two singles," says Alberta-based producer, Tristmar Peart, CEO of Konsequence Muzik. He explained that originally the idea was to have Busy Signal on the riddim, but a friend listened to it and declared that Gyptian was the man.

"Well, it worked out perfect. Although we are new producers, Gyptian listened to the riddim, fell in love with it, and in no time he voiced this song, which we know has the potential to be a mega hit," Peart said.

Addicted To Your Love is receiving love from radio, both in Jamaica and in North America and disc jocks have been pulling it up, a sure sign that they too are addicted.

"Gyptian has done justice to the riddim and as producers we are very pleased," Peart added.





morgan-heritage-photo-1.jpgSensational roots reggae quintet, Morgan Heritage, has made quite an impressive iTunes debut at number 2 with the pre-order sales of their highly anticipated 10th studio album, Strictly Roots.

"The album has been available for pre-order on a digital platform and we also had physical copies and other album bundles on order as well for the buying public," Gramps explained. He added, "The fact that pre-order sales alone have taken us to number two on iTunes is a great indication of things to come. It is more than encouraging and we are grateful that this is happening for us as a group, especially now, and we would like to thank our fans for their unwavering support."

Strictly Roots, on their very own Cool To Be Conscious (CTBC) label, was released digitally on April 20th, 2015 and physically April 21st. The album features a wide variety of guest performers including platinum selling pop/dancehall phenomenon, Shaggy; American reggae and R&B vocalist, J Boog; third generation ambassadors from the Morgan and Marley families, Jemere Morgan and Jo Mersa Marley; reggae sensation, Chronixx; lead singer Eric Rachmany from rock, world and reggae band, Rebelution; and Bumble Bee from the American Grammy-nominated pop reggae band, SOJA.

Throughout 2015, Morgan Heritage will be touring in support of Strictly Roots, and have already embarked on their month-long tour of the United States, which kicked off in April and has seen the quintessential live reggae band enjoying near-capacity and totally sold-out venues . Among the sold-out concerts have Cactus Jacks in Phoenix, Arizona on April 17 and Los Angeles on April 18, and according to the group, "It has been sensational!"

Morgan Heritage is also pleased to announce the release of their new, free-to-download, fan community mobile application.The app is powered by TopFan, who is excited to partner with Morgan Heritage, which now has the distinction of being the first reggae band to have a next generation fan community with the company. Available on all Apple iOS and Android devices, Morgan Heritage's official mobile community enables fans to listen to their music, watch music videos, read their latest news, enter contests, buy tickets to their tour, and much more.





Bobbi Kristina off life support

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bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgThe Houston family is now changing their tune, saying Bobbi Kristina is OFF life support, but they continue to maintain there's no real hope for recovery.

The Houston family reportedly told TMZ, Bobbi Kristina is breathing without the assistance of a ventilator. They say, "According to the doctors she's breathing on her own but the trach has to stay."

But the family still maintains Bobbi Kristina has "global and irreversible brain damage and remains unresponsive."

It appears the Houston and Brown families have different ideas about how to handle the prospect of long term care ... something that is now a real possibility.





50 Cent vacations in Montego Bay

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50-cent-in-montego-bay.jpgDiamond-selling American rapper 50 Cent joins a list of celebrities who have chosen to spend their vacation in Jamaica in recent times.

The rapper/businessman, known for his album Get Rich or Die Tryin, landed in the island unannounced. However, on Saturday evening he took to his Instagram page to inform his fans that he was spending time in the island with his grandfather, who actually selected Jamaica as his place of recreation.

The rapper, who lost his mother during his formative years, is known to be very close to his grandfather and even posted a photograph on his Instagram page, in which he shared the same hotel bed with the senior citizen.

The photograph had the caption: "Come to Jamaica, my grand-father wanted to go, so we are here. He does whatever he wants to do". The controversial rapper also followed up with another post, posing with Montego Bay's mayor Glendon Harris.

For that photo, he wrote the caption: "So the mayor of Montego Bay stop by to make me feel at home. BOSS LIFE".

50 Cent and his G-Unit affiliates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo have performed in the island twice. They recently revealed in an interview that Jamaica is one of their favourite places to perform, outside of the US.

"I cannot forget Kingston, Jamaica. That's one of the realest places. A lot of rappers talk and that is cool, but Jamaica is like a tested ground, and there are not a lot of rappers from here that can walk the streets of Kingston," Young Buck said.

50 Cent has sold over 30 million albums world-wide and has won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 13 Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.

The rapper is also promoting a new beverage called EFFEN Vodka.





TV personality's nude pics a fake?

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A popular blogger and TV personality is the latest victim of a cyberattack after sexually explicit photos bearing her image were circulated on social media over the weekend.

According to media reports, unscrupulous persons have allegedly created a Twitter and Instagram account, which are being used as the platform for posting these nude photos.

On Friday, when our news team first saw one of the fake social media pages, there were only three posts made.

One of the posts was purported to be a face shot of the fashion blogger, while the other two, a faceless nude shot and a half face shot, were all captioned.

One of the captions read, "Dat wat u doing - selling u video for money to buy dress and shoes blue movie star?"

While a previous post read, "Same face, same nose don't lie."

Efforts to get a comment from the blogger proved futile and persons associated with her have said that she does not intend to respond publicly or she may be pursuing legal recourse.

However, several posts from her official Twitter account, which were seemingly made the same day the 'malicious' images were made public, appear to be referring to the situation. Meanwhile, the blogger is the latest popular female personality to have images purporting to be her circulating around the Internet.

In recent months, two dancehall artistes, Spice and Pamputae, also fell prey to similar cyberattacks.





Cops kill St Thomas wanted man

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Ricky Ricketts, who was being sought by the St Thomas police, was killed yesterday in an alleged shoot-out with members of the security forces.

It is understood that Ricketts was among ten men wanted for questioning regarding several crimes under investigation in St Thomas.

According to reports, Ricketts engaged the police in a gun battle when they attempted to apprehend him in York in the parish.

A revolver was reportedly taken from the deceased.





portia-lisa-monymusk-visit.jpgDetectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are to conduct a high level review on Monday of the evidence collected in last week's quadruple killing in Clarendon.

Head of the CIB, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, said the review will determine whether the police have evidence to link any of the two persons in custody.The two men were picked up last week following the killing of three teenagers and a 35-year-old accountant in the Monymusk Housing Scheme.

Powell said investigators have collected several statements in the case.

Concerning the policeman who was questioned in the incident, Powell said he has been cleared. The policeman's gun was also examined by investigators. Powell said the cop was not considered a suspect, but was questioned based on information received by the police.

Leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness and National Security Minister Peter Bunting visited the scene of the quadruple killing on Sunday. Holness said the police must solve the case to send a signal to criminals.

The National Security Minister urged residents to assist the police in their probe.

"Any murder is bad enough, but when you have these multiple murders, the records show that if these persons are not apprehended, the records show that they will continue to act with impunity.... we have to pay special attention to this and find the perpetrators and bring them to justice," Bunting said.

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shelly-restaurant-photo-1.jpgJamaica's Pocket Rocket, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser Price, yesterday opened her very own restaurant on the campus of the University of Technology, UTech.

Already patrons are raving about the food, t he priced and the decor and the fact that Shelly is hand-on in the restaurant.

YardFlex popped by on the opening day and here is our review: "The prices are great! Food is recommmendable! Best menu on the Utech campus! Smoked salad wrap with callaloo! Tuna melt, crispy fish, chicken salads! The cherry mint lemonade Sell Off!!I had mine made by Shelly herself!! Thumbs up."

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UWI poised to make big bucks from ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgPredictions are being made that with the University of the West Indies, Mona, now licensed to grow marijuana for research purposes, the industry should be earning nearly US$1billion in the next few years.

Executive Director of the Mona School of Business and Management, Dr. Densil Williams, argues that Jamaica can potentially reap huge rewards based on the new ganja licensing regime. Plans for the UWI include spending more than $16 million for the growing of ganja plants and the construction of greenhouses. Dr Williams gave his assessment of where Jamaica should be in another few years. He said in another 5 years we could secure 10% of the global market share amounting to over a billion US dollars.

In the meantime, Principal of the UWI Mona Campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, has outlined some of the conditions that the university intends to treat based on its cannabis research. He says once it begins taking extracts from the plant, it will target a range of diseases including hypertension, epilepsy and pain.

Professor McDonald predicts that as the clinical research progresses industry standards and practices will also evolve.

And Professor McDonald has outlined that small scale ganja farmers stand to benefit from supplying the University for its research. He gave a timeline within which the arrangements with these farmers are expected to begin. He explained that the University will be able to contract farmers under its license as well as government will be issuing licences. He estimates that after using the greenhouse approach farmers will be contracted in over a month's time.









LIME Anguilla ambassadors for New York concert

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british-dependency.jpgNew York, NY (April 14, 2015): Recently named LIME Anguilla Brand Ambassadors, British Dependency will travel to New York to perform at the launch of Caribbean Dreamers Live concert series on May 12, 2015 at Le Poison Rouge.

British Dependency fuses various genres with their three-piece ensemble, drum, guitar and bass. There's, a unique and eclectic sound appeals not only to those with a discerning musical palate but also those who are avid reggae fans. Adding to their vintage sound is a fresh take on the overall feel and look of the band which consists of Anguilla's first female bass player, Joyah along with drummer, Jaiden and lead vocalist and guitar player, Ishmael.

Pat McKay, Program Director at Sirius XM Radio, who will also serve as host of Caribbean Dreamers Live once remarked, "It's exciting to get to know the group who, at this point in their growth, already have much of the tangible - they make original music - and intangible factors - multiple-creative-skills, looks, intellect - separating them from the pack. I feel very hopeful this group represents where the music is heading so get on board!"

No strangers to the Tri-state area, fans can expect the Band to perform singles such as, "Do You This," "One," "Wisdom," "Selah," "Casket Closed," and "Small Minded People" from their debut album Finding Wisdom which was released on November 20, 2013, as well as single "Close Your Eyes" from their sophomore album The Conversation, slated for release later this year.

Caribbean Dreamers Live is a concert series that showcases the unique sound and talent of artists in a live setting. With New York, 'the city that never sleeps,' as the backdrop, concertgoers are transported to the Caribbean with live unfiltered music of the tropics in the form of Reggae, Soca, Calypso and Compa, among others. To catapult the experience globally, the concert is streamed live via www.CaribbeanOneTV.com.

The concert will also see performances by Leon and the Peoples, Trinidadian/French artist, NAILA, Dutch artist, Tasha's World, Soca artist, Jadine and reggae artist, Mr. Kool with an appearance by Ky-mani Marley.





Bolt strikes gold in Rio

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usain-wins-brazil.jpgWorld sprint king and triple world record holder Usain Bolt cruised to victory in a 100 meters sprint challenge at the Mano a' Mano in Rio de Janeiro which was his first outing over the distance this season.

Bolt did not have the best of starts, but he was able to recover after 50 metres to pull away from Ryan Bailey over the last 30 meters to finish in 10.12 seconds, 0.12 seconds clear of the American who clocked 10.24 seconds.

Brazilian Jose Carlos Moreira was third in 10.51 and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands was fourth in 10.53.

Bolt who was competing in his third Mano Mano challenge said afterwards despite a sluggish start he won't complain.

Bolt is next scheduled to race in the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas from May 2-3.

Meanwhile in the women's challenge, Jamaican veronica Campbell-Brown won her first 100m race of the season in 11.04 seconds.

The two-time Olympic sprint champion easily beat U.S. Olympian Carmelita Jeter (11.19), Jamaican Kerron Stewart (11.30) and Brazil's Antonia Rosa (11.59 seconds).





sean-paul-photo-5-more-details.jpgNew York: International DJ Sean Paul is among the top dancehall/reggae acts confirmed for the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY. The event takes place on Memorial Monday, May 25th, a federal holiday in the United States set aside for remembering those who died while serving the US armed forces.

"Memorial Day is an important day that is set aside to remember fallen US war heroes" Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio, producers of the event said.

"Sean Paul's appearance will help the festival attract not only the traditional Jamaica/Caribbean, reggae/dancehall patrons but mainstream fans who have long embraced Sean's music. He has established himself as the top artiste from the Caribbean and has consistently demonstrated the ability to score international hit songs," Clarke noted.

The Grammy winning artiste continues to make news internationally. He recently teamed with N.A.S.A. and Lizzo on a hot new single titled 'Hands Up Don't Shot" that addresses the hot button issue of police brutality, that continues to plague people of African decent in the USA.

freddie-mcgregor-photo-1.jpg Clarke said this year's festival will be filled with added excitement given the diversity of the lineup which includes veteran reggae crooner Freddy McGregor. Known worldwide for his riveting reggae ballads, McGregor began his musical career in the early 60's under the musical direction of the legendary Coxone Dodd. In 1972 he formed the Generation Gap band, recording "Homeward Bound" and "Justice & Equality" for producer Geoffrey Chung. After the demise of the group, he launched his solo career, mining gold with "Big Ship" which broke into the top ten of the reggae charts in England and Jamaica.

During his 50 plus years, McGregor has received numerous accolades including an International Award of Merit from the Canadian Reggae Music Award and an award for Best International Artist from the BBC Radio London Reggae Awards. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to Jamaican music.

Other confirmed performers at Oracabessa Festival are Christopher Martin, dj Josey Wales, Tarrus Riley, Dexta Daps, Alaine, Suga and the Grace Thrillers featuring Shirley Willis.





jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgReggae superstar Jimmy Cliff is one of several acts slated to perform at Wickerman Festival in Scotland scheduled for July 24 and 25.

According to the Evening Times, the singer will be joined by electronic group Stereo MCs, singer Neneh Cherry, garage rockers The Sonics, psychedelic rocker Julian Cope, and hip-hop group The Sugarhill Gang.

"This year's Wickerman Festival is shaping up to be an epic weekend and we know that fans will be blown away by the fantastic live performances that our latest batch of artists will deliver," said Brian Reynolds, Wickerman spokesman.

"Jimmy Cliff, The Sonics and The Sugarhill Gang are legendary, genre-defining artists who will ensure that this year's festival will be a brilliant celebration of music," he continued.

Cliff is known for hits including Many Rivers to Cross and Sitting in Limbo.





To many, April 20 is just another workday. But to marijuana enthusiasts around the globe, 4/20 is a holy day, one to be considered above all others as a time to celebrate -- and consume -- cannabis.

The counterculture holiday doesn't appear on any official calendar, but it's pretty popular all the same. The origins of 4/20, aka National Weed Day, can be traced to Northern California where, in the 1970s, pot smokers began using the code "420" - the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress - as a reference to toking up.

Planning to observe 4/20? Here are 20 funny quotes to share on every pot smoker's favorite holiday.

1. "That is not a drug. It's a leaf." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. "They've outlawed the No. 1 vegetable on the planet." -- Timothy Leary

3. "The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it." -- J.W.D. Henderson

4. "I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is a flower. God put it here." -- Willie Nelson

5. "Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn't like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton." -- Jay Leno

6. "When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point." -- Barack Obama

7. "I know you're supposed to tell kids not to do drugs, but, kids, do it! Do weed! Don't do the other stuff, but weed is good." -- Kevin Smith

8. "To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a big mistake." -- Bill Hicks

9. "You bet I did, and I enjoyed it." -- Michael Bloomberg

10. "I think pot should be legal. I don't smoke it, but I like the smell of it." -- Andy Warhol

11. "?Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see." -- Thomas Jefferson

12. "If you substitute marijuana for tobacco and alcohol, you'll add eight to 24 years to your life." -- Jack Herer

13. "It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics ... dope and all that crap. It's a thousand times better than whiskey -- it's an assistant -- a friend." -- Louis Armstrong

14. "I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast." -- Ronald Reagan

15. "Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere." -- George Washington

16. "If you grew up in the '60s or '70s and didn't do drugs, I don't trust you." -- Danny Danko

17. "There are only two kinds of dealers. Those who need forklifts, and those who don't." -- Tom Forcade

18. "The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties, I tested everything." -- Bill Lee

19. "Of course I know how to roll a joint." -- Martha Stewart

20. "I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits -- and millions of Americans agree with me." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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A demonstrator participates in a rally sponsored by the Marijuana Party of British Columbia by smoking a giant hash-and-marijuana hash joint in downtown Vancouver April 20, 2005. Commonly known as 4/20, April 20 is a popular day among cannabis users.





Yardflex 4/20 Weed Day Feature

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4/20 Rallies: Marijuana Advocates In US, Canada Use National Weed Day To Send A Message About Legalization

Marijuana users are doing more on April 20 than just getting high. Some pot enthusiasts in the U.S. and Canada are using the unofficial pot smokers' holiday to declare an end to federal bans on cannabis. Advocates turned out in Denver over the weekend for the annual 4/20 festival to shop marijuana-themed products, listen to live music, and, of course, toke up. A political rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, centered around pot is scheduled for Monday.

About 125,000 people attended the 4/20 event in Denver this past weekend, according to the Denver Post. "It's a well-rounded atmosphere," Miguel Lopez, the event's founder, told the Post. "There are people here from all financial backgrounds...We push all the 4/20 rallies to head there to extend the national, grassroots narrative that's been going on for 45 years."

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Four of those states - Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington - and D.C. have legalized weed for recreational purposes. Advocates of marijuana legalization in the U.S. say that while pot will likely remain illegal at the federal level for at least another decade, they expect states to continue to move toward legalizing weed for either medical or recreational use.

Further north, in Canada, organizers of the annual 4/20 rally at Vancouver's Art Gallery said this year's upcoming event will be particularly important because of the federal election coming up in the fall of 2016. The rally's theme is "Grow the Vote," and coordinators say they're going to encourage people to register to vote, according to News 1130. While medical marijuana is now legal in Canada, recreational pot is still banned at the federal level.

"Policy costs of enforcing prohibition against marijuana are astronomical," Craig Jones of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada told CKNW AM radio. "All they do is clog the courts, and saddle otherwise law-abiding people with criminal records. The police figured this out a long time ago and because Vancouver is Vancouver, they figured it out a lot earlier in Vancouver than they did in the rest of Canada."





Baby's body found in barrel

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barrel.jpgThe Santa Cruz Police in St Elizabeth are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a little girl in Grosmond District near Braes River.

She has been identified as Jaydeen Myers who was 1 year and 11-months-old.

Reports are that the little girl went missing between 1 pm and 7 pm yesterday Saturday April 18.

Police say relatives went in search of her and she was found unconscious in a barrel inside the house, which stores clothing and food.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Investigations continue.





Cops featured on CISOCA's high profile list

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The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says allegations of wrongdoing by police personnel continue to feature on what it calls its high profile list.

Head of CISOCA, Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart, says the accused have been cooperating with investigators.

"The list is about 25, among them police, teachers ....people before the court. We are not looking at those that we are actively investigating," said Ross-Stewart who was speaking at the latest RJR Group News Forum.

The reports will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions

The CISOCA says it will not be deterred by the status of persons in probing allegations against them.





Cops seize Uzi sub machine gun in Spanish Town

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uzi.jpgPolice seized an Uzi sub-machine gun during an operation in the March Pen Road area in St Catherine on Saturday.

Spanish Town police report that about 4:00 pm, a team of police went to premises and during a search the weapon was found.

A dozen 9mm cartridges, and a ballistic vest we're also found.

No one was arrested in connection with the find. The police say they are investigating.





JPS rolls out pre-paid service today

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jps-building.jpgThe Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will launch its "Pay As You Go" metering service today. It will allow JPS customers to control daily usage of electricity with the pre-paid service.Two thousand customers in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine will initially benefit.

Tishan Lee, head of Marketing at the JPS, explained that under the current phase, certain residential and business customers can sign up.

According to Miss Lee, there is no risk of customers running out of electricity, as they might run out of pre-paid telephone credit.

"You are alerted when you are running low, so before you run out of credit, you can just call you and we'll forward you an additional five kilowatt hours until you get the opportunity to top it up," she explained.





Tufton unhappy with 'Dudus' reference

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christopher-tufton-photo-1.jpgJLP senator, Dr Christopher Tufton, has taken issue with Foreign Minister A.J. Nicholson for his veiled reference to the Dudusgate saga, which strained relationship between Kingston and Washington in 2010.

Tufton, who was a member of the Bruce Golding-led Government, which handled the extradition request of Dudus, said he sees no reason for Nicholson to talk now about the restoration of Jamaica's good name.

Nicholson, in updating the Senate on the visit of US President Barack Obama to the country recently as well as the Summit of the Americas in Panama, said the visit of the president is an indication that Jamaica's name has now been restored.

But while he pointed to the testy period of strained relationship, Nicholson did not name the Dudus saga.

"If there is one thing that the events of the past week or so have unequivocally demonstrated, it is that in just three short years, we have once again taken our hard-won place as a respected voice on the international stage," Nicholson said.

"In just three short years, we have resumed our rightful place as a leader in international relations and foreign policy. In just three short years, we have restored that most vital of commodities - trust," he added.

Tufton, however, said it is unfortunate that Nicholson has chosen to resurrect the matter.

"There have been high and low points, challenges if you will, at various points in our independent history. The truth is generally speaking, I am not sure, while we accept that the visit is a positive one, I am not sure if that point needed to be emphasised, about relationship been restored," Tufton said.

Nicholson said in the Senate that "when the administration led by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller took office in January 2012, we realised that there was much work to be done to re-establish Jamaica's reputation in the international arena as a leader in the sphere of international relations and foreign policy."





Thief shot while robbing policeman

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The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is reporting that a man was shot in the Nugent Street area in Spanish Town.

According to the CCU, at about 6 pm, the man attempted to rob a police officer at a barber shop on Nugent Street, but the robbery was thwarted by the officer who challenged the robber and shot him.

A firearm was recovered. The robber was then transported to the Spanish Town hospital where is now receiving treatment.

Earlier in the day, a cordon and search operation in the Spanish Town area, led to the seizure of a Tarrus 9 mm pistol and 12 live rounds at March Pen Road.

No one was arrested in connection with the illegal weapon.





Small ganja farmers to be protected

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ganja-image-1.jpgJustice Minister Mark Golding says the government will not agree to any arrangement that would see multilateral companies take over the ganja industry and exclude local farmers.

He says the authorities are conscious of the need to ensure that those who have been involved in the industry for many years in the shadows or unlawfully , should be afforded the opportunity to be part of a lawful industry if they want to be part of it.

The minister was responding to questions posed by listeners this morning on IRIE FM's The Africa Forum with host Ka'bu Maat Kheru.

Entertainer Mackie Conscious asked, "if any plans will be put in place to prevent multilateral companies from taking over the ganja industry from the small man who suffered fighting for its legalization?"

Senator Golding indicates that how the small ganja farmer is protected is an area that needs to be worked through.

However he says, one way to do this would be to ensure that foreign investors have local partnerships.





usain-bolt-in-rio.jpgJamaica's global sprint superstar Usain Bolt is now in Brazil where his down to compete in a 100m sprint event in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

According to event organisers, Bolt will face two international rivals and a local sprinter in the event, which will be held at the Brazilian Jockey Club.

It will be Bolt's third consecutive appearance in the event, which he also won in 2013 and 2014. While in Rio de Janeiro, Bolt walked into a small gym at the base of Rio de Janeiro's Mangueira favela on Thursday, took three shots on the basketball court - at least one from 3-point range - and made all three.

Leaving the basketball court, Bolt posed for selfies, took his own video and even ran a 20-metre race on the track with several young girls. A few kids at the complex's small football field climbed a chain link fence to have a look. Bolt seemed to enjoy himself, raised his arms a few times in mock gestures of triumph and took time to look at the selfies of others.

After competing in Brazil, Bolt is scheduled to run in New York on June 13, Paris on July 4 and in Lausanne on July 9 as he prepares for August's IAAF World Championships in Beijing and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

'This will be my last Olympics, but I am definitely looking forward to it,' the 28 year old said, 'I'm excited now that it's getting closer. I'm looking forward to being here and competing. Yes definitely.'





Jah Reefa making an impact

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jah-reefa.jpgWith the first quarter of 2015 out of the way, rising singjay, Jason Brown aka Jah Reefa has already released three songs which are definitely paving the path to success for this talented Jamaican entertainer.

The songs include Password, Summertime (featuring Binx ) and Teacha Gone which was produced by Crownus Records. Passionate about the music, the artiste, who travels between Jamaica and Cayman, where he now resides, is a workaholic. On any given day of the week you can find Jah Reefa at the recording studio creating new material and keeping his vocals in top shape.

"I'm not waiting on anyone to hand me a thing" the artist said "I work hard that's all I know, it's how I was raised," says the artiste, whose older brother, Coolant Brown toured with the Wailers as lead singer, before launching his own solo career.

Quite upbeat about the impact that the singles have been making, Jah Reefa was full of thanks for those who have supported him by helping to push out his music.

"The radio disc jockeys have been extremely helpful, both in Jamaica and in Cayman and I really appreciate it. The sound system selectors deserve a big up. There's nothing like being in a big dance and hear a selector draw your tune," Jah Reefa, who was recently in Jamaica for a family gathering declared.

Born in St Thomas, Jamaica, he grew up among a music loving family, at times Jah Reefa and his cousins would often entertain their family and friends with lyrical clashes idolizing the songs of Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, as a child he had a typical Jamacian childhood playing football, cricket and entering talent shows.

While attending Seaforth High School in 2002 Jah Reefa relocated to live with his parents in the Cayman Islands where he finished high school; he continued to develop his love for music by frequently writing and recording at Black Gould Studio "every-night after football practice" he explained "that's where I learned to develop my own style and took the term "lyrical content" to a new heights.

Jah Reefa brings a unique hardcore flavor to the Dancehall scene and is creating a waves on the local scene and have opened shows for Damian Marley and Shaggy. Last year Jah Reefa traveled to Ireland where he performed at the Electric Picnic to an audience of 45,000 onlookers. "It was a great experience, I've been to Ireland before but never on a musical journey. To see how people gravitate to my music have more than boosted my confidence the artist said"





K-Anthony heading to the top

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k-anthony.jpg"Heading To the Top" the new video from Gospel / inspiration singer, K-Anthony has made it to the number two spot on the "Cross Caribbean Countdown". The video premiered two weeks ago and has been picked up by television stations across the globe. The project is one of encouragement and inspires listeners to work towards their objectives.

Former C-Sharp band member, Dwain "Wiya" Campbell undeniably complements the track. Wiya not only added his vocal prowess but he is also the producer of the record under his Barbwiya label, "This project is the quickest production I've ever done! It's hard work, but fun. We did the entire song in minutes. One room, one session."

K-Anthony mentioned he's thrilled about the collaboration with Wiya, "His skills as a musician and good interpretation of sounds helped to shape the idea I initially had in mind. I truly wanted to break down barriers of faith and fate. Just letting people know that God is ready to lead in your everyday life."

He clarifies why there was no mention of God on this single, being a dedicated Christian and the songs lyrical composer. "It can only be God, the book of Esther doesn't once mention God, but we know from Mordecai's experience who it is that controls the destinies of his people".

The concept he says, "is about the journey of life and influenced by personal struggles, experience and determination. Truth is, you will go nowhere until you decide to move towards it".

Directors, Pear Tree Media and Di Raw Rawtid Yute (D.R.Y.), shot "Heading to the Top" in both Canada and Jamaica. The Video is available on YouTube and VEVO. The single is obtainable via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all other major online stores.





Swedish reggae artiste Etzia breaks new ground

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etzia-chapter-done-cover-front.jpgSwedish Reggae singer Etzia who has done collaborations with Charly Black, Future Fambo, Lutan Fyah and Collie Buddz recently partnered with Partillo Production on her latest EP entitled 'Chapter Done.'

Both individuals have worked ceaselessly to create a unique sound that many are saying is a whole new genre. It is a collection of tropical vibrations mixed in with some Nordic elements. To hardcore Reggae fans it is reminiscent of dub, roots and house all in one. They are calling this new sound Traphall.

Persons familiar with Traphall says it is properly defined as a music which consists of reggae, dancehall, hip hop and electro. When asked why they have decided to focus on this genre for 'Chapter Done', Partillo says "this type of original sound is needed to satisfy Etzia's vocal expression".

'Chapter Done' is produced by some very established musicians and producers (based in Europe), namely Partillo, Mastah L and Nils Dahl. The EP is available on ITunes now; persons may download it at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/chapter-done-ep/id972474872 and DJs can send an email to mariajacksonent@gmail.com for a promotional copy.





Merciless' wife died of heart attack

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merciless.jpgDancehall deejay, Merciless, has revealed that his wife, Keisha Gibbs-Bartley died as a result of a heart attack.

A news report says the distraught entertainer who says he found the body of his wife in their bed after returning from a dance with fellow entertainer Little Hero.

The family of the entertainer's wife, who isn't Jamaican, has requested for her to be buried in the United States. Merciless says funeral arrangements are yet to be made. However, he says he will host a nine night at their home in Longville Park Clarendon, in her honour.





vybz-kartel-photo-23.jpgA well-known former associate of controversial dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel was shot and killed during a drive by shooting this morning.

The deceased, businessman Jamie Ridley of a Kingston 8 address, was killed during a fish fry held in the Braeton Phase One community.

Two other persons were shot and injured during the incident including dancehall personality 'Poochie Face Off', the girlfriend of Ridley The incident occurred at a fish fry about 1:30 am, where patrons were gathered when a Toyota Corolla motor vehicle pulled up.

It is said that the occupants of the vehicle opened gunfire hitting Ridley and two other persons.

An off duty police who was at the scene reportedly challenged the men, however they managed to escape.

The injured were taken to hospital where Ridley was pronounced dead and the others admitted.

No motive has been established for the shooting.

Meanwhile, a reliable source has confirmed to YardFlex that reports of Vybz Kartel being stabbed in prison two days ago are not true.

"A bare lie. Nutten no go so...just rumour dem a spread."





Police hunt for mother of dead baby found at dump

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The police say they have received more information in the case where the body of an infant was discovered by residents at the Riverton Dump on Friday.

"We have received new information suggesting that the truck from which the body of the baby was dumped had hours earlier collected garbage in the Wickie Wackie area located in East Kingston," one of the detectives in the case said.

The police said based on the latest information they have now turned their attention to the Wickie Wackie area.





Cops find illegal gun shop in Salt Pond

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ak47-ammunition.jpgThe Police are reporting that the location in the Salt Pond area where an AK 47 rifle was seized on Wednesday was a base being used by criminals to sell illegal guns and ammunition.

Salt Pond, is an area located on the outskirts of Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The Police reported that about 5:45 am, they went to the area and during the operation, a man was shot dead.

The dead man has been identified as Nesta Halstead.





Teen charged for murder of 11-month old boy

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11-month-old-baby-killed.jpgCharges have been laid against the teenager who was held in connection with the shooting death of 11-month-old Omar Lindo on Charles Street in Kingston on Monday, April 6.

The teenager is booked to appear in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April 22.

He was nabbed by the Kingston Central police in Courage district, Gordon Town, St Andrew, on Saturday, April 11.





16 year-old mother and baby missing

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Sixteen-year-old Natasha Chambers and her seven-month-old daughter, Briana Henry, both of Grove Road, Kingston 10, have been missing since Friday.

Natasha is of fair complexion, slim build and is about 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall. Briana is of fair complexion and is about 51 centimetres (1 foot 8 inches) tall.

Reports from the Half-Way-Tree police are that Natasha and Briana were last seen in their community. At the time they went missing Natasha was dressed in a green blouse, blue jeans skirt and a pair of green and yellow sneakers. Briana was dressed in a blue dress and a pair of black and white slippers. They have not been seen since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Natasha and Briana are being asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree police at 926-8184-5, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





3 shot in Portmore drive-by

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Three persons were shot one fatally in the Braeton area of Portmore, St Catherine early Saturday morning.

The deceased has been identified as 34-year-old Businessman Jamey Ridley of a Kingston 8 address.

The incident reportedly at a fish fry about 1:30 am, where patrons were gathered when a Toyota Corolla motor vehicle pulled up. It is said that the occupants of the vehicle opened gunfire hitting Ridley and two other persons. An off duty officer who was at the scene reportedly challenged the men, however they managed to escape.

The injured were taken to hospital where Ridley was pronounced dead and the others admitted.

No motive has been established for the shooting.





Kingston College marches for 90th anniversary

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kingston-college-march.jpgApril 16, 1925 marks the founding of Kingston College (KC), and 90 years to that date students at the all-boys institution lined the length of North Street for a historic march to the site where the school was first established.

The sea of khaki interspersed with streams of purple could be seen from any vantage point along North Street on Wednesday.

The sporadic outbursts of celebratory cheers were complemented by energetic fanfare provided by the marching band.

The march culminated outside the walls of The Gleaner, where a plaque highlighting the location as the site of the building which housed the first 49 students of the school is erected. This was where the students gathered for prayer and reflection.

Vice-principal Everton Burrell was in a jubilant mood as he marshalled students at the historic event.

"Today is the exact day, 90 years ago, Kingston College was founded right at the same spot where The Gleaner Company is right now. As a symbolic event, we decided to march to the spot," he said.





Laughter erupted in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court after a man told the court that he was not urinating on the street but was hiding his money inside his brief.

Constantine Savage was arrested and charged with littering after he was reportedly caught urinating on a street in downtown Kingston. But on Monday when he appeared in Court, Savage pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying, "I was not urinating; I was putting my money in my brief, that is what happened".

"Keeping it safe and warm," Magistrate Judith Pusey uttered amidst laughter from the court.

Savage's bail was then extended for him to return to court for trial on June 2.





Bahamian R&B singer, Johnny Kemp, dies in Jamaica

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johnny-kemp.jpgBahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, who is best known for the hit song "Just Got Paid," has died in Jamaica. He was 55.

Jamaica police said Friday that Kemp was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay on Thursday morning. It had not yet been determined how he died.

Police said Kemp arrived in Jamaica on a cruise ship but added that they did not have further details.

Reach Media Inc. said Kemp had been scheduled to be on a Caribbean cruise this week, but the U.S.-based parent company of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" said it did not have further details.

Kemp was nominated in 1989 for a Grammy Award for "Just Got Paid" in a category that included Bobby Brown and Luther Vandross. The song was a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart.

Kemp appeared on a 2007 Keith Sweat DVD called "Sweat Hotel Live" and had been performing at musical events across the U.S. in recent years.





jodi-jinx-sean-paul-wife.jpgEarlier this week, the Gleaner took it upon itself to erroneously report that popular entertainment personality Jodi 'Jinx' Stewart Henriques appeared pregnant in her carnival costume.

The Gleaner's report elicited a firestorm of comments on the matter with many taking to social media to have their say.

Jodi has now decided to respond. Below is what she has to say on the matter.

"It's very unfortunate that the media puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way at all times. It's also disappointing that a national newspaper would publish something so personal without seeking a comment from those likely to be affected. Should Sean and I wish to expand our family, we will decide how, when and with whom we share that information.

"Until then my body size, shape and dimensions are not for public comment."

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'My Jam' is World Happiness Day theme song

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mr-vegas-photo-11.jpg International recording artiste Mr Vegas has once again given the masses something to talk about.

Within five days of his My Jam video being premiered onZumba'sYouTubechannel, it scored over 137,000 views. The feel-good single featuring Pitbull was chosen by Zumba to celebrate World Hapiness Day, an annual event held on March 20.

Mr Vegas shared that he was 'excited' to work with Pitbull as he has given the song much more life and has added his worldwide appeal to it.

He added: "My Jam is very upbeat and fun. Its purpose is to bring joy and happiness to all who listen".

Most recently, Mr Vegas performed at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, as a part of their newly established Sounds from the Caribbean showcase. His performance of My Jam, among other classics such as Heads High and I'm Blessed, was well received.

Large Up, the media sponsor at the event, described Vegas' performance as a 'tough act to follow'.

The contributions of Mr Vegas to the music industry and to the fans have surely not gone unnoticed as he has also been featured in international entertainment magazines, inclusive of OK Magazine, USA Star, Radar Online and many more, in the past week.





Tuff Gong hosts Record Store Day Saturday

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tuff-gong.jpgTuff Gong International will be hosting Record Store Day at the studio located at 220 Marcus Garvey Drive and at The Bob Marley Museum, located on Hope Road, St Andrew, on Saturday.

Debby Bissoon, brand manager at the Bob Marley Group of Companies, explained the concept of Record Store Day.

"It is a day that celebrates music, the makers of records and also as a way of giving back to the people, as we offer a discount on records," she said.

She also said the day is dedicated to iconic musicians. "Record Store Day is special because it celebrates the works of some iconic musicians and also proves that people are still interested in the original versions of music and will still buy them to play and collect," she said.

Tuff Gong International is the largest entertainment record distributor in the Caribbean, and has distributed records for Universal, Warner and Destiny.

"We are the only record company in the Caribbean with such an exclusive agreement. We are talking about Bob Marley's Tuff Gong International, and that, in and of itself, sets the Company apart. Records will be sold for 50-70 per cent off their standard rates," Bissoon said.





Ed Sheeran gives Noah Powa the thumbs up

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ed-sheeran.jpg International selector-turned-artiste Noah Powa, who also doubles as a comedian on social media, is now reaping the fruits of his labour, after remixing Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud'.

The raunchy remix video has been making the rounds on social media and has recently been featured on VH1. According to the website, "Powa remixed Sheeran's beloved track, and what resulted is an x-rated version that's perhaps better fit for honeymooners."

Though some viewers were horrified at how raunchy Noah Powa's lyrics were, Ed Sheeran himself gave it his stamp of approval.

The remix was brought to Sheeran's attention, who tweeted ''I'm so down with that''.

Noah posted on his Instagram page that he was not expecting the overwhelming feedback he has received so far.

"People, I swear to God I never expected this. I swear. VH1 talking about the song. Even the original singer, Ed Sheeran, tweeted about it ... . God is good."





Women sexually assault teenage girl with bottle

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Two St Catherine women were recently charged with gross sexual assault after being accused of inserting a bottle inside a teenager's private area two years ago.

The two women will stand trial in the St Catherine Circuit Court in September this year.

The matter was decided in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court recently after Resident Magistrate Llyle Armstrong ruled that a prima facie case has been made out against the women.They are scheduled to appear in the Michel Mass Session of the St Catherine Circuit Court in September 2015.

It is alleged that in 2013, the two accused lured the 17-year-old complainant to a house in Linstead, St Catherine. They then held her down and used a bottle to sexually assault her. The complainant had to seek medical attention.

A subsequent report was made to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. Both women were later charged with gross sexual assault.





Number portability next month

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The Government is assuring that number portability will be available to Jamaicans next month. Number portability entails and facilitates the retention of numbers assigned to telephone service users, regardless of their provider.

Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell said that he has issued a Number Portability Administrator licence to Porting Access B.V., a company out of the Netherlands, which is working to ensure that this deadline will be met.Paulwell was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

To last for a period of 10 years, the licence took effect on March 16, 2015. The company is mandated to establish, operate, manage, coordinate and maintain a number portability central reference database and an automated central order handling system and related activities for the provision of number portability.

Paulwell pointed out that this number portability arrangement will allow Jamaicans to move from one service provider to another while retaining their mobile and fixed telephone numbers. He said it will also enable greater competition amongst players within the telecoms industry.

Studies indicate that the introduction of number portability facilitates greater competition in the telecoms market, which can result in lower prices and more innovative products and services.

Number portability can also eliminate some of the costs, delays and inconvenience that businesses and individuals encounter when changing from one telecoms provider to another. The rules on number portability have been gazetted since September last year.





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The People's National Party (PNP) has condemned the slaying of three teenagers and an adult male in Hayes in Clarendon on Wednesday.

"We mourn with the families and school communities of the three student boys. One each from Central, Vere Technical and Garvey Maceo High schools," a release from the ruling party said.

The men were shot in the back of the head after being ordered to lay face down.

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Party President and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller wholeheartedly condemned the murders.

"We condemn this dastardly act. Our youth are our country's best and most promising resource. We must protect them. These recurring images of our mothers crying for the lives of their children who are brutally murdered break the spirit and stride of our entire nation all of us have a role to play to bring these acts of terror to an end. In this regard I add my own call for the community members to assist the investigators by telling all that they know so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice" she said.

According to the release reports emerging from the community as to how the four (the three teens and the adult male) were murdered is all the more shocking and painful.

"Our prayers are with the families that have been left to mourn all four. We go further by joining May Pen Mayor Scean Barnwell by asking the entire community to find the resolve to cooperate fully and openly with the police as they investigate this incident," the release said.





The man charged in connection with last month's quadruple killing in Richmond Hill, St James, was denied bail when he appeared before the Montego Bay Criminal Court on Thursday.

Kelvin Hodge,29, otherwise known as "Tafari" was charged last week with four counts of murder as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was remanded until April 29.

Hodge is charged with the execution style killing of Lois Watson,28 and her eight year old daughter, Shaya Prince, at their home on March 19. Junior Scott,26 and Kemali Walker,22 were also killed in the attack.

Investigators say Hodge, who was the boyfriend of Watson, carried out the attack after she ended their relationship.

Meanwhile, two other suspects held in the case have been released.





Resident shoots robber dead in Mona

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gun-crime.jpgQuick action by a licensed firearm holder resulted in the death of one of three robbers in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday evening.

Three robbers reportedly attempted to hold up a resident of the middle class community but were challenged by the licensed holder.Shots were fired and when the smoke cleared the man lay dead. His identity has not yet been ascertained. Meanwhile, his two cronies managed to escape.

Armed robbers have been plaguing Mona for weeks and a number of persons have been held up and robbed at gunpoint. Despite the efforts of the police, the robbers have managed to elude them.

While not joyous over the loss of life, one resident said that the dead man had it coming.

"A life is a life, but robbers are making the lives of the residents of Mona hell and maybe a message has to be sent," she said.





12 reasons to eat more turmeric

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Turmeric is anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory super spice. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Known as "The Queen of Spices", it can be found in many Indian dishes for its wonderful earthy flavor and golden color. It has been around for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of health problems, going from pain control to fighting cancer.

Curcumin, the magical substance, which gives turmeric its golden color and its many health benefits, has been well-studied over the past decades. It works as a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

But that's not all... turmeric is jam packed with healthy nutrients such as fibers, calcium, vitamins and minerals. It is non-toxic, even in high doses, and doesn't usually cause any side-effects. However some people may experience an upset stomach, nausea or dizziness. If this is the case, turmeric must be used in moderation to reap its benefits.

You also need to remember that while turmeric is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that turmeric has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body. To increase its bioavailability in your body read this article for more information.

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Turmeric In A Nutshell

  • Cancer prevention: turmeric fights free radicals and helps to maintain healthy cells. It is believed that curcumin blocks the enzymes that promote the growth of cancer cells. Turmeric is one of the top 14 foods that protects against cancer development.
  • Alzheimer's prevention: turmeric improves the overall brain health and may prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer's by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. These are types of proteins that play a role in various neuro-degenerative disorders. And indeed turmeric is one of the top 5 foods and supplements to delay Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Diabetes control: turmeric improves blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance to prevent diabetes type II. However, when combined with strong medicines it may cause a low blood sugar level. See here another 6 best foods to control diabetes.
  • Natural painkiller and prevents arthritis: due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties it helps with stiff or creaky joints and arthritis. It is one of the natural remedies that are covered in the article about natural remedies for arthritis, and is also one of the foods that help to reduce inflammation in your body.
  • Wounds healer: a paste made from turmeric can quickly heal minor cuts, burns or bruises due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It helps to repair your skin and may even be used to treat psoriasis or other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Improves digestion: stimulates the gallbladder, reduces bloating and gas and may be helpful to treat bowel inflammation. However when suffering from a gallbladder disease, turmeric should not be taken as a dietary supplement, as it may worsen the condition.
  • Liver detox: turmeric works as a natural liver cleanser and improves blood circulation.
  • Weight control: turmeric increases the bile flow, which is important to break down fat.
  • Promotes healthy skin: prevents skin pigmentation, tone the skin and when frequently used in your skin care products it can give your face the perfect glow. Turmeric is one of the top 10 foods to get the best skin ever.
  • Heart health: turmeric reduces the bad cholesterol, prevents blood clots and plaque build-up in arteries.
  • Boost Immune system: Its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties help to strengthen your immune system. Turmeric is wonderful to soothe a sore throat or fight a cold or flu.
  • Mood improver: turmeric has been used in alternative medicine to treat depressions and provides a better night's rest.

Adding more turmeric to your daily diet is one of the best things you could do to improve your overall health. So if you love turmeric and are interested in herbal remedies, you can find more useful information about turmeric and other herbs in the e-book Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.





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Dancehall singjay Raine Seville recently teamed up with New York-based director Muztang Media to film the music video for her collaborative single, Chat Mi, with fellow dancehall artiste Lisa Hyper.

The two-day shoot was executed at locations near D'Amor and Waterford Gaza Strip where Lisa Hyper is popular.

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According to the sometimes controversial Raine Seville, the music video will be dynamic.

"The video will showcase a lot of confidence, high fashion, high energy, attitude and fierceness from both of us, to complement the lyrical content. I am extremely excited about it," she explained.

Chat Mi sees the artistes sampling the popular Sly & Robbie-produced Bam Bam rhythm. The song has been released for more than a month and has been receiving airplay on local radio.





chronixx-photo-8.jpgChronixx was in the line of fire last week for his 'waste man' comment that was supposedly aimed at United States President Barack Obama, and this week he is being blasted by veteran dancer Patsy Ricketts, who says he is ungrateful.

Ricketts is the mother of reggae singer J.O.E (also known as Lil Joe), who passed away in 2011. Chronixx's connection to J.O.E can be heard in Warrior when he sang, "Jah ova evil, sword inna hand" as 'Jah Ova Evil' is what J.O.E said was the definition of his stage name.

But Ricketts was not mincing words on Tuesday, when she took to Facebook describing Chronixx as ungrateful.

"My son Alty George Nunes also known as Jah Ova Evil (J.O.E) passed in 2011. Soon after he passed, Chronixx came into our lives, he actually slept in my son's bed and stayed with us for about two years. From there, he worked on his hits Behind Curtain, Warrior and even his recent hit Spirulina. We had frequent reasonings about Rastafari, which he seldom agreed on, but we decided to put our energy into him because we saw the talent," Ricketts said on her Facebook page.

"I will not forget the night when our youths started posting posters of Chronixx on light posts, we blogged on the Internet for him. in general, we pushed him forward. He obviously decided that he had used us enough and has never turned back to even say thank you, now who is the waste man."

As a Rastafarian, Ricketts also stressed that she does not want Chronixx to advocate on her behalf.

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"We at Jah Ova Evil have completely disassociated ourselves from this young man. I do not wish for him to be an advocate for me as a Rastafarian or as a Jamaican because in order for one to be a good ambassador one has to take a page from His Imperial Majesty's book, e.g being a good diplomat which simply means choosing your words wisely," she said.

Last week, Chronixx was blasted for comments he made on social media where it appeared that he called Obama a 'waste man'.

Following Obama's visit to Jamaica, Chronixx posted a picture of Marcus Garvey on social media platform, Instagram, with a caption that said, "This man ... Still have criminal record in the United States and we glorifying some waste man! This man was hunted and imprisoned by our Jamaican government ... who some years later, paved a peaceful and safe path for the US president to address is a ... "race of good for nothings". That's why black faces don't mean anything to rasta anymore."

However, the post did not go down well with some persons and was subsequently removed.





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Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica says that unless there is a security risk, controversial Jamaican dancehall deejay,Alkaline, cannot be prevented from performing in the island.

Alkaline is expected to be the main act for a concert to be held at the Saaman Gardens in Canefield, Dominica, on May 2, 2015.

Vice president of DomInica Association of evangelist churches Arlington Wilson, last week said artiste like Alkaline should not be allowed to perform in Dominica, adding that the association will be meeting to discuss the matter.

Last February fellow entertainer Tommy Lee Sparta was denied entry into Dominica.

The government in a statement later indicated that this was because the entertainer was deemed to be a security risk.





Teenage terror suspect remains in custody

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The 16-year-old Jamaican who was sent home from Suriname on Saturday on suspicion that he was heading to Turkey to join the terrorist group ISIS is to remain in State custody until Tuesday.

The Family Court today ?said an assessment is to be made of his home situation before a final order is made on Tuesday on whether to send him home.

His attorney had applied to the court to have him released from custody.

The teen's family has since denied claims that he was a part of a terrorist group, saying he was headed to England to be with his mother.





Carmax CEO arrested for fraud

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The Fraud Squad of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged Daren Blake, Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited for the offence of Fraudulent Conversion on Friday following several complaints.

He was initially booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on March 27 where the matter was postponed until May 1, 2015.

Reports are that between December 2014 and March 2015, several persons allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles, valued about $54,500,000.

The vehicles were sold however, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved futile.

Members of the Fraud Squad are asking for Mr. Ian Lyn and affiliates of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to report to the Fraud Squad offices on Duke Street by 9:00 a.m. on April 17.





UWI, UTech get ganja licence

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THE University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be the first two educational institutions to be issued with licences to grow marijuana for research purposes under the new provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which took effect yesterday.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell made the announcement yesterday in his presentation in the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House .

He said that, as the country moves to build an industry for medicinal ganja, it is crucial for research institutions such as these to have the required authority to cultivate the plant. "If Jamaica wants to establish itself as a centre of excellence for research in ganja, this should be the home of research and development in ganja," he said.

Paulwell pointed out that, as it stands now, institutions are allowed to use marijuana for research, but under the auspices of the police. The science and technology minister stressed that the licences come with strict conditions. "It's not a free-for-all... or to promote smoking of ganja, it is to recognise that this product has tremendous value," he said.

He also sought to allay apprehension about who would benefit from a local medical ganja industry, stating that the market was large enough to accommodate small and large farmers and urged cooperation and sharing of information to allow sharing of the expected benefits.

The licence will be for a specified period and subject to monitoring of the research activities to ensure that they are in keeping with what was approved.





2 suspects held in quadruple murder

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The Clarendon police say two suspects have been held in connection with last evenings quadruple murder of four males in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon.

The suspects were held this morning in the parish. Their identities are, however, being withheld pending further investigations.

Fourteen-year-old Ricardo Briscoe, 14-year-old Raymond Givans, 15-year-old Alex Turner and 35-year-old Marquis Hamilton, all of Clarendon addresses, were murdered execution-style.

According to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit, the three boys were walking along the roadway about 9:00 pm when they were pounced upon by two armed men who forced them onto Hamilton's premises. The men then allegedly demanded money and phones from them, however, their demands were not met.

The four were subsequently shot.

The Police High Command has since ramped up its security presence in major towns, business districts and communities in the parish.





Man hangs himself in Falmouth market

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shocked.jpg Twenty year-old Jevaun Ricketts of Deeside in Trelawny, hung himself in the Falmouth Market around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

A cord was used to do the act in one of the unoccupied stalls.

According to reports, Ricketts suffered from a mental condition and was exhibiting this in his community before journeying the approximately 12 kilometres from his home to do the act in the Trelawny capital.

Scores of onlookers gathered to get a glimpse of the tragic situation.





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A new date has been set for the murder trial of entertainer Desmond Ballentyne more popularly known as Ninja Man.

The case was postponed when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court on Monday. The trial was rescheduled because the witnesses were unavailable.

The controversial deejay also expressed happiness after the judge gave him permission to take bookings for overseas performances during the first six months before his return to court.

Ninja Man, along with three other persons are being charged with the 2009 murder of Richard Johnson in the Mall Road Area of Kingston. The trial was previously postponed in November because a case was being heard.





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Citing the many barriers to effective heart care in Jamaica, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) has announced its groundbreaking intervention of now offering free heart assessments and emergency coronary angiograms to all Jamaicans in need of critical cardiovascular care.

A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test. It is done to find out if a person's coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where and by how much.

"We are of the view that cardiovascular-care delivery in Jamaica will be greatly enhanced through a process of open access to rapid and prompt coronary angiograms at the time when patients need this the most and especially for those patients most at risk," explained HIC chief executive officer, Professor Ernest Madu.

In response to the access issues in cardiovascular emergencies, which also includes, information deficit and a lack of resources, the HIC has designed a new model, which will see the most vulnerable group of Jamaicans benefiting from open access to emergency heart care.

Under this model, which the HIC calls its 10th-anniversary gift to Jamaica, the HIC Chest Pain Center will offer free emergency physician evaluation for anyone with chest pain or cardiac complaints after hours. If the doctor determines they need an angiogram, it is also offered free, and patients would only be required to purchase the low-cost RAPID Angiokits that are available through various suppliers in Jamaica.

Cardiac Illness

Additionally, free angiograms will now also be offered at HIC to: all patients in Jamaica identified to be having a heart attack, chest pain or other cardiac complaints, strongly suggesting a heart attack; all patients hospitalised at any hospital in Jamaica, who have been told that they would need an angiogram during that hospital stay; and all patients presenting at any A&E in Jamaica, who are told that an angiogram would be needed because of their complaints."We believe that an open and accelerated access to coronary angiograms without financial consideration will lead to a quick diagnosis and allow clinicians to define proper treatment strategies, and give patients early diagnosis and families, well-deserved comfort and peace of mind," Madu added.This latest Heart Institute innovation follows several corporate social-responsibility innovations including: the launch of a 24-hour emergency response-heart care service in July 2014; free heart testing for CARIFTA athletes; the opening of Jamaica's first dedicated 24-hour Chest Pain Emergency Care Center to the public in September 2014; a series of free specialist hypertension clinics; and heavily discounted heart-related testing at varied points throughout the year.

CAPTION: It's all smiles for Heart Institute of the Caribbean executives. Chief executive officer (CEO), Professor Ernest Madu (left); and president, Dr Dainia Baugh, interact with heart health partners, chairman and CEO of US-based Netmedical, Dick Govatski (second left); and Dr Douglas Waldo, vice-president, clinical services, International Health Services. The quartet was discussing details of the institute's 10th-anniversary announcement, which will see the most at-risk Jamaicans receiving free emergency angiograms.





Assassin hits Billboard with int'l collab

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assassin-agent-sasco-photo-1.jpg Dancehall artiste Assassin's latest international collaboration Blacker The Berry, with American rapper Kendrick Lamar has charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

The song, which appeared at number 86 last week, is Kendrick Lamar's second single from his album To Pimp A Butterfly. The album is a follow-up to his debut LP Good Kid M.A.A.d City, which was nominated for a Grammy and went on to sell over a million copies.

Blacker The Berry features an Assassin verse, and sees the deejay using his wordplay skills, to tell a tale of African success. The song was released in Black History month and ruffled feathers in the United States music industry because of its strong message which tackles the issue of racism.

Steven J Horowitz of Billboard gave the song four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing that "Lamar swings at racial injustice, letting rage break his usual cool veneer."

Pitchfork Media named it Best New Track with reviewer Jayson Greene saying that the song "might be Lamar's most focused and upsetting performance."

Assassin aka Agent Sasco, was also commended by several music critics for his work on the song, Notably. Fader magazine recently called the dancehall artiste "The new crossover King."

The magazine's article further stated; "Assassin's voice cuts through rhythms with a force befitting his name. His rugged flow (a big, booming, Buju Banton sort of beast) and pointed, observational lyrics have made him a staple, if not an outright star."





Assault case against Chuck Fenda dismissed

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Reggae artiste Chuck Fenda and his babymother were sent to mediation when they both appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrates' court before senior RM Lyle Armstrong on Tuesday.

The accused, Chuck Fenda, whose real name is Leshorn Whitehead was charged with assaulting his babymother.

Allegations outlined were that on March 23, 2015, at about 9:30 pm, the entertainer went to pick up his daughter in Portmore where an argument developed with his babymother. It was said that he boxed and kicked her all over her body causing swellings on her face, a cut to her neck and bruises to the knees.

The two, who were seen talking amicably before the case was called up, were sent to the mediation department and a successful agreement was made.

The case was then dismissed against Chuck Fenda.





JPS cuts electricity rates

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The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has announced that its customers will now be paying US 25 cents per per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity.

The company said this rate was the lowest for electricity in Jamaica since 2010.

"The dramatic reduction in overall energy cost is due to lower fuel charges, as well as the improved efficiency of JPS' generating units. Since last year, JPS customers have been benefiting from lower Fuel and IPP Charges on their bills, as a result of the reduction in the price of oil on the world market. The Fuel & IPP Charge on bills this month is J$14.670 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared to J$18.449 last month" JPS said in a release.

This means a seven percent reduction in the April bill for the average residential customer, compared to his/her March bill. The Fuel and IPP Charge on bills is coming down from a high of $J28.828 / kWh in March last year when oil prices were at their highest for 2014, the release continued.

JPS said that in addition to the lower cost of the oil used for electricity generation, the company is also passing on to customers the gains from the improved efficiency of its generating plants.





Caribbean Broilers cuts prices

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For the second time this year, Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group has cut the price of their products in Jamaica.

Effective April 20, the company will lower its prices, right across the board, for all their business lines, which includes their flagship brand in the CB Foods division - CB Chicken, their fresh pork line - Copperwood Pork, their convenient ready to eat line - Caribbean Passion, their Grade A egg brand - Chippenham Eggs, their Omega enriched Smart Egg line and lastly their Bad Dawg Sausages program.

The good news also extends to farmers, who will also see a price reduction on purchases of all Nutramix animal feeds.

As with a similar decrease seen just a few months ago, in January 2015, further reduction in some key input costs, such as grains, has given the company the ability to reduce their selling prices and pass on savings to the trade.

Dr. Keith Amiel, Corporate Affairs Manager explained that, "If you've been following the commodity markets, you'd realize that grains have been trending downwards which have allowed us to purchase our raw materials at better prices and this has in turn allowed us to pass savings on to the consumers".

He further shared that "When the markets are going North we are forced to pass on the price increase to the market and so naturally, when things go the other way, its only right that we pass on the savings as well.





25 year-old woman commits suicide

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A 25-year-old woman is believed to have committed suicide at her St Andrew home Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that the woman, identified as Jodi-Ann Williams, sent several messages to friends telling them that she loves them and she was sorry.

The circumstances leading up to her death is not known at this time.

She was later found hanging from the roof of her house. Police were summoned to the scene about 2:30 pm.





Cuba to be removed from terror list

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