May 2015 Archives

Caribbean football bribery scandal deepens

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caribbean-football-oliphant.jpgCaribbean Football has been thrust deeper into the scandal involving the governing body for world football, FIFA. A letter sent from South Africa to FIFA headquarters instructing the world's soccer body to pay US$10-million to the Caribbean Football Union, (CFU) holds the key to the FBI's claim that South Africa bought the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

According to the Sunday Times, it obtained a copy of the letter dated March 2008, and signed by then South African Football Association President Molefi Oliphant. In it Oliphant reportedly tells Fifa to pay over the money to the CFU. The Sunday Times says efforts to get a comment from Oliphant have been futile. The South African letter was sent three days before the final payment by Fifa was made

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has kept mum on the investigations so far, but in a statement on its website it said that it is not in a position to comment on specific allegations.

Trinidadian investigative Journalist Mark Bassant who has done various expose's on Former Concaf President Jack Warner, says the term 'contribution' is suspect. In the indictment read by US attorney-general, Loretta Lynch last week, it was alleged that high-ranking South African officials offered a $10-million bribe to help secure the hosting rights for the global showpiece.

A second claim was made that a senior South African official had paid a bribe to Warner's relative at a French hotel. The money allegedly went into bank accounts held in the name of CFU and CONCACAF.

The indictment stated that he diverted a substantial portion of that money for his personal use.

It is also alleged that Warner also paid two other Fifa executives. He is currently out on bail in Trinidad and Tobago as arrangements are being made by US officials to extradite him to face a slew of charges including corruption.

Meanwhile, South African Football Association President, Danny Jordaan has confirmed that the 2010 Local Organising Committee paid the money after South Africa won the bid to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.But he has insisted this was not a bribe.

According to Independent Online, this is the first time that South Africa has confirmed to paying money to CONCACAF. The admission follows a week of denials from local football authorities and the government.

Jordaan, who was the 2010 Chief Executive, said that the money was paid to CONCACAF in 2008 as South Africa's contribution towards their football development fund. South Africa is alleged to have promised to pay Jack Warner the $10 million for his support for the 2010 bid.

After South Africa won the vote‚ football officials allegedly said it was not possible to pay Warner out of South African government funds. Instead‚ the money was deducted directly from a payment FIFA made to South Africa to help finance the hosting of the tournament, thereby concealing the alleged bribe.





Jinx get a proper proper tracing off

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jinx-stewart.jpgPoor Jinx never expected to feel the wrath of a nation like this. She should just crawl under a stone until all this blows over, because the people dem do her real bad on social media and every other kind of media. The new name for her seems to be 'Junk'.

YardFlex compiled some comments. See below:

This girl name Jinx is CLEARLY prejudiced. " I honestly wish he would go back to where he came from" ??? Are you kidding me? Sounds like a typical light skinned uptown person who thinks they are better than dark skin people. Can juss imagine wha run thru her prejudice mind. She prolly has thoughts like this: "Why dis noisy, black country bwoy nuh guh back weh him come from"Truly Disgusting - Big up yuhself Bolt!!!! - Up Up Up

Real uptown: I have lost all respect for Sean Paul...for him to marry such an ignorant, unintelllignt, loud mouth, ugly, getting fat, started to look tired and wrinkled, idiot and pretending as if uptown means anything...most uptown ppl regardless of colour started off poor, nuff a dem that look brown are from the bushes of St. Elizabeth and come Kingston come show off...why dont she tell the truth abt a certain person who spend time you know where, and certain hubby who loves doing u know what...dont throw stones ...u just wish u were famous like Bolt, u will never ever be n ur stupid wanna be friends whose parents and grandparents made their money from u know what...u r not uptown, u r a low life

Rasta Yute: Its a good thing Bolt was making noise in the neighborhood bcuz no wld kno abt this junk oh its jinx. Congrats junk, no its jinx, the whole world knows ur name now. Let me tell u, its gonna take way more than u to bring down Bolt. So I wld advice u start soliciting the services of the FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard etc etc. Or get ur ass out of Norbrook, wat hav u done to merit living there? Bolt has trained hard day in day out for his riches. Wat hav u done but look pretty n catch a man. How hard is that? This man run his socks off to put jamaica way up on top. Wat hav u done but sean paul? Leave d man alone. Mek him play music til d speaker dem burst. Him large!!! Big up u self Bolt, nuh change, u a real Jamaican yute. Nuff respect er time!!

Dm: Reading her post clearly indicates to me tht is not about him being a bad neighbour but she doesn't think he should be living in tht community , uptown is known for the most dirt bikes and I am sure bolt is not the only one who owns them tht has been happening before bolt rose to stardom, as for the parties I am 200% sure he doesn't keep a party every week..The only reason he lives there like everyone else it's because he has money and why are u calling the cops unu take police Fi poppy show don't , dem have more pressing issues Fi deal with down town and Fi the poorer class so guess what hurry up and move

Kish: How can someone who has to train daily party everyday that seems unrealistic to me. Not taking any sides and I will certainly not be negative towards any of the two but jinnx- if you are having a problem with your neighbour a social site is not the place to make a complaint.bolt- if you are being a bad neighbour tone down you knew the kind of community you were going into I am not saying to stop be you just try to be easier to live with. And get off the media with your personal life.

Carole: Who do you think you are lady? When I was his age I threw loud parties n rode motorcycles n you are no more " uptown" than me lady.. How dare you embarrass your husband like this. You are a classist, racist person. Hurry n move further uptown. Memba we all have the same destination n whoever you think you are Bolt,s blood could save your sorry life. Shallow. No one even knew who you were till Sean Paul married you. Your 15 minutes of fame are up.

CONSTANTINE: If she move any further Uptown, Guess what Jinx a country yuh ago Live! better yet, Move to "Sherwood" Trelawny find a plantation greathouse, so you can rehash slavery, you won't have to see or hear Bolt till Christmas day, and he'll be on his best behaviour at christmas dinner with his parents. P.S. Also buy some mirrors, careful not to break it if you see a "black person" wah resemble you. Hush no mind yuh'ere, we still a try make a pill fe cure yuh condition

Boyd: Who is she and her husband Sean Paul is telling Usain Bolt born and bred Jamaican to go back where he is from, both she and her wrenking wife is so rude.They are chiniese people is so wreking from a longer time and the syrians in Jamaica dont have no respect for black people. Both of them should got their butts whipped for saying something against Bolt which they can't prove.We know of a fact that Chiniese and Syrian are unti social with black people this nothing new.I believed that both of them is just envy Bolt for his prorerty and money, when people is using the word up town.Every one use to live down town before there was any up town.Some people is bring the united States style to Jamaica, that is only certain people can live in to certain area.They both need to fly back out Jamaica and back where They were and that type of system to our little island. When all of them runaway from Jamaica, and stay back there to help the country and some people either got them self in trouble. They wanted to take over every thing and give them self trouble, it can't work so in a Jamdown. They fe just back off a Bolt and go sata, them dont have nothing to offer Jamaica like the Honorable Dr Bolt who glory to the nation.

CONSTANTINE: KICKER! ULTIMATE PARTY CLOWN ON PEOPLE YACTH.Now this classist rant never helped the situation one bit on the issue of disturbing thy neighbour. why him no go back where him come from? {Sherwood Trelwany}. This Rant has straight up tones of Racism, Classism, Scorn all the messed up stuff we live with on a day to day in Jamaica. Jinx mi nah bun yuh, but a tell yuh thanks to expose how you really feel about my segment of people. WHAT ABOUT TALKING TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR, insteady of peepinin through your curtains and calling and tweeting everybody. ONE RICH WORLD FAMOUS BLACK YOUNG MAN, moves into norbrook and she a try tun it into JAMAICAN NORBROOK HILLBILLY'S saga. reality TV watching stupid Bacra Masa grandaughter!

Miss Chin: How can he do all of what she is saying off the island?

Notwithstanding the fact that she is disturbed by the so-called noise she claimed he is making. But I think she is a bigot. How dare Bolt want to mix with the upper class of Norbrook. So bottom line is that she saying that the only really why he is tolerated is because they think of him as a clown. She feel she has reached. But to me she is just a disillusioned house slave who think she is better than the field slaves. The social class she thinks she is in has certain dictates. You don't get there just by having money. The components include education, power, style and that too often underestimated edict...grace. Had she been truly representative of the class she thinks she is in, she would have had a quiet conversation with him and he probably would have proven that he had as much reason to be there as she, by modifying his behavior.?





Jinx private her Instagram

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jinx-stewart.jpgJodi 'Jinx' Stewart, the wife of entertainer Sean Paul has been forced to change the status of her public Instagram page to private.

This following a severe backlash that she has received following her rant on social media about Usain Bolt being a horrible neighbour, a clown for the UPT (uptowners) and that Bolt should go back where he came from.

It has been reported that Jinx has since removed the inflammatory post, but YardFlex was unable to check, since her account is no longer public.





omi-cheerleader-photo-1.jpgLast summer, a new star named Iggy ruled the season with an anthem of bitchy attitude. This summer, a new star named Omi looks to reign with an anthem of sincere romance.

Omi's "Cheerleader" boasts a sweet melody, a swaying reggae beat and a swooning vocal. It also has the right buzz, spirit, and momentum to become the song of its summer. Musically, "Cheerleader" has just what such a tune needs - a catchiness and ease made for boomboxes, car radios and days at the beach.

"The texture of the song is perfect," says Sharon Dastur, senior VP of programming for iHeartRadio. "And the timing is really right for that song to cut through."

In fact, the song's ratio of streams-to-chart-position argues for a likely ascent right after Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of the season. Currently, "Cheerleader" stands at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 Song chart. But it has behind it a staggering 191 million streams on Spotify and a whopping 75 million views on YouTube. Its irresistible refrain has inspired more than 7 million listeners to seek its identity on Shazam.

No other song in the running for summer has a higher mix of numbers. More, the song has a history of success around the world. It first hit in a different version in 2012 on Omi's home island of Jamaica, as well as in Hawaii.

Omi, 29 - born Omar Samuel Pasley - grew up singing in local groups. But he didn't get his break until three years ago, after being signed by the producer behind such hot Caribbean stars as Shabba Ranks and Patra. At that point, he cut the original, rougher take on "Cheerleader."

But only the 2014 goosed-up remix of the song, by German DJ Felix Jaehn, clicked. It did so by finding an ideal mean between two proven summer loves: reggae and EDM. Since April, the enhanced version has hit No. 1 in 11 countries.





Popcaan defends Bolt; tells Jinx where to go

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popcaan-and-jinx-and-usain.jpgWhen Sean Paul's wife earlier this week labelled track mega-star Usain Bolt a "inconsiderate neighbour", she probably did not anticipate the public backlash she would receive for her comments.

From Facebook to Instagram and all the social media networks in between, just about everyone had it out for former television personality, Jodi Heneriques, with most social media commentator's staunchly defending track star, Usain Bolt.

The latest person to come to Bolt's defence is popular dancehall artiste Popcaan, who used his Instagram page to show his support for the world's fastest man.

"Jinx leave Usain alone and move yo[expletive deleted]... ya gwaan like yo born uptown. A people like unu nun waa see ghetto youth have nothing big up Usain loud up the scheme wid the bike and the girl them ..."Popcaan posted.

Many of the artiste's followers echoed his sentiments.

Jinx has yet to respond to Popcann's comments.





oracabessa-2015-dexta-daps.jpgDancehall newest sensation Dexta Daps, whose popularity soared following a tussle he had with police officers at the Donald Sangster International Airport in MoBay recently, proved his star billing at the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in NYC.

Excitement broke out as the singer, fashionably attired in a designer suit delivered songs like 'Dreaming,' 'Pretty Nicky,' 'Morning Love' and 'Jealous Ova,' an erotic duet he recorded with dancehall diva Tifa that was well received by fans. He even showed versatility crooning Beres Hammond's 'Putting Up Resistance' and the Morgan Heritage classic 'She Is Still Loving Me.' He garnered his biggest ovation with his dancehall anthem '7eleven,' which resonated with the throngs of women that were in the park.

Veteran singer Freddy McGregor, who brought the curtain down on the festivities, demonstrated why he is still one of the best in the business, engaging fans with 'Africa Here I Come,' 'To Be Poor Is A Crime,' 'Push Come To Shove,' 'Carry Go Bring Come' and 'Big Ship.' In between hits, he warmed hearts with Dennis Brown's 'Love & Hate' and 'Revolution.'

Singer Alaine displayed stunning vocal range while performing 'Keep Rising,' 'Could Not Make It Without You' and Marcia Griffiths' 'I Shall Sing.' Her magnificent performance continued with 'My Favorite Boy' which she used to serenade DJ Oxtail from Road International.

Always dressed to impress, "Cornel" Josey Wales had the entire park singing along to old favorites like 'Kingston Hot,' 'Every Jamaican is a Star,' 'Leggo Mi Hand,' 'Sweet Jamaica' and 'Undercover Lover' which evoked memories of the 80s. Five forwards later, you could tell the crowd was warming up to the Cornel as he advocated for the legalization of marijuana, before unleashing a plea to men to 'Pull up Your Pants.'

The high point of the festival came midway Tarrus Riley's performance when he invited his dad, veteran singer Jimmy Riley on stage who was helped on stage with the assistance of a walker. Not deterred, the father and son team was a force to be reckoned with and had the entire park singing along to 'Ruugher Yet' and 'Love and Devotion.'

Singer Natalie Evans, represented during the gospel segment with songs like 'Things Already Better' and 'Wings of a Dove.' Her heartfelt invocation definitely moved the crowd and set the tone for renowned gospel artist Shirley Willis of Grace Thrillers fame. Her voice may have lost a bit of luster since her near death accident in 2008 but her testimony was powerful. Her poignant rendition of 'I Can't Even Walk' resonated with those who had travelled far to see the legendary artist known for classics like 'By the Grace of God' and 'Not My Will.'

Other strong performances came from Chris Martin who had his way with the ladies; Sean Paul who worked the stage with his dancers; Shuga; Stacius and NY based KConeil. Apart from the music that the main stage offered, organisers added a sizzling fashion show that featured designs by Signature78 which went over well with patrons. Other attractions included a Kids Amusement Area, Business Expo, Health Pavilion and Arts & Craft.





sean-paul-wife-jodi-jinx-stewart.jpgOlympian and world fastest man,Usain Bolt has been accused of being an inconsiderate neighbour by the wife of dancehall hit maker Sean Paul.

"Between the bikes ... loud, horrid music, parties and screams, I honestly wish he would go back to where he came from. He's a horrible neighbour. I cannot wait to move," Jodi Stewart-Henriques, also called Jinx, said via social media in a long rant.

Bolt is a resident of upscale upper St Andrew community Norbrook.

Jinx rant started on Monday when a resident of Norbrook posted on Facebook that the bike riders in the area were very inconsiderate - to which Jinx promptly replied that the blame should be placed directly on Bolt and his brother.

Jinx said she sought an intervention by the police but the authorities have not responded because "it's Bolt". Clearly upset, she went as far as saying she has lost "all respect" for the Olympian.

"So unfair and disrespectful. I've honestly lost all respect for him. He takes his nasty behaviour with him everywhere...So many people love him and he's such a poor example of how to behave. I honestly can't blame the set of UPT (uptown) that have him as poppy show in parties or on their boat. He's the ultimate party clown," said Jinx.

But her comments were not met with the same enthusiasm by fans of the athlete. One Facebook user posted that after doing his research, it was revealed that Bolt was not the culprit on that particular day.

"Bolt cannot respond to your allegations and since he is not guilty of what you are accusing him of in this instance, you ought to apologise and remove your comments at the very least," he said in reply to Jinx, accusing her of displaying "bad behaviour and boorish attitude" in her rant about Bolt.





fugitive-rapist-leblanc.jpgA Hancock man, who fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on a dozen charges alleging he raped a child is under arrest in New York after being deported from Canada, investigators said.

The alleged two-year flight of Scott Elrond Leblanc, 59, formerly of 156 Forest Road, to avoid prosecution came to an end Thursday when he was arraigned as a fugitive from justice at the Niagara County Court in Lockport, N.Y.

He waived extradition and is being held in the Niagara County Jail pending his return to New Hampshire. Hillsborough County Deputy Lt. Brian Newcomb said he is expected to be back in the state within 30 days.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, a warrant was issued for Leblanc's arrest on Aug. 21, 2013 by Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, in Manchester after he failed to appear in court on 12 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

The charges stem from indictments alleging that between 1995 and 2000, Leblanc sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 in Hancock.

Leblanc allegedly fled the state in August 2013 after learning of the impending indictments against him. Investigators believe he actually left the country.

On Tuesday, they received information from the U.S. Marshal Foreign Field Office in Jamaica that Leblanc had arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica from Toronto, Canada.

Jamaican law enforcement officials refused Leblanc entry into the country because, Newcomb said, of the pending arrest warrants and returned him to Toronto where Canadian law enforcement officials refused him entry, again because of the serious charges.

Canadian authorities deported Leblanc who was placed into the custody of U.S. Marshals based in Buffalo, N.Y.





Cable service provider Flow will start to remove some of its channels on Monday, June 1, following an order from the Broadcast Commission of Jamaica (BCJ).

Flow advised its customers of the move in an email on Saturday.

The BCJ last month insisted that 19 unauthorised channels be removed from Jamaican cable television providers' platforms by May 31.

Flow advised customers that beginning June 1, 2015, the following channels will no longer be carried by the cable company: Encore East; Encore Suspense; Encore Family; FLIX; Showtime East; Showtime Showcase; Showtime 2; Showtime Extreme; Showtime West; STARZ West; The Movie Channel West; The Movie Channel Xtra; The Movie Channel East.

What's more, during the period of the next 6-8 weeks, Flow said it will continue the removal of some additional channels from its lineup; these include: STARZ East, STARZ Edge, STARZ in Black, STARZ Kids and Family, STARZ Cinema, ENCORE Action, ENCORE Black, ENCORE Classic and ENCORE Western.

The company, however, has introduced a suite of new Fox Movies services which it said "boasts a strong lineup of nine premium movie channels".





mark-golding-ganja-law.jpgMinister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, says the successful implementation of the new law regarding possession of small quantities of ganja will require the discretion and judgement of the police. Mr. Golding said discretion and judgement on the part of the police is not an unusual requirement for the performance of their duties.

"As is usual, when laws which affect the police's mode of operation are introduced, the police are sensitized within the context of the relevant policy of the Ministry of National Security," he explained.

The Minister added that operational guidelines are also issued to ensure implementation in a manner that meets both the objective of law enforcement and the policy objectives of the new law. Responding to questions tabled by Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, in the Senate, regarding the amended Dangerous Drugs Act (Ganja Law), on May 29, Senator Golding said that the police are not presently equipped with weighing apparatus in the field and are therefore not able to determine scientifically the precise weight of ganja in the field.

"However, two ounces of ganja are substantially more than a large spliff," the Minister noted.

He said that in situations where it may not be clear whether or not the amount of ganja exceeds two ounces, but it is reasonable to infer that the ganja is for the person's own personal use, the policy of the Ministry of National Security is that, rather than expending the police's time and other resources in proceeding with a criminal charge for possession that will ultimately be unsuccessful if the amount is less than two ounces, the police should proceed on the basis that the amount does not exceed two ounces and may issue a ticket.

Also, he said a person who has been wrongly ticketed for a substance that is not ganja may decline to pay the ticket.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 became effective on April 15, and makes provision for development of a medical marijuana industry.





Hurricane preparedness tips

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hurricane-season.jpgThe Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

• Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

• Know your surroundings.

• Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.

• Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.

• Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

• Make plans to secure your property:

• Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

• Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.

• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.





weather-map-2015-may.jpgThe National Meteorological Service says a Tropical Wave currently east of Jamaica is expected to move west across the island Sunday afternoon. In addition a persistent trough will maintain unstable weather conditions across Jamaica until Wednesday.

The forecast over the next three days is for widespread showers and scattered showers especially during the afternoons. It was expected that all parishes would experience either showers or thunderstorms on Sunday.

A small craft warning remains in effect for offshore areas of southern waters due to strong winds and choppy seas in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.

June 1, marks the start of the hurricane season, the forecast is for six to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes and up to two major hurricanes.





mexican-demonic-game.jpgThe Ministry of Education has issued a ban against students playing the game Charlie Charlie Challenge, following reports from several schools across the island of very disruptive behaviour by students who engaged in the game.

The Charlie Charlie Challenge, a Ouija board style game to try and summon a Mexican demon, has been a trending topic on social media.

In a release on Friday, Chief Education Officer Grace McLean instructed schools to monitor students to ensure they are not allowed to play the game.

The ministry has further advised school personnel to immediately contact the regional offices if they need help and further support to address the situation.

The ministry stressed that it issued the ban following reports of very disruptive behaviour by students who participate in the game. Students reportedly display demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game.

Parents and guardians are also being called to monitor their children carefully outside of school, as based on the reviews of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, it can have serious psychological effects on children.

The bulletin further argued that parents and guardians should note that the playing of this game can also result in "serious physical harm to our children."





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell win at Ostrava

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usain-bolt-photo-15.jpgUsain Bolt won his second 200m race in the last 21 months, clocking 20.13 on a rained-on track in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

Bolt's time ranks him fourth fastest in the world this year in the 200m and was .07 faster than his time on April 11, his first 200m since August 2013.

"It was a little bit colder than I thought it would be," Bolt told an on-track reporter. "It's all about working on my technique, getting back into shape."

Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition last season, one shortened due to foot surgery. Bolt's 200m world record from 2009 is 19.19, a mark he has said he hopes to break.

Bolt is scheduled to race at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 13 (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

The Ostrava field included zero of the expected top challengers to Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing on Aug. 29.

Also Tuesday, Asafa Powell won a 100m in 10.04 seconds with a small headwind, well off his 9.84 from May 9. Powell clocked 10.04 seccs to win the men's 100 metres, also ahead of Isaiah Young 10.13 secs. The times on the day were clearly undermined by the cold and wet conditions.

Jamaica's Olympic 100 metre silver medallist (Beijing 2008 Olympics) Kerron Stewart returned 23.43 secs for second place in the women's 200 metres behind winner Charonda Williams of the USA 23.11 secs. Sherone Simpson was 4th in 23.56 secs.

And Edino Steele was 6th in 33.08 secs in the men's 300 metres.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgThe battle between female dancehall entertainers Spice and Lady Saw reached fever pitch last night. In a tweet to Spice, Lady Saw said:

When you call me bout dippy (duppy) a run down u son in him sleep me tell you get a choice fi pray and you seh u a go a obeah man

Spice hit back at Lady Saw and told her that her four (4) year old son can teach her how to read, after pointing out the typographical error in the word 'dippy'.

The personal attacks by Spice rained on twitter attracting hundreds of retweet. Spice tweeted to an unresponsive Lady Saw

By the way John John say a the renking sent (scent) make him always a stray

Spice was heavily criticised online because she made the grammatical error of typing sent rather than scent.

As if that wasn't enough, Spice told Lady Saw that she was bad mind and evil, and as a consequence, God did not bless her with any children. She used the hashtag #WitchOfDancehall to end her tweet.

Realising how bad the situation was turning out to be, fans of both artists urged Spice to cease the personal attacks, she replied by saying, "unu stop tell me fi done cause a mi granny fuss trouble mi."

Earlier, Spice said that Lady Saw was bad mind after she went up on stage before her at a show in Florida on Sunday.





spelling-bee-champions-jody-anne-maxwell.jpgFor seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage. They make up one in five of the 285 spellers, aged nine through 15, from all 50 states and seven foreign countries, who ran a gauntlet of local and regional contests to qualify for the big event.

One of them, Vanya Shivashankar, 13, who lives in Kansas, is back for a fifth time -- inspired no doubt by her sister Kavya, the 2009 champion. Last year ended in a tie between Sriran Hathwar of upstate New York and Ansun Sujoe from Texas after they failed to knock each other out after five rounds.

But on social media, the reaction from some of the nearly one million people viewing the finals live on cable television veered towards the xenophobic.

"One year I wish an American kid could win," read one of several dubious Twitter posts curated on Storify.com by tech journalist Jeff Chu.

"Not to be offensive...but how do kids from India dominate the American spelling bee?!?" read another tweet.

"The kids in the spelling bee should only be AMERICAN," declared a third.

Such sentiments clearly rankle the organizers of the National Spelling Bee, whose longtime core sponsor is the Scripps media group.

"I look forward to the day, as do I think many of our South Asian participants, when they are called what they want to be called -- Americans," bee director Paige Kimble, the 1981 champion, said Wednesday.

"The bee is one of the truest forms of meritocracy, and we support every kid no matter where they come from," Kimble added.

"It's unfortunate that people have some not very nice things to say on social media."

Americans of South Asian heritage make up just one percent of the US population, but only a few are really into competitive spelling, said Northwestern University anthropology professor Shalini Shankar. More often than not, those families hail from southern India and emigrated to America as highly educated professionals, notably in the tech sector.

"The kids that do make it are extremely talented by any standard, but even among Indian Americans they are really gifted," she said.

They also keep in practice, thanks to a network of regular competitive spelling events on the margins of the usual scholastic fixtures, Shankar told AFP.

And it's not just in spelling, either. Seven of the 10 finalists in the National Geographic Bee earlier this month were Indian American, including the winner, Karan Menon, from New Jersey.

Last year Swapnil Garg, from California, clinched the national Mathcounts challenge, which is more often won by high school students of Chinese ethnicity.

Only once has the National Spelling Bee actually been won by a non-American: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her a celebrity in her native Jamaica. CAPTION: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her person outside of the US to ever win the competition.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgIn a lengthy post on her Instagram, Spice stated that she was scheduled to perform before the Queen of the Dancehall, but that Lady Saw "run go work before me".

"Lady Saw run go work before me as she was scheduled to work after, but because she think she could a stop my ting. She walk on before her time and run go perform before me, but I hope she see now what time it is."

She added that she was not competing with any female artiste, nor did she wish to take anyone's place.

"Lady Saw done set it already and done name weh she name and I can't change that and no other female to come after will be able to change it either. But, there will always be other females to come after that will want to shine too," the post read.

Spice, who is known to speak her mind, held nothing back as she sought to clear the air.

"I'm just here to do me, to do my thing and feed my two kids. I don't know what the problem is but I just know that Lady Saw too badmind and the argument done!" she further posted.

Kaylia Williams, public relations officer for Lady Saw, said she did not wish to comment on the issue, nor had she seen the Instagram post because Spice had blocked them.





Macka pon form with Christianity

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macka-diamond-photos-2.jpgThe girl from the Diamond District really a shine like a diamond. We spot Macka the other day and the woman look good. We don't know if she gone back a gym or if she have a new man inna her life, but what we know for sure is that she found her Saviour at the cross.

We hear that Macka has been going to church in Portmore for quite some time and she is deep into her Christian life.

Well, God blessings a show pon Macka because she just a glisten and a glow. Plus she have a new manager who a look out fi her best interest and all these things.

So Macka, all we can say is: Continue to walk with God.





7 FIFA officials arrested

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fifa-officials-arrested.jpgSeven senior officials at football's governing body, FIFA, were arrested in Zurich on Wedneslday, as part of two criminal probes into corruption.

Those arrested include Jeffrey Webb, current Fifa vice president for the Concacaf region. His predecesor, Austin 'Jack' Warner, has reportedly been indicted. Those arrested also include Costa Rica's national football chief Eduardo Li, president of South American football governing body, Conmeb, Uruguay's Eugenio Figueredo, and Brazil's Jose Maria Marin, who is a member of Fifa's Club Committee.

Warner, a former national security minister in Trinidad & Tobago, is seeking re-election to that country's national parliament in general elections, expected to be called shortly. Swiss prosecutors have also launched a separate criminal case into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.

The US Justice Department says nine football officials are among 14 people indicted on corruption charges. The suspects allegedly accepted bribes worth US$150 million over 20 years.

Fifa members are due to vote Friday in a presidential election where Sepp Blatter, the incumbent is seeking a fifth term Blatter is not among those being charged, but officials say he is among those being investigated in the ongoing probe.Fifa's Zurich headquarters has also been raided and documents seized.

The US Department of Justice says several officials have already pleaded guilty, including Charles 'Chuck' Blazer, the former general secretary of Concacaf.

Meanwhile, a search warrant is being executed at Concacaf's Headquarters in Miami Beach, with FBI agents seen removing bags of documents and computers.

Much of the U.S. enquiry is focused on the CONCACAF region, which governs football in the Caribbean, North America, and the Central America.

Warner was regularly dogged by accusations of corruption before he resigned in 2011, at which point FIFA terminated its investigations of him.The U.S. criminal case will allow courts to look into matters that in the past had been investigated, mainly by FIFA's own internal ethics committee, answerable to itself.

American law gives its courts broad powers to investigate crimes committed by foreigners on foreign soil if money passes through U.S. banks or other activities take place there.





T&T: Extradition request for Jack Warner

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jack-warner.jpgTrinidad & Tobago Attorney General Garvin Nicholas has confirmed that the US State Department has requested the extradition of former Fifa Vice President and CONCAF President, Jack Warner. Nicholas says the matter will go through the court system in the twin-island republic.

This development followed an announcement by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a press conference on Wednesday that the investigation into wide spread corruption at FIFA will continue, and hinted at additional arrests.

The indictment also alleges that officials took millions of dollars in bribes, over 20 years. Fourteen persons are under indictment while seven were arrested in Switzerland last night. Six of those indicted have current ties to FIFA, while another, Jack Warner, is a former vice president and ex-president of CONCACAF.

The indictment alleges Warner took US$10 million in bribes from the South African Government for the 2010 World Cup. Lynch declared the next step in the the FIFA investigation would involve extraditions.

Officials would not comment on the investigation into FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the man widely regarded as the most powerful person in sports. One federal law enforcement official said Mr. Blatter's fate would depend on where the investigation goes from here.

Meanwhile, Warner who is seeking re-election to Trinidad & Tobago's parliament has responded to corruption charges levelled against him by US authorities. In statement issued on Wednesday, Warner said he was aware that he was being sought in connection with the criminal probes underway. However, he said he was innocent of all charges and had fought fearlessly against all forms of injustice and corruption. He added that he has not been afforded any due process and has not been questioned in the matter.

Warner stated that the actions of Fifa no longer concern him, having stepped aside more than four years ago. He noted that the cross-border coordinated actions come at a time when Fifa is assembled for elections to select a President who is said is universally disliked by the international community

He said it was his experience that it was times such as this, that large world powers typically take action to affect world football. Warner's two sons are among four men who have already pleaded guilty in in the U.S. football corruption investigation involving bribes totaling more than US$100 million. However Jack Warner said he was not aware of his sons' guilty pleas.

The guilty pleas were unsealed at the Justice Department Indictment. According to the Associated Press, those who pleaded guilty are Daryan and Daryll Warner, Chuck Blazer, former Concacaf general-secretary, who for nearly two decades was the most senior American official at FIFA, and Jose Hawilla, an executive of the Brazil-based sports marketing firm, Traffic Sports.

Blazer has been accused of pocketing millions of dollars in marketing commissions and failure to pay taxes. He has been a cooperating witness for the FBI since leaving football in 2013 and has forfeited almost $2 million. US officials say Hawilla has agreed to forfeit more than US$151 million.The men face maximum jail terms of 20 years. Some of the charges include racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.

Concacaf head and Fifa Vice President, Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, was among several senior officials at Fifa who were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland this morning. Webb is also president of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Cayman Television said a statement is expected from Webb's CONCACAF office in George Town.





Mission to Motivate to tour Jamaica

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mission-to-motivate.jpgThe Child Development Agency (CDA) is taking Mission to Motivate across Jamaica. Launched last year as a part of the agency's 10th anniversary series of events, Mission to Motivate initiative aims to encourage children, specifically those in state care, to strive for excellence despite the odds they face. Throughout Child Month, the team will visit eight homes covering the South Eastern, North Eastern, Southern, and Western regions.

"Mission to Motivate serves to encourage children to aspire for greatness, despite the cards life has handed them, rise above their current situation by building resilience and, most especially, break the cycle of negative behaviours," Michelle McIntosh, CDA 10th Anniversary Planning Committee chair said.

To do this, the CDA is utilising past wards of the state, as well as university students, to bring the motivation message. These young adults, McIntosh explained, have been a part of the system and understand the realities of children in State care, have been assisted by the CDA, or are intrigued with the programme.

All, she noted, are model young people who have overcome adversity, received numerous awards and are successful in their various fields. This charge is led by 10th anniversary co-patrons Tanisha Esman-Ledgister and Tamian Beckford, along with Kingston and St Andrew Corporation youth mayor, Jahzeal Clarke.

Jahzeal Clarke has already been to three Mission to Motivate sessions, enjoying every bit.

Though he has never been in a home, he said he has benefitted from assistance from personnel at the CDA.

The 21-year-old student at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is the sixth of 10 children for his mother, who died when he was in grade four.

Since then, he said, he has been on his own, living at different places. Despite this, he has been the first of his siblings to graduate fifth form with nine CXC subjects, attend sixth form, and go on to university where he is a first-year political leadership and strategy management student.

"In visiting the homes, I have been touched by the fact, that as I shared my story, the children listened keenly, asking questions. They wanted to know how I overcame this, or how I managed to move on from that, or how does one to get the next stage, or requested actual examples for them to follow," Clarke said.





paulette-santana-child-month-feature.jpg

Fed up with the images of children being abused and their lives snuffed out, upcoming singer, Paulette Santana has released the militant, no-hold-barred single, Dead In Deh, which warns the perpetrators of child abuse that there is no sympathy for them when they are caught and sent to prison.

The artiste who is managed by 1Family Entertainment noted that the song is a direct aim at those older men who are using and abusing little girls (and boys)for their own perverted pleasure. In the single, she asks: "How could a 12 year old seize you/Tell me what that little girl deh could a really do fi please you?"

The singer also urges everybody to be militant and stand up for the rights of the children and call up on mothers to protect their children from these monsters. Stop cover up fi the an dem,' is her plea to the mothers.

Paulette Santana a strong, focused and talented 24-year-old musician hails from Resource, in Manchester, Jamaica. Amidst the economic challenges she encountered while growing up in a single- parent household with her mother and seven siblings, she held firmly to her goals of becoming a successful musician and a force to reckon with in the music industry. Among her idols are Reggae songstress Etana who she admires for her soulfulness and positive songs and Paula Shaw, a neighborhood philanthropist and role model who has helped to mould her in the individual that she is today.

She attended Grove Town Primary School and later Bishop Gibson High School in Mandeville. During her tenure there, Paulette successfully perfected her communication, time management and analytic skills. Paulette Santana is quite proficient in the art of engendering and performing songs from a plethora of musical genres including, R&B, Souls, Gospel, Dancehall, and Roots Reggae.





Promo tour for Warrior King

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warrior-king-performance.jpgRoots reggae singer Warrior King made another leap in building his career and his fan base when he visited Mexico as part of his official promotional tour.

TheAint Giving Upsinger was billed on the event alongside headliner London-based reggae singer Macka B, and performed at the rocking Playa del Carmen beachside concert in front of a capacity audience of predominantly Mexican people, who have been showing increasing favour towards foundation reggae music.

Although this was not Warrior King's first trip to that Spanish-speaking country, it was undoubtedly his best experience so far. The artiste performed for an entire hour and the fans, some of whom were 'discovering' him and others who remembered him from a previous visit, were very receptive, surprising him by singing many of the songs word-for-word. In fact, so good was the response that the promoter has invited Warrior King to come back in August, when he will perform in a more official capacity in the capital, Mexico City.

Warrior King, who admits that he knows Spanish and has been practising the language quite a bit lately, feels that his ability to break into the Mexican market is due largely to the fact that although he is still relatively young, his voice has that 'foundation reggae feel' and his music and lyrical content are conscious roots reggae.

"From what I can see, the Mexicans appear to have a preference for roots reggae and they listen to a lot of music from foundation artistes. Of course, Bob (Marley) is way up there and so too are artistes like Dennis Brown and Culture," Warrior King explained. "I made the most of this opportunity by staying back at the event to sign autographs, take pictures with fans and encourage the fans to purchase my merchandise. I feel really good about this exposure and I know that the fans will spread the word."





macka-diamond-photos-2.jpgDressed in a purple-and-black gladiator costume, with knee-length gladiator boots and purple highlights in her hair, Macka Diamond delivered a stunning performance to a packed house at the 'More Life' show at Brixton Academy 02 in the United Kingdom on Sunday.

She was at her saucy best during a racy performance that found her interacting with the crowd, male cameramen and enthusiastic male patrons.

Hitting the stage with her age-old favourite, Hula Hoop, she immediately got the crowd energised when she invited two women onstage to dance.

One of them, a rotund woman with bountiful breasts, provided much amusement with her body-jiggling antics. She was a livewire throughout the song, performing her dance moves, even when her jiggling caused a wardrobe malfunction and her breasts accidentally popped out of her blouse.

Macka Diamond attempted to get the cameraman involved in her set but he retreated and walked away, laughing.

She segued neatly into Cow Foot, asking all the girls whose "body no have no arthritis and who fa body nah mek no noise" to scream. The girls obliged. She performed Done Already, earned a forward and pulled up the song.

Deafening crescendos greeted her when she performed the few first bars of Bun Him and she stopped deejaying as the crowd began to sing the song in unison. Macka Diamond then stopped the rhythm and invited two female patrons onstage to attempt to deejay the song, a move that had hilarious results.She did Forty and Fabulous and Twist Me before ending strongly with her mega hit, Dye Dye.

Macka Diamond returns to Jamaica to continue the promotion of her latest singles, No Money No Love for Chase Mills Records, and Mosquito One for producer Troyton 'Black Shadow' Remi.





foota-hype.jpgIt's all about entertainment and there was that and more as dancehall selector, Foota Hype turned the tables on over-rated deejay Alkaline at Best of the Best in Florida on Sunday and used Vybz Kartel's fans to diss Alkaline.

alkaline-photo-9.jpgFoota Hype performed right after Alkaline, whose performance had high and very low moments. As Foota took control of the stage, he asked the audience to show hands if they believed Alkaline was a better artiste than Vybz Kartel. Much to the dismay of Alkaline and his entourage, every (almost) hand went up in support of Kartel. Some persons even booed Alkaline to show their support for the incarcerated deejay, who last performed at Best of The Best via satellite in 2011.

Reports are that some members of Alkaline's entourage tried to make their way to the backstage area following Foota Hype's comments. However, organiser to the event, Jabba, was swift in his actions and sent security personnel to ensure that no physical altercation occurred.

According to Foota Hype: "Him kuff himself because dem did a clap him off before mi even go out there. So a him hurt himself, him diss me on a song which is played on the radio everyday and accuse me of being gay. A yu did a throw wud pon record against Vybz Kartel, so why get upset when the people speak ... that don't mek no sense, don't vex," Foota Hype said.

The DJ also said Alkaline's performance was less than impressive, therefore, his (Foota Hype) actions couldn't have caused much more damage.





Daily intake of passports doubled at PICA

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jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgThe Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, (PICA), is reporting that since last week it has processed more than ten thousand passport applications. The figure is expected to increase ahead of next Monday's increase in passport fees.

Chairman of PICA's Advisory Board, Dr. Leachim Semaj, says the daily intake at the agency's offices has doubled and preparations are being made to accommodate more customers for the remainder of this week.

Applications are being processed at the National Indoor Sports Centre following last week's rush on PICA's head office. In the meantime, despite the surge in passport applications, Dr Semaj has suggested that the expenses associated with moving operations from the head office, may cut into whatever will be earned from the exercise.





admiral-bailey-photo-1.jpgEntertainer Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey on Wednesday pleaded guilty to fraud charges filed against him after he attempted to renew a passport in another man's name in February.

Bailey was fined $160,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

He was arrested and charged on February 23 with two counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of obtaining a passport by false pretence, two counts of possession of forged documents, and a count each of attempting to obtain a passport by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

Bailey was reportedly held after he attempted to renew a passport in the name Michael George Sullivan at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency on Constant Spring Road, St Andrew.

Defense attorney Tom Tavares-Finson reportedly told the court that Bailey had been using the passport, for which the entertainer is charged, for at least three decades.





Four elderly men were shot dead while playing dominoes at a shop in Claremont, in St Elizabeth, on Wednesday night, police say.

Police identified the dead as Archibald Brown, 60, a farmer of Claremont, Ezra Wright, 73, farmer and shopkeeper of Claremont, 50-year-old Maurice Sanderson, also farmer. The fourth man was not positively identified early Thursday. Police say he too was elderly.

Reports are that the men were playing dominoes during a power cut about 8:30 pm at a small "board shop" operated by Wright when gunmen opened fire.

Police sources say the perpetrators are believed to be remnants of the Stone Crusher gang, operating in rugged terrain on the fringes of the Cockpit Country on the border of St Elizabeth and St James.





mexican-demonic-game.jpgYardFlex.com: Hundreds of school children across the length and breadth of Jamaica have been playing a dangerous demonic game that originates in Mexico with dire consequences.

Somewhat similar to the occult-based Ouija board game that took off in the seventies and eighties, this Charlie Charlie Challenge summons the spirit world and uses lead pencils to get answers. Schools have already started rounding up the perpetrators within their walls and have been considering the appropriate punishment. The principal of one prominent all-girls school on Constant Spring Road went around to every classroom on Wednesday and marched out all the girls who confessed to - or were pointed out by their peers - as having taken part in the demonic game. They were ordered to write about the incident before being sent back to classes.

In one of these incidents, it was reported that a Grade 8 Seventh Day Adventist student was the one who led the game with the pencil, and the demon caused the paper to lift up off the desk in the class-room, causing all the girls to scatter, screaming and running in fear. Teachers reportedly rushed out of the staff-room, leaving their lunches, to go and investigate the situation.

Other students at various other schools have been living in fear ever since having traumatic experiences with the demon, Charlie, with parents even reporting that their children cannot sleep at night and being terrified of the dark.

YardFlex spoke with a prominent pastor about the matter of demons and he noted that this thing about demon possession in schools has been going on for a very long time. He says that he has been called regularly to pray for students, some of them as young as ten years old, who are demon possessed.

"I did not know about this latest one from Mexico, however," he told YardFlex. "As parents we need to ensure that our children are covered. We need to pray with them, pray for them and see to it that they develop their own personal relationship with God. Young people are always on the lookout for a new type of excitement, and they don't see the church as the institution to provide this. That is why they get trapped into so many negative things - the spirit world, occult, drugs, perverted types of sexual intercourse and profane music are just some of them," the reverend declared.

YardFlex noted that a few students who are student leaders have posted on Twitter about the need to stay away from this serious game.

"What kind of foolishness this everybody a do? When exam time come oonu can't find pencil to do exams, but all of a sudden everybody a find pencil to play Charlie game," a very popular Kingston College sixth former reprimanded his followers on Twitter.

Meanwhile, some scientists have been saying that the game isn't demonic, it simply about gravity.









food-awards.jpgCertain people are making a lot of fuss over the $25thousand price tag for the Food Awards tickets, which went for $15-thousand last year.

Well, last year the place did ram and we know seh this year it going to be the same thing. All when the ticket price reach $50-thousand the rich people and the wannabes are going to scrape them up.

It's all about rubbing shoulders, my dears.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgThe battle between female dancehall entertainers Spice and Lady Saw reached fever pitch last night. In a tweet to Spice, Lady Saw said:

When you call me bout dippy (duppy) a run down u son in him sleep me tell you get a choice fi pray and you seh u a go a obeah man

Spice hit back at Lady Saw and told her that her four (4) year old son can teach her how to read, after pointing out the typographical error in the word 'dippy'.

The personal attacks by Spice rained on twitter attracting hundreds of retweet. Spice tweeted to an unresponsive Lady Saw

By the way John John say a the renking sent (scent) make him always a stray

Spice was heavily criticised online because she made the grammatical error of typing sent rather than scent.

As if that wasn't enough, Spice told Lady Saw that she was bad mind and evil, and as a consequence, God did not bless her with any children. She used the hashtag #WitchOfDancehall to end her tweet.

Realising how bad the situation was turning out to be, fans of both artists urged Spice to cease the personal attacks, she replied by saying, "unu stop tell me fi done cause a mi granny fuss trouble mi."

Earlier, Spice said that Lady Saw was bad mind after she went up on stage before her at a show in Florida on Sunday.

Renae Onedan Thompson

Them need fi behave

Jacqueline Samms-Sherbin

what's new? Jamaicans fighting Jamaicans in another country...disgraceful

Big deal

Lady saw must move har old bdclaath anytime a nu she in the spot light she vex.... A spice sey world tour. . A spice sey tear dung shows... A spice good Mada... And a wife sey wife.... Su lady saw can drop dead....

Sherieka Williams

They are two big grown woman they need to stop the fuckry, look oh many years they are in the music business they need to set example for the younger upcoming female artist.

Sandrene Jarrett

Spice a one fu$%^ing hateful jealous bitch! Weh she a come hate pon di dancehall queen fah? She jus tryin to mek a name fi herself by calling adda people name. Her music should be what help her rise up not acting like a grunge bitch trying to climb on accomplished artist like Lady Saw's back.

marcia

they both should show respect for each other.lady saw has been around for a long long time, and spice is like the new kid on the block. Bottom line is they are both Jamaican women entertainers. There should be no insults thrown at another woman if she doesn't or can't have children. Some men and women are not blessed like that, but I'm sure they are very parental in helping with their siblings kids or their friends kids. Its not a crime and they should not be made to feel ashamed. Shame shame . please stop this senseless bickering.

Patrina Ferrigon

They are both disrespectful especially Spice. She's so classless, she needs to spend time growing the child God gave her.





zion-marley-prom-date-photo-1.jpgRemember Lauryn Hill's 1998 Song 'To Zion'? Well, Zion Is Now 17 & Just

Lauryn Hill released her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, and one of the album's standout tracks was To Zion, Lauryn's sweet dedication to her first child Zion David.

Well, Zion is now 17 years old (three months shy of 18), and the handsome teenager recently attended his high school prom with his girlfriend Kristen Richardson.

zion-marley-prom-date-photo-2.jpg





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgIn a lengthy post on her Instagram, Spice stated that she was scheduled to perform before the Queen of the Dancehall, but that Lady Saw "run go work before me".

"Lady Saw run go work before me as she was scheduled to work after, but because she think she could a stop my ting. She walk on before her time and run go perform before me, but I hope she see now what time it is."

She added that she was not competing with any female artiste, nor did she wish to take anyone's place.

"Lady Saw done set it already and done name weh she name and I can't change that and no other female to come after will be able to change it either. But, there will always be other females to come after that will want to shine too," the post read.

Spice, who is known to speak her mind, held nothing back as she sought to clear the air.

"I'm just here to do me, to do my thing and feed my two kids. I don't know what the problem is but I just know that Lady Saw too badmind and the argument done!" she further posted.

When contacted, Kaylia Williams, public relations officer for Lady Saw, stated that she did not wish to comment on the issue, nor had she seen the Instagram post because Spice had blocked them.

This is not the first time that the two female artistes have been in the spotlight regarding their feud. Lady Saw had accused Spice of being a backstabber, while Spice had responded that she needed Jesus.





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell win at Ostrov

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Usain-bolt-line.jpgUsain Bolt won his second 200m race in the last 21 months, clocking 20.13 on a rained-on track in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

Bolt's time ranks him fourth fastest in the world this year in the 200m and was .07 faster than his time on April 11, his first 200m since August 2013.

"It was a little bit colder than I thought it would be," Bolt told an on-track reporter. "It's all about working on my technique, getting back into shape."

Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition last season, one shortened due to foot surgery. Bolt's 200m world record from 2009 is 19.19, a mark he has said he hopes to break.

Bolt is scheduled to race at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 13 (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

The Ostrava field included zero of the expected top challengers to Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing on Aug. 29.

Also Tuesday, Asafa Powell won a 100m in 10.04 seconds with a small headwind, well off his 9.84 from May 9. Powell clocked 10.04 seccs to win the men's 100 metres, also ahead of Isaiah Young 10.13 secs. The times on the day were clearly undermined by the cold and wet conditions.

Jamaica's Olympic 100 metre silver medallist (Beijing 2008 Olympics) Kerron Stewart returned 23.43 secs for second place in the women's 200 metres behind winner Charonda Williams of the USA 23.11 secs. Sherone Simpson was 4th in 23.56 secs.

And Edino Steele was 6th in 33.08 secs in the men's 300 metres.





richard-medley.jpgSome residents of Denham Town, West Kingston, yesterday staged a protest in front the police station in the community against last Friday's fatal shooting of a music promoter.

The mid-morning demonstration was disrupted by the police, but the placard-bearing residents marched to North Street where they blocked the road with debris that they set ablaze.

The police were able to bring that situation under control and maintained a presence in the area.

Yesterday's protest is the second since Richard 'King' Medley's killing around 2:00 am at his girlfriend's home on Elgin Street in the West Kingston community.

His lover, who was present at the time of the killing, and residents are claiming that Medley was killed in cold blood.

The woman said that Medley came to her house around 2:00 am, and that police came knocking her door a short while later and were allowed inside after saying they were searching for gunmen.

The woman said that the police came inside the room where she and Medley were in bed, and after a brief conversation told Medley to get his phones and come with them. She said Medley was shot several times while reaching for his cellular phone.

She claimed further that after Medley -- a father of three children -- was killed, a gun was planted on him by the police.

The Independent Commission of Investigation is probing the incident.





mark-wignall.jpgAfter writing for the paper for 15 years,veteran columnist Mark Wignall has been fired by the Jamaica Observer.

Journalist Cliff Huges on his radio show on Power 106, Cliff Huges Online, earlier today said that Wignall had informed him that he was indeed dismissed by the newspaper. Wignall enjoyed a large readership of his columns.

Wignall's dismissal appears to surround a column written by him earlier this month in the Sunday Observer entitled 'Should Karl Samuda retire to the political tar pits?'

In the said article, Wignall maintains that alleged intimidation of JLP voters took place thus stopping them from voting in a general election in which Karl Samuda was a PNP candidate for St Andrew North Central.

The Jamaica Observer subsequently published a grovelling apology and made it clear that it was distancing itself from the Wignall story.all! Mark Wignall! He writes nothing but trash!"





Labour day activities round-up

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labour-day-roundup-lloyd-b-smith-at-railway-lane-basic-school.jpgLabour Day 2015 was celebrated on Monday May 25 under the theme Labour of Love: Nurturing Our Children and many Jamaicans islandwide got into the spirit of the day. Here are a few of the many projects that were undertaken.

Labour Day activities in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Trelawny, St. Ann, Westmoreland and Hanover received tremendous support from volunteers, on Monday, May 25.

The main projects for the parishes were: Manning's Boys' Home in St. Elizabeth; the Jerusalem Mountain Community Centre in Westmoreland; The Uriah Rowe Park in Trelawny; The Widow's Mite Children's Home in St. Ann; and the Hilloughby Basic School in Hanover.

Basic school repaired

At the Hilloughby Basic School, several areas of the school were repaired and repainted by citizens, including Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Wynter McIntosh and Councillor for the Sandy Bay Division, Lloyd Hill, while volunteers in St. Elizabeth turned out to carry our repairs to sections of the Manning's Boy's Home, which is located in Southfield.

Face-lift for comm centre in the West

Over in Westmoreland, Secretary/Manager of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Mrs. Opal Beharie and Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertell Moore, led volunteers who turned out to undertake work on the Jerusalem Mountain Community Centre.

Uriah Rowe Park cleaned

In Trelawny, Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson, headed a large group of volunteers who carried out work on the Uriah Rowe Park in Falmouth as well as the Hague Community Centre.

The Uriah Rowe Park, a popular location for residents of Falmouth was cleaned and sections of the security fence repaired and a number of ornamental trees planted on the grounds. The roof of the Hague Community Centre was repaired.

Children's home painted

At the Widow's Mite Children's Home in Murray Mountain, in St. Ann, volunteers repaired and painted several sections of the building. Work was also carried out on the vegetable and flower gardens at the home. This project was carried out by the St. Ann Parish Council and received support from representatives of HEART/NTA, North East Regional Offices.

Palladium constructs garbage skip

In other Labour Day projects, Team Members from the Palladium Hotels & Resorts constructed a garbage skip in the Elgin Town community to ensure that residents have a safe place to leave their domestic waste for collection. The hotel workers also painted a section of the Lucea Primary and Santoy Basic Schools.

General Manager, Mr. Jose Morgan, said that the Labour Day projects form part of the hotel's corporate responsibility to the community. "We at Palladium are always looking for opportunities to work with communities and to improve the general aesthetics for our team," he said.





vajacula-rejuvula-vagina-treatment.jpgKim Kardashian made vampire facials famous after having the beauty treatment in which blood is withdrawn and then injected into the face. Now a new treatment called Rejuvula, that costs L800, promises the same plumping and tightening effect, using blood cells - but this time on the vagina.

The procedure, which is only available in two clinics, uses injections of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), into the vaginal tissue to enhance sexual response and help with urinary incontinence.

The therapy is said to allow the body to heal faster and more efficiently and activate stem cells in the area, which the inventors claim results in rejuvenation and enhancement of damaged and undamaged tissue.

Because these are the individual patient's cells, experts say there is no chance of rejection, infection or allergy.

While Kim Kardashian's facial involved the injection of her own red blood cells, Rejuvula uses plasma which the makers say is yellowish in colour. They also say that after Rejuvula patients can expect increased sexual sensation, stronger and more frequent orgasms and even a boosted libido.

And if that isn't enough, the treatment promises to make the skin around the private parts look 'younger' and 'smoother',

There are also apparently health benefits such as decreased pain for women suffering from dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and it even lessens the severity of urinary incontinence.

The procedure is the invention of Dr Daniel Sister and medical aesthetic nurse Claudia McGloin.

The L800 treatment is hailed as the ultimate vagina rejuvenation therapy, and is available only at Dr Daniel Sister's clinic in London and at Claudia's clinic in Ireland.

A spokesperson for Claudia revealed: 'Generally patients would only need on treatment a year. Occasionally they might want a repeat at six months but very rarely.'

A 52-year-old woman from Sligo, Ireland, who had the procedure said: 'It completely changed my world.'

The patient, who wants to remain anonymous, admitted to having Dracula Therapy in her face along with dermal fillers and a face-lifting procedure.

She was intrigued by the new procedure, and admitted: 'I'm getting married in a couple of months and decided to have the treatment as a special treat for my husband to be.

'This is my second marriage, and I want my sex life with my new husband to be as exciting as if we'd met in our 20s.

'But the fact is I've had three kids since then, and things down there are not quite they used to be.'

The woman said she noticed a difference almost immediately. 'I started to notice some changes in sensations on my way home but the next morning it was heightened and sex was amazing. I have never felt such an intense orgasm before.'





Why wasn't Ishawna at Toya's funeral?

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joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna-photo-1.jpgFirst of all, we have to say RIP again to Toya. However, getting straight to the point. Don't Ishawna i a Downsound artiste? And since Joe is the CEO of Downsound, if him wife (common-law) dead, then shouldn't ALL Downsound artistes be present?

So why wasn't Miss Legendary there? Inquiring minds need to know. Especially since Miss Legendary Ishawna and Joe are so tight.

YardFlex a hear all kind of story, but we a bite we tongue cause a nuh everything good fi eat good fi talk.

All we can say is that we hope these stories are not true and that if there is any truth to them, the we know that Massa God nah sleep, so justice will be served in due course.

Latoya Alicia 'Toya' Jackson, may your soul rest in peace.And condolences to Joe. Him did really look mournful at the funeral. And little Joey swag did tun all the way up. Toya woulda did proud of her one pickney.





bobbi-kristina-and-nick-gordon-photo-1.jpgMore info is coming out about the relationship between Bobbi Kristina Brown and Nick Gordon.

It seems she was accused of cheating on Gordon not too long before she was found unconscious in her bathtub back in January.

Debra Reis Brooks who is Brown's neighbor said that there was another man in Brown's life named Duane Tyrone Hall, and Gordon knew about it, reports Enstarz.

The night before Bobbi K was found in the tub face down, Brooks says Gordon was steaming mad after finding out about the situation.

According to Enstarz's report, Brown and Gordon were hanging out with the friend who found Bobbi K, Max Lomas, 25, and his girlfriend, Danyela Bradley, 18.

Earlier this week, Brooks said that Brown and Gordon "had a fight at 12:30a.m." before Gordon and Lomas left the home.

"That's supposedly when this other guy came over to Krissi's. There was some discussion of some guy who came over and [he and Bobbi Kristina Brown] fooled around - that's what Nick said!"

Interestingly enough, the last snapshot Brown posted on Instagram was of her and Hall. She captioned it, "YAYYYY finally my famBAM!!!!"

For what it worth, another anonymous insider said, "If Nick caught Bobbi Kristina in bed with a guy, it would certainly make sense that a violent confrontation would occur."

Whether Brooks' story is accurate or not, in an interview with Extra, Gordon's brother, Jack Walker, did say - among other interesting things - that Bobbi K and Nick did indeed have a huge argument the night before she was found in the tub, unconscious.





rockfest-f2015-headliners.jpgThe ROC Foundation in partnership with Cherine TV proudly announces the 2nd Annual ROC Kids Festival 2015. The all-day children's music and action festival will take place on Saturday, July 4 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at its new home, the Jessie Ripoll Primary Field in Kingston, Jamaica.

A one-day fun-filled family musical and educational experience, ROC Kids Fest 2015 is a community call to action and will be represented by over ten non-profit organizations, top universities from the Caribbean and North America, children's-rights activists, speakers, poets and vendors, as well as performances by some of the hottest artistes in reggae, dancehall, gospel and roots music.

The event's main focus is to provide educational as well as needs-based scholarships and grants for outstanding students from the inner city and deep rural Jamaica through the ROC Scholarship Programme. To date, a total of 35 students have benefited from the ROC Scholarship Programme. Many continue to participate in the foundation's mentorship programme, serving as student mentors through ROC's mentorship school tours, as well as other community based partnerships.

Early bird ROCiTs (coupons) can be obtained from participating schools and sponsors as well as from pre-festival events being held in partnership with Groove Campus throughout May and June. ROCiTs allow supporters of the festival discounted admission of JMD$200 for children and JMD$300 for adults at the gate. Early bird ROCiTs automatically enter participating patrons in the grand prize give away of Android smart phones courtesy of Zlink Entertainment, Inc. ROCiTs for the event will also be available at ROC's Kingston headquarters and by phone at 876-813-9930, and must be activated to be eligible for admission discount. Additional details can be found via www.rockidsfest.com/tickets.

This year's musical headliners include dancehall icon Sizzla, reggae/dancehall soulstress Cherine Anderson and gospel sensation Kevin Downswell. Other top acts confirmed to perform are Ikaya, Nickieshia Barnes, Mario Evon, Ch4se and more. The festival will also introduce the next generation of gifted child performers from the Groove Campus Spring School Tour and Radio Show.

The official song for ROC Kids Fest 2015 is "Try" performed by Cherine Anderson, and will be available for limited download via www.rockidsfest.com. Part proceeds from the sale of "Try" will go towards purchasing a bus to transport volunteers of ROC's school tour and community mentorship programmes.





tessanne-chin-sings-i-will-always-love-you-at-memorial-day-concert.jpgThe Voice Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin sang "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston at the 2015 Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC on Sunday.

It was a night of reality singing competition show winners as Nick Fradiani from American Idol also performed.

Tessanne is currently working on her next album under the Justice League Music Group. Looking forward to it.

Her latest single "Fire" is now available on iTunes.





4-million for Labour Day activities

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labour-day-roundup-lloyd-b-smith-at-railway-lane-basic-school.jpgThe Government has allocated some $4 million for the National Labour Day activity and the main parish projects across the island.

The funds will be used to improve and upgrade recreational sites, parks and play areas for children in keeping with the theme: 'Labour of Love: Nurturing our Children'.

Acting Principal Director for Culture and Creative Industries in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the Parish Councils will receive $2 million to assist with the parish projects.

The remainder of the money will go towards rehabilitation of the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, which is the designated National Labour Day Project this year.

"Even though we have allocated some $4 million for Labour Day, the money is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to complete them," she noted, and called on the generosity of sponsors and volunteers to ensure the success of the various undertakings.

Dr. Lindsay informed that several public and private sector entities have pledged their support to the national project, with the South African High Commission donating concrete benches and tables for the Rudolph Elder Park.

Other sponsors include: National Housing Trust (NHT), First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Purity Bakery Jamaica, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Island Dairies Limited Jamaica, Caribbean Broilers Jamaica Limited, Barco Caribbean Limited, Berger Paints and EdgeChem Jamaica Limited.





More Caribbean countries on ZikV alert

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zika-virus.jpgTwo other Caribbean countries have joined Jamaica in placing their citizens on alert for the mosquito borne Zika virus.

Public health authorities in the Cayman Islands have issued an alert for the virus which has been circulating in the Pacific and North-Eastern Brazil.

Also known as Zika-V, it is similar to dengue and chikungunya and is transmitted mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as is the case with those other diseases.

Dr Kiran Kumar, Cayman's Medical Officer of Health, said on the weekend that, while there has been no case in the Caribbean, the alert is being issued as a precautionary measure.

"The public is urged not to be alarmed in hearing the name of another mosquito borne disease. Instead, it is encouraged to take precautionary measures against transmission...whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels," he said.

Trinidad & Tobago's Ministry of Health on Thursday issued an advisory, asking that citizens prepare for mosquito-borne diseases that come with the approaching rainy season, including the Zika virus.

Last week Jamaica's Health Ministry said it was taking the threat of the virus seriously and urged members of the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.





Pastor charged with rape of teenager

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The police have reported that 53-year-old Elvis Thompson, a pastor of Cave District in Westmoreland has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a minor (a person under 16 years).

The pastor, who was also charged with sexual assault, was charged on Friday, May 22.

It was reported that in 2014, the alleged victim, who sent to his house to collect payment for goods. She was then reportedly assaulted and raped.

The matter was reported to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), and a file was prepared and sent to the Defender of Public Prosecution-Paula Llewellyn-who ruled that he should be charged.





Prisoner hospitalised with TB

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tb-tuberculosis-basics.jpgA prisoner who was being housed at the Kingston Central police lockup has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. The inmate, who reportedly fell ill two weeks ago, has been hospitalised.

Superintendent Michael Scott, Head of the Kingston Central Police, on Sunday night, confirmed that the prisoner was being treated for the infectious disease. He said the Ministry of Health had been called in.

So far there are no indication other prisoners were exposed to the disease, according to Superintendent Scott, however, a source said police personnel assigned to the Kingston Central lock-up are concerned they could be exposed to tuberculosis following the recent case.

It's understood that the police are not trained to deal with the contagious disease, and do not have the requisite resources to respond to suspected cases.

Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in your body. It is most often found in the lungs. Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms because the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body. But if the immune system weakens, such as in people with HIV or elderly adults, TB bacteria can become active. In their active state, TB bacteria cause death of tissue in the organs they infect. Active TB disease can be fatal if left untreated.

Because the bacteria that cause tuberculosis are transmitted through the air, the disease can be contagious. Infection is most likely to occur if you are exposed to someone with TB on a day-to-day basis, such as by living or working in close quarters with someone who has the active disease. Even then, because the bacteria generally stay latent (inactive) after they invade the body, only a small number of people infected with TB will ever have the active disease.





toya-son-joe.jpgFuneral home, Brite Lite, promised a celebrity funeral for late entertainer Latoya 'Toya' Jackson and they delivered. A white hearse with a glittering glass casket, a lavish keepsake funeral booklet, water bottles with Toya's picture on them and a full-set marching band were some of the special effects at the service for the singer, who was the common-law wife of Downsound Records CEO, Joe Bogdanovich.

Leading the mourners were Bogdanovich and the one child of their union, six-year-old Josef, along with Toya's mother, Crystal Gayle, who was deeply affected by the death of her only daughter. Joe was a somber figure who looked as if the reality of the situation was just beginning to sink in, while little Joe was they typical six-year-old who is still too young to fully comprehend the impact of this ceremony.

Although Toya was a dancehall artiste, the fraternity did not represent at the Hagley Park Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sunday morning and the church had many empty benches. That aside, however, those who turned out remembered Toya as a wonderful, caring human being. Gospel singer, Carlene Davis, paid tribute through the song Been Through Enough, while Pulse CEO, Kingsley Cooper read the eulogy.

Songwriter Black Pearl gave a very long tribute, which was at times amusing and ended by saying that he knew that Toya's soul was all right because she had gotten baptized before she died. Downsound artiste, Harry Toddler, noted that "Toya's death reunited the Downsound Records camp".

'Joe Loves You' and 'Boss Lady Toya' were some of the words on the numerous wreaths placed by her casket. Among the mourners were Ninja Man, Fantan Mojah, British Link Up's Owen 'Roy Fowl' Clarke, and Supreme Promotion's Isaiah Laing.

Jackson died in the United States in May from diabetic complications. The 30-year-old had been ailing for nearly two years.

Interment followed at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell off to Ostrava

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asafa-powell-and-usain-bolt.jpgTriple world record holder Usain Bolt and former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell are among five Jamaicans on their way to Ostrava for the IAAF World Challenge Golden Spike meeting on Tuesday.

Bolt will turn out in the men's 200 metres for his 7th appearance at the meet and his third time contesting the 200 metres event.

Powell will be making his 4th appearance in Ostrava and will line up against British world and European Indoor champion Richard Kilty.

Edino Steele is down to compete in the men's 400 metres event while Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson are listed for the Women's 200 metres race.





Did you know the Flotus is #TeamNatural?

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michelle-obama-flotus.jpgDid you know that the First Lady, Michelle Obama is a naturalista!

Yes, you read correctly. Michelle Obama stopped chemically treating her hair years ago. Celebrity stylist Johnny Wright, who takes care of the FLOTUS' tresses, recently discussed Lady O's hair with The Root.

Instead of relying on chemicals, Wright says that he straightens Lady O's hair with a flat iron. While he wouldn't say for sure whether or not we'll ever see Mrs. Obama stepping out rocking her natural 'fro, Wright says that it's definitely a possibility.

"I don't know. Maybe on vacation she will," he shared. "She is 100 percent natural now. It is a possibility."

While Wright says that he doesn't subscribe to the notion of good and bad hair, he thoroughly supports the natural hair movement, which the First Lady has embraced.

"I think a lot of women are starting to see what type of damage chemicals has caused their hair over the years, and they're really starting to embrace their curls and really embrace the fact that they can be versatile," Wright said.

"They can wear it curly. They can wear it straight. They don't have to really conform to any particular look. They can do it all, and that's one thing that is going to stick. That's the revolution part of it. ... The revolution part will stick. All about curl power."

Love it.





vybz-kartel-photo-24.jpgFamed Rock Legend Mick Jagger, has named incarcerated Dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel and Rap Artist Jay-Z as his favourite Rap artistes.

The 71-year-old Rock Mogul while speaking at a Twitter Question and Answer session earlier this week, says although he has to listen to Vybz Kartel's lyrics 100 times to understand what he is saying, he is is favourite.

mick-jagger.jpg

Mick Jagger says the appeal of Dancehall is the reason he favours Kartel.

While adding that Jay-Z and Kartel are different, he further says Kartel is just mad Dancehall.

Mick Jagger is the founding member and lead singer of the Rolling Stones.





The National Indoor Sports Centre, will be used next week in the processing of applications for passports.

The decision was taken, after thousands of persons converged on the Constant Spring Offices of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, to apply for a passport, ahead of the increased fees which take effect on June 1.

The June 1 date was announced yesterday, after complaints that the initial date of May 26, was too soon.

Chairman of the advisory board to PICA, Dr Leachim Semaj, says come next Tuesday, the Sport Centre will be used in the processing of applications.

Dr Semaj says, all offices of PICA, saw an increase over their daily quotas, with Kingston seeing a 50% increase, over the 1 thousand per day quota.

In the meantime, Dr Semaj states, that any further extension to the implementation date for the increase, will have to come from the cabinet.





jimmy-riley-birthday.jpgHappy Earthstrong Jimmy Riley, born 22 May 1954.

Seminal Jamaican Singer born Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley in Kingston.He is the father of sensational reggae singer, Tarrus 'Singie Singie' Riley.

etana-i-rise.jpg

Happy Earthstrong Etana, born 22 May 1983.

Seminal Jamaican Singer and Songwriter born Shauna McKenzie in Kingston.





dominic-mcdowell.jpgThe next general meeting of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association

(JaRIA) is scheduled for Wednesday the 27th of May 2015, 6:00 pm, in the

Vera Moody Hall (Music School Auditorium) at Edna Manley College for the

Visual and Performing Arts.

The Guest Speaker will be Dominic McDowell who will address the topic

"Ganja Legislation and Production: Economic Implications for Jamaica's

Entertainment Industry".

Mr. McDowell is the Plannning & Business Development Specialist for

Medicanja Limited which was incorporated and launched in the latter part of 2013 by Dr. Henry Lowe. The objective of Medicanja is to undertake cutting edge research, development and commercialization of value added products and services related to medical ganja and hemp for the local, regional and international markets. McDowell oversees and implements planning and business development policies, objectives, and initiatives with respect to Medicanja Ltd. He is also responsible for product standardization, and maximizing, brand promotion, and funding and grant proposals.

The date of the meeting was changed from its normal schedule as student examinations are underway at the college.





ganja-smoking.jpg1. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, located in central Europe, is still getting a grasp on its newly minted medical marijuana law, which was passed in early 2013. Many people are still having a hard time actually finding medicine to help cope with their medical needs, but it seems that the situation is improving. There is also widespread decriminalization, in which Czech citizens are allowed to grow up to five plants, or be in possession of certain amounts of cannabis without fear of being criminally prosecuted.

2. Ecuador

The South American nation of Ecuador, which shares a continent with the only country on Earth to have fully legalized cannabis in Uruguay, may be on its way to legalizing marijuana itself. The country has a long and rich history, filled with issues resulting from the international drug trade, and subsequent War on Drugs. Currently, possession of small amounts of cannabis is permitted, if it is for personal use and there is no intent to distribute. However, the Ecuadorian government could be poised to earn big bucks by legalizing in terms of tax dollars and potential trade revenue.

3. Jamaica

Though many people may have thought marijuana was already legal in the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, that's simply not the case. However, it does look like the country's leadership is leaning toward going that route. Just recently, the country took a big step in relaxing its laws on possession, and also decriminalized it for a variety of reasons, including religious ceremonies and medicinal use. Jamaica may be swayed in coming years by increasing pressure from its in-house Rastafarian movement, as well as tourists from places like the U.S. where legalization is quickly sweeping the country.

4. Mexico

One way to help cut down on the illegal drug trade, and the power of the drug cartels as a result, would be for the nation of Mexico to give its prohibition laws a second look. There has been plenty of talk over the past several years about the Mexican government looking at legalization marijuana and other substances, but political pressure from the U.S. government has helped keep those laws on the books - for now. The power of criminal organizations, including the infamous cartels that operate along the border, has been shown to be weakening as a result of American decriminalization, and Mexican leaders may be swayed to vote for legalization if it means a lessening of violence and corruption.

5. Canada

From America's southern border to its northern one, Canadians have been able to enjoy relatively more lax marijuana laws compared to the U.S. Places like British Columbia are famous worldwide for supposedly growing some of the finest marijuana in the world, and it is one of the major sources of the plant into the United States. There are a majority of Canadian citizens who want to see the plant legalized, and much of what policymakers decide to do will likely come as a result of how the U.S. handles legalization going forward.

6. Spain

Certain places in Spain have also been called 'The New Amsterdam' due to their high concentration of private cannabis clubs. Operating in a somewhat gray area within Spanish law, these clubs take advantage of new laws that have decriminalized possession, although the manufacture and sale of cannabis is still illegal. It appears that Spain is one of the countries that will ride the momentum of the legalization movement, and make more policy moves based on what happens as a result of its decriminalization efforts.

7. Uruguay

Uruguay, of course, has made a name for itself by becoming the first and only country on Earth to fully legalize marijuana. The laws themselves are still being ironed out, but Uruguay has taken an enormous leap by being the first country to put a legal marijuana market into place on a country-wide scale. The market itself will be tightly regulated on all fronts by the government, but prices are estimated to be incredibly cheap compared to what people are paying in Colorado and Washington.

8. The Netherlands

The Netherlands - and more specifically, Amsterdam - has been a prime destination for marijuana tourists for a long time now. The city's infamous 'coffee shops' have attracted visitors from all over the world, seeking to partake in the world famous Dutch marijuana trade. Of course, there have been some bumps in the road, especially recently, in which the law has actually been changed to make it harder to track down cannabis. It's unclear how things will actually turn out going forward, but for a country with a reputation and history of friendly attitudes toward marijuana, it's not hard to imagine that the Dutch government would pass less restrictive legislation if their neighbors and other world powers do.

9. Argentina

South America looks primed for sweeping changes in drug policy, and Argentina is no exception. There have been large rallies and protests urging lawmakers to reclassify marijuana as a legal substance, and as Uruguay and other South American nations have moved forward, it's likely Argentinian leaders will take on the prospect as well. Argentina's president has gone so far as to endorse a plan to legalize medical cannabis use, citing reasons that many in South America are familiar with.

10. India

The nation of India may come as a complete surprise to be seen among the many western European and South American nations on this list, but Indians are surprisingly open to the possibility of legalization. The Times of India has even gone on record supporting the idea. It's already widely used in many religious ceremonies among the Hindu population, and its use is not enforced as stringently as many might suspect. Not only that, but wild cannabis grow in abundance in many parts of India, making it even harder to regulate.





suzette-brown-killed-by-florida-man.jpgA 44-year-old man is accused of beating and stabbing his ex-girlfriend in Miramar after she told him she was going to meet with another man, police said.

The murder suspect, Pierre Limousin, and his former girlfriend, Suzette Brown, were in a relationship for about 12 years before breaking up over each other's infidelity, according to a police report.

Brown, who hails from Eltham in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is remembered as a very dedicated mother of two, who just started nursing school. She is a past student of Ferncourt High and Brown's Town Community College.Limousin, of Miramar, is now charged with her murder.

Miramar police discovered Brown's body after being alerted to a man dragging a screaming woman into a house in the 8500 block of Sheraton Drive before noon Wednesday.

As a responding officer arrived, he spotted a man with a bag getting into a gray Honda Accord who then drove off. Police lost track of the driver, but found Brown, 41, dead inside the home.

One of the bedrooms appeared to be ransacked and a knife was found nearby on Miramar Parkway, according to the report.

Investigators alerted other agencies about Limousin and his car after learning he was Brown's former boyfriend and was known to drive a gray Honda Accord. As Limousin tried to report his car as stolen in Hollywood, Miramar detectives were alerted and responded to the scene to interview Limousin.

According to the police report, Limousin told detectives that he drove by Brown's home and had a conversation with her that became heated. When she told him "she was going to meet with her new man as soon as he left," Limousin lost control and attacked Brown.

Limousin did not offer police further details, but did say he used a kitchen knife and thought she was still alive when he left because she was wheezing, according to the report.

He also told investigators that he ransacked a bedroom and left the home with the knife in bag, which he later tossed from the car.





funeral-for-twin-brothers.jpgIt's one year now since twin brothers, Brandon and Braydon drowned, as they were washed away by flood water in Cornwall Courts while coming home from school.

One got into difficulty and the other tried to save him,and he too wash washed away.Their bodies were discovered by Marine police at the Dump up Beach in Montego Bay.

The boys were students of the Greenpond Primary and their deaths caused a nation-wide outpouring of sympathy, led by Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, who attended the huge funeral in Montego Bay.

funeral-for-twin-brothers.jpg





Beijing officials 'shocked' at Gatlin claim

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justin-gatlin-photo-2.jpgBeijing World Challenge organisers said they were "perplexed" by comments from Justin Gatlin on Wednesday after the controversial American sprinter claimed he was expelled from the meeting.

Gatlin attempted to play down the incident, blaming high emotions a day after he accused Beijing officials of not letting him run because they feared he was carrying an injury.

"Emotional day. All is fine with Beijing org & me," he tweeted. "We have a great relationship and I look forward to being there in Aug for worlds & next year for the meet."

But Beijing organisers were not impressed by the behaviour of Gatlin, who has recovered from a four-year doping ban to become the world's fastest 100m sprinter this year.

"(Gatlin's manager Renaldo) Nehemiah did not communicate with us before he announced Gatlin's withdrawal at yesterday's news conference," said organising committee deputy director Liu Jie, according to Xinhua news agency.

He added: "And we never got to speak with Gatlin in person."

Gatlin earlier said he was upset by his treatment by Beijing organisers, claiming they had not allowed him to run and showed a lack of respect.

Gatlin told reporters he was suffering cramps after arriving from Doha, where on Friday he ran a world-leading 9.74sec - a personal best, at the advanced age of 33.

The time threw down the gauntlet to Jamaican star Usain Bolt before both men are expected to face each other in Beijing at the world championships in August.

But drug-tainted Gatlin's performances are deeply contentious, especially after research last year found steroids benefit users years after they are declared clean.





paris-jackson-bob-marley-tee.jpgParis Jackson, the 17-year-old daughter of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was seen rocking a T-shirt featuring the King of Reggae, Bob Marley, on a recent outing.

The message was vintage Bob: 'Let's get together and feel all right," and a could have particular significance for Paris, even as there is speculation that she is engaged to her boyfriend Chester Castellaw.

Paris and her 18-year-old beau, who's on a youth contract with soccer club Real So Cal sparked engagement talks when she was spotted donning the ring last week.

And the simple band was still in place on Monday when Paris was spotted getting an iced beverage from Starbucks with friends.

The pair are yet to make any comment on the Paris' choice of jewellery, though on theory is that the small band is actually a promise ring. Popular in America, promise ring are worn as a promise to commit to the relationship.

If the pair are indeed engaged, the union has the blessing of Paris's uncle Jermaine Jackson. Although he wasn't aware of the engagement, he told TMZ he had no problem with them getting hitched even at such a young age.

The pair initially confirmed the romance when they posted a series of intimate snaps at the start of April, having been spotted training together in Los Angeles.

Chester is believed to come from an affluent family with a comfortable home in Beverly Hills.

Speaking to RadarOnline, insiders have described him as 'an incredibly kind and sensitive young man who has been nothing but supportive and understanding of Paris.'





career-day-portia-bodyguards.jpgThis picture of three children at their recent career day at school has been making the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere, and has caused the ultimate schism. Half of the people are in favour of it and think it is "A Great job ... thumbs up" while the other half think that these parents "deserve prison time".

Here are some of the comments:

"Clearly that is Portia, and her body guards... who would go career day with this... parents deserve prison time."

"Mi waaan delete this from mi page. Mi find it distasteful and exploitative. Only because it seem to be encouraging our children to aspire to mediocre. I feel hungry looking at the photo. Really!! PNP!!! Really!! I'm dumb!"

"I am in two minds about this ...... i don't think the kids think if She is a bad prime minister or not ... i like the fact that she is aspiring to be Prime Minister .. what is annoying me is the Flag .... why did the parents make it political"

"Ded!"
"Dwl!!!!"
"Funny to the 10th power."
"Fix it Jesus...lol..lol..hahahaha"
"wt?"
"I don't get it... can someone explain what is happening here please? thanks!"
"Dwl!!!!"

Tell YardFlex what are your thoughts.





styleweek-ja.jpgDesigners from Paris, London and New York, will join Jamaica's best to showcase their Spring/Summer 2016 Collections at StyleWeek Jamaica 2015.

Saint International, organisers of the event, announced that almost 30 designers will be on show this year. Deiwght Peters, Saint's CEO and creator of StyleWeek Jamaica

StyleWeek Jamaica runs from May 20-24 in Kingston.

The fashion extravaganza will feature a dynamic mix of private receptions, glitzy runway shows, after-parties, photo-shoots and beach excursions.

FashIonblock, the spectacular grand finale, will unfold on Knutsford Boulevard on Sunday, May 24.





jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA strong police detachment was on hand Wednesday at the Passport Office located on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, where scores of people gathered at the gate..

The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on Sunday said that as of Tuesday, May 26, the cost of a regular adult passport will move from $4,500 to $6,500, while the passport for a minor will move from $2,700 to $4,000.

In addition, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors. Faced with an anticipated rush by persons applying for passports ahead of the fee hike, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, went ahead and implemented a quota system.

PICA was on Tuesday forced to halt the receipt of applications early as the number of customers grew beyond capacity. At midday, 762 persons had applied for passports which was 80%t of the 945 individuals served at its locations last Tuesday.As a result, PICA has introduced quotas at its outstations for the rest of the week to ensure the safety of applicants.

PICA said they will process 150 applications at its Mandeville office, 250 in Montego Bay, 100 each in St Ann's Bay and May Pen, 90 in Portmore and 1,000 at its headquarters on Constant Spring Road. The number of work stations at its offices has been increased from 27 to 39.

However, people at the PICA office on Wednesday morning made it clear that they were trying to get their documents before the new fees came into effect.The rush of customers to the institution caused a massive traffic pile-up along the Constant Spring and other adjoining roads as the long lines extended from the gate of the institution to the surrounding sidewalks.

Several customers were left fuming because of the long wait and it was subsequently announced that the Passport Office had closed for the day as it had reached its quota of 1,000 applications by 8:30am.





kellier-parliament.jpgMinistry of Agriculture, Derrick Kellier is attracting irate comments after declaring that there is no drought and is being compared to his health minister counterpart, Fenton Ferguson, who had declared in the height of the intolerable Chik-V ravage last there that there was no epidemic.

Kellier informed the House of Representatives that "a meteorological drought" has not been declared in Jamaica. In a statement to the House Wednesday afternoon, he said that it was also noticeable that the country has started to "see a little rain".

"We all pray for more rains, but while we pray, we are ensuring... that crops on the ground can be safeguarded," he said.

Kellier added that despite the dry conditions, the domestic food crop sector grew by 2.7 per cent last quarter.

Despite his assurances, persons have taken to social media to contradict Kellier's statements and poke fun at him."Lets not stop the list there," one reader stated, "There are also:

1. No bad roads
2. No sliding dollar
3. No poor heath service
4. No crime
5. No poor education system
6. No abuse of our children
7. No visitor harassment
8. No economic hardship
Is lie everybody a tell.

Another commented: Sometime yuh fi know wen fi chat an wen fi shut up! Dat a di mark of wisdom.Right now een a fi mi neck a di woods nuh rain nuh fall fi at least 5 months nung. Yuh a cum tell people bout nuh metereological drought nuh declare! Yu tek people fe eediat? A same way Fenton neva declare nuh Chik V outbreak till every odder Jamaican sick wid it..some all dead(dem soul rest in peace). So yuh intend fi wait an siddung pan yu bahine den wen tourist seh de place dry....unnu seh dought drought an a run up an dung like headless chicken? Since when Jamaican people need nubaddy fi tell dem when a drought from when a nuh drought. Yu a try outdo Fenton an him lackeys een a di chat bull department?? Yuh tiad a de portfolio?

"I don't know about that, as the NWC has issued several water restrictions in my area. I have very low water pressure, and the NWC turns off water supply from 10:00 pm in the nights to 4:30 am in the mornings. This is done, to advert the increasing water demand on a drought hit water supply. This is what I was told by a NWC customer care representative. So I have no clue what the Minister is saying, as the time is Hot as hell."

"Mi convince kellier drop and hit him head" (PIC KELLIER)





zik-v-update.jpgThe Health Ministry says, persons travelling to Jamaica from countries experiencing an outbreak in the mosquito bourne Zika virus, will be screened at the ports of entry.

The virus, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms of fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis or pink eye, headache, weakness, rash, and swelling of the lower limbs.

Brazil is currently experiencing an outbreak of the Zika virus. It has not been detected in the Caribbean.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse says there is no vaccine, nor specific treatment for persons with the Zika virus. She says the Health Ministry is employing measures to prevent the virus reaching Jamaica's shores.

Dr. Bullock-Ducasse is also urging Jamaicans to destroy mosquito breeding sites around the home and office. She says persons who contract the Zika virus, are treated based on the symptoms, as there is no vaccine.Symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days, and last four to seven days.









Justin Gatlin kicked out of Beijing meet

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justin-gatlin-photo-1.jpgControversial sprinter Justin Gatlin has returned home to the United States, after he was kicked out of the Beijing world challenge meet which gets underway tomorrow.

The 33-year-old, who is the fastest man in the world this year after clocking 9.74 seconds at last week's diamond league meeting in Doha, returned home just 48 hours after reaching Beijing. It is understood that he was sent a text message by the organizers, which stated that he had better leave.

Gatlin said organizers had shown him a lack of respect after he told them he would still compete despite feeling a little dehydrated.

The sprinter, who has become a polarising figure in the sport after previously serving two drugs bans, was clearly bewildered and angry as he left for Beijing airport with his physiotherapist.

Gatlin's agent, former 110m hurdles world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, said the dismissal was not related to Gatlin's four-year doping ban from 2006 to 2010.

"No, it has nothing to do with that," Nehemiah said, "This is because they think he is injured and they don't want him here if he's injured."

Nehemiah said he had been told by organizers the sprinter would have to pay for all his team's travel and hotel costs, amounting to nearly $12,000, and would not receive his appearance fee.

Former hurdling great Nehemiah added that he would be taking up the matter with the International Association of Athletics Federations. (IAAF).

The meeting organizers have yet to respond to the American's comments.





mayor-of-spanish-town-norman-scott.jpgThe Mayor of Spanish Town, Norman Scott, is optimistic that the ban on entertainment activities in sections of St Catherine could be lifted soon.

The police imposed the ban as one of the measures to deal with a spike in murders in the parish.

The Mayor said it was insulting for police to impose the ban without first consulting the Parish Council.

But now he says he'll be meeting with the police as part of a committee that will review the ban.

Mr. Scott says the ban on entertainment activities is severely hampering small businesses in the parish and that many of them face closure.

He says a targeted ban in specific areas would be a better solution.





jamaican-passport.jpgOpposition spokesman on National Security Derrick Smith says the announced increases in fees for processing passport applications are "exorbitant and unconscionable", given the economic hardships Jamaicans are having to endure at this time.

"It cannot be that people are getting modest increases in their income, if any at all, but at the same time, are being called upon to pay considerably more for basic services," Smith said. "While the Passport Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) may well have to increase its fees from time to time, right now, it is unconscionable to saddle the already overburdened population with increases that go up to a high of 44 per cent.

derrick-smith-passport-fees.jpg

"Most Jamaicans are struggling just to get by," he continued. "We are at our taxable limit and have virtually no capacity to absorb any increase in fees and taxes, let alone this massive 44 per cent increase."

The Opposition spokesman said the Government needs to "wheel and come again".

"It has to explain to the nation, the basis on which fees for processing passport applications are being increased by such exorbitant rates, while inflation is in low single digits and workers, particularly those in the public sector, are having to endure the strictures of wage restraint," Smith said. "The average Jamaican worker has had no meaningful or substantial increase in their income due to the economic hardships confronting the country.

"And in the case of public sector workers, the mere 5 per cent increase being offered by the Government, illustrates just how unconscionable this proposed 44 per cent increased is," he said.





michael-lorne.jpgThe local Rastafarian community was last Thursday left upset that prominent attorney-at-law Miguel Lorne refused to heed the group's advice and instead stood in defence of accused child molester Roy 'Ras Carver' Bent in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's court.

According to the group's spokesman, Lorne was advised prior to his defence of the accused that it wasn't in the best interest of the Rastafarian community, or the victim's family to give representation to the alleged child molester.

"Lorne was asked not to defend Ras Carver in this matter because he (Lorne) knows the victims quite well, and both girls look up to him as an elder of the Rastafarian faith, therefore, his representation of the accused is tantamount to a betrayal of the family's trust," Ras Ivi, the group's spokesman, lamented.

He said the attorney was also taken to task by the 13-year-old victim for his representation of her assailant after the attorney made an unsuccessful bail application on behalf of the accused.

"He was told by ( ), that as an elder of the Rasta community, she has lost her respect for him and the next time they meet, she will spit at his feet in disgust," Ras Ivi added.

In defence of his client, Lorne said it was a bit unfair to judge him.

"Some people have cast judgment upon him already and say that he is guilty, which is absolutely absurd. Each person is entitled to their representation; each person is entitled to their day in court and sufficient on to the day. From that point, to prejudge Ras Carver that way is not fair to him, and, secondly, he is entitled to representation," Lorne said.

Lorne pointed out that it is the police who had asked that Ras Carver get legal help. He stated that at this point, his main focus is to apply for bail on behalf of his client.

Lorne, a Rastafarian, is representing 61-year-old Rastafarian accused child molester Roy Ras Carver Bent, who was arrested last Tuesday for the alleged sexual molesting a nine-year-old and her 13-year-old sister.





A strong detachment of police is still in place at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann following an operation to clear the property of all employees.

Action was taken to prevent further protest, after it was revealed that the contract for ICON Construction Group was terminated yesterday. Workers were reportedly escorted from the property yesterday afternoon and when they arrived this morning were denied access.Attempts to get a response from property managers and the police were unsuccessful.

There have been protests at the site over the past two months.

A fire in March destroyed millions of dollars worth of furniture at the hotel.





The Jamaica Medical Doctors Association is warning that although there is a lull in local cases of chikungunya, a second strain of the mosquito-borne virus poses a threat to the island.

"It can come to Jamaica, as (did) the first strain that we got, and wreak havoc, so we should always be vigilant and we have to continue our vector control programmes and we have to take personal responsibility to get rid of mosquito breeding sites," Dr. Dawes told RJR News.

He stressed that this second strain of the virus "can cause just as much damage" as the one that infected a significant portion of the Jamaican population in 2014.





mosquito-borne-zika-virus.jpgJamaicans are being urged to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus to the island, in the wake of an outbreak in Brazil.

The Zika virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms such as fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash as well as swelling of the lower limbs. After the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days. The symptoms last for four to seven days

Following a warning by the Pan American Health Organization regarding the potential for the virus to spread to other countries, Dr. Kevin Harvey, Permanent Secretary in Jamaica's Ministry of Health, is urging householders to rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites.

"The Ministry of is taking this threat very seriously," he told RJR News.

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus.

Brazil's Ministry of Health has confirmed that 16 patients have been infected by the Zika virus. The number could rise as another 1,200 cases, mostly in Brazil's northeast, are being investigated.

The suspicion is that the virus arrived in Brazil with tourists.

Brazil's Health Minister, Arthur Chioro, says the country is also facing a dengue fever epidemic. There have also been 6,200 cases of chikungunya.





T&T: Video shows cops beating unarmed man

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video-shows-cops-beating.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) - A video purportedly showing armed police officers kicking and dragging an unarmed man has gone viral on social media site Facebook.

The 52-second video begins with a marked police driving on what appears to be a football field while some sort of event is taking place.

As the vehicle comes to a stop, a bareback man is seen running. He is followed on foot by two uniformed officers. The officers are walking.

The man picks up a plastic chair and launches it in the direction of the officers and tries to run away. Another uniformed officer exits the ¬vehicle.

As the man tries to escape, he trips near the parked police vehicle.

At this point, the three officers surround the man and appear to be kicking and cuffing him while he is on the ground. He is then dragged by his feet by one of the officers, while another continues to kick him.

Onlookers who were heard laughing at the beginning of the video try to appeal to the officers to exercise restraint. Some people are seen rushing to where the officers are holding the man.

The man is then placed in the back of the police vehicle.

A DJ plays the refrain "look trouble now" from soca artiste Machel Montano's 2015 Soca Monarch and Road March song, "Like Ah Boss".

The caption of the video states "No man watch that alyuh cah be kicking an dragging people like dog so".

The Express yesterday contacted the general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales for a comment on the ¬situation. He, however, said he had not seen the video in question.

This is not the first incident in recent times where police officers have come under public scrutiny for their action caught on camera and posted on social media.





taylor-swift-billboard-music-awards-show.jpgTaylor Swift was the big winner at this year's Billboard music awards. Not only did the singer premiere her blockbuster video for Bad Blood - featuring the likes of Cindy Crawford, Kendrick Lamar and Lena Dunham - but the pop star also took home eight prizes including top artist, top female artist, top Billboard 200 Album, top Billboard 200 artist, top Hot 100 artist and top streaming song.

Swift thanked "all the girls I talk to on the Internet and we talk about your feelings and you teach me your teen slang," during her speech for top female artist, and told her fans that she was "obsessed" with them: "You guys are the reason this year has happened the way that it's happened," she said.

It was also a good year for Iggy Azalea, Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith, who each won three awards, while One Direction, Hozier, Jason Aldean, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend, took home two. Calvin Harris also picked up the award for top dance/electronic artist. The Scottish EDM artist joined Swift, his supposed new girlfriend, at the ceremony.

Smith, who was forced to pull out of the ceremony owing to his vocal haemorrhage, accepted his awards remotely. His acceptance speech for top male artist came with a video featuring a number of cue cards. "First, thank you Billboard for this incredible honour," he wrote. "Secondly, thank you to my amazing fans. It's times like this that I realise how lucky I am to have you in my life. Can't wait to get this surgery out of the way so I can sing my ass off for you again."

Hosted by Chrissy Teigen and Ludacris, this year's awards took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.





chris-brown-and-nicki-minaj.jpgChris Brown and Nicki Minaj are the top contenders at the upcoming BET Awards with six nominations each.

Brown will compete twice for video of the year with the hits "Loyal" and "New Flame" at the June 28 show in Los Angeles, BET announced Monday. Minaj is up for the top prize with her eye-popping "Anaconda" music video.

Beyonce and Lil Wayne follow with four nominations each. Beyonce's "7/11" also will compete for video of the year, along with Big Sean's "IDFWU" and Common and John Legend's Oscar-winning "Glory," from the film "Selma."

Brown's nominations include best male R&B/pop artist and viewers' choice award. He's nominated twice for best collaboration thanks to "Loyal," which features Lil Wayne and Tyga, and "New Flame," which co-stars Usher and Rick Ross.

Minaj is nominated for best female hip-hop artist, best group as a member of Young Money and best collaboration for the remix of "No Love" with August Alsina. She's nominated twice for the viewer's choice award with her hit "Only" and as a guest on Rae Sremmurd's "Throw Some Mo."

Other nominees include The Weeknd, Fetty Wap, FKA twigs and Sam Smith, who will compete for best new artist. "Empire" stars Taraji P. Henson and Jussie Smollett are nominated for acting awards, while Serena Williams and Floyd Mayweather Jr. earned sports nominations.

"This year's nominees showcase a diverse group of talent that includes longstanding entertainers, breakout performers, and outstanding athletes," Stephen Hill, BET's president of programming, said in a statement.

The BET Awards will air live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.





joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgDown Sound Records chief executive officer Josef Bogdanovich has dismissed claims that he and dancehall artiste Ishawna were having an affair, and that they were having a clandestine moment only hours after his common-law wife's death in New York.

"I'd like to clarify that the picture with Ishawna and myself circulating virally and quoted as the two of us being in some club in lis over the weekend partying on the sly is utter nonsense. The truth is Down Sound was booked by a promoter to bring 'The Blitz' to Fort Lauderdale from as early as February this year," he said.

"I want you to know that I support my artistes fully both onstage and off and whatever folks want to say about me and Down Sound, I welcome it with joy. I'm only asking that they have some respect and leave my dead wife's name out of it because it is disgusting and vile," he said.

Bogdanovich with Ishawna, after his wife's death last week. The Down Sound Records CEO says he was only supporting his artiste.
At the time of her death, the doctors had already located two kidney donors for Toya. She has been severely sick for two years fighting the disease.

"Arrangements were being made for a transplant but first we had to get her strong enough to have the operation," he said.

joe-bogdanovich-onstage-may17.jpg





Fiction to open VIP Lounge and Deck Thursday

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fiction-fantasy.jpgThe official opening of the Fiction Fantasy VIP lounge & deck is set to take place on Thursday May 21 at 6PM

The new Lounge & Deck offers an alternative for the after-work crowd from the hours of 4pm and11pm Wednesdays to Sundays.

"The FANTASY Lounge & Deck will be somewhere to enjoy premium wines and cocktails while enjoying entertainment in a relaxed casual outdoor environment," said Group Marketing Manager for Linkup Media, Natalie Outar.

"Mr. Annakie promises to take the deck life at Fiction Nightlife Entertainment (FNE) to another level," added Outar

The David Annakie led Linkup Media Group of Companies, now fully owns and operates the Fiction FANTASY Nightclub which incorporates the Lounge & Deck through FNE.





child-development-agency-names-hotspots.jpgTHE parish of Westmoreland in western Jamaica has the highest number of child abuse cases in the island, with 500 active cases up to yesterday.

The Child Development Agency's (CDA's) Rosalee Gage-Grey made the disclosure yesterday at the end of a march to lobby for greater protection of the nation's children from abuse.

"Reports that we get we see what we call 'hot spots' such as Westmoreland. The whole belt from just near Savana-La- Mar, Negril, going back to Green Island, Hanover is a hot spot. We see right now in Westmoreland alone 500 active cases of reports that are being investigated.

Other hot spots to which Gage Grey pointed were St Ann; May Pen and hilly areas of Clarendon; Kingston and St Andrew; and St Thomas.

In the case of the latter, Gage-Grey said the incidence was under reported, as the number of reports do not match the cases on the ground.

"The cases that are reported to us are growing daily. We get about 200 cases per week. This is stretching us, but we are not broken because we are committed to the task of finding every one of those children and more importantly, we are committed to finding all those men and women who continue to abuse our children," she said.

The march, which began and ended at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston was organised by Dr Michael Abrahams, founder of Protect Our Children. He told the Jamaica Observer that yesterday's event was part of a movement to create public awareness about the gravity of issues involving children, and to raise money for the effort.

" When I was going to do the march people asked a very pertinent question, 'What use is a march any way?' It has a lot of usage; there was a march on Friday and a good friend of mine was speaking into the PA system he kept on saying 'report child abuse'. An about a hour later there was a man out there saying that he knows a 13-year-old who is being abused. What do I do about it? I didn't know until this week that the number is 188- protect," he related.

Scores of Jamaicans from several organisations participated in the march, bearing placards and demanding an end to the abuse of the nation's children.

Cases of child abuse, particulalrly murder and sexual abuse, appear to be been on the increase recently. So much so that it dominated Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's address for Child Month which was broadcast last night.

"(Children) embody the present and represent the future. For me, children are the precious jewels of the nation; a valuable resource that must be cherished and protected. Children must be loved, cared for and nurtured," Simpson Miller said.

"Yet, it is with a deep sense of concern and sadness that I take note of the recent cases of abuse and crimes against our children. These horrendous acts against our children, including murder, are unacceptable.The brutal killing of our children is a vile and dreadful occurrence that is alien to our culture."

The prime minister said she was also concerned about instances of parental neglect as children who are neglected are exposed to violence, sexual abuse and murder.

"The abuse of our children must never be condoned by anyone, under any circumstances," she said. "Too many of our children are being subjected to heartrending violence and physical, sexual and emotional abuse, many times carried out by family members and other persons they trust. This must be dealt with immediately and firmly."

Simpson Miller said government was taking "tough action" to that end.

"Cabinet has approved a submission from the minister of justice to, among other things, prescribe harsher penalties for persons who murder, rape or commit other serious violent offences against children. They will meet the full force of the law," she warned.

Simpson Miller said too, that work is underway for legislation to be passed to create a new offence of parental neglect.





Chinese medical mission at KPH May 18 - 28

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kph-hospital.jpgA Chinese medical mission is expected to be in Jamaica from May 18 - 28.

Called the Bright Journey Chinese Medical Mission, the team will provide free cataract surgical operations and clinical activities.

According to an advisory from the Ministry of Health, the Chinese team will also be donating medical equipment and supplies to the Ophthalmology Department of the Kingston Public Hospital valued at over US$390,000 tomorrow.

Acting through the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese ophthalmology medical team, which comprises of six medical doctors and nurses, will also carry out academic exchanges with Jamaican health care personnel.

While in Jamaica, the medical team will be based at the Kingston Public Hospital and expects to perform 200 surgeries.

Selection of patients for surgery is being done by members of the Ministry of Health and the Chinese teams using screening criteria for patients previously reviewed in the health system islandwide.

Horace Dalley, minister with responsibility for the public sector in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, is expected to bring remarks on behalf of the Minister of Health tomorrow.





american-found-floating.jpgHarold Fox, a 37-year-old American man, is suspected to have drowned at the Bamboo Beach in St Mary, on Sunday.

Police reports are that Fox's body was seen afloat about 1:00 pm. The police were alerted and on their arrival his body was removed from the water.

Investigations are ongoing.





A 41-year-old Chinese man was shot dead by unknown assailants Sunday in Spring Gardens, St James.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) reports that Yu Gyowei, otherwise called Simon, of Main Street, Hanover, was at a beach with another man about 12:00 pm when they were attacked by an armed man.

The gunman allegedly proceeded to rob the two before shooting them. Gyowei was pronounced dead at hospital while the other man was admitted. His condition at this time is not known.

Subsequent reports are that the alleged gunman was injured during the incident and was later accosted when he turned up for treatment at hospital.





SOUTH BEND, Indiana (AP) - A northern Indiana judge rejected an argument by a man who asked that his marijuana possession charge be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor because he follows the Rastafarian faith.

Jerome Scott that he was being charitable to others by cultivating marijuana to ease ailments from chronic back pain to cancer, the South Bend Tribune reports. St Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller said he still broke the law.

"I understand there are many people who agree with you that marijuana should be legal, but you're in the wrong state for that," she said. "What you knowingly and deliberately did in Indiana is break the law by not only cultivating it, but also distributing it."

Followers of the Rastafari faith, developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, believe cannabis is a holy herb, and smoking marijuana is considered a sacrament that brings peace, wisdom and a spiritual connection to nature. Scott and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Melanie Schmidt, see the state's marijuana laws as unjust.

Scott said was not a drug dealer, but that he distributed the cannabis strictly for medical and religious purposes.

"Cultivating my own cannabis is my way of not contributing to the black market and drug dealing tactics," he said.

In March, Scott pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of marijuana. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance. Schmidt pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge.

Woodward Miller ordered Scott to serve 18 months on probation and sentenced Schmidt to 12 months on probation.

Scott, who has a license in Michigan to grow marijuana for other approved patients as a "caregiver," said his felony conviction will ruin his chances of having his license renewed. If he loses the license, Scott said, he will also lose the right to practice the cultivation of cannabis, which he views as a calling and key aspect of his faith.

"All of his hard work, all of his studying, his whole life, they're telling him he can't do that," Schmidt said.





GUYANA: President David Granger takes office

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guyana-president-takes-the-oath.jpgBrigadier-General David Granger was sworn-in as the new president of Guyana on Saturday, witnessed by a large, enthusiastic crowd.

Granger led a grouping of parties, headed by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC), to victory over the incumbent PPP/Civic, which had been in office for 22 years, in Monday's elections.

Figures released by the Guyana Elections Commission gave APNU/AFC 206,817 votes, compared to 201,457 for PPP/Civic.Incumbent president, Donald Ramotar, had appeared unwilling to accept the preliminary results and called for a complete recount.

As the post election tensions mounted, the European Union, and the governments of the United States, Britain, and Canada, all releases statements calling for the results to be respected and praising the Gunana Elections Commission for the work it had done in conducting the elections.

The EU and the three influential government all made it clear that they expected any grievance over the result to be addressed through legal channels. Moses V Nagamootoo, leader of the Alliance For Change, is the Prime Minister-designate.





janet-jackson.jpgJanet Jackson delivered a surprise for fans on her birthday, announcing a new album and world tour.

The singer made the big reveal at midnight eastern time on May 16 by tweeting a link to a video in which, in her unmistakable voice, she coos: "I promised you'd hear it from my lips and now you will. This year: new music; new world tour; a new movement. I've been listening. Let's keep the conversation going."

Presumably the title to the album, or perhaps a first single, the tweet was accompanied with the message "My Conversation" and the hashtag "Conversations In A Cafe."

The 49-year-old Jackson's last studio album - her tenth, called Discipline - was released in 2008 by Island. It was followed by the collection Number Ones a year later.

News of her return set the Internet abuzz as devotees reacted. At least one longtime collaborator, producer Jimmy Jam, had been dropping mysterious hints in the hours leading up to Jackson's tweet.





child-abuse-rally.jpgHundreds of Jamaicans turned out for a mass rally in Westmoreland Friday to voice their support for the fight against child abuse.

In celebration of International Children's Day, droves of people from across western Jamaica, joined in a march against child abuse in Savannah-la-mar, Westmoreland. Students from across the parish, churches, service clubs, and business groups, all turned-out in solidarity for the march.

Some marched with placards, and banners, which read: "stop abusing children."

Supporters of the march stated that the role of the community is vital in advancing the initiative.

Others say, they are fed-up with the continued child abuse, especially since the brutal murder of 14-year-old Santoya Campbell, in the parish earlier this year.





Buju Banton forced to drop appeal

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buju-banton-photo-8.jpgMembers of Buju Banton's Defense Support Committee are suggesting that the reggae and dancehall entertainer was pressured into an agreement to drop any further appeals of his conviction.

Reports are that Buju has now reconciled to serving out his sentence and being deported back to Jamaica in January 2019.

New reports that Buju Banton was recently freed of a gun charge and given an early release date are said to be inaccurate.

While the gun charge against Buju was dismissed in 2013 when the reggae entertainer was being represented by the late attorney Chokwe Lumumba, Music News understands that the prosecutors had plans to bring back the charges if Buju persisted with his appeal.

Back in 2013, Judge James Moody overturned the gun conviction on the basis of a revelation, that jury foreman Teri Wright had defied his orders and conducted research on the entertainer during the trial. Even though Judge Moody dismissed the gun conviction he left the door open for the prosecutors to retry Buju Banton for the offence.

The gun in question - a 9mm pistol - was found hidden in a secret compartment of a car being driven by Buju's co-accused James Mack who, along with Ian Thomas, was arrested and charged after they attempted to purchase a large quantity of cocaine from Drug Enforcement Agents in a Government-controlled warehouse in Tampa, Florida.

Buju Banton was arrested at his Florida home by US Marshalls in connection with drug trafficking in 2009. He was found guilty after two trials in a Tampa Court.

Buju has already served almost 6 years of his 10-year sentence.





toya-and-joe.jpgAlthough Toya had been suffering from diabetes for some time, her spouse, Josef Bogdanovich, said her death came at a time when they were planning to get married, a report in the Star said.

The CEO of Downsound Records explained that despite his fiancée's ailment, they were still planning on getting married.

"We have been together for 13 years, from she was 19. We were engaged to get married and we were talking about it a couple weeks ago and that she was going to get well; we had the donors, and then she died," he said.

"We loved each other a lot. We had good times together and we were very close. Toya was exceptional as an artiste and as a fashionista. I miss her a lot. She is the only one I trust in Jamaica. She was a real beauty inside and out. She was great."

However, Toya's life was cut short on May 7 after suffering from diabetes for a few years. She got dialysis treatment at the Diabetic Association of Jamaica in St Andrew and she got additional treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies. She also received treatment in Los Angeles, Miami and Brooklyn.

But Bogdanovich said he was amazed by the level of positivity Toya displayed throughout her illness.

"It was hard for her because the diabetes took her eyes, her kidney and then it took her heart, and then she died," he said.

"I don't know how she did it to keep positive that she would get well. She was blind for eight months and she still kept the faith and remained positive. I enjoyed her company. She was funny, witty, but above all, very uplifting. She gave freely."

Bogdanovich added that their six-year-old son has been coping well with the situation.

"He is doing exceptionally well. He is a great boy, and he has a lot of traits of his mother," he said.

And although Toya was positive, Bogdanovich said dialysis treatment in Jamaica was very difficult.

"I've been to several dialysis centres with Toya and I have seenoften that all the bedsare full. These patients havea community and they come there several days a week every week, if they can afford it, and they develop a bond of hope, pulling for one another, and then asit happens, one dies. Then another one. This diabetes epidemic is trulyfrightening," he said, adding that doctors and nurses are ill-equipped to administer dialysis treatment properly.

Toya's funeral service will be held on May 24.





number-portability-media-brief.jpgCorporate Communications Manager at FLOW, Naomi Francis (second right), pledges her company's support for the rollout of Number Portability, which becomes effective on May 31. Occasion was a Media and stakeholder Number Portability Workshop, held on May 13 at the Courtleigh Hotel, in New Kingston. Others (from left) are: Director of Customer Solutions at Digicel, Patrick King; Head of Marketing and Communications at Island Net, Timothy Bingham, and Head of Corporate Communications at LIME, Elon Parkinson. (PHOTO: JIS)

Jamaica's telecoms providers have pledged their full support for Government's roll-out of number portability on May 31. They expressed this support at a special media and stakeholder number portability workshop, held last Wednesday at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston, according to government news agency JIS.

Number portability means that consumers who use wireless and fixed line telephones will be able to transfer their telephone numbers from one provider to another as of May 31.

Director of Customer Solutions at Digicel, Patrick King, said the company is ready for the May 31 roll-out and that members of staff have been trained to deal with any challenge that may arise.

According to Corporate Communications Manager at FLOW, Naomi Francis, as a fixed line service provider, Flow would continue to provide improved service to its customers when number portability is rolled out.

LIME is currently carrying out testing to meet the May 31 roll-out, says the company's head of Corporate Communications, Elon Parkinson.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, who delivered the keynote address at the workshop, said he is pleased with the collaboration of the stakeholders leading up to the May 31 timeline. He informed that a licence has been granted to Porting Access PV, to ensure that the new system works.





The directive issued by the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) to cable television operators to cease transmission of approximately 20 channels by the end of the month is set to be overruled and reversed by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

According to a report in the Sunday Gleaner, the OPM will be rewriting the script after major stakeholders in the local cable industry appealed to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and minister without portfolio Sandrea Falconer, who has day-to-day responsibility for information, operating out of the OPM.

Some major players in the local cable industry have charged that the BCJ jumped the gun in its directive that the cable channels should be pulled, and it appears legal advice given to Falconer supports this view.

"The legal advice I have received suggests that the actions were taken outside of the legislative provisions. I have shared this with the Broadcasting Commission," Falconer said in response to the concerns raised by the Jamaica Association of Community Cable Operators in a slew of letters to her.

Sunday Gleaner sources further say that the OPM is concerned that it was not properly briefed by the BCJ on the matter before it went public with its directive.

Falconer refused to comment extensively on this matter as she told our news team that discussions on the issue were continuing.

"The OPM has been in discussions with the Broadcasting Commission on the directive issued to cable operators on April 24. The discussions have not yet concluded, and when they have, I will comment further," said Falconer.

Well-placed sources reportedly told The Sunday Gleaner that the BCJ's plan to convene a press conference and issue the directive had not been communicated to Falconer.

Chairman of the BCJ, Professor Hopeton Dunn, said that dialogue was had with all the stakeholders.According to Dunn, the commission is now gathering feedback from stakeholders on issues regarding the implementation of its directive.

"We have made no decision to rescind the directive, but we are aware of concerns regarding the implementation based on all the issues involved, and the commission will discuss this going forward," said Dunn.

He refused to be drawn on the possible reaction of the BCJ if the OPM reverses its decision even as he reiterated that the commission was an independent regulator.

"I am not going to speculate on what is not before me, but the law allows the commission to regulate, and it does what it is authorised to do under the law," declared Dunn.

Any decision by the OPM to reverse the BCJ's decision will undoubtedly anger powerful interests in America, where the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has kept Jamaica on its watch list for 2015.





KPH worker among 2 shot downtown

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kph-hospital.jpgTwo people including an employee of the Kingston Public Hospital were shot outside the institution's entrance on Saturday.

One person sustained a bullet wound to the foot and the other in the hand.

The injured hospital employee is said to be a records officer. It's understood that the attack is linked to a

Another man, Rudolph Foster,42, was shot at the intersection of Orange and Charles Streets in downtown Kingston.

He later died in hospital.





Breakthrough in murder of 12-y-o girl

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The St Catherine North police have made a breakthrough in the murder of 12-year-old Jamelia Richards, almost a month after she was killed. The man has been identified as Kevin Anderson otherwise called 'Dave', a 28-year-old labourer of the Naseberry Grove area of Kitson Town, St Catherine.

According to Senior Super-intendent of police Marlon Nesbeth, Anderson needs to turn himself in to the police.

"He forms a crucial part of the police investigation. He is very important to solving the incident where a 12-year-old girl was found murdered in Williams Field district two weeks ago," SSP Nesbeth said.

The senior crime fighter said that the victim was not raped. He told The Star that the case is at a crucial stage and needs closure.

Meanwhile, Tstudents of the Harewood Primary School where Richards attended are still traumatised.

In April, residents of Williams Field, St Catherine found the decomposing body of Richards near a river in the community.





Ganja farming licence handed to UTech

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utech-building.jpgThe University of Technology (UTech) on Thursday received a licence officially authorizing the cultivation of ganja for scientific research.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell presented the licence to the institution at a special ceremony to mark a day of celebrations at UTech's Papine campus dubbed, "Medical Marijuana Integration Day."

Paulwell, prior to presenting the licence, told the capacity audience of academics, private and public sector partners and interest groups, students and members of the Rastafarian and Maroon communities, that "Jamaica intends to regain its pride of place by becoming a Centre of Excellence for research and development in ganja."

The Minister pointed out that there is now convincing data and evidence which support beneficial effects of ganja in relation to glaucoma, epilepsy, eating disorders, pain and several other conditions affecting the nervous system. He noted that it is in this context that he has started to issue licences to enable Jamaica to move forward with research and development, even whilst the process for the amendment of the Dangerous (Amendment Act) to be passed into law takes place.

Acknowledging that Jamaica has had a history of "failing to properly exploit opportunities" in various industries, the Minister stressed the need for research to enable Jamaica to maximise the full economic value of a legal and regulated marijuana industry. He assured the gathering that everyone from the small farmer to the producer will have a role to play in taking advantage of the global market space.





Gatlin wins 100m in Doha in 9.74

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justin-gatlin.jpgDOHA, Qatar (AP) - Justin Gatlin lived up to the pre-season hype, winning the 100 meters in a world-leading 9.74 seconds at the Diamond League opener on Friday, a personal-best time and a new meet record in Doha.

There was a big gap between the American and his chasers, with US relay teammate Michael Rodgers second in 9.96 and Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago third.

Gatlin was the fastest man in the world last season over 100 and 200 meters, but went even faster on a sweltering hot night at Qatar Sports Club.

Jasmin Stowers showed she's a rising star by winning the 100 hurdles in a personal-best 12.35 seconds, a new Diamond League record. Olympic champion Sally Pearson and Dawn Harper-Nelson were both outside the top three. Stowers has improved her PB three times in 2015 after 12.40 and 12.39 performances previously this year.

Allyson Felix breezed to victory in the 200 meters in a meet-record 21.98 seconds. It was Felix's first 200 of 2015, and she broke out into a big grin as she caught a glimpse of her winning time.

American Bershawn Jackson won the 400 hurdles, holding under pressure through the final 20 meters after clipping the last barrier.





The Bahamas: Jamaican club owner charged

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Jomo Campbell, the attorney in the Bahamas representing nightclub owner Omar Gordon, accused of facilitating 14 women dancers, 12 of whom are Jamaicans and an additional two who are Bahamians, is denying the allegations brought against his client.

"My client has been granted bail from the Supreme Court. He has denied all the charges," said Campbell.

The 40-year-old Gordon, who is Jamaican, faces charges for having a business opened beyond licensed hours, playing loud music, refusing to allow peace officers on his premises, and 14 counts of abetting the women. These charges stem from a raid on his Madeira Street club, Club Pure, on April 25. The police, acting on information, went to the nightclub and, upon their arrival, found women allegedly hiding in a secret room, according to the Bahamian Tribune.

They have been charged with committing gross indecency.

The women, along with Gordon, were taken into custody concerning infringements of immigration and business licence laws.

All individuals are to return to court on July 15.

When Campbell was asked if there were any incidents of human trafficking involving Jamaicans, he said there were none.

"I actually spoke with the ambassador; there is no indication of human trafficking. I can tell you that those young ladies were involved in no prostitution at all. There is nothing to indicate that there were any acts of prostitution," Campbell said.





Blues legend, BB King, is dead

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bb-king.jpgBB King, the American guitarist and singer, widely regarded as "The King of the Blues", has died at age 89.

King, known for his hits My Lucille, Sweet Little Angel and Rock Me Baby, died in his sleep in Las Vegas.

Born in Mississippi, King began performing in the 1940s, going on to influence a generation of musicians and work with Eric Clapton and U2.

Once ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all time, he had been suffering ill health in recent months. He was recently taken to hospital with a diabetes-related illness.

A former farmhand, King was awarded his 15th Grammy award in 2009 for his album One Kind Favor. He was also inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rolling Stone magazine placed him behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.





vegas-world-unity-reggae.jpgReggae/dancehall artiste Mr Vegas has ceased promotion of his dance single 'Hot Rice' which features popular dancer, Ova Marz. According to Mr Vegas, dancehall duo Voicemail has already released a version of 'Hot Rice', and it wouldn't be fair to release his version after the fact.

Following Mr Vegas' decision to end promotion of the single, he has also recorded another version of the song called Give Thanks For Life, without the vocals of Ova Marz.

"Ova Marz and I did the original Hot Rice song together on a rhythm for Arif Copper called Success & Strive. After that, I found out that he had recorded other Hot Rice songs with other artistes including Voicemail. As a matter of fact, he and Voicemail also did a video for their song and started to promote it. It cost a lot of money to shoot a video and promote a song, and since Voicemail had already began promoting their Hot Rice song and video, I decided to scrap my song with Ova Mars and allow them to do their thing." Mr Vegas said.

Ova Marz was seemingly disappointed with Mr Vegas' action.

"It's all about unity, love and sharing that joy. When a dance is hot, you have more than one song. I never know that all of a sudden you have unlimited amount of songs that an artiste can do. When a dance is hot, Ele do a song, Voicemail do a song, and Mr Vegas does a song.

"It was always about fun and all the songs rotate. These artistes are people that I have worked with already and they know my talent, so I can't stop artistes from doing songs to my dances ... . I just think this is not something that's good for the business and us as co-workers in the music industry ... I am on my Europe tour and when I was told about this action, I felt very hurt inside because I am all about love and unity," he said, seemingly upset.

Ova Marz has collaborted with both Mr Vegas and Voicemail in the past.

When contacted, Kevyn V of Voicemail said that Mr Vegas' action was petty.

"It's a dance and if you want to sing a song about dancing, it does not matter. We and Ding Dong did a song for Shampoo dance move and he also did his own song for Shampoo. To me, what Mr Vegas did is petty. A million people sing songs about gyal, gun, bad mind among other things. So are you going to avoid those topics as well? This strange to mi," he laughed.

Kevyn V also believes Mr Vegas should have allowed the fans to decide which version of the song they wanted to hear.





Corrupt St Thomas cop to be sentenced

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A policeman was today convicted for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act when he appeared in the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court.

Sergeant Glenford Campbell, who was assigned to the Cedar Valley Police Station in St Thomas, was convicted on one count of soliciting and two counts of accepting.

Reports are that on October 29, 2011, Campbell was on patrol duty in the Cedar Valley community when he cited a motorist for breaches of the Road Traffic Act.

He then corruptly solicited and accepted an undetermined sum of money in order not to prosecute the motorist.

A report was made to Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency and Campbell was arrested and charged on November 4, 2011 with four counts of breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act.

He's to be sentenced on June 17.





court.jpgThe two suspects who were arrested and charged in connection with last month's quadruple murder in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon are to face the court next week.

In custody are, 27-year-old Jermaine Turner and his sister, 21-year-old Sabrina Corrier both of Canaan Heights, May Pen, Clarendon.

Turner was charged with four counts of murder, robbery with aggravation and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition, while Corrier was charged with receiving stolen property.

They are to appear before the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Last month, 14-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 then, the three boys were walking along the roadway about 9:00 pm when two armed men, who forced them onto Hamilton's premises, pounced them upon. The men then allegedly demanded money and phones from them, however, their demands were not met.

The four were subsequently shot.





Jamaica to receive additional area code

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jamaica-area-code.jpgWithin the next seven months Jamaica will have a new area code to add to the current 876 code.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

The agency is finalising the number to be used for the code with the North American numbering plan administrators.

Reports are that service providers are assigned numbers in batches of 10 thousand and are now running out of these issued numbers.

This has triggered the need to create the new area code to give the service providers additional numbers.





With Clarendon still reeling from the brutal execution style murder of three teenagers last month, the parish was given another shocker when three teenage boys were caught red-handed having a threesome.

The three, two from a prominent high school in May Pen and the other a recent graduate, were literally caught with their pants down on the grounds of the Denbigh showground in May Pen, THE WEEKEND STAR understands. It is understood that the three displayed their sexual dexterity before a mob held and gave them a proper beating.

However, amid the melee, all three boys escaped, minus their clothes, after running away and jumping the wall of a nearby school.A source at the May Pen police confirmed hearing about the incident, but said no official report has been made.

"Me say, suppose you see the three nasty boy dem how dem look good. Suppose you see the size dem weh them have?

"Dem should a still a get the beating," a female exclaimed with disgust in reaction to the incident. Them say dem man deh fast, but a me fi tell you, dem yah boy faster than Bolt."

According to information reaching The Weekend Star, the man who made the discovery was walking through the Jamaica Agricultural Society-owned property, when he heard suspicious sounds coming from an isolated area of the expansive showground. Inquisitively, he went to investigate and got the shock of his life.

An alarm was raised and a mob quickly converged on the showground and went in pursuit of the three teenage boys.

After accosting the boys, the mob began pelting them with all forms of improvised weapons, before the boys managed to escape.





Funeral service for Toya May 24

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toya-photo-1.jpgThe funeral for dancehall artiste Toya, the wife of CEO of Down Sound Records Josef Bogdanovich is set to take place on Sunday, May 24.

Toya, who was ailing for some time, died from diabetic complications while in the United States, on Thursday May 7.

"I believe that the funeral is going to be huge, today I am talking to family members to make the final arrangements with the funeral home. There will be a procession in Washington Gardens where Toya lived, and the ni-night will be held there," Bogdanovich said.

According to reports, Bogdanovich said Toya's condition was kept private in an effort for their family to remain positive.

He added that efforts to get a kidney donor was successful, and she was to have the transplant operation in June.





buju-banton-photo-8.jpgWayne Golding, a Florida-based Jamaican attorney, believes Buju Banton's deal with the US Government could result in him being released before the scheduled 2019. This conclusion is based on his analysis of the factors involved in Buju's case.

News emerged yesterday that the legal team for Buju Banton (Mark Myrie) agreed to stop filing appeals in the matter, in exchange for the US government stopping its pursuit of a pending gun charge, which could have added five more years to his sentence. Buju was convicted in February 2011.

Mr Golding, speaking on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, said that because of the new agreement, the door has been opened for the possibility of a reduced sentence. He also outlined the other factors to consider, including credit for time spent.

Meanwhile, Mr Golding has praised Buju's decision to come to an agreement with the US government. He argues that, based on analysis of the costs and time involved, everyone should benefit. He explained that while Buju could have won the appeal the government could have also refiled the charged so in the end it was an excellent move.





kanye-kim-photo-1.jpgMay 24 will mark the one year wedding anniversary of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who walked down the aisle in a lavish ceremony in Italy in front of hundreds of onlookers.

And for their first anniversary the rapper has another grand scheme in mind.

The 37-year-old singer will take his 34-year-old reality star wife to the Eiffel Tower in Paris where the two will renew their vows, according to UsWeekly.

'Kanye is planning something extravagant for them,' a source told the weekly.

The Stronger hit maker is renting out the Eiffel Tower in Paris where family will help them celebrate, it was claimed.

It was not reported who would be there, but it is likely that the whole clan will come.That includes momager Kris Jenner, 59, Kourtney, 36, Khloe, 30, as well as models Kendall Jenner, 19 and Kylie, 17. And cameras for E!'s Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which has been filming in LA nonstop for months, will also likely be in attendance.

It remains to be seen if celebrity pals such as John Legend and Chrissy Teigen will be by the couple's side.

The tower's restaurant, 58 Tour Eiffel, is booked that night for a private event, the magazine noted.

The trip is fitting as the two have said they first fell in love in France. The city is also where they have taken in many fashion shows over the years. And it is where they had their pre-wedding party in 2014.





'Arts In The Park' for Hope Gardens Sunday

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arts-in-the-park.jpgA vibrant showcase of Jamaican dance, ranging from traditional folk forms to contemporary dancehall, will be on display when the fourth staging of 'Arts in the Park' gets underway at 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston.

The 'Arts in the Park'- Dance Edition is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in association with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. It forms part of an ongoing effort by the Ministry to develop the local entertainment industry and give artistes international exposure.

The event will be free to the public and will feature individuals and dance companies. In addition to a great afternoon of dance, the family event will also include exhibits by local manufacturers and a food court.

One of the main objectives of 'Arts in the Park' is to provide business opportunities for local creative practitioners to network with international booking agents and talent scouts. To this end noted international intermediaries have been invited to network with the dancers, including Ms. Virginie Mecene, Artistic Director, Graham 2 and Director Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance; Mr. Troy Powell, Artistic Director, Ailey II; Ms. Fatima Wilson, Head of Commercial & Dance, Bloc NYC; Dr. Barry Burch of Dance Africa and Tanisha Scott, MTV nominated Choreographer for Beyonce, Rihanna and Sean Paul.

A contingent of Entertainment Managers from local hotels will also be in attendance in an effort to expose them to the wealth of dance talent available to perform on the hotel circuit as well as to strengthen the linkages between Jamaica's entertainment and hospitality sectors.





Band moves on from Konshens

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konshens-photo-4.jpgReggae artiste A-Game, former lead singer of Di Blueprint Band, has split from the Konshens-led Subkonshus record label.

According to A-Game, he and members of his band have acted as Konshens' backup players for several months, however, they are not being given the respect they deserve by the label.

"I was a part of the camp as a solo act who was not officially signed and also the lead singer of the band that was contracted to be the supporting acts for Konshens, with further plans to establish the group as an artiste.

"The decision to leave the camp was as a result of recognising the lack of respect and value for our time and efforts in supporting the camp and helping to take Konshens' career to the next level that would in turn, build us as artistes," he said.

A-Game hinted that he and band members had a confrontation with Konshens recently, however, it was not physical.

"We were dedicated to that through producing, recording, touring and supporting him on the road. Even though on countless instances we suffered from lack of communication and Konshens' mentality of 'unuh need me, mi nuh need unuh'.

"We decided to take a stand against that when recently, one particular incident of neglect and disloyalty occurred and we ended up in a toe-to-toe situation where we didn't back down, and instead of dealing with the situation as a leader, he was more concerned with the fact that we weren't in the position to address him a certain way," A-Game said.

The artiste said he and the band members turned down several opportunities in an attempt to show their loyalty to Subkonshus records. He also wants to be exempted from being labelled as disloyal. A-Game is the second artiste to have parted ways with Konshens since last year. However, A-Game said his situation is unfortunate.

"It is sad that people can't put aside ego to make good things happen when they see value and worth, but as for me, A-Game, I know my value and worth and it's the same for my friends Vern and Elly B.

"We all stood together in making this decision. If people can't respect, value and appreciate your presence, they will have to deal with your absence," he said.

Di Blueprint Band was hailed as the best new band in the world in 2012 after winning the Global Battle of the Bands title in London. A-Game is promoting his mixtape released last year as well as singles We Goin Hard produced by Notis Production and No Time Fi Badmind produced by Vern and Elly B of the band.





Tifa flies high at Red Bull event

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tifa-no-no-no.jpgDJ Madout's hyped introduction of dancehall artiste Tifa at Sunday's staging of the Red Bull Music Academy Yardcore Brooklyn Bashment in New York was enough to send the crowd comprising mainly Asians and Caucasians into overdrive.

And the artiste known for last year's crossover Billboard hit Bak It Up certainly lived up to expectations. Armed with old and new hits and freestyles, Tifa took patrons to dancing class with choreographed moves and routines.

"It was daytime! Fun! It was a mixed crowd persons from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. I took back to school with dancing," Tifa said.

With a set spanning just half hour, Tifa reeled off well-known songs which saw patrons singing along word for word. New singles were also well received by the crowd. This is the second Red Bull Academy event at which Tifa has performed. She performed at Red Bull Culture Clash in New York two years ago.

Tifa recently shot the video for Tip Fi Di Strip, which has been getting positive feedback on radio. The song was produced by Dre Day and shot at Chai studios and the BMW/Stewart Automotive showroom. The video features the brand new 2015 BMW M4. She recently recorded the song Rock My Body (produced by Dre Skull of Mixpak Records) which is featured on the Black Light rhythm. The song has been featured in Fader magazine. Other upcoming releases include Ratings Tall on the Let's Rock rhythm from ZJ Chrome.

Other performers at the Red Bull Music Academy Yardcore Brooklyn Bashment event included Kranium, Assassin, aka Agent Sasco, Ricky Blaze and sound systems King Jammys, Federation, and Mixpak sound.





Dexta Daps pleads not guilty

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dexta-daps-arrest.jpgEntertainer Louis Grandison popularly known as Dexta Daps, pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting the police during an incident at the Sangster International Airport last month.

Grandison and his driver, Eason Richards appeared before the Montego Bay Criminal Court on charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, obstructing the police, resisting arrest and using indecent language.

Defence attorney Peter Champagnie urged prosecutors to review the case to determine whether they will be pursuing the matter based on statements given by the police involved in the case.

The artiste and his driver will return to court on June 9.

It's reported that on April 27, the police were issuing a ticket to the entertainer's driver at the airport for illegal parking when Dexta Daps intervened.

This led to a physical struggle between the police and the artiste, which was captured on video.





Lawyer Don Foote arrested

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don-foote.jpgAttorney-at-law Don Foote was this morning arrested and charged with fraud.

He was offered station bail in the sum of J$1 million.

Court date has been set for May 26.





Detectives attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) have charged two men after they were allegedly found in possession of batteries belonging to telecommunications operators.

The batteries were stolen from cell sites in St. Ann, Westmoreland, St. James and Trelawny, and were valued at $9 million. It's reported that on April 29 C-TOC conducted an operation in Farm Town, St. Ann, which resulted in the recovery of 38 radio base station batteries. This led to the arrest of 37 year old scrap metal dealer Cassius Campbell, of Farm.

Last Saturday, another operation was carried out in Darliston, Westmoreland and 43 batteries were reportedly recovered. Hensley Johnson, a 52 year old businessman, was arrested.

Mr. Campbell and Mr. Johnson were charged with receiving stolen property.





Several activities planned for Child Month

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Several activities have been planned to celebrate Jamaica's children during Child Month in May.

The month was officially launched on April 15, at GraceKennedy's downtown Kingston offices, under the theme: 'Children Safety and Security -Our Priority'.

The occasion was also used as a soft launch for Dr. Jimmy Cliff's latest single titled 'Children,' which will be used as the theme song for Child Month.

The National Child Month Committee (NCMC) kicked off the scheduled activities with a Church Service on Sunday, May 3, at Webster's Memorial Church, 53 Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston,

National Children's Day will be observed this Friday, May 15. On this day parents, teachers, guardians and caregivers, are encouraged to celebrate their children by doing something special for them.

On Friday, June 26, the Youth Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards ceremony will be held to recognise students, who attend non-traditional high schools and have overcome great odds to achieve outstanding results at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) level. For the first time, a National Day of Prayer and Fasting will be observed on Wednesday, May 27 at the Faith Chapel Apostolic Ministries, 1 Renfield Avenue, Kingston 20.

"This is a time when we unite to request God's intervention in our affairs as individuals, as families and as a nation," said Chair of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings.

The month's activities will culminate with Action Day on Friday, May 29, where children are encouraged to give back to their communities.

"The day creates an opportunity for schools, clubs, church groups and the individual child to do something for their community, thus promoting good values and community spirit," Dr. Mullings said.

Organised by the NCMC, Child Month activities are sponsored by GraceKennedy, which has been associated with the Committee for over 30 years.

Other supporters include National Continental Corporation and the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

Child Month was first celebrated in May, 1953, under the patronage of Lady Foote, wife of the then Governor.

Some of the major objectives of the NCMC are: to heighten public awareness of the many issues and challenges negatively affecting the development of children and of steps that can be taken to address some of the issues and effectively meet the challenges; and to mobilise resources and facilitate action to support children-focused programmes.





A 61-year-old dreadlocked man was yesterday arrested and charged after allegations surfaced that he sexually molested two minors who are sisters in Clarendon.

According to a police source, the suspect has been slapped with two counts of sexual molestation of a nine-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister. The suspect is booked to appear in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court today.

It is alleged that the suspect over time won the trust of the girls' family and began frequenting their home. It is reported that he sexually molested the girls after gaining the family's trust.

"Obviously, he got access to the girls because, overtime, he became a trusted person by the family. But he seems to have betrayed the family's trust with the alleged sexual molestation of the two sisters," an officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Statistics from the Office of the Children's Registry show in 2007 there were 121 reported cases of child sexual abuse, which by 2014 stood at some 3,386 new cases. Of the figures released, 59 per cent are girls, while the remaining 41 per cent are boys, the report shows.





us-olympic-team.jpg

The entire United States 4x100m relay team have been stripped of their London 2012 Olympic silver medals as a consequence of Tyson Gay's drugs ban. Former 100m and 200m world champion Gay was suspended for a year after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

The 32-year-old returned his London 2012 medal when his suspension was announced in May 2014.

Now the International Olympic Committee has told US Olympic bosses that the whole team must return their medals. The American team finished second in London's Olympic Stadium behind Jamaica, who were anchored by Usain Bolt on their way to a new world record.

Gay and his team-mates set a new US record with their time of 37.04 seconds.

If the medals are reallocated, Trinidad and Tobago - who finished third in 38.12 seconds - would be awarded silver. Fourth-placed France would take the bronze instead.





6 dead in Amtrack train crash

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philly-train-wreck.jpgAt least five persons are dead, following the derailment of an Amtrak train headed to New York City on Tuesday evening.

The derailment took place in Philadelphia, as train 188, a Northeast Regional, traveling from Washington, D.C., was going into a deep turn.

The front of the train has been described by eyewitnesses as "mangled."

Many of the injured passengers have been taken to area hospitals.

The area where the derailment occurred is known as Frankford Junction and has a big curve.

The cause of the crash is not yet known.





Lupita Nyong'o rules Cannes red carpet

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lupita.jpgLupita Nyong'o has only been a staple on step-and-repeats for a couple of short years, but the actress brings endless charm to what could be a dull and repetitive gig. Her fashions are always interesting, from her red Ralph Lauren cape moment to that pirate-inspired Prada ensemble she wore to the 2014 Met Ball. But it's her seemingly favorite silhouette, a deep V-neck dress with full pleated skirt, that's pure magic. Every time she's worn this similarly cut kind of dress, she's twirled and whirled the flimsy fabric to the delight of photographers and the Internet's enthusiastic meme makers alike.

For her Oscars debut, the Best Supporting Actress winner wore a custom light blue silk Prada gown that reminded her of Nairobi. With a diamond Fred Leighton headband, the look - and her theatrics - gave off major Cinderella vibes.

A year later, she wore a striped Elie Saab dress to the Screen Actor's Guild Awards. Taking a cue from the heaps of attention she received for her previous posing, she copied her own signature move.

Then, because you can never get enough of Nyong'o pirouetting in a pleated dress, she gave the crowd exactly what they were hoping for when she showed up on the first day of the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival. She once again performed in a custom Gucci gown-her stylist, Micaela Erlanger, described it as grasshopper green-with bell sleeves and floral embellishments on the shoulders and belt.





Bogdanovich committed to Downsound

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joe-bogdanovich-skatta.jpgAccording to an article in the Star, Josef Bogdanovich is committed to Downsound Records.IT reports that a few months ago, Joseph Bogdanovich had his Downsound Records artiste Ishawna nominated in several categories of the Youth View Awards.

For the event, Bogdanovich ordered a stunning dress from the United States for a few thousand US dollars for the dynamic young artiste.

He then took her to the awards show in fine style - in a limousine and with police escort. This is just one of the examples of Joe Bogdanovich's commitment to his artistes and his company, Downsound Records.

But it didn't end there. Bogdanovich left the awards show and went to Tivoli Gardens to support his young artiste, Don Husky, in his home town at a 'boat ride' in the community.

Bogdanovich recently changed his hat as executive music producer and donned one as music video director, to direct the video for Ishawna's hot new single Cheerful Giver, produced by ZJ Liquid on his Fix Up rhythm.

Scenes were shot at Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records, Famous Nightclub, The Jamaica Pegasus hotel and several other locations in Kingston. Bogdanovich locked down the Famous Nightclub for several hours on a Thursday night, brought in his own lighting and cast of actors, which included lots of young women. Present on the scene were young artiste Masicka and veteran selector Sky Juice.

Ironically, Bogdanovich had to shoot for two weeks at the nightclub.

At one point, he actually walked off the set because several of the cast members had not arrived on time, so he made a statement by walking off the set to show how serious he is about his work.

Meanwhile, Ishawna is again nominated for some local awards, this time in the 2015 Star People's Choice Awards, where she is nominated in two categories, Female DJ of the Year and Best Dressed Female Artiste of the Year.

At the same time, reggae artiste Nature is about to embark on a major tour in Europe after Bogdanovich sealed the deal. He will be overseeing the entire tour to make sure that his artiste is comfortable. The tour is to promote his upcoming album, which Bogdanovich hand-picked songs for. Dean Fraser, Jon Fx and Wayne Jobson are among the producers of the album.

While Bogdanovich is the leader of the Downsound Records, his supporting cast, inclusive of producers, administration, marketing and security personnel, songwriters and the street team, is just as important.

Some names that come readily to mind are Cordel 'Skatta' Burrell (production), Sean 'Contractor' Edwards (marketing), Roger Maxwell (video editor), Leemour Palmer (security), Ava Rowe (secretary), Barrington Daley (accounting), Andre Smalling (bodyguard), among others.





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marcia-griffiths-photos-3-wider.jpgAfter over a year of performing the Marcia Griffiths' and Friends World Tour, veteran Reggae artiste Marcia Griffiths is now quite perturbed as events slated for England this week face imminent postponement.

The four shows slated from May 14-17, at the O2 Academy venues in Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and London have hit a standstill, as most of the necessary artistes arrangements have not been made to date.

"I've never experienced anything like this; I've never disappointed any audience especially in London because they have always showed love to me from the years of Bob and Marcia. The Promoter, Malinnga Tejan-Sie kept dragging his feet and now we have discovered that no flights, or accommodations had been taken care of." Marcia shared earlier today in a release to the media.

The Promoters of the event, Mandinka Ltd led by Malinnga Tejan-Sie, had allegedly collected funds from the actual venue company, AMG Events, but did not use these funds for the intended purposes: artiste deposits, flights, accommodations and the required work permits.

"We have been communicating with Malinnga for weeks and he kept telling us that everything is fine and that we would be flying to England on May 10. We still could not get actual confirmations of flights and accommodations and were then contacted by AMG Events themselves, this is when we found out that the company was under the impression that all deposits were paid over to us by the promoter and that we were on route to England." Marcia added

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Set to perform on Marcia Griffiths and Friends are; Bob Andy, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Tanya Stephens with a special appearance from Richie Spice. All four major artistes on the tour were prepared to make adjustment and forgo outstanding deposits to salvage the events; but with work permits not receiving the priority payments to expedited the processing and passports for the team, and actual musicians from the 809 band still in the custody of the UK Embassy overseas, performing this week is no longer a possibility.

Extremely saddened by these occurrences, Marcia wants her fans in England to be aware of what has transpired and understand that the artistes made every effort to appear.

"When these things happen the artistes get blamed and branded 'no shows', this affects my brand and my name and so I really want everyone to know what has happened in this instance" Marcia Explained "We are looking into postponing until a later date as these events were being well promoted and patrons have been purchasing tickets for the shows".

Joe Splain, a representative from AMG in England, also gave insight into what transpired "Malinnga deceived us and misled the artistes, this is disrespectful to Reggae music, the lovers of the music and the amazing artistes themselves. We are now looking at getting this situation properly sorted and making the rescheduled tour dates bigger and better, we are no longer working with Mandinka Ltd or Malinnga himself and he will not be involved in the re-staging of the tour. We ask patrons to retain their tickets as they will still be valid for the new dates, we will be making those new dates available soon."

This isn't the first time Mandinka Ltd has failed to execute the Marcia Griffiths and Friend tour in England. The tour was originally slated for September 2014 but had been postponed after the promoter was unable to secure adequate financial backing.





PICA offers 3-day service at Mo Bay convention

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pica-pasport.jpgThe Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will be offering a three-day passport service at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference from June 13 to 18, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

"Because it is a short week ... if someone comes on Monday they can get back their passport on Wednesday; though our standard service is for seven days," director of customer service at PICA, Lesline Chisholm, told JIS News in an interview.

PICA will also have an immigration officer on location to facilitate processing of immigration documents, offer information and citizenship services to patrons.

"We are having a full-house service and we are looking forward to having members of our diaspora there, and we are really excited about it," she said.

The services will be offered as part of the Government at Your Service 'One Stop Shop' feature of the conference. This feature is a collaboration of public-sector agencies offering attendees fast-tracked government services.

The forum is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in collaboration with the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Members, key community persons and diaspora community groups, under the theme 'Jamaica and the diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity'.

This year, the conference promises to be bigger and better, with the organisers anticipating a robust turnout of diaspora members.





A man who attempted to extort a complainant for the return of a dog was remanded yesterday in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. He is to face sentencing on Friday.

Charged with extortion is Luke Green. He pleaded guilty to the offence. The accused was held on a warrant after failing to return to court last year.

The court heard that Green requested a Samsung Galaxy S4 in order for the safe return of a dog. Green will be sentenced on May 15.

A fingerprint order was also made against the accused.





barack-obama-bob-marley-centre.jpgActivities related to United States president Barack Obama's visit to Jamaica in April cost Jamaica at least $270 million, preliminary estimates have revealed.

Minister with responsibility for information, Sandrea Falconer, made the announcement on Wednesday at the post-Cabinet press briefing.

She said nearly $208 million was spent on road rehabilitation, and more than $66.5 million on events associated with the visit.

Government conducted feverish road repairs and beautification activities in preparation for Obama's visit, which locked down Kingston and St Andrew for almost one day.





Jamaican top gangsta held in the US

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dudus.jpgA man described as one of Jamaica's top tier gangsters, was held in the US recently, police have confirmed.

Michael Headley, otherwise called 'Dudus', of Salt Pond Road, Spanish Town, St Catherine, was reportedly held with two other persons, Mead Myrie and Kevon Maitland. All three are wanted for various crimes including murder, police said.

The police said Headley was captured through the collaborative efforts of the The National Strategic Anti-Gang Unit (NSAGU) and its international law enforcement partners.

Headley, police said, is a known member of the Klansman Gang - which operates in Spanish Town, St Catherine and its environs. He was fingered in the 2013 gun murder of Ballington Morris.

The three are to be deported to Jamaica, after which local detectives will pursue several matters against them, particularly under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act.

Since the passing of the legislation a little over a year ago, more than 130 persons have been charged.





vybz-kartel-prison.jpgAccording to Music News, they have been reliably informed that Kartel is currently in the process of retaining a legal team to apply for an appeal.

A source close to the entertainer tells Music News that Vybz Kartel is anxious and concerned about the information which surfaced during the trial involving juror misconduct.

Accused juror Livingston Cain is currently on trial for allegedly trying to bribe the forewoman and other members of the jury. During his ongoing trial, it was understood that two members of the jury worked for the Jamaica Defense Force while another two are believed to be neighbors.

One attorney who is already on the deejay's legal team reveals to Music News that the transcript of Vybz Kartel's trial is practically ready, hinting that they will make an appeal before the year ends.

Conspiracy by the state against the dancehall deejay is part of the defense's argument going forward.

But with the case so heavily publicized, what is the likelihood of Vybz Kartel getting a fair trial in Jamaica?

Kartel is currently serving a life sentence at hard labour after being convicted for murder last year April.





94-year-old man finally finishes college

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diploma.jpgA 94-year-old man will be one of the oldest graduates in the history of West Virginia University when he receives his diploma Sunday.

The school says in a press release that Anthony Brutto, who studied on and off for 75 years, will be awarded his Regents Bachelor of Arts degree during commencement.

Brutto first entered the university in 1939 when tuition was $50. He was drafted in 1942, serving in the Army Air Corps until the end of World War II.

Brutto re-enrolled at the school in 1946, but could not finish because he had to care for his sick wife.

A machinist by trade, Brutto says graduating from college was always important to him. He jokingly says he'll take a break before pursuing a master's degree.





kanye-west-photo-3.jpgKanye West and Nicki Minaj have been added to the list of performers for Sunday's Billboard Music Awards.

Dick clark productions also announced Tuesday that Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth will perform their No. 1 hit remembering actor Paul Walker, "See You Again," at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Imagine Dragons will pay tribute to the late Ben E. King by singing "Stand by Me," and Minaj will perform her latest hit with David Guetta, "Hey Mama."

Previously announced performers include Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, Ed Sheeran, Nick Jonas, Van Halen, Meghan Trainor, Little Big Town with Faith Hall and "Empire" cast members Jussie Smollett and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray.

Taylor Swift is the top nominee with 14.

The show will air on ABC starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Gully Bop strikes a pose with Shauna Chin (fiancée/ manager) and Pantason prior to departing Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay

Gully Bop is still enjoying his newfound fame via his whirlwind, "Rags To Riches Tour".

After success in Canada, he is now in Brussels for the very first time. Gully Bop will kick off a month-long tour throughout several European countries including Belgium, Switzerland, France, Austria, Netherlands, Germany and Norway.

"Me well excited and feel good. So much new places me a reach, and nuff people a see Gully bop live and in living color. Every week me in a different place a perform. Me dreams come true! Long time me a try and want to experience this," Gully Bop said.

The artiste visited Canada last week for the first time and was able to pull off a number of sold-out shows in cities such as Niagara Falls, Toronto and Oshawa. He returns to Canada in August for the annual Jambana One World Festival.

Gully Bop, whose given name is Robert Lee Malcolm, reemerged after over a decade of obscurity under the moniker, Country Man. Back in the 1990's he was a promising act performing on festivals such as Sting and Reggae Sunsplash under the management of Supreme Promotions' Isaiah Laing.





OMI issues 'Cheerleader' challenge

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omi-cheerleader.jpgJamaican Entertainer OMI used social media to issue a challenge, the cheeleader challenge.

"Show me how you sing or dance to "Cheerleader"! Upload your video to Vine, Instagram or YouTube with the hashtag ?#?MyCheerleader? and I'll be sharing my favorites," said OMI on social media.

OMI burst on to the music scene back in 2012 with the song, Cheerleader, released by Oufah Records.





joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgJust days after Joe Bogdanovich's wife, Toya, passed away, he was caught 'partying it up' in the club with dancehall artiste, Ishawna. During Ishawana's performance at a party called, Blitz in a Florida nightclub, the duo got down and dirty on stage for all to see.

However, Claude Mills, a publicist for Downsound Records, says it's part of Ishawana's performance to pull members of the audience onto the stage.

"Ishawna pulled Bogdanovich onto the stage mid-way through her performance and though Joe was reluctant to go, he went ,given that he is in the business of entertainment," said Mills .

"He is still in morning for his wife of thirteen years , whom he loved dearly, "added the Downsound Record publicist.

Bogdanovich's wife, Toya passed away on May 7, in the United States after succumbing to diabetes related complications.

Bogdanovich is the CEO of Downsound Records.





High level resignation at NCB

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national-commercial-bank.jpgA senior manager at National Commercial Bank (NCB) has resigned with immediate effect. Senior Assistant General Manager, Group Facilities & Services, Major Ffrench Campbell, tendered his resignation on Friday.

Major Campbell resigned after an investigation by the bank revealed a connection to an individual of a company involved in the construction of NCB's financial centre on Constant Spring Road. That project, which was launched in October 2013, has missed its completion deadline and has faced cost overruns.

It's understood that Campbell failed to declare what has been described as "connected party status". There are also reports that the bank is investigating allegations that several other contracts were awarded to the Kingston based construction company.

When contacted Senior General Manager Group Human Resources, Rickert Allen, confirmed the resignation. Allen however declined to divulge the reason behind Major Campbell's departure.





Freak storm raises the roof in St. Elizabeth

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A freak storm left a trail of destruction across several communities in sections of St Elizabeth, including Carisbrooks, Providence and adjoining areas.

Residents have been trying to clear fallen trees and other debris. A house in Carisbrooks lost its roof while several other buildings lost sheets of zinc. In Providence several buildings suffered roof damage while ashop lost its roof.

Agriculture produce including bananas, yams and other fruit trees in both communities were also damaged.

Residents in the affected communities are calling for the authorities to carry out a speedy assessment of the damage caused by the freak-storm.





janiel-morgan-missing.jpgEighteen-year-old Janiel Morgan, the cousin of Jamaican 400-metre runner Ricardo Chambers who was reported missing, was found in St Mary on Sunday and has been safely returned home.

Chambers made the announcement via social media on Sunday evening.

"Thanks to everyone who share and help spread the Amber alert out for my little cousin The st Mary Police find her in St Mary she now safe and on her way home," Chambers said in a post on Instagram.

Morgan went missing in Kingston on Friday, after she left her home for school.

Chambers received a lot of support in spreading the message from several fellow athletes such as Warren Weir and Michael Frater.

Weir expressed his happiness at the news on Instagram.

"Give thanks @chamberschamp cousin is home safe Blessed be the most High," Weir said.

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peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgNational Security Minister, Peter Bunting, says amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, resulting in decriminalization of specified quantities of ganja, are "most fundamental and far-reaching."

He underscored this point while addressing a community meeting in Orange Hill, Western Westmoreland recently, to discuss the provisions of the new ganja legislation.

Bunting noted that for "decades", the possession of small quantities of ganja has caused "friction" between the police and residents.

"Communities saw young men who they did not regard as criminals being arrested, fined, and, sometimes, sentenced for possession of ganja. It gave them criminal records ... eventually limiting their life chances," he noted.

The Minister said, against this background, the current administration took the decision to de-criminalize possession of small quantities of ganja, while initiating a licensing regime for medical and medicinal research.

"Since about September last year, when those new guidelines (were initiated), we have had over 1,000 fewer persons arrested and charged for ganja every single month since (then). Since the beginning of this year, to date, relative to last year, we have had about 5,000 fewer persons charged, which makes an enormous difference ... as I believe that the police must use their (resources and energy) going after the real problems in crime, such as...violence... which should remain their primary priority," he argued.





Asafa is back! Elaine Thompson has arrived

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asafa-powell-photo-1.jpgFormer world 100 metre record holder Asafa Powell has announced he is back and new sprint sensation Elaine Thompson has announced she has arrived.Both Jamaicans were the undoubted stars on Saturday night at the 12th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational Meet, an IAAF World Challenge event.

Powell in a rare appearance in Jamaica, and returning to full bloom after a positive doping test and a break up with long time coach Stephen Francis, blazed the National Stadium track in a world leading 9.84 seconds to win the men's 100 metres to rapturous cheers and applause to a near capacity crowd at the 30,000 seat stadium.

Powell and former MVP club mate Nesta Carter left the blocks in tandem, with Carter slightly ahead. But when Powell emerged from the drive phase, he simply lifted those knees and turned on the after burners to win impressively with lots to spare ahead of American pariah in Jamaica, Ryan Bailey, who was timed in 9.93 seconds. Carter was third in 9.98 secs. Bailey had to endure sustained boos from the crowd following his throat slitting gesture in the Bahamas last week when the USA beat Jamaica with Usain Bolt in the men's sprint relay final.

Thompson who ran a world leading 10.92 secs on April 11 at the Utech Classic, to emerge as a credible threat to all the big guns for this summer's World Championships, again showed she has it.

elaine-thompson.jpgThompson got a dynamic start and streaked way to beat a quality field in 10.97 secs ahead of Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare 11.05 secs and American Allyson Felix 11.09 secs. Thompson is now firmly in the mix with Veronica Campbell Brown and Kerron Stewart to make Jamaica's team at next month's trials for the world championships. Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce has a bye for both 100 and 200 metres, being the defending champion.

American Jasmin Stowers was smooth and brilliant to win the women's sprint hurdles in a meet record 12.39 secs ahead of sisters Danielle Williams 12.77 secs and Shermaine 12.89 secs.The men's 110 metre high hurdles was won by American Aleec Harris in a meet record 13.16 secs. He beat compatriot Jeff Porter into second in 13.36 secs and Mikel Thomas 3rd in 13.44 secs.

Another American Bershawn Jackson, 48.47 secs, won the men's 400 metre hurdles ahead of Jamaica's Leford Green 49.22 and Bahamian Jeffrey Gibson 49.42 secs. The women's equivalent went to American Kori Carter 55.12 secs ahead of Jamaica's Janieve Russell 55.29 secs and Tiffany Porter (USA) in 55.35 secs.

Saudi Arabia's Yousef Al-Masral was sublime in establishing a meet record 44.59 secs to a hotly contested men's 400 metres ahead of Olympic and World Champion LaShawn Merritt 44.80 secs and Jamaica's Javon "Donkey Man" Francis third in a personal best 44.90 secs. America, by way of Jamaica Sanya Richards Ross, ran a world leading 49.95 secs to win the women's 400 metres. She finshed ahead of Francena McCorory 50.73 secs and Stephanie Ann McPherson 50.98 secs.

The women's 200 metres was won in fine style by Bahamian Shauntae Miller in a world leading 22.14 secs defeating Tori Bowie 22.29 and World Champion Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce 22.37 secs. The men's equivalent was won by Nickel Ashmeade in 20.25 secs ahead of Rasheed Dwyer 20.28 secs and Aaron Brown 20.30. Julian Forte was 4th in 20.39 secs.





tripple-a.jpgCrowd favourites, Devin Di Dakta and Tripple A, who walked away as the winners of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall finals on Saturday night at the Fisheries Car Park in downtown Kingston.

With the Ruff Kutt Band on stage, the right mood was set for the lyrical face-off with the top four contestants. There was high intensity when both Tripple A and Ffrench took the stage for their lyrical bout.

Despite her slip-up at the last staging, Tripple A still had her numerous supporters cheering her on even as Ffrench deejayed, "why mi haffi get a man fi clash?" There were some boos from sections of the audience as she attacked Tripple A's 'fluffy' appearance. Unbothered, Tripple A replied saying, "a mi appearance mi use fi defend me."

Tripple A even poked fun at herself noting that she forgot her lyrics before but it would not happen this time around. And, although she had a similar mishap right after uttering those words, Tripple A managed to regain her confidence and got 'forwards' in the process.

At the end of their clash, the judges - Miss Kitty, Professor Nuts, Skatta and guest judge Damion Crawford - all agreed that the clash ended in a tie.

But when Devin Di Dakta and Lava Vein took the stage, there were no questions about who would win. In a surgical manner, Devin gave Lava Vein no opportunity to recover from his lyrical onslaught, especially when he said, "A me di bwoy a call docta fish a because him girlfriend steam mi down this morning."





mirf-preflyer-bres-saw-shabba-cocoa-t.jpgMontreal is buzzing with excitement as organizers of the 12th annual Montreal International Reggae Festival announce four artists who will help them celebrate their 12th anniversary!

Dancehall Icon and Emperor Shabba Ranks, Lover's Rock Legend Beres Hammond, Dancehall Queen Lady Saw and Veteran Cocoa Tea have been confirmed as participants from Friday August 14th to Sunday August 16th, 2015 who will help the city of Montreal celebrate their love of good music.

Headlining the festivities on Friday August 14th is Beres Hammond. Best known for his smooth voice and hits like "I Feel Good," "Tempted to Touch" and "Rockaway," fans have requested his return after seeing him perform at the 2011 staging in which he had patrons dancing in the rain!

On Saturday August 15th, 2015, Shabba Ranks and Lady Saw bring Dancehall action to center stage. Both artists are seasoned veterans who have a career spanning more than 20 years; Shabba's includes an arsenal of hits such as "Caan Dun," "Gyal Yuh Good" and "Ting-a-Ling" while Lady Saw counters with "Man is The Least," "Sycamore Tree" and "Heels On." Dancehall night is going to be fire when these two Grammy Award winning artists take the stage!

True to MIRF tradition, Sunday (August 16th) is the day Reggae is celebrated. Headlining the fest is Cocoa Tea whose music is known by generations of fans who rate him as one of the best who performs in the genre. Hits like "Rikers Island," "Good Life" and "Pirates Anthem" (performed with Shabba Ranks) have been mainstays on the radio and fan favorites!

Tickets for the Montreal International Reggae Festival 2015 will go on sale today May 8 at noon, online only on: Ticketpro.ca (514-790-1111 / 1-866-908-9090 FREE FREE)

* Friday: $30 at the door
* Saturday: $65 in advance, $75 at the door
* Sunday: $55 in advance, $70 at the door
* Weekend pass for students: $120 in advance, limited quantities
* Weekend pass: $130 in advance, $160 at the door
* VIP Weekend pass: $300 advance purchase only, limited quantities

For more information: www.montrealreggaefest.com





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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (centre), with children from the Columbus Prep School in St. Ann, after she launched the Social Development Commission (SDC) Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP), in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on May 7.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, says she is taking a zero tolerance approach to the abuse of the nation's children.She warned that if the abuse continues, the Government will take a serious look at the laws which impact the lives of that group.

Addressing the launch of the Social Development Commission (SDC) Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP), in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on May 7, Mrs. Simpson Miller called on community members to unite in the fight against the scourge, which has been wreaking havoc among the population.

She also encouraged Jamaicans to return to the days of allowing communities to raise the nation's children, adding that they have a responsibility to give true meaning to the African proverb - 'it takes a village to raise a child'.

"We have a responsibility to the children. When communities are united, the children are protected, because they look out for the children and they are always interested in their well-being. I am making a special appeal to parents...be careful! If this abuse thing continues, we are going to have to strengthen the laws that impact the lives of our children. I am not going to stand for the abuse of any children anywhere in this country," the Prime Minister said.

"Communities across the country must now unite in the protection of our children. They are the future leaders of this country," she added.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said that if reports of children being abused persist, she will be dealing with them in a decisive way, as the children should be nurtured and protected, not abused.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister emphasised that developments in Jamaica should take place with the nation's children in mind. She lauded the SDC for its effort in community development, and called on all stakeholders to develop parks across the island for the children.

"The SDC was created to lead the way in the development of communities in Jamaica. Every programme that we develop should include the social and economic advancement of those people who live in those communities," the Prime Minister said.





carmax.jpgInvestigators say the fraud at CARMAX Jamaica has increased to more than J$230 million with customers still filing complaints with the police.

The cops have collected more than 140 statements from persons who reported that they gave CARMAX vehicles to sell, but have not received the proceeds.

CARMAX CEO, Darren Blake, has been charged with more than 80 counts of fraud.Investigators say they still want to question former CARMAX Director Ian Lyn, in the case. Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has again appealed to Lyn to report to the Division. Lyn is in the US and the local police have declared they will be applying to the authorities for his extradition.

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east-ruralst-andrew-fire.jpgA grim picture has emerged of wide scale destruction to the agricultural sector in communities in east rural St. Andrew following nine days of bush fires. The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) estimates losses to farmers at close to half a billion dollars. It will be writing to the Agriculture Ministry seeking emergency assistance to farmers.

JAS President,Senator Norman Grant, says large acres of coffee, banana, pineapple and vegetables went up in flames.

"It stretches across many many communities, Mavis Bank, Content, Lime Tree, Tower Hill, ... there was another fire down in Craighill and Robertsfield, just to name some of the communities."

He says the destruction follows last year's setback to the agricultural sector due to bush fires and the protracted dry spell. Grant added that it will be sometime for the coffee industry in east rural St. Andrew recovers from the massive fires.

"When the coffee trees have been devastated now, you're going to be loosing at least two to two and a half crops of production .....a coffee tree takes three years to come into production."

An urgent appeal is being made by residents for the trucking of water to communities affected by the fire. The residents say while electricity has been restored the taps remain dry.

According to Patrick Haughton a coffee farmer in Flamstead, the situation is dire as fire destroyed several containers used by residents to store domestic water.





riverton-fire-photo-1.jpgSpontaneous combustion has been cited as the cause of Saturday afternoon's small fire, which broke out at the Riverton City Dump.

According to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) it was extinguished in two hours and did not affect operations at the disposal site.

"It's really the heat .... It's similar to what's happening in Mavis Bank. It was small fire ..." said NSWMA chairman, Dennis Chung.

The agency says emergency measures have been implemented to deal with fires at the dump and these were partially tested during Saturday's fire.

Meanwhile, the Board of the NSWMA has established a sub-committee to assess the operational risks facing the dump.It will also review critical areas of operations.

"It is going to make recommendations - as to what are some of the things to be put in place in case of outbreaks of fires, garbage not being collected, things like that. It is also going to do an assessment as to what the resources are and if any efficiencies can be brought to the operations

He said the comprehensive review should be completed in three weeks and the public will be updated.





Cops seeking 4 person in major bank racket

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The Fraud Squad has named four persons of interest in connection with a major racket targeting some of the island's commercial banks. They are Damion Burton and Rohan Reid, both of Kingston 17 addresses; Andre Wallace of Four Path, Clarendon and Floyd Walters of a Kingston 13 address. They are being asked to report to the police by 9AM on Monday

A bank employee, said to be at the centre of the fraud, was charged on Friday.

Marlon Taylor, 32, a business development officer was charged with several counts of fraud totalling J$10-million. Investigators say the figure is expected to increase.

It's alleged that Taylor conspired with other persons to submit fictitious applications to several banks, seeking loans on behalf of persons purporting to be members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The financial institutions became suspicious and contacted the police.

It was discovered that the applicants were imposters.





Deaf Dance Festival May 13 at Little Theatre

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The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth & Culture continues to fulfill its mandate of unearthing, developing and showcasing the creative talent and expression of our people through the National Festival of the Performing Arts that is currently on at the Little Theatre.The National Final in the Performing Arts continues this Wednesday May 13 with the exciting Deaf Dance Competition, featuring various styles including Creative Folk, Modern Contemporary, Praise, Popular, Jazz and Dance Drama with dancers range from Juniors to Adults. The Deaf Dance Festival commences at 4 p.m.with tickets being sold at a cost of Adults $400, Children $200 and Students with ID $200.His Excellency David Fitton, the British High Commissioner will serve as patron of the Festival and will bring greetings before the performers wow the audience.Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the JCDC, Stephen Davidson, notes that "It is amazing each year to see how these performers move to the various rhythms. I am confident that those in attendance will be wowed and fully entertained at the Deaf Dance Festival." He also praised the teachers and coaches for the hard work that they put in each year in preparing the performers for this level of competition. The National Deaf Dance Competition was developed and implemented in 2006 for the hearing impaired. This annually staged programme seeks to sensitize the hearing impaired to dance forms, subsequently building ease and confidence in expressing themselves. The Competition encourages through movement, the development of a sense of rhythm, creative expression,communication of feelings, and building self-confidence. Residential workshops organized by the Commission for teachers of various hearing impaired institutions provide the necessary support mechanism for preparing their students for the Competition.

This event is sponsored by CHASE Fund, Digital Video Concept and Jamaica Association for the Deaf.





Konshens teams with LIME for school tour

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konshens-photo-5.jpgDancehall star Konshens has teamed up with Lime Jamaica to fulfill one of his many charity initiatives, 'Music to Fund a Cause'. Konshens is set to perform at five high schools throughout Jamaica in order to raise funds towards each school's specific initiative. Always ready to perform for a good cause, education is one thing Konshens holds dear to his heart.

"Education is something I take seriously but most importantly, I strongly believe every child must have access to the proper tools and health to attain a good education" says Konshens.

The first concert kicked off on May 6 at Konshens alma mater, Excelsior High school. The charitable initiative for Excelsior is to raise funds for the students Health & Hygiene Program at Excelsior. The program aims to upgrade the facilities at their high school and teach the students healthy lifestyle habits. Each high school will have their own initiative, which Konshens will assist in raising funds through his performances.

Konshens is pleased to know he can continue to give back to the youths, many of who support his music today. The students will be entertained by Konshens backed by his band, Road Life, members of his SubKonshus label (Delus, Darrio, Javada) and surprise guests. Returning from New York recently, where he kicked off his 'College Pop Up' campaign, Konshens spoke to the various college students, signed autographs and visited the various departments of each school. Currently in Barbados, Konshens is set to perform with rappers Young Thug and Birdman this weekend.





Toya suffered cardiac arrest in NY hospital

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toya-photo-2.jpgSources close to the family of recording artiste Latoya Alicia Jackson, more popularly known as Toya, the wife of Downsound Records CEO Joe Bogdanovich, has confirmed that she died of cardiac arrest.

Toya, who had been ill for over a year, had travelled to New York in mid April. According to the source, news of her death was unexpected, as she was doing fine on Wednesday.

Known for songs such as Boss Lady, True Blessings and Hot Like Fire, Toya made her debut on the music scene in 2008.

A past student of Edith Dalton James High, Toya later went on to pursue a culinary course at the HEART Trust/NTA. She is survived by one son.





Lady Saw raps, sings and deejays on new track

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lady-saw-photos-3.jpgPushing the envelope yet again, Lady Saw has through show her versatility on her brand-new track, 'Tonight'.

Her hard-core dancehall lyrics and style is what she has come to be known for, but she has successfully crossed over into rap on this track, riding the rhythm like the professional artiste she is.

With everyone in the dancehall fraternity jostling for a standout position, Lady Saw's smooth and seemingly effortless approach demonstrates why she stands tall above the rest and dominates the Jamaican scene.

The queen has teamed up with Mr Magik from Black Magik Entertainment for Tonight, an adoption of Betty Wright's Tonight is the Night. On the track, she not only sings and deejays but also raps - a combination which is unique to this landscape. There seems to be no limit to the talents Lady Saw possesses.

In the single, the sultry artiste expresses her feelings about that special man in her life and how he will make her feel "Tonight is the night that you make me your woman, you said you would be gentle with me and I hope you will."

Mr Magik said he and the queen of the dancehall were striving for perfection on the track, which was released last Thursday.

"I found working with Lady Saw very challenging. however, that is because we both strive for perfection in our different ways. Tonight is the perfect result of two perfectionists striving for perfection," said producer Mr Magik.

The song has been tearing up the airwaves since it premiered on radio stations locally, Newstalk 93FM, Zip 103FM andalso on international airwaves, Flexx FM in South Florida, Waggie T and Y-103FM in Uganda .

A video is to be recorded and released in short order for the track which, it is hoped, will follow in Saw's Heels On success.





bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgBobby Brown and Pat Houston have been appointed co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown, a statement from their attorneys confirmed to Us Weekly on Thursday, May 7. The decision comes after the late Whitney Houston's ex-husband and sister-in-law spent the day in court.

"We are delighted to inform the public that the court has appointed Bobby Brown and Pat Houston as co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown ('Krissi'). Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston are jointly responsible for decisions related to Krissi's care and medical needs," reads a statement issued by David Long-Daniels, Counsel for Pat Houston and Cissy Houston, and Christopher Brown, Counsel for Bobby Brown.

According to the statement, the court has also appointed attorney Bedelia Hargrove as the conservator for Krissi. "Ms. Hargrove is responsible for Krissi's assets, including her likeness, rights and legal claims," the statement explains. According to Hargrove's law firm's site, she "specializes in fiduciary litigation, probate and estate administration, estate planning, personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as general civil litigation."

"Both parties are delighted with the court's decision and are working harmoniously to ensure Krissi receives the best possible medical care. We are appreciative of the manner in which Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh handled this matter," the statement concluded.

Bobbi Kristina was hospitalized on Jan. 31 after being found facedown and unresponsive in a bathtub. After months in which she was hospitalized in an induced coma and on life support, Whitney Houston's only daughter was moved to a rehab center this past March, but according to Cissy Houston, she remains unresponsive.





nick-cannon-and-kreesha-reach-falls.jpgAmerican television personality Nick Cannon and his music protégé Kreesha Turner were at Reich Falls in the beautiful parish of Portland on Thursday. They were shooting a scene from Cannon's new Jamaica-based film project, King of The Dancehall.

Cannon on Instagram shared a photo of himself with Turner at the venue, with the caption: "Jamaica that's a wrap!!! Finished at the beautiful @ReachFalls #ReachFalls Dope scene with the talented @kreeshaturner #SexyGal she killed it in #Kingofthedancehall."

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.





My Money Ha Ha singjay killed

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merital-family.jpgThe St James police say there are no motives yet surrounding the death of former Portmore Empire affiliate, Derrick 'Corey' Edwards, a leading member of the Merital Family, based in Montego Bay.

Reports are that at about 12:30am Friday in Iron Shore in the parish, unknown assailants pounced on Edwards, who, reports suggest, was walking to his car, and opened fire. He was shot at least three times in the head and died on the spot.

Edwards, 32, is from Providence in Flankers. The Coral Gardens police are investigating.

The former Portmore Empire member and his Merital Family team rose to prominence with their chart-topping single, My Money, Haha featuring Vybz Kartel.

Several former affiliates of the Vyz Kartel- led Portmore Empire have publicly condemned the killing, namely Jah Vinchi, Lisa Hyper and Gaza Slim.





Teacher commits suicide

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teacher-commits-suicide-diane-vassell.jpgA female teacher is believed to have committed suicide at her home in Malvern St. Elizabeth this morning (May 9).

Dead is 38-year-old Diane Vassell.

Vassell was a Mathematics and Social Studies teacher at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

Reports are that about 7:15 a.m., Mrs. Vassell's husband discovered her body hanging by a piece of rope, in the bathroom. Mrs. Vassell was reportedly undergoing treatment for depression following major surgery.

An alarm was raised and the police summoned.





Schoolgirls jump from moving robot taxi

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Three schoolgirls from a Corporate Area High School reportedly jumped from a moving motor car, while the driver was attempting elude the police in Downtown Kingston on Thursday.This as the driver was allegedly operating the vehicle as an illegal taxi or robot.

However, the driver was apprehend and the school girls, though not seriously injured, received medical attention.The driver, Fredrick Cameron, 48-year-old taxi operator of Kingston 16 was arrested and charged with several breaches of the road traffic act. The motor vehicle was also seized

Reports are that on Thursday afternoon the three school girls were passengers in a Honda fit motorcar being operated by Cameron as an illegal taxi in Downtown Kingston.

On the approach of the police, Cameron reportedly sped away, using roads unfamiliar to the teenagers as an escape route. In a bid to escape, all three teenagers reportedly jumped from the moving motorcar. They were taken to the hospital by the police, where they were treated and released.

Meanwhile, the police are once again appealing to members of the public to utilize the service of legitimate public passenger vehicles only. Additionally, commuters are being reminded that route taxis are illegal in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, as the routes are reserved for JUTC buses.





Rastafari exhibition opens in Mo Bay

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rastafari-singers.jpgResidents in western Jamaica have been given the opportunity to be better informed about the history and nature of the Rastafari movement, through a historical exhibition mounted at National Museum West, located in the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

In keeping with its efforts to foster the development of various aspects of the country's tourism product, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) played a pivotal role in enabling the Rastafari exhibition to be mounted at the Cultural Centre, where it will be displayed for a year.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition recently, Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison, described the mounting of the exhibition and the presence of members of the Rastafari community as "a journey with some distance still left to go," but which stand out as a testament to the spirit of the Jamaican people.

Mr. Harrison cited the strength of the Rastafari culture, "their insistence on being themselves and being accepted for who they are and what they are about."





A man accused of robbing a police officer who was in the process of receiving a facial at a beauty shop off Nugent Street in Spanish Town appeared in the Spanish Town RM Court earlier this week.

The accused, Fabian Edwards, appeared before Resident Magistrate Horace Mitchell on one count of shooting with intent and robbery with aggravation. He pleaded guilty.

His case was transferred to the Gun Court on May 8, 2015.





janiel-morgan-missing.jpgThe cousin of Jamaican 400-metre runner Ricardo Chambers has gone missing.

Eighteen-year-old Janiel Morgan has been missing since Friday. Chambers took to social media website Instagram this morning to plead for the public's help in finding his cousin.

"Help me find my little cousin Janelle Morgan she missing since Friday. she left for school and went missing last seen @ Weymouth Dr Kingston 20 if any see her or know of her please contact (876)430-1537 (876)807-4108 or nearest police station ....$100,000 reward," Chambers said.

Chambers has received a lot of support in spreading the message on social media, including from several fellow athletes such as Warren Weir and Michael Frater.

Weir, in sharing Chambers' post, encouraged persons to "Repost, Share (and) Tag", noting that "it could help save a life."





Abducted six-year-old girl found

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ria Martin, 6, who was allegedly abducted on Tuesday.

A man who was reportedly involved in the abduction is in custody.The police issued an urgent public appeal for assistance in locating Phaedra, after she was snatched from her father.

It was reported that Phaedra was walking with her father, when she was taken away at knife point by two men. They took the child in a car with three persons aboard including a woman.

Head of CTOC, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkiss, says he will be questioned next week.





Bisexual Jamaican man denied asylum in Britain

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A bisexual Jamaican trying to persuade immigration officials in the United Kingdom how gay he was, by presenting even photographs to prove his lifestyle, was flatly denied asylum status and is to be deported.

Reports are that 34-year-old Orashia Edwards, who says he faces danger in his native Jamaica because of his sexuality, will be deported soon, despite having received death threats. According to www.theguardian.com, Edwards had told British authorities he could be killed if he is returned to Jamaica because he is bisexual. Edwards, who is currently being held at Morton Hall immigration removal centre, Lincolnshire, was refused refugee status in December 2013 when an asylum tribunal refused to accept he was bisexual.

He has since been embroiled in a long-running appeals process to have the decision overturned.

Reports are that his supporters insist he has had relationships with men as well as women, including his current same-sex partner, with whom he has been in a relationship with for around two years. Edwards, who spoke to the media from detention, said an asylum tribunal had rejected his claim that he had been in a relationship with a man in Antigua, where he lived for a time before coming to the UK.

He believes his matter was dealt with unjustly because he couldn't remember details of the relationship. Edwards also said he believed the Home Office had unfairly weighted against his claim the fact that he had been married to a woman and has a young daughter.

However, a letter from his then partner, confirming they were an item, had been refused. Edwards acknowledged he was fearful for his life.

He was quoted as saying, "In Jamaica, there is a huge amount of homophobia. If you go into the dancehalls and the clubs, they play music saying 'If you are a ... man, you get a bullet in the head. If you are a ... man, you are condemned. If I go back I will be tortured, I will be killed for sure. Because my case has been covered in Jamaican media, there will be no way for me to hide. I've already received death threats on social media, people say I'm making the country look bad."

His mother, who is a resident of the UK, also said her son will be left without any form of support in Jamaica.





Happy Mother's' Day from YardFlex

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happy-mothers-day-2015.jpgMother's Day is a time to wish the women in your lives, who have been there for you over the years, well. It's a time for celebration, love, and, of course, laughter. So, if you're looking for some clever Mother's Day quotes to put in your "Happy Mother's Day" card for 2015, check out some of the ones below.

1. "It is never easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it."

- Anonymous

2. "Mom, thanks for always being slightly less disappointed in me than Dad is."

- SomeECards

3. "Mothers are all slightly insane."

- J.D. Salinger

4. "Happy Mother's Day to the one person who believes I can do anything despite all evidence to the contrary."

- SomeECards

5. "Dear Mother-in-Law: I don't need you to teach me how to handle my children. I live with one of yours, and he needs a lot of improvement!"

-SomeECards

6. "My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it."

- Buddy Hackett

7. "Don't forget Mother's Day. Or as they call it in Beverly Hills, 'Dad's trophy wife day.'"

- Jay Leno

8. "No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love."

- Edwin H. Chapin

9. "Mothers of teens know why some animals eat their young."

- Anonymous

10. Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.

- Aristotlehappy-mothers-day-2015-2.jpg





Asafa Powell wins 100m in year's fastest time

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asafa-powell-photo-1.jpgAsafa Powell ran the fastest 100 meters in the world this year when he clocked a blazing 9.84 seconds at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston on Saturday.

The time was the former world record holder's fastest in five years as the 32-year-old beat American Ryan Bailey (9.93) and Jamaican Nesta Carter (9.98) in the first sub-10 seconds 100 of the year.

The meeting also produced four other 2015 leading marks.

U.S. Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross delivered the first sub-50 seconds women's 400m, clocking 49.95, and Bahamian Shaunae Miller beat a high quality women's 200m field in 22.14.

Rapidly improving Jasmin Stowers lowered her women's 100m hurdles leading time to 12.39 and fellow American Aleec Harris remained unbeaten in the men's 110m hurdles, running 13.16 to equal the year's top time.

Fast times also came from Jamaicans in the men's 200 and women's 100.

Diamond League champion Nickel Ashmeade ran 20.25 to win the 200, and Elaine Thompson, already the year's fastest, clocked 10.97 in the women's 100.

American Tyson Gay, who had been scheduled to run the 200, did not compete.









Police appeal for calm in Spanish Town

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The police are appealing to residents of Spanish Town to remain calm in light of the upsurge in violent crimes which has resulted in 58 murders since the start of this year.

A statement from the police says just over 40 per cent of the murders is related to an internal feud over the leadership of the Spanish Town-based Klansman Gang. The police say operational activities in the division have been heightened with a view to increasing public order and safety. They are also appealing to residents not to harbour criminals and give the police information about illegal activities and strangers in their communities.

In the meantime, the St. Catherine North Police have listed five men who are being sought in connection with murders and shootings in the Division. They are: Duran Dennis; Kalonji Tyrell; Alrick Burke; Andre Knight and Kirk Forrester.

The men are being asked to turn themselves in to the Spanish Town Police or the nearest Police Station with their lawyers by 5 o'clocktomorrow afternoon. Anyone knowing their whereabouts should contact Crime Stop at 311, 811 or the 119 emergency number.





nuh-guh-deh-suh-premiere-no-maddz.jpgWith current public discussion and growing awareness about the sexual abuse of girls in Jamaica, the "Nuh Guh Deh" campaign to end sex with the girl child has developed a song and video as one of the ways to advance its efforts.

Eve for Life, a non-governmental organization and NoMaddz Band, with support of the United Nations in Jamaica, have teamed up to produce a song and video to prevent sexual violence against girls.

The song, "Nuh Guh Deh" reflects the theme of the public advocacy campaign that urges Jamaicans to speak up and condemn sexual violence against young girls. It was launched on Saturday May 2 at Emancipation Park, in-front of a large audience consisting of government officials and parliamentarians, International Development Partners, Civil Society representatives and other Jamaicans.

Speaking at the launch, Rushell, a survivor of child sexual abuse, bravely related how she was raped by her stepfather at nine years old. She explained that in addition to the pain and trauma she experienced as a result of this violation, she was further humiliated by family and community members who sought to blame her instead of the perpetrator.

"People made me, a little primary school child, feel like I had brought shame and disgrace on the family. My own mother avoided talking about what happened and said "she bring disgrace to the family." "People in the community started to label me a bad influence. They called me names. Everyone thought the worst of me. It was like I was the criminal and not my stepfather. I was discriminated against. After all the hurt my stepfather inflicted on me, I was further hurt, hated and traumatized by family members and the community."

Rushell appealed to the audience to take strong steps to ensure that no other child experiences what she had. She pleaded with Jamaicans to protect children, report the sexual abuse of minors and send the clear 'Nuh Guh Deh' message to rapists, abusers and perpetrators of such a horrific crime.

Patricia Watson, Executive Director, Eve for Life, stressed the important role and responsibility of communities and individuals in ending sexual violence against girls and protecting children. She noted that neighbours and community members should be the first to report these crimes to the police and State agencies instead of waiting until after the fact to voice suspicions.

"Jamaican brothers and sisters for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, little sisters, our little primary school and high school girls, to save them from abuse, to save them from early pregnancy, to save them from HIV, to save their very lives and to save their future, PLEASE I am begging you to join us to tell ALL ABUSERS and ALL THOSE WHO ENABLE ABUSE - NUH GUH DEH!, she declared.

Dr. Arun Kashyap UN Resident Coordinator in Jamaica congratulated Eve for Life for its drive and determination to help young girls and for its strategic partnerships with the UN and other partners including NoMaddz, to get the message to end sexual abuse of the girl child, all across the island. He said the UN is taking an integrated approach to address sexual violence against children.

Sheldon Shepherd of NoMaddz says he hopes the song and video will catch on with Jamaican audiences and that they will be motivated to be the change that is so badly needed to bring an end to the pain and suffering of thousands of young girls who are sexually abused.





A female Metropolitan police officer was stabbed by an ex-metropolitan policeman in an establishment known as 'Fada Bar' off Young Street in Spanish Town on Monday night.

The two are reportedly involved in a relationship which produced a child. However, the relationship appeared to turn abusive because of the jealous nature of the ex policeman. The police confirmed that the female cop was attacked by him on a previous occasion with a chair and this attack eventually led to his dismissal from his job as a municipal police officer.

"Metro-cops" are employed by municipalities to carry out law and order activities which supplement the duties of members of the regular police force.

The young man, who plies the trade of a barber in Portmore, allegedly attacked his babymother while she was in the bar. She was stabbed in the back with a long knife.

The extent of her wounds are reportedly very serious. Not long after the attack, she was transferred from the Spanish Town Hospital to the Kingston Public Hospital where she remains in stable but serious condition. In the meantime, the spouse has been taken into custody by the Spanish Town Police.





Jamaican scammer convicted in the US

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A 25-year-old Jamaican man was convicted on Thursday for his role in a lottery scam that U.S. authorities say cost victims around the country millions of dollars.

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Bismarck had deliberated since Tuesday afternoon before reaching a verdict in the case of Sanjay Williams,25, of Montego Bay. He was found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering and faces up to 40 years in prison.

Investigators described Williams primarily as a "lead broker" who bought and sold "sucker lists" of potential victims. He was the only one of 32 defendants to opt for trial; about a dozen defendants are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams was arrested in North Carolina, where prosecutors say he had associates in the scam.

Defense attorney Charlie Stock said he hadn't decide on whether there would be an appeal. "I need to speak with Mr. Williams to see where he wants to go," he said.

Prosecutors said the case came to light four years ago when Edna Schmeets, 86, of Harvey, North Dakota, received a call from a man who told her she had won $19 million and a new car, and needed only to pay taxes and fees. The process dragged on until the widow's savings were wiped out, a sum of about $300,000.





Six-year-old girl abducted

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Investigators are on the hunt for several persons, including a woman, who allegedly abducted a 6 year old girl who is at the centre of a custody battle.

The police issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, appealing to the public to assist in locating the child, who has been identified as Phaedra Martin of Berwick Road, Kingston 13.

It's reported that Phaedra was walking with her father on Ransford Avenue about 1:30 p.m on Tuesday afternoon when they were approached by two men, one armed with a knife. They reportedly took the child into a car, which was parked along the road, with three persons aboard, including a woman. They then fled the scene.

A statement from the police says Phaedra is of brown complexion and slim build. She was dressed in blue school uniform, blue socks, black shoes and was carrying a pink bag.

The police are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of Phaedra Martin and her abductors to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch, Crime Stop at 311, the 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





chi-ching.jpgIn a video posted online, upcoming reggae/dancehall artiste Danger Lee, who is from Montego Bay, accuses deejay/dancer Chi Ching Ching of copying the concept for his dance song Watchi Wyah, but Chi Ching Ching says he was not responsible for the name of the song.

"Is a youth name Hard Fi Deal Wid have to deal with that. Because a him come up with the name for the song, mi only build the song," he told The STAR, after initially refusing to comment on our first attempt.

Hard Fi Deal Wid took full responsibility for the title of the song. However, he did not wish to bash Danger Lee.

"I came up with the name Watchi Wyah because of an incident where a friend of mine was electrocuted in a mango tree and the persons below him were telling him to watch the wire. I told Chi Ching Ching about the name and he made the song and dance. Him (Danger Lee) is not the first to claim the song title, he is actually the third person, but I guess this always happen with slangs in dancehall. What he should do is set a link with us instead of resorting to negative vibes. Because Chi Ching Ching is a genius, so try to set a link with us," he said.

According to Danger Lee, who vented on social media for 4:45 seconds in a video footage, Chi Ching Ching and other established acts have been copying from young talents.

"A Danger Lee a talk. From wha day mi hear Chi Ching Ching with this Watchi Wyah thing. Bredda wey yu get this Watchi Wyah from? Watchi Wyah a badman thing, yu tek man thing deh tun dancing. From last year September, mi voice mi thing and send mi thing a road. Mi thing dem deh a road a gwaan. Mi frighten fi hear people a call mi a sey yow Danger Lee mi never know yu sell Chi Ching Ching Watchi Wyah. Mi a sey sell yu (expletive) how mi fi sell mi thing when mi a look a rise?" he said.

According to the artiste, persons in Montego Bay are already familiar with his song Watchi Wyah, however, Chi Ching Ching's version is on commercial radio and makes it difficult for him to claim the concept as his own.

"True yu not even know how it burn mi youth. Because man a put in the work a try make sure that people can hear it. The man even have mi thing on radio. Yu never ask mi fimi thing bredda, a H.A thing, a me sey Watchi Wyah, a Montego Bay mi come from. MoBay unno know mi thing to a nuh little bit a campaign. mi duh fi get mi thing out deh and a man hear mi thing and tek on yu thing and a duh road wid it like a fi him? (Hiss teeth), a true unno nuh know enuh," he said.

Danger Lee also played his Watchi Wyah song which certainly had lines similar to Chi Ching Ching's version, except for his explicit and aggressive lyrics.

"Everybody unno know a my thing, and mi want unno mek the people dem aware sey a mine. Chi Ching Ching a thief. Youth unno need fi mek the younger artiste dem get a shine to, they need a shine to. A same suh mi see di Kreecha a bawl sey a $40,000 him get fi dat deh big song deh wey a run road, mi a one more a di victim dem and di world need fi know bout this," an upset Danger Lee said.





Gully Bop, M-Gee team up for Blessings

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m-gee-and-gully-bop.jpgRecently, many have adapted the catchy lyric, "From Chicken Wing to Plane Wing" as a motivational quote. This line is from the bubbling hit, "Life Too Sweet," Gully Bop and M-Gee's first collaboration together. Based on the success of this single, the two have decided to go for a follow-up with the recording, "Blessing."

"It has been a great learning experience working with Bop. He brings a lot of creative and visionary thoughts to the table. I truly appreciate the opportunity to work with him," M-Gee emphasized.

The artiste explained that this new song, "Blessing" was inspired by some of what he has observed in today's society, "The song is to motivate individuals to work hard for rewards, as opposed to indulging in illegal activities or begging. They want blessings, but they do not want to pray."

M-Gee pointed out that, "individuals are hoping for a miraculous event to improve their life, often times they refuse to embrace the hard work associated with their expectations. These are the thoughts that created this new tune."

"Blessing" is produced by GS Entertainment and will be available on iTunes soon. M-Gee also has several other fresh singles released such as, "Back Pocket Hail" with Dexta Daps and "Where is My Fren" featured on the compilation, "Jelly Wata Riddim".

His team is currently organizing performances throughout the Caribbean and in the United States for an upcoming promotional tour. M-Gee says his current plans include expanding his portfolio, by working with various producers locally and internationally.





toya-boss-lady.jpgDancehall artiste Toya, who is also the wife of popular business man and CEO of Downsound Records, Joe Bogdanovich, died early this morning in the United States of America.

Toya, whose given name is Latoya Alicia Jackson, had been ailing for some time now. She reportedly died from complications caused from diabetes.

Toya Bogdonovich who was a dancehall artiste died in a New York hospital, while undergoing treatment.She was being treated in Jamaica but reports are that she needed further health care and left for the U.S in mid-April.

Her death comes in less than a month after leaving for treatment.

She is known for songs such as True Blessings and Hot Like Fire.

The couple have one son together.





Barbados is struggling to deal with large amounts of foul-smelling, brown seaweed piling up on beaches, officials on the tourism-dependent Caribbean island said Monday.

Sargassum seaweed washes up every year along many coastlines in the region. But some officials in Barbados say this is the largest amount they have ever seen.The island organized a national cleanup effort over the weekend to help clear the seaweed that is affecting some two dozen beaches.

"This year, the volume has increased to such an extent that it is challenging for all of the agencies combined to deal with it. We all need more resources," said Ryan Als, technical officer responsible for beaches and park management.

Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association CEO Sue Springer described this year's seaweed pileup as "exceptionally bad." She said bookings have not dropped so far, but some beach-loving tourists are unhappy.

However, Janet Harper, a retiree from the English city of Sheffield, said she wasn't letting her two-week vacation be ruined by the mats of seaweed and the buzzing flies they attract.

"They've done a good job trying to get rid of it, but it's just one of those things," Harper said.

Fishermen in Barbados say the thickness of the floating sargassum clumps has led to diminished catches and a recent drop in earnings, despite the fact that it serves as floating habitats for various marine creatures.

"This is impacting on the livelihood of the fisherfolk," said Vernel Nicholls, head of a national union of fishermen.

Although many perceive it as a nuisance, scientists say washed-up seaweed is an important part of the coastal ecosystem and helps stabilize beaches. The drifting seaweed comes from the Sargasso Sea, a sprawling body of warm water in the Atlantic known for its thick mats of brownish algae.





richie-stephens-and-mama-carmen.jpgMothers in Toronto, Canada are in for a treat at the annual Ardenne Alumni Mother's Day Show which takes place on Sunday, May 10 at St Peter and Paul Banquet Hall, 231 Milner Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario.

Booked to serenade the women on their special day is reggae crooner Richie Stephens who is having a whirlwind year. The singer recently poured his heart into a compelling song titled 'For You Mama,' that he dedicated to that special woman in his life - Mama Carmen. The song is a bonafide hit and is sure to resonate with all the mothers in the house. With other love gems like 'Trying To Get To You,' 'My Girl Dis', 'Take Me Away' and 'Live Your Life' in his catalogue, Stephens will be unstoppable.

The 'Live Your Life' singer, who has is creating mayhem in music circles with current hit songs 'Everybody Dance' and 'Hall of Fame' is on a crusade to take Ska-Teck globally. Both songs which are already hits in Jamaica are making in roads in Japan, Poland, the USA, Brazil and Canada.

Other performers at the shindig include Karen Usha Gray and Ethan Chen who will grace the stage at the Mother's Day concert and luncheon.

The event is slated to begin at 1:30pm and will go on until 4:00 pm.





Beyonce is almost nude at Met Gala ball

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beyonce-met-gala.jpgWhile Kim Kardashian probably thought she won the title of "Closest to Being Nude" at the 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute gala, she didn't hold a candle to Beyonce.

The "Drunk in Love" singer showed some serious skin in her sheer, jewel-encrusted, Givenchy Haute Couture gown that left very little to the imagination.

Beyonce first revealed the gown on Instagram in a series of racy shots that looked like she was trapped in the basement of a New York warehouse.

While the dress showed off nearly every part of her body, Beyonce topped the risqué look off with a retro top-knot pony tail that made her look like Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie.





nae-nae.jpgDancehall artiste Nae Nae is fuming that fellow artiste Bridgez stole her idea to do a song with a graphic endorsement of the tabooed sex act.

"Bridgez stole my idea, she came into the studio when I was doing the song, she came into the studio and said she would never do a song like that, and only a few weeks later, she has gone and done almost the exact thing on a riddim for Chase Mills Records. How can she just get up and steal my idea and I am a young artiste coming into the business?" Nae Nae said.

Nae Nae claims that Brigdez stole the tabooed sex idea from a line in her song, Slap It Up.

"When she heard it first in our studio, she said she would never do a song like that. Yet a few weeks later, she did it. The industry is too desperate, these bigger artistes need to stop stifling young artistes, hop offa me and mek me prosper!" an irate Nae Nae said.

Nae Nae said that Bridgez is also following her on Instagram and she has been copying the more controversial traits of her personality in order to rebrand herself.

"Anyone who knows Bridgez knows she is not as controversial as that, even under her youtube video, someone said 'I thought you were a Christian'. She is stealing my controversial personality to get ahead. Her song, that line, is too similar to my line in 'Slap It Up'. This ah get to me now, she ah use my personality to ketch back a hype," she said.

The deejay, who describes herself as the modern-day Patra, is not shy about pushing buttons, as shown by her controversial video, 'Raging Bull' where she appears in a bathing suit in a river.

But who exactly is Nae Nae? She was born Shanice Graham in Kingston, but grew up in Trelawny. She also resided in the UK for a short time. She knew from a young age that she wanted to do music and her father gave her the nickname, 'Nae Nae' so she just ran with it.





Former Internet sensation turned global artiste, Gully Bop, is proving to be large abroad and in high demand.

At the media launch of Canadian Reggae festival, Jambana, Gully Bop was announced as one of the show's headliners.

Jesse Jones, an executive member of Jones and Jones production, the company that organises the festival, shared a photo of himself alongside Gully Bop, Exco Levi, Denise Jones and Allan Jones in Toronto at the launch party.

Jambana, which kicks off on August 2 is an Afro-Caribbean music and entertainment festival that is now it in its eighth year.

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Jesse Jones, Gully Bop, Denise Jones, Allan Jones and Exco Levi





omi-photo-2.jpg'Cheerleader', recorded by reggae/dancehall/ska artiste Omi, has been certified Gold in the United Kingdom. The single, which was released two years ago and quickly climbed Jamaican charts, currently sits at number one on the UK pop chart, boosted by Felix Jaehn who is featured on the remix.

Ironically, Cheerleader is nowhere to be found on Jamaican charts in 2015, with many fans of the artiste questioning his whereabouts. However, Cheerleader was recently certified triple Platinum in Austria, five times Platinum in Sweden, Platinum in Italy and is so far Gold in the UK.

"It is an overwhelming feeling, I am a little country boy from a small island. So to be number one in the European market is a big deal," Omi said.

The song has been in a ding-dong battle with Wiz Khalifa's See You Again for the number one spot on several billboard charts since April. This achievement Omi says is humbling, also giving credit to Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon, who introduced him to the music industry.

"It has been constant promotion and I give my team all the credit. They have worked on this project for countless hours because they knew the height I could reach. We have had many sleepless nights and we have been knocking on the right doors," he said. "Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon is the man and I don't have to say anything else because his portfolio speaks for itself. He is a strategist and he knows what to do next."

While not competing to stay current in the small and saturated Jamaican market, Omi advises his fans to be open to his approach to music.





Forbes has released its list of the five wealthiest hip hop artistes in 2015, and there's a new name at the top.

Usually, the honour of being the richest man in rap goes to Dr. Dre, but this year it's different. Diddy beats out Dre with a net worth of US$735 million, which is due to his various companies, including Revolt, Ciroc and AQUAhydrate.

Dre is at number two with $700 million, while Jay Z is third with $550 million.

50 Cent and Birdman fall into sequential spots with $155 million and $150 million respectively.





The police will this week begin engaging promoters of events regarding the issuing of permits in all geographical police divisions.

It follows an announcement by the Police High Command on Sunday that the issuing of permits will come under greater threat and risk assessment.

This is in keeping with the police's revamped murder reduction strategy.

The first meeting will be on Friday in the St. Catherine North Division when Commanding Officer, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth, will meet with promoters at the Spanish Town Police Station where they will be updated on the requirements for the issuing of permits.





us-naval-hospital-ship.jpgJamaicans are to benefit from medical services offered by the United States Navy hospital ship, 'Comfort', starting today (Wednesday).

The hospital ship is docked at the Kingston Container Terminal.

The medical personnel on board will carry out procedures as well as outreach activities at the National Arena and the Maxfield Park Health Centre, from May 6-13.The ship's visit to Jamaica forms part of its six-month humanitarian mission across the Caribbean region. It is expected that hundreds of Jamaicans will receive medical during the ship's stay.

United States Marine Corporal, Philip Henry, one of three Jamaican-born personnel working on the ship, said that the visit is part of efforts to sustain the partnership between the United States and neighbouring countries.

"Its primary purpose is to continue the partnership between the United States and neighbouring countries in Southern and Central America and the Caribbean. The medical personnel will carry out different medical procedures. They will also exchange whatever expertise they have with local medical personnel," he said.

Medical services to be provided include optometry, dentistry, general medical, women's health and paediatrics. Corporal Henry pointed out that the ship will be off-loading several items which will be donated to selected institutions.

"We have school supplies, medical supplies and construction supplies, and these will be going out to the local communities in Kingston and some locations in St. Catherine," he said.

Additionally, they will provide engineering services to schools in Kingston & St. Andrew and participate in several community relations activities as well as carry out veterinary procedures with local veterinarians.

The ship is expected to depart on May 14.





warren-weir.jpgJamaican sprinter Warren Weir criticized U.S. sprinter Ryan Bailey for disrespecting track and field and Usain Bolt after mocking Bolt's "To Di World" pose with a throat-slash gesture (video here) at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday night.

"Especially when you are a little nobody, you really are to show more respect to those who are leading the way and those who have accomplished way more than you have," Weir said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

"He disrespected track and field. He also said that Bolt is 'somewhat of an icon,' he is an icon and he was not showing enough respect, not just to Bolt, but to the sport. As an athlete, I feel like he was disrespecting me and as a member of this Jamaican team, I also felt upset and disrespected about it. This is just the beginning."

Weir, the 2012 Olympic 200m bronze medalist, and Bailey also went back and forth on social media.

Bailey and the U.S. beat Bolt and Jamaica in the 4x100m relay on Saturday, a race that Weir was not a part of. Bailey received the baton for his anchor leg with a lead on Bolt. Bolt ran a faster leg but could not make up the entire deficit. It was the first time the U.S. defeated Bolt in a global championship race since 2007.

The next night, Weir anchored Jamaica to a 4x200m relay victory without Bolt, who reportedly sat out as a precaution due to a minor hamstring injury. Bailey was not part of the 4x200m relay. The Jamaican team celebrated on the medal stand by doing Bolt's "To Di World" pose.

The U.S. and Jamaican 4x100m teams, likely with Bolt, perhaps with Bailey and unlikely with Weir, could go head to head again at the World Championships in Beijing in August.





A Jamaican drama teacher residing in The Cayman Islands who admitted to indecently assaulting three boys was sentenced to three years' imprisonment,

Charged with one count of gross indecency, three counts of indecent assault of a male and one count of possession of an indecent photograph of a child is 33-year-old Delroy James. He pleaded guilty to the offences.

According to Cayman 27 - a Cayman Islands based news service - James also showed pornography to two of the 15-year-old boys and instructed one to expose himself and demonstrate how to put on a condom.

It is reported that James asked two of the students to let him measure their private parts.

The court ordered James to be deported back to his homeland upon completion of his sentence.





Gully Bop rocks Canada

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gully-bop-canada.jpgFrom the Gully to the money, from chicken wing to plane wing. It's all about the Bop.

Gully Bop flew out of Jamaica at the end of April for performances in Toronto and Oshawa in Canada.

Reports are that the deejay sensation has been having a great time and thrilling his fans at sold-out concerts.

Bop! Bop! Bop!

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Nicki Minaj shares racy selfies

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nicki-minaj-photo-6.jpgSince bursting on the music scene, Nicki Minaj hasn't been shy about centring her risqué wardrobe around her bounteous bosom and bulbous buttocks.

And on Sunday night, the Trinidadian beauty decided that it was her chest that would enjoy a moment in the spotlight as she uploaded a series of racy selfies to her Instagram account.

The rapper, who is currently in Las Vegas, kicked off the stream with an image of herself playfully poking her tongue out as a gold chain rested between her pert breasts.

Her plunging pink strappy dress struggled to keep her contained as she posed for a close-up, which was captioned: 'Our pool party was poppin (sic).'

Two more images followed of her pouting for the camera while she put her boobs on display.

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And, for good measure, she also added a shot of herself at the pool party in question, smiling as she stood by the glistening water at an outdoor bash in her floaty frock.

The night before, the star gave revellers a view of her sculpted abs as she arrived at Las Vegas' Chateau Nightclub And Rooftop in a white crop top with patterned skinny jeans and a cream jacket.





It appears that Nick Cannon has recruited Ky-mani Marley to be part of his new movie, King of the Dancehall, currently being filmed in Jamaica.

On Saturday, Ky-mani took to Instagram to share a photo of himself with Cannon and Bermudian reggae artiste Collie Buddz on set. He captioned the shot, "3 the hard way!". Earlier, he posted a photo of himself behind a Tru Juice-branded bar as a film crew works in the background.

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.

Indeed, big names such as international rap superstar Busta Rymes have been spotted on the island this week. But for many Shottas fans, long asking for a "Shottas 2", an appearance by Ky-Mani Marley - especially as 'Biggs' - would top them all.

In the words of one person who commented on Marley's pic, "Yo Biggs don't go too far now mon".





Busy Signal apologises to fans in Bogota

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busy-signal-photo-11.jpgBusy Signal reportedly did not get the chance to perform at the Jump Festival in Colombia over the weekend because he was stopped in Panama enroute to Colombia and sent back to Jamaica.

A message on his Twitter page read: "To all my fans in Bogota, Colombia. I regret to inform you all that I will not make it to this year's Jump Festival. I encountered obstacles while on my journey to Bogota which was far beyond my control. I am deeply hurt and disappointed as you will be. I was really looking forward to perform for you all. Turf Music Entertainment and the organizers of Jump Fest are in communication to finalize a new date in the near Future. My Sincere Apologies. HOTTED!! TURF!!"

Calls to his management team were not immediately returned.





Bridgez oral sex song stimulating debate

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Popular dancehall artiste Bridgez is stimulating debate with a new salacious single called 'Know You Baby'. The song has shocked listeners and won her a new generation of fans, given the mad props from the public on her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts since its release.

"Yes, I've done it before, so what? Oral sex is not something to be ashamed of, what's the big deal? Since my song came out on YouTube last week, a lot of people have given me support. the disc jockeys, the selectors say they like it. one even said if the song didn't sound like a hit, I would've gotten bun out for that one line, but he said because it sounds good, he likes it. A few of my family members have called since the song was released, as they are a bit concerned, but I am an adult expressing myself," Bridgez, aka Beretta, said.

She said the song is not explicitly about oral sex, but it has struck a chord with both males and females because of its risqué content.

"This is just a song of a girl who is falling in love with someone they are already sexually involved with, and someone with whom they want to 'get to know better'. For me, oral sex is the next level of the relationship. it is something intimate with someone special, someone you really love," she said.

Oral sex has always been a tabooed topic in Jamaican dancehall, but since Ce'cile first deliciously raised the subject years ago, all the inhibitions are finally going out the window. Bridgez is leading the charge of female deejays who are not afraid to announce their oral skills to the world. She is a bit surprised at the huge feedback on social media, given that the song has not yet fully hit FM radio.





Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, says she is gathering information on reports that a policeman on a sex offence charge is leading a youth group at a Seventh-day (SDA) church in St Andrew.

A rift has reportedly been developed among members of the church over the role of Sergeant Dalton Leslie who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. He was granted bail last week.

However, some members are questioning why he's being allowed to lead an all-male youth group involving underage boys at the church.

They say Leslie remains the guardian of an underage boy who attends the church.

The Children's Advocate says the situation is untenable even though Leslie has not been convicted of any crime. She says as a precautionary measure he should not be allowed unsupervised access to underage children.

Meanwhile, the East Jamaica Conference, which oversees the church, says it is also gathering information. Head of communications for the organisation, Phillip Castel, says he cannot comment until he has all the details.

Peter Champagnie, the policeman's attorney said that he was not aware of the roles being played by his client at the church.

He says he is making checks.





The lip-locked photo of two female students of an all-girls institution in St Andrew has gone viral. It has surfaced on a social networking site, Facebook, and has received widespread condemnation from the site's users.

The photo, which contains different frames of the schoolgirls dressed in uniform, shows them sitting in each other's lap suggestively and intimately holding on to each other as if in a relationship.

The photo appears to have been shot at the school and the largest frame has the girls passionately sharing a kiss with eyes closed.

When the school was contacted, an administrator reportedly said that she was not aware of the picture because she had not seen it.

However, the principal's secretary later explained tha, "The principal is not available for comment. We are dealing with the situation internally."





Movie to be made about Bolt's road to Rio

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usain-wins-brazil.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's build up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro - the games themselves and his prospective retirement in 2017 - will be made into a feature length documentary by British filmmakers Fulwell 73.

Announced earlier this week, the as yet untitled film will follow the six-time Olympic champion and multiple world record holder from May this year and chronicle his preparation for the 2016 games.

The film will also look back on Bolt's career, taking in the epic wins in the 100m and 200m in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 as well as his performance at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 when he clocked 9.58 seconds in the 100m final.

Fulwell 73, which is operated by Gabe and Ben Turner, made their name with the well-received 2013 doc on Manchester United, Class of '92 which features the rise of a young David Beckham and a group of precocious young soccer players.

Alongside Leo Pearlman, their Fulwell 73 production house was also behind 2013's Morgan Spurlock-directed One Direction: This Is Us documentary, producing with Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment.

The Usain Bolt doc will be exec produced by the Doyen Group, which teamed with Fulwell 73 on Class of '92.

Bolt said: "I'm excited to start work on this project. When I met Gabe and Ben and heard about their previous work I felt they would be the right people to tell my story and capture my journey to Rio 2016. It's going to be a lot of fun."





Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao

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mayweather-vs-pacquiao-2015.jpgThe pressure of a $180 million payday never got to Floyd Mayweather Jr, even if the richest fight ever wasn't the best. Using his reach and his jab Saturday night, Mayweather frustrated Manny Pacquiao, piling up enough points to win a unanimous decision in their welterweight title bout. Mayweather remained unbeaten in 48 fights, cementing his legacy as the best of his generation.

After the fight, it was disclosed that Pacquiao injured his right shoulder in training and that Nevada boxing commissioners denied his request to take an anti-inflammatory shot in his dressing room before the fight.

Pacquiao chased Mayweather around the ring most of the fight. But he was never able to land a sustained volume of punches, as Mayweather worked his defensive wizardry again. Two ringside judges scored the fight 116-112, while the third had it 118-110. The Associated Press had Mayweather ahead 115-113.

"I take my hat off to Manny Pacquiao. I see now why he is at the pinnacle of boxing," Mayweather said. "I knew he was going to push me, win some rounds. I wasn't being hit with a lot of shots until I sit in a pocket and he landed a lot of shots."

The bout wasn't an artistic triumph for either fighter, with long periods where both men fought cautiously. Pacquiao threw far fewer punches than he normally does in a fight, with Mayweather actually throwing more.That was largely because Pacquiao didn't throw his right hand often. Promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao injured his shoulder sometime after March 11.

Arum said Pacquiao's camp thought he would be allowed the anti-inflammatory shot because he had gotten them during training and they had been approved by the US Anti-Doping Agency. But he said paperwork filed with the commission didn't check the injury box, and the Nevada commission ruled against the request for a shot.

"The ruling made tonight affected the outcome of the fight," Arum said.

Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar said Pacquiao's camp wanted shots that included lidocaine, a drug that numbs the affected area. But he said Pacquiao's representatives didn't check the injury box after the weigh-in Friday, and the commission had no way of knowing how serious the injury was or what it could be treated with.

"I have no proof an injury actually exists and I can't make a ruling based on what they're telling me," Aguilar said.

Still, Pacquiao thought he had won the bout, largely on the basis of a few left hands that seemed to shake Mayweather.

"I thought I won the fight. He didn't do nothing except move outside," Pacquiao said. "I got him many times."

There were no knockdowns, and neither fighter seemed terribly hurt at any time. Pacquiao landed probably the biggest punch in the fight in the fourth round - a left hand that sent Mayweather into the ropes - but he wasn't able to consistently land against the elusive champion.

The fight was a chess match, with Mayweather using his jab to keep Pacquiao away most of the fight. Pacquiao tried to force the action, but Mayweather was often out of his reach by the time he found his way inside.

"He's a very awkward fighter, so I had to take my time and watch him close," Mayweather said.

Mayweather fought confidently in the late rounds, winning the last two rounds on all three scorecards. In the final seconds of the fight he raised his right hand in victory and after the bell rang stood on the ropes, pounding his heart with his gloves.

"You're tough," he said to Pacquiao, hugging him in the ring.

It was vintage Mayweather, even if it didn't please the crowd of 16,507. They cheered every time Pacquiao threw a punch, hoping that he would land a big shot and become the first fighter to beat Mayweather.

But a good percentage of what he threw never landed. Mayweather often came back with straight right hands, then moved away before Pacquiao could respond.

"I thought we pulled it out," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said. "I asked my man to throw more combinations between rounds. I thought he fought flat-footed too many times."

Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather landing 148 punches of 435, while Pacquiao landed 81 of 429. The volume for Pacquiao was a lot lower than the 700 or more he usually throws.

Five years in the making, the fight unfolded before a glittering crowd of celebrities, high rollers and people who had enough money to pay for ringside seats going for $40,000 and up. Before it did, though, it was delayed about a half hour because cable and satellite systems were having trouble keeping up with the pay-per-view demand.

They paid big money to watch two superstars fight for their legacies - and in Pacquiao's case his country - in addition to the staggering paydays for both.

Pacquiao had vowed to take the fight to Mayweather and force him into a war. His camp thought Mayweather's 38-year-old legs weren't what they once were.

"He is moving around, not easy to throw punches when people moving around," Pacquiao said. "When he stayed, I threw a lot of punches. That's a fight."

But Mayweather moved well. His only real moment of trouble came in the fourth round when Pacquiao landed his left hand and then flurried to Mayweather's head on the ropes, but he escaped and shook his head at Pacquiao as if to say he wasn't hurt.

In the corner, Mayweather's father, Floyd Sr. kept yelling at his son to do more. But Mayweather was content to stick with what was working and not take a risk that could cost him the fight.

"I'm a calculated fighter, he is a tough competitor," Mayweather said. "My dad wanted me to do more but Pacquiao is an awkward fighter."

Mayweather said that his fight in September against a yet-to-be-determined opponent would be his last.

"I'm almost 40 years old now. I've been in the sport 19 years and have been a champion for 18 years. I'm truly blessed."

Mayweather is also very rich, getting 60 percent of the approximately $300 million purse, depending on pay-per-view sales. The live gate alone was more than $70 million, and the bout was expected to easily smash the pay-per-view record of 2.48 million buys set in 2007 when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya.

But while the frenzy over the fight pushed up tickets to 3-4 times their retail price the week of the fight, prices dropped dramatically as the fight neared and some tickets were being resold for less than face value.

Boxing fans called for the fight to be made five years ago, when both men were in their undisputed prime. But squabbles over promoters, drug testing and a variety of other issues sidelined it until Pacquiao beat Chris Algieri in November and immediately launched a campaign to get the fight made.

When they finally got it, it wasn't the fight it might have been five years ago. But it was enough to settle the question that boxing fans had asked for years - who would win the big welterweight matchup of the best fighters of their time.





Movie to be made about Bolt's road to Rio

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usain-bolt-in-rio.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's build up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro - the games themselves and his prospective retirement in 2017 - will be made into a feature length documentary by British filmmakers Fulwell 73.

Announced earlier this week, the as yet untitled film will follow the six-time Olympic champion and multiple world record holder from May this year and chronicle his preparation for the 2016 games.

The film will also look back on Bolt's career, taking in the epic wins in the 100m and 200m in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 as well as his performance at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 when he clocked 9.58 seconds in the 100m final.

Fulwell 73, which is operated by Gabe and Ben Turner, made their name with the well-received 2013 doc on Manchester United, Class of '92 which features the rise of a young David Beckham and a group of precocious young soccer players.

Alongside Leo Pearlman, their Fulwell 73 production house was also behind 2013's Morgan Spurlock-directed One Direction: This Is Us documentary, producing with Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment.

The Usain Bolt doc will be exec produced by the Doyen Group, which teamed with Fulwell 73 on Class of '92.

Bolt said: "I'm excited to start work on this project. When I met Gabe and Ben and heard about their previous work I felt they would be the right people to tell my story and capture my journey to Rio 2016. It's going to be a lot of fun."





empire-isis.jpgCanadian entertainer Empire Isis was airlifted from Jamaica to Canada following a motor vehicle accident last week Sunday outside of Yallas, St. Thomas.

The singer, songwriter and social activist, who has been living in Kingston Jamaica for two years, was travelling from St. Thomas to Kingston with her road manager when the accident occurred.

Her FB page was updated with the following:

Empire Isis was in a serious car accident over the weekend in Kingston Jamaica. She was badly injured with a fractured skull and multiple broken bones. She's currently in Kingston Public Hospital awaiting Medevac Ambulance airlift to Canada for surgery. Empire has been living in Kingston recording new music over the past year. We're asking all of her fans, friends and supporters to send your love, light and blessings to her as she returns to Canada to get the medical attention she needs. Let's all lift her up and hold a vision of her completely healed and living out a long healthy happy life! We'll be posting a link to a page where we'll keep you updated on her progress, and where you can make donations to help cover the mounting costs of her medical expenses. Giving thanks and praises for the powerful light that Empire Isis is in the world, for her incredible contributions thus far, and for her amazing worldwide community!! Please continue to hold Empire and her family, and everyone caring for her in your thoughts and prayers. Safe travels home to Canada?#?Gangstress? ?#?GoddessSpeed? ?#?We? Love You!!





Carnival goes to Negril

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negril-carnival-2015.jpgJAMAICA'S carnival season may have come to a close in Kingston. However, promoters Magic Wand Syndicate are betting there are enough soca-starved fans to enjoy Negril Carnival scheduled to run from May 19 to 24.

The event's media launch took place at the New Kingston Shopping Centre in St Andrew on Thursday.

"Negril is the entertainment capital of Jamaica, so we'd like to take this to them," said Andrew Henry, part of Magic Wand Syndicate's team.

Negril Carnival follows a similar format that Kingston's soca fans are used to. It starts with two days of socarobics on May 19 and 20 from 6:30 pm -- 8:30 p.m, provided in conjunction with Express Fitness.

"We felt this was perfect synergy," said Alex Morrison, marketing and sales executive, Express Fitness.

The action begins on Thursday, May 21, with Ole Mas. The classic-themed soca party slated for the Waves Complex in Negril. It features vintage soca performances from the likes of Fab Five Band, Admiral Bailey and Lloyd Lovindeer, to name a few.

The following day, Negril Carnival moves to more contemporary soca stylings with Kolours J'Ouvert hosted at Negril's Jungle Night Club. Fans will be drenched with a mixture of soca, electronic dance music, and reggae/dancehall from three top DJs. Adding to the festivities are glow sticks, wave rags, and powder.

Saturday May 23 is a water double-header through the day. Leading things off in the morning will be an all-inclusive Catamaran Champagne Cruise. Taking over for the mid-afternoon into the night will be the H2O party offering even more interactivity with water, via water slides and water trucks spraying down patrons.

Negril Carnival then climaxes on Sunday, May 24, with a road march at 2:00 pm and a closing party called Trailer Load.





cutty-ranks.jpgDancehall artiste Cutty Ranks is making EDM waves, courtesy of English duo, Chase and Status.The track, International, samples the deejay's 1991 single The Stopper. Formed in 2003, Chase & Status comprise London duo Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status).

"It was great working with Chase and Status. They are signed to Universal, and they shot the video in London, a few months ago. Since the video came out, it has been doing well. Skrillex has also done a remix of International as well that is also doing well on several video platforms," Cutty Ranks says.

International, released in the latter part of 2014, is making the rounds on social media. A video on the VEVO platform has racked up over 1.3 million views.

This is not Cutty Ranks' first EDM foray as he did a remix with Major Lazer a few years ago.

"I found out about it some time last year. It was a remix of one of the songs I did with John Dub, founder of London Fashion Records, which had produced songs like Limb by Limb and The Stopper in the '90s," he said.

Cutty Ranks (given name Philip Thomas) was born in Clarendon. He came to prominence in the late 1980s with songs like Gunman Lyrics. A decade later, he made it to the mainstream with The Stopper and Fly the Gate.





People are asking what is really happening at the so-called union that was in the courts the other day after after a part of the organisation broke away.

Mout seh dat di lickle short man who name after a certain day that is marked with chocolates and roses and the colour red, is very much in the red. Some of the workers at the union have not been paid for last month; account freeze; people money wha get draw outta dem salary fi housing trust and credit union and all these things doan reach where it suppose to go; not to mention the statutory dem!!

A bare bagarang a galang down dehso.Patty shop to di werl!!!!

We all hear how people get dem vacation pay fi 2016 already. Yes, oonuh hear right. We still inna di year 2015, but certain people in charge get dem vacation pay fi 2016 already!!!!!

Sistah P, if yuh nuh too busy, we a beg yuh tek a look dung deh.

But then again, dat nah mek no sense, cause if yuh tek a look at the new NHT Board, you a go find seh di same lickle man just get appointed fi siddung pon it. To hell wid integrity. A just party favour a run di cut.





health-minister-fenton-ferguson.jpgThe United Union of Jamaica (UUJ) has raised concern that complaints of a shortage of supplies in the public health sector have not been addressed.

President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association Dr Alfred Dawes recently revealed that his members do not have the proper supplies.These include soap cut in half instead of the antibacterial solutions needed to prevent the transfer of bacteria to patients and garbage bags instead of surgical aprons in operating theatres. UUJ President James Francis says when shortages are reported, they are met with complaints of a lack of funding.

"I am calling on the Minister of Health to rise up and do something. I'm not calling for his removal yet...I am asking the Prime minister, Minister of Finance, to call an emergency meeting with Dr. Fenton Ferguson to get the matter sorted out,' he said.

On Friday. The JMA said the public health system is on the brink of collapse with hospitals lacking equipment vital for surgeries and doctors have working in sub-standard conditions that pose serious risk to patients and themselves.





Two cops dead in murder-suicide

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murder-suicide-cops.jpgTwo police constables from St Ann were on Sunday confirmed dead. They are Kemo Walsh and Andewale Smith.

Reports are that today would've been Smith's birthday and that the men were out celebrating at a bar in Ocho Rios, St Ann. It is alleged that there was an altercation between the two and Constable Walsh was shot.

While Walsh was being transported by police officers to hospital, Smith allegedly shot himself. Constable Smith was also in the motor vehicle being used to transport Walsh to hospital.

Investigations are ongoing.





negril.jpgEnvironment Minister Robert Pickersgill says buildings being constructed in Negril, Westmoreland can now be up to four storeys high as an adjustment has been made to the Negril Development Order to allow for the maximum height. The Order is among four provisional orders announced by Pickersgill last year. The other three were for Portland, Trelawny and Manchester.

He said other Development Orders are on stream to be published this financial year.

The Government is said to be on target to have the entire island regulated by Development Orders under the Town and Country Planning Act by the end of the 2016/2017 financial year. Meanwhile, improvements are to be made to the development approval process. Following complaints by stakeholders, discussions were held with representatives from the public and private sectors to review the procedure.

The Environment and Local Government Ministries made recommendations which were approved by Cabinet last December.

Pickersgill says a draft implementation plan, which includes time-lines, has been completed, and is being finalised for Cabinet approval.





YAHBA's debut album is 'Jus' Wicked'

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yahba-jus-wicked.jpgThe year 2015 marks 40 years since legendary keyboard king, Jackie Mittoo wrote and recorded the single Everyday Sunshine, the lead track from the Tony Stines-produced album, Jus Wicked, and truth be told, this song sounds as fresh as any recorded in this millennium.

The debut album from the band YAHBA, it features an array of musical legends including Jackie Mittoo and Robbie Lyn on keyboards; Dean Frazer and Everton Gayle on saxophone; David Madden on trumpet; Boris Gardiner, Brian Atkinson, Spred Bedassie and Danny Axeman on bass; Calvin 'Bubbles' Cameron on trombone; Mikey Chung on guitar; Joe Isaacs and Derrick Stewart on drums; Uziah ' Sticky' Thompson on percussion and Stephen Stewart on congo drums. Orville 'Bagga Case' formerly of HomeT is the lead vocal on 10 of the 13 songs; with Anne Marie, and Willi Williams contributing one each, while Pam Hall does backing vocals on 11 tracks.

Just Wicked, which contains all original songs, has been appropriately dubbed 'reggae soul'. It includes a variety of tunes, all played by musicians, that give the listener a little ska, a little easy listening, a little Jazz and even dub-wise.

According to Tony Stines, producer and writer of 12 of the 13 tracks - he shares writing credit with Jackie Mittoo on Everyday Sunshine - he chose the word yabba because of the symbolism associated with it in the Jamaican culture, which also uses the term "just wicked!" as a spirited endorsement of excellence.

"The yabba is a highly treasured, all-purpose, domestic utensil made from clay that was found in every Jamaican kitchen. It is traditionally from Africa and is used for everything from mixing to grinding to cooking and also eating purposes. The yabba is associated with great memories and excellent cuisine. This album is intended to evoke such memories and exude that overall feeling of warmth even as it shines with musical brilliance," explained Mr. Stines, who has been in the business for over half a century.

The CEO and 'music master' behind YAHBA added that he exercised poetic licence and changed the spelling of yabba to 'yahba', "but the concept is the same." He noted that the first track, Everyday Sunshine, was recorded at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with musicians Jackie Mittoo (keyboards and arranger), Brian Atkinson (bass), Wayne McGhie (guitar), Joe Isaacs (drums), Rick Wilkins (strings), Guido Basso (horns), Diane Brooks and friends (background vocals) and Tony Eden (lead vocals).

The recording was reconfigured and remixed at Harry J. Studios, St Andrew, Jamaica, in 2012, to create a sweeter mix of lovers' reggae with Bagga Case's warm baritone and Mikey Chung's exhilarating rhythm guitar, while the other tracks were recorded at Harry J Studio, Fab 5 Studio and Mixing Lab in Kingston.

The 13-track album includes love songs, a wedding song and more for the music palate. The only two females in the mix, Pam Hall and Anne Marie typify the excellence associated with YAHBA. Pam's background vocals make for a great blend with lead singer Orville 'Bagga' Case on most of the tracks. The talent that was brought together for the album is second to none, including the noted creativity of engineer Stephen Stewart.

The 'Jus Wicked' album is for music lovers who enjoy relaxing to groovy melodies. It highlights the talent and energy of Jamaicans who made the reggae music industry great, giving it the right accent it needs right now.

YAHBA Jus' Wicked is available on the Internet through CD Baby.





alkaline-photo-8.jpgPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica has stood firm on his government's position that it cannot prevent Jamaican dancehall artist Alkaline from entering and performing in that country, unless he poses a national security threat.

Alkaline, a headline act, along with local artistes, was due to perform in Dominica on Saturday.

The Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches has declared it is against lyrics that the artiste presented to the public.The group met with the Prime Minister on Tuesday.





Deva Brat charged with battery in Florida

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deva-bratt-photo-1.jpgDancehall act, Deva Brat, whose real name Sheldon Owen Smith, was charged with battery last month in the Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Smith was booked on March 20 this year and released the following day on his own recognisance. There was no bond for his bail.

When contacted, an officer at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Smith has a pending court date but could not give an exact date. The officer also declined to state the allegations against Smith.

Deva Brat found himself in problems with the law, as in February 2008 he was charged with the rape of a 14-year-old girl. He was later freed.

That was his second such offence of that nature, as he also had a previous sexual offence charge involving a minor that was also dropped after the judge said there was no evidence against him as the 15-year-old complainant in the matter was said to have migrated and the investigating officer could not locate her.

However, things seemed to change when in November 2013, it was reported that Smith had received his US visa and was available to perform in the country.

In a STAR story about receiving the visa, he was quoted, "This is an opportunity that every artiste wants and should perhaps have. We don't make a lot of money in Jamaica, so it's an opportunity for which I give thanks. I will be on my Ps and Qs, it's the best way to move forward and I would never do anything to mess up this. I don't have a lot of hot songs right now, but my fans have been eager to see me in the US."





Legendary singer, Ben E. King is dead

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ben-e-king.jpgBen E King, the legendary American R&B and soul singer, best known for the classic song, Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76. The singer died on Thursday, his publicist Phil Brown told BBC News.

King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me. After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961. Stand By Me returned to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert.

King's other hits included Spanish Harlem, Amor, Don't Play That Song (You Lied) and Supernatural Thing - Part I.

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson, he initially joined a doo-wop group called The Five Crowns, who became The Drifters after that group's manager fired the band's previous members. He co-wrote and sang on the band's single There Goes My Baby, which reached number two in the US in 1959. But the group members were paid just $100 per week by their manager and, after a request for a pay rise was turned down, the singer decided to go solo. In the process, he adopted the surname King.

His first solo hit, in 1961, was Spanish Harlem, which was followed by Stand By Me.He originally intended Stand By Me for The Drifters, but said they turned it down. So he worked on the song when Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun paired him with writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Ben E King was a frequent visitor to and performer in Jamaica, winning fans over with his classic hits.





Front men for Flava Unit, Badda Bling, Tall Man and Little Rich have parted ways with the sound system and have formed themselves into Di Unit.

"Whatever we do now, we will have sole responsibility in terms of where we are going. We are firmly in a position to know what we know will take us to the next level," they said.

However, Badda Bling stressed that money never played a part in the decision to part ways.

"There was never a money issue. We have always had a good relationship where money was concerned. Respect and appreciation value more than money to me," he said.

The split was also confirmed by the owner of Flava Unit, Desmond Reid, who sent an e-mail to THE STAR saying, "After 10 long, successful years, Flava Unit long-standing members, Tallman and Mathew 'Badda Bling' Mothersill have decided to branch out on their own with their new venture in the entertainment business. Flava Unit Sound remains in its full capacity and will assure that the the same level of professionalism and quality is delivered to all its customers and friends. I hope that the relationship between us remains the same going forward."

Now, Badda Bling says he, along with Tall Man and Little Rich, will be moving forward as Di Unit.

"We still have that charisma and charm; it is just that we are out on our own now. Most of the bookings (for Flava Unit) was always being done by Tall Man in the streets, and persons know what we offer. Persons have been enquiring and asking, and we can be contacted at 413-9496 and 438-2121."

He added that they have already been getting bookings, with Busta School Tour next week being among the first set of bookings for them as part of their own entity, Di Unit.





Jamaica cited for copyright piracy

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copyright.jpgJamaica is among several countries which have been cited by the US authorities for copyright piracy.

The U.S Trade Representative has released the 2015 Special 301 Report which has Jamaica on a watch list of 24 countries which have been deficient in protecting intellectual property.

This comes a week after the Broadcasting Commission announced that 19 channels are to be removed from local cable operators, because they did not acquire the rights to broadcast them.

According to the U.S Trade Representative the countries on the list have not provided an adequate level of intellectual property rights protection or enforcement.

The countries have also not provided market access to persons relying on intellectual property protection.

Other countries on the watch list are Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Greece, Mexico and Kuwait.





More complaints from China Harbour workers

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granville-valentine.jpgWage complaints continue to plague the operations of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in Jamaica, with workers on the North/South leg of Highway 2000 citing discrepancies in overtime payments as a recurring problem.

At various times, starting in late 2014, construction of the highway has been interrupted, with workers walking off the job in protest against their rate of pay and the terms and conditions of their work.

One man who operates one of the heavy-duty earth movers on the site, told RJR news that workers were frustrated at the failure of the company to honour a promise to increase workers' pay, and what he claimed was the Government's failure to intervene on behalf of the workers.

In response to the latest complaint, Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers Union, says he will be investigating the matter, particularly in respect of overtime payments.





Triple murder in Central Village

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central-village-triple-murder.jpgThree persons were shot dead early Saturday morning in a community known as Compound, in Central Village, St. Catherine.

The bodies of two men and a woman were found inside a house.

According to the police, two of the victims were shot, execution style, while the other was killed while attempting to escape.

Residents reported hearing explosions about 1:30 a.m. and called the police.

The police arrived sometime before 7 o'clock.





Carmax CEO denied bail again

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Chief Executive Officer of CARMAX Jamaica, Darren Blake, who is charged with several counts of fraud was again denied bail when he appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Friday.

Prosecutors reported that the Fraud Squad was still receiving complaints against CARMAX, two weeks after Blake was taken into custody.

The cops are searching for another former Director, Ian Lyn, for questioning.The Crown also reported that the alleged fraud has increased to J$217 million.

Scores of complainants packed into the courtroom today in the hope of hearing whether Mr Blake will be able to refund them their money. His attorney Raymond Clough argued that Blake cannot assist the complainants while in custody.

Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece said she was concerned Blake could flee the country if released on bond and ordered him remanded until May 26.

CARMAX Jamaica came under investigation last month after customers complained that the company sold vehicles on their behalf but has not paid over the money.





'Donkey' stabbed to death in Spanish Town

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A man known as "Donkey" was stabbed repeatedly and killed in his home in the area known as "Brooklyn" in the Thompson Pen area of Spanish Town sometime between last night to this morning.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the man was stabbed repeatedly by unknown assailants and his body transported from his house and dumped in a nearby gully. Residents found the body this morning and summoned the police.

The CCU said that details are sketchy as to the motive for the killing, and the police are yet to ascertain the man's real name.

The area has been plagued by inter-gang violence caused by a power struggle in the feared Clansman gang. Two men were killed earlier this week in the area in a separate incident.





baltimore-mom.jpgThe Baltimore teenager who was smacked by his angry mother during Monday's riots - a moment seen in a video that quickly went viral - says he learned a lesson from his public shaming. But some are questioning the celebration of her tactics.

In a pair of interviews, Michael Singleton described the confrontation.

"I was just like, 'Oh, man. What is my mother doing down here? Why would she be down here?'"Singleton told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "But when I heard, 'Put that brick down,' I was like, 'Oh, that's my mother.'"

On Tuesday, Toya Graham, the 42-year-old single mother of six, told CBS News that she didn't want to see her only son become "a Freddie Gray," the 25-year-old who died in police custody earlier this month.

"I felt as though my friends were down there," the 16-year-old said of his decision to join the rioters. "A couple of my friends had been beaten by the police, killed by the police. So I felt as though I needed to go down there, show my respect."

"I was so angry with him that he had made a decision to do some harm to the police officers," Graham told Cooper. "I just lost it at that point."

Or, as Singleton put it, "It was just World War III from right there."

As the clip of the maternal smackdown circulated, Graham was soon branded a "hero mom."

"Forget the National Guard," the New York Post declared on its front page. "Send in the moms."





st-vincent-pm-ralph-gonsalves.jpgBarbadian authorities have launched an investigation into an incident involving St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Gonsalves was reportedly headed back home from Guyana and was due to connect on a LIAT flight when he was not recognised. He was ordered by a female G4S officer to return for further screening after his bag went off during his initial security check, Barbados Today reported.

But Gonsalves, one of the most recgonised leaders of the region, refused to follow the guard's orders. It was after she called for back-up that another security guard recognised him.

It is customary for protocol officers to accompany prime ministers and other dignitaries, but no one was reportedly present for Gonsalve's arrival.

Senior officers at the airport subsequently issued an apology to Gonsalves for the guard's error as well as the lapse in official protocol arrangements.





kafinal-and-u-roy.jpgEntertainer Kafinal and legendary dancehall deejay Daddy U-Roy are basking in the success of their collaborative single 'Nah Complain'. The single has topped reggae charts in Canada and New York, while maintaining top-10 statuses on several others.

Kafinal is quite upbeat about his latest achievement which has resulted in increased requests for performances from promoters and media appearances.

"I am grateful for the support that we have received for the song from the fans and the media. I am also overwhelmed and humble to see the simple thought manifesting to such success. Thanks to Daddy U-Roy for being a part of the project," Kafinal explained in a media release.

Kafinal will head to the UK this weekend to commence promotion of the song, which is number one on the Foundation Radio Network Top 30 Reggae chart (formerly known as the New York Reggae chart), Puggy Simeon's Friday Morning Reggae Review Top 10 (Canada) and Rebel Vibez Reggae chart (Canada). It is also number seven on Richie B's top 25 chart and number one for two weeks on the Canada-based Reveena Corner Chart.

While in the UK, Kafinal will also make an appearance at radio personality Mix Master Jay's party. He is also booked for the Exit Festival in Serbia, and has dates confirmed for Canada, Africa, and Europe.

Kafinal is also working on several follow-up singles, such as Nah Lock it Off and Gwaan Gal.





MIA Lifetime Achievement Award for DeMarco

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demarco-photo-1.jpgInternational recording artiste Demarco is currently preparing for a triple concert stint this weekend in Haiti, New York and Guyana, and has yet another career milestone to celebrate.

Though unable to attend due to other professional engagement, the Bun Up Road singer was the recipient of the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the 5th staging of the annual Music Industry Achievers Awards (MIA) held at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, last Friday. The singer was also nominated for 'Male Artiste of the Year' and 'Song Of The Year' with Good Book.

Known for being instrumental in some of the biggest music projects locally, Demarco says he is very pleased that an organisation such as the MIA sees it fitting to recognise him for his work throughout the years.

Unknown to many, Demarco has worked with a plethora of international superstars such as Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Machel Montano, Eve, 3six Mafia, Olivia (formerly of G-Unit). M.O.P., Timbaland, Missy Elliot and Shaggy, among others. He has toured extensively across the globe, accumulating a surfeit of accolades namely: The first dancehall act to grace the cover of Infuzion, an Arabian magazine, and nominated for 2014 Afro Song of the Year in Australia for Summer Time with Ghanaian star Samini.

The multifaceted entertainer is also known for concocting some of the most successful projects in the dancehall sphere over the last decade, namely, the Mission, Shoot Out, Side Walk University, Gang War, March Out, Warning and Pon Di Edge rhythms among others. His most recent hits includes Lazy Body, Continue Whine, Love Yuh Wah Love, Ride, Bun Up Road, Puppy Tail and the heavy-hitting street anthem Good Book.





Foota Hype's new girlfriend is pregnant

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foota-hype-photo-1-cropped.jpgPopular selector Foota Hype's new girlfriend is pregnant

The controversial selector, who threw a huge baby shower for his new lady yesterday, already has a son with ex-fiancé Ishawna, however, this time around he is expecting a daughter.

The baby shower was held at Auto Vision located at 8 Hill View Avenue, Kingston 10, and saw a large turnout.

According to Camellia Walker, the sister of Foota Hype's girlfriend, this is the first child for her sister, and the selector is pulling out all stops to make the experience memorable.

"I have twins, but I am very excited. It's going to be a baby girl and the excitement is like a dance keeping. Foota Hype told her that he was taking her out to an event so the shower is a surprise," she said.

While being tight-lipped about certain details about the couple's relationship. Walker also revealed that Foota Hype was a good brother-in-law.

"He is a nice individual and always supportive right through the pregnancy. He always goes to the clinic with her and he is the total opposite to what some people perceive him to be. He takes her to the movies and stuff like that and he is just generally there for her. The moment is very special to him because now he has a pair since he already has son," she said.

Foota Hype and his fianceé Ishawna separated in March of 2014, after news surfaced that she slept with producer Skatta Burrell.





Wanted man killed by his cronies

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The spate of shootings and killings continues unabated in sections of Spanish Town.

Among the latest victims is Orane Malcolm, aka "Sci fi", a 29-year-old man of a Kingston address. Sci Fi was killed by unknown assailants on Wednesday night. It was announced earlier this week that Sci Fi was wanted by cops in the St Catherine North division.

The Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed that sometime after 9 pm in the Thompson Pen area, gun shots were heard and the police summoned. Upon reaching the scene, the deceased was found lying on his chest with what appeared to be gunshot wounds. His body was taken to the morgue pending a post mortem examination.

On Thursday morning, there was another body found in the gully in the area known as 'Brooklyn', which is also located off Thompson Pen Road. It is not yet ascertained if that gunshot victim was shot in the same incident, and then later fell to his demise in the gully. Up to 9:30 am this morning, the body was still in the gully.





keri-dorman.jpgSeveral persons in Montego Bay have expressed sadness at the death of Cornwall College teacher Keri Doman.

Doman reportedly passed away in her sleep earlier this week.

"Her husband found her unresponsive in bed, early yesterday morning. Keri and her husband, had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary and she was pregnant with twins," the Cornwall College Old Boys' Association wrote on Facebook.

"This is a very sad time for our Cornwall family, particularly her students, colleagues, certainly her husband and her family. Our prayers, heartfelt condolences go out to them all. R I P Keri. Sleep well dear precious one. Trod on...", the post continued.

Other persons have paid tribute to Doman on Facebook.





baltimore-mom.jpgBALTIMORE (AP) - A mother who was caught on video smacking her 16-year-old son around after he threw objects at police said when they made eye contact, he knew he was in trouble.

"I'm a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don't play that," Toya Graham, a single mother of six, told CBS News. "He said, when 'I seen you,' he said, 'ma, my instinct was to run.'"

Graham received wide praise from people on social media and even the Baltimore police commissioner, who said more parents should have taken charge of their children like Graham after the riots started.

Graham said she saw her only son wearing a hoodie and mask amid the protesters demonstrating just hours after a funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died after suffering an unexplained spinal injury in police custody.

"At that point, I just lost it," she said. "I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that."

Graham said she and her son watched news coverage of the riots together. And then the images of her reaction went viral. Comments started appearing on her son's Facebook page, many in support of her, she said.

"Friends and everybody making comments and saying, 'you know, you shouldn't be mad at your mother, you should give her a hug,'" Graham said.

She hopes it will be a teachable moment.

"And by him seeing everything what's going on I just hope, I'm not sure, but I hope that he understands the seriousness of what was going on last night," she said.





bobbi-kristina-and-nick-gordon-photo-1.jpgThe Bobbi Kristina Brown story continues, as Nick Gordon - her 25-year-old boyfriend - has been released from rehab. A source disclosed to People that he is back at home with his mother, Michelle.

Bobbi Kristina, the 22-year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, has been at the center of the controversy since she was found unconscious in a bathtub on Jan. 31.

Gordon, who entered rehab after publicly admitting to his drug problems and emotional issues on The Dr. Phil Show, has not been permitted to visit the unconscious Bobbi Kristina (he tweeted his discontentment) in part because some have suggested he is to blame for her current condition. Back in February, Bobbi Kristina's aunt, Leolah Brown, adamantly told Fox 5 Atlanta, "Nick Gordon will be charged for this."

But Gordon has continued to keep his Twitter account as a public testament of his love for Bobbi Kristina, with a photo of the two of them as his avatar and a feed full of tweets (and full-on rants) about her. However, a recently posted out-of-rehab Tweet may prove he did some thinking while in treatment.





warrior-king-photo-1.jpgRocking roots reggae artiste, Warrior King, possesses that distinctly authentic reggae sound and feel which ensure that he remains a crowd favourite, whether at home, in North America, Europe or the Caribbean.

Currently on an arduous six-week promotional tour of the US -- which sees him scheduled to perform at smaller, intimate venues as well as big-name festivals, while making time for video shoots and interviews with the press -- the musical ambassador is waving the flag high as he fills the venues with his presence and his wholesome messages of love, unity and diligence through song. Armed with two new tracks, Ain't Giving Up, and Same Source, from his work-in-progress album, Rootz Warrior, the Virtuous Woman singer makes no secret of the fact that promotion is the name of the game.

"It is important for us as artistes to get directly involved in promoting our music. We need to always keep close to our fans and the media, because ultimately they are a vital part of the support structure that we depend on to successfully build our brand," Warrior King said from his hotel in Nevada City, California, where he gave an awesome performance on April 20.

He and his management team have high hopes for this upcoming album and are very pleased with the response being generated so far, and point to the video for Ain't Giving Up amassing close to 50,000 Youtube hits in a little over a month as an excellent indicator of the music gathering momentum. Ever conscious of the need to always give that little extra bit of himself, Warrior King has been wooing fans since the start of the tour, which kicked off on April 11 in San Diego, California. He has so far been enjoying close-to-capacity houses and reports from various news outlets have been favourable.

"All the shows so far have gone fabulous," a member of the artiste's management team stated, adding that in Santa Cruz the house was packed and Nevada City, California, there was very little standing room available.

"The audience, who all know King well, engaged in a sing-a-long with most of his tracks. The new Ain't Giving Up surprised them, and enthralled them too. Same thing when King performed the new Same Source track," he added.

Warrior King noted that he was also very happy at the feedback out of Jamaica where the single Ain't Giving Up is in rotation and enjoying massive love, especially from radio. "I am out here on the road trying to build on the foundation and the love that I am getting from home is keeping me warm. Thanks to all the disc jocks and everybody a yard," he said, adding that he was eagerly anticipating his next show in Jamaica, which he promises will be "soon".

Warrior King's US promo tour continues with five confirmed dates for May, ending with the spectacular "Best of the Best" Festival at Bayfront Park, Miami Beach, Florida on the 24th, after which the artiste returns to Jamaica.





Lots of excitement on Magnum Kings & Queens

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magnum-kings-queens.jpgThe excitement and entertainments levels on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, tun all the way up on Saturday, especially towards the end of the show when contestants faced-off on the stage at D'Entrance, Constant Spring Road.

First to take the stage were the two remaining princesses, Ffrench and Tripple A. Although Tripple A was the favourite for most of this season, Ffrench managed to remove a few of her stripes with biting lyrics that seemed to make Tripple A forget some of her lyrics. Tripple A tried to recover, but struggled even as she tried to poke fun at herself by saying, "mi glad dis a nuh beauty queen" and "call mi Godzilla".

At the end of that encounter, Skatta said Ffrench earned the money he gave her earlier in the night. While, Professor Nuts said, "Never underestimate your opponent."

When the men performed, there was not much of a surprise, with Devin Di Dakta getting the better of Lava Vein. Before he even started his song, Devin said "nice try" in reference to Lava Vein and the lukewarm response his performance got. "Somebody shoulda warn Lava Vein seh my lyrics a nuh Java game," Devin also deejayed.

The judges and contestants definitely found favour with Devin, with guest judge Ishawna saying, "You have it, you have it naturally."

But a lot more happened at the beginning of the show, with Sean Di Vere and Angel Eyes being eliminated. There was also Foota Hype in the audience, as his ex-beau Ishawna acted as guest judge. Ishawna created quite a stir when she walked out to Daddy Screw's Model Pon Yuh One Time Man, putting the audience in a frenzy. As she danced to the song, Foota Hype cheered and clapped in the audience.

Regular judge Miss Kitty was also absent from the show, and so too was the host, Yanique Barrett, who was replaced by radio personality Nikki Z. Prior to their last performances, the remaining contestants also performed twice. All the songs were songs that were previously performed and also well received.

The show came to a close with a performance from Ishawna.





tessanne-chin-42nd-annual-daytime-emmy-awards.jpgVoice winner for 2013, Tessanne Chin, continues to have a presence on the international scene with a recent performance at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

On Sunday, the singer performed at the award show that was held at the Warner Bros Studios in California. Tessanne is reported to have wowed the audience when she performed What I Did For Love alongside a montage of some of the most romantic scenes from all the soap series.

Upon arrival at the event on Sunday, Tessanne was beaming with excitement based on the numerous posts she made to her Instagram page. Tessanne posted a total of five pictures from the event. She also posed for pictures with actor and comedian Steve Harvey, as well as another photo with actresses from soap opera series, The Bold and The Beautiful.

"Guess where I am? So excited, can't wait to perform, be sure to watch," she posted on Instagram as a caption for one of the photos.

The 42nd Daytime Emmy Awards is presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) and recognises outstanding achievements in all fields of daytime television production. The awards are presented to individuals and programmes that are broadcast between 2 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the 2014 calendar year.

Major winners at the event on Sunday night were Days of Our Lives, Jeopardy, CBS News Sunday Morning, Entertainment Tonight, Young & The Restless and The Bold & The Beautiful.





Dexta Daps charged; goes to court May 13

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dexta-daps-arrest.jpgDancehall artiste Dexta Daps has been offered bail and will face his charges on May 13th in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrates' court.

He was slapped with a battery of charges yesterday after an altercation with three police officers outside the Sangster International Airport. Charges include the use of indecent language, resisting arrest, obstructing police and assaulting a police constable.

A two minute long video shows the dancehall artiste tussling with three cops in front of the Sangster International airport. During the confrontation, Dexta Daps repeatedly cursed expletives, and kept telling the cops "oonu caan arrest mi fi nothing'. He also kept slapping their hands away as they attempted to restrain him.

As the confrontation grew more heated, the 7 Eleven singer lost his footing, and fell to the ground upon which the cops grabbed him, and his shirt was ripped.





dexta-daps-photo-1.jpgNY: The popularity of rising dancehall star Dexta Daps aka Louis Grandison may have taken a shot in the arm following a tussle he had with police officers at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay this week. Multiple videos of the incident which happened in front of a large crowd which had gathered as officers attempted to handcuffs the artist went viral on social media sites like Facebook, twitter and instagram.

New York concert promoter Bobby Clarke of the annual Oracabessa Festival, where Daps is advertised as one of the headliner performers said his radio station has received several calls about the artiste since the incident.

"We have been inundated with several telephone calls from concerned fans who wanted to confirm that the artiste is doing fine" Clarke said.

"We made contact with his management team and were told he is ok which we are happy about. Daps is a long standing friend of Irie Jam Radio. We have been supporting his career for many years aand we are eagerly awaiting his arrival in New York to perform for his many fans" he said.

Daps will perform at the Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park on May 25 alongside Sean Paul, Freddy McGregor, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin and Alaine.

Arguably one of the hottest dancehall acts on the circuit now, the singjay announced his presence to the music world last year with his dancehall anthem '7eleven.' He is currently riding the crest of popularity with 'Jealous Ova,' an erotic collaboration that was recorded with dancehall princess Tifa. The song has racked up thousands of hits on YouTube and is extremely popular in Jamaica and across the rest of the Caribbean.





A police sergeant from the St Andrew south division, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, was offered bail in the sum of $250,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.

He is charged with buggery.

The sergeant was charged yesterday following a ruling handed by the director of public prosecutions.

In court, defence attorney Peter Champagnie told Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey that his client strongly denied the allegations.

The magistrate told the policeman that he is not to communicate with the witnesses.

He is to return to court on July 22 for a preliminary hearing into the matter.





A woman was reportedly stabbed to death on Sunday after blabbering about her boyfriend's oral sex practices.The deceased woman has been identified as Khadian Webb of a Wint Road, Kingston 11 address.

According to a police source, Webb reportedly told the friends of a man, believed to be her lover, that he had performed oral sex on her.

"She mentioned to his friends in a crowd that he did oral sex on her," revealed the source.

This led to an argument between Webb and the man, resulting in her being stabbed. Webb later died at hospital.

According to the police's Corporate Communication's Unit, the 26-year-old woman was killed in her community around 6:15 p.m. She died as a result of the knife wounds she sustained during a dispute between the man and herself.

The police are said to be continuing their investigations into the incident.





2 men killed in downtown Kingston

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shocked.jpgTwo persons are dead and another two, including a male student, injured after a shooting spree in downtown Kingston on Tuesday afternoon.

One of the dead persons is reportedly a gunman who attacked a man and shot him several times before being challenged by cops who shot him dead during a shootout.

The incident took place in the parade area of downtown Kingston where students and workers gather to get public transportation to their homes.

The area has been tense for weeks amid an internal feud among members of the 'Spanglers' gang, following the shooting of an 11-month-old baby weeks ago.

The child was shot from its mother's hands after two gunmen chased a man into a yard and opened fire wildly. Police have been posted at Love Lane and Chancery Street to prevent any further reprisals but the killings continue unabated.

It has not yet been ascertained if Tuesday's incident was connected with the ongoing gang warfare.





Jinx private her Instagram

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jinx-stewart.jpgJodi 'Jinx' Stewart, the wife of entertainer Sean Paul has been forced to change the status of her public Instagram page to private.

This following a severe backlash that she has received following her rant on social media about Usain Bolt being a horrible neighbour, a clown for the UPT (uptowners) and that Bolt should go back where he came from.

It has been reported that Jinx has since removed the inflammatory post, but YardFlex was unable to check, since her account is no longer public.





omi-cheerleader-photo-1.jpgLast summer, a new star named Iggy ruled the season with an anthem of bitchy attitude. This summer, a new star named Omi looks to reign with an anthem of sincere romance.

Omi's "Cheerleader" boasts a sweet melody, a swaying reggae beat and a swooning vocal. It also has the right buzz, spirit, and momentum to become the song of its summer. Musically, "Cheerleader" has just what such a tune needs - a catchiness and ease made for boomboxes, car radios and days at the beach.

"The texture of the song is perfect," says Sharon Dastur, senior VP of programming for iHeartRadio. "And the timing is really right for that song to cut through."

In fact, the song's ratio of streams-to-chart-position argues for a likely ascent right after Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of the season. Currently, "Cheerleader" stands at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 Song chart. But it has behind it a staggering 191 million streams on Spotify and a whopping 75 million views on YouTube. Its irresistible refrain has inspired more than 7 million listeners to seek its identity on Shazam.

No other song in the running for summer has a higher mix of numbers. More, the song has a history of success around the world. It first hit in a different version in 2012 on Omi's home island of Jamaica, as well as in Hawaii.

Omi, 29 - born Omar Samuel Pasley - grew up singing in local groups. But he didn't get his break until three years ago, after being signed by the producer behind such hot Caribbean stars as Shabba Ranks and Patra. At that point, he cut the original, rougher take on "Cheerleader."

But only the 2014 goosed-up remix of the song, by German DJ Felix Jaehn, clicked. It did so by finding an ideal mean between two proven summer loves: reggae and EDM. Since April, the enhanced version has hit No. 1 in 11 countries.





Popcaan defends Bolt; tells Jinx where to go

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popcaan-and-jinx-and-usain.jpgWhen Sean Paul's wife earlier this week labelled track mega-star Usain Bolt a "inconsiderate neighbour", she probably did not anticipate the public backlash she would receive for her comments.

From Facebook to Instagram and all the social media networks in between, just about everyone had it out for former television personality, Jodi Heneriques, with most social media commentator's staunchly defending track star, Usain Bolt.

The latest person to come to Bolt's defence is popular dancehall artiste Popcaan, who used his Instagram page to show his support for the world's fastest man.

"Jinx leave Usain alone and move yo[expletive deleted]... ya gwaan like yo born uptown. A people like unu nun waa see ghetto youth have nothing big up Usain loud up the scheme wid the bike and the girl them ..."Popcaan posted.

Many of the artiste's followers echoed his sentiments.

Jinx has yet to respond to Popcann's comments.





oracabessa-2015-dexta-daps.jpgDancehall newest sensation Dexta Daps, whose popularity soared following a tussle he had with police officers at the Donald Sangster International Airport in MoBay recently, proved his star billing at the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in NYC.

Excitement broke out as the singer, fashionably attired in a designer suit delivered songs like 'Dreaming,' 'Pretty Nicky,' 'Morning Love' and 'Jealous Ova,' an erotic duet he recorded with dancehall diva Tifa that was well received by fans. He even showed versatility crooning Beres Hammond's 'Putting Up Resistance' and the Morgan Heritage classic 'She Is Still Loving Me.' He garnered his biggest ovation with his dancehall anthem '7eleven,' which resonated with the throngs of women that were in the park.

Veteran singer Freddy McGregor, who brought the curtain down on the festivities, demonstrated why he is still one of the best in the business, engaging fans with 'Africa Here I Come,' 'To Be Poor Is A Crime,' 'Push Come To Shove,' 'Carry Go Bring Come' and 'Big Ship.' In between hits, he warmed hearts with Dennis Brown's 'Love & Hate' and 'Revolution.'

Singer Alaine displayed stunning vocal range while performing 'Keep Rising,' 'Could Not Make It Without You' and Marcia Griffiths' 'I Shall Sing.' Her magnificent performance continued with 'My Favorite Boy' which she used to serenade DJ Oxtail from Road International.

Always dressed to impress, "Cornel" Josey Wales had the entire park singing along to old favorites like 'Kingston Hot,' 'Every Jamaican is a Star,' 'Leggo Mi Hand,' 'Sweet Jamaica' and 'Undercover Lover' which evoked memories of the 80s. Five forwards later, you could tell the crowd was warming up to the Cornel as he advocated for the legalization of marijuana, before unleashing a plea to men to 'Pull up Your Pants.'

The high point of the festival came midway Tarrus Riley's performance when he invited his dad, veteran singer Jimmy Riley on stage who was helped on stage with the assistance of a walker. Not deterred, the father and son team was a force to be reckoned with and had the entire park singing along to 'Ruugher Yet' and 'Love and Devotion.'

Singer Natalie Evans, represented during the gospel segment with songs like 'Things Already Better' and 'Wings of a Dove.' Her heartfelt invocation definitely moved the crowd and set the tone for renowned gospel artist Shirley Willis of Grace Thrillers fame. Her voice may have lost a bit of luster since her near death accident in 2008 but her testimony was powerful. Her poignant rendition of 'I Can't Even Walk' resonated with those who had travelled far to see the legendary artist known for classics like 'By the Grace of God' and 'Not My Will.'

Other strong performances came from Chris Martin who had his way with the ladies; Sean Paul who worked the stage with his dancers; Shuga; Stacius and NY based KConeil. Apart from the music that the main stage offered, organisers added a sizzling fashion show that featured designs by Signature78 which went over well with patrons. Other attractions included a Kids Amusement Area, Business Expo, Health Pavilion and Arts & Craft.





sean-paul-wife-jodi-jinx-stewart.jpgOlympian and world fastest man,Usain Bolt has been accused of being an inconsiderate neighbour by the wife of dancehall hit maker Sean Paul.

"Between the bikes ... loud, horrid music, parties and screams, I honestly wish he would go back to where he came from. He's a horrible neighbour. I cannot wait to move," Jodi Stewart-Henriques, also called Jinx, said via social media in a long rant.

Bolt is a resident of upscale upper St Andrew community Norbrook.

Jinx rant started on Monday when a resident of Norbrook posted on Facebook that the bike riders in the area were very inconsiderate - to which Jinx promptly replied that the blame should be placed directly on Bolt and his brother.

Jinx said she sought an intervention by the police but the authorities have not responded because "it's Bolt". Clearly upset, she went as far as saying she has lost "all respect" for the Olympian.

"So unfair and disrespectful. I've honestly lost all respect for him. He takes his nasty behaviour with him everywhere...So many people love him and he's such a poor example of how to behave. I honestly can't blame the set of UPT (uptown) that have him as poppy show in parties or on their boat. He's the ultimate party clown," said Jinx.

But her comments were not met with the same enthusiasm by fans of the athlete. One Facebook user posted that after doing his research, it was revealed that Bolt was not the culprit on that particular day.

"Bolt cannot respond to your allegations and since he is not guilty of what you are accusing him of in this instance, you ought to apologise and remove your comments at the very least," he said in reply to Jinx, accusing her of displaying "bad behaviour and boorish attitude" in her rant about Bolt.





fugitive-rapist-leblanc.jpgA Hancock man, who fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on a dozen charges alleging he raped a child is under arrest in New York after being deported from Canada, investigators said.

The alleged two-year flight of Scott Elrond Leblanc, 59, formerly of 156 Forest Road, to avoid prosecution came to an end Thursday when he was arraigned as a fugitive from justice at the Niagara County Court in Lockport, N.Y.

He waived extradition and is being held in the Niagara County Jail pending his return to New Hampshire. Hillsborough County Deputy Lt. Brian Newcomb said he is expected to be back in the state within 30 days.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, a warrant was issued for Leblanc's arrest on Aug. 21, 2013 by Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, in Manchester after he failed to appear in court on 12 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

The charges stem from indictments alleging that between 1995 and 2000, Leblanc sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 in Hancock.

Leblanc allegedly fled the state in August 2013 after learning of the impending indictments against him. Investigators believe he actually left the country.

On Tuesday, they received information from the U.S. Marshal Foreign Field Office in Jamaica that Leblanc had arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica from Toronto, Canada.

Jamaican law enforcement officials refused Leblanc entry into the country because, Newcomb said, of the pending arrest warrants and returned him to Toronto where Canadian law enforcement officials refused him entry, again because of the serious charges.

Canadian authorities deported Leblanc who was placed into the custody of U.S. Marshals based in Buffalo, N.Y.





Cable service provider Flow will start to remove some of its channels on Monday, June 1, following an order from the Broadcast Commission of Jamaica (BCJ).

Flow advised its customers of the move in an email on Saturday.

The BCJ last month insisted that 19 unauthorised channels be removed from Jamaican cable television providers' platforms by May 31.

Flow advised customers that beginning June 1, 2015, the following channels will no longer be carried by the cable company: Encore East; Encore Suspense; Encore Family; FLIX; Showtime East; Showtime Showcase; Showtime 2; Showtime Extreme; Showtime West; STARZ West; The Movie Channel West; The Movie Channel Xtra; The Movie Channel East.

What's more, during the period of the next 6-8 weeks, Flow said it will continue the removal of some additional channels from its lineup; these include: STARZ East, STARZ Edge, STARZ in Black, STARZ Kids and Family, STARZ Cinema, ENCORE Action, ENCORE Black, ENCORE Classic and ENCORE Western.

The company, however, has introduced a suite of new Fox Movies services which it said "boasts a strong lineup of nine premium movie channels".





mark-golding-ganja-law.jpgMinister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, says the successful implementation of the new law regarding possession of small quantities of ganja will require the discretion and judgement of the police. Mr. Golding said discretion and judgement on the part of the police is not an unusual requirement for the performance of their duties.

"As is usual, when laws which affect the police's mode of operation are introduced, the police are sensitized within the context of the relevant policy of the Ministry of National Security," he explained.

The Minister added that operational guidelines are also issued to ensure implementation in a manner that meets both the objective of law enforcement and the policy objectives of the new law. Responding to questions tabled by Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, in the Senate, regarding the amended Dangerous Drugs Act (Ganja Law), on May 29, Senator Golding said that the police are not presently equipped with weighing apparatus in the field and are therefore not able to determine scientifically the precise weight of ganja in the field.

"However, two ounces of ganja are substantially more than a large spliff," the Minister noted.

He said that in situations where it may not be clear whether or not the amount of ganja exceeds two ounces, but it is reasonable to infer that the ganja is for the person's own personal use, the policy of the Ministry of National Security is that, rather than expending the police's time and other resources in proceeding with a criminal charge for possession that will ultimately be unsuccessful if the amount is less than two ounces, the police should proceed on the basis that the amount does not exceed two ounces and may issue a ticket.

Also, he said a person who has been wrongly ticketed for a substance that is not ganja may decline to pay the ticket.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 became effective on April 15, and makes provision for development of a medical marijuana industry.





Hurricane preparedness tips

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hurricane-season.jpgThe Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

• Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

• Know your surroundings.

• Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.

• Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.

• Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.

• Make plans to secure your property:

• Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

• Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.

• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.





weather-map-2015-may.jpgThe National Meteorological Service says a Tropical Wave currently east of Jamaica is expected to move west across the island Sunday afternoon. In addition a persistent trough will maintain unstable weather conditions across Jamaica until Wednesday.

The forecast over the next three days is for widespread showers and scattered showers especially during the afternoons. It was expected that all parishes would experience either showers or thunderstorms on Sunday.

A small craft warning remains in effect for offshore areas of southern waters due to strong winds and choppy seas in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.

June 1, marks the start of the hurricane season, the forecast is for six to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes and up to two major hurricanes.





mexican-demonic-game.jpgThe Ministry of Education has issued a ban against students playing the game Charlie Charlie Challenge, following reports from several schools across the island of very disruptive behaviour by students who engaged in the game.

The Charlie Charlie Challenge, a Ouija board style game to try and summon a Mexican demon, has been a trending topic on social media.

In a release on Friday, Chief Education Officer Grace McLean instructed schools to monitor students to ensure they are not allowed to play the game.

The ministry has further advised school personnel to immediately contact the regional offices if they need help and further support to address the situation.

The ministry stressed that it issued the ban following reports of very disruptive behaviour by students who participate in the game. Students reportedly display demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game.

Parents and guardians are also being called to monitor their children carefully outside of school, as based on the reviews of the Charlie Charlie Challenge, it can have serious psychological effects on children.

The bulletin further argued that parents and guardians should note that the playing of this game can also result in "serious physical harm to our children."





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell win at Ostrava

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usain-bolt-photo-15.jpgUsain Bolt won his second 200m race in the last 21 months, clocking 20.13 on a rained-on track in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

Bolt's time ranks him fourth fastest in the world this year in the 200m and was .07 faster than his time on April 11, his first 200m since August 2013.

"It was a little bit colder than I thought it would be," Bolt told an on-track reporter. "It's all about working on my technique, getting back into shape."

Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition last season, one shortened due to foot surgery. Bolt's 200m world record from 2009 is 19.19, a mark he has said he hopes to break.

Bolt is scheduled to race at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 13 (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

The Ostrava field included zero of the expected top challengers to Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing on Aug. 29.

Also Tuesday, Asafa Powell won a 100m in 10.04 seconds with a small headwind, well off his 9.84 from May 9. Powell clocked 10.04 seccs to win the men's 100 metres, also ahead of Isaiah Young 10.13 secs. The times on the day were clearly undermined by the cold and wet conditions.

Jamaica's Olympic 100 metre silver medallist (Beijing 2008 Olympics) Kerron Stewart returned 23.43 secs for second place in the women's 200 metres behind winner Charonda Williams of the USA 23.11 secs. Sherone Simpson was 4th in 23.56 secs.

And Edino Steele was 6th in 33.08 secs in the men's 300 metres.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgThe battle between female dancehall entertainers Spice and Lady Saw reached fever pitch last night. In a tweet to Spice, Lady Saw said:

When you call me bout dippy (duppy) a run down u son in him sleep me tell you get a choice fi pray and you seh u a go a obeah man

Spice hit back at Lady Saw and told her that her four (4) year old son can teach her how to read, after pointing out the typographical error in the word 'dippy'.

The personal attacks by Spice rained on twitter attracting hundreds of retweet. Spice tweeted to an unresponsive Lady Saw

By the way John John say a the renking sent (scent) make him always a stray

Spice was heavily criticised online because she made the grammatical error of typing sent rather than scent.

As if that wasn't enough, Spice told Lady Saw that she was bad mind and evil, and as a consequence, God did not bless her with any children. She used the hashtag #WitchOfDancehall to end her tweet.

Realising how bad the situation was turning out to be, fans of both artists urged Spice to cease the personal attacks, she replied by saying, "unu stop tell me fi done cause a mi granny fuss trouble mi."

Earlier, Spice said that Lady Saw was bad mind after she went up on stage before her at a show in Florida on Sunday.





spelling-bee-champions-jody-anne-maxwell.jpgFor seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage. They make up one in five of the 285 spellers, aged nine through 15, from all 50 states and seven foreign countries, who ran a gauntlet of local and regional contests to qualify for the big event.

One of them, Vanya Shivashankar, 13, who lives in Kansas, is back for a fifth time -- inspired no doubt by her sister Kavya, the 2009 champion. Last year ended in a tie between Sriran Hathwar of upstate New York and Ansun Sujoe from Texas after they failed to knock each other out after five rounds.

But on social media, the reaction from some of the nearly one million people viewing the finals live on cable television veered towards the xenophobic.

"One year I wish an American kid could win," read one of several dubious Twitter posts curated on Storify.com by tech journalist Jeff Chu.

"Not to be offensive...but how do kids from India dominate the American spelling bee?!?" read another tweet.

"The kids in the spelling bee should only be AMERICAN," declared a third.

Such sentiments clearly rankle the organizers of the National Spelling Bee, whose longtime core sponsor is the Scripps media group.

"I look forward to the day, as do I think many of our South Asian participants, when they are called what they want to be called -- Americans," bee director Paige Kimble, the 1981 champion, said Wednesday.

"The bee is one of the truest forms of meritocracy, and we support every kid no matter where they come from," Kimble added.

"It's unfortunate that people have some not very nice things to say on social media."

Americans of South Asian heritage make up just one percent of the US population, but only a few are really into competitive spelling, said Northwestern University anthropology professor Shalini Shankar. More often than not, those families hail from southern India and emigrated to America as highly educated professionals, notably in the tech sector.

"The kids that do make it are extremely talented by any standard, but even among Indian Americans they are really gifted," she said.

They also keep in practice, thanks to a network of regular competitive spelling events on the margins of the usual scholastic fixtures, Shankar told AFP.

And it's not just in spelling, either. Seven of the 10 finalists in the National Geographic Bee earlier this month were Indian American, including the winner, Karan Menon, from New Jersey.

Last year Swapnil Garg, from California, clinched the national Mathcounts challenge, which is more often won by high school students of Chinese ethnicity.

Only once has the National Spelling Bee actually been won by a non-American: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her a celebrity in her native Jamaica. CAPTION: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her person outside of the US to ever win the competition.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgIn a lengthy post on her Instagram, Spice stated that she was scheduled to perform before the Queen of the Dancehall, but that Lady Saw "run go work before me".

"Lady Saw run go work before me as she was scheduled to work after, but because she think she could a stop my ting. She walk on before her time and run go perform before me, but I hope she see now what time it is."

She added that she was not competing with any female artiste, nor did she wish to take anyone's place.

"Lady Saw done set it already and done name weh she name and I can't change that and no other female to come after will be able to change it either. But, there will always be other females to come after that will want to shine too," the post read.

Spice, who is known to speak her mind, held nothing back as she sought to clear the air.

"I'm just here to do me, to do my thing and feed my two kids. I don't know what the problem is but I just know that Lady Saw too badmind and the argument done!" she further posted.

Kaylia Williams, public relations officer for Lady Saw, said she did not wish to comment on the issue, nor had she seen the Instagram post because Spice had blocked them.





Macka pon form with Christianity

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macka-diamond-photos-2.jpgThe girl from the Diamond District really a shine like a diamond. We spot Macka the other day and the woman look good. We don't know if she gone back a gym or if she have a new man inna her life, but what we know for sure is that she found her Saviour at the cross.

We hear that Macka has been going to church in Portmore for quite some time and she is deep into her Christian life.

Well, God blessings a show pon Macka because she just a glisten and a glow. Plus she have a new manager who a look out fi her best interest and all these things.

So Macka, all we can say is: Continue to walk with God.





7 FIFA officials arrested

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fifa-officials-arrested.jpgSeven senior officials at football's governing body, FIFA, were arrested in Zurich on Wedneslday, as part of two criminal probes into corruption.

Those arrested include Jeffrey Webb, current Fifa vice president for the Concacaf region. His predecesor, Austin 'Jack' Warner, has reportedly been indicted. Those arrested also include Costa Rica's national football chief Eduardo Li, president of South American football governing body, Conmeb, Uruguay's Eugenio Figueredo, and Brazil's Jose Maria Marin, who is a member of Fifa's Club Committee.

Warner, a former national security minister in Trinidad & Tobago, is seeking re-election to that country's national parliament in general elections, expected to be called shortly. Swiss prosecutors have also launched a separate criminal case into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.

The US Justice Department says nine football officials are among 14 people indicted on corruption charges. The suspects allegedly accepted bribes worth US$150 million over 20 years.

Fifa members are due to vote Friday in a presidential election where Sepp Blatter, the incumbent is seeking a fifth term Blatter is not among those being charged, but officials say he is among those being investigated in the ongoing probe.Fifa's Zurich headquarters has also been raided and documents seized.

The US Department of Justice says several officials have already pleaded guilty, including Charles 'Chuck' Blazer, the former general secretary of Concacaf.

Meanwhile, a search warrant is being executed at Concacaf's Headquarters in Miami Beach, with FBI agents seen removing bags of documents and computers.

Much of the U.S. enquiry is focused on the CONCACAF region, which governs football in the Caribbean, North America, and the Central America.

Warner was regularly dogged by accusations of corruption before he resigned in 2011, at which point FIFA terminated its investigations of him.The U.S. criminal case will allow courts to look into matters that in the past had been investigated, mainly by FIFA's own internal ethics committee, answerable to itself.

American law gives its courts broad powers to investigate crimes committed by foreigners on foreign soil if money passes through U.S. banks or other activities take place there.





T&T: Extradition request for Jack Warner

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jack-warner.jpgTrinidad & Tobago Attorney General Garvin Nicholas has confirmed that the US State Department has requested the extradition of former Fifa Vice President and CONCAF President, Jack Warner. Nicholas says the matter will go through the court system in the twin-island republic.

This development followed an announcement by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a press conference on Wednesday that the investigation into wide spread corruption at FIFA will continue, and hinted at additional arrests.

The indictment also alleges that officials took millions of dollars in bribes, over 20 years. Fourteen persons are under indictment while seven were arrested in Switzerland last night. Six of those indicted have current ties to FIFA, while another, Jack Warner, is a former vice president and ex-president of CONCACAF.

The indictment alleges Warner took US$10 million in bribes from the South African Government for the 2010 World Cup. Lynch declared the next step in the the FIFA investigation would involve extraditions.

Officials would not comment on the investigation into FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the man widely regarded as the most powerful person in sports. One federal law enforcement official said Mr. Blatter's fate would depend on where the investigation goes from here.

Meanwhile, Warner who is seeking re-election to Trinidad & Tobago's parliament has responded to corruption charges levelled against him by US authorities. In statement issued on Wednesday, Warner said he was aware that he was being sought in connection with the criminal probes underway. However, he said he was innocent of all charges and had fought fearlessly against all forms of injustice and corruption. He added that he has not been afforded any due process and has not been questioned in the matter.

Warner stated that the actions of Fifa no longer concern him, having stepped aside more than four years ago. He noted that the cross-border coordinated actions come at a time when Fifa is assembled for elections to select a President who is said is universally disliked by the international community

He said it was his experience that it was times such as this, that large world powers typically take action to affect world football. Warner's two sons are among four men who have already pleaded guilty in in the U.S. football corruption investigation involving bribes totaling more than US$100 million. However Jack Warner said he was not aware of his sons' guilty pleas.

The guilty pleas were unsealed at the Justice Department Indictment. According to the Associated Press, those who pleaded guilty are Daryan and Daryll Warner, Chuck Blazer, former Concacaf general-secretary, who for nearly two decades was the most senior American official at FIFA, and Jose Hawilla, an executive of the Brazil-based sports marketing firm, Traffic Sports.

Blazer has been accused of pocketing millions of dollars in marketing commissions and failure to pay taxes. He has been a cooperating witness for the FBI since leaving football in 2013 and has forfeited almost $2 million. US officials say Hawilla has agreed to forfeit more than US$151 million.The men face maximum jail terms of 20 years. Some of the charges include racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.

Concacaf head and Fifa Vice President, Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, was among several senior officials at Fifa who were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland this morning. Webb is also president of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Cayman Television said a statement is expected from Webb's CONCACAF office in George Town.





Mission to Motivate to tour Jamaica

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mission-to-motivate.jpgThe Child Development Agency (CDA) is taking Mission to Motivate across Jamaica. Launched last year as a part of the agency's 10th anniversary series of events, Mission to Motivate initiative aims to encourage children, specifically those in state care, to strive for excellence despite the odds they face. Throughout Child Month, the team will visit eight homes covering the South Eastern, North Eastern, Southern, and Western regions.

"Mission to Motivate serves to encourage children to aspire for greatness, despite the cards life has handed them, rise above their current situation by building resilience and, most especially, break the cycle of negative behaviours," Michelle McIntosh, CDA 10th Anniversary Planning Committee chair said.

To do this, the CDA is utilising past wards of the state, as well as university students, to bring the motivation message. These young adults, McIntosh explained, have been a part of the system and understand the realities of children in State care, have been assisted by the CDA, or are intrigued with the programme.

All, she noted, are model young people who have overcome adversity, received numerous awards and are successful in their various fields. This charge is led by 10th anniversary co-patrons Tanisha Esman-Ledgister and Tamian Beckford, along with Kingston and St Andrew Corporation youth mayor, Jahzeal Clarke.

Jahzeal Clarke has already been to three Mission to Motivate sessions, enjoying every bit.

Though he has never been in a home, he said he has benefitted from assistance from personnel at the CDA.

The 21-year-old student at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is the sixth of 10 children for his mother, who died when he was in grade four.

Since then, he said, he has been on his own, living at different places. Despite this, he has been the first of his siblings to graduate fifth form with nine CXC subjects, attend sixth form, and go on to university where he is a first-year political leadership and strategy management student.

"In visiting the homes, I have been touched by the fact, that as I shared my story, the children listened keenly, asking questions. They wanted to know how I overcame this, or how I managed to move on from that, or how does one to get the next stage, or requested actual examples for them to follow," Clarke said.





paulette-santana-child-month-feature.jpg

Fed up with the images of children being abused and their lives snuffed out, upcoming singer, Paulette Santana has released the militant, no-hold-barred single, Dead In Deh, which warns the perpetrators of child abuse that there is no sympathy for them when they are caught and sent to prison.

The artiste who is managed by 1Family Entertainment noted that the song is a direct aim at those older men who are using and abusing little girls (and boys)for their own perverted pleasure. In the single, she asks: "How could a 12 year old seize you/Tell me what that little girl deh could a really do fi please you?"

The singer also urges everybody to be militant and stand up for the rights of the children and call up on mothers to protect their children from these monsters. Stop cover up fi the an dem,' is her plea to the mothers.

Paulette Santana a strong, focused and talented 24-year-old musician hails from Resource, in Manchester, Jamaica. Amidst the economic challenges she encountered while growing up in a single- parent household with her mother and seven siblings, she held firmly to her goals of becoming a successful musician and a force to reckon with in the music industry. Among her idols are Reggae songstress Etana who she admires for her soulfulness and positive songs and Paula Shaw, a neighborhood philanthropist and role model who has helped to mould her in the individual that she is today.

She attended Grove Town Primary School and later Bishop Gibson High School in Mandeville. During her tenure there, Paulette successfully perfected her communication, time management and analytic skills. Paulette Santana is quite proficient in the art of engendering and performing songs from a plethora of musical genres including, R&B, Souls, Gospel, Dancehall, and Roots Reggae.





Promo tour for Warrior King

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warrior-king-performance.jpgRoots reggae singer Warrior King made another leap in building his career and his fan base when he visited Mexico as part of his official promotional tour.

TheAint Giving Upsinger was billed on the event alongside headliner London-based reggae singer Macka B, and performed at the rocking Playa del Carmen beachside concert in front of a capacity audience of predominantly Mexican people, who have been showing increasing favour towards foundation reggae music.

Although this was not Warrior King's first trip to that Spanish-speaking country, it was undoubtedly his best experience so far. The artiste performed for an entire hour and the fans, some of whom were 'discovering' him and others who remembered him from a previous visit, were very receptive, surprising him by singing many of the songs word-for-word. In fact, so good was the response that the promoter has invited Warrior King to come back in August, when he will perform in a more official capacity in the capital, Mexico City.

Warrior King, who admits that he knows Spanish and has been practising the language quite a bit lately, feels that his ability to break into the Mexican market is due largely to the fact that although he is still relatively young, his voice has that 'foundation reggae feel' and his music and lyrical content are conscious roots reggae.

"From what I can see, the Mexicans appear to have a preference for roots reggae and they listen to a lot of music from foundation artistes. Of course, Bob (Marley) is way up there and so too are artistes like Dennis Brown and Culture," Warrior King explained. "I made the most of this opportunity by staying back at the event to sign autographs, take pictures with fans and encourage the fans to purchase my merchandise. I feel really good about this exposure and I know that the fans will spread the word."





macka-diamond-photos-2.jpgDressed in a purple-and-black gladiator costume, with knee-length gladiator boots and purple highlights in her hair, Macka Diamond delivered a stunning performance to a packed house at the 'More Life' show at Brixton Academy 02 in the United Kingdom on Sunday.

She was at her saucy best during a racy performance that found her interacting with the crowd, male cameramen and enthusiastic male patrons.

Hitting the stage with her age-old favourite, Hula Hoop, she immediately got the crowd energised when she invited two women onstage to dance.

One of them, a rotund woman with bountiful breasts, provided much amusement with her body-jiggling antics. She was a livewire throughout the song, performing her dance moves, even when her jiggling caused a wardrobe malfunction and her breasts accidentally popped out of her blouse.

Macka Diamond attempted to get the cameraman involved in her set but he retreated and walked away, laughing.

She segued neatly into Cow Foot, asking all the girls whose "body no have no arthritis and who fa body nah mek no noise" to scream. The girls obliged. She performed Done Already, earned a forward and pulled up the song.

Deafening crescendos greeted her when she performed the few first bars of Bun Him and she stopped deejaying as the crowd began to sing the song in unison. Macka Diamond then stopped the rhythm and invited two female patrons onstage to attempt to deejay the song, a move that had hilarious results.She did Forty and Fabulous and Twist Me before ending strongly with her mega hit, Dye Dye.

Macka Diamond returns to Jamaica to continue the promotion of her latest singles, No Money No Love for Chase Mills Records, and Mosquito One for producer Troyton 'Black Shadow' Remi.





foota-hype.jpgIt's all about entertainment and there was that and more as dancehall selector, Foota Hype turned the tables on over-rated deejay Alkaline at Best of the Best in Florida on Sunday and used Vybz Kartel's fans to diss Alkaline.

alkaline-photo-9.jpgFoota Hype performed right after Alkaline, whose performance had high and very low moments. As Foota took control of the stage, he asked the audience to show hands if they believed Alkaline was a better artiste than Vybz Kartel. Much to the dismay of Alkaline and his entourage, every (almost) hand went up in support of Kartel. Some persons even booed Alkaline to show their support for the incarcerated deejay, who last performed at Best of The Best via satellite in 2011.

Reports are that some members of Alkaline's entourage tried to make their way to the backstage area following Foota Hype's comments. However, organiser to the event, Jabba, was swift in his actions and sent security personnel to ensure that no physical altercation occurred.

According to Foota Hype: "Him kuff himself because dem did a clap him off before mi even go out there. So a him hurt himself, him diss me on a song which is played on the radio everyday and accuse me of being gay. A yu did a throw wud pon record against Vybz Kartel, so why get upset when the people speak ... that don't mek no sense, don't vex," Foota Hype said.

The DJ also said Alkaline's performance was less than impressive, therefore, his (Foota Hype) actions couldn't have caused much more damage.





Daily intake of passports doubled at PICA

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jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgThe Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, (PICA), is reporting that since last week it has processed more than ten thousand passport applications. The figure is expected to increase ahead of next Monday's increase in passport fees.

Chairman of PICA's Advisory Board, Dr. Leachim Semaj, says the daily intake at the agency's offices has doubled and preparations are being made to accommodate more customers for the remainder of this week.

Applications are being processed at the National Indoor Sports Centre following last week's rush on PICA's head office. In the meantime, despite the surge in passport applications, Dr Semaj has suggested that the expenses associated with moving operations from the head office, may cut into whatever will be earned from the exercise.





admiral-bailey-photo-1.jpgEntertainer Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey on Wednesday pleaded guilty to fraud charges filed against him after he attempted to renew a passport in another man's name in February.

Bailey was fined $160,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

He was arrested and charged on February 23 with two counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of obtaining a passport by false pretence, two counts of possession of forged documents, and a count each of attempting to obtain a passport by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

Bailey was reportedly held after he attempted to renew a passport in the name Michael George Sullivan at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency on Constant Spring Road, St Andrew.

Defense attorney Tom Tavares-Finson reportedly told the court that Bailey had been using the passport, for which the entertainer is charged, for at least three decades.





Four elderly men were shot dead while playing dominoes at a shop in Claremont, in St Elizabeth, on Wednesday night, police say.

Police identified the dead as Archibald Brown, 60, a farmer of Claremont, Ezra Wright, 73, farmer and shopkeeper of Claremont, 50-year-old Maurice Sanderson, also farmer. The fourth man was not positively identified early Thursday. Police say he too was elderly.

Reports are that the men were playing dominoes during a power cut about 8:30 pm at a small "board shop" operated by Wright when gunmen opened fire.

Police sources say the perpetrators are believed to be remnants of the Stone Crusher gang, operating in rugged terrain on the fringes of the Cockpit Country on the border of St Elizabeth and St James.





mexican-demonic-game.jpgYardFlex.com: Hundreds of school children across the length and breadth of Jamaica have been playing a dangerous demonic game that originates in Mexico with dire consequences.

Somewhat similar to the occult-based Ouija board game that took off in the seventies and eighties, this Charlie Charlie Challenge summons the spirit world and uses lead pencils to get answers. Schools have already started rounding up the perpetrators within their walls and have been considering the appropriate punishment. The principal of one prominent all-girls school on Constant Spring Road went around to every classroom on Wednesday and marched out all the girls who confessed to - or were pointed out by their peers - as having taken part in the demonic game. They were ordered to write about the incident before being sent back to classes.

In one of these incidents, it was reported that a Grade 8 Seventh Day Adventist student was the one who led the game with the pencil, and the demon caused the paper to lift up off the desk in the class-room, causing all the girls to scatter, screaming and running in fear. Teachers reportedly rushed out of the staff-room, leaving their lunches, to go and investigate the situation.

Other students at various other schools have been living in fear ever since having traumatic experiences with the demon, Charlie, with parents even reporting that their children cannot sleep at night and being terrified of the dark.

YardFlex spoke with a prominent pastor about the matter of demons and he noted that this thing about demon possession in schools has been going on for a very long time. He says that he has been called regularly to pray for students, some of them as young as ten years old, who are demon possessed.

"I did not know about this latest one from Mexico, however," he told YardFlex. "As parents we need to ensure that our children are covered. We need to pray with them, pray for them and see to it that they develop their own personal relationship with God. Young people are always on the lookout for a new type of excitement, and they don't see the church as the institution to provide this. That is why they get trapped into so many negative things - the spirit world, occult, drugs, perverted types of sexual intercourse and profane music are just some of them," the reverend declared.

YardFlex noted that a few students who are student leaders have posted on Twitter about the need to stay away from this serious game.

"What kind of foolishness this everybody a do? When exam time come oonu can't find pencil to do exams, but all of a sudden everybody a find pencil to play Charlie game," a very popular Kingston College sixth former reprimanded his followers on Twitter.

Meanwhile, some scientists have been saying that the game isn't demonic, it simply about gravity.









food-awards.jpgCertain people are making a lot of fuss over the $25thousand price tag for the Food Awards tickets, which went for $15-thousand last year.

Well, last year the place did ram and we know seh this year it going to be the same thing. All when the ticket price reach $50-thousand the rich people and the wannabes are going to scrape them up.

It's all about rubbing shoulders, my dears.





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgThe battle between female dancehall entertainers Spice and Lady Saw reached fever pitch last night. In a tweet to Spice, Lady Saw said:

When you call me bout dippy (duppy) a run down u son in him sleep me tell you get a choice fi pray and you seh u a go a obeah man

Spice hit back at Lady Saw and told her that her four (4) year old son can teach her how to read, after pointing out the typographical error in the word 'dippy'.

The personal attacks by Spice rained on twitter attracting hundreds of retweet. Spice tweeted to an unresponsive Lady Saw

By the way John John say a the renking sent (scent) make him always a stray

Spice was heavily criticised online because she made the grammatical error of typing sent rather than scent.

As if that wasn't enough, Spice told Lady Saw that she was bad mind and evil, and as a consequence, God did not bless her with any children. She used the hashtag #WitchOfDancehall to end her tweet.

Realising how bad the situation was turning out to be, fans of both artists urged Spice to cease the personal attacks, she replied by saying, "unu stop tell me fi done cause a mi granny fuss trouble mi."

Earlier, Spice said that Lady Saw was bad mind after she went up on stage before her at a show in Florida on Sunday.

Renae Onedan Thompson

Them need fi behave

Jacqueline Samms-Sherbin

what's new? Jamaicans fighting Jamaicans in another country...disgraceful

Big deal

Lady saw must move har old bdclaath anytime a nu she in the spot light she vex.... A spice sey world tour. . A spice sey tear dung shows... A spice good Mada... And a wife sey wife.... Su lady saw can drop dead....

Sherieka Williams

They are two big grown woman they need to stop the fuckry, look oh many years they are in the music business they need to set example for the younger upcoming female artist.

Sandrene Jarrett

Spice a one fu$%^ing hateful jealous bitch! Weh she a come hate pon di dancehall queen fah? She jus tryin to mek a name fi herself by calling adda people name. Her music should be what help her rise up not acting like a grunge bitch trying to climb on accomplished artist like Lady Saw's back.

marcia

they both should show respect for each other.lady saw has been around for a long long time, and spice is like the new kid on the block. Bottom line is they are both Jamaican women entertainers. There should be no insults thrown at another woman if she doesn't or can't have children. Some men and women are not blessed like that, but I'm sure they are very parental in helping with their siblings kids or their friends kids. Its not a crime and they should not be made to feel ashamed. Shame shame . please stop this senseless bickering.

Patrina Ferrigon

They are both disrespectful especially Spice. She's so classless, she needs to spend time growing the child God gave her.





zion-marley-prom-date-photo-1.jpgRemember Lauryn Hill's 1998 Song 'To Zion'? Well, Zion Is Now 17 & Just

Lauryn Hill released her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, and one of the album's standout tracks was To Zion, Lauryn's sweet dedication to her first child Zion David.

Well, Zion is now 17 years old (three months shy of 18), and the handsome teenager recently attended his high school prom with his girlfriend Kristen Richardson.

zion-marley-prom-date-photo-2.jpg





lady-saw-and-spice.jpgIn a lengthy post on her Instagram, Spice stated that she was scheduled to perform before the Queen of the Dancehall, but that Lady Saw "run go work before me".

"Lady Saw run go work before me as she was scheduled to work after, but because she think she could a stop my ting. She walk on before her time and run go perform before me, but I hope she see now what time it is."

She added that she was not competing with any female artiste, nor did she wish to take anyone's place.

"Lady Saw done set it already and done name weh she name and I can't change that and no other female to come after will be able to change it either. But, there will always be other females to come after that will want to shine too," the post read.

Spice, who is known to speak her mind, held nothing back as she sought to clear the air.

"I'm just here to do me, to do my thing and feed my two kids. I don't know what the problem is but I just know that Lady Saw too badmind and the argument done!" she further posted.

When contacted, Kaylia Williams, public relations officer for Lady Saw, stated that she did not wish to comment on the issue, nor had she seen the Instagram post because Spice had blocked them.

This is not the first time that the two female artistes have been in the spotlight regarding their feud. Lady Saw had accused Spice of being a backstabber, while Spice had responded that she needed Jesus.





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell win at Ostrov

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Usain-bolt-line.jpgUsain Bolt won his second 200m race in the last 21 months, clocking 20.13 on a rained-on track in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

Bolt's time ranks him fourth fastest in the world this year in the 200m and was .07 faster than his time on April 11, his first 200m since August 2013.

"It was a little bit colder than I thought it would be," Bolt told an on-track reporter. "It's all about working on my technique, getting back into shape."

Bolt ran a total of 400 meters in competition last season, one shortened due to foot surgery. Bolt's 200m world record from 2009 is 19.19, a mark he has said he hopes to break.

Bolt is scheduled to race at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 13 (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

The Ostrava field included zero of the expected top challengers to Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing on Aug. 29.

Also Tuesday, Asafa Powell won a 100m in 10.04 seconds with a small headwind, well off his 9.84 from May 9. Powell clocked 10.04 seccs to win the men's 100 metres, also ahead of Isaiah Young 10.13 secs. The times on the day were clearly undermined by the cold and wet conditions.

Jamaica's Olympic 100 metre silver medallist (Beijing 2008 Olympics) Kerron Stewart returned 23.43 secs for second place in the women's 200 metres behind winner Charonda Williams of the USA 23.11 secs. Sherone Simpson was 4th in 23.56 secs.

And Edino Steele was 6th in 33.08 secs in the men's 300 metres.





richard-medley.jpgSome residents of Denham Town, West Kingston, yesterday staged a protest in front the police station in the community against last Friday's fatal shooting of a music promoter.

The mid-morning demonstration was disrupted by the police, but the placard-bearing residents marched to North Street where they blocked the road with debris that they set ablaze.

The police were able to bring that situation under control and maintained a presence in the area.

Yesterday's protest is the second since Richard 'King' Medley's killing around 2:00 am at his girlfriend's home on Elgin Street in the West Kingston community.

His lover, who was present at the time of the killing, and residents are claiming that Medley was killed in cold blood.

The woman said that Medley came to her house around 2:00 am, and that police came knocking her door a short while later and were allowed inside after saying they were searching for gunmen.

The woman said that the police came inside the room where she and Medley were in bed, and after a brief conversation told Medley to get his phones and come with them. She said Medley was shot several times while reaching for his cellular phone.

She claimed further that after Medley -- a father of three children -- was killed, a gun was planted on him by the police.

The Independent Commission of Investigation is probing the incident.





mark-wignall.jpgAfter writing for the paper for 15 years,veteran columnist Mark Wignall has been fired by the Jamaica Observer.

Journalist Cliff Huges on his radio show on Power 106, Cliff Huges Online, earlier today said that Wignall had informed him that he was indeed dismissed by the newspaper. Wignall enjoyed a large readership of his columns.

Wignall's dismissal appears to surround a column written by him earlier this month in the Sunday Observer entitled 'Should Karl Samuda retire to the political tar pits?'

In the said article, Wignall maintains that alleged intimidation of JLP voters took place thus stopping them from voting in a general election in which Karl Samuda was a PNP candidate for St Andrew North Central.

The Jamaica Observer subsequently published a grovelling apology and made it clear that it was distancing itself from the Wignall story.all! Mark Wignall! He writes nothing but trash!"





Labour day activities round-up

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labour-day-roundup-lloyd-b-smith-at-railway-lane-basic-school.jpgLabour Day 2015 was celebrated on Monday May 25 under the theme Labour of Love: Nurturing Our Children and many Jamaicans islandwide got into the spirit of the day. Here are a few of the many projects that were undertaken.

Labour Day activities in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Trelawny, St. Ann, Westmoreland and Hanover received tremendous support from volunteers, on Monday, May 25.

The main projects for the parishes were: Manning's Boys' Home in St. Elizabeth; the Jerusalem Mountain Community Centre in Westmoreland; The Uriah Rowe Park in Trelawny; The Widow's Mite Children's Home in St. Ann; and the Hilloughby Basic School in Hanover.

Basic school repaired

At the Hilloughby Basic School, several areas of the school were repaired and repainted by citizens, including Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Wynter McIntosh and Councillor for the Sandy Bay Division, Lloyd Hill, while volunteers in St. Elizabeth turned out to carry our repairs to sections of the Manning's Boy's Home, which is located in Southfield.

Face-lift for comm centre in the West

Over in Westmoreland, Secretary/Manager of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Mrs. Opal Beharie and Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertell Moore, led volunteers who turned out to undertake work on the Jerusalem Mountain Community Centre.

Uriah Rowe Park cleaned

In Trelawny, Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson, headed a large group of volunteers who carried out work on the Uriah Rowe Park in Falmouth as well as the Hague Community Centre.

The Uriah Rowe Park, a popular location for residents of Falmouth was cleaned and sections of the security fence repaired and a number of ornamental trees planted on the grounds. The roof of the Hague Community Centre was repaired.

Children's home painted

At the Widow's Mite Children's Home in Murray Mountain, in St. Ann, volunteers repaired and painted several sections of the building. Work was also carried out on the vegetable and flower gardens at the home. This project was carried out by the St. Ann Parish Council and received support from representatives of HEART/NTA, North East Regional Offices.

Palladium constructs garbage skip

In other Labour Day projects, Team Members from the Palladium Hotels & Resorts constructed a garbage skip in the Elgin Town community to ensure that residents have a safe place to leave their domestic waste for collection. The hotel workers also painted a section of the Lucea Primary and Santoy Basic Schools.

General Manager, Mr. Jose Morgan, said that the Labour Day projects form part of the hotel's corporate responsibility to the community. "We at Palladium are always looking for opportunities to work with communities and to improve the general aesthetics for our team," he said.





vajacula-rejuvula-vagina-treatment.jpgKim Kardashian made vampire facials famous after having the beauty treatment in which blood is withdrawn and then injected into the face. Now a new treatment called Rejuvula, that costs L800, promises the same plumping and tightening effect, using blood cells - but this time on the vagina.

The procedure, which is only available in two clinics, uses injections of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), into the vaginal tissue to enhance sexual response and help with urinary incontinence.

The therapy is said to allow the body to heal faster and more efficiently and activate stem cells in the area, which the inventors claim results in rejuvenation and enhancement of damaged and undamaged tissue.

Because these are the individual patient's cells, experts say there is no chance of rejection, infection or allergy.

While Kim Kardashian's facial involved the injection of her own red blood cells, Rejuvula uses plasma which the makers say is yellowish in colour. They also say that after Rejuvula patients can expect increased sexual sensation, stronger and more frequent orgasms and even a boosted libido.

And if that isn't enough, the treatment promises to make the skin around the private parts look 'younger' and 'smoother',

There are also apparently health benefits such as decreased pain for women suffering from dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and it even lessens the severity of urinary incontinence.

The procedure is the invention of Dr Daniel Sister and medical aesthetic nurse Claudia McGloin.

The L800 treatment is hailed as the ultimate vagina rejuvenation therapy, and is available only at Dr Daniel Sister's clinic in London and at Claudia's clinic in Ireland.

A spokesperson for Claudia revealed: 'Generally patients would only need on treatment a year. Occasionally they might want a repeat at six months but very rarely.'

A 52-year-old woman from Sligo, Ireland, who had the procedure said: 'It completely changed my world.'

The patient, who wants to remain anonymous, admitted to having Dracula Therapy in her face along with dermal fillers and a face-lifting procedure.

She was intrigued by the new procedure, and admitted: 'I'm getting married in a couple of months and decided to have the treatment as a special treat for my husband to be.

'This is my second marriage, and I want my sex life with my new husband to be as exciting as if we'd met in our 20s.

'But the fact is I've had three kids since then, and things down there are not quite they used to be.'

The woman said she noticed a difference almost immediately. 'I started to notice some changes in sensations on my way home but the next morning it was heightened and sex was amazing. I have never felt such an intense orgasm before.'





Why wasn't Ishawna at Toya's funeral?

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joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna-photo-1.jpgFirst of all, we have to say RIP again to Toya. However, getting straight to the point. Don't Ishawna i a Downsound artiste? And since Joe is the CEO of Downsound, if him wife (common-law) dead, then shouldn't ALL Downsound artistes be present?

So why wasn't Miss Legendary there? Inquiring minds need to know. Especially since Miss Legendary Ishawna and Joe are so tight.

YardFlex a hear all kind of story, but we a bite we tongue cause a nuh everything good fi eat good fi talk.

All we can say is that we hope these stories are not true and that if there is any truth to them, the we know that Massa God nah sleep, so justice will be served in due course.

Latoya Alicia 'Toya' Jackson, may your soul rest in peace.And condolences to Joe. Him did really look mournful at the funeral. And little Joey swag did tun all the way up. Toya woulda did proud of her one pickney.





bobbi-kristina-and-nick-gordon-photo-1.jpgMore info is coming out about the relationship between Bobbi Kristina Brown and Nick Gordon.

It seems she was accused of cheating on Gordon not too long before she was found unconscious in her bathtub back in January.

Debra Reis Brooks who is Brown's neighbor said that there was another man in Brown's life named Duane Tyrone Hall, and Gordon knew about it, reports Enstarz.

The night before Bobbi K was found in the tub face down, Brooks says Gordon was steaming mad after finding out about the situation.

According to Enstarz's report, Brown and Gordon were hanging out with the friend who found Bobbi K, Max Lomas, 25, and his girlfriend, Danyela Bradley, 18.

Earlier this week, Brooks said that Brown and Gordon "had a fight at 12:30a.m." before Gordon and Lomas left the home.

"That's supposedly when this other guy came over to Krissi's. There was some discussion of some guy who came over and [he and Bobbi Kristina Brown] fooled around - that's what Nick said!"

Interestingly enough, the last snapshot Brown posted on Instagram was of her and Hall. She captioned it, "YAYYYY finally my famBAM!!!!"

For what it worth, another anonymous insider said, "If Nick caught Bobbi Kristina in bed with a guy, it would certainly make sense that a violent confrontation would occur."

Whether Brooks' story is accurate or not, in an interview with Extra, Gordon's brother, Jack Walker, did say - among other interesting things - that Bobbi K and Nick did indeed have a huge argument the night before she was found in the tub, unconscious.





rockfest-f2015-headliners.jpgThe ROC Foundation in partnership with Cherine TV proudly announces the 2nd Annual ROC Kids Festival 2015. The all-day children's music and action festival will take place on Saturday, July 4 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at its new home, the Jessie Ripoll Primary Field in Kingston, Jamaica.

A one-day fun-filled family musical and educational experience, ROC Kids Fest 2015 is a community call to action and will be represented by over ten non-profit organizations, top universities from the Caribbean and North America, children's-rights activists, speakers, poets and vendors, as well as performances by some of the hottest artistes in reggae, dancehall, gospel and roots music.

The event's main focus is to provide educational as well as needs-based scholarships and grants for outstanding students from the inner city and deep rural Jamaica through the ROC Scholarship Programme. To date, a total of 35 students have benefited from the ROC Scholarship Programme. Many continue to participate in the foundation's mentorship programme, serving as student mentors through ROC's mentorship school tours, as well as other community based partnerships.

Early bird ROCiTs (coupons) can be obtained from participating schools and sponsors as well as from pre-festival events being held in partnership with Groove Campus throughout May and June. ROCiTs allow supporters of the festival discounted admission of JMD$200 for children and JMD$300 for adults at the gate. Early bird ROCiTs automatically enter participating patrons in the grand prize give away of Android smart phones courtesy of Zlink Entertainment, Inc. ROCiTs for the event will also be available at ROC's Kingston headquarters and by phone at 876-813-9930, and must be activated to be eligible for admission discount. Additional details can be found via www.rockidsfest.com/tickets.

This year's musical headliners include dancehall icon Sizzla, reggae/dancehall soulstress Cherine Anderson and gospel sensation Kevin Downswell. Other top acts confirmed to perform are Ikaya, Nickieshia Barnes, Mario Evon, Ch4se and more. The festival will also introduce the next generation of gifted child performers from the Groove Campus Spring School Tour and Radio Show.

The official song for ROC Kids Fest 2015 is "Try" performed by Cherine Anderson, and will be available for limited download via www.rockidsfest.com. Part proceeds from the sale of "Try" will go towards purchasing a bus to transport volunteers of ROC's school tour and community mentorship programmes.





tessanne-chin-sings-i-will-always-love-you-at-memorial-day-concert.jpgThe Voice Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin sang "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston at the 2015 Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC on Sunday.

It was a night of reality singing competition show winners as Nick Fradiani from American Idol also performed.

Tessanne is currently working on her next album under the Justice League Music Group. Looking forward to it.

Her latest single "Fire" is now available on iTunes.





4-million for Labour Day activities

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labour-day-roundup-lloyd-b-smith-at-railway-lane-basic-school.jpgThe Government has allocated some $4 million for the National Labour Day activity and the main parish projects across the island.

The funds will be used to improve and upgrade recreational sites, parks and play areas for children in keeping with the theme: 'Labour of Love: Nurturing our Children'.

Acting Principal Director for Culture and Creative Industries in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the Parish Councils will receive $2 million to assist with the parish projects.

The remainder of the money will go towards rehabilitation of the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, which is the designated National Labour Day Project this year.

"Even though we have allocated some $4 million for Labour Day, the money is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to complete them," she noted, and called on the generosity of sponsors and volunteers to ensure the success of the various undertakings.

Dr. Lindsay informed that several public and private sector entities have pledged their support to the national project, with the South African High Commission donating concrete benches and tables for the Rudolph Elder Park.

Other sponsors include: National Housing Trust (NHT), First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), Purity Bakery Jamaica, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Island Dairies Limited Jamaica, Caribbean Broilers Jamaica Limited, Barco Caribbean Limited, Berger Paints and EdgeChem Jamaica Limited.





More Caribbean countries on ZikV alert

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zika-virus.jpgTwo other Caribbean countries have joined Jamaica in placing their citizens on alert for the mosquito borne Zika virus.

Public health authorities in the Cayman Islands have issued an alert for the virus which has been circulating in the Pacific and North-Eastern Brazil.

Also known as Zika-V, it is similar to dengue and chikungunya and is transmitted mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as is the case with those other diseases.

Dr Kiran Kumar, Cayman's Medical Officer of Health, said on the weekend that, while there has been no case in the Caribbean, the alert is being issued as a precautionary measure.

"The public is urged not to be alarmed in hearing the name of another mosquito borne disease. Instead, it is encouraged to take precautionary measures against transmission...whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels," he said.

Trinidad & Tobago's Ministry of Health on Thursday issued an advisory, asking that citizens prepare for mosquito-borne diseases that come with the approaching rainy season, including the Zika virus.

Last week Jamaica's Health Ministry said it was taking the threat of the virus seriously and urged members of the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.





Pastor charged with rape of teenager

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The police have reported that 53-year-old Elvis Thompson, a pastor of Cave District in Westmoreland has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a minor (a person under 16 years).

The pastor, who was also charged with sexual assault, was charged on Friday, May 22.

It was reported that in 2014, the alleged victim, who sent to his house to collect payment for goods. She was then reportedly assaulted and raped.

The matter was reported to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), and a file was prepared and sent to the Defender of Public Prosecution-Paula Llewellyn-who ruled that he should be charged.





Prisoner hospitalised with TB

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tb-tuberculosis-basics.jpgA prisoner who was being housed at the Kingston Central police lockup has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. The inmate, who reportedly fell ill two weeks ago, has been hospitalised.

Superintendent Michael Scott, Head of the Kingston Central Police, on Sunday night, confirmed that the prisoner was being treated for the infectious disease. He said the Ministry of Health had been called in.

So far there are no indication other prisoners were exposed to the disease, according to Superintendent Scott, however, a source said police personnel assigned to the Kingston Central lock-up are concerned they could be exposed to tuberculosis following the recent case.

It's understood that the police are not trained to deal with the contagious disease, and do not have the requisite resources to respond to suspected cases.

Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream to any organ in your body. It is most often found in the lungs. Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms because the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body. But if the immune system weakens, such as in people with HIV or elderly adults, TB bacteria can become active. In their active state, TB bacteria cause death of tissue in the organs they infect. Active TB disease can be fatal if left untreated.

Because the bacteria that cause tuberculosis are transmitted through the air, the disease can be contagious. Infection is most likely to occur if you are exposed to someone with TB on a day-to-day basis, such as by living or working in close quarters with someone who has the active disease. Even then, because the bacteria generally stay latent (inactive) after they invade the body, only a small number of people infected with TB will ever have the active disease.





toya-son-joe.jpgFuneral home, Brite Lite, promised a celebrity funeral for late entertainer Latoya 'Toya' Jackson and they delivered. A white hearse with a glittering glass casket, a lavish keepsake funeral booklet, water bottles with Toya's picture on them and a full-set marching band were some of the special effects at the service for the singer, who was the common-law wife of Downsound Records CEO, Joe Bogdanovich.

Leading the mourners were Bogdanovich and the one child of their union, six-year-old Josef, along with Toya's mother, Crystal Gayle, who was deeply affected by the death of her only daughter. Joe was a somber figure who looked as if the reality of the situation was just beginning to sink in, while little Joe was they typical six-year-old who is still too young to fully comprehend the impact of this ceremony.

Although Toya was a dancehall artiste, the fraternity did not represent at the Hagley Park Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sunday morning and the church had many empty benches. That aside, however, those who turned out remembered Toya as a wonderful, caring human being. Gospel singer, Carlene Davis, paid tribute through the song Been Through Enough, while Pulse CEO, Kingsley Cooper read the eulogy.

Songwriter Black Pearl gave a very long tribute, which was at times amusing and ended by saying that he knew that Toya's soul was all right because she had gotten baptized before she died. Downsound artiste, Harry Toddler, noted that "Toya's death reunited the Downsound Records camp".

'Joe Loves You' and 'Boss Lady Toya' were some of the words on the numerous wreaths placed by her casket. Among the mourners were Ninja Man, Fantan Mojah, British Link Up's Owen 'Roy Fowl' Clarke, and Supreme Promotion's Isaiah Laing.

Jackson died in the United States in May from diabetic complications. The 30-year-old had been ailing for nearly two years.

Interment followed at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.





Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell off to Ostrava

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asafa-powell-and-usain-bolt.jpgTriple world record holder Usain Bolt and former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell are among five Jamaicans on their way to Ostrava for the IAAF World Challenge Golden Spike meeting on Tuesday.

Bolt will turn out in the men's 200 metres for his 7th appearance at the meet and his third time contesting the 200 metres event.

Powell will be making his 4th appearance in Ostrava and will line up against British world and European Indoor champion Richard Kilty.

Edino Steele is down to compete in the men's 400 metres event while Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson are listed for the Women's 200 metres race.





Did you know the Flotus is #TeamNatural?

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michelle-obama-flotus.jpgDid you know that the First Lady, Michelle Obama is a naturalista!

Yes, you read correctly. Michelle Obama stopped chemically treating her hair years ago. Celebrity stylist Johnny Wright, who takes care of the FLOTUS' tresses, recently discussed Lady O's hair with The Root.

Instead of relying on chemicals, Wright says that he straightens Lady O's hair with a flat iron. While he wouldn't say for sure whether or not we'll ever see Mrs. Obama stepping out rocking her natural 'fro, Wright says that it's definitely a possibility.

"I don't know. Maybe on vacation she will," he shared. "She is 100 percent natural now. It is a possibility."

While Wright says that he doesn't subscribe to the notion of good and bad hair, he thoroughly supports the natural hair movement, which the First Lady has embraced.

"I think a lot of women are starting to see what type of damage chemicals has caused their hair over the years, and they're really starting to embrace their curls and really embrace the fact that they can be versatile," Wright said.

"They can wear it curly. They can wear it straight. They don't have to really conform to any particular look. They can do it all, and that's one thing that is going to stick. That's the revolution part of it. ... The revolution part will stick. All about curl power."

Love it.





vybz-kartel-photo-24.jpgFamed Rock Legend Mick Jagger, has named incarcerated Dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel and Rap Artist Jay-Z as his favourite Rap artistes.

The 71-year-old Rock Mogul while speaking at a Twitter Question and Answer session earlier this week, says although he has to listen to Vybz Kartel's lyrics 100 times to understand what he is saying, he is is favourite.

mick-jagger.jpg

Mick Jagger says the appeal of Dancehall is the reason he favours Kartel.

While adding that Jay-Z and Kartel are different, he further says Kartel is just mad Dancehall.

Mick Jagger is the founding member and lead singer of the Rolling Stones.





The National Indoor Sports Centre, will be used next week in the processing of applications for passports.

The decision was taken, after thousands of persons converged on the Constant Spring Offices of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, to apply for a passport, ahead of the increased fees which take effect on June 1.

The June 1 date was announced yesterday, after complaints that the initial date of May 26, was too soon.

Chairman of the advisory board to PICA, Dr Leachim Semaj, says come next Tuesday, the Sport Centre will be used in the processing of applications.

Dr Semaj says, all offices of PICA, saw an increase over their daily quotas, with Kingston seeing a 50% increase, over the 1 thousand per day quota.

In the meantime, Dr Semaj states, that any further extension to the implementation date for the increase, will have to come from the cabinet.





jimmy-riley-birthday.jpgHappy Earthstrong Jimmy Riley, born 22 May 1954.

Seminal Jamaican Singer born Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley in Kingston.He is the father of sensational reggae singer, Tarrus 'Singie Singie' Riley.

etana-i-rise.jpg

Happy Earthstrong Etana, born 22 May 1983.

Seminal Jamaican Singer and Songwriter born Shauna McKenzie in Kingston.





dominic-mcdowell.jpgThe next general meeting of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association

(JaRIA) is scheduled for Wednesday the 27th of May 2015, 6:00 pm, in the

Vera Moody Hall (Music School Auditorium) at Edna Manley College for the

Visual and Performing Arts.

The Guest Speaker will be Dominic McDowell who will address the topic

"Ganja Legislation and Production: Economic Implications for Jamaica's

Entertainment Industry".

Mr. McDowell is the Plannning & Business Development Specialist for

Medicanja Limited which was incorporated and launched in the latter part of 2013 by Dr. Henry Lowe. The objective of Medicanja is to undertake cutting edge research, development and commercialization of value added products and services related to medical ganja and hemp for the local, regional and international markets. McDowell oversees and implements planning and business development policies, objectives, and initiatives with respect to Medicanja Ltd. He is also responsible for product standardization, and maximizing, brand promotion, and funding and grant proposals.

The date of the meeting was changed from its normal schedule as student examinations are underway at the college.





ganja-smoking.jpg1. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, located in central Europe, is still getting a grasp on its newly minted medical marijuana law, which was passed in early 2013. Many people are still having a hard time actually finding medicine to help cope with their medical needs, but it seems that the situation is improving. There is also widespread decriminalization, in which Czech citizens are allowed to grow up to five plants, or be in possession of certain amounts of cannabis without fear of being criminally prosecuted.

2. Ecuador

The South American nation of Ecuador, which shares a continent with the only country on Earth to have fully legalized cannabis in Uruguay, may be on its way to legalizing marijuana itself. The country has a long and rich history, filled with issues resulting from the international drug trade, and subsequent War on Drugs. Currently, possession of small amounts of cannabis is permitted, if it is for personal use and there is no intent to distribute. However, the Ecuadorian government could be poised to earn big bucks by legalizing in terms of tax dollars and potential trade revenue.

3. Jamaica

Though many people may have thought marijuana was already legal in the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, that's simply not the case. However, it does look like the country's leadership is leaning toward going that route. Just recently, the country took a big step in relaxing its laws on possession, and also decriminalized it for a variety of reasons, including religious ceremonies and medicinal use. Jamaica may be swayed in coming years by increasing pressure from its in-house Rastafarian movement, as well as tourists from places like the U.S. where legalization is quickly sweeping the country.

4. Mexico

One way to help cut down on the illegal drug trade, and the power of the drug cartels as a result, would be for the nation of Mexico to give its prohibition laws a second look. There has been plenty of talk over the past several years about the Mexican government looking at legalization marijuana and other substances, but political pressure from the U.S. government has helped keep those laws on the books - for now. The power of criminal organizations, including the infamous cartels that operate along the border, has been shown to be weakening as a result of American decriminalization, and Mexican leaders may be swayed to vote for legalization if it means a lessening of violence and corruption.

5. Canada

From America's southern border to its northern one, Canadians have been able to enjoy relatively more lax marijuana laws compared to the U.S. Places like British Columbia are famous worldwide for supposedly growing some of the finest marijuana in the world, and it is one of the major sources of the plant into the United States. There are a majority of Canadian citizens who want to see the plant legalized, and much of what policymakers decide to do will likely come as a result of how the U.S. handles legalization going forward.

6. Spain

Certain places in Spain have also been called 'The New Amsterdam' due to their high concentration of private cannabis clubs. Operating in a somewhat gray area within Spanish law, these clubs take advantage of new laws that have decriminalized possession, although the manufacture and sale of cannabis is still illegal. It appears that Spain is one of the countries that will ride the momentum of the legalization movement, and make more policy moves based on what happens as a result of its decriminalization efforts.

7. Uruguay

Uruguay, of course, has made a name for itself by becoming the first and only country on Earth to fully legalize marijuana. The laws themselves are still being ironed out, but Uruguay has taken an enormous leap by being the first country to put a legal marijuana market into place on a country-wide scale. The market itself will be tightly regulated on all fronts by the government, but prices are estimated to be incredibly cheap compared to what people are paying in Colorado and Washington.

8. The Netherlands

The Netherlands - and more specifically, Amsterdam - has been a prime destination for marijuana tourists for a long time now. The city's infamous 'coffee shops' have attracted visitors from all over the world, seeking to partake in the world famous Dutch marijuana trade. Of course, there have been some bumps in the road, especially recently, in which the law has actually been changed to make it harder to track down cannabis. It's unclear how things will actually turn out going forward, but for a country with a reputation and history of friendly attitudes toward marijuana, it's not hard to imagine that the Dutch government would pass less restrictive legislation if their neighbors and other world powers do.

9. Argentina

South America looks primed for sweeping changes in drug policy, and Argentina is no exception. There have been large rallies and protests urging lawmakers to reclassify marijuana as a legal substance, and as Uruguay and other South American nations have moved forward, it's likely Argentinian leaders will take on the prospect as well. Argentina's president has gone so far as to endorse a plan to legalize medical cannabis use, citing reasons that many in South America are familiar with.

10. India

The nation of India may come as a complete surprise to be seen among the many western European and South American nations on this list, but Indians are surprisingly open to the possibility of legalization. The Times of India has even gone on record supporting the idea. It's already widely used in many religious ceremonies among the Hindu population, and its use is not enforced as stringently as many might suspect. Not only that, but wild cannabis grow in abundance in many parts of India, making it even harder to regulate.





suzette-brown-killed-by-florida-man.jpgA 44-year-old man is accused of beating and stabbing his ex-girlfriend in Miramar after she told him she was going to meet with another man, police said.

The murder suspect, Pierre Limousin, and his former girlfriend, Suzette Brown, were in a relationship for about 12 years before breaking up over each other's infidelity, according to a police report.

Brown, who hails from Eltham in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is remembered as a very dedicated mother of two, who just started nursing school. She is a past student of Ferncourt High and Brown's Town Community College.Limousin, of Miramar, is now charged with her murder.

Miramar police discovered Brown's body after being alerted to a man dragging a screaming woman into a house in the 8500 block of Sheraton Drive before noon Wednesday.

As a responding officer arrived, he spotted a man with a bag getting into a gray Honda Accord who then drove off. Police lost track of the driver, but found Brown, 41, dead inside the home.

One of the bedrooms appeared to be ransacked and a knife was found nearby on Miramar Parkway, according to the report.

Investigators alerted other agencies about Limousin and his car after learning he was Brown's former boyfriend and was known to drive a gray Honda Accord. As Limousin tried to report his car as stolen in Hollywood, Miramar detectives were alerted and responded to the scene to interview Limousin.

According to the police report, Limousin told detectives that he drove by Brown's home and had a conversation with her that became heated. When she told him "she was going to meet with her new man as soon as he left," Limousin lost control and attacked Brown.

Limousin did not offer police further details, but did say he used a kitchen knife and thought she was still alive when he left because she was wheezing, according to the report.

He also told investigators that he ransacked a bedroom and left the home with the knife in bag, which he later tossed from the car.





funeral-for-twin-brothers.jpgIt's one year now since twin brothers, Brandon and Braydon drowned, as they were washed away by flood water in Cornwall Courts while coming home from school.

One got into difficulty and the other tried to save him,and he too wash washed away.Their bodies were discovered by Marine police at the Dump up Beach in Montego Bay.

The boys were students of the Greenpond Primary and their deaths caused a nation-wide outpouring of sympathy, led by Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, who attended the huge funeral in Montego Bay.

funeral-for-twin-brothers.jpg





Beijing officials 'shocked' at Gatlin claim

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justin-gatlin-photo-2.jpgBeijing World Challenge organisers said they were "perplexed" by comments from Justin Gatlin on Wednesday after the controversial American sprinter claimed he was expelled from the meeting.

Gatlin attempted to play down the incident, blaming high emotions a day after he accused Beijing officials of not letting him run because they feared he was carrying an injury.

"Emotional day. All is fine with Beijing org & me," he tweeted. "We have a great relationship and I look forward to being there in Aug for worlds & next year for the meet."

But Beijing organisers were not impressed by the behaviour of Gatlin, who has recovered from a four-year doping ban to become the world's fastest 100m sprinter this year.

"(Gatlin's manager Renaldo) Nehemiah did not communicate with us before he announced Gatlin's withdrawal at yesterday's news conference," said organising committee deputy director Liu Jie, according to Xinhua news agency.

He added: "And we never got to speak with Gatlin in person."

Gatlin earlier said he was upset by his treatment by Beijing organisers, claiming they had not allowed him to run and showed a lack of respect.

Gatlin told reporters he was suffering cramps after arriving from Doha, where on Friday he ran a world-leading 9.74sec - a personal best, at the advanced age of 33.

The time threw down the gauntlet to Jamaican star Usain Bolt before both men are expected to face each other in Beijing at the world championships in August.

But drug-tainted Gatlin's performances are deeply contentious, especially after research last year found steroids benefit users years after they are declared clean.





paris-jackson-bob-marley-tee.jpgParis Jackson, the 17-year-old daughter of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was seen rocking a T-shirt featuring the King of Reggae, Bob Marley, on a recent outing.

The message was vintage Bob: 'Let's get together and feel all right," and a could have particular significance for Paris, even as there is speculation that she is engaged to her boyfriend Chester Castellaw.

Paris and her 18-year-old beau, who's on a youth contract with soccer club Real So Cal sparked engagement talks when she was spotted donning the ring last week.

And the simple band was still in place on Monday when Paris was spotted getting an iced beverage from Starbucks with friends.

The pair are yet to make any comment on the Paris' choice of jewellery, though on theory is that the small band is actually a promise ring. Popular in America, promise ring are worn as a promise to commit to the relationship.

If the pair are indeed engaged, the union has the blessing of Paris's uncle Jermaine Jackson. Although he wasn't aware of the engagement, he told TMZ he had no problem with them getting hitched even at such a young age.

The pair initially confirmed the romance when they posted a series of intimate snaps at the start of April, having been spotted training together in Los Angeles.

Chester is believed to come from an affluent family with a comfortable home in Beverly Hills.

Speaking to RadarOnline, insiders have described him as 'an incredibly kind and sensitive young man who has been nothing but supportive and understanding of Paris.'





career-day-portia-bodyguards.jpgThis picture of three children at their recent career day at school has been making the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere, and has caused the ultimate schism. Half of the people are in favour of it and think it is "A Great job ... thumbs up" while the other half think that these parents "deserve prison time".

Here are some of the comments:

"Clearly that is Portia, and her body guards... who would go career day with this... parents deserve prison time."

"Mi waaan delete this from mi page. Mi find it distasteful and exploitative. Only because it seem to be encouraging our children to aspire to mediocre. I feel hungry looking at the photo. Really!! PNP!!! Really!! I'm dumb!"

"I am in two minds about this ...... i don't think the kids think if She is a bad prime minister or not ... i like the fact that she is aspiring to be Prime Minister .. what is annoying me is the Flag .... why did the parents make it political"

"Ded!"
"Dwl!!!!"
"Funny to the 10th power."
"Fix it Jesus...lol..lol..hahahaha"
"wt?"
"I don't get it... can someone explain what is happening here please? thanks!"
"Dwl!!!!"

Tell YardFlex what are your thoughts.





styleweek-ja.jpgDesigners from Paris, London and New York, will join Jamaica's best to showcase their Spring/Summer 2016 Collections at StyleWeek Jamaica 2015.

Saint International, organisers of the event, announced that almost 30 designers will be on show this year. Deiwght Peters, Saint's CEO and creator of StyleWeek Jamaica

StyleWeek Jamaica runs from May 20-24 in Kingston.

The fashion extravaganza will feature a dynamic mix of private receptions, glitzy runway shows, after-parties, photo-shoots and beach excursions.

FashIonblock, the spectacular grand finale, will unfold on Knutsford Boulevard on Sunday, May 24.





jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA strong police detachment was on hand Wednesday at the Passport Office located on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, where scores of people gathered at the gate..

The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on Sunday said that as of Tuesday, May 26, the cost of a regular adult passport will move from $4,500 to $6,500, while the passport for a minor will move from $2,700 to $4,000.

In addition, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors. Faced with an anticipated rush by persons applying for passports ahead of the fee hike, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, went ahead and implemented a quota system.

PICA was on Tuesday forced to halt the receipt of applications early as the number of customers grew beyond capacity. At midday, 762 persons had applied for passports which was 80%t of the 945 individuals served at its locations last Tuesday.As a result, PICA has introduced quotas at its outstations for the rest of the week to ensure the safety of applicants.

PICA said they will process 150 applications at its Mandeville office, 250 in Montego Bay, 100 each in St Ann's Bay and May Pen, 90 in Portmore and 1,000 at its headquarters on Constant Spring Road. The number of work stations at its offices has been increased from 27 to 39.

However, people at the PICA office on Wednesday morning made it clear that they were trying to get their documents before the new fees came into effect.The rush of customers to the institution caused a massive traffic pile-up along the Constant Spring and other adjoining roads as the long lines extended from the gate of the institution to the surrounding sidewalks.

Several customers were left fuming because of the long wait and it was subsequently announced that the Passport Office had closed for the day as it had reached its quota of 1,000 applications by 8:30am.





kellier-parliament.jpgMinistry of Agriculture, Derrick Kellier is attracting irate comments after declaring that there is no drought and is being compared to his health minister counterpart, Fenton Ferguson, who had declared in the height of the intolerable Chik-V ravage last there that there was no epidemic.

Kellier informed the House of Representatives that "a meteorological drought" has not been declared in Jamaica. In a statement to the House Wednesday afternoon, he said that it was also noticeable that the country has started to "see a little rain".

"We all pray for more rains, but while we pray, we are ensuring... that crops on the ground can be safeguarded," he said.

Kellier added that despite the dry conditions, the domestic food crop sector grew by 2.7 per cent last quarter.

Despite his assurances, persons have taken to social media to contradict Kellier's statements and poke fun at him."Lets not stop the list there," one reader stated, "There are also:

1. No bad roads
2. No sliding dollar
3. No poor heath service
4. No crime
5. No poor education system
6. No abuse of our children
7. No visitor harassment
8. No economic hardship
Is lie everybody a tell.

Another commented: Sometime yuh fi know wen fi chat an wen fi shut up! Dat a di mark of wisdom.Right now een a fi mi neck a di woods nuh rain nuh fall fi at least 5 months nung. Yuh a cum tell people bout nuh metereological drought nuh declare! Yu tek people fe eediat? A same way Fenton neva declare nuh Chik V outbreak till every odder Jamaican sick wid it..some all dead(dem soul rest in peace). So yuh intend fi wait an siddung pan yu bahine den wen tourist seh de place dry....unnu seh dought drought an a run up an dung like headless chicken? Since when Jamaican people need nubaddy fi tell dem when a drought from when a nuh drought. Yu a try outdo Fenton an him lackeys een a di chat bull department?? Yuh tiad a de portfolio?

"I don't know about that, as the NWC has issued several water restrictions in my area. I have very low water pressure, and the NWC turns off water supply from 10:00 pm in the nights to 4:30 am in the mornings. This is done, to advert the increasing water demand on a drought hit water supply. This is what I was told by a NWC customer care representative. So I have no clue what the Minister is saying, as the time is Hot as hell."

"Mi convince kellier drop and hit him head" (PIC KELLIER)





zik-v-update.jpgThe Health Ministry says, persons travelling to Jamaica from countries experiencing an outbreak in the mosquito bourne Zika virus, will be screened at the ports of entry.

The virus, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms of fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis or pink eye, headache, weakness, rash, and swelling of the lower limbs.

Brazil is currently experiencing an outbreak of the Zika virus. It has not been detected in the Caribbean.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse says there is no vaccine, nor specific treatment for persons with the Zika virus. She says the Health Ministry is employing measures to prevent the virus reaching Jamaica's shores.

Dr. Bullock-Ducasse is also urging Jamaicans to destroy mosquito breeding sites around the home and office. She says persons who contract the Zika virus, are treated based on the symptoms, as there is no vaccine.Symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days, and last four to seven days.









Justin Gatlin kicked out of Beijing meet

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justin-gatlin-photo-1.jpgControversial sprinter Justin Gatlin has returned home to the United States, after he was kicked out of the Beijing world challenge meet which gets underway tomorrow.

The 33-year-old, who is the fastest man in the world this year after clocking 9.74 seconds at last week's diamond league meeting in Doha, returned home just 48 hours after reaching Beijing. It is understood that he was sent a text message by the organizers, which stated that he had better leave.

Gatlin said organizers had shown him a lack of respect after he told them he would still compete despite feeling a little dehydrated.

The sprinter, who has become a polarising figure in the sport after previously serving two drugs bans, was clearly bewildered and angry as he left for Beijing airport with his physiotherapist.

Gatlin's agent, former 110m hurdles world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, said the dismissal was not related to Gatlin's four-year doping ban from 2006 to 2010.

"No, it has nothing to do with that," Nehemiah said, "This is because they think he is injured and they don't want him here if he's injured."

Nehemiah said he had been told by organizers the sprinter would have to pay for all his team's travel and hotel costs, amounting to nearly $12,000, and would not receive his appearance fee.

Former hurdling great Nehemiah added that he would be taking up the matter with the International Association of Athletics Federations. (IAAF).

The meeting organizers have yet to respond to the American's comments.





mayor-of-spanish-town-norman-scott.jpgThe Mayor of Spanish Town, Norman Scott, is optimistic that the ban on entertainment activities in sections of St Catherine could be lifted soon.

The police imposed the ban as one of the measures to deal with a spike in murders in the parish.

The Mayor said it was insulting for police to impose the ban without first consulting the Parish Council.

But now he says he'll be meeting with the police as part of a committee that will review the ban.

Mr. Scott says the ban on entertainment activities is severely hampering small businesses in the parish and that many of them face closure.

He says a targeted ban in specific areas would be a better solution.





jamaican-passport.jpgOpposition spokesman on National Security Derrick Smith says the announced increases in fees for processing passport applications are "exorbitant and unconscionable", given the economic hardships Jamaicans are having to endure at this time.

"It cannot be that people are getting modest increases in their income, if any at all, but at the same time, are being called upon to pay considerably more for basic services," Smith said. "While the Passport Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) may well have to increase its fees from time to time, right now, it is unconscionable to saddle the already overburdened population with increases that go up to a high of 44 per cent.

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"Most Jamaicans are struggling just to get by," he continued. "We are at our taxable limit and have virtually no capacity to absorb any increase in fees and taxes, let alone this massive 44 per cent increase."

The Opposition spokesman said the Government needs to "wheel and come again".

"It has to explain to the nation, the basis on which fees for processing passport applications are being increased by such exorbitant rates, while inflation is in low single digits and workers, particularly those in the public sector, are having to endure the strictures of wage restraint," Smith said. "The average Jamaican worker has had no meaningful or substantial increase in their income due to the economic hardships confronting the country.

"And in the case of public sector workers, the mere 5 per cent increase being offered by the Government, illustrates just how unconscionable this proposed 44 per cent increased is," he said.





michael-lorne.jpgThe local Rastafarian community was last Thursday left upset that prominent attorney-at-law Miguel Lorne refused to heed the group's advice and instead stood in defence of accused child molester Roy 'Ras Carver' Bent in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's court.

According to the group's spokesman, Lorne was advised prior to his defence of the accused that it wasn't in the best interest of the Rastafarian community, or the victim's family to give representation to the alleged child molester.

"Lorne was asked not to defend Ras Carver in this matter because he (Lorne) knows the victims quite well, and both girls look up to him as an elder of the Rastafarian faith, therefore, his representation of the accused is tantamount to a betrayal of the family's trust," Ras Ivi, the group's spokesman, lamented.

He said the attorney was also taken to task by the 13-year-old victim for his representation of her assailant after the attorney made an unsuccessful bail application on behalf of the accused.

"He was told by ( ), that as an elder of the Rasta community, she has lost her respect for him and the next time they meet, she will spit at his feet in disgust," Ras Ivi added.

In defence of his client, Lorne said it was a bit unfair to judge him.

"Some people have cast judgment upon him already and say that he is guilty, which is absolutely absurd. Each person is entitled to their representation; each person is entitled to their day in court and sufficient on to the day. From that point, to prejudge Ras Carver that way is not fair to him, and, secondly, he is entitled to representation," Lorne said.

Lorne pointed out that it is the police who had asked that Ras Carver get legal help. He stated that at this point, his main focus is to apply for bail on behalf of his client.

Lorne, a Rastafarian, is representing 61-year-old Rastafarian accused child molester Roy Ras Carver Bent, who was arrested last Tuesday for the alleged sexual molesting a nine-year-old and her 13-year-old sister.





A strong detachment of police is still in place at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann following an operation to clear the property of all employees.

Action was taken to prevent further protest, after it was revealed that the contract for ICON Construction Group was terminated yesterday. Workers were reportedly escorted from the property yesterday afternoon and when they arrived this morning were denied access.Attempts to get a response from property managers and the police were unsuccessful.

There have been protests at the site over the past two months.

A fire in March destroyed millions of dollars worth of furniture at the hotel.





The Jamaica Medical Doctors Association is warning that although there is a lull in local cases of chikungunya, a second strain of the mosquito-borne virus poses a threat to the island.

"It can come to Jamaica, as (did) the first strain that we got, and wreak havoc, so we should always be vigilant and we have to continue our vector control programmes and we have to take personal responsibility to get rid of mosquito breeding sites," Dr. Dawes told RJR News.

He stressed that this second strain of the virus "can cause just as much damage" as the one that infected a significant portion of the Jamaican population in 2014.





mosquito-borne-zika-virus.jpgJamaicans are being urged to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus to the island, in the wake of an outbreak in Brazil.

The Zika virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms such as fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash as well as swelling of the lower limbs. After the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days. The symptoms last for four to seven days

Following a warning by the Pan American Health Organization regarding the potential for the virus to spread to other countries, Dr. Kevin Harvey, Permanent Secretary in Jamaica's Ministry of Health, is urging householders to rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites.

"The Ministry of is taking this threat very seriously," he told RJR News.

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus.

Brazil's Ministry of Health has confirmed that 16 patients have been infected by the Zika virus. The number could rise as another 1,200 cases, mostly in Brazil's northeast, are being investigated.

The suspicion is that the virus arrived in Brazil with tourists.

Brazil's Health Minister, Arthur Chioro, says the country is also facing a dengue fever epidemic. There have also been 6,200 cases of chikungunya.





T&T: Video shows cops beating unarmed man

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video-shows-cops-beating.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) - A video purportedly showing armed police officers kicking and dragging an unarmed man has gone viral on social media site Facebook.

The 52-second video begins with a marked police driving on what appears to be a football field while some sort of event is taking place.

As the vehicle comes to a stop, a bareback man is seen running. He is followed on foot by two uniformed officers. The officers are walking.

The man picks up a plastic chair and launches it in the direction of the officers and tries to run away. Another uniformed officer exits the ¬vehicle.

As the man tries to escape, he trips near the parked police vehicle.

At this point, the three officers surround the man and appear to be kicking and cuffing him while he is on the ground. He is then dragged by his feet by one of the officers, while another continues to kick him.

Onlookers who were heard laughing at the beginning of the video try to appeal to the officers to exercise restraint. Some people are seen rushing to where the officers are holding the man.

The man is then placed in the back of the police vehicle.

A DJ plays the refrain "look trouble now" from soca artiste Machel Montano's 2015 Soca Monarch and Road March song, "Like Ah Boss".

The caption of the video states "No man watch that alyuh cah be kicking an dragging people like dog so".

The Express yesterday contacted the general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales for a comment on the ¬situation. He, however, said he had not seen the video in question.

This is not the first incident in recent times where police officers have come under public scrutiny for their action caught on camera and posted on social media.





taylor-swift-billboard-music-awards-show.jpgTaylor Swift was the big winner at this year's Billboard music awards. Not only did the singer premiere her blockbuster video for Bad Blood - featuring the likes of Cindy Crawford, Kendrick Lamar and Lena Dunham - but the pop star also took home eight prizes including top artist, top female artist, top Billboard 200 Album, top Billboard 200 artist, top Hot 100 artist and top streaming song.

Swift thanked "all the girls I talk to on the Internet and we talk about your feelings and you teach me your teen slang," during her speech for top female artist, and told her fans that she was "obsessed" with them: "You guys are the reason this year has happened the way that it's happened," she said.

It was also a good year for Iggy Azalea, Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith, who each won three awards, while One Direction, Hozier, Jason Aldean, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend, took home two. Calvin Harris also picked up the award for top dance/electronic artist. The Scottish EDM artist joined Swift, his supposed new girlfriend, at the ceremony.

Smith, who was forced to pull out of the ceremony owing to his vocal haemorrhage, accepted his awards remotely. His acceptance speech for top male artist came with a video featuring a number of cue cards. "First, thank you Billboard for this incredible honour," he wrote. "Secondly, thank you to my amazing fans. It's times like this that I realise how lucky I am to have you in my life. Can't wait to get this surgery out of the way so I can sing my ass off for you again."

Hosted by Chrissy Teigen and Ludacris, this year's awards took place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.





chris-brown-and-nicki-minaj.jpgChris Brown and Nicki Minaj are the top contenders at the upcoming BET Awards with six nominations each.

Brown will compete twice for video of the year with the hits "Loyal" and "New Flame" at the June 28 show in Los Angeles, BET announced Monday. Minaj is up for the top prize with her eye-popping "Anaconda" music video.

Beyonce and Lil Wayne follow with four nominations each. Beyonce's "7/11" also will compete for video of the year, along with Big Sean's "IDFWU" and Common and John Legend's Oscar-winning "Glory," from the film "Selma."

Brown's nominations include best male R&B/pop artist and viewers' choice award. He's nominated twice for best collaboration thanks to "Loyal," which features Lil Wayne and Tyga, and "New Flame," which co-stars Usher and Rick Ross.

Minaj is nominated for best female hip-hop artist, best group as a member of Young Money and best collaboration for the remix of "No Love" with August Alsina. She's nominated twice for the viewer's choice award with her hit "Only" and as a guest on Rae Sremmurd's "Throw Some Mo."

Other nominees include The Weeknd, Fetty Wap, FKA twigs and Sam Smith, who will compete for best new artist. "Empire" stars Taraji P. Henson and Jussie Smollett are nominated for acting awards, while Serena Williams and Floyd Mayweather Jr. earned sports nominations.

"This year's nominees showcase a diverse group of talent that includes longstanding entertainers, breakout performers, and outstanding athletes," Stephen Hill, BET's president of programming, said in a statement.

The BET Awards will air live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.





joe-bogdanovich-and-ishawna.jpgDown Sound Records chief executive officer Josef Bogdanovich has dismissed claims that he and dancehall artiste Ishawna were having an affair, and that they were having a clandestine moment only hours after his common-law wife's death in New York.

"I'd like to clarify that the picture with Ishawna and myself circulating virally and quoted as the two of us being in some club in lis over the weekend partying on the sly is utter nonsense. The truth is Down Sound was booked by a promoter to bring 'The Blitz' to Fort Lauderdale from as early as February this year," he said.

"I want you to know that I support my artistes fully both onstage and off and whatever folks want to say about me and Down Sound, I welcome it with joy. I'm only asking that they have some respect and leave my dead wife's name out of it because it is disgusting and vile," he said.

Bogdanovich with Ishawna, after his wife's death last week. The Down Sound Records CEO says he was only supporting his artiste.
At the time of her death, the doctors had already located two kidney donors for Toya. She has been severely sick for two years fighting the disease.

"Arrangements were being made for a transplant but first we had to get her strong enough to have the operation," he said.

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Fiction to open VIP Lounge and Deck Thursday

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fiction-fantasy.jpgThe official opening of the Fiction Fantasy VIP lounge & deck is set to take place on Thursday May 21 at 6PM

The new Lounge & Deck offers an alternative for the after-work crowd from the hours of 4pm and11pm Wednesdays to Sundays.

"The FANTASY Lounge & Deck will be somewhere to enjoy premium wines and cocktails while enjoying entertainment in a relaxed casual outdoor environment," said Group Marketing Manager for Linkup Media, Natalie Outar.

"Mr. Annakie promises to take the deck life at Fiction Nightlife Entertainment (FNE) to another level," added Outar

The David Annakie led Linkup Media Group of Companies, now fully owns and operates the Fiction FANTASY Nightclub which incorporates the Lounge & Deck through FNE.





child-development-agency-names-hotspots.jpgTHE parish of Westmoreland in western Jamaica has the highest number of child abuse cases in the island, with 500 active cases up to yesterday.

The Child Development Agency's (CDA's) Rosalee Gage-Grey made the disclosure yesterday at the end of a march to lobby for greater protection of the nation's children from abuse.

"Reports that we get we see what we call 'hot spots' such as Westmoreland. The whole belt from just near Savana-La- Mar, Negril, going back to Green Island, Hanover is a hot spot. We see right now in Westmoreland alone 500 active cases of reports that are being investigated.

Other hot spots to which Gage Grey pointed were St Ann; May Pen and hilly areas of Clarendon; Kingston and St Andrew; and St Thomas.

In the case of the latter, Gage-Grey said the incidence was under reported, as the number of reports do not match the cases on the ground.

"The cases that are reported to us are growing daily. We get about 200 cases per week. This is stretching us, but we are not broken because we are committed to the task of finding every one of those children and more importantly, we are committed to finding all those men and women who continue to abuse our children," she said.

The march, which began and ended at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston was organised by Dr Michael Abrahams, founder of Protect Our Children. He told the Jamaica Observer that yesterday's event was part of a movement to create public awareness about the gravity of issues involving children, and to raise money for the effort.

" When I was going to do the march people asked a very pertinent question, 'What use is a march any way?' It has a lot of usage; there was a march on Friday and a good friend of mine was speaking into the PA system he kept on saying 'report child abuse'. An about a hour later there was a man out there saying that he knows a 13-year-old who is being abused. What do I do about it? I didn't know until this week that the number is 188- protect," he related.

Scores of Jamaicans from several organisations participated in the march, bearing placards and demanding an end to the abuse of the nation's children.

Cases of child abuse, particulalrly murder and sexual abuse, appear to be been on the increase recently. So much so that it dominated