June 2015 Archives

The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan has received approval from South Carolina officials to hold a pro-Confederate flag rally at the state capitol, a newspaper reported on Monday, less than two weeks after a white man shot dead nine people in a black church.

The suspect in the church shooting, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, has confessed to the killing. He had previously posted a racist manifesto online as well as photos of him posing with a Confederate flag, a Civil-War era banner associated with slavery and seen by many as a symbol of racist oppression.

The shootings on June 17, in which all nine victims were black, unleashed shockwaves across the United States and triggered calls for South Carolina to stop displaying the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has called for the flag's removal, and told the Post and Courier that she did not endorse the Klan's planned rally.

But according to the newspaper, the South Carolina Budget and Control Board approved an application filed by the "Loyal White Knights" chapter of the Ku Klux Klan for a July 18 rally in favor of the flag.

Budget and Control Board spokesman Brian Gaines told the newspaper that space to demonstrate was provided at the site when not already reserved.

The state capitol is located in South Carolina's capital, Columbia, about 115 miles (185 km) northwest of Charleston, home to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where the shootings occurred.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist organizations, lists the Loyal White Knights as an active group within the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

With roots reaching back to the Civil War, the Klan is known for its white robes and pointed hoods and for its acts of violence and intimidation against African-Americans, including cross burnings and killings.

An answering machine for the South Carolina chapter referred to Roof as a "warrior," according to the Post and Courier.

Federal authorities said on Monday they are investigating a spate of fires at predominantly black churches across the southern United States, though so far no link between the incidents has been established.

In past year, race relations have been increasingly under the spotlight in the United States amid growing anger over frequent deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement, leading to demonstrations and occasional unrest.





danielle-crosskill-gets-engaged.jpgOver the weekend, businessman Adrien Lemaire, proposed to the love of his life, beauty queen Danielle Crosskill, who is the daughter of popular media personality, Simon Crosskill.

Lemaire shared a photo of the momentous occasion on Instagram which depicts his wife to be, showing off her engagement ring while clutching a glass of white wine.

"Today I asked the love of my life to marry me and be my life partner. She said YES!" said Lamaire on Facebook.

The now kindergarten teacher and Lemaire, who have been dating for ten years, got engaged in Portland.

Lemaire was sure to include the hashtags #ourhappyplace #ourPortAntonio #loveofmylife #bestdayever and #perfectlove.





local-government-minister.jpgThe Government will be heading to the House of Representatives tomorrow with a Bill to postpone the Local Government Election.

According to the agenda for the sitting of the House e-mailed to the media this afternoon, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act and the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act, will be taken through concluding stages.

Local Government Minister Noel Arscott dismissed a claim by his Opposition counterpart, Desmond McKenzie, of delay tactics in announcing the date for the polls.

The Parliamentary Opposition has been demanding that the date for the Local Government election be announced.

Cabinet has issued drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to change the legislation allowing for parish councils to serve for four years from the current three year term.





Infant School Quiz Competition

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christiana-leased-wins-infant-school-quiz-champs.jpgChristiana Leased Primary and Infant School students, in late May, walked away as champions in an Infant School Quiz Competition organised by the Manchester Parish Library.

They took the title from Mandeville Infant School who were the winners in the inaugural event last year.

Regional director for the library services in Manchester and St Elizabeth, Lorraine McLean, said that the competition is endorsed by the Ministry of Education Region 5 Early Childhood Unit.

She said that the event was conceptualised to expose the children to quiz competitions at an early age, and enable them to reap the benefits gained from participation.

"[The] setting [will] prepare their young minds for active mental exercise, which [will] improve their memories, stimulate alertness, encourage teamwork and self expression. The competition [will] also engender a love for reading, as it provided a means of revision and also heightened cultural awareness from an early age," McLean said in a news release.

Other participants in the competition this year were Bethabara Infant, Mandeville Infant and Porus Infant.

The major sponsors of the event were Sagicor Life Jamaica, Burger King, Golf View Hotel, and Three Angels Pharmacy.





obama-and-brazil-president.jpgWhen Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff learned in 2013 that the National Security Agency was listening in on her phone calls and reading her emails, she was none too pleased.

She canceled a long-planned state visit to the United States and used an address at the United Nations General Assembly to blast the United States for what she called a "totally unacceptable" violation of her country's sovereignty and accused the United States of breaking international law.

But tonight, over two years later, Rousseff will be wined and dined by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during a private "working dinner" at the White House. It's part of a two-day fence-mending trip and an opportunity for the two presidents to move beyond what the White House acknowledges as a "turbulent patch" between the Western hemisphere's two largest economies.

Earlier in the day, the president gave Rousseff a tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, pointing out various inscriptions of King's writings and speeches as they walked along the giant stone monument.
The two leaders will participate Tuesday in a series of formal meetings and also hold a joint news conference.

Obama has found himself in this predicament often in the past two years as he has tried to restore relationships with key allies angry over the NSA surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The president has repaired his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with meetings, phone calls and even a beer after she expressed outrage about the NSA spying on her cellphone conversations.

Just last week, Obama called French President Francois Hollande to patch their relationship following reports the United States spied on him and his two predecessors. In the phone call, the president reiterated a commitment that the United States is "not targeting and will not target the communications of the French president."

This will be the second meeting for Obama and Rousseff since the NSA spying revelations in 2013. They previously met on the sidelines of the Summit of Americas in Panama in April.

But even as the two leaders attempt to move beyond the spying that damaged their relationship, the White House won't say whether Obama will formally apologize to Rousseff.

"We have not made it a practice to issue apologies related to our surveillance activities," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said during a conference call with reporters to preview Rousseff's visit last week. "What the president has done is make changes based on our very thorough review of programs."

Rousseff's visit to the White House "signals the fact that we are moving forward in terms of our positive relationship" and will allow the two leaders to move forward on a number of "stalled" areas, Rhodes said.





The US State Department on Friday released its 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

In its report for Jamaica, the US said, while the Government has not limited the use of Internet access, there are reasons to believe that private online conversations by citizens have been monitored by the Government.

"The Government did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content," a section of the report said under its Internet Freedom category.

"There were credible reports, however, that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority," it read.

This, the report said, was according to the International Telecommunication Union, which stated that 38 per cent of citizens used the Internet in 2013.

State minister in the Ministry of Technology Julian Robinson has challenged US authorities to provide proof of the allegations laid against the Portia Simpson Miller-led Government.





bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts-photo-1.jpgMark Price, the brother of dancehall artiste Bounty Killer, plead guilty to larceny of a cellular Phone in St Kitts on Monday.

Price reportedly paid a fine of EC$3,000 for the theft of the phone and EC$3,000 to the complainant.

He was arrested just before Bounty Killer and his entourage were about to board a flight from the Eastern Caribbean island.

The instrument belonged to a customer service representative who was assisting Price with his customs and immigration documents.

The woman realized that the phone was missing and attempted to call it but the calls went to voice mail.

Price was nabbed when surveillance camera footage revealed that he snatched the phone.





fire-at-wortley-home-for-girls.jpgNineteen female wards of the state are to be relocated from the Wortley Home on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew after the facility was extensively damaged by fire on Monday afternoon.

Eight wards, who were at the home when the fire broke out were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries. The other girls were at school.

Divisional Head of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Superintendent Shaun Martin, says six units extinguished the blaze.

Meanwhile, Youth Minister Lisa Hanna said while none of the girls were physically injured, they were visibly shaken up by the incident. As a result, the CDA has deployed a team of Clinical Psychologists and Social Workers to provide emotional support to the wards.

The CDA and the Board of Management at the Wortley Home have secured temporary accommodation for the 19 girls who occupied the facility at an undisclosed location in the Corporate Area for the remainder of this week.

"Further, we have made contact with the SOS Children's Village in Stony Hill and they have indicated that they are able to accommodate the girls on a long term basis until a decision is made to permanently relocate the girls or to renovate the dorms at Wortley." Hanna said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Rosealee Gage-Grey said the CDA is moving swiftly to return a sense of normality to the girls. She added that she is grateful that there were no casualties or fatalities in this morning's incident.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigations into the early morning blaze are still ongoing.





Jamaica to host gay pride celebration in August

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Jamaican gays and lesbians will be staging its first Pride celebration in August, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has announced.

PRiDEJA 2015 will be held under the theme. "The Pride of a People: Breaking the Rules of Oppression".

JFLAG is using crowd funding site GoFundMe to raise funds for the project, noting on the website that "Every dollar raised will support our mission to bring our diverse community together for a moment of celebration."

The exact date of the celebration has not been disclosed as yet but JFLAG said "This independence festival will be attended by over 1,000 persons."

"Planned events include an opening ceremony, a symposium, a cultural show, a flash mob, sporting activities, a trade show for LGBT businesses, and a party," the lobby group said.

The event already has one high-profile supporter in the form of Jamaican recording artiste Diana King. King, who revealed she was a lesbian three years ago, took to social media on Sunday to share JFLAG's plea to the "World" to support Jamaica's first Pride celebrations.

Pride celebrations are held across the world to celebrate the LGBT community.

August is the same month as Jamaica's Independence celebrations.





The Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

comprised and coordinated by

The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association

(formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association)

& The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja

in association with

citiva-medical.jpg

Presents a Health and Medical Symposium

Introduction to Cannabinoid Science

Tuesday 30th June, 2015

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Registration 8:00 am

Interfaculty Lecture Theatre

University of the West Indies

Admission: Members of the Public, $5,000 GFGPA / CCMRI Members, $3,000

Medical and Bio-Chemistry Students, $3,000 - Limited to the first 50 students only

Contacts:

CITIVA: www.CitivaMedical.com

Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

Email: canpromo.sec@gmail.com
Tel: 759-8901-3





bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts.jpgBounty Killer's brother, Mark Price, in handcuffs at the RLB International Airport in St Kitts on Saturday morning.

Mark Price, the brother of dancehall deejay Rodney "Bounty Killer" Price, was arrested in St Kitts and Nevis on Saturday after allegedly being caught on camera stealing a cell phone.

According to a report in the West Indies News Network, Mark Price was part of a 10-man entourage with his famous brother at the RLB International Airport on Saturday morning, about to board a flight from St Kitts, when the incident occurred. Allegations are that the phone of an airport customer service representative went missing while she was assisting Price with his immigration form.

Call to the phone went straight to voicemail. A surveillance camera check reportedly showed Price picking up the phone from the counter as he left. Police confronted and arrested the suspect in the departure lounge.

After the phone was retrieved, it was reportedly discovered that the battery, SD and SIM card were taken out.

Mark Price is reportedly now in custody in St Kitts. His brother, Bounty Killer, who was in St Kitts for a performance, departed on a flight and headed back to Jamaica.

YardFlex was unable to get through to BOunty Killer or his representative for a comment.





Several Jamaicans deported from The Bahamas

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fred-mitchell-immigration-minister-bahamas.jpgSeveral Jamaicans were among more than 420 people deported from the Bahamas during the first 23 days of this month. Haitians comprised the majority of the deportees.

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has confirmed that the authorities were continuing the reparation exercise on a weekly basis and there are presently 180 people at the Detention Centre.

According to Mr. Mitchell, during the period June 1 to 23, 369 Haitians, 13 Jamaicans, eight Brazilians and 14 Cubans were repatriated.

Persons from India, Peru, Mongolia and Bangladesh were also awaiting deportation.

The Perry Christie Government has come under criticism from local and international human rights groups over its deportation policy.

Mr. Mitchell told reporters that the Department of Immigration is continuing operations to identify illegal immigrants.





colour-changing-condoms.jpgA group of teenage inventors have struck upon a clever way to alert folks to the presence of various venereal diseases before the burning starts: fluorescing condoms that light up when they encounter dangerous bacteria or virii. The team from Isaac Newton Academy in Illford, England developed the "glowing condom" concept, dubbed S.T.Y.E, as part of this year's TeenTech awards. It would reportedly operate as a normal condom does but also incorporate a sheath of molecules that attach to the diseases and set off a fluorescent reaction. The added layer would literally glow different colors when in contact with various STDs -- green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for HPV and blue for syphilis.

"We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors," Daanyaal Ali told the Daily Mail. "We've made sure we're able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before."





asafa-powell-photo-1.jpgFormer world record-holder Asafa Powell won the 100-meter final Friday night in Jamaica's trials in 9.84 seconds.

The 32-year-old Powell used a strong finish to earn a spot in the world championships in August in China. Powell dominated three rounds of races at the National Stadium.

Nickel Ashmeade finished second at 9.91, followed by Kemar Bailey-Cole at 9.97, and Nesta Carter at 9.98. On Friday, Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion in the 100, failed to reach the final after finishing sixth in his semifinal with a time of 10.35.

After his victory, Powell said he's in "hard training" for the world championships and he's "going there for the gold medal."

Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by countryman Usain Bolt.

Bolt's coach made a late decision to withdraw the world's top sprinter from the Jamaica trials. Bolt already has a berth secured in the world championships to defend his 100 and 200 titles.

Bolt and Powell are both expected to compete at Diamond League meets in July in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland.





us-supreme-court-upholds-same-sex-marriage-nationwide.jpgThe United States Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. In a landmark 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, asserted that marriage is a constitutional right for all.

"No union is more profound than marriage,'' he wrote, backed by the court's four more liberal justices.

Writing one of the dissenting opinions, Chief John Roberts said the constitution "had nothing to do with it".

Before the ruling on Thursday, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC.

Now the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, said the BBC's Paul Blake at the Supreme Court.

The case considered by the court concerned Jim Obergefell, an Ohio resident who was not recognised as the legal widower of his late husband, John Arthur.

"It's my hope that gay marriage will soon be a thing of the past, and from this day forward it will simply be 'marriage,'" an emotional Mr Obergefell said outside the court on Friday.

The first state to allow same-sex marriage was Massachusetts, which granted the right in 2004.

In recent years, a wave of legal rulings and a dramatic shift in public opinion have expanded gay marriage in the US. In 2012, the high court struck down a federal anti same-sex marriage law.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the decision and called Obergefell to personally congratulate him and the other plaintiffs in the case.





Bad Boy Trevor opens new club Secret Empires

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bad-boy-trevor-photo-1.jpgActor Bad Boy Trevor wants the public to know that it's all systems go for the opening of his new club Secret Empires.

"I am not operating Lucky 38 anymore, but I'm still in the business of adult entertainment, so people can look forward to the same action-filled nights they're used to from Lucky 38."

Trevor also revealed that he has plans to have Secret Empires operating in the daytime in the near future and said the new spot would offer a friendlier environment.

"It won't just be an exotic club," he said. "There will be a restaurant and a sports bar, so the whole ambience will make guests feel more comfortable."

With the new club ready for business, the entertainer also said that the popular Gyal Farm Sundays party would see a return in the coming weeks.

Secret Empires will be located at 7 South Avenue, formerly known as Prendy's, and will attract a general admission fee of $500. Women will be able to enter free every night before midnight.





Eddie Murphy does collab with Beenie Man

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eddie-murphy-and-beenie-man.jpgBack in May, comedian/actor/singer Eddie Murphy revealed to Rolling Stones Magazine that a collaboration between himself and the King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man was in the works. Fast-track a few weeks and the singer has made good on his promise of a new single.

With just over three weeks passing since the release of the music video for his hit single Oh Jah Jah, Murphy is back on the reggae trails, but this time the track offers a more upbeat tune to its predecessor and no doubt the musical stylings of 'the doctor' himself has something to do with that.

The new single titled Wonna Deez Nites is set for release on June 30, 2015 on VPAL Music (VP Records' subsidiary label and distribution arm) and is available for pre-order.

This new collaboration is the first time in more than two decades since Murphy has worked with another Jamaican artist musically. In 1993, he teamed up with legendary Jamaican dancehall artist Shabba Ranks on his song I Was A King.

Wonna Deez Nites is Murphy's second reggae track for the year and follows his January chart-topper Oh Jah Jah, also released by VPAL Music. Oh Jah Jah enjoyed huge success internationally and peaked at number 1 on iTunes Reggae Single Chart and debuted in the Top 5 on the US Billboard Reggae Digital Song Chart.

Although Wonna Deez Nites has not yet been officially released, it has been making the rounds on YouTube, as several persons have already posted the track to the popular video hosting site.

The single will be available for digital purchase starting with tomorrow on Amazon and June 30 on iTunes via Panda Bear Productions and VPAL Music.





rick-ross-photo-1.jpgJohnny Gourzong, executive director of Summerfest Productions, says he is confident American rapper Rick Ross will make bail in time for Reggae Sumfest 2015.

The veteran event organiser says fans of the artiste have nothing to worry about, as he believes the rapper will perform at the event in July.

"He going before a judge, he is going to be on bail so the patrons have no need to panic ... absolutely not. Rick Ross is going to be on the Sumfest stage come the Friday the 17th of July. He is going to be in Jamaica. We always deliver a tremendous product and this year will be no different," he said.

Rick Ross was denied a bail bond Thursday, following assault and kidnapping charges which stemmed from a June 7, 2015 incident involving one of his employees. The Stay Scheming rapper is expected to miss the BET Awards this weekend, as his next bail hearing is set for July 1.

Gourzong also said more patrons will get the opportunity to see Rick Ross perform on International Night One, due to a courteous decision by the Reggae Sumfest team to reduce the price of admission for that particular night.

"We know that things are tough in the economy and we felt the need to gauge it properly. You will also have Common on that night and Coco Tea will close it, so we are looking for a huge turn-out on that night. Come out and support the show, it's the greatest reggae show in the world. I know people concerned about Rick Ross, but he will be alright man," he said.

The festival will also feature Jennifer Hudson, Lady Saw, Spice, Gage, Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, I-Octane and Christopher Martin.





Barry G to host Groovin In The Park

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barry-g-and-mello-fm.jpgThe Boggieman 'Barry G' Gordon, ruler of afternoon radio in Jamaica, has a big date in New York.

Gordon has been invited to host the fifth annual Groovin' In The Park concert with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton and Billy Ocean - the most successful black recording star from Britain - on Sunday at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York.

Other confirmed performers at Groovin In The Park are reggae hit machine Cocoa Tea, Judy Mowatt, Luciano, Stitchie, Capleton and Morgan Heritage.

The veteran broadcaster, who went from radio producer to hosting his own programme at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation in the 70s, is considered an innovator, an educator and entertainer.

Many who grew up in Jamaica during the era, still talk with glee about the intense clashes he has had with Kiss FM's David Rodigan from London, England.

When asked about the secret for his longevity in media, Barry said, "I have been able to connect with radio listeners on every radio station I have been on, by my concerted effort to remain creative and original ... . I always innovate and never copy anyone's style. In an unselfish way, I deliberately go out of my way to inform and educate".

This will be the Boggieman's first trip to New York to host NY's premier reggae and R&B summer concert. Barry G will shear MC duties at the festival with award-winning New York broadcaster Clement "Ras Clem" Hume of Groovin Radio, 93.5 FM.





gas-cylinder-challenge.jpgThe ability to lift up a gas cylinder and pose up with it seems to be the latest trend on social media among Jamaicans. While many seem to think it is dangerous and crazy, many more are busy clicking away and posting their selfies on Facebook and Instagram.

Is said that some women have begun using gas cylinder as a tool for working out, which is supposedly very effective for working the arms.

One blogger also joined the conversation as he shared a photo of both men and women carrying gas cylinder to which he captioned, "What is going on".

Others who saw the photos of men and women posing, even taking selfies with gas cylinders, found the new trend hilarious, while others thought it was absurd.

So, are you gassed up and ready to take the cylinder selfie challenge?





judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgOrganizers of New York City's premier reggae and R&B summer festival, Groovin In The Park are extremely pleased with preparations for the 2015 installment which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park on Sunday, June 28. With the success of last year's event which pulled a record 20,000 patrons, the question is can they repeat and deliver an even biggest festival for 2015?

Thanks to meticulous planning and delivery on promise each year, Groovin' in the Park now has a huge concert fans base who look forward to each year's production. So far, patrons have embraced the star studded lineup with includes Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton, R&B sensation Billy Ocean, Judy Mowatt, Morgan Heritage, Coco Tea, Luciano, Stitchie and Capleton.

"We got off to an early start this year and I am happy to report that we are ahead of schedule in areas that are critical to having a successful festival" said Christopher Robert, founder and CEO of Groovin Inc.

Roberts noted that "Ticket sales are brisk; we have all our vendors in place, and we are going beyond the call of duty to ensure that the grounds are prepared. We are not leaving anything to chance."

The superbly professional technical standards that the festival has set for executing this extravaganza has re-defined expectations for all other music festivals in the region.

"We have gone to great lengths to package a powerful and memorable event. All the artistes are upbeat and are ready to deliver first class performances. Our production team is also prepared to deliver the best lighting and sound ever" he said.





A Connecticut man convicted of breaking his four-month-old daughter's arms, legs and ribs was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday, and ordered to take anger management classes and undergo a complete mental evaluation.

"You are either evil and a monster or very, very ill," Judge Maria Kahn told the man, Morice Wilkerson, 26, during a hearing in Superior Court in Bridgeport. Wilkerson broke down in tears as he was removed from the courtroom, and relatives also wailed and sobbed.

Wilkerson was convicted last month of third degree assault and risk of injury to a minor, after bringing the infant to a hospital in 2012 with all four limbs and two ribs broken.

He and his wife, Stephanie Kearney, had attempted to explain their daughter's multiple injuries by saying they were the results of various accidents, like rolling over while asleep, and genetic fragility.

Kearney, 25, was found not guilty of any crimes.

Before he was sentenced, Wilkerson pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying "I love my family and I would never do anything to hurt them."

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Kelley urged a significant sentence, arguing the girl's injuries could cause a crooked leg and stunted growth.

"This is one of the most troubling cases the state has ever prosecuted because of the severity of the injuries to such a young child," Kelley told the judge.

The judge sentenced Wilkerson to 10 years, with two years suspended.





Justin Plaschka wins gold for Jamaica

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justin-plaschka-wins.jpgJustin Plaschka struck gold for Jamaica Wednesday night in the boys 18 and over 100 meters butterfly event at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships (CCAN) being held in Barbados, to bring the country's medal tally to three after two days of competition.

Plaschka's swam a new Jamaican senior record of 55:25 seconds, to erase the previous mark of 55:56 seconds set last year.

It was his second medal on the night, after he earlier won the silver in the 200 meters freestyle event, where he touched the wall in 1 minute 56. 52 seconds, behind the winner Jemal le Grand of Aruba who won gold in 1 minute 54. 92 seconds.

Jessie Marsh won Jamaica's medal third medal on the night, after he splashed up a bronze in the boy's 13 - 14 100 meters butterfly in a personal best 59:75 seconds. The event was won by Kael Yorke of Trinidad & Tobago's in 57.40 seconds.





Usain Bolt to miss Jamaica trials

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usain-bolt-photo-14.jpgUsain Bolt is no longer listed to run the 100m at the JAAA Supreme Ventures Jamaican National Championships, sparking concerns about his fitness before defending his sprint titles at August's world championships in Beijing.

The 100m and 200m world record holder has struggled for form this year with modest best times of 10.12sec in Brazil and 20.13 in Ostrava.

The 10-times world championship medallist, who expressed concerns after a pedestrian 20.29 to win the 200m at the recent New York Diamond League meeting, had intended to run at the Jamaican trials as he seeks race sharpness.

But Bolt's name was missing from a list of athletes for the 100m released by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) on Wednesday.

Bolt had been entered along with Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter in the preliminary list published by the JAAA on Sunday.

The six-times Olympic gold medallist has wildcard entries for the 100m and 200m at the world championships in Beijing as defending champion.





trinidad-p-m-kamla-persad-bissessar-photo-1.jpgPrime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has served notice she has no intention of responding to the constant attacks levelled against her by corruption-accused Jack Warner.

At a meeting in Debe on Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar said Warner and People's National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley are a "tag team", and she will not go along with their plan to distract from the real issues of the general election campaign.

"No doubt you have detected I am fed up of the gruesome twosome of Rowley and Warner, and tonight I want to serve notice that I have no intention of engaging in their script, in their play, in their comedy, in their soap opera. I have none, no intention," said Persad-Bissessar, as the audience applauded.

"I serve notice further I will not respond to the lies and the fabrication coming from Mr Warner, and every one of those I will place in the hands of my lawyers, who will deal with him in the court of law. That is the one place he 'fraid, the court of law, but he cannot escape it. He will have to come in to that court of the land," she added.

"I repeat my point. I serve notice to you and to all the media and to all the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago: I will not be distracted, I will not be engaged in the script, in the game and in the play of Warner and his tag team Rowley.

"Instead, I will focus on the priorities, on the policies and the programmes to bring up Trinidad and Tobago into the new Trinidad and Tobago," she said.





karreuche-tran-and-chris-brown.jpgChris Brown reportedly wants former girlfriend Karrueche Tran to move out of the house he had leased for her. The news comes amid reports that the "Loyal" singer, who had tried to win back Tran after their split, is moving on after being rejected several times.

Brown's decision to ask Tran to leave the house reportedly came after the 27-year-old model said the dog she got as a gift from the singer was a constant reminder of their relationship. Tran broke up with Brown in March after she discovered that he had a child with model Nia Guzman.

"If Karrueche wants to get rid of her dog because it reminds her of Chris, then she should have already moved out of the house Chris leased for her," a source close to Brown told Hollywood Life.

During an interview on iHeartRadio's The Melting Pot on Monday, Tran reportedly talked about the dog, Athena.

"I received a gift from my ex for Christmas -- a dog -- she was given to me for Christmas. Right now, she's at the trainer. She's really, really bad and she's a puppy," Tran reportedly said. "I want to keep her because it's a puppy. I want to love her but it's a reminder of, you know."

The two have been feuding since the "Loyal" singer slammed Tran's supermodel friend, Tyson Beckford, for spending time with the model last month. However, Brown's attempts at reconciliation turned dramatic after he forced himself into Tran's SUV outside the Playhouse Nightclub in Los Angeles on June 4, and the incident ended outside Tran's house with neighbors calling the police.





New album from Home T 'Send Come Call We'

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home-t-new-album.jpgThe foundation members of Reggae group Home-T regrouped to present a new CD 'Send Come Call We'. It is produced and arranged by the legendary Mikey "Mao" Chung and backed by the original Now Generation Band.

Home-T's entry into the music business was a self-produced song 'Mr. Fire" written by co-founder Junior Gentles on their own Home-T Label. Many singles followed on the Mushroom Label: a cover of the pop hit "Stop Children," "Dedication," a song written by the legendary BB Seaton, and a cover of The Wailing Wailers " Soul Shake Down Party." On their own Junjo Label came " Irons in the Fire, "Mystique", "Love Oh Love" and "Dance a Sweet Kind A Music."

The last two songs allowed them to be finalists in the 1978/79 Festival Song Competitions, then came a reworked version of "Soul Shake Down Party" on Phonogram Records which was released in Europe.

All these singles were produced by Mikey "Mao" Chung and assisted by Home-T. Other singles followed on the Joe Gibbs Label: "Respection," " Red Bum Ball" retitled "Playmate," and in 1980 a Christmas Song written by Mikie Bennett called "Christmas Mood" more popularly known as "Mek The Christmas Ketch you in a Good Mood," which became an anthem that's played every Christmas season.

In 1983 "Sly & Robbie Present Home-T" was released which yielded a #1 song "Do You Believe?" on the UK Black Echoes Chart. This song was written by the late Trevor Roper of the band Chalice.

In 1988 Home-T busted out big time on the reggae scene with hits such as "Who She Love" and "Don't Throw it All Away" on The Jammys Label, then on the Music Works Label they had "Holding On," "Pirates Anthem," and "Single Life," solidifying them as hit makers.

Some of these songs were done in collaboration with Shabba Ranks and Cocoa Tea. In 2006 the album "Stronger Now" was produced by Mikie Bennett and Home-T at Grafton Studios.

Home-T has had its share of experiences to last many lifetimes. This is timely shared with audiences around the world, through scintillating performances with an eclectic mix of Ska, Rock Steady and the every pounding bass lines of the intriguing reggae music.





Reggae Sumfest headliner Rick Ross jailed

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rick-ross-photo-1.jpgReggae Sumfest headline performer Rick Ross is now waist deep in legal troubles as his matters with the law continue to rise.

The American rapper, who is expected to perform on International Night 1 at the greatest reggae show on earth on July 17, was arrested early Wednesday morning for kidnapping and aggravated assault.

But will his legal troubles prevent him from performing at Reggae Sumfest?

Reports are that cops arrested Rick Ross after he allegedly took a Glock 9MM pistol and viciously whipped one of his workers, causing injury to the man's jaw and neck.

According to legal documents, the rapper got into an argument with his groundskeeper at his Georgia home he bought from Evander Holyfield.

It is alleged that Ross forced the groundskeeper into the guesthouse bedroom at gunpoint where he questioned him. Police say when Rick Ross didn't get the answers he wanted, he pistol-whipped the guy twice, messing up his jaw and neck and chipping 2 teeth. The groundskeeper was so badly hurt he's now on a liquid diet.

Rick Ross was denied bail and will remain behind bars until his next court hearing, which is on July 1. The rapper is being arrested for the second time this month. Two weeks ago, Ross was busted for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in Georgia.





A Police Constable Lincoln Lennon, believed to be linked to a criminal network targeting persons travelling from the Norman Manley International Airport, has been charged. Lennon was charged on Tuesday by investigators probing robberies along the Palisados main road.

Investigators say the Constable and his alleged cronies were involved in an attempted robbery last week Tuesday which resulted in a gun battle along the thoroughfare. It is reported that on June 16, at about 9:30 pm, several persons were travelling in car from Port Royal when they were intercepted by a vehicle with three men aboard.

The men attempted to rob them and this led to a shoot-out with a licensed firearm holder. The robbers sped off and the car was later found abandoned. Investigators recovered spent shells at the crime scene and this led them to Constable Lennon. He has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, attempted robbery and shooting with intent.

The Constable, who is attached to the narcotics division, is also charged under the anti-gang legislation. Investigators are trying to determine whether the Constable is linked to a series of robberies along the airport road and is likely to face additional charges.





kamla.jpgPrime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago has accused her former national security minister, Austin Jack Warner, of having sought to blackmail her into reinstating him as a government minister.

Mrs Persad Bissessar was responding to the latest release of tapes and documents on Tuesday by Warner, claiming corruption and criminal conduct within the coalition People's Partnership government that faces a general election on September 7.

During a news conference, Warner played the tapes, again claiming he had to warn the country about the Prime Minister, since, according to him, she was "unfit for office."

Warner was fired from the Cabinet in 2011, amidst an earlier corruption scandal, relating to his role then as a vice-president of football's world governing body, FIFA.

Warner is currently on indictment by the US Justice Department, relating to football corruption charges, and is awaiting court hearings to determine whether he should be extradited to face those charges in the United States.

Seven current FIFA officials, including Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland last month on similar corruption charges, and are awaiting extradition to the United States as well.





bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgIt's been nearly five months since Bobbi Kristina was placed in a medically induced coma, and the outcome for Whitney Houston's only daughter still appears grim.

"Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown's condition has continued to deteriorate," Pat Houston said in a statement on behalf of the Houston family on Wednesday. "As of today, she has been moved into hospice care. We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God's hands now."

Last week, Bobby Brown, 46, spoke out slamming reports that his daughter was "going home to die." Both Brown and Pat Houston have been appointed co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina.

Bobbi Kristina, 22, was found unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31. She was hospitalized and placed on life support, but moved to a rehab center in March.

In May, Cissy Houston told Entertainment Tonight her granddaughter was "not progressing at all" in rehab.

"I'd like to thank everybody who was praying. Who really knows the worth of prayer and I'm sure it'll get through," Houston said. "I'm just waiting for whatever happens. We go to the hospital every day and pray and I talk to her because she can still hear and I rub her hand. We do what we can do. The rest is... all up to Him. We know nothing about His plan... All I can do is hope for the best."

Bobby Brown has yet to comment on the latest news.





keith-sweat.jpgAmerican R&B artiste Keith Sweat, the main architect behind 'Swestfest' the three-day festival to be held this weekend, will be the first of the group to arrive in the island, with the rest of the roster set to fly in on Friday.The 11 international acts for the show include Joe, Ginuwine, Tank, SWV, Silk, 112 and Dru Hill.

According to the event coordinator, Junior Taylor, all is set for the inaugural staging of the SweatFest. He said for Saturday's concert, the venue -- the Aqueduct, along the Rosehall main road in the second city -- has already been prepared and the crew constructing the stage is already on site.

"The facilities for the other two events are basically set. Friday's black tie dinner which will take the form of a 'comedy roast' is ready to go. All the entertainers are scheduled to be at this event to be held at Secrets Resort. Sunday's beach party is also set. The Seawind Beach Club will be the venue," Taylor explained.

He further disclosed that approximately 400 people, primarily from the United States, will be coming to attend the events.The event coordinator said for this reason, he is working on convincing Sweat to make Jamaica the home for SweatFest.

"The plan is to have SweatFest as a permanent fixture on our entertainment calendar here in Jamaica. One of the major challenges this year is that it is falling in the busy time of year -- that 90 days of Summer. This has made it difficult to secure the level of sponsorship that was envisioned, but by shifting the dates to earlier in the year, the event should be able to attract more sponsors," said Taylor.





konshens-photo-5.jpgJust two weeks ago, reggae songbird Etana's Facebook page was hacked and flooded with nudity and graphic sex acts. Now, Konshes had his Instagram page with 142,0000 followeres wiped clean overnight.

Konshens' official Instagram page, @konshenssojah, simply disappeared. He took to Twitter to vent his disappointment.

"Woke up ... Instagram GONE!! Don't know why ... Who knows anyway ... if it wasn't for the fans, I'd say .... it. Whoever did this has alotta hate and time on their hands," he posted.

A broadcast was also sent out, seemingly from Konshens, with the information for his new account.

"Di bwoy dem hack me Instagram and delete it ... Hate and bad mind is very real. Did a go loww Instagram ting, but fans a cuss. So, if you wanna find me in Instagram it's @konshensagain. Real fans and links only please. Mi really prefer 10 fans than 142k whe mi nuh sure bout. Nuff luv."

Efforts to get a comment from Konshens were unsuccessful.

Last year, Lady Saw had to close her verified Twitter page, as unscrupulous persons had changed the password without her knowledge.





lady-saw-sumfest.jpgA little birdie pinch we and tell we sey Lady Saw -- the Dancehall Mumma, Real Big Woman Ina Di Dancehall, Real Danehall Queen -- is in talks to close Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night.

But a coulda wha this? First time a woman ever going to have the honour of closing Dancehall Night.

Well, if a really so it go, we have ongle one question fi ask. Spice, how you feel bout this? After all, Dancehall is about currency and right now Spice is more current than the Mumma. A Spice get all the awards the other day from Star and all these people and Spice have her video with 20 million views and bare thingz.

Still, if a so it really go, the Lady Saw, big up yourself. And please doan get inna no more tracing match wid Spice or nobody else. Heels On!!!!!!!!





Ganja Symposium June 30

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ganja-image-4.jpgThe Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat comprised and coordinated byThe Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association (formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association) & The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja in association with Inline image Presents a Health and Medical Symposium Introduction to Cannabinoid Science. Tuesday 30th June, 2015

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Registration 8:00 am

Venue: Interfaculty Lecture Theatre, University of the West Indies

Admission: Members of the Public, $5,000

GFGPA / CCMRI Members, $3,000

Medical and Bio-Chemistry Students, $3,000 - Limited to the first 50 students only

Contacts: CITIVA: www.CitivaMedical.com

Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

Email: canpromo.sec@gmail.com

Tel: 759-8901-3





HIC focuses on 'healthy lifestyle'

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heart-institute-of-the-caribbean.jpgThe Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) Foundation is aimed at ensuring that all Jamaicans are able to access its services regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, the organisation is increasingly focused on public health awareness, motivating Jamaicans to adopt a health healthy lifestyle.

The Foundation's main initiatives include:

1. Our Community Clinic

Special prices are offered on our procedures on designated days - on Saturdays in Kingston - appointments are necessary.

2. The Free Emergency Angiogram Initiative

In honour of our 10th anniversary, we announced that we would be providing emergency angiograms, a diagnostic procedure valued at JMD 821,912.50, free of cost (conditions apply). The conditions are outlined below. The patient would only have to cover the cost of the angiokit which is JMD 47,500. This initiative is aimed at opening access to emergency cardiovascular care.

  • All patients hospitalized for a cardiac problem who are told that they need an emergency angiogram during their hospital stay
  • All patients who go to an accident and emergency and are told that they need an emergency angiogram
  • If a patient is having a heart attack or chest pain after hours (8pm -8am) and come to our 24 hour emergency chest pain centre - a physician evaluation will be provided free of cost, and if it is determined that an emergency angiogram is necessary, it will also be provided free of cost.




JUTC to reduce adult fares for the summer

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jutc-buses.jpgThe Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it will be slashing fares for adult passengers by $20 this summer.

In a release this afternoon, the JUTC said from Sunday, July 5 to Saturday, August 29, adults will pay $100 instead of $120 on its regular services.

It says premium and express services will not be included in the special summer fare arrangement.

According to the JUTC, all adult commuters including students between the ages of 12 and 20 in uniform, who customarily do not get concession fares during the summer months, on holidays, and weekends, will qualify for the discounted summer fare.

"This limited summer special is to induce these commuters to take our buses and experience the JUTC service," said JUTC managing director, Colin Campbell.

The JUTC says between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 it increased its passenger load by almost six million moving from 52. 3 million in 2013/2014 to 58.2 million for 2014/2015.





P Diddy arrested after fight with UCLA coach

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p-diddy-arrested.jpgP. Diddy was arrested on UCLA's campus Monday for getting into a fight with a Bruins assistant coach early Monday afternoon and later charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of making terrorist threats and one count of battery.

Diddy's son, Justin Combs, is a redshirt junior defensive back for the Bruins. He has played in seven games combined over the past two seasons, registering four tackles.

According to TMZ, one of UCLA's assistant coaches was "screaming at Justin on the field," and Diddy later "confronted the coach and grabbed him." As a result, Diddy, 45, was "arrested for assault" and remains in custody "at campus jail."

UCLA later confirmed the report and said that Diddy was charged with "assault with a deadly weapon," with the weapon being a kettlebell - a piece of weightlifting equipment.

Here's UCLA's full statement:

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. today, Sean Combs (also known as P. Diddy) was arrested at UCLA's Acosta Athletic Training Complex on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, which was a kettlebell. No one was seriously injured and UCPD is investigating. Combs is expected to be transported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Inmate Reception Center later this evening.

"I'm thankful that our staff showed the level of professionalism that they did in handling this situation," UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. "This is an unfortunate incident for all parties involved. While UCPD continues to review this matter, we will let the legal process run its course and refrain from further comment at this time."





.....Auditions closed

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rsf-flyer-back.jpgReggae Star Factor 2015 Auditions are now officially CLOSED and, according to their website, the organisers the season 2 contestants comprise a great mix of Solo singers, Bands, Mc's and Spoken word Performers.

"The nationwide Search has been great and we are glad to see what we already knew that there is talent in every corner of the UK that hasn't be given the platform to shine. Well we will keep our own campaign going as long as the people want us to.

"On behalf of all the staff we would just like to say a big thank you to everyone that has shown support and we look forward to seeing you at the Shaw in July. Contestant previews and Judging Panel line up coming shortly," the statement concluded.





rsf-flyer-front.jpgReggae Star Factor is an all Reggae talent show scheduled for six Fridays straight six weeks of high Reggae awareness brought to the UK stage from Friday July 31 to Friday September 4.

Reggae Star Factor is the first talent competition of its kind in the UK. Its principal aim is to provide a platform where aspiring reggae artistes can showcase their talent to a wider audience.

Vocalists, musicians and dancers were invited to perform in front of a panel of judges consisting of five experts from the reggae industry, who gave feedback in the form of constructive criticism. There were guest appearances from established artists.

The series consisted of 4 heats, 1 semi-final and the grand final, which were held in the theatre setting of the prestigious Tabernacle building in London's Ladbroke Grove.

Congrats to ReggaeStar Factor 2014 season 1 winner CHARDEL RHODEN

reggae-star-factor-chardel-on-stage.jpg





Kabaka Pyramid for Reggae Sumfest

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kabaka-pyramid-photo-2.jpgKABAKA Pyramid is scheduled for Reggae Sumfest's International Night One at the Catherine Hall complex in Montego Bay, St James on July 17.

"It will be high energy from I hit the stage; I will definitely debut new material, as well as performing songs everyone knows and loves," he declared.

Reggae Sumfest is scheduled for July 12-18.

Kabaka Pyramid's songs include Free From Chain, Liberal Opposer and Warrior, featuring Chronixx.





Brownie brothers reunite for new project

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browne-bunch.jpgJamaica's royal first family of music has reunited for a special project.

Formerly "The Browne Bunch", these four siblings have come together in 2015 with plans to complete and release their first album as part of their lifelong goal.

The group members are Cleveland Browne aka Clevie of Steely and Clevie, Danny Browne, Dalton Browne, Noel Browne and Glen Browne.The Brownie Brothers have since released two singles titled "Cool It Down" and "I was there".

One Family Music is proud to present, two brand new singles from "Brownie". The two singles "Cool It Down" and "I Was There" are currently available on ITUNES and other online music portals.





mavado-photo-12.jpgMavado and the mother of one of his children got into a war of words on social media over child support after the singjay posted a photograph of his son on his Instagram page with a lengthy caption which reads in part "Love you son and you know dat when you grow older you will understand the world you live in how could a woman get so much money like $1500 to $2000 US monthly minimum every month from you entered this world."

Vado's baby-mother hit back with "Wow what a beautiful picture. You come around him once every 6 months for a 20 minutes visit and take 100 pix to post and all of a sudden you're the best father in the world."

She also challenged Mavado's claim of sending $1500-$2000US for their son stating that legal documents were filed due to the entertainer's nonpayment of child support.





Journalist David Ebanks is dead

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david-ebanks.jpgDavid Ebanks, respected Jamaican journalist of many years, has died. RJR News understand that he passed away at his St. Andrew home on Monday evening, after ailing for sometime.

David Ebanks worked at Radio Jamaica for several decades, starting in the 1950s. He worked in various capacities but distinguished himself in the News Department as RJR's Parliamentary reporter for many years. He was also a regular host on the long-running current affairs programme, Exposure.

He rose through the ranks to briefly become head of the News department, before leaving RJR in the early 1990s. Thereafter, he worked very briefly at Power 106 FM, then joined Irie FM as a reporter for more than a decade. In response to the news, the Board and management of Radio Jamaica Limited have expressed regret at the passing of David Ebanks.

The Board and management, in a statement, noted that David worked as a journalist covering both news and sports on local and overseas assignments for many years, and also served as a broadcaster on the station.





JIS website and 5 others hacked by ISIS!

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jis-website-hacked-by-isis.jpgjis-logo.jpgThe Jamaica Information Service (JIS) says five websites hosted by the organisation were also defaced after Monday night's breach of its own system. The websites are the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, GC Foster College, Social Development Commission (SDC), Houses of Parliament and Jamaica National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The GC Foster College website has been successfully restored and the others are expected to be restored shortly, JIS says.

Probable Islamic State militants hacked into the website last evening, forcing a shutdown of the site. Up to 10:00 pm Monday, people who visited the site came upon a message which read:

"Hacked by Team System Dz: I am Muslim & I love jihad. I love Islamic state (heart)"

The message also stated: "Message to all the peoples of the world and especially to governments, Islamic State List to restore the rights of Muslims who have been killed by your governments savage and unjust, Islamic state will restore dignity for Muslims. Will purge the land of the Muslims from the hypocrites infidels. It intervenes you will equip you to dwell in cemeteries. Op USA & Israel. Hackers Islamic State/.2015" Facebook".

By 10:00 pm, the landing page for the website was blank, except for a message stating "hacked by holako".

JIS reports that technical problems were experienced on the website between 9:02 pm and 9:38 pm. It was taken offline for maintenance shortly thereafter.The government agency says its web team conducted restoration and recovery procedures within four hours.

Preliminary findings reveal that the attempts of the "hactivists" at breaching the system did not result in access to sensitive information but was constrained to "surface defacement." The Agency is confirming that no data was corrupted. Cyber security teams from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Technology Ministry are assisting the web team with the investigations.





ras-myrhdak.jpgEntertainer Ras Myrhdak is promoting a new single called Inna Di Business, as well as Big Dread, which is a diss to Fantan Mojah and in the process has made a headline-grabbing statement about it being okay for some Rastas to indulge in oral sex.

"Nuff man disrespect Snoop Lion, but dem fi know seh Rastafari is love and love has no limit nor barrier nor face. Snoop Dog dem grow up into a different system. They had people like Martin Luther King and Farrakhan yes," he said.

"But Martin Luther King and Farrakhan dem nuh grow up to the roots like Rasta wey sey thou shall not bow, thou shall not eat meat, thou shall not nyam vagina ... . nobody told them that it's wrong, so they see it as right because they grew up in that livity."

The artiste pointed out that Rastafarianism is not a religion and should not be treated as such.

"So if they (foreigners) see the light wey Rastafarian a show, we can't declare war. Religion is confusion and Rastafari is not a religion. The love of Rastafari don't come with fight, nor bun, nor to invoke physical violence against no human nor no race...Rastafari is love," he said.

"If he is speaking love and speaking positive, we endorse him. We have artistes like Papa San and Stitchie who seh Christianity. Who are we to reject Snoop Dogg when the almighty did not reject us? Any man under locks weh a talk bout bun Snopp, yuh wrong because love is love."





Number portability a reality at last

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In a press release Sunday, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell announced that effective 12:01 am, Monday, all systems are in place to facilitate number portability by individuals and businesses.

In this regard, both fixed-line and mobile telephone customers in Jamaica will be able to switch networks and retain their original numbers if they so desire.The first port would become possible at 9:00 am on June 22, 2015.

The release said that the minister received the update en route to the island from official business in the Russian Federation and declared that "it is with a sense of relief and satisfaction that I have received official notification that the tedious process of facilitating number portability has been successfully completed and the Jamaican consumers can now change from one telecommunications service provider to another and retain his/her original number".

He continued: "However, the greatest test is the successful implementation of each request and ultimately the satisfaction of the consumer. Like all new systems of this magnitude, there may be minor glitches, but our expectation is that if and when there is such an occurrence that this will be addressed expeditiously and at a minimal inconvenience to the consumer."

The notification was conveyed to the telecommunications minister by chairman of the Number Portability Working Group, Herman Athias, who was charged with the responsibility of monitoring and assessing the progress of the porting process on a daily basis and provides the Minister and the regulatory authorities with regular updates.





Darren Powell's assets frozen

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daren-powell.jpgThe Supreme Court has ordered that the assets of prominent businessman,former West Indies fast bowler and PNP Caretaker for North West St. Elizabeth, Darren Powell, be frozen.

His assets was ordered frozen last week Wednesday by Justice Lloyd Hibbert.

He made the order after Powell was sued for failing to make full payment after he purchased a Supermarket in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

Documents show that the company, Quintex Limited and its director James Chin have sued Powell for damages in excess of $35-million.The lawsuit was filed in April this year.The Court order freezing Powell's assets was obtained in June.

Allegations are that in March 2012, Powell entered into a sale agreement to purchase a Supermarket from Mr. Chin's company.The agreed purchase price was $38-million.

The Supermarket was re-branded using one of Powell's middle names, Lyle. But documents supplied to the Court show that the former West Indies Cricketer has only paid over $15-million.

Mr. Chin and Quintex are alleging that Powell has attempted to avoid calls placed to him and is dodging efforts to have him pay his debt.

In his defence, Powell accepted that he entered into a sale agreement to purchase the supermarket. But he says Quintex and its Directors misrepresented to him that they owned fixtures, equipment and leasehold improvements for the property.

In November last year, PNP delegates in North West St Elizabeth selected Powell as their preferred candidate to challenge the JLP's JC Hutchinson in the next general election.





President and CEO of Canada-based company Timeless Herbal Care Courtney Betty feels that yearly tourist arrivals could surpass the three-million mark if Jamaica is promoted as a health and wellness destination, featuring marijuana.

"We... think that, by advertising Jamaica as a destination for health and wellness, which include marijuana, [we] will be able to increase the number of visitors coming to [the island]," said Betty, who is also an attorney-at-law.

"When we are talking about medical marijuana, we are talking about the food you eat, we are talking about the other aspects of it. Our company does not support smoking... it's not part of our business model. It's all of the other elements. It's clothing. There are so many pieces that this industry is going to be transformed," said Betty during an interview with the Jamaica Observer last Monday immediately after making a presentation at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Betty expressed certainty that the tourism industry can benefit hugely from medical marijuana as the island is already famous for the herb.

"Jamaica is already internationally known for marijuana, even though we [Timeless Herbal Care] are now looking at the medical side, we see many products that can be integrated into our spas and into our tourism experience. So we are working with the hotels and also with the tour guides to implement a programme to add this as another element of marketing Jamaica's tourism," disclosed the Jamaican-born Betty who once held a senior position at the Fair Trade Commission.





Jamaica seeks EU visa waiver

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aj-nicholson.jpgForeign Affairs Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson today told the Senate, that Jamaica will be seeking a visa waiver from the European Union for Jamaicans to travel to the region.

He was responding to questions from Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte.

In May, the EU signed short-stay visa waiver agreements with 5 Caribbean countries, including, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

The agreement will allow the nations to travel to EU visa-free, for a period 90 days in any 180-day period.

Citizens of the EU will also be able to travel to any of the nations without visa requirements.





Shame and scandal in the PNP family?

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comrades-raymond-pryce.jpgWhat a bangarang tek place at Braes River over the weekend with the comrades!!! Seems like a certain comrade wants to overthrow young turk, Raymond Pryce, but he has party backers who will have none of it.

Councillor Errol Hummingbird (Ipswich Division of St Elizabeth North Western) was one person at the meeting at Braes River who made it clear that his backing was for Pryce.

"It is about time Comrades... We need to reason. What is it about the young man that you don't like? Yuh say him is a liar. All a we a damn liar...," he roared.

Hummingbird said some followed the crowd and crucified Christ, noting that, similarly, Pryce is being "pushed out", and some residents who are doing so are without a valid reason for their action.

"It's time for a showdown now. Raymond dem coming after yuh and dem coming after mi too, but let them come. I am not afraid. If this is the end of my career then so be it. I will go down in a flame of glory, not with my head between my knees," he passionately declared.

Hummingbird is set to be replaced by Mugabe Waite as the councillor candidate in his division. Waite is brother of Basil Waite, an ex-senator and former candidate for the St Elizabeth North Eastern.

Minister of Youth and Culture and Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna, who was guest speaker at the conference, said that Pryce is one of the young Comrades that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in her "wisdom" chose to represent the party.

She urged supporters to exercise discipline in their dealings, particularly as children were in the room and media personnel. Hanna cautioned Comrades to refrain from using the public forum to address the particular issues.





GATFFest to screen 50 films

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Greater August Town is no longer a community in Jamaica, its name has reached international acclaim, thanks to the signature film festival that was conceived and nurtured in this community.

This year, GATFFest (Greater August Town Film Festival) has shortlisted 50 films to be screened at the fest.

"We have about 50 short films that will be screened during the festival," informed Mellissa Tulloch, project coordinator, UWI Community Film Project (UWICFP), organisers of GATFFest.

"Of the 50 films," Tulloch said, "we will be screening about 30 international films, six of which include submissions from the region, about 15 local films and five films that are produced from students of the UWICFP."

The crescendo is building as the fest, which is now in its third year, moves to its pinnacle. The volume of international entries has positioned the festival's uniqueness, sustainability and mass appeal, and reaffirming that creativity knows no boundaries or bounded by barriers.

"We received and accepted submission from USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, Poland, Spain, India and Brazil," Tulloch said, adding that films from Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti have also made it to this year's screening list.

Also making debut at GATFFEST 2015 is the category of animation, the other categories include comedy, documentary, drama, romance, sci-fi and horror.

All 50 shortlisted films are being currently judged by a panel of judges. "The audience will also be voting for their favourite each night," Tulloch said.

The winners will be announced during the closing night and awards ceremony on June 28.

The festival opens in Kingston with a red-carpet gala affair and a film exploring the life of Amy Jacques Garvey, wife of national hero Marcus Garvey. Other activities include workshops and the screening of local and international short films along with an awards ceremony.

GATFFEST opens on June 25 with the premiere of the locally produced film The Epiphany, which tells the story of a young man who is catapulted into the past and encounters Amy Jacques Garvey.

The action moves to Montego Bay on June 26, where a film workshop is being organised at UWI Western Jamaica campus and a Film Night, which will showcase a selection of local and international films.

On Saturday, June 27, a film workshop will be organised at Courtleigh Auditorium, which is targeted to community representatives, persons interested in film and the general public. A selection of films will be screened in the evening.





Mr Vegas for the BET Experience

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mr-vegas-photo-12.jpgDancehall artiste Mr Vegas is slated to make an appearance at this year's staging of the BET Experience. Mr Vegas will perform at the BETX Carnival on Sunday, June 28, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

"I'm looking forward to performing for my fans at the BET Experience. This an international platform and I am going there to represent reggae and dancehall music all the way," the Bruk It Dung hitmaker said.

Mr Vegas is no stranger when it comes to performing at US main stream events as he has performed at other events in the US including the Soul Train Awards.

"I am one of the ambassadors of dancehall music who has been taking our music and culture to people all over the world for the last 17 years. I've been on every major reggae festival around the world. I've also made appearances on US mainstream events and TV shows. In 2013 I performed on BET Countdown and I've also performed on CBS Television," said Mr Vegas.

The lineup for the BETX Carnival will also feature a number of other popular Caribbean acts including Gyptian and Machel Montano.

The three-day BET Experience is a series of events scheduled to take place from June 25-28. It is staged annually by the US-based, Black Entertainment Television cable network popularly known as BET.

This year's event features some of the biggest names from the US music scene and Hollywood stars including Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.





st-elizabeth-festival-stephanie-elliott.jpgThe first staging of the South Coast Rum, Food and Music Festival is slated for Coastline Beach, Parotee in Black River, St Elizabeth, on July 24-26.

Stephanie Elliott, CEO of Compass Communications, said the festival will be used to introduce an international dancehall competition dubbed Dun Dem.

"It is a platform for dance groups of no more than four to six members to compete and win cash and an opportunity to travel to Europe in 2016 to compete for the 'Top International Dancehall Group," said Elliott.

The festival has also been endorsed under the Ministry of Tourism's 90 Days of Summer entertainment programme.

Day one is dubbed Welcome Party, while the second day will see a Mugs Beach Party.

"Day three is when the full activity takes place and patrons will enjoy the best of southern Jamaica by our displays of food, culture art and top quality entertainment with our Reggae Concert, said Elliott.





tommy-lee-photo-10-simplified.jpgThe legal team representing deejay Leroy "Tommy Lee Sparta" Russell is preparing documents to submit to the Dominican Government for an "out of court settlement" following the artiste's deportation from that country in February.

Esteemed attorney, Bert Samuels, who is representing Tommy Lee Sparta, explained the sourcing of documentation, including a medical report, is what is causing the delay.

"The condition in which he was being held was not suitable and he had to sleep on the cold floor. Bear in mind he was suffering from an injury (sustained in a motor vehicle accident) at the time," said Samuels.

Tommy Lee and three members of his team -- Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace -- were deported from Dominica a day after their arrival. All four had journeyed to Dominica for at a concert in Portsmouth. They were, however, denied entry and placed in custody before being deported.

Samuels said that he and his team are still examining the loss of income from contractual arrangements due to the artiste's deportation. As a result, he was unable to state the amount of the settlement being sought.

In a letter dated March 3, 2015, Dr Kathy-Ann Brown, Jamaica's deputy solicitor general and Director -- International Affairs Division, indicated her Dominican counterpart expressed a desire for a friendly resolution to the matter.

Tommy Lee Sparta is known for tracks including Spartan Soldier, Psycho and Nuh Fear Dem.





joey-brooks-and-jay-prince.jpgJoey Brooks, the sister of the Gully Gad, Mavado, is happy with the reaction to her latest single, Serenity, a collab with her Live MB Music Productions label-mate Jay Prince.

To promote Serenity, Brooks and Jay Prince shot a video in Portland in May. It was directed by Ramon Lindsay.

The 28-year-old Brooks made her first appearance on the music scene in 2008 with the ballad, Heart Beat, produced by Ariff Butler.

She followed up with a handful of singles, before giving the music business a break to study nursing and become a certified nurse.

Back in the game, she hopes the positive response to Serenity is a sign of things to come.





jodi-gray-and-baby-miracle.jpgJodi-Ann Gray, the former KOOL FM personality who survived a vicious gun attack while pregnant, says she will be deleting her social media account because of hate messages she has received.

Gray was shot three times - once in the face and twice in the shoulder - in April 2012 as she attempted to enter her Portmore, St Catherine home. She was seven months pregnant at the time of the attack. Her co-worker and former lover, Wayne Whyte, and another man were sentenced to 14 years in prison for the shooting.

The broadcaster, who now lives in the United States, later gave birth to a healthy baby girl who she named Miracle. However, she took to Instagram on Friday morning to announce that she was deleting her account because of "continuous hate messages" she has been receiving.

"Good morning everyone... I will be deleting my Instagram account today. Yesterday I had someone message me 'B!#@ you should a dead'... and I get continuous hate messages of that nature," Gray said, adding "We are all humans and after a while enough is enough!"

A married man, Whyte had a year-long affair with Gray during which the latter became pregnant. He told Gray to get an abortion but she refused. Whyte and his co-accused pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and shooting with intent after being held in a getaway car after the gun attack.

Gray alleges that she has gotten a lot of hate from Jamaicans "for whatever reason" since the incident and lamented the dark extremes of social media.

"I have always been a people person, very jovial and love life. those who know me can attest to that. With that being said, I realize social media can be extremely positive, for that and on the other hand very negative. In order to live a wholesome life sometimes we have to get rid of the negativity and I have gotten a lot of negativity from a lot of Jamaicans who for whatever reason chose to follow me and spew hate," she said.

Gray has - at the time of writing this article - yet to delete her Instagram account, but has made it private.





Family FunDay

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family-funday-2015-06-20.jpgSturridge Foundation
& Sturr Class Entertainment Record Label

In association with Father Sturridge, Polky Bless, Fat Bobby, Hopey & Family'Sturridge

Present their
Family FunDay Event

Saturday, 20th June 2015
@Tinson Pen Football Field
Greenwich Town, Kingston 13, Jamaica





malia-and-sasha-photo-1.jpgSure, Michelle Obama might dress in local designer duds wherever she travels, most recently wearing a multicolor knit Missoni dress in Italy, but it's her daughters that truly capture the culture in their clothes choices. Sasha and Malia Obama landed in Milan on Wednesday with Sasha leading the way down the air-stairs in a sweet seersucker mini dress and cognac leather gladiator sandals. Her sister, on the other hand wore an illusion two-piece heather gray jersey dress with white Mary Janes.

And while FLOTUS went off with Chef Mario Batali to preach to Italians that maybe so many carbs and wine without at least a little exercise might not be the greatest lifestyle choice, the teenagers went off to explore the European city on their own (aka with secret service, paparazzi, and an entire posse of other people). Sasha was summer ready in white shorts with blue flowers, a chambray top, white quilted slip-on sneakers, and blue tinted wayfarers. Her sister, Malia, was in a more understated ensemble, wearing tailored black trouser shorts, a white crop top lined with frills, and leather lace-up gladiator sandals.

On Thursday, they visited 10 Corso Como, Carla Sozzani's concept store in Piazza 25 Aprile. Sasha,14, went for head-to-toe white in cropped, distressed skinny jeans, a very trendy off-the-shoulder blouse and slip-on sneakers. Malia, 17, wore a black and white romper and the same sandals her sister had on when she disembarked the plane.

Yet their Italian street style, while certainly cool, makes a bigger statement than just that. Unlike their mother, who wears designer pieces from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Isabel Toledo, and Jason Wu to name a few, and even has many of her dresses custom made, her daughters wear Zara, Brandi Melville, and Vans. Their fashion's not on a pedestal above the rest of their demographic and despite their home address, their perks and privileges don't stand out as special.

Since they stepped on the style scene in J. Crew at their father's inauguration in 2009, they haven't inspired girls to grab for their parents' credit cards, instead they've encapsulated the current market and put it on a national scale. They're not icons, they're just a representation of the masses - and isn't that what everyone wants in a first family?malia-and-sasha-photo-2.jpg





Charleston shooting suspect confesses

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charleston-church-shooting-dylann-roof-court.jpgThe 21-year-old white man suspected of gunning down nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina has confessed to the crime, US media reported Friday, citing unnamed officials.

One law enforcement official told CNN that alleged shooter Dylann Roof told investigators that he "wanted to start a race war" when he walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on Wednesday night and opened fire on a Bible study class.

All of the victims were black.

Roof -- who was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday and brought back to South Carolina after he opted not to fight extradition -- was due in court later Friday for a bond hearing.

"We are getting cooperation at this point," another official told local ABC affiliate WCIV.

Two sources also confirmed to NBC News that Roof -- whose Facebook page includes a picture of him wearing the flags of defunct white supremacist regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia -- has confessed.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Friday she believed Roof should face the death penalty if convicted. Capital punishment is legal in the southern state.

"This is an absolute hate crime," she told NBC's "Today" show.

"We will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty. This is the worst hate that I've seen and the country has seen in a long time," she said.

"We will fight this and we will fight this as hard as we can."

The carnage was the worst at a US place of worship in decades and recalled the darkest periods of US history, in a church once burned to the ground after a failed slave revolt.





The police will this Sunday host a concert called 'Gospel in the Street' concert in Red Hills Road community, as part of ongoing social intervention initiatives in volatile communities.

Top-ranking members of the division are reporting that the police, in collaboration with churches in the area, will be hosting the event that will seek to reach out to residents in the violence-prone areas. At the same time, there will be recognition of the men in the communities who make positive contributions towards family.

"The event will be held under the theme Empowering men, building communities," said Tanisha Ellison, assistant superintendent attached to the division.

Superintendent Jacqueline Green says police and members of the church community are also aiming to make the event an ongoing initiative.





omi-cheerleader-photo-1.jpgEntertainer Omi has hit top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which has landed him a place in Billboard's reggae history.

The singer, who last week occupied the number 11 spot with Cheerleader, is now in the number 7 position after 8 weeks on the chart.

According to Billboard.com, Omi's Cheerleader has sold 641,000 downloads to-date with more than half of its release total scanned in just the last three weeks.

"Cheerleader" joins the elite club of reggae hits that have crossed over to the Hot 100's top 10 over the years which include Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" in 1972, Eric Clapton's version of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974, UB40's "Red Red Wine" in 1988 and "Can't Help Falling in Love" in 1993, Inner Circle's "Bad Boys" in 1993, Big Mountain's "Baby, I Love Your Way" in 1994, Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel" both in 2001, Sean Paul's "Get Busy" in 2003 and MAGIC!'s "Rude" in 2014.

Omi has also created more waves with "Cheerleader" being added to great cheerleading moments on Billboard Hot 100 history, joining the likes of Toni Basil with his 1982 hit "Mickey" and Taylor Swift's four-week No. 1 "Shake It Off" last year.





gage-photo-2.jpg"Right now, at the moment, I am just saving dancehall. If yu realise right now dancehall is in a little luu or wey yu call it. Yuh have reggae artiste fighting dancehall and yu have dancehall artiste switching to different genres. Hope when wi save it and it good, who run out don't run een back," Gage said in the interview.

The interview was posted by Zip 103 FM. However, several seemingly upset listeners took their grouse to Facebook.

Questioning Gage's work ethics one viewer posted "Dwl if this man going to save dancehall, smh it really in a bad state. This man don't even have two songs on the radio."

Another expressed that Gage could only save dancehall if he assisted in the release of Vybz Kartel. "A think him mean him a guh a prison and tek dancehall (Kartel) space because Kartel is dancehall," the viewer posted.

Even Gage's recent image makeover was brought into the discussion. "What happen to this Vybz Kartel wannabe bout saving dancehall. This guy is not even selling records. Someone who can't produce a solid single to top charts can't save dancehall. Gage not because yuh a try look like Kartel dat nuh mean yuh can duh weh him duh. A wah dis man! Guh save yuh career," another viewer posted.

When contacted, Gage said his comments were taken out of context.





Police 'death squad' probe intensifies

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court.jpgThe Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM's high profile probe into a death squad which is alleged to have operated within the Police Force has expanded beyond Clarendon.

In 2012, INDECOM had indicated that its investigation was limited to the Clarendon Police Division.' Eleven Policemen attached to the Clarendon division are currently before the court in connection with INDECOM's probe.

Source says INDECOM's investigation into the organized killing of unarmed criminal suspects by a team of Police personnel is not limited to Clarendon. It's understood that Police personnel in parishes, including St. Mary and St. Andrew are now under scrutiny.

Yesterday, Police Constable, Sherwood Simpson, who was accused of being part of a team of Policemen who forced an unarmed man into bushes, shot him and left him for dead was convicted in the Gun Court.

In 2013 when he was charged by INDECOM, Constable Simpson was based in St. Mary. Evidence heard in Simpson's case is similar to allegations in several of the cases INDECOM currently has before the Court in which Policemen in Clarendon are accused.

The Court was told that the complainant, Rayon Mahoney, who was on a gun charge for which he was later acquitted, reported to the Police Station in Castleton. Constable Simpson was said to be among a team of Police personnel who intercepted Mahoney shortly after he left the Police Station and carried him into bushes.

Mahoney was shot by one of Simpson's colleagues while Simpson stood nearby and watched to ensure there was no civilian witness to the criminal act.

But Mahoney survived to give evidence in Court and testified that it was Constable Simpson who gave his police colleague clearance to shoot him by saying - 'yow finish him off'.

While prosecutors summed up evidence against him in Court yesterday, Constable Simpson wept. He's to be sentenced next week.





Doctor on sexual assault charge

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A 53 year old medical doctor based in St. Ann is in police custody charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of an employee.Hewas scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The doctor was arrested on Wednesday by a team from the Kingston branch of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).He was later charged in connection with the incident which allegedly took place in January this year.

The doctor has been charged with grievous sexual assault and attempted rape. It's alleged that the incident took place during the woman's first day on the job at the doctor's private practice.





Investigators assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (CTOC) have widened their probe into Friday morning's major gun and ammunition seizure in Hellshire, St. Catherine.

Five men were arrested in what is believed to be a gun smuggling operation on the island's south coast.

Sources say investigators theorize that the seizure of nine handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition is linked to the guns for drugs trade.

The men were travelling in a vehicle from St. Elizabeth when it was intercepted on Municipal Boulevard by a team from CTOC.





Public to be educated on responsible ganja use

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ganja-use.jpgThe Jamaican government says it will be undertaking a public education programme to discourage irresponsible ganja use and protect the vulnerable.

Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding said that the National Health Fund (NHF) and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) have finalised the details of the programme, which is expected to get underway soon. Golding was addressing a town hall meeting Tuesday at the St Luke's Anglican Church in Cross Roads, St Andrew.

He said that the campaign will discourage ganja use by children, pregnant women, and people who have certain mental disorders. "They shouldn't be using it (ganja)," he emphasised.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Act the capacity of the NCDA has been strengthened to take action with respect to vulnerable groups.

The minister said that the council will also be undertaking training of the police to deal with people who may appear to be dependent on ganja. He reminded the public that smoking of ganja in public spaces, or within five metres of such areas is prohibited, in a manner similar to cigarettes.

"You must show due respect for others, and not smoke in a public space where others may be," he said.

Public spaces include the workplace, and any place for use of, or is accessible to the public such as sidewalks, bus stops, restaurants, offices, educational institutions, pharmacies, hospitals, areas used by children, supermarkets, and parks.

The town hall meeting was held to explain and address concerns by the public on the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, commonly referred to as the Ganja Law.

The legislation makes possession of two ounces or less of ganja a non-criminal but ticketable offence.





1 escapee caught; 8 others still on the run

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One of nine detainees who escaped from the Savanna-la-mar Police lock up in Westmoreland early on Thursday night has been recaptured.

Oshane Blair was held on premises near the police station.

The other men, including murder suspects, remain on the run. They are Junior James, Richard Kerr, Romain Esson, Odane Brown, Carlington Godfrey, Alton Maxwell, Steve Vassell and Kicoy James. A statement from the police says Esson, who is 21 years, was charged with murder and shooting with intent.

Maxwell, who is from Naggo Head, St. Catherine was facing charges of murder, illegal possession of a firearm and escaping police custody

The other murder suspect, is thirty-three-year-old Steve Vassell otherwise called 'Strength', of Shortwood Road, Kingston 8.

It's reported that the men escaped by digging a hole in the ventilation area in the roof.





dianna-ross-photo-1.jpgShe may be 71 -years-old but Diana Ross is still working as hard as she was when she first hit the music scene.

The singer has just completed a series of concerts in Hawaii - her first despite having a singing career spanning over six decades.

And decided to take advantage of being in the tropical location to have a break from her busy schedule.

Diana was enjoying the sunshine on Thursday and looked relaxed and happy as she soaked up the rays.

Dressed in a black swimsuit and colorful sarong she went for a walk in some tropical gardens.

Her trademark luxurious locks fanned out in the breeze as she took her sojourn in the sun.

Diana's beach garb featured a floral pattern in cerise, yellow and orange, and she teamed it with a pair of oversized black sunglasses.

The Can't Hurry Love singer seemed relaxed and happy as she sauntered through the beachside resort, and stopped for a brief rest before carrying on.

One thing that was apparent was Diana seems to have recovered from injuries she had to both knees, which saw her in braces in January.

The mother-of-five was snapped wearing the contraptions over a comfy outfit of Adidas trainers, sweat pants and zipped hoodie while out shopping

It is not clear how Diana has damaged her legs, but she had been previously known to use a wheelchair to navigate airports on occasion.dianna-ross-photo-2.jpg





The 7Eleven video fiasco. who is to blame?

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dexta-daps-photo-1.jpgDancehall fans are no idiots. In the same way they can identify a big tune, they will also sniff out a flop. And that is basically what they did with the video for Dexta Daps' big tune 7Eleven.

Since making its debut last week, fans have been heavily criticizing the concept of the video on social media and on YouTube. Some called the 7Eleven music video a complete waste of time while others labeled it a failed concept because the storyline differs from the song.

Following harsh criticisms, producer Troyton is taking responsibility for Dexta Daps music video for his infectious hit 7Eleven.

According to reports, Dexta Daps claims the music video was shot in January and was not completed because he did not approve of the quality of the video and had opted out of shooting more scenes.

However, Troyton admits that he went ahead with the music video to appease eager fans. The Producer also blames miscommunication as a reason for the current 7Eleven mishap.





Celebs mourn the dead in Charleston shooting

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Celebrities have taken to social media to show support for those affected by Wednesday night's shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine black worshippers were killed.

Singer John Legend wrote "Charleston. My heart hurts."

Solange Knowles added "Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black?"

Zendaya said "I have no words...all I can say is to all the families and friends who lost someone, Charleston my heart goes out to you..."

Michelle Williams used her 140 characters to ask for prayers for Charleston and reminded her followers that, though the accused is captured, the bigger issue of racism will have to be explored.





Charleston shooter arrested

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charleston-shooter-arrested.jpgDylann Storm Roof, the man who allegedly entered a South Carolina church last night and massacred nine people at their weekly bible study meeting, has been escorted in prison stripes onto a plane to be extradited from North Carolina.

The 21-year-old was arrested shortly before noon on Thursday in Shelby, NC, 250 miles north of the targeted church in Charleston, SC.

At 6.20pm local time he was seen in a jumpsuit, chains, handcuffs and a bullet-proof vest being chaperoned by dozens of armed police officers on to an airplane at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport bound for South Carolina.

Survivors of the massacre claim Roof sat in the room for over an hour before standing up and saying: 'You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.'

He was detained after a member of the public spotted his car and called 911. Police say he surrendered without contest and was taken into custody when an officer approached his black Hyundai.

'In America, we don't let bad people like this get away,' said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. at a press conference announcing the arrest.





Men plead guilty to lottery scam involvement

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court.jpgTwo men pleaded guilty to their involvement in the lottery scam when they appeared in the St. Elizabeth Circuit Court.

They are auto mechanic Triston Tomlinson, 20 and Domar Robinson,21, both of Bigwoods in Darliston, Westmoreland.

The men are charged with knowingly possessing identity information.

The court has ordered a social enquiry report and sentencing is set for June 26.

On January 2 last year members of the St. Elizabeth Proactive Investigation Unit were on patrol along High Street in Black River when they observed two men acting suspiciously.

Both men were accosted and found to possess identity information of persons living in the US.





court.jpgA policeman from St Ann, Sergeant Orden Nelson, who was accused of beating a prisoner in custody breaking his arm in the process three years ago, was arrested and charged by INDECOM on Thursday morning.

Nelson was taken before the St Ann's Bay Criminal Court where he was offered bail in the sum of J$150-thousand .He's charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

INDECOM reported that in 2012, Sergeant Nelson arrested the complainant, Luke Murray, for using indecent language.This led to a tussle between the two after Mr Murray allegedly resisted arrest.

Nelson called for reinforcement and Murray was taken to the St Ann police station.It's alleged that the policeman used a baton to beat Murray, breaking his arm.

INDECOM investigated the matter and ruled that there was no justification for the beating.

In court defence attorney Oswest Senior Smith said his client strongly denied the allegations and insisted that the report given to INDECOM by Mr Murray was false.

Nelson is to return to court on July 17.





A father and son duo who robbed a shop in Guy's Hill, St Catherine, didn't fare too well at all. The get-away vehicle crashed not far from the scene of the crime and residents pounced upon the duo, beating the father to death, even as the son escaped.

However, his luck was short-lived because his mother subsequently marched him to the police station. The man was handed over to the police about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday by his mother. Investigators said that further investigation will be conducted with a view to charge the accused man. He is expected to be charged with robbery.

Reports are that on Monday, about 6:30 a.m., the accused and his father, Egetan Taylor, reportedly robbed a shop in the rural farming community.They escaped in a Fiat Uno motor car which overturned at Tavern Hill, Guy's Hill.

An angry mob descended on the men and Taylor was beaten and chopped to death in the process.

The suspect, who is now in custody, managed to escape and was been sought by the police.





Yah So NOT so nice for Potential Kidd

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potential-kidd-everything-govern.jpgDeejay Potential Kidd made his name with the gimmicks tune 'A Yah So Nice', but the truth is that yahso really not so nice for the kid. He is listed as 'WANTED' by the police

Cops say they are seeking the deejay for questioning in relation to the ongoing violence in the Trench Town area of western Kingston.

The western Kingston police, who have seen an upsurge of violence in the division in recent weeks, have since listed the dancehall artiste as a person of interest.

The artiste, born Dwayne Taylor, is of a Trench Town address, and was listed among 34 other persons following last week's shooting of four people in Coronation Market, which the police say is linked to a break-in at a wholesale owned by a popular Tivoli Gardens family.

On Monday, a man was killed and a woman injured behind the Kingston Public Hospital, and the police theorise these recent incidents of crime and violence are linked to an ongoing fight between gangs.

According to head of the western Kingston police division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, Potential Kidd "is influencing the violence in Trench Town."

He further stated an illegal firearm that was purchased in the community had been confiscated by thugs and is believed to be the root of the problem.

Ford said police intelligence operatives are checking the information received and the entertainer will be questioned in relation to this information.

The police requested those listed as persons of interest to turn themselves in to the police as of 8 a.m. yesterday.

A few have reportedly complied, however, up to late yesterday afternoon, Potential Kidd had not turned himself in to the police.

Potential Kidd is known for songs like A Yah So Nice and Everything Govern.





trinidad-p-m-kamla-persad-bissessar.jpgWith the Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams denying the existence of any report on the discovery of marijuana at the Prime Minister's home in 2013, Jack Warner held a news conference this afternoon, to "reveal all the details".

The news conference, attended by local and foreign media, was held at Mandela Hall, Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

Warner played three tape recorded conversations between him and a man sounding like former National Security Minister Gary Griffith, and an email exchange in which Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar and the alleged marijuana find at her home, was the subject.

In an interview with Express Chief Reporter Joel Julien on Tuesday afternoon, Griffith confirmed he was the person whose voice was heard in the taped conversations. Griffith said he is leaving it to the population to decide the kind of man Warner is for secretly taping him.

He however dismissed Warner's "bombshell", saying everything remains as is and that Warner was the only person who ever mentioned a situation of marijuana being found at Persad-Bissessar's home.

Speaking with reporters in Tobago on Monday, Williams was asked about the Sunday Express report, in which Warner, in a statement submitted to a Justice of the Peace last week, claimed that on Friday April 12, 2013, former deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson came to the Parliament and informed him (Warner) that a packet containing four ounces of marijuana was found outside a window of Persad-Bissessar's private Phillipine residence.

Warner, then the National Security Minister , claimed that he called Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal who advised him to contact the Prime Minister who was in New York at the time.

Warner claimed when he contacted the Prime Minister, she was surprised and enquired whether she should return home immediately and resign.

He claimed that he advised Persad-Bissessar to not resign as he and others- Richardson, Moonilal as well as former national security adviser Gary Griffith - would cover up the ganja find.

In the Sunday Express article, reporter Denyse Renne said she was shown a copy of a police diary extract which stated that 113 grammes of marijuana were found at Persad-Bissessar's house during a routine patrol at around 7am on April 12.

Richardson, Moonilal, and Griffith have all since denied the claims by Warner, who is fighting extradition to the United States on multiple charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering brought by the US Department of Justice, linked to alleged wrong-doing while he was a FIFA Vice President. A check by the Express also found that Persad-Bissessar was in the country on April 12, and left for New York two days later.

Acting Commissioner Williams said he sought to verify the claims made by Warner "and there is no report recorded in the police service concerning a matter like that. I was head of the police service at that point in time and that matter was not brought to my attention".

Williams said he had also spoken with the operational head of the special branch named in the report. 'He has publicly already said he nothing about that report and he has confirmed that position to me"

Regarding the existence of a police diary extract concerning the marijuana find, Williams said "there is no recorded report based on the check and verification"





judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgSo nice they had to do it twice, is an apt description of Judy Mowatt's performance last year at Groovin' In The Park and the promoters' decision to bring back the in-demand reggae-turned-gospel singer for this year's staging.

"Based on Sister Judy's outstanding performance last year when she was a guest of Marcia Griffiths and numerous fan requests, we were compelled to extend an invitation to her to return to the Groovin' stage to deliver a full length performance" Christopher Roberts, founder and CEO of Groovin' In The Park said.

YardFlex caught up with the veteran songstress and at her Kingston home and she expressed her delight and honour at being invited again this year.

"It is always a pleasure performing for the New York fans and family and I am looking forward to sharing the the stage with some of my favourite performers - Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage and my brother Stitchie," the former I-Three member stated.

Smiling radiantly, an attribute which Sister Judy says comes from her profoundly deep relationship with the Almighty, the singer noted that she is "feeling blessed" and thanked the promoters for having her on the show this year.

"Promoters are important people in this business of ours and we have to respect them and always ensure that they feel appreciated. Over the decades, I have met promoters along the way who have become like family and I want to say a special shout out to Christopher Roberts and Ras Clem and wish them success on the event," Sister Judy said.

Judy Mowatt will join Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage, Stitchie, Capleton Luciano and Cocoa Tea as confirmed acts at Groovin' in The Park 2015 which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday June 28.judy-mowatt.jpg





bounty-killer-photo-6.jpgDancehall icon Bounty Killer was on a high as a great outpouring of love met him at his birthday celebrations dubbed: Hennessy 'It's Tha Party' at Oneil's Place, Hagley Park Road, St Andrew last Friday.

With Hennessy Brand Manager, Jared Samuel, and his team in attendance, the party was on its way to a big success.

The venue was jam-packed and security personnel had to limit the number of patrons that could enter the club at any given time.

Popular selector Sky Juice paid tribute to the dancehall icon, while he spun tunes from the turn tables.

A number of artistes attended including, Beenie Man, Kalado, Patexx, K-Queens, Richie Stephens, Future Fambo, New Kidz, KipRich, Popcaan and his Unruly crew, among others.

Bounty Killer has influenced the careers of many top artistes including Vybz Kartel, Aidonia, Mavado and Wayne Marshall among others.





jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgThe 22nd annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival takes place at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, California this weekend. SNWMF features three days of the very best Roots Reggae and World Music.

The festivities kick off on Friday afternoon with a Native American blessing from Pomo elder Clayton Duncan. Roots reggae music from Jamaica will be in full effect on the Village Stage with rising star Hempress Sativa, the band Pentateuch, Admiral Tibet and Yellowman.

Saturday has always been roots reggae day at SNWMF, and this year will be no exception. The morning will get started with some Solstice Yoga after which The Itals will get the music going. Performing next will be Meta & The Cornerstones, a roots reggae band whose lead singer was born and raised in Senegal. Jesse Royal will be bringing his musical message and so too will Nattali Rize who has spent the past year living and recording in Jamaica and the fruits of that labor will be revealed when Nattali Rize & Notis take the stage. Taj Weekes, Soul Syndicate, Jamaica's consummate cultural DJ, Big Youth, along with his son, Tafari, Ken Boothe and Max Romeo, are all scheduled to appear. Interestingly, Max Romeo will be making his first U.S. appearance in over 25 years. Reggae Ambassadors Third World will be returning to Boonville again this year. Rounding out the Valley Stage lineup on Saturday will be Jimmy Cliff.

yellow-man-photo-1.jpgThe dancehall will be rammed on Saturday night when SNWMF presents a very special Dancehall Session with Nattali Rize, Hirie, Ras Muhamad and members of No-Maddz and Pentateuch pass the microphone around backed by Jah Warrrior Shelter Hi-Fi. The dancehall will be capped of when Rory returns to SNWMF as Rorystonelove Black Dub.

max-romeo.jpgSunday's musical festivities will begin with some uplifting conscious music courtesy of Mendocino County's own Joseph Israel. He will be followed by what is sure to be a very entertaining set from another new band out of Jamiaca, No-Maddz. Evening time will see the return of 'vintage music' on the Village Stage compliments of Monty Morris and B.B. Seaton, who was a founding member of The Gaylads. The blast from the past will continue with the return of Keith & Tex who blew away those that witnessed their performance at SNWMF in 2013. The Melodians will bring down the curtain on vintage night on the Village Stage.

ken-boothe.jpgThe Valley Stage on Sunday features self-proclaimed Reggae Ambassador of Indonesia, Ras Muhamad, Gentleman's Dub Club, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, "Jah Messenjah" Luciano, award-winning group The Very Best and Thievery Corporation.





Bike thieves rob $700,000 from businessman

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Bike robbers who have been staging robberies in the Corporate Area over the last week, struck again on Monday, stealing more than J$700,000 from a businessman along Lyndhurst Road in the afternoon.

It's reported that shortly after midday, the businessman parked his Toyota Rav 4 in front of the JUTC depot to have lunch at a nearby restaurant when two men on bike rode up. They smashed the back window of the vehicle and removed a bag with the cash.

It is reported that the men had trailed the businessman from a nearby cambio.

Over the last week, men on bikes have been attacking persons after they conducted transactions at financial institutions in the Half-Way-Tree area.

A policewoman and a female auto parts dealer were robbed of a combined $400,000 in separate attacks on Friday by men on motor bikes.





Ganja Business Clinics

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The Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat comprised and coordinated by The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association (formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association) & The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja will host a business clinic at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday.

Introduction to Cannabiz

Objectives

(1) to explain the Dangerous Drug (2015) Amendment Act and the role and function of the Cannabis Licensing Authority.

(2) to expose our members in particular to the wide range and variety of cannabis plants / strains and products that the regulated cannabis industry entails, how to get started, which support agencies exists and to link them with potential cooperatives, partners, local and international investors.





Upon hearing the news of a police raid on bleaching products, bleachers have refused to bow.

"More bleaching cream deh bout."

"Is a good ting seh me stock up."

"Bleaching nah stop no matter what them try," are some of the comments from hardcore male and female bleachers who swear by the bleaching products and spend thousands of dollars annually to achieve their 'browning' complexion.

On the weekend, cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).reportedly seized more than 2,000 bottles of bleaching cream in various locations within the Corporate Area. No one was arrested in connection with the seizures.

Assistant commissioner of police, (ACP) Devon Watkis, revealed that after a series of investigations, a raid had been launched to seize the highly coveted creams.

The raid was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

It is well known that prolonged skin whitening, popularly referred to as bleaching, can lead to lethal health risks.

Some of these dangerous skin fairness cocktails contain steroids, hydroquinone and tretinoin among others and are likely to cause skin cancers, permanent pigmentation, and liver damage.





Although he gave the gunmen who had invaded his home in the dead of night the cash they demanded, 47 year-old Rohan Bent, was still shot and killed.

Bent was at his Clarendon home with other people about 2:00 am Monday when four gunmen gained entry to his home by placing a ladder against an open upstairs window and barged in.

They held Bent at gunpoint and demanded cash and the whereabouts of a safe.

He yielded to their demands and gave them the cash he had in his possession, however he never gave up any information about a safe.

Angered, the gunmen shot him repeatedly before ransacking the house. When their search for a safe came up empty handed, the gunmen relieved the other occupants of the house of their cellular phones before leaving them cowering in fear.

Some persons in the area said they saw a white car leaving the community with a ladder on top.





Please stop exporting cocaine in fried fish!

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cocaine-in-fried-fish.jpgThe story of a 38-year-old woman arriving on a flight from Jamaica to Miami last weekend packed with cocaine-laced fried fish is disturbing on many levels.

Fried fish is one of the delicacies that Jamaican living abroad look forward to. Fish fried in Jamaica has a special taste and flavour that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Many Jamaican who are stuck in foreign lands look forward to a piece of fried fish and breadfruit in the worse way.

So it's not fair for drugs smugglers to abuse this in such a way. UScustoms are now going to target every fried fish for drugh from now on. As soon as they detect fried fish, they are just going to dump it.

Come on smugglers, have a heart when trying to be creative. Don't spoil up we fried fish thing like that man.

According to the police report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the Miami International Airport seized over 2 pounds of cocaine concealed inside fried fish Saturday in the luggage of the passenger, whose name has not been released.

During an X-ray examination of the passenger's luggage, CBP OFO officers at the airport noticed anomalies in some of the cooked fish. Upon further examination the officers observed that the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest. CBP OFO officers discovered approximately 2.3 pounds of cocaine and subsequently seized the illicit substance.





man-nephew-counterfeit-notes.jpgThe popular saying 'guh mek some money' has taken on a literal meaning even as the Manchester police have confirmed that two men were charged for possession of and manufacturing counterfeit notes.

The men have been identified as Paul Graham, 60, and his 30-year-old nephew, Tyrone Graham.

According to police reports, members of the Proactive Investigation team, acting on information, went to their home in Union district, Hatfield, Manchester, about 8:00 pm, and found the men making the fake money.

The total sum seized, including some partially made notes, was J$72,000.

The counterfeit notes were seized on Monday.

Additionally, a printer, sheets of parchment paper, ink cartridges, a stencil knife, and a ruler that were used in the process, were seized by the police.

The police say that the younger Graham was released from jail late last year after serving six months for a similar offence.

The two men are suspected to be part of a larger network that is manufacturing counterfeit notes in the parish.





ht-first-church-cannabis-sign.jpgThese aren't your traditional Holy Rollers.

The First Church of Cannabis, established in Indianapolis, Indiana, will launch its inaugural service on July 1, joining an emerging trend of marijuana-based ministries such as The United Cannabis Ministry of California and Hawaii and The Healing Church of Rhode Island.

Though unaffiliated with one another, all are united in at least one principle of worship: Ganja is godly.

"[I was] inspired by love and my compassion for fellow humans," First Church of Cannabis founder William Levin told ABC News, regarding his decision to form the mission. "We had a lot of fertilizer in our state thanks to our governor, so it bloomed quickly..."

Timed to debut the same day the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) goes into effect, the First Church of Cannabis has already attracted more than 42,000 followers on Facebook and is expecting a massive attendance at its first meeting, said Levin, who will lead sermons.

The self-titled "Grand Poobah" and "Minister of Love" said his service format will include four introductory songs, followed by an "interactive celebration of life."

"At the end, we all rise and read the Deity Dozen, and at the end of the 12th Pathway we light up," he said.

Tenets of the Deity Dozen, a sort of Ten Commandments for the church's cannabiterian membership, range from starting the day with a smile to spending 10 minutes per day in quiet contemplation to "Do not be a 'troll' on the internet."

"Cannabis, 'the Healing Plant' is our sacrament," reads the description of the 12th Pathway. "It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group."

While the church has no legal authority to grow, sell, trade or donate cannabis in the state of Indiana, congregants will be free to smoke on church premises, under the protection of the RFRA.

But attendees should not expect to hear psalms, gospels or feel pressured to even use the words "amen" or "hallelujah."

"We will not use any old books," Levin said. "No guilt, sin or judgement. We teach the teachings of love and life... Same as the old guys did, just with a modern pitch to it."

Many who have gotten a whiff of this message have responded enthusiastically online.

"Please let me know if there is any way I can help with the building of this church," wrote one follower of the church's Facebook page. "Our world needs more love and it seems like this church WILL do that."

"I'm not for religion, personally," echoed another comment. "Much more on the side of spirituality and freedom of choosing one's way from many paths, if need be. However ... I have more faith in this being a genuinely GOOD religion than most other paths in this country. Thank you all for running with this! One Toke, One Smile, One Love, all!"





ganja-licence.jpgThe Ministry of Justice has scheduled a town hall meeting aimed at raising awareness of the amendments made to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as 'the Ganja Law' at the St Luke's Anglican Church Hall in Cross Roads, Kingston, Wednesday evening.

The ministry said that the meeting will seek to address misconceptions held by the public about the law relating to the possession of ganja and will provide an opportunity for questions on the controversial subject.

Topics to be discussed include the possession of ganja, use of ganja as a sacrament and cultivation for personal and medicinal/therapeutic use.

Presenters include Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding; director, Criminal and Civil Justice Administration Division, Kathlene Arnold; and Legal Officer at the Justice Ministry Jamila Simms.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act was brought into operation on April 15 this year making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence.

Additionally, the Bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places, and makes provisions for the granting of licences, and permits to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.

It also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority.





Beenie's visa blues

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beenie-man-photo-8.jpgThe dancehall doctor, Beenie Man is currently experiencing a hard time trying to get his US work permit renewed.

The current visa issue has forced the king of the dancehall to reschedule dates for his planned US Tour.

Beenie who was recently denied a United States work permit was barred from performing at the 2015 staging of Best of the Best held late last month.

A rep for the dancehall deejay explained that US promoters have agreed to postpone the show dates until the situation is resolved.

Beenie Man was expected to hit several US cities as part of his upcoming summer tour.





Rapper Rick Ross for Reggae Sumfest

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rick-ross-photo-1.jpgAmerican Rapper and Mabach Music record label creator Rick Ross has been confirmed as one of the headliners for the 23rd staging of Reggae Sumfest, the greatest reggae show on earth.

Rick Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, will be joining the likes of Common, Yazz and Jennifer Hudson as well as dancehall veterans Beenie Man and Capleton, as a headline act to grace the Sumfest stage.

The rapper known for a plethora of hits including ' Stay scheming', 'Hustling' and 'Aston Martin Music' will perform on Friday July 17 at the Catherine Hall venue, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Rick Ross has a string of collabs with artistes like Nicki Minaj, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, Usher, Jay Z and Drake.

Reggae Sumfest will be held at Catherine Hall Montego Bay on Sunday July 12 to Saturday July 18.





Judy Mowatt to perform at Groovin' In The Park

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judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgNY: Veteran reggae singer Judy Mowatt, who thrilled fans as part of the Marcia Griffiths & friends package at last summer's Groovin' In The Park concert in New York, has been invited to perform at the festival for the second consecutive year. Beres Hammond is the only artiste who has performed at the annual festival twice.

"Based on Sister Judy's outstanding performance last year when she was a guest of Marcia Griffiths and numerous fan requests, we were compelled to extend an invitation to her to return to the Groovin' stage to deliver a full length performance" Christopher Roberts, founder and CEO of Groovin' In The Park said.

Mowatt will join Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage, Stitchie, Carleton Luciano and Cocoa Tea as confirmed acts at Groovin' in The Park 2015 which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday June 28.

The revered singer rose to prominence in the 70's as a member of the I-Threes (which included original members Marcia Griffiths and Rita Marley) the backing vocalist for Bob Marley and The Wailers. She is the first female singer nominated for a Grammy Award in the reggae category for her 'Working Wonders' album which was nominated in 1985. Her 'Black Woman' album which was released in 1980 is considered one of the best reggae albums by a female artiste.

As a solo act she is best known for songs like 'Many Are Called,' 'Black Woman' and 'I Shall Sing.'

In 1999 the Jamaican government awarded her the Order of Distinction for her contribution to Jamaica's music industry.

Presenting sponsor of Groovin' In The Park is the Door Restaurant. Supporting sponsors include The Smoke House, TD Bank, SQPA, Nutrament, Caribbean Foods Delight Inc, BullZii Marketing, Groovin' Radio, Laparkin Shipping, Tower Isle Patties and VP Records. Log on towww.groovininthepark.com orwww.groovinradiony.com for concert information.





usain-bolt-wins-soo-gran-prix.jpgUsain Bolt's first visit to New York produced a world record, and the start of his reign as track's biggest icon. Saturday's return produced a narrow victory in the 200 meters that was so unimpressive and uninspiring that even the Jamaican star called it the worst turn he had run in his career, and fretted races like this could tarnish his sterling legacy.

Hyperbole, to be sure. Bolt ran just his second competitive 200 meters since 2013 and won the Adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in 20.29 seconds. But for a six-time Olympic gold medalist whose 19.19 world record is over a second faster, it's not the kind of race he wants or the sort that will earn him gold next summer in Rio.

"I'm definitely not happy about my performance today. My turn was horrible. I don't know what happened. I really can't explain. It was really bad. It was probably one of the worst turns I've ever run in my entire life,'' said Bolt, quickly amending that to "the worst, for sure. The worst ever.

"I ran to 150, I knew it wasn't going to be a good time because of the turn I ran. After the turn, I pretty much gave up. ... I have no idea [why.] I'm still kind of baffled over what happened.''

It was enough to beat Anguilla's Zharnel Hughes (20.32) into a strong headwind. But it wasn't what Bolt or longtime coach Glen Mills expected.

"Right now I'm not even worried about Rio. I'm worried about what's happening and I just need to try to figure out what's going on this season. I need to buckle down and get everything right,'' Bolt said. "I'm happy about my legacy but this season is not going so smoothly. I've got to work, see what's going on, sit with my coach. With this pace, my legacy is going to be in trouble.''

The fastest 200 this year is the 19.68 run by Bolt's Brooklyn-born rival Justin Gatlin, who also has the top 100 time (9.74). They won't meet until the World Championships two months from now in Beijing, with neither competing in Saturday's 100, won by American Tyson Gay in a come-from-behind win.





rachel-dolezal.jpgRachel Dolezal stepped down from her position as the president of an NAACP chapter in Washington State on Monday - days after her ethnic identity became a national controversy.

The civil rights activist made the announcement in an open letter - posted on Facebook - to the organization's executive committee and members.

"It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley," she wrote.

Dolezal vowed to always fight for "what is right and good in this world" and thanked everyone who had supported her throughout the media firestorm that erupted over her ethnicity.





shocked.jpgA Finnish court on Monday sentenced a 36-year-old woman to life in prison for killing her five newborns between 2005 and 2013 and hiding them in a freezer.

The Oulu district court in western Finland found the woman guilty of five counts of murder and five counts of disturbing the peace of the dead for failing to give the babies proper burials.

"The homicides took place by leaving the newborns without care and warmth... Clearly this measure... caused particular agony to the babies," the court said in its ruling.

The woman, who has a 14-year-old son, had pleaded innocent and said the babies were all stillborn. But the court ruled on the basis of dental examinations that at least some of the babies had lived for up to four days before dying in a bucket where she had left them.

The horrific crimes were discovered in June 2014 when neighbours began to complain of a bad smell in the apartment building where a new couple had moved in. It was soon discovered that the woman had dumped the babies' bodies in garbage bags in the building's cellar. Previously she had managed to hide the bodies by keeping them in a freezer in her old apartment but there was no longer room for a freezer in the new apartment.

Court documents showed she had hid her pregnancies under loose clothing, and gave birth to the babies at home without anyone's knowledge.District prosecutor Sari Kemppainen told AFP that all of the babies were born full-term or nearly full-term.

The fathers of the first two babies were not identified, but in 2010 she married a man and got pregnant a third time. She later told him she had suffered a miscarriage. The husband went on to father two more babies, but was unaware of his wife's pregnancies or crimes. He petitioned for divorce immediately after the bodies were discovered.

When questioned by police, the mother was unable to explain why she had opted to keep, and not bury, the bodies.





Regional banks listed in US FIFA probe

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fifa-scandal.jpgSix regional banks including the JMMB Group owned Intercommercial Bank in Trinidad and Tobago, have been listed in the U.S. indictment against 14 people including present and past FIFA officials for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. indictment said Intercommercial Bank, First Citizens and Republic Bank - all based in Trinidad and Tobago - were used to complete wire transfers of large sums of money for FIFA officials.

Trinidad's Express Newspaper reported that two of the transactions in the US indictment including an alleged US$10 million bribe paid to former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner to host the 2010 World Cup passed through banks based in Trinidad and Tobago.

It also said the banks processed another US$1.2 million alleged bribe from Qatari billionaire Mohamed bin Hammam, for Warner's facilitation of the May 2011 CONCACAF meeting where the cash-for-votes scandal occurred.

The other three banks that were cited were First Caribbean International Bank operations in the Bahamas and Barclays and Fidelity banks in the Cayman Islands.

None of the banks has been charged with any crime or regulatory violation.





Ponzi schemes on the rise again

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A re-emergence of unregulated investment schemes which have been trying to solicit business from local investors has caught the attention of the police with initial checks being carried out into their operations.

The matter is being handled by the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch, C-TOC. Two weeks ago the Financial Services Commission, FSC, issued an advisory cautioning investors about solicitations by International Financial Services Limited which it said is not licensed to sell securities in Jamaica.

The spotlight is also on another entity, World Ventures Holdings. Head of C-TOC, Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis, last night said the police have taken preemptive steps.

The FSC says members of the public should verify the registration of any entity or individual offering an investment opportunity by checking the Commission's website.





The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit is advising members of the public to be cautious when purchasing meat in Riversdale, St. Catherine, following the slaughter of two pregnant cows on a farm in the community.

According to the unit, pregnant animals must not be slaughtered unless inspected by a registered veterinary surgeon, who certifies that the meat is fit for consumption. Head of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Francis, says there are also instances where the carcasses are transported in unsanitry conditions and this poses health risks.

Francis has urged members of the public with information on the slaighter of the cows in Riversdale to contact investigators as soon as possible.





GSAT results Wednesday

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gsat-results-2015.jpgThe Ministry of Education says the results for this year's sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test, GSAT, will be released to all Regional Offices on Wednesday.

In a release this morning, the Education Ministry said principals are asked to liaise with their respective Regional Offices to collect their packages commencing at 2pm.

It says this is to facilitate easy access and to quickly indicate to parents and students all placements following the sitting of the examination.

38,470 students were registered to sit this year's GSAT examination which took place on March 26 and 27.





Janet Jackson reveals 'Unbreakable' tour dates

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janet-jackson-tour.jpgSon's team announced the dates and cities for North American leg of her Unbreakable World Tour on Sunday. The concert series will start in Vancouver, Canada on Aug. 31 and conclude in Honolulu on Nov. 13.

Aug. 31 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Sep. 2 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Sep. 4 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Sep. 8 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Sep. 11 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Sep. 15 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Sep. 17 Raleigh, NC Walnut Creek Amphitheater
Sep. 18 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
Sep. 20 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
Sep. 23 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Sep. 24 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Sep. 26 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
Sep. 27 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater
Sep. 29 Memphis, TN Fedex Forum
Sep. 30 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
Oct. 9 Las Vegas, NV AXS at Planet Hollywood
Oct. 10 Las Vegas, NV AXS at Planet Hollywood
Oct. 16 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Oct. 17 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena
Oct. 19 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Oct. 24 Salt Lake City, UT Energy Solutions Arena
Oct. 25 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Oct. 27. Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Oct. 29 St Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena
Oct 30. Omaha, NE Centurylink Center
Nov. 1 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Nov. 12 Honolulu, HI Neal S. Blaisdell Center
Nov. 13 Honolulu, HI Neal S. Blaisdell Center (on-sale date TBA)

This is Jackson's first trek across North America since here her Number Ones greatest hits tour in 2011.vTickets for the Unbreakable tour, ranging from $45 to $250 each, are to go on sale to the general public on June 22 at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at livenation.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000 FREE.

In addition to hitting the road and recording a new album, Jackson is also launching her own record label. With Rhythm Nation, Jackson will become the second African American female recording artist to form her own label.





Julian Marley working on new album

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julian-marley.jpgMarley is working on his fourth album which is expected to be out early next year. According to the 40-year-old singer, it will display his maturity as an artiste.

"A lot of creativity will be on the album. Creativity is something that flows each day and everyday life is an experience. I have matured and progressed a lot since my last album," said Marley.

Marley worked mainly with producers at Ghetto Youths International on the project. He is co-owner of that label along with his brothers Stephen and Damian, who produced his current single, Lemme Go.

The song is on the Corner 'riddim' and addresses recent moves to decriminalise ganja in Jamaica.

"It's great to see the herb getting free-up in Jamaica an' around the world. Reggae music an' the herb have enjoyed a good mix over the years and the hemp industry has been around for a while. People come to Jamaica for the music and the herb," he reasoned.

While there are plans for a few collaborations on the yet-titled album, Marley said it will comprise mainly live music.

The fifth of reggae icon Bob Marley's sons, Julian Marley was born in the United Kingdom. He learned to play several instruments in his youth, including keyboards, drums, bass and guitar.

He released his debut album, Lion in the Morning, in 1996. His second album, A Time And Place, came out in 2003.

His previous album, Awake (released in 2009), was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category.





Empire's V Bozeman wows CFW audience

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v-bozeman.jpgActress and singer, V Bozeman was simply sensational at the first of three Caribbean FashionWeek's (CFW) signature event held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew on Friday.

Bozeman, who plays Veronica in the American hit television series Empire, was dressed in a sexy, close-fitting black dress, and rocked a fiercely shaved hairdo.

The singer started her three-song set by powerfully churning out the lyrics to Race Jones.

Confidently walking the catwalk, Bozeman interacted with her fans then diverted into her second single, a rendition of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

Bozeman ignited her audience and had them hanging on to her every word throughout her set.

She reached the peak of her performance when she belted the crowd's favourite What is Love.

In the opening scene of Empire, Bozeman delivers a heart-wrenching performance of What is Love, which captivated viewers. That performance earned the second-highest downloaded song from the Empire soundtrack.

And her CFW's performance was just as compelling.

Ahead and after the live performance, over 10 designers showcased their creations on CFW's runway, which included handbags, footwear, and accessories.





xgully-bop-drops-new-video-with-dutch.jpgGully Bop's newest music video to accompany the single Miss Hottie Hottie, is already making waves a few weeks since its release. Miss Hottie Hottie is a collab with United Kingdom-based reggae artiste Dutch and the entire project was was recorded, produced, and filmed in England.

Tony Ra of 2DMP directed the music video in London while Gully Bop went on his first international tour. Dutch and Gully Bop had a reunion after not seeing each other for many years, resulting in a modern creation with a retro feel.

"Me and Bop go way back. It's a good feeling to see him again and celebrate his success. We wrote and recorded the song in no time for Crazy Rock Music. This video is of an old-fashion vibe, even the wardrobe. The ska bass line and rhythms make it all magical," said Dutch.

Gully Bop is equally jubilant about the release. "This combination song with me and Dutch - dah song ya bad! Dis song yah name old-time someting come back again. Di real ting me a talk 'bout. Me a talk 'bout ska. Feel good to do real authentic music that a guh live on," he said.

Gully Bop wrapped up his first European tour recently, after a month of promotion filled with appearances and performances.He journeyed to events in Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.





naacp-rachel-dolezal.jpgRachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP, is being accused of falsely portraying herself as a black woman, CBS News' Adriana Diaz reports.

Her biological parents claim she is misrepresenting "major portions of her life," including being born white. As the city's mayor says it has opened an investigation and is gathering facts to determine if any city policies were violated, Dolezal is denying these accusations.

"Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black. So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black," Dolezal said to Spokane affiliate KREM.

But Dolezal's biological parents say that's just not true.

"Our daughter is primarily German and Czech and of European descent," her mother said.

Her parents, Ruthanne and Larry, live in a rural home in Troy, Montana.

Her father described a young Dolezal as blonde, blue-eyed and freckled-face.

"No way to get around it," he said.

The couple say their daughter is pretending to be someone she's not.

"Rachel has wanted to be somebody she's not. She's chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African-American woman or a biracial person," Ruthanne said.

Dolezal's biography at Eastern Washington University says she received her master's degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C.

KREM-TV obtained police reports in which Dolezal claims to be the victim of several hate crimes. They found that police responded but no suspects were identified and no arrests were ever made.

She said the only ones questioning her identity are Larry and Ruthanne.

"I don't give two (expletive) what they think," Dolezal said.

"It's more important for me to clarify that with the black community and my executive board than with people who don't understand," she said.

In the past, Dolezal has identified herself as a mix of black, white and Native American.

Dolezal dismisses the controversy as little more than an ugly byproduct of family dysfunction.





malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-1.jpgFour Western tourists were ordered deported from Malaysia on Friday after pleading guilty to obscenity charges for taking nude photos on a popular climbing peak, an act some in the country blamed for causing a deadly earthquake.

The defendants -- Eleanor Hawkins of Britain, 24, Dutchman Dylan Snel, 23, and Canadian brother and sister Lindsey, 23, and Danielle Petersen, 22 -- were arrested earlier this week in the wake of the deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu.

A court in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo island, sentenced them to three days' jail time starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, meaning their term had been served.

They also were fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit ($1,330) and ordered deported for committing an "obscene act in a public place," which can carry a three-month jail term.

It was not immediately clear when they would be deported.





Bolt leads 200m at Adidas Grand Prix

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On Saturday June 13, 2015, the Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York City will come alive with the hosting of the Adidas Grand Prix athletics meet, the 7th of the 14 Diamond League series.

Seven years ago on a wet track in this stadium, Usain Bolt rewrote the history books with his first 100m world record of 9.72 seconds. Interestingly, the meet had to break midway due to a brief lightning storm which probably was a warning of the 'lightning run' the fans would witness later that night in the final event. As is customary, nowadays when Usain Bolt competes, the stadium is sold out way in advance and the World and Olympic champion's return to the 11th New York Adidas Grand Prix will guarantee another bumper crowd.

Bolt rarely runs in the United States and being a consummate entertainer, the world and Olympic champion may deliver another 'lightning' performance that will leave the New York fans ecstatic for a number of years to come. Interestingly, Bolt will be competing in the 200m on this occasion.

Last year at this meet, Jamaica's Warren Weir executed one of his best 200m races of the Diamond League season posting a stunning 19.82 seconds on his way to victory. One of the remarkable things about the race was seeing Warren Weir slowing down considerably for the last 10 metres. Weir has raced sparingly this season and will be using this meet as a serious examination of his form going into the Jamaica Senior trials 15 days later.

Usain Bolt will be competing in his third 200m this season. Bolt who is on a mission to protect his legacy over the next three years will be aiming for his first sub-20 second outing this year. The world record holder has an automatic bye in both sprints for the World Championship in August and will be using this 200m race to sharpen up. Other notable contenders in the event include Diamond Race leader Alonso Edward of Panama, Curtis Mitchell of the U.S.A and T&T's Richard Thompson.





chris-brown-and-kendrick-lamar.jpgR&B superstar Chris Brown, who leads the pack with six nominations, is among the first performers to be announced for the 2015 BET Awards show.

His "Autumn Leaves" collaborator Kendrick Lamar will also take the stage at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The rap MVP is riding high off the success of his chart-topping album 'To Pimp a Butterfly'.

Additionally, Zendaya and actor Michael B. Jordan have been announced as the first presenters for the 15th anniversary event.

Nicki Minaj ties Brown with six nominations, while Beyoncé and Lil Wayne score four nods each.

Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the BET Awards 2015 will air live on Sunday, June 28.

Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the weeks ahead.





Barky from Bass Odyssey is dead

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barky-bass-odyssey.jpgAlvin 'Barky' McCarty, a longtime member of the Bass Odyssey sound system, died Monday at his home in Alexandria, St Ann.

Bass Odyssey's CEO Keith Ralford said the team "is shocked and saddened" by McCarty's sudden passing.

"You were a part of the crew from 1989. From the very first sound box, up to now. No riches, no name. Your contribution is forever written in history," read a post on the 'sound's Facebook page.

Ralford said McCarty who was in his 50s, showed no sign of illness. He last saw him on Saturday.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.





All systems go for CFW

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cfw.jpgIt's all systems go for this year's staging of Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW).

The runway show kicks off tonight at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew and Kingsley Cooper, chief executive officer of Pulse, organisers of the event, notes that everything is in place for the start of the 15th anniversary staging.

"There are 40 designers in town representing a number of countries in North America and the wider Caribbean. Everything is in place and we anticipate a great show. Our models including Jeniel Williams and Oraine Barrett are here. Our latest star, Francine James, is busy having just shot 14 pages for German Vogue that it is unlikely she will make it."

Cooper is pleased with the contingent coming from the Caribbean island of Tobago.

"They have the largest contingent coming from any one country and we are happy to have them with us. They are developing their own fashion industry and see CFW as an excellend platform."

Seven Tobagonian designers will showcase their talent at CFW. The Division of Finance and Enterprise Development in that country has co-ordinated this year's participation.Designers Kirsten Benjamin, Juliet Bernard, Ted Arthur, Lydia Arnaud-Lawrence (L.O.C.K Creations), and Cherie Warner (Cee Wee Designs), are returning to CFW for the second time, while Cassey Daniel (Yesa! Designs) and Camille Khan (Kamille Kahn Designs), are both making their CFW debut.





diaspora-conference.jpgMembers of the Diaspora and Jamaicans at home will gather at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James, from June 13 to 18, to participate in the sixth staging of the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

Activities will include a business and cultural exposition, a range of meetings to address investment opportunities and social activities, culminating with a Diaspora Day of Service.

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.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, tells JIS News that the last staging saw a record number of diaspora members in attendance. He is hoping the number will increase in 2015.

"Our intent is to have 1,000 local participants and hopefully, we will have an equal amount from the Diaspora in attendance at the conference," he says.

Since its inception in 2004, the event has grown, and in 2013 more than 1,500 participants attended the conference.

He notes that efforts are being made to increase the turnout through the deliberate targeting of the Diaspora outside of the traditional areas of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada.

Since the conference was officially launched in February 2015 by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, Mr. Brown says several others have been held to promote it overseas, noting that the first international launch was held at the St. Georges Episcopal Church, in New York.

"Consequent upon the New York launch, we launched in Canada from the 12th of April to the 19th of April. There were launches in Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and all launch events have gone fairly well," he adds.

So far, over 1000 persons have registered for the conference.





bigga-ford.jpgHead of the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, believes a recent break-in at a wholesale on Spanish Town Road is behind Thursday's shooting in West Kingston

SSP Ford says four persons were shot in the Coronation Market and one in Tivoli Gardens near to Darling Street. He warned that police would be pulling out all the stops to capture those responsible.

"I just want to use the opportunity to let Jamaica know what is happening in the area," said Ford.

"In the last five weeks the division was peaceful and quiet. These latest attacks are in retaliation to a recent incident where the wholesale of a well-known businessman was robbed," the senior cop added.

Police said more than $1 million worth of items were stolen from the business.

"Since this incident there have been a series of attacks, which have so far claimed the life of one person," Ford told the Observer.

He said that in response to the developments police have not only increased their presence in the area but have also identified some of the individuals who they believe are key players in the ongoing feud.

He says all five are at hospital.





malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-1.jpgA group of Western tourists who sparked anger in Malaysia for posing naked on top of a sacred mountain could be sentenced to three months in prison - or face a traditional Malay tribunal and pay a fine of 10 buffalo.

Eleanor Hawkins, a 24-year-old from Derby, was arrested on Tuesday after a photograph appeared showing her and nine others posing naked on top of Mount Kinabalu.

Of the ten tourists, five have been arrested, including a Canadian brother and sister, Lindsey, 22, and 23-year-old Danielle Peterson; another Candadian, 33-year-old Emil Kaminski, and a Dutch man, Dylan Snel, 23.

Authorities are currently searching for the other five people involved.

The detained group are being held in at Karamunsing police station in Kota Kinabalu, the main town near Mount Kimbalu.

According to Malaysian law, the punishment for such an offence is a fine of 400 ringgit ($106).

Mount Kinabalu, a World Heritage Site and popular climbing destination, is considered sacred by Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribal group, who believe it is a resting place for spirits. The pictures infuriated many in Malaysia.

On Friday a 6.0-magnitude quake struck near the mountain, sending landslides crashing down from its summit just as more than 150 hikers were at the peak enjoying sunrise views.

Sixteen people have been confirmed killed on the mountain and two remain missing.

In the wake of the disaster, Malaysian social media users and some Sabah officials have focused on the nudists, suggesting that their actions angered the spirits and led to the earthquake.

"This will certainly bring misfortune... we can't play with the spirit of the sacred mountain," deputy state chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan had told reporters on Saturday.malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-2.jpg





jack-warner-photo-1.jpgThe media frenzy surrounding former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner continued on Sunday as a reporter from UK news station Channel 4 was asked to leave his office.

Jonathan Rugman and his camera crew went to Warner's constituency office on Sunday to question him over an alleged US$10 million bribe.

Rugman was curious as to why they couldn't question him and stood in his office to film the video, while Warner sat in silence behind him.

"We've been given permission to film Jack Warner in his constituency office this morning but we've been told we cant ask him any questions, we can't ask, for example, whether he was part of a scheme to receive $10 million in bribes to rig the location of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, that is the allegation," he said.

In response Warner asked that they respect his privacy, eventually becoming exasperated and stood up at his desk, while his security asked the Channel 4 team to leave.





robert-pumpkinhead-diaz.jpgNew York-based rapper Robert 'Pumpkinhead' Diaz has died at the age of 39.

The Orange Moon Over Brooklyn singer died on Tuesday, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The cause of his death is not know. His passing comes just days after undergoing minor surgery in New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with the couple's daughter, and two sons.

Diaz first became famous in 1997 with the release of his song Dynamic.

He then released two albums - The Old Testament in 2001 and Beautiful Mind in 2003. Orange Moon Over Brooklyn came out in 2005.

Pumpkinhead also sang on albums by Immortal Technique and Jean Grae.

The rap community on the East Coast have mourned his passing.

Musician Kweli wrote on Instagram, 'There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz.'

Immortal Technique said Diaz was a great supporter of other artists.





richi-homie-quan.jpgAmerican rapper Rich Homie Quan is in the island utilising the facility at Geejam Studios for the recording of his soon-to- be-released album.

According to the rapper, who revealed his location to the public via social media, working at the Port Antonio, Portland-based recording studio generates a different vibe.

"I'm in Jamaica as we speak, man. yea, man, working on album, different thoughts. yea, man, real trees, real water, album on the way," he posted to his Instagram.

The rapper recently severed ties with veteran producer Birdman and his Rich Gang group, opting to manage and self produce his projects. He is also promoting a new mix-tape called If You EverThink I Will Stop Going In Ask RR.

Rich Homie Quan broke on to the scene in 2013 with hit record Type of Way. He then followed up with My Ni@@a and Lifestyle among others.

His latest hit single, Flex Ooh Ooh Ooh, currently sits at number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Other international acts who have worked at Geejam include Neyo, Alecia Keys, Solange Knowles, and Kathy Perry among others.





jennifer-hudson.jpgAmerican recording artiste Jennifer Hudson is the confirmed headliner for the final night of Reggae Sumfest 2015, Saturday July 18th at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

Johnny Gourzong Executive Director of Summerfest Productions, producers of the event, made the announcement in a press release.

"We are extremely happy to have been able to confirm Jennifer Hudson as the headline artiste on International Night 2. She is a powerhouse vocalist and a has huge catalogue of hits that Jamaicans and people from all across the world know and love," Gourzong said.

This will be the first time that Hudson will perform in Jamaica and she is looking forward to it."We understand that she is anticipating the trip to Jamaica and is already preparing for her performance," he added.

An international superstar, Hudson made her film debut as Effie White in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, garnering her several awards that year, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hudson went to release her first Grammy-winning, RIAA Gold Certified album in 2008.

The self-titled album entered Billboard's Top 200 at No 2 and marked the biggest first week sales for an R and B female entry since 2004 and has since sold over 1.1 million albums worldwide to date. Hudson's sophomore album, I Remember Me, was introduced on March 22, 2011 to rave reviews. The album debuted at No 2 on Billboard's Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the US. Most recently, Hudson released her third critically acclaimed album, JHUD, which opened in the Billboard Top 10 on September 23, 2014. The album, released by Sony/RCA, features hit tracks in collaboration with the likes of Pharrell Williams, R Kelly, Iggy Azalea and OVO/1985.

Reggae Sumfest begins on Sunday July 12 with a beach party at the Aquasol Theme Park, All White party at Pier 1 on Tuesday July 14 and the main event, Thursday July 16 to Saturday July 18 at Catherine Hall. The event is being held in association with sponsors - Digicel, Iberostar, Secrets, Pepsi, Jamaica Tourist Board, Red Stripe, Red Bull and the Gleaner.





Copyright Act debate continues

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copyright.jpgCopyright stakeholders will be watching today's Parliamentary debate closely on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to increase protection for Jamaica's copyright holders.

One of the main issues being discussed is the extension of copyright protection from the life of the author plus 50 years, to the life of the author plus 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made.

The Bill also notes that the current Copyright Act does not explicitly protect intellectual property rights over digital networks.

"Without clear protection in the digital environment, e-commerce activities in Jamaica by musicians, performers, publishers and authors would be at risk, and the right holders would not be able to derive the potential revenue from this stream of commerce provided by the Internet," the Bill's memorandum of objects and reasons points out.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton thinks that the copyright industry has potential for economic growth and the creation of wealth across all sections of the society.





14-year-old killed by gunmen

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Gunmen reportedly shot four males, killing a 14-year-old and another, in the Malcolm Heights community of Lucea, Hanover early this morning.

Reports are that the four were asleep in a house in the area when gunmen broke in and shot them.

The injured men have reportedly been admitted to hospital in serious conditions.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed the incident but said the scene is still being processed.





A woman has been taken into custody as the police investigate a narcotics trafficking ring which reportedly involves one of their colleagues.

A 43-year-old constable, who has been a member of the Force for 20 years, was held on Sunday during a raid involving MOCA.

The constable, who is assigned to the Kingston Central Division, is facing drug charges. A statement from MOCA said the woman was arrested after the cop was taken into custody.

According to reports, the constable was stopped by a MOCA team while travelling on the Palisadoes main road. He was en route to the Norman Manley International Airport. His vehicle was searched and ganja along with US$7- thousand and more than J$100-thousand reportedly seized. Investigations led MOCA detectives to a house in St. Catherine.

During a search of the premises in Bridgeport, ganja and cash were seized and the woman taken into custody.





18-year-old charged with bestiality

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court-bestiality.jpgMany persons lost their composure in the Spanish Town RM Court on June 9, when it was announced that an 18-year-old man from Milk River, Clarendon, had been charged with bestiality.

Reports are the teenager was doing construction work in Old Harbour, when he was allegedly caught having sex with a goat "wheel barrow" style.

When the allegation was read out in open court, the usually stern-faced RM Lyle Armstrong had a smile on her face. It took a few minutes before order could be returned to the proceedings.

The accused was granted bail in the sum of $80,000 with 1 to 3 sureties.

He is to report to the Old Harbour Police on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 6 a.m and 6 p.m.





Cocaine Ras begs judge for mercy

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court-bestiality.jpgA Rastafarian man who was caught trying to export a quantity of cocaine was slapped with fines and imprisonment when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's (RM) Court Monday.

Charged with possession, dealing, taking steps to export and conspiracy to export is Bentley Lewis.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

The court was told that when Lewis was cautioned, he said, "Yes, mi know a coke Is a man give me fi go foreign."

Senior RM Judith Pusey asked the accused: "Why shouldn't you go to jail for this?"

He said: "Mi a beg yuh likkle leniency, beg yuh likkle mercy. When I was doing what I did I did not think of the consequences."

The court heard that the drug weighed one pound, six ounces.

Lewis was fined $150,000, or six months for possession; $250,000, or six months

for dealing; $350,000, or eight months for attempting to export, plus 12 months for conspiracy. If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently, but consecutive to the 12- month sentence.

A fingerprint order was also made against Lewis.





8-year-old commits suicide; found hanging

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shocked.jpgA family is in mourning following a child's suspected suicide at his home in Gordon Town, St Andrew on Tuesday.

The deceased is Chad Robinson of Dublin Castle in the community. He reportedly went missing around 9pm. He was later found hanging by his shoelaces from a ladder in the yard.

The Gordon Town police was summoned and the body was removed.





CAYMAN: Acting head of fire services suspended

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cayman-john-bodden-acting-chief-fire-officer.jpgJohn Bodden, acting Chief Fire Officer of the the Cayman Islands, has been suspended, with pay, pending the outcome of a police investigation against him.

Cayman Islands Police have confirmed that Mr. Bodden remains on bail on suspicion of dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident in January, but he has not been charged with a crime, so far.

Mr. Bodden was arrested last Thursday and his vehicle seized as part of the police investigation.





usain-model.jpgUsain Bolt has seen his rank among the highest paid athletes in the world fall significantly, but not because of a major decline in his earnings.

Influential business magazine, Forbes, estimates the athlete earned US$21 million in the last 12 months, which was enough to rank him at number 73 among the top earning athletes in the world. That was just US$2 million lower than the US$23 million he earned in the prior year which had him ranked at 46th.

Bolt picks up most of his earnings from endorsements with Puma, his chief sponsor, responsible for US$10 million of the amount through to the 2017 World Championships, which is the year in which he is expected to retire.

After retirement, Puma is contracted to pay him US$4 million a year through to 2025.

The top five earning athletes last year were boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, footballers Critiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Tennis star Roger Federer.





adele-21.jpgAdele's album '21' is the biggest-selling album of the decade to date in the U.K. The British singer's sophomore set has sold more than 4.75 million copies in her homeland. The album spent 23 weeks at the UK chart.

The recording has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, following its arrival in 2011.

Adele's 21 was named the best-selling album of the millennium in an OCC report issued in March.

There's still no firm release date, or even a title, for her third studio album.





Jamaica Film Festival launched

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minister-launches-festival-2015.jpgThe inaugural Jamaica Film Festival was recently launched at Jampro's Business Auditorium in Kingston.

The festival aims to provide an avenue for local film makers to show their work and to receive technical assistance from experts in the film and media industry.

The event will run for five days July, 7-11, and features workshops and screenings.





sly-and-robbie.jpgA group of Jamaican musicians have arrived in Cuba for the first recorded musical collaboration between Jamaican and Cuban instrument players.

Bongo Herman, Sly and Robbie, and Bopee are among the Jamaicans who left the island yesterday for the project.

Jake Savana, the Australian producer who is the organizer, sayss he has worked with Jamaican musicians and considers this a special moment.

He says the musicians will start their recording today.

The project is being done to showcase the musical styles of Jamaica and Cuba.





omi-cheerleader.jpgRecording artiste OMI, who is managed and produced by Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon, is on the verge of breaking into the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, with the remix of his song 'Cheerleader' by Germany-born Flex Jaehn. The single currently sits at number 11.

The remix, which was released in May 2014 by the United States-based recording label, Ultra Music, has climbed steadily on several foreign radio charts. It has also been playlisted on several radio stations, including the French radio station NRJ, East FM and Swedish radio station SR P3.

OMI, who inked a deal with Ultra Music in 2014, is also working with international label Sony Music Entertainment. He toured Europe extensively to promote the song, and says that the next step is to direct some of the attention to the United States' market. Given that some of OMI's focus has now been directed to the US market, the single has steadily climbed the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Since making its debut last month at number 95, Cheerleader has moved swiftly to the top 20, ahead of Shaggy's I Need Your Love which sits at number 66.

Wiz Khalifa's See You Again currently sits at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, however, the popular Fast and The Furious sound track single still trails OMI's Cheerleader in France despite leading the way on several other international charts.

According to an article posted on Billboard.com in May, based on growing popularity of Cheerleader in the US market, the single seems destined for the number one spot.

"Jamaican singer OMI's quickly rising Cheerleader is going to be the next ruler of the Hot 100. In two weeks on the chart, Cheerleader has already gone from No 95 to No 63 - so they might just be on to something", the page posted.





Under the theme, 'Proud and Free!' Jamaica 53, the 2015 Emancipation and Independence celebrations were launched yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Culture minister, Lisa Hanna, who spoke at the launch, said a series of activities will be staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to commemorate the events.

"We will also see the return of Festival Fashion. The usual annual events including Mello Go Round, Grand Gala as well as the Emancipation vigil in all parishes will take place. We want to unite the country in our major celebration," said Hanna.

A national emancipation and independence church service will kick off celebratory events on July 26 at the St Jago De La Vega Cathedral in Spanish Town.

On July 31, there will be a national celebration of the Emancipation Jubilee at Seville Heritage Park in St Ann. That day, Emancipation vigils will be held in St Thomas, Clarendon, Portland, Hanover, Trelawny, Manchester, Westmoreland, St Catherine, St Mary, St Elizabeth and St James.

On August 1, Emancipation Day, there will be a national celebration at what is dubbed Market Place on Hope Road in Kingston. The coronation of the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen takes place later that evening at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The final of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition is scheduled for August 2. The following day sees the return of Auntie Roachie Festival and Fashion Greets Music festival, at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

On August 6, Independence Day, the Grand Gala is at the National Stadium.





mothers-enterprise-operator.jpgThe operator of Mother's Enterprise, Richard Foreman, was arrested and charged on Thursday by the Fraud Squad.

Foreman has been charged with creating public mischief after allegedly filing a false report to the police.

It's reported that last year, the 56 year old businessman gave CARMAX Limited a vehicle to sell.

Following the collapse of the car dealership, Foreman went to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station last month and reported the vehicle stolen.

An investigation was conducted and it was discovered he had filed a false report.

Foreman, who is represented by attorney, Peter Champagnie, has been released on J$200-thousand station bail.

He's booked to appear before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on July 15.





Shooting in downtown Kingston leaves 4 injured

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A section of downtown Kingston is tense following a shooting in the busy market district, which left four persons injured.

Reports are that armed men travelling in a car went to Lizard Town, near Coronation Market, where they shot and seriously injured a man, known only as "Bigga". Three other persons were shot in the attack, but their conditions are not known.

Senior Superintendent Cornwall "Bigga" Ford, head of the Kingston Western Police, has appealed for calm in the area.

"With support of the police high command I have put all the resources necessary in that location, he said"

According to Superintendent Ford, the shooting stemmed from a recent break-in at a store. This reportedly led to the shooting death of a man from West Kingston.





shanique-myrie.jpgShanique Myrie who made headlines by taking the Barbados Government to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) after she was denied entry is entering representational politics.

Peoples' National Party (PNP) insiders confirmed that Myrie has been given the nod to represent the PNP in the next Local Government elections.

On Sunday at the PNP's Olympic Gardens Divisional Conference,delegates endorsed her application to represent the party.The incumbent is the Jamaica Labour Party's Christopher Townsend.

A recommendation regarding Miss Myrie was presented at Wednesday night's monthly Constituency Executive meeting.

A source said it is now left to the Party's Region Three executive to ratify Myrie's application.

In a landmark ruling the six-member CCJ panel ruled that Myrie was wrongfully denied entry by Barbados border officials in March 2011.

She was awarded damages after she filed a lawsuit claiming she was subjected to a dehumanising cavity search by a female immigration officer.





14-y-o-student-executed-leon-grant.jpgThe double murder on Tuesday of 14-year-old Leon Grant and 20-year-old unemployed Travis 'Shane' McKenzie, both of Malcolm Drive, Lucea, has brought to 14 the number of homicides recorded by the Hanover police since the start of the year.

The brutal slaying of the Rhodes Hall High School student and his brother during a pre-dawn attack at their home in Lucea on Tuesday has left the community in shock and the school in mourning. At Rhodes Hall High School, traumatised staff members and students were fighting to come to grips with the tragedy.Principal Loreen Aljoe said the slain teen possessed leadership qualities.

"He was assisting because I guess he had that kind of leadership quality about him. He is a leader. The others looked up to him. So for us it's a loss. We never got the opportunity to see Leon graduate," Aljoe lamented.

She said Leon was well-liked by his peers and the teaching and ancillary staff.

"When we came this [Tuesday] morning we had teachers crying, students crying, everybody, because

Leon was a popular student here. So everybody knows Leon," said Aljoe.

She explained that Leon was one of the school's success stories, having drastically changed for the better since grade seven following the intervention of teachers.

The incident occurred about 2:00 am Tuesday, when masked men kicked open the front door to the home and started shooting.

Leon was hauled outside the house and shot execution style, even as his mother hurled a hammer at his killers, a police source explained.

This led the detectives to surmise that McKenzie may have been the target of the attack because the shooters did not attempt to harm his mother when she went to her son's assistance.

Investigators later removed spent shells, fired from AK-47 and M-16 rifles, .9mm and .45 pistols, from the scene.

Meanwhile, the Hanover police have taken one man into custody in connection with the murders. Investigators have linked the murders to the multi-million-dollar lottery scam targeting United States citizens, most of them elderly.

Their 24-year-old sister and stepfather have being treated for gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting.

An incident on Labour Day in which a car belonging to a family member was shot up foreshadowed Tuesday's attack.





Kalado is a wagonist, says Bad Boy Trevor

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kalado-photo-7.jpgWhen Beenie Man took the mic from Bad Boy Trevor last week and sternly reprimanded him for trying to freak out Dancehall and turn it into a go-go club, one artiste who showed support for Beenie's actions was Kalado.

Kalado has gone on record thanking Beenie Man for saving Dancehall.

As Expected, with the accolades being heaped on Beenie Man, some of the praise has fallen from Beenie Man's head to Kalado's shoulders.

Bad Boy Trevor, however, while saying that he has no problem with Beenie Man doing what he did, he has a few choice words for Kalado.

"Kalado is a wagonist. He was there in the venue all along enjoying the thing. He didn't open his mouth to speak out against it until Beenie Man walked up to the stage and started to lash out."

bad-boy-trevor-photo-2.jpg





direct-flights.jpgA new direct flight from Ireland to Jamaica will be added for summer 2016, according to the tourism Ministry.

The flight, added through Falcon Holidays and Thomson Holidays, both part of the Tourist Union International (TUI) Group, is as a result of continuous upward trends in stopover visitor arrivals from Europe. The European Conglomerate TUI Group, has been helping to drive significant growth out of the European market, the ministry says.

Making the announcement Saturday at the 54th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill said TUI will roll out its new charter programme from Dublin, Ireland using a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Beginning June 2016, the service will run six flights weekly with holiday packages running for two weeks, thereby adding an additional 12, 222 room nights for the destination.

"We have TUI's assurance that should this short programme be successful they will consider expanding into the following summer," Minister McNeill noted.

He had more good news of increased airlift out of Europe later this year. Commencing November 29, Ving, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Nordic, will operate new service from Gothenburg, Sweden via Oslo Norway, to Montego Bay.

Also, commencing mid-December the fortnightly service, which TUI Sweden operated from Stockholm to Montego Bay last winter, will be doubled to weekly flights for the 2015/16 winter season, the release stated.

The ministry explained that the renewed thrust in Europe is bolstered by the fact that arrivals from January to April 2015 out of that market went up by 9.1 per cent over the corresponding period last year, with a total of 95,177 stopover visitors gracing Jamaica's shores.





Zika virus spreads from Brazil to Dom Rep

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zika-virus.jpgAs the Jamaican authorities put preventive measures in place for the zika virus, the Dominican Republic is reporting that it has recorded its first case of the mosquito-borne illness.

A 12-year-old girl from Puerto Plata has become the first person to contract the virus in that country. According to a newspaper report, the patient is hospitalised in a private clinic in the northern city. No further information on her condition has been revealed.

A month ago the Brazilian media reported on a number of zika virus infections in Bahia state and other places. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The main clinical symptoms in patients are fever, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and a rash.

Jamaica's Ministry of Health has been urging persons to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to prevent the Zika virus from reaching Jamaica.





A Detective Constable suspected of being involved in a major drug network,was arrested Sunday morning during a sting operation along the Palisadoes Main Road in Kingston.He is a 20-year veteran of the Police Force,

It's understood that investigators from Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption agency MOCA intercepted the constable's vehicle and seized more than 19 parcels containing ganja.A large quantity of US currency was also allegedly seized in the vehicle.

Investigators theorised that the policeman was travelling to the Norman Manley International Airport to drop off the shipment of ganja.It's understood that MOCA moved in on the policeman after placing him under surveillance.

His St Andrew home was also raided as part of a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation.





Head of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, says the shooting of a parent at a school in the parish on is linked to lottery scamming. Sheldon Dennis, 28, was killed because of a dispute over the proceeds from the illegal scamming activity.

Cops have since arrested a man in connection with Friday morning's murder of Dennis, a parent at the St Mary's Preparatory and Kindergarten School. Reports are that Dennis had arrived at the institution to drop off his two children when he was chased by gunmen and shot repeatedly.

Students and school staff have been severely traumatised by the incident which caused classes to be suspended for the day.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgThe high death toll on the roads has been a cause of concern for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who urged Jamaicans to take greater personal responsibility for road safety, even as the Government implements strategic measures to make the use of the nation's roads safer for all.

Since January 1 this year, 150 people have died in road crashes, a figure which represents an increase of nine more deaths when compared to the corresponding period last year.

Addressing the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association's (JGRA) National Road Safety Month launch, at Coore's Fesco service station in Angels, St. Catherine, Simpson Miller said that as part of efforts to reduce road crashes Government will be updating the Road Traffic Act and continue to carry out various public awareness campaigns.

She said the Government is also looking at implementing more electronic surveillance systems in order to curb speeding and the running of red lights.

She also said that it will take the combined efforts of all Jamaicans to reverse the developing trend of increased deaths due to road crashes.

"The most direct and effective action to improve road safety is personal responsibility by road users," she said.





lisa-hanna-photo-3.jpgMinister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna was on Sunday night hospitalised after a car crash on the Spanish Town leg of Highway 2000.

According to reports, Hanna was travelling in a Toyota Corolla motorcar which crashed after trying to swerve out the way of the scene of another accident. Her driver was also injured.

Hanna is said to be suffering from chest pains after the air bag opened on impact. She was taken to hospital by security minister Peter Bunting who was also coming from an event where Hanna was in attendance.

The Youth and Culture Minister took to social media to thank well wishers. She also shared a photo of the mangled remains of the vehicle involved in the accident.

"Thank you for the concern. There was an existing accident on the highway and the cars had no lights, we swerved out of the way. God is great! I was on the passenger side in the front. P and I were able to walk out of the car and taken to the hospital," she said.

Hanna was said to have undergone x-Ray examination and CT scans.

She is expected to be released from hospital on Monday.





Reports reaching YardFLex are that a member of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force recently attacked his girlfriend and removeD one of her body parts because he became suspicious that she was cheating on him.

According to various accounts of the incident, the policeman from Portland was having an affair with the woman, but things apparently went sour because he became suspicious of her activities, which he linked to infidelity.

The cop reportedly reached breaking point recently and proceeded to cut out the woman's vagina and douse her with a substance similar to acid.

Please note that the picture below is very graphic.

policeman-cuts-out-cheating-girlfriend-vagina.jpg





yazz-the-greatest-getty-image.jpgYoung, up and coming rapper, Yazz, from the hit TV show 'Empire', has been confirmed to appear at this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest, which will run from July 12-18, at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

The 21-year-old rapper/actor is scheduled to perform on International night one of the annual concert on Friday July 17. Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director of Summerfest Productions, producers of the event is ecstatic at the young acts inclusion.

"Summerfest is committed to the development of music in this hemisphere and believes that young artistes must have a platform to showcase their talents. The Sumfest stage has been the platform for many young acts and we are happy to confirm that Yazz will be one of those at the 2015 staging," Gourzong said.

Yazz is popularly known for his role in the thrilling television series 'Empire', as Hakeem Lyon, an aspiring rapper and son of platinum rapper and producer, Lucious Lyons.

Born Bryshere Gray, Yazz the Greatest as he is known on stage, is already a skilled hip hop artist in his own right. He started rapping at the age of 16, after being injured playing football for the Overbrook High School team. The Philadelphia rapper spent his recoup months studying music and in 2011 released his first music video for his single 'Ransom', which earned him a place as one of the city's top young artiste.

Although he is yet to officially release his debut album, Yazz has been making a buzz since 2013 with tours and appearances at music festivals including Jay Z's Made in America Festival.





deva-bratt-photo-1.jpgDancehall artiste Deva Brat is again showing his bratty side. A warrant has been issued for his arrest in the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida after he failed to appear in court to answer to charges of driving without a valid licence.

"An open warrant was issued. He was supposed to appear in court at 9:00 on Monday but failed to appear," one source told Loop Jamaica.

However, when contacted, Deva Bratt told a reporter that he has just arrived in New York on a flight from Florida, and that he was a "busy man".

"Mi just fly from Florida to New York, so what is this all about? Mi nuh know what this is all about, how people love me so? Mi like it. Mek dem gwaan love me continuously because if yu nuh have haters, you are nothing," he said.

The artiste, whose real name is Sheldon Owen Smith, recently escaped a batter case in Boca Raton, Florida, as it was thrown out due to an "uncooperative victim". Battery is an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with another person.

The artiste, who was an integral member of the Kartel-led Portmore Empire, is known for the single, Gussie Clarke which hit number one on various charts over seven years ago. He has a checkered criminal history and he has been acquitted of indecent assault and assault occasioning bodily harm of two females in the Spanish Town RM Court in St Catherine in 2012.

Prior to that, he was freed of a carnal abuse charge following an incident in 2008 involving a minor.





Kranium happy at repping on Rihanna's album

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"I did, actually. I can't even talk on it, but I can say that I've been in studio working on projects with Rihanna - well, for Rihanna, basically. I flew to Italy and we did some work and it's looking good, so we'll see how it goes," dancehall artiste Kranium said in a recent radio interview.

Pop princess, Rihanna, has been teasing fans about her eighth studio album and has also been hinting she wants to throw in some reggae and dancehall tracks in the final compilation. She says she wants to create timeless music.

Online articles revealed that the singer's camp reached out to several dancehall and reggae artistes. At least one such artiste has come forward saying Rihanna has been making good on her promises.

In an interview with ABC News Radio, one of dancehall's newest sensations, Kranium, said he has done work for the R&B singer that will be included in her upcoming album. Kranium also spoke on why collaborating with mainstream stars is a big deal for many reggae and dancehall acts. "It's very good! I mean, at the end of the day, that's Rihanna, you know. You have R&B artistes that come to Jamaica to work with certain reggae artistes because we are big in our own world," he explained. "You know, it's just perfect when it's clashed, so I'm just taking it one day at a time."





bad-boy-trevor-uncle-freaky.jpgIn light of the stand taken by Beenie Man against freaking out the Dancehall and Bad Boy Trevor's subsequent response, YardFlex is doing a throwback to a April 2013 article, in which the super freak, Bad Boy Trevor publicly changed his moniker and boasted about his freakiness. Please read article below:

"Controversial comedian Bad Boy Trevor is now performing under a new moniker called 'Uncle Freaky'. The veteran comedian, who has made no secret of his appreciation for oral sex, says his new moniker represents his self-honesty.

"I mostly party at exotic clubs because I find that those people are more honest. I like the environment and it does not have a bunch of hypocrites like the dances. A selector will say all who have dem own gun put up yu hand and every man put up dem hand, then him sey all who don't suck this put up yu hand and everybody put up dem hand, so I prefer places like Lucky 38 where people are more honest with themselves, people just unleash and be free," he said.

The comedian, who also hosts several parties in the Corporate Area which are normally based on highly sexualised themes, says his events have their own fan base.

Coupled with his freaky fan base and the popularity of Tommy Lee Sparta's former 'Uncle Demon' Moniker, Bad Boy Trevor decided to rebrand himself as 'Uncle Freaky'.

"I have people from the universities who come to my parties and they take part in freaky games because they just want to feel free and clear their heads, so freakiness can be therapeutic," he said.

According to the actor who released a sextape performing oral sex on a woman in 2001, he knows that there are Jamaicans who want a specific type of entertainment and he caters to that market.





bad-boy-trevor-photo-1.jpgDancehall King, Beenie Man, publicly scolded self-professed freak, Bad Boy Trevor, at a recent dance and accused him of "freaking out Dancehall and turning it into a go-go club."

This is Bad Boy Trevor's response: "I mean, it's no secret that people associate me with certain things, but why did he see it fit to say something right there, maybe it's because it's me," he said.

"Freakiness has been taking over dancehall for quite some time now, so why didn't he say something before and would he have said something if it was an Alkaline or another artiste?"

Trevor went on to say that he will be watching closely to see if Beenie Man continues to hold his views. He also commented on Kalado's support for Beenie Man's stance. "He was just riding on the bandwagon cause he was there all along watching everything and him neva say nuttin till Beenie Man say supmn."





Lottery scammer arrested in Kingston

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Police attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested a man on suspicion of being a lottery scammer in Kingston on Thursday.

According to the police, the man, whose identity is being withheld pending further investigation, was detained on suspicion of breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act during an operation on Windward Road in Kingston.

Reports are that about 11:15am, a premise was searched and several sheets of paper containing identity information of other persons were found (lead sheet).

He is expected to be charged with possession of identity information and using premises to possess identity information after being interviewed in the presence of his attorney. The C-TOC is also working with its international partners to ascertain victims overseas in an effort to have additional charges laid against him.





Cop shot on JUTC bus in Papine

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jutc-bus.jpgWhile the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were staging a major sick-out on Thursday, one of their own was the victim of gun violence.

Reports are that a constable was shot and injured by gunmen in Papine, St Andrew on Thursday.

At about 9am, the policeman was travelling on a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus when the criminals tried to stage a robbery.

The lawman reportedly challenged the robbers and was shot. The CCU further reported that one of the alleged robbers was also shot and injured. Both men were rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies where they were admitted.

The incident happened amid protest action being taken by rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).





Students, staff and parents were sent scampering for cover at the St Mary's Preparatory and Kindergarten School in Montpelier, St James on Friday morning, after gunmen attacked a male parent and slew him brutally in their presence on the school compound.

The dead man has been identified as 28 year old Sheldon Dennis.

The murder occurred at about 7:30 am. Police report that Dennis was dropping off his two children when he was pounced upon by two gunmen. He was shot while sitting in his car.

Dennis reportedly ran from his vehicle and was chased by the gunmen who shot him multiple times in front of his children and other students, as well as parents.





water-tank.jpgThieves have made off with the water tank at a primary school in St. James and YardFlex is making a special appeal for the culprits to return it.

Classes at the Anchovy Primary School in St James were not held on Thursday due to a robbery at the school.

Thieves stole a 600 gallon water tank that supplies the school, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, forcing the staff to call off school due to the lack of water.

The robbery has cast a pall of gloom over the school community as it will take some time for the water tank to be replaced and it was unsure whether classes would resume on Friday.

The tank supplies drinking water as well as water for sanitation purposes.

In the meantime, is there any Good Samaritan out there who can assist Anchovy Primary with a replacement water tank?





cayman-islands-premier-alden-mclaughlin.jpgCayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin has defended his nation's reputation in the wake of the FIFA bribery scandal, saying his government takes a "zero tolerance approach to anyone carrying out illicit activities."

The internayional spotlight has been thrown onto Cayman, following the arrest of Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, a vice-president of Fifa and President of the regional governing body for football, Concacaf.

According to Premier McLaughlin, local law enforcement agencies are cooperating with the international investigation into allegations of corruption at world football's governing body.

He also asserted his confidence that the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority was taking "appropriate action" following allegations that some bribery payments were routed through Fidelity Bank Ltd. in Grand Cayman.

He said, "The Cayman Islands has a reputation for engagement and achievement of very robust global standards in relation to the regulation of domestic and cross-border financial transactions."

Against that background, he said his government did not intend "to compromise the hard work we have done over the past couple of decades and the good rating and reputation we have earned."
In that regard, he reiterated that Cayman has had a long history "of cooperating with global, and in particular, U.S. authorities and there is no doubt that we have and will continue to fully assist in the investigation and ultimate conclusion of these matters."

Mr. McLaughlin said government had been monitoring developments since the arrest of Webb along with other FIFA officials, including former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas, in Switzerland last week. Webb is one of 14 businessmen and sports marketing executives accused of negotiating bribes in return for television and media rights for international football tournaments.





iggy-azalea-hair.jpgDear Iggy Azalea,

Hey, girl. I'm glad you canceled your tour and are finally getting a break. It sounds like you're also going to take the time to do some rebranding. That's a good idea. Something that would also be a good idea is not accessorizing yourself with the black American South.

While you are chillin' and ordering Papa John's to a themed pool party with Britney Spears, there are some things you should think about:

1. You are not black.

2. You are not from the American South.

3. You are not a black person from the American South.

Honestly, just repeating those things to yourself might be helpful. The thing is, Iggy, you are actually a white lady from New South Wales. When you say things like "Tell me how you love dat," you are not being artistic. You are adopting the tonalities of Southern black women and belittling their manner of speaking by totally removing it from its context. "The line is offensive because this Australian born-and-raised white girl almost convincingly mimics the sonic register of a downhome Atlanta girl," wrote Brittney Cooper for Salon.

This might seem harsh, Iggy. But you are not only disrespecting the culture of the black American South. You are also accessorizing yourself with it for profit. It is wrong (and often racist) to play the part of a marginalized person without having experienced their version of marginalization. You are not entitled to pick and choose certain elements of cultures. You are basically treating black American culture like it is a Claire's in a local mall, and you are a bored 12-year-old with sticky fingers.

Culture reflects the core of a person's being. It defines their experiences and perspective. It is inextricably linked to social, political and economic realities. It is not something you can just "put on" like a funny hat or the lip balm you conspicuously sponsor in that booty video with J.Lo.

I hope you don't think people have a problem with you just because you're a white rapper, as you'll be missing the point. Granted, the black community has rightful ownership of rap and hip hop (along with jazz, blues and soul), because of the origins and social significance of those genres. (While taking your break, you might consider streaming Ice-T's "Something from Nothing" on Netflix for some background there.) When you come back to us, however, we suggest you stop antagonizing Azealia Banks and remember that you can be a white person and partake in the art form without appropriating blackness or, more specifically, the black American South.

Best,
Pretty Much Everyone
P.S. If you need to quickly re-familiarize yourself with Australia, you might consider watching the turn-of-the-century classic "Our Lips Are Sealed."





jah-cure-photo-1.jpgThe Cure, the soon to be released album from reggae singer, Jah Cure, is set to be released on July 15 (VP).

Recently hailed by NPR as "a voice that sounds as if he's wringing out passion from every note" and once described by the Los Angeles Times as "a brilliant crooner of Bob Marley-esque love-and-peace reggae," the Jamaican-born singer has long been recognized as one of the island's great voices. Cure effortlessly blends street poetry and sufferer's tales with beautiful love ballads into one cohesive collection. The 13-track set is a return to roots reggae and lover's rock with R&B and pop-fused elements.

Jah Cure co-produced the entire album with the help of reggae producers like Christopher "Sketch" Carey, Clive Hunt, Llmar "Riff Raff" Brown, Justin "Jus Bus" Nation and Trevor "Baby G" Washington James. The Cure features recent hits like his #1 reggae chart-topping John Legend cover "All of Me" (which received over 5 million YouTube views), "Rasta" (currently #1 on Clinton Lindsay's NY reggae singles chart), "That Girl" and "Life We Live" as well as brand new singles including "No Friend of Mine" "Made In California," "I Surrender" and many more.

Jah Cure's multi-faceted story of struggle and love is intertwined into The Cure. "My struggles made me who I am today. That's why I sing with feelings, it comes from my heart cause I feel the pain. Who feels it knows it," he states.

Cure did not have the typical road to stardom. The Montego Bay native just began his musical career, with reggae veterans like Capleton, Sizzla and Beres Hammond taking him under his wing, when it came to a screeching halt after a controversial case that led to incarceration. However, Cure's popularity rose to new heights during this time, becoming one of the fastest rising reggae stars worldwide. He was able to secure professional recording equipment and released multiple albums (Free Jah Cure, Ghetto Life and Freedom Blues) for worldwide distribution before his release in 2007. Since then, Cure has continued to top the reggae charts with hits and has released several albums True Reflections, The Universal Cure and World Cry. His latter album featured collaborations with Rick Ross and Jazmine Sullivan, blending hip-hop, pop and R&B into his sound.





Porn and more porn on Etana's Facebook Page

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etana-vprecords.jpgJamaican reggae songbird Etana announced Thursday, that her Facebook fan page has been hacked.

The page, which has in excess of 500 thousand followers, had been strewn with images and links to pornographic photos and stories.

The Warrior Love singer explained that her team has been working tediously with Facebook to rectify the issue.

"On that page I have 519,000 people following from across the world. Somebody is very unhappy; dem ah go hard. We have been working with Facebook back and forth to resolve it because the page is completely detached from [my] personal page that it was built from," Etana continued.

Etana further contended that the problem the platform is having is that because of the detachment, Facebook doesn't know where the fan page is connected to.

"Apparently they [the hackers] can't take the heat, they don't know or like what's going on the road - I don't know, but somebody's really unhappy," she argued.

The Blessings singer also said that so far, her other social media accounts including Twitter and Instagram pages have been unaffected by the cyber attack.





common.jpgAmerican rapper Common will headline International Night One at the annual Reggae Sumfest show on Friday July 17th.

Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr, is a multi-faceted artiste, actor and poet. According to Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director Summerfest Productions, he will be a welcomed addition to the show.

"We are elated to have a performer of the magnitude of Common on the Reggae Sumfest stage. He is a versatile artiste and undoubtedly he will add something very special that our audience will be able to appreciate. He has a unique and vibrant style that will excite patrons," Gourzong said.

Common arrived on the hip-hop scene in the early 90s as Common Sense, a rapper who offered an alternative to the prevailing gangsta rap of contemporaries like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Dr Dre. His music was infused with old school beats, jazz- and funk-influenced lyrics that helped kick off an underground hip-hop movement that would gain steam and attract new rappers by the latter part of the decade.

He received is first Grammy award in 2003, for Love of my life with Erykah Badu.

Common and John Legend received the Best Original Song Award for their single Glory at the 87th staging of the annual Oscars Academy Awards. The track is an emotional musical piece about the civil rights movement and is the theme song for the movie Selma.





Businessman murdered on Padmore Drive

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A businessman was shot dead by gunmen along Padmore Drive in Kingston on Thursday.

He has been identified as 51-year-old Mark Champagnie of Maverly in St Andrew.

Police report that Champagnie received a phone call and was summoned to Padmore Drive. Upon his arrival, two gunmen pounced and shot him several times. He died on the spot.

Cops from the Major Investigation Team are theorising that Champagnie was the victim of a contract killing.





armzhouse-records-logo.jpgAlleged high ranking member of the One Order Gang based in Spanish Town, Everton 'Rado' Minott has been taken into custody in the United States by police and is being held without bail.

Rado was reportedly wanted on several charges in Jamaica.

Rado, who also has strong connections to the music industry, is the CEO of the Armz House Records label, and the producer of dancehall deejay Mavado's popular anti-gun song, Gal Over Gun. He was shot and injured on May 14, 2010, and was a patient a the Spanish Town hospital.

Reports are that Rado was arrested in Miami, Florida in mid-May on cocaine trafficking, money laundering and gun related charges. Armzhouse Records is known for hit projects like the First Capital riddim, Head of State riddim and Fire Supreme riddim.

This is the second music producer held by US authorities in the past six months with well-known dancehall-reggae producer Anju Blaxx facing lottery scamming charges in a North Dakota prison.





creflo-dollar.jpgThe Gulfstream G650 isn't just any private jet. The billionaires lining up these luxury jets, which sell for upwards of $65 million each, are willing to put their names on a waiting list for years just for the pleasure. It is the "Holy Grail" of luxury private jets, Bloomberg once wrote. And now, televangelist Creflo Dollar's ministry has announced that it will also buy a G650, a purchase the ministry says is "necessary" to spread God's word.

The announcement comes months after Dollar's ministries abandoned an earlier campaign to raise funds from his faithful followers for the same plane, following considerable backlash.

The board of World Changers Church International - which also operates as Creflo Dollar Ministries - said in a statement that the ministry will now go ahead and buy a Gulfstream G650 jet anyway, "at a time, place and price of our choosing."

"We wholeheartedly reject the notion that the ministry's airplane project is an imposition on our community or that it somehow takes advantage of our people," WCCI said in a lengthy statement. "We plan to acquire a Gulfstream G650 because it is the best, and it is a reflection of the level of excellence at which this organization chooses to operate."

Dollar's first fundraising effort for the plane, "Project G650," was dropped in March, just days after it was announced. A video outlining the campaign encouraged Dollar's followers to donate at least $300 each towards the purchase of a luxury jet. In the video, the ministry explained that the televangelist's current jet was more than 30 years old and was damaged in November.

In its most recent statement, the ministry described the luxury jet campaign as "standard operating procedure for people of faith" in "our community."

Dollar, the founder of the 30,000-member World Changers Church International in Georgia, preaches prosperity gospel, or that God will send earthly rewards (including wealth) to those who are properly faithful. In Dollar's ministry, that often includes "Honor Giving," a name Dollar sometimes uses for a practice akin to tithing, or giving 10 percent of your income to the church.

Although Dollar is a pretty high-profile evangelist, it's worth noting that most Christians, evangelical or otherwise, do not consider prosperity gospel to be a mainstream interpretation of Scripture.





maggi-noodles-india.jpgIndian shopkeepers withdrew a popular brand of Nestle instant noodles from their shelves Wednesday after tests revealed the snack contained unsafe levels of lead.

India's states have either ordered the withdrawal of Maggi noodles from shops or are carrying out further tests on noodle samples before taking action in conjunction with the federal government.

Maggi sales have plunged in India since laboratory tests showed the noodles contained lead at levels far higher than the legal maximum. The tests also detected the chemical flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is not mentioned in the product's list of ingredients.

On Tuesday, the Delhi city government said it had conducted tests on 13 samples of Maggi noodles and 10 were found to be unsafe with lead exceeding the allowable level. Earlier tests, performed by food safety authorities in Uttar Pradesh state, showed that samples contained 17.2 parts per million of lead, many times the allowable limits which range between 0.01 and 2.5 ppm.

The Delhi government said it will take legal action against Nestle India, which is a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle SA, and was meeting Wednesday with company officials. It banned the sale of Maggi noodles in all state-run stores in the Indian capital. Several major grocery chains in the city have also announced that they are taking the noodles off shelves.

Maggi noodles are a hot favorite with school and college students and Nestle's "two-minute" advertising campaign stressing the ease of making the snack have made it a household name in India. The noodles are Nestle's fastest selling food item in India, clocking around 15 billion rupees ($240 million) in sales annually.

Some of India's biggest film stars have appeared in television commercials aimed at mothers and young children to promote Maggi noodles. A court in Bihar state on Tuesday ordered that a complaint be filed against three of Bollywood's biggest stars, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, for acting as brand ambassadors for Maggi.

Spurred by the Maggi noodle scare, India's federal government was readying a new law to deal with cases in which consumers of essential commodities and foods were misled through wrong information.





A South Florida judge has refused to release the teenage son of a prominent Canadian diplomat on bail pending trial on murder charges.

Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler ruled Wednesday that 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu was too great of a flight risk and would be difficult to extradite if he fled to Canada. He is the son of Roxanne Dube, Canada's consul general in Miami.

Wabafiyebazu faces felony murder and other charges as an adult in a March 30 shootout that killed his older brother and another teenager. Police say the slayings happened after the Wabafiyebazu brothers tried to rob marijuana dealers.

Marc Wabafiyebazu has pleaded not guilty. His mother says she is convinced he is innocent and had insisted she would ensure he remained in the US if released.





Jamaican planning to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Summer Olympic Games next year will have an easier time getting there as the South American country has abolished the previous visa requirement for citizens of the island.

Brazil's most recent ambassador to Jamaica, Antonio da Costa e Silva, whose tour of duty ended on May 31, and Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnold J Nicholson signed the Visa Abolishment Agreement at the Jamaica Pegasus last Wednesday.

The abolition builds on a special visa cooperation between the two countries which was signed in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup last year and extended the validity of visas from short periods to five years.

Jamaica's Ambassador to Brazil Alison Stone Roofe explained that the visa abolition does not mean that inspection at the port of entry will be discontinued. In fact, she said "scrutiny is even stricter where there is a waiver".

Stone Roofe added that the visa waiver does not apply to those who intend to become employed, engage in research, traineeships, studies and social work, undertake technical assistance, or pursue missionary, religious or artistic activities (such as musicians and singers).

Prospective visitors should note, the ambassador added, that they need a yellow fever vaccination certificate and that their passports must be valid for more than six months at the time of entry.





Police promotions announced

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police-federation-logo.jpgMore than 50 rank and file members and several senior officers have been granted promotions. This paves the way for them to take home improved salaries. Approximately 50 Sergeants have been elevated to the rank of Inspector.

Officer in charge of the VIP Division, Superintendent Barrington 'Rocky' Simpson, is among nine Superintendents elevated to the rank of Senior Superintendent. The others are Dean Taylor, formerly of the Major Investigation Task Force, Millicent Sproul Thomas, Dermorth Lawrence, Anthony Morris and Calbert Edwards and McArthur Sutherland.

Acting Head of the St. Thomas Police Division Deputy Superintendent Charmine Shand, and Merval Smith of CIB headquarters, have also been promoted to the rank of Superintendent.





Kabaka Pyramid, Iba Mahr for US tour

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kabaka-pyramid-photo-1.jpg"Young Lions" Kabaka Pyramid and Iba Mahr will be taking their conscious revolutionary messages to the United States of America heading on a month long multi-city tour from June 11 to July 13 2015.

Backed by Kabaka's band "The Bebble Rockers" the artists have a special package prepared with this joint venture promising to be a rare and incredible experience for North American audiences.

The tour is presented by Bebble Rock Music and Born Rollin' Productions in association with DestineMedia, Largeup.com, Aurora Innovations and Roots Organics.

Kabaka Pyramid will be returning to the US for the North West World Reggae Festival in late July and will be touring in a host of other regions including Canada, Latin America, Trinidad and Tobago and Europe in the fall.iba-mahr.jpg





aswad-brinsley-ford.jpgBritish Reggae Star Brinsley Forde Has Been Sentenced To Community Service After He Was Convicted Of Assaulting His Ex-girlfriend.

The former Aswad frontman denied attacking Jemma Payne, the mother of his two-year-old son, at her home in south London in October (14), but he was convicted of assault on Tuesday (02Jun15).

The news comes just weeks after he collected a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) medal from British royal Prince William in May (15).

Forde, 61, was facing a potential prison sentence, but escaped with a 12-month community service order. He must carry out 300 hours of community service work and pay $320 (L200) compensation to Payne, as well as a $96 (L60) victim surcharge and $560 (L350) court costs.

The magistrate overseeing the case also granted an indefinite restraining order to prevent Forde from contacting his former partner or visiting her home.





Jinx apologises to Usain Bolt

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usain-bolt-and-jinx.jpgWife of dancehall entertainer, Sean Paul, has apologised for some inflammatory comments made on social media last week.

Last week Jinx, whose real name is Jodi Stewart-Henriques described Bolt as a "horrible neighbour" saying the police were unwilling to intervene in a problem of noise abatement in their Norbrook community because of Usain Bolt was involved.

"Between the bikes... loud, horrid music, parties and screams, I honesty wish he would go back to where he came from. He is a horrible neighbour. I cannot wait to move," she posted.

But in a messages posted today Jinx back-tracked, saying she never meant to cause hurt to anyone.

This is what Jinx posted Tuesday:

After some much needed introspection I would like to publicly apologize for the comments made about Usain Bolt. Not only were they unwarranted but also highly inappropriate and for this I am truly sorry. My intention was never to degrade or disrespect anyone but without realising, I did. I allowed pent up frustration to get the better of me and did not conduct myself in a respectful manner. I apologise to those persons who I hurt, including friends, family my husband, and the Jamaican people at large but especially Usain Bolt.

Although I am and have been frustrated by the disturbances, I should have dealt with this in a private and more civil manner. My intentions are to speak with Usain, discuss this regrettable incident and personally apologise.





Florida cops looking for Deva Brat

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deva-bratt-photo-2.jpgThe Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida has issued a warrant for the arrest of dancehall entertainer, Sheldon smith aka Deva Bratt.

Deva Bratt was scheduled to answer to charges of driving without a valid licence, did not appear in court on Monday, but reports are that the artiste did no show up, nor did his legal team make any representation on his behalf. Deva Bratt's court-appointed attorney is Public Defender Daniel Lewin.

Deva Bratt has a troubled history of run-ins with the law. run afoul of the law. In April, he had his battery case in Boca Raton, Florida, thrown out due to an "uncooperative victim". Battery is an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with another person.

The artiste, who was part of the Kartel-led Portmore Empire, was acquitted of indecent assault and assault occasioning bodily harm of two females in the Spanish Town RM Court in St Catherine in 2012. Prior to that, he was freed of a carnal abuse charge following an incident in 2008 involving a minor.





kubba-pringle.jpgClive 'Kubba' Pringle, operator of the MXIII Lawn in Negril's West End and a member of the Negril Resort Board has died.

Reports reaching YardFlex are that the popular businessman and philanthropist suffered a massive stroke last week and was subsequently placed on life support. Confirmed reports are that Kubba was taken off life support this week and passed away.

He was 57 years old.

Pringle, known in his native Negril as 'Kubba', was a stalwart in entertainment circles, where his influence extends beyond the shores of Jamaica. Vice-president of the Negril Entertainment Association, Kubba was famous for, among other things, starting the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in that tourist town in 1991, two years after returning permanently to Jamaica from the US.

YardFlex will have more updates later.





bruce-and-jenner-caitlyn.jpgWorld, meet Caitlyn Jenner. Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, graces the July cover of Vanity Fair. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (the woman behind Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Vogue cover) shot the first portraits of Caitlyn, 65, earlier this month at her Malibu home.

In a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, Caitlyn says she is finally free:

"I was probably at the [Olympic] Games because I was running away from a lot of things. Very, very proud of the accomplishment, I don't want to diminish that accomplishment. The last few days of doing this shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It's not about the fanfare, it's not about people cheering in the stadium, it's not about going down the street and everybody giving me a, 'That a boy Bruce' pat on the back. This is about your life. Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living that lie, every day he always had a secret from morning 'til night. Caitlyn doesn't have any secrets. Soon as the Vanity Fair cover comes out, I'm free."

Caitlyn sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning contributing editor Buzz Bissinger (who also wrote Friday Night Lights) for the issue. Bissinger spent hundreds of hours with Jenner, both as Bruce and Caitlyn, and begins the article on March 15, 2015, when Jenner officially said goodbye to Bruce.

Jenner left the surgeon's office in March as Caitlyn (the Diane Sawyer interview aired after the completed transition). During Caitlyn's first full day of recovery at home in Malibu she experienced a panic attack for the first time in 65 years. It only lasted 15 seconds but as she paced around, she was consumed with the thought: "What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?" A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came over to help ease her mind. Caitlyn explains that since that initial incident, she has not had another, nor does she have any regrets.

Caitlyn's main goal is to live a life without lies, because Bruce was "always telling lies." This is something her oldest children - Brandon, Cassandra, Brody, and Burt - are hoping for as well.

"I have high hopes that Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce," Burt, 36, tells the magazine. "I'm very much looking forward to that."





Portland Jerk Festival July 3

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portland-jerk-festival-june.jpgThe 15th staging of the Portland Jerk Festival has been announced for Sunday, July 5, at Folly Grounds in Port-Antonio.

The 2015 staging of the event will be sponsored by Best Dressed Chicken promises to please local and international food lovers with a healthy dose of jerk cuisine complemented by music, arts and quality entertainment.

This year the festival will feature local chefs putting their own spin on classic jerk dishes as well as gourmet presentations. The festival will also feature internationally renowned Chef Judson Todd Allen, also known as the 'Architect of Flavour', who is expected to give his own take and ideas about Jamaica's infamous jerk flavour. Allen is widely known and respected in the world of culinary arts for his mission to get people thinking innovatively about healthier foods with bold flavours. The Portland Jerk Festival is expected to give him another platform on which he can speak, as many Jamaicans would know, jerk is bold.

The festival continues to attract visitors to the North-Eastern coast of the island for a melting pot of Jamaican culture, with the main attraction being the jerk cuisine. Portland also provides a unique edge to the festival as it is considered the birthplace of jerk and complements the cultural offerings with a venue that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

"The Portland Jerk Festival is an event which has always sought to capture the Jamaican culture and package it in a way that patrons can appreciate and enjoy thoroughly. This year will be no different, the cultural experience will be in every facet of the festival from the venue overlooking the sea to the music and entertainment and most definitely the food, which is after all, the main ingredient of the festival," said Kasey Bourne of 20/20 Vision Foundation, organisers of the Portland Jerk Festival.





kim-kanye-vogue-april.jpgGood one, guys. Kim Kardashian sparked an Internet frenzy on Sunday, May 31, when she revealed in a teaser for Keeping Up With the Kardashians that she's pregnant and expecting her second child with husband Kanye West.

The news was met with well wishes, of course, but also with an explosion of jokes on Twitter. Or, rather, one joke, repeated over and over and over again -- that the baby would (or should) be named South West, to go with the couple's nearly 2-year-old daughter North West.

Within just a couple of hours after the midseason finale of KUWTK aired on E!, "South West" was a top 10 trending topic on Twitter, both worldwide and in the United States.





Congrats to all the winners of the Star Awards

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star-award-winner-vybz-kartel.jpgYardFlex would like to congratulate all the winners of the Star Awards. See list below:

Deejay of the Year
Vybz Kartel

Deejay of the Year (Female)
Spice

Performer of the Year
Spice

Singjay of the Year
I-Octane

Male Singer of the Year
Chronixx

Female Singer of the Year
Tessanne Chin

Breakthrough Artiste of the Year
Dexta Daps

Music Video of the Year
So Mi Like It - Spice

Best Dressed Female Artiste
Ishawna

Best Dressed Male Artiste
Beenie Man

Gospel Artiste of the Year
Kevin Downswell

Male Dancer/Dance Group of the Year
Ding Dong & Ravers Clavers

Female Dancer of the Year
Renee 6:30

Comedian of the Year
Trabass

Video Director of the Year
Jay Will

Radio Disc Jock of the Year
ZJ Liquid

Selector/Sound System of the Year
Chromatic

Collaboration of the Year
Way Up Stay Up (Remix) - Chi Ching Ching, Popcaan and Beenie Man

Song of the Year
Mi Nuh Trust People - Vybz Kartel

Album Of The Year
Popcaan - Where We Come From

Producer of the Year
Chimney Records

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sizzla Kalonji





Spice takes top honours at Star Awards

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spice-photo-4.jpgDancehall artiste Spice walked away with the most awards at Satuday's Star Awards held in downtown Kingston. She won the awards for the Female Deejay of the Year, Performer of the Year and Music Video of the Year for her video So Mi Like It.

According to the deejay, "I have always been working hard and I never felt that I was getting the respect I deserve. So in 2014 I decided that I was going to put my all into it and thanks to my fans it paid off. When The STAR put up the polls I was jumping in my room because I saw that the people recognised my work, hence they were voting for me,"she said.

Other winners for the night include Vybz Kartel who won Deejay of the Year and Chimney Records which won Producer of the Year among others.

Sizzla Kalongi, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, gave a strong and positive performance, showing patrons why he deserved the honour bestowed on him by The STAR.

There were also energetic performances from Kalado, Demarco, Spice, Chi Ching Ching and Ding Dong among others.





Anthony B detained in Trinidad; released

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anthony-b-photo-4.jpgReggae artiste Anthony B, whose birth name is Keith Blair, was detained on Sunday morning in Trinidad and Tobago, just minutes after a performance at the Hasely Crawford training grounds in Port of Spain.

The Rastafarian artiste was escorted to court immediately to answer to charges of absconding a debt of US$6,000. He was represented by attorney Fitzgerald Hinds in court. Justice Des Vignes at Court 20 at Hall of Justice ordered that the Raid the Barn singer be released at 4:15 am on Sunday.

"They came for me just a few minutes after I had finished performing, they didn't want to put any handcuffs on me because they were afraid of how the crowd might react...I am just sorry that I wasn't able to sign any autographs for the long line of people backstage," he said through a statement issued by his publicist Claude Mills.

Anthony B said he was aware that there was a problem with the promoter and complainant Barry Lewis who had booked a show two years earlier. He had been unable to go to the show because of his legal problems in the US which prevented him from honouring that booking at that time.

"That show was booked by the booking agency Destiny out of New York and the promoter had no email or contract, but I offered to return his money several times, but he refused because he wanted to be the first to carry me to Trinidad in five years," he said.

Anthony B said that the promoter of the show was aware of the problem and had made provisions to pay the court the full sum owed. He commended the "professionalism" of the law enforcement officials and the "excellent conduct" of the judge that would go along way to "improve Jamaica-Trinidad foreign relations".

"They were very professional, they escorted me to the court without any incident. The judge also adhered to the full protocol of the law, he asked the promoter what he wanted from me away from the money he was owed. The promoter wanted to get a stoppage order that I couldn't come back to Trinidad to perform unless it was for him and the judge refused to do that because that would infringe on my 'employment of trade' rights," he said.

Anthony B was ordered by the Court to pay the complainant Barry Lewis US$7,000. Lewis also claimed that he ought to be paid TT$5,000.00 for his legal expenses.

In March this year, Anthony B was exonerated on a 2013 charge against him for possession of marijuana in the United States. Anthony B was expected to return to the island on Sunday.





local-government-minister.jpgThe Government will be heading to the House of Representatives tomorrow with a Bill to postpone the Local Government Election.

According to the agenda for the sitting of the House e-mailed to the media this afternoon, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act and the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act, will be taken through concluding stages.

Local Government Minister Noel Arscott dismissed a claim by his Opposition counterpart, Desmond McKenzie, of delay tactics in announcing the date for the polls.

The Parliamentary Opposition has been demanding that the date for the Local Government election be announced.

Cabinet has issued drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to change the legislation allowing for parish councils to serve for four years from the current three year term.





Infant School Quiz Competition

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christiana-leased-wins-infant-school-quiz-champs.jpgChristiana Leased Primary and Infant School students, in late May, walked away as champions in an Infant School Quiz Competition organised by the Manchester Parish Library.

They took the title from Mandeville Infant School who were the winners in the inaugural event last year.

Regional director for the library services in Manchester and St Elizabeth, Lorraine McLean, said that the competition is endorsed by the Ministry of Education Region 5 Early Childhood Unit.

She said that the event was conceptualised to expose the children to quiz competitions at an early age, and enable them to reap the benefits gained from participation.

"[The] setting [will] prepare their young minds for active mental exercise, which [will] improve their memories, stimulate alertness, encourage teamwork and self expression. The competition [will] also engender a love for reading, as it provided a means of revision and also heightened cultural awareness from an early age," McLean said in a news release.

Other participants in the competition this year were Bethabara Infant, Mandeville Infant and Porus Infant.

The major sponsors of the event were Sagicor Life Jamaica, Burger King, Golf View Hotel, and Three Angels Pharmacy.





obama-and-brazil-president.jpgWhen Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff learned in 2013 that the National Security Agency was listening in on her phone calls and reading her emails, she was none too pleased.

She canceled a long-planned state visit to the United States and used an address at the United Nations General Assembly to blast the United States for what she called a "totally unacceptable" violation of her country's sovereignty and accused the United States of breaking international law.

But tonight, over two years later, Rousseff will be wined and dined by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during a private "working dinner" at the White House. It's part of a two-day fence-mending trip and an opportunity for the two presidents to move beyond what the White House acknowledges as a "turbulent patch" between the Western hemisphere's two largest economies.

Earlier in the day, the president gave Rousseff a tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, pointing out various inscriptions of King's writings and speeches as they walked along the giant stone monument.
The two leaders will participate Tuesday in a series of formal meetings and also hold a joint news conference.

Obama has found himself in this predicament often in the past two years as he has tried to restore relationships with key allies angry over the NSA surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The president has repaired his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with meetings, phone calls and even a beer after she expressed outrage about the NSA spying on her cellphone conversations.

Just last week, Obama called French President Francois Hollande to patch their relationship following reports the United States spied on him and his two predecessors. In the phone call, the president reiterated a commitment that the United States is "not targeting and will not target the communications of the French president."

This will be the second meeting for Obama and Rousseff since the NSA spying revelations in 2013. They previously met on the sidelines of the Summit of Americas in Panama in April.

But even as the two leaders attempt to move beyond the spying that damaged their relationship, the White House won't say whether Obama will formally apologize to Rousseff.

"We have not made it a practice to issue apologies related to our surveillance activities," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said during a conference call with reporters to preview Rousseff's visit last week. "What the president has done is make changes based on our very thorough review of programs."

Rousseff's visit to the White House "signals the fact that we are moving forward in terms of our positive relationship" and will allow the two leaders to move forward on a number of "stalled" areas, Rhodes said.





The US State Department on Friday released its 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

In its report for Jamaica, the US said, while the Government has not limited the use of Internet access, there are reasons to believe that private online conversations by citizens have been monitored by the Government.

"The Government did not restrict or disrupt access to the Internet or censor online content," a section of the report said under its Internet Freedom category.

"There were credible reports, however, that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority," it read.

This, the report said, was according to the International Telecommunication Union, which stated that 38 per cent of citizens used the Internet in 2013.

State minister in the Ministry of Technology Julian Robinson has challenged US authorities to provide proof of the allegations laid against the Portia Simpson Miller-led Government.





bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts-photo-1.jpgMark Price, the brother of dancehall artiste Bounty Killer, plead guilty to larceny of a cellular Phone in St Kitts on Monday.

Price reportedly paid a fine of EC$3,000 for the theft of the phone and EC$3,000 to the complainant.

He was arrested just before Bounty Killer and his entourage were about to board a flight from the Eastern Caribbean island.

The instrument belonged to a customer service representative who was assisting Price with his customs and immigration documents.

The woman realized that the phone was missing and attempted to call it but the calls went to voice mail.

Price was nabbed when surveillance camera footage revealed that he snatched the phone.





fire-at-wortley-home-for-girls.jpgNineteen female wards of the state are to be relocated from the Wortley Home on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew after the facility was extensively damaged by fire on Monday afternoon.

Eight wards, who were at the home when the fire broke out were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries. The other girls were at school.

Divisional Head of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Superintendent Shaun Martin, says six units extinguished the blaze.

Meanwhile, Youth Minister Lisa Hanna said while none of the girls were physically injured, they were visibly shaken up by the incident. As a result, the CDA has deployed a team of Clinical Psychologists and Social Workers to provide emotional support to the wards.

The CDA and the Board of Management at the Wortley Home have secured temporary accommodation for the 19 girls who occupied the facility at an undisclosed location in the Corporate Area for the remainder of this week.

"Further, we have made contact with the SOS Children's Village in Stony Hill and they have indicated that they are able to accommodate the girls on a long term basis until a decision is made to permanently relocate the girls or to renovate the dorms at Wortley." Hanna said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Rosealee Gage-Grey said the CDA is moving swiftly to return a sense of normality to the girls. She added that she is grateful that there were no casualties or fatalities in this morning's incident.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigations into the early morning blaze are still ongoing.





Jamaica to host gay pride celebration in August

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Jamaican gays and lesbians will be staging its first Pride celebration in August, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has announced.

PRiDEJA 2015 will be held under the theme. "The Pride of a People: Breaking the Rules of Oppression".

JFLAG is using crowd funding site GoFundMe to raise funds for the project, noting on the website that "Every dollar raised will support our mission to bring our diverse community together for a moment of celebration."

The exact date of the celebration has not been disclosed as yet but JFLAG said "This independence festival will be attended by over 1,000 persons."

"Planned events include an opening ceremony, a symposium, a cultural show, a flash mob, sporting activities, a trade show for LGBT businesses, and a party," the lobby group said.

The event already has one high-profile supporter in the form of Jamaican recording artiste Diana King. King, who revealed she was a lesbian three years ago, took to social media on Sunday to share JFLAG's plea to the "World" to support Jamaica's first Pride celebrations.

Pride celebrations are held across the world to celebrate the LGBT community.

August is the same month as Jamaica's Independence celebrations.





The Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

comprised and coordinated by

The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association

(formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association)

& The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja

in association with

citiva-medical.jpg

Presents a Health and Medical Symposium

Introduction to Cannabinoid Science

Tuesday 30th June, 2015

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Registration 8:00 am

Interfaculty Lecture Theatre

University of the West Indies

Admission: Members of the Public, $5,000 GFGPA / CCMRI Members, $3,000

Medical and Bio-Chemistry Students, $3,000 - Limited to the first 50 students only

Contacts:

CITIVA: www.CitivaMedical.com

Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

Email: canpromo.sec@gmail.com
Tel: 759-8901-3





bounty-killers-brother-mark-price-st-kitts.jpgBounty Killer's brother, Mark Price, in handcuffs at the RLB International Airport in St Kitts on Saturday morning.

Mark Price, the brother of dancehall deejay Rodney "Bounty Killer" Price, was arrested in St Kitts and Nevis on Saturday after allegedly being caught on camera stealing a cell phone.

According to a report in the West Indies News Network, Mark Price was part of a 10-man entourage with his famous brother at the RLB International Airport on Saturday morning, about to board a flight from St Kitts, when the incident occurred. Allegations are that the phone of an airport customer service representative went missing while she was assisting Price with his immigration form.

Call to the phone went straight to voicemail. A surveillance camera check reportedly showed Price picking up the phone from the counter as he left. Police confronted and arrested the suspect in the departure lounge.

After the phone was retrieved, it was reportedly discovered that the battery, SD and SIM card were taken out.

Mark Price is reportedly now in custody in St Kitts. His brother, Bounty Killer, who was in St Kitts for a performance, departed on a flight and headed back to Jamaica.

YardFlex was unable to get through to BOunty Killer or his representative for a comment.





Several Jamaicans deported from The Bahamas

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fred-mitchell-immigration-minister-bahamas.jpgSeveral Jamaicans were among more than 420 people deported from the Bahamas during the first 23 days of this month. Haitians comprised the majority of the deportees.

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has confirmed that the authorities were continuing the reparation exercise on a weekly basis and there are presently 180 people at the Detention Centre.

According to Mr. Mitchell, during the period June 1 to 23, 369 Haitians, 13 Jamaicans, eight Brazilians and 14 Cubans were repatriated.

Persons from India, Peru, Mongolia and Bangladesh were also awaiting deportation.

The Perry Christie Government has come under criticism from local and international human rights groups over its deportation policy.

Mr. Mitchell told reporters that the Department of Immigration is continuing operations to identify illegal immigrants.





colour-changing-condoms.jpgA group of teenage inventors have struck upon a clever way to alert folks to the presence of various venereal diseases before the burning starts: fluorescing condoms that light up when they encounter dangerous bacteria or virii. The team from Isaac Newton Academy in Illford, England developed the "glowing condom" concept, dubbed S.T.Y.E, as part of this year's TeenTech awards. It would reportedly operate as a normal condom does but also incorporate a sheath of molecules that attach to the diseases and set off a fluorescent reaction. The added layer would literally glow different colors when in contact with various STDs -- green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple for HPV and blue for syphilis.

"We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors," Daanyaal Ali told the Daily Mail. "We've made sure we're able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before."





asafa-powell-photo-1.jpgFormer world record-holder Asafa Powell won the 100-meter final Friday night in Jamaica's trials in 9.84 seconds.

The 32-year-old Powell used a strong finish to earn a spot in the world championships in August in China. Powell dominated three rounds of races at the National Stadium.

Nickel Ashmeade finished second at 9.91, followed by Kemar Bailey-Cole at 9.97, and Nesta Carter at 9.98. On Friday, Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion in the 100, failed to reach the final after finishing sixth in his semifinal with a time of 10.35.

After his victory, Powell said he's in "hard training" for the world championships and he's "going there for the gold medal."

Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by countryman Usain Bolt.

Bolt's coach made a late decision to withdraw the world's top sprinter from the Jamaica trials. Bolt already has a berth secured in the world championships to defend his 100 and 200 titles.

Bolt and Powell are both expected to compete at Diamond League meets in July in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland.





us-supreme-court-upholds-same-sex-marriage-nationwide.jpgThe United States Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. In a landmark 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, asserted that marriage is a constitutional right for all.

"No union is more profound than marriage,'' he wrote, backed by the court's four more liberal justices.

Writing one of the dissenting opinions, Chief John Roberts said the constitution "had nothing to do with it".

Before the ruling on Thursday, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC.

Now the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, said the BBC's Paul Blake at the Supreme Court.

The case considered by the court concerned Jim Obergefell, an Ohio resident who was not recognised as the legal widower of his late husband, John Arthur.

"It's my hope that gay marriage will soon be a thing of the past, and from this day forward it will simply be 'marriage,'" an emotional Mr Obergefell said outside the court on Friday.

The first state to allow same-sex marriage was Massachusetts, which granted the right in 2004.

In recent years, a wave of legal rulings and a dramatic shift in public opinion have expanded gay marriage in the US. In 2012, the high court struck down a federal anti same-sex marriage law.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the decision and called Obergefell to personally congratulate him and the other plaintiffs in the case.





Bad Boy Trevor opens new club Secret Empires

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bad-boy-trevor-photo-1.jpgActor Bad Boy Trevor wants the public to know that it's all systems go for the opening of his new club Secret Empires.

"I am not operating Lucky 38 anymore, but I'm still in the business of adult entertainment, so people can look forward to the same action-filled nights they're used to from Lucky 38."

Trevor also revealed that he has plans to have Secret Empires operating in the daytime in the near future and said the new spot would offer a friendlier environment.

"It won't just be an exotic club," he said. "There will be a restaurant and a sports bar, so the whole ambience will make guests feel more comfortable."

With the new club ready for business, the entertainer also said that the popular Gyal Farm Sundays party would see a return in the coming weeks.

Secret Empires will be located at 7 South Avenue, formerly known as Prendy's, and will attract a general admission fee of $500. Women will be able to enter free every night before midnight.





Eddie Murphy does collab with Beenie Man

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eddie-murphy-and-beenie-man.jpgBack in May, comedian/actor/singer Eddie Murphy revealed to Rolling Stones Magazine that a collaboration between himself and the King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man was in the works. Fast-track a few weeks and the singer has made good on his promise of a new single.

With just over three weeks passing since the release of the music video for his hit single Oh Jah Jah, Murphy is back on the reggae trails, but this time the track offers a more upbeat tune to its predecessor and no doubt the musical stylings of 'the doctor' himself has something to do with that.

The new single titled Wonna Deez Nites is set for release on June 30, 2015 on VPAL Music (VP Records' subsidiary label and distribution arm) and is available for pre-order.

This new collaboration is the first time in more than two decades since Murphy has worked with another Jamaican artist musically. In 1993, he teamed up with legendary Jamaican dancehall artist Shabba Ranks on his song I Was A King.

Wonna Deez Nites is Murphy's second reggae track for the year and follows his January chart-topper Oh Jah Jah, also released by VPAL Music. Oh Jah Jah enjoyed huge success internationally and peaked at number 1 on iTunes Reggae Single Chart and debuted in the Top 5 on the US Billboard Reggae Digital Song Chart.

Although Wonna Deez Nites has not yet been officially released, it has been making the rounds on YouTube, as several persons have already posted the track to the popular video hosting site.

The single will be available for digital purchase starting with tomorrow on Amazon and June 30 on iTunes via Panda Bear Productions and VPAL Music.





rick-ross-photo-1.jpgJohnny Gourzong, executive director of Summerfest Productions, says he is confident American rapper Rick Ross will make bail in time for Reggae Sumfest 2015.

The veteran event organiser says fans of the artiste have nothing to worry about, as he believes the rapper will perform at the event in July.

"He going before a judge, he is going to be on bail so the patrons have no need to panic ... absolutely not. Rick Ross is going to be on the Sumfest stage come the Friday the 17th of July. He is going to be in Jamaica. We always deliver a tremendous product and this year will be no different," he said.

Rick Ross was denied a bail bond Thursday, following assault and kidnapping charges which stemmed from a June 7, 2015 incident involving one of his employees. The Stay Scheming rapper is expected to miss the BET Awards this weekend, as his next bail hearing is set for July 1.

Gourzong also said more patrons will get the opportunity to see Rick Ross perform on International Night One, due to a courteous decision by the Reggae Sumfest team to reduce the price of admission for that particular night.

"We know that things are tough in the economy and we felt the need to gauge it properly. You will also have Common on that night and Coco Tea will close it, so we are looking for a huge turn-out on that night. Come out and support the show, it's the greatest reggae show in the world. I know people concerned about Rick Ross, but he will be alright man," he said.

The festival will also feature Jennifer Hudson, Lady Saw, Spice, Gage, Tommy Lee Sparta, Beenie Man, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, I-Octane and Christopher Martin.





Barry G to host Groovin In The Park

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barry-g-and-mello-fm.jpgThe Boggieman 'Barry G' Gordon, ruler of afternoon radio in Jamaica, has a big date in New York.

Gordon has been invited to host the fifth annual Groovin' In The Park concert with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton and Billy Ocean - the most successful black recording star from Britain - on Sunday at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York.

Other confirmed performers at Groovin In The Park are reggae hit machine Cocoa Tea, Judy Mowatt, Luciano, Stitchie, Capleton and Morgan Heritage.

The veteran broadcaster, who went from radio producer to hosting his own programme at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation in the 70s, is considered an innovator, an educator and entertainer.

Many who grew up in Jamaica during the era, still talk with glee about the intense clashes he has had with Kiss FM's David Rodigan from London, England.

When asked about the secret for his longevity in media, Barry said, "I have been able to connect with radio listeners on every radio station I have been on, by my concerted effort to remain creative and original ... . I always innovate and never copy anyone's style. In an unselfish way, I deliberately go out of my way to inform and educate".

This will be the Boggieman's first trip to New York to host NY's premier reggae and R&B summer concert. Barry G will shear MC duties at the festival with award-winning New York broadcaster Clement "Ras Clem" Hume of Groovin Radio, 93.5 FM.





gas-cylinder-challenge.jpgThe ability to lift up a gas cylinder and pose up with it seems to be the latest trend on social media among Jamaicans. While many seem to think it is dangerous and crazy, many more are busy clicking away and posting their selfies on Facebook and Instagram.

Is said that some women have begun using gas cylinder as a tool for working out, which is supposedly very effective for working the arms.

One blogger also joined the conversation as he shared a photo of both men and women carrying gas cylinder to which he captioned, "What is going on".

Others who saw the photos of men and women posing, even taking selfies with gas cylinders, found the new trend hilarious, while others thought it was absurd.

So, are you gassed up and ready to take the cylinder selfie challenge?





judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgOrganizers of New York City's premier reggae and R&B summer festival, Groovin In The Park are extremely pleased with preparations for the 2015 installment which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park on Sunday, June 28. With the success of last year's event which pulled a record 20,000 patrons, the question is can they repeat and deliver an even biggest festival for 2015?

Thanks to meticulous planning and delivery on promise each year, Groovin' in the Park now has a huge concert fans base who look forward to each year's production. So far, patrons have embraced the star studded lineup with includes Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton, R&B sensation Billy Ocean, Judy Mowatt, Morgan Heritage, Coco Tea, Luciano, Stitchie and Capleton.

"We got off to an early start this year and I am happy to report that we are ahead of schedule in areas that are critical to having a successful festival" said Christopher Robert, founder and CEO of Groovin Inc.

Roberts noted that "Ticket sales are brisk; we have all our vendors in place, and we are going beyond the call of duty to ensure that the grounds are prepared. We are not leaving anything to chance."

The superbly professional technical standards that the festival has set for executing this extravaganza has re-defined expectations for all other music festivals in the region.

"We have gone to great lengths to package a powerful and memorable event. All the artistes are upbeat and are ready to deliver first class performances. Our production team is also prepared to deliver the best lighting and sound ever" he said.





A Connecticut man convicted of breaking his four-month-old daughter's arms, legs and ribs was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday, and ordered to take anger management classes and undergo a complete mental evaluation.

"You are either evil and a monster or very, very ill," Judge Maria Kahn told the man, Morice Wilkerson, 26, during a hearing in Superior Court in Bridgeport. Wilkerson broke down in tears as he was removed from the courtroom, and relatives also wailed and sobbed.

Wilkerson was convicted last month of third degree assault and risk of injury to a minor, after bringing the infant to a hospital in 2012 with all four limbs and two ribs broken.

He and his wife, Stephanie Kearney, had attempted to explain their daughter's multiple injuries by saying they were the results of various accidents, like rolling over while asleep, and genetic fragility.

Kearney, 25, was found not guilty of any crimes.

Before he was sentenced, Wilkerson pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying "I love my family and I would never do anything to hurt them."

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Kelley urged a significant sentence, arguing the girl's injuries could cause a crooked leg and stunted growth.

"This is one of the most troubling cases the state has ever prosecuted because of the severity of the injuries to such a young child," Kelley told the judge.

The judge sentenced Wilkerson to 10 years, with two years suspended.





Justin Plaschka wins gold for Jamaica

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justin-plaschka-wins.jpgJustin Plaschka struck gold for Jamaica Wednesday night in the boys 18 and over 100 meters butterfly event at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships (CCAN) being held in Barbados, to bring the country's medal tally to three after two days of competition.

Plaschka's swam a new Jamaican senior record of 55:25 seconds, to erase the previous mark of 55:56 seconds set last year.

It was his second medal on the night, after he earlier won the silver in the 200 meters freestyle event, where he touched the wall in 1 minute 56. 52 seconds, behind the winner Jemal le Grand of Aruba who won gold in 1 minute 54. 92 seconds.

Jessie Marsh won Jamaica's medal third medal on the night, after he splashed up a bronze in the boy's 13 - 14 100 meters butterfly in a personal best 59:75 seconds. The event was won by Kael Yorke of Trinidad & Tobago's in 57.40 seconds.





Usain Bolt to miss Jamaica trials

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usain-bolt-photo-14.jpgUsain Bolt is no longer listed to run the 100m at the JAAA Supreme Ventures Jamaican National Championships, sparking concerns about his fitness before defending his sprint titles at August's world championships in Beijing.

The 100m and 200m world record holder has struggled for form this year with modest best times of 10.12sec in Brazil and 20.13 in Ostrava.

The 10-times world championship medallist, who expressed concerns after a pedestrian 20.29 to win the 200m at the recent New York Diamond League meeting, had intended to run at the Jamaican trials as he seeks race sharpness.

But Bolt's name was missing from a list of athletes for the 100m released by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) on Wednesday.

Bolt had been entered along with Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter in the preliminary list published by the JAAA on Sunday.

The six-times Olympic gold medallist has wildcard entries for the 100m and 200m at the world championships in Beijing as defending champion.





trinidad-p-m-kamla-persad-bissessar-photo-1.jpgPrime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has served notice she has no intention of responding to the constant attacks levelled against her by corruption-accused Jack Warner.

At a meeting in Debe on Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar said Warner and People's National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley are a "tag team", and she will not go along with their plan to distract from the real issues of the general election campaign.

"No doubt you have detected I am fed up of the gruesome twosome of Rowley and Warner, and tonight I want to serve notice that I have no intention of engaging in their script, in their play, in their comedy, in their soap opera. I have none, no intention," said Persad-Bissessar, as the audience applauded.

"I serve notice further I will not respond to the lies and the fabrication coming from Mr Warner, and every one of those I will place in the hands of my lawyers, who will deal with him in the court of law. That is the one place he 'fraid, the court of law, but he cannot escape it. He will have to come in to that court of the land," she added.

"I repeat my point. I serve notice to you and to all the media and to all the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago: I will not be distracted, I will not be engaged in the script, in the game and in the play of Warner and his tag team Rowley.

"Instead, I will focus on the priorities, on the policies and the programmes to bring up Trinidad and Tobago into the new Trinidad and Tobago," she said.





karreuche-tran-and-chris-brown.jpgChris Brown reportedly wants former girlfriend Karrueche Tran to move out of the house he had leased for her. The news comes amid reports that the "Loyal" singer, who had tried to win back Tran after their split, is moving on after being rejected several times.

Brown's decision to ask Tran to leave the house reportedly came after the 27-year-old model said the dog she got as a gift from the singer was a constant reminder of their relationship. Tran broke up with Brown in March after she discovered that he had a child with model Nia Guzman.

"If Karrueche wants to get rid of her dog because it reminds her of Chris, then she should have already moved out of the house Chris leased for her," a source close to Brown told Hollywood Life.

During an interview on iHeartRadio's The Melting Pot on Monday, Tran reportedly talked about the dog, Athena.

"I received a gift from my ex for Christmas -- a dog -- she was given to me for Christmas. Right now, she's at the trainer. She's really, really bad and she's a puppy," Tran reportedly said. "I want to keep her because it's a puppy. I want to love her but it's a reminder of, you know."

The two have been feuding since the "Loyal" singer slammed Tran's supermodel friend, Tyson Beckford, for spending time with the model last month. However, Brown's attempts at reconciliation turned dramatic after he forced himself into Tran's SUV outside the Playhouse Nightclub in Los Angeles on June 4, and the incident ended outside Tran's house with neighbors calling the police.





New album from Home T 'Send Come Call We'

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home-t-new-album.jpgThe foundation members of Reggae group Home-T regrouped to present a new CD 'Send Come Call We'. It is produced and arranged by the legendary Mikey "Mao" Chung and backed by the original Now Generation Band.

Home-T's entry into the music business was a self-produced song 'Mr. Fire" written by co-founder Junior Gentles on their own Home-T Label. Many singles followed on the Mushroom Label: a cover of the pop hit "Stop Children," "Dedication," a song written by the legendary BB Seaton, and a cover of The Wailing Wailers " Soul Shake Down Party." On their own Junjo Label came " Irons in the Fire, "Mystique", "Love Oh Love" and "Dance a Sweet Kind A Music."

The last two songs allowed them to be finalists in the 1978/79 Festival Song Competitions, then came a reworked version of "Soul Shake Down Party" on Phonogram Records which was released in Europe.

All these singles were produced by Mikey "Mao" Chung and assisted by Home-T. Other singles followed on the Joe Gibbs Label: "Respection," " Red Bum Ball" retitled "Playmate," and in 1980 a Christmas Song written by Mikie Bennett called "Christmas Mood" more popularly known as "Mek The Christmas Ketch you in a Good Mood," which became an anthem that's played every Christmas season.

In 1983 "Sly & Robbie Present Home-T" was released which yielded a #1 song "Do You Believe?" on the UK Black Echoes Chart. This song was written by the late Trevor Roper of the band Chalice.

In 1988 Home-T busted out big time on the reggae scene with hits such as "Who She Love" and "Don't Throw it All Away" on The Jammys Label, then on the Music Works Label they had "Holding On," "Pirates Anthem," and "Single Life," solidifying them as hit makers.

Some of these songs were done in collaboration with Shabba Ranks and Cocoa Tea. In 2006 the album "Stronger Now" was produced by Mikie Bennett and Home-T at Grafton Studios.

Home-T has had its share of experiences to last many lifetimes. This is timely shared with audiences around the world, through scintillating performances with an eclectic mix of Ska, Rock Steady and the every pounding bass lines of the intriguing reggae music.





Reggae Sumfest headliner Rick Ross jailed

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rick-ross-photo-1.jpgReggae Sumfest headline performer Rick Ross is now waist deep in legal troubles as his matters with the law continue to rise.

The American rapper, who is expected to perform on International Night 1 at the greatest reggae show on earth on July 17, was arrested early Wednesday morning for kidnapping and aggravated assault.

But will his legal troubles prevent him from performing at Reggae Sumfest?

Reports are that cops arrested Rick Ross after he allegedly took a Glock 9MM pistol and viciously whipped one of his workers, causing injury to the man's jaw and neck.

According to legal documents, the rapper got into an argument with his groundskeeper at his Georgia home he bought from Evander Holyfield.

It is alleged that Ross forced the groundskeeper into the guesthouse bedroom at gunpoint where he questioned him. Police say when Rick Ross didn't get the answers he wanted, he pistol-whipped the guy twice, messing up his jaw and neck and chipping 2 teeth. The groundskeeper was so badly hurt he's now on a liquid diet.

Rick Ross was denied bail and will remain behind bars until his next court hearing, which is on July 1. The rapper is being arrested for the second time this month. Two weeks ago, Ross was busted for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in Georgia.





A Police Constable Lincoln Lennon, believed to be linked to a criminal network targeting persons travelling from the Norman Manley International Airport, has been charged. Lennon was charged on Tuesday by investigators probing robberies along the Palisados main road.

Investigators say the Constable and his alleged cronies were involved in an attempted robbery last week Tuesday which resulted in a gun battle along the thoroughfare. It is reported that on June 16, at about 9:30 pm, several persons were travelling in car from Port Royal when they were intercepted by a vehicle with three men aboard.

The men attempted to rob them and this led to a shoot-out with a licensed firearm holder. The robbers sped off and the car was later found abandoned. Investigators recovered spent shells at the crime scene and this led them to Constable Lennon. He has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, attempted robbery and shooting with intent.

The Constable, who is attached to the narcotics division, is also charged under the anti-gang legislation. Investigators are trying to determine whether the Constable is linked to a series of robberies along the airport road and is likely to face additional charges.





kamla.jpgPrime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago has accused her former national security minister, Austin Jack Warner, of having sought to blackmail her into reinstating him as a government minister.

Mrs Persad Bissessar was responding to the latest release of tapes and documents on Tuesday by Warner, claiming corruption and criminal conduct within the coalition People's Partnership government that faces a general election on September 7.

During a news conference, Warner played the tapes, again claiming he had to warn the country about the Prime Minister, since, according to him, she was "unfit for office."

Warner was fired from the Cabinet in 2011, amidst an earlier corruption scandal, relating to his role then as a vice-president of football's world governing body, FIFA.

Warner is currently on indictment by the US Justice Department, relating to football corruption charges, and is awaiting court hearings to determine whether he should be extradited to face those charges in the United States.

Seven current FIFA officials, including Caymanian Jeffrey Webb, were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland last month on similar corruption charges, and are awaiting extradition to the United States as well.





bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgIt's been nearly five months since Bobbi Kristina was placed in a medically induced coma, and the outcome for Whitney Houston's only daughter still appears grim.

"Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown's condition has continued to deteriorate," Pat Houston said in a statement on behalf of the Houston family on Wednesday. "As of today, she has been moved into hospice care. We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God's hands now."

Last week, Bobby Brown, 46, spoke out slamming reports that his daughter was "going home to die." Both Brown and Pat Houston have been appointed co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina.

Bobbi Kristina, 22, was found unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31. She was hospitalized and placed on life support, but moved to a rehab center in March.

In May, Cissy Houston told Entertainment Tonight her granddaughter was "not progressing at all" in rehab.

"I'd like to thank everybody who was praying. Who really knows the worth of prayer and I'm sure it'll get through," Houston said. "I'm just waiting for whatever happens. We go to the hospital every day and pray and I talk to her because she can still hear and I rub her hand. We do what we can do. The rest is... all up to Him. We know nothing about His plan... All I can do is hope for the best."

Bobby Brown has yet to comment on the latest news.





keith-sweat.jpgAmerican R&B artiste Keith Sweat, the main architect behind 'Swestfest' the three-day festival to be held this weekend, will be the first of the group to arrive in the island, with the rest of the roster set to fly in on Friday.The 11 international acts for the show include Joe, Ginuwine, Tank, SWV, Silk, 112 and Dru Hill.

According to the event coordinator, Junior Taylor, all is set for the inaugural staging of the SweatFest. He said for Saturday's concert, the venue -- the Aqueduct, along the Rosehall main road in the second city -- has already been prepared and the crew constructing the stage is already on site.

"The facilities for the other two events are basically set. Friday's black tie dinner which will take the form of a 'comedy roast' is ready to go. All the entertainers are scheduled to be at this event to be held at Secrets Resort. Sunday's beach party is also set. The Seawind Beach Club will be the venue," Taylor explained.

He further disclosed that approximately 400 people, primarily from the United States, will be coming to attend the events.The event coordinator said for this reason, he is working on convincing Sweat to make Jamaica the home for SweatFest.

"The plan is to have SweatFest as a permanent fixture on our entertainment calendar here in Jamaica. One of the major challenges this year is that it is falling in the busy time of year -- that 90 days of Summer. This has made it difficult to secure the level of sponsorship that was envisioned, but by shifting the dates to earlier in the year, the event should be able to attract more sponsors," said Taylor.





konshens-photo-5.jpgJust two weeks ago, reggae songbird Etana's Facebook page was hacked and flooded with nudity and graphic sex acts. Now, Konshes had his Instagram page with 142,0000 followeres wiped clean overnight.

Konshens' official Instagram page, @konshenssojah, simply disappeared. He took to Twitter to vent his disappointment.

"Woke up ... Instagram GONE!! Don't know why ... Who knows anyway ... if it wasn't for the fans, I'd say .... it. Whoever did this has alotta hate and time on their hands," he posted.

A broadcast was also sent out, seemingly from Konshens, with the information for his new account.

"Di bwoy dem hack me Instagram and delete it ... Hate and bad mind is very real. Did a go loww Instagram ting, but fans a cuss. So, if you wanna find me in Instagram it's @konshensagain. Real fans and links only please. Mi really prefer 10 fans than 142k whe mi nuh sure bout. Nuff luv."

Efforts to get a comment from Konshens were unsuccessful.

Last year, Lady Saw had to close her verified Twitter page, as unscrupulous persons had changed the password without her knowledge.





lady-saw-sumfest.jpgA little birdie pinch we and tell we sey Lady Saw -- the Dancehall Mumma, Real Big Woman Ina Di Dancehall, Real Danehall Queen -- is in talks to close Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night.

But a coulda wha this? First time a woman ever going to have the honour of closing Dancehall Night.

Well, if a really so it go, we have ongle one question fi ask. Spice, how you feel bout this? After all, Dancehall is about currency and right now Spice is more current than the Mumma. A Spice get all the awards the other day from Star and all these people and Spice have her video with 20 million views and bare thingz.

Still, if a so it really go, the Lady Saw, big up yourself. And please doan get inna no more tracing match wid Spice or nobody else. Heels On!!!!!!!!





Ganja Symposium June 30

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ganja-image-4.jpgThe Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat comprised and coordinated byThe Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association (formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association) & The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja in association with Inline image Presents a Health and Medical Symposium Introduction to Cannabinoid Science. Tuesday 30th June, 2015

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Registration 8:00 am

Venue: Interfaculty Lecture Theatre, University of the West Indies

Admission: Members of the Public, $5,000

GFGPA / CCMRI Members, $3,000

Medical and Bio-Chemistry Students, $3,000 - Limited to the first 50 students only

Contacts: CITIVA: www.CitivaMedical.com

Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat

Email: canpromo.sec@gmail.com

Tel: 759-8901-3





HIC focuses on 'healthy lifestyle'

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heart-institute-of-the-caribbean.jpgThe Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) Foundation is aimed at ensuring that all Jamaicans are able to access its services regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, the organisation is increasingly focused on public health awareness, motivating Jamaicans to adopt a health healthy lifestyle.

The Foundation's main initiatives include:

1. Our Community Clinic

Special prices are offered on our procedures on designated days - on Saturdays in Kingston - appointments are necessary.

2. The Free Emergency Angiogram Initiative

In honour of our 10th anniversary, we announced that we would be providing emergency angiograms, a diagnostic procedure valued at JMD 821,912.50, free of cost (conditions apply). The conditions are outlined below. The patient would only have to cover the cost of the angiokit which is JMD 47,500. This initiative is aimed at opening access to emergency cardiovascular care.

  • All patients hospitalized for a cardiac problem who are told that they need an emergency angiogram during their hospital stay
  • All patients who go to an accident and emergency and are told that they need an emergency angiogram
  • If a patient is having a heart attack or chest pain after hours (8pm -8am) and come to our 24 hour emergency chest pain centre - a physician evaluation will be provided free of cost, and if it is determined that an emergency angiogram is necessary, it will also be provided free of cost.




JUTC to reduce adult fares for the summer

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jutc-buses.jpgThe Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it will be slashing fares for adult passengers by $20 this summer.

In a release this afternoon, the JUTC said from Sunday, July 5 to Saturday, August 29, adults will pay $100 instead of $120 on its regular services.

It says premium and express services will not be included in the special summer fare arrangement.

According to the JUTC, all adult commuters including students between the ages of 12 and 20 in uniform, who customarily do not get concession fares during the summer months, on holidays, and weekends, will qualify for the discounted summer fare.

"This limited summer special is to induce these commuters to take our buses and experience the JUTC service," said JUTC managing director, Colin Campbell.

The JUTC says between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 it increased its passenger load by almost six million moving from 52. 3 million in 2013/2014 to 58.2 million for 2014/2015.





P Diddy arrested after fight with UCLA coach

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p-diddy-arrested.jpgP. Diddy was arrested on UCLA's campus Monday for getting into a fight with a Bruins assistant coach early Monday afternoon and later charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of making terrorist threats and one count of battery.

Diddy's son, Justin Combs, is a redshirt junior defensive back for the Bruins. He has played in seven games combined over the past two seasons, registering four tackles.

According to TMZ, one of UCLA's assistant coaches was "screaming at Justin on the field," and Diddy later "confronted the coach and grabbed him." As a result, Diddy, 45, was "arrested for assault" and remains in custody "at campus jail."

UCLA later confirmed the report and said that Diddy was charged with "assault with a deadly weapon," with the weapon being a kettlebell - a piece of weightlifting equipment.

Here's UCLA's full statement:

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. today, Sean Combs (also known as P. Diddy) was arrested at UCLA's Acosta Athletic Training Complex on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, which was a kettlebell. No one was seriously injured and UCPD is investigating. Combs is expected to be transported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Inmate Reception Center later this evening.

"I'm thankful that our staff showed the level of professionalism that they did in handling this situation," UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. "This is an unfortunate incident for all parties involved. While UCPD continues to review this matter, we will let the legal process run its course and refrain from further comment at this time."





.....Auditions closed

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rsf-flyer-back.jpgReggae Star Factor 2015 Auditions are now officially CLOSED and, according to their website, the organisers the season 2 contestants comprise a great mix of Solo singers, Bands, Mc's and Spoken word Performers.

"The nationwide Search has been great and we are glad to see what we already knew that there is talent in every corner of the UK that hasn't be given the platform to shine. Well we will keep our own campaign going as long as the people want us to.

"On behalf of all the staff we would just like to say a big thank you to everyone that has shown support and we look forward to seeing you at the Shaw in July. Contestant previews and Judging Panel line up coming shortly," the statement concluded.





rsf-flyer-front.jpgReggae Star Factor is an all Reggae talent show scheduled for six Fridays straight six weeks of high Reggae awareness brought to the UK stage from Friday July 31 to Friday September 4.

Reggae Star Factor is the first talent competition of its kind in the UK. Its principal aim is to provide a platform where aspiring reggae artistes can showcase their talent to a wider audience.

Vocalists, musicians and dancers were invited to perform in front of a panel of judges consisting of five experts from the reggae industry, who gave feedback in the form of constructive criticism. There were guest appearances from established artists.

The series consisted of 4 heats, 1 semi-final and the grand final, which were held in the theatre setting of the prestigious Tabernacle building in London's Ladbroke Grove.

Congrats to ReggaeStar Factor 2014 season 1 winner CHARDEL RHODEN

reggae-star-factor-chardel-on-stage.jpg





Kabaka Pyramid for Reggae Sumfest

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kabaka-pyramid-photo-2.jpgKABAKA Pyramid is scheduled for Reggae Sumfest's International Night One at the Catherine Hall complex in Montego Bay, St James on July 17.

"It will be high energy from I hit the stage; I will definitely debut new material, as well as performing songs everyone knows and loves," he declared.

Reggae Sumfest is scheduled for July 12-18.

Kabaka Pyramid's songs include Free From Chain, Liberal Opposer and Warrior, featuring Chronixx.





Brownie brothers reunite for new project

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browne-bunch.jpgJamaica's royal first family of music has reunited for a special project.

Formerly "The Browne Bunch", these four siblings have come together in 2015 with plans to complete and release their first album as part of their lifelong goal.

The group members are Cleveland Browne aka Clevie of Steely and Clevie, Danny Browne, Dalton Browne, Noel Browne and Glen Browne.The Brownie Brothers have since released two singles titled "Cool It Down" and "I was there".

One Family Music is proud to present, two brand new singles from "Brownie". The two singles "Cool It Down" and "I Was There" are currently available on ITUNES and other online music portals.





mavado-photo-12.jpgMavado and the mother of one of his children got into a war of words on social media over child support after the singjay posted a photograph of his son on his Instagram page with a lengthy caption which reads in part "Love you son and you know dat when you grow older you will understand the world you live in how could a woman get so much money like $1500 to $2000 US monthly minimum every month from you entered this world."

Vado's baby-mother hit back with "Wow what a beautiful picture. You come around him once every 6 months for a 20 minutes visit and take 100 pix to post and all of a sudden you're the best father in the world."

She also challenged Mavado's claim of sending $1500-$2000US for their son stating that legal documents were filed due to the entertainer's nonpayment of child support.





Journalist David Ebanks is dead

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david-ebanks.jpgDavid Ebanks, respected Jamaican journalist of many years, has died. RJR News understand that he passed away at his St. Andrew home on Monday evening, after ailing for sometime.

David Ebanks worked at Radio Jamaica for several decades, starting in the 1950s. He worked in various capacities but distinguished himself in the News Department as RJR's Parliamentary reporter for many years. He was also a regular host on the long-running current affairs programme, Exposure.

He rose through the ranks to briefly become head of the News department, before leaving RJR in the early 1990s. Thereafter, he worked very briefly at Power 106 FM, then joined Irie FM as a reporter for more than a decade. In response to the news, the Board and management of Radio Jamaica Limited have expressed regret at the passing of David Ebanks.

The Board and management, in a statement, noted that David worked as a journalist covering both news and sports on local and overseas assignments for many years, and also served as a broadcaster on the station.





JIS website and 5 others hacked by ISIS!

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jis-website-hacked-by-isis.jpgjis-logo.jpgThe Jamaica Information Service (JIS) says five websites hosted by the organisation were also defaced after Monday night's breach of its own system. The websites are the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, GC Foster College, Social Development Commission (SDC), Houses of Parliament and Jamaica National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The GC Foster College website has been successfully restored and the others are expected to be restored shortly, JIS says.

Probable Islamic State militants hacked into the website last evening, forcing a shutdown of the site. Up to 10:00 pm Monday, people who visited the site came upon a message which read:

"Hacked by Team System Dz: I am Muslim & I love jihad. I love Islamic state (heart)"

The message also stated: "Message to all the peoples of the world and especially to governments, Islamic State List to restore the rights of Muslims who have been killed by your governments savage and unjust, Islamic state will restore dignity for Muslims. Will purge the land of the Muslims from the hypocrites infidels. It intervenes you will equip you to dwell in cemeteries. Op USA & Israel. Hackers Islamic State/.2015" Facebook".

By 10:00 pm, the landing page for the website was blank, except for a message stating "hacked by holako".

JIS reports that technical problems were experienced on the website between 9:02 pm and 9:38 pm. It was taken offline for maintenance shortly thereafter.The government agency says its web team conducted restoration and recovery procedures within four hours.

Preliminary findings reveal that the attempts of the "hactivists" at breaching the system did not result in access to sensitive information but was constrained to "surface defacement." The Agency is confirming that no data was corrupted. Cyber security teams from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Technology Ministry are assisting the web team with the investigations.





ras-myrhdak.jpgEntertainer Ras Myrhdak is promoting a new single called Inna Di Business, as well as Big Dread, which is a diss to Fantan Mojah and in the process has made a headline-grabbing statement about it being okay for some Rastas to indulge in oral sex.

"Nuff man disrespect Snoop Lion, but dem fi know seh Rastafari is love and love has no limit nor barrier nor face. Snoop Dog dem grow up into a different system. They had people like Martin Luther King and Farrakhan yes," he said.

"But Martin Luther King and Farrakhan dem nuh grow up to the roots like Rasta wey sey thou shall not bow, thou shall not eat meat, thou shall not nyam vagina ... . nobody told them that it's wrong, so they see it as right because they grew up in that livity."

The artiste pointed out that Rastafarianism is not a religion and should not be treated as such.

"So if they (foreigners) see the light wey Rastafarian a show, we can't declare war. Religion is confusion and Rastafari is not a religion. The love of Rastafari don't come with fight, nor bun, nor to invoke physical violence against no human nor no race...Rastafari is love," he said.

"If he is speaking love and speaking positive, we endorse him. We have artistes like Papa San and Stitchie who seh Christianity. Who are we to reject Snoop Dogg when the almighty did not reject us? Any man under locks weh a talk bout bun Snopp, yuh wrong because love is love."





Number portability a reality at last

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In a press release Sunday, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell announced that effective 12:01 am, Monday, all systems are in place to facilitate number portability by individuals and businesses.

In this regard, both fixed-line and mobile telephone customers in Jamaica will be able to switch networks and retain their original numbers if they so desire.The first port would become possible at 9:00 am on June 22, 2015.

The release said that the minister received the update en route to the island from official business in the Russian Federation and declared that "it is with a sense of relief and satisfaction that I have received official notification that the tedious process of facilitating number portability has been successfully completed and the Jamaican consumers can now change from one telecommunications service provider to another and retain his/her original number".

He continued: "However, the greatest test is the successful implementation of each request and ultimately the satisfaction of the consumer. Like all new systems of this magnitude, there may be minor glitches, but our expectation is that if and when there is such an occurrence that this will be addressed expeditiously and at a minimal inconvenience to the consumer."

The notification was conveyed to the telecommunications minister by chairman of the Number Portability Working Group, Herman Athias, who was charged with the responsibility of monitoring and assessing the progress of the porting process on a daily basis and provides the Minister and the regulatory authorities with regular updates.





Darren Powell's assets frozen

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daren-powell.jpgThe Supreme Court has ordered that the assets of prominent businessman,former West Indies fast bowler and PNP Caretaker for North West St. Elizabeth, Darren Powell, be frozen.

His assets was ordered frozen last week Wednesday by Justice Lloyd Hibbert.

He made the order after Powell was sued for failing to make full payment after he purchased a Supermarket in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

Documents show that the company, Quintex Limited and its director James Chin have sued Powell for damages in excess of $35-million.The lawsuit was filed in April this year.The Court order freezing Powell's assets was obtained in June.

Allegations are that in March 2012, Powell entered into a sale agreement to purchase a Supermarket from Mr. Chin's company.The agreed purchase price was $38-million.

The Supermarket was re-branded using one of Powell's middle names, Lyle. But documents supplied to the Court show that the former West Indies Cricketer has only paid over $15-million.

Mr. Chin and Quintex are alleging that Powell has attempted to avoid calls placed to him and is dodging efforts to have him pay his debt.

In his defence, Powell accepted that he entered into a sale agreement to purchase the supermarket. But he says Quintex and its Directors misrepresented to him that they owned fixtures, equipment and leasehold improvements for the property.

In November last year, PNP delegates in North West St Elizabeth selected Powell as their preferred candidate to challenge the JLP's JC Hutchinson in the next general election.





President and CEO of Canada-based company Timeless Herbal Care Courtney Betty feels that yearly tourist arrivals could surpass the three-million mark if Jamaica is promoted as a health and wellness destination, featuring marijuana.

"We... think that, by advertising Jamaica as a destination for health and wellness, which include marijuana, [we] will be able to increase the number of visitors coming to [the island]," said Betty, who is also an attorney-at-law.

"When we are talking about medical marijuana, we are talking about the food you eat, we are talking about the other aspects of it. Our company does not support smoking... it's not part of our business model. It's all of the other elements. It's clothing. There are so many pieces that this industry is going to be transformed," said Betty during an interview with the Jamaica Observer last Monday immediately after making a presentation at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Betty expressed certainty that the tourism industry can benefit hugely from medical marijuana as the island is already famous for the herb.

"Jamaica is already internationally known for marijuana, even though we [Timeless Herbal Care] are now looking at the medical side, we see many products that can be integrated into our spas and into our tourism experience. So we are working with the hotels and also with the tour guides to implement a programme to add this as another element of marketing Jamaica's tourism," disclosed the Jamaican-born Betty who once held a senior position at the Fair Trade Commission.





Jamaica seeks EU visa waiver

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aj-nicholson.jpgForeign Affairs Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson today told the Senate, that Jamaica will be seeking a visa waiver from the European Union for Jamaicans to travel to the region.

He was responding to questions from Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte.

In May, the EU signed short-stay visa waiver agreements with 5 Caribbean countries, including, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

The agreement will allow the nations to travel to EU visa-free, for a period 90 days in any 180-day period.

Citizens of the EU will also be able to travel to any of the nations without visa requirements.





Shame and scandal in the PNP family?

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comrades-raymond-pryce.jpgWhat a bangarang tek place at Braes River over the weekend with the comrades!!! Seems like a certain comrade wants to overthrow young turk, Raymond Pryce, but he has party backers who will have none of it.

Councillor Errol Hummingbird (Ipswich Division of St Elizabeth North Western) was one person at the meeting at Braes River who made it clear that his backing was for Pryce.

"It is about time Comrades... We need to reason. What is it about the young man that you don't like? Yuh say him is a liar. All a we a damn liar...," he roared.

Hummingbird said some followed the crowd and crucified Christ, noting that, similarly, Pryce is being "pushed out", and some residents who are doing so are without a valid reason for their action.

"It's time for a showdown now. Raymond dem coming after yuh and dem coming after mi too, but let them come. I am not afraid. If this is the end of my career then so be it. I will go down in a flame of glory, not with my head between my knees," he passionately declared.

Hummingbird is set to be replaced by Mugabe Waite as the councillor candidate in his division. Waite is brother of Basil Waite, an ex-senator and former candidate for the St Elizabeth North Eastern.

Minister of Youth and Culture and Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna, who was guest speaker at the conference, said that Pryce is one of the young Comrades that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in her "wisdom" chose to represent the party.

She urged supporters to exercise discipline in their dealings, particularly as children were in the room and media personnel. Hanna cautioned Comrades to refrain from using the public forum to address the particular issues.





GATFFest to screen 50 films

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Greater August Town is no longer a community in Jamaica, its name has reached international acclaim, thanks to the signature film festival that was conceived and nurtured in this community.

This year, GATFFest (Greater August Town Film Festival) has shortlisted 50 films to be screened at the fest.

"We have about 50 short films that will be screened during the festival," informed Mellissa Tulloch, project coordinator, UWI Community Film Project (UWICFP), organisers of GATFFest.

"Of the 50 films," Tulloch said, "we will be screening about 30 international films, six of which include submissions from the region, about 15 local films and five films that are produced from students of the UWICFP."

The crescendo is building as the fest, which is now in its third year, moves to its pinnacle. The volume of international entries has positioned the festival's uniqueness, sustainability and mass appeal, and reaffirming that creativity knows no boundaries or bounded by barriers.

"We received and accepted submission from USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, Poland, Spain, India and Brazil," Tulloch said, adding that films from Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti have also made it to this year's screening list.

Also making debut at GATFFEST 2015 is the category of animation, the other categories include comedy, documentary, drama, romance, sci-fi and horror.

All 50 shortlisted films are being currently judged by a panel of judges. "The audience will also be voting for their favourite each night," Tulloch said.

The winners will be announced during the closing night and awards ceremony on June 28.

The festival opens in Kingston with a red-carpet gala affair and a film exploring the life of Amy Jacques Garvey, wife of national hero Marcus Garvey. Other activities include workshops and the screening of local and international short films along with an awards ceremony.

GATFFEST opens on June 25 with the premiere of the locally produced film The Epiphany, which tells the story of a young man who is catapulted into the past and encounters Amy Jacques Garvey.

The action moves to Montego Bay on June 26, where a film workshop is being organised at UWI Western Jamaica campus and a Film Night, which will showcase a selection of local and international films.

On Saturday, June 27, a film workshop will be organised at Courtleigh Auditorium, which is targeted to community representatives, persons interested in film and the general public. A selection of films will be screened in the evening.





Mr Vegas for the BET Experience

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mr-vegas-photo-12.jpgDancehall artiste Mr Vegas is slated to make an appearance at this year's staging of the BET Experience. Mr Vegas will perform at the BETX Carnival on Sunday, June 28, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

"I'm looking forward to performing for my fans at the BET Experience. This an international platform and I am going there to represent reggae and dancehall music all the way," the Bruk It Dung hitmaker said.

Mr Vegas is no stranger when it comes to performing at US main stream events as he has performed at other events in the US including the Soul Train Awards.

"I am one of the ambassadors of dancehall music who has been taking our music and culture to people all over the world for the last 17 years. I've been on every major reggae festival around the world. I've also made appearances on US mainstream events and TV shows. In 2013 I performed on BET Countdown and I've also performed on CBS Television," said Mr Vegas.

The lineup for the BETX Carnival will also feature a number of other popular Caribbean acts including Gyptian and Machel Montano.

The three-day BET Experience is a series of events scheduled to take place from June 25-28. It is staged annually by the US-based, Black Entertainment Television cable network popularly known as BET.

This year's event features some of the biggest names from the US music scene and Hollywood stars including Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.





st-elizabeth-festival-stephanie-elliott.jpgThe first staging of the South Coast Rum, Food and Music Festival is slated for Coastline Beach, Parotee in Black River, St Elizabeth, on July 24-26.

Stephanie Elliott, CEO of Compass Communications, said the festival will be used to introduce an international dancehall competition dubbed Dun Dem.

"It is a platform for dance groups of no more than four to six members to compete and win cash and an opportunity to travel to Europe in 2016 to compete for the 'Top International Dancehall Group," said Elliott.

The festival has also been endorsed under the Ministry of Tourism's 90 Days of Summer entertainment programme.

Day one is dubbed Welcome Party, while the second day will see a Mugs Beach Party.

"Day three is when the full activity takes place and patrons will enjoy the best of southern Jamaica by our displays of food, culture art and top quality entertainment with our Reggae Concert, said Elliott.





tommy-lee-photo-10-simplified.jpgThe legal team representing deejay Leroy "Tommy Lee Sparta" Russell is preparing documents to submit to the Dominican Government for an "out of court settlement" following the artiste's deportation from that country in February.

Esteemed attorney, Bert Samuels, who is representing Tommy Lee Sparta, explained the sourcing of documentation, including a medical report, is what is causing the delay.

"The condition in which he was being held was not suitable and he had to sleep on the cold floor. Bear in mind he was suffering from an injury (sustained in a motor vehicle accident) at the time," said Samuels.

Tommy Lee and three members of his team -- Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace -- were deported from Dominica a day after their arrival. All four had journeyed to Dominica for at a concert in Portsmouth. They were, however, denied entry and placed in custody before being deported.

Samuels said that he and his team are still examining the loss of income from contractual arrangements due to the artiste's deportation. As a result, he was unable to state the amount of the settlement being sought.

In a letter dated March 3, 2015, Dr Kathy-Ann Brown, Jamaica's deputy solicitor general and Director -- International Affairs Division, indicated her Dominican counterpart expressed a desire for a friendly resolution to the matter.

Tommy Lee Sparta is known for tracks including Spartan Soldier, Psycho and Nuh Fear Dem.





joey-brooks-and-jay-prince.jpgJoey Brooks, the sister of the Gully Gad, Mavado, is happy with the reaction to her latest single, Serenity, a collab with her Live MB Music Productions label-mate Jay Prince.

To promote Serenity, Brooks and Jay Prince shot a video in Portland in May. It was directed by Ramon Lindsay.

The 28-year-old Brooks made her first appearance on the music scene in 2008 with the ballad, Heart Beat, produced by Ariff Butler.

She followed up with a handful of singles, before giving the music business a break to study nursing and become a certified nurse.

Back in the game, she hopes the positive response to Serenity is a sign of things to come.





jodi-gray-and-baby-miracle.jpgJodi-Ann Gray, the former KOOL FM personality who survived a vicious gun attack while pregnant, says she will be deleting her social media account because of hate messages she has received.

Gray was shot three times - once in the face and twice in the shoulder - in April 2012 as she attempted to enter her Portmore, St Catherine home. She was seven months pregnant at the time of the attack. Her co-worker and former lover, Wayne Whyte, and another man were sentenced to 14 years in prison for the shooting.

The broadcaster, who now lives in the United States, later gave birth to a healthy baby girl who she named Miracle. However, she took to Instagram on Friday morning to announce that she was deleting her account because of "continuous hate messages" she has been receiving.

"Good morning everyone... I will be deleting my Instagram account today. Yesterday I had someone message me 'B!#@ you should a dead'... and I get continuous hate messages of that nature," Gray said, adding "We are all humans and after a while enough is enough!"

A married man, Whyte had a year-long affair with Gray during which the latter became pregnant. He told Gray to get an abortion but she refused. Whyte and his co-accused pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and shooting with intent after being held in a getaway car after the gun attack.

Gray alleges that she has gotten a lot of hate from Jamaicans "for whatever reason" since the incident and lamented the dark extremes of social media.

"I have always been a people person, very jovial and love life. those who know me can attest to that. With that being said, I realize social media can be extremely positive, for that and on the other hand very negative. In order to live a wholesome life sometimes we have to get rid of the negativity and I have gotten a lot of negativity from a lot of Jamaicans who for whatever reason chose to follow me and spew hate," she said.

Gray has - at the time of writing this article - yet to delete her Instagram account, but has made it private.





Family FunDay

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family-funday-2015-06-20.jpgSturridge Foundation
& Sturr Class Entertainment Record Label

In association with Father Sturridge, Polky Bless, Fat Bobby, Hopey & Family'Sturridge

Present their
Family FunDay Event

Saturday, 20th June 2015
@Tinson Pen Football Field
Greenwich Town, Kingston 13, Jamaica





malia-and-sasha-photo-1.jpgSure, Michelle Obama might dress in local designer duds wherever she travels, most recently wearing a multicolor knit Missoni dress in Italy, but it's her daughters that truly capture the culture in their clothes choices. Sasha and Malia Obama landed in Milan on Wednesday with Sasha leading the way down the air-stairs in a sweet seersucker mini dress and cognac leather gladiator sandals. Her sister, on the other hand wore an illusion two-piece heather gray jersey dress with white Mary Janes.

And while FLOTUS went off with Chef Mario Batali to preach to Italians that maybe so many carbs and wine without at least a little exercise might not be the greatest lifestyle choice, the teenagers went off to explore the European city on their own (aka with secret service, paparazzi, and an entire posse of other people). Sasha was summer ready in white shorts with blue flowers, a chambray top, white quilted slip-on sneakers, and blue tinted wayfarers. Her sister, Malia, was in a more understated ensemble, wearing tailored black trouser shorts, a white crop top lined with frills, and leather lace-up gladiator sandals.

On Thursday, they visited 10 Corso Como, Carla Sozzani's concept store in Piazza 25 Aprile. Sasha,14, went for head-to-toe white in cropped, distressed skinny jeans, a very trendy off-the-shoulder blouse and slip-on sneakers. Malia, 17, wore a black and white romper and the same sandals her sister had on when she disembarked the plane.

Yet their Italian street style, while certainly cool, makes a bigger statement than just that. Unlike their mother, who wears designer pieces from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Isabel Toledo, and Jason Wu to name a few, and even has many of her dresses custom made, her daughters wear Zara, Brandi Melville, and Vans. Their fashion's not on a pedestal above the rest of their demographic and despite their home address, their perks and privileges don't stand out as special.

Since they stepped on the style scene in J. Crew at their father's inauguration in 2009, they haven't inspired girls to grab for their parents' credit cards, instead they've encapsulated the current market and put it on a national scale. They're not icons, they're just a representation of the masses - and isn't that what everyone wants in a first family?malia-and-sasha-photo-2.jpg





Charleston shooting suspect confesses

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charleston-church-shooting-dylann-roof-court.jpgThe 21-year-old white man suspected of gunning down nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina has confessed to the crime, US media reported Friday, citing unnamed officials.

One law enforcement official told CNN that alleged shooter Dylann Roof told investigators that he "wanted to start a race war" when he walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on Wednesday night and opened fire on a Bible study class.

All of the victims were black.

Roof -- who was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday and brought back to South Carolina after he opted not to fight extradition -- was due in court later Friday for a bond hearing.

"We are getting cooperation at this point," another official told local ABC affiliate WCIV.

Two sources also confirmed to NBC News that Roof -- whose Facebook page includes a picture of him wearing the flags of defunct white supremacist regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia -- has confessed.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Friday she believed Roof should face the death penalty if convicted. Capital punishment is legal in the southern state.

"This is an absolute hate crime," she told NBC's "Today" show.

"We will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty. This is the worst hate that I've seen and the country has seen in a long time," she said.

"We will fight this and we will fight this as hard as we can."

The carnage was the worst at a US place of worship in decades and recalled the darkest periods of US history, in a church once burned to the ground after a failed slave revolt.





The police will this Sunday host a concert called 'Gospel in the Street' concert in Red Hills Road community, as part of ongoing social intervention initiatives in volatile communities.

Top-ranking members of the division are reporting that the police, in collaboration with churches in the area, will be hosting the event that will seek to reach out to residents in the violence-prone areas. At the same time, there will be recognition of the men in the communities who make positive contributions towards family.

"The event will be held under the theme Empowering men, building communities," said Tanisha Ellison, assistant superintendent attached to the division.

Superintendent Jacqueline Green says police and members of the church community are also aiming to make the event an ongoing initiative.





omi-cheerleader-photo-1.jpgEntertainer Omi has hit top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which has landed him a place in Billboard's reggae history.

The singer, who last week occupied the number 11 spot with Cheerleader, is now in the number 7 position after 8 weeks on the chart.

According to Billboard.com, Omi's Cheerleader has sold 641,000 downloads to-date with more than half of its release total scanned in just the last three weeks.

"Cheerleader" joins the elite club of reggae hits that have crossed over to the Hot 100's top 10 over the years which include Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" in 1972, Eric Clapton's version of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974, UB40's "Red Red Wine" in 1988 and "Can't Help Falling in Love" in 1993, Inner Circle's "Bad Boys" in 1993, Big Mountain's "Baby, I Love Your Way" in 1994, Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel" both in 2001, Sean Paul's "Get Busy" in 2003 and MAGIC!'s "Rude" in 2014.

Omi has also created more waves with "Cheerleader" being added to great cheerleading moments on Billboard Hot 100 history, joining the likes of Toni Basil with his 1982 hit "Mickey" and Taylor Swift's four-week No. 1 "Shake It Off" last year.





gage-photo-2.jpg"Right now, at the moment, I am just saving dancehall. If yu realise right now dancehall is in a little luu or wey yu call it. Yuh have reggae artiste fighting dancehall and yu have dancehall artiste switching to different genres. Hope when wi save it and it good, who run out don't run een back," Gage said in the interview.

The interview was posted by Zip 103 FM. However, several seemingly upset listeners took their grouse to Facebook.

Questioning Gage's work ethics one viewer posted "Dwl if this man going to save dancehall, smh it really in a bad state. This man don't even have two songs on the radio."

Another expressed that Gage could only save dancehall if he assisted in the release of Vybz Kartel. "A think him mean him a guh a prison and tek dancehall (Kartel) space because Kartel is dancehall," the viewer posted.

Even Gage's recent image makeover was brought into the discussion. "What happen to this Vybz Kartel wannabe bout saving dancehall. This guy is not even selling records. Someone who can't produce a solid single to top charts can't save dancehall. Gage not because yuh a try look like Kartel dat nuh mean yuh can duh weh him duh. A wah dis man! Guh save yuh career," another viewer posted.

When contacted, Gage said his comments were taken out of context.





Police 'death squad' probe intensifies

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court.jpgThe Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM's high profile probe into a death squad which is alleged to have operated within the Police Force has expanded beyond Clarendon.

In 2012, INDECOM had indicated that its investigation was limited to the Clarendon Police Division.' Eleven Policemen attached to the Clarendon division are currently before the court in connection with INDECOM's probe.

Source says INDECOM's investigation into the organized killing of unarmed criminal suspects by a team of Police personnel is not limited to Clarendon. It's understood that Police personnel in parishes, including St. Mary and St. Andrew are now under scrutiny.

Yesterday, Police Constable, Sherwood Simpson, who was accused of being part of a team of Policemen who forced an unarmed man into bushes, shot him and left him for dead was convicted in the Gun Court.

In 2013 when he was charged by INDECOM, Constable Simpson was based in St. Mary. Evidence heard in Simpson's case is similar to allegations in several of the cases INDECOM currently has before the Court in which Policemen in Clarendon are accused.

The Court was told that the complainant, Rayon Mahoney, who was on a gun charge for which he was later acquitted, reported to the Police Station in Castleton. Constable Simpson was said to be among a team of Police personnel who intercepted Mahoney shortly after he left the Police Station and carried him into bushes.

Mahoney was shot by one of Simpson's colleagues while Simpson stood nearby and watched to ensure there was no civilian witness to the criminal act.

But Mahoney survived to give evidence in Court and testified that it was Constable Simpson who gave his police colleague clearance to shoot him by saying - 'yow finish him off'.

While prosecutors summed up evidence against him in Court yesterday, Constable Simpson wept. He's to be sentenced next week.





Doctor on sexual assault charge

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A 53 year old medical doctor based in St. Ann is in police custody charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of an employee.Hewas scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The doctor was arrested on Wednesday by a team from the Kingston branch of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).He was later charged in connection with the incident which allegedly took place in January this year.

The doctor has been charged with grievous sexual assault and attempted rape. It's alleged that the incident took place during the woman's first day on the job at the doctor's private practice.





Investigators assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (CTOC) have widened their probe into Friday morning's major gun and ammunition seizure in Hellshire, St. Catherine.

Five men were arrested in what is believed to be a gun smuggling operation on the island's south coast.

Sources say investigators theorize that the seizure of nine handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition is linked to the guns for drugs trade.

The men were travelling in a vehicle from St. Elizabeth when it was intercepted on Municipal Boulevard by a team from CTOC.





Public to be educated on responsible ganja use

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ganja-use.jpgThe Jamaican government says it will be undertaking a public education programme to discourage irresponsible ganja use and protect the vulnerable.

Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding said that the National Health Fund (NHF) and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) have finalised the details of the programme, which is expected to get underway soon. Golding was addressing a town hall meeting Tuesday at the St Luke's Anglican Church in Cross Roads, St Andrew.

He said that the campaign will discourage ganja use by children, pregnant women, and people who have certain mental disorders. "They shouldn't be using it (ganja)," he emphasised.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Act the capacity of the NCDA has been strengthened to take action with respect to vulnerable groups.

The minister said that the council will also be undertaking training of the police to deal with people who may appear to be dependent on ganja. He reminded the public that smoking of ganja in public spaces, or within five metres of such areas is prohibited, in a manner similar to cigarettes.

"You must show due respect for others, and not smoke in a public space where others may be," he said.

Public spaces include the workplace, and any place for use of, or is accessible to the public such as sidewalks, bus stops, restaurants, offices, educational institutions, pharmacies, hospitals, areas used by children, supermarkets, and parks.

The town hall meeting was held to explain and address concerns by the public on the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, commonly referred to as the Ganja Law.

The legislation makes possession of two ounces or less of ganja a non-criminal but ticketable offence.





1 escapee caught; 8 others still on the run

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One of nine detainees who escaped from the Savanna-la-mar Police lock up in Westmoreland early on Thursday night has been recaptured.

Oshane Blair was held on premises near the police station.

The other men, including murder suspects, remain on the run. They are Junior James, Richard Kerr, Romain Esson, Odane Brown, Carlington Godfrey, Alton Maxwell, Steve Vassell and Kicoy James. A statement from the police says Esson, who is 21 years, was charged with murder and shooting with intent.

Maxwell, who is from Naggo Head, St. Catherine was facing charges of murder, illegal possession of a firearm and escaping police custody

The other murder suspect, is thirty-three-year-old Steve Vassell otherwise called 'Strength', of Shortwood Road, Kingston 8.

It's reported that the men escaped by digging a hole in the ventilation area in the roof.





dianna-ross-photo-1.jpgShe may be 71 -years-old but Diana Ross is still working as hard as she was when she first hit the music scene.

The singer has just completed a series of concerts in Hawaii - her first despite having a singing career spanning over six decades.

And decided to take advantage of being in the tropical location to have a break from her busy schedule.

Diana was enjoying the sunshine on Thursday and looked relaxed and happy as she soaked up the rays.

Dressed in a black swimsuit and colorful sarong she went for a walk in some tropical gardens.

Her trademark luxurious locks fanned out in the breeze as she took her sojourn in the sun.

Diana's beach garb featured a floral pattern in cerise, yellow and orange, and she teamed it with a pair of oversized black sunglasses.

The Can't Hurry Love singer seemed relaxed and happy as she sauntered through the beachside resort, and stopped for a brief rest before carrying on.

One thing that was apparent was Diana seems to have recovered from injuries she had to both knees, which saw her in braces in January.

The mother-of-five was snapped wearing the contraptions over a comfy outfit of Adidas trainers, sweat pants and zipped hoodie while out shopping

It is not clear how Diana has damaged her legs, but she had been previously known to use a wheelchair to navigate airports on occasion.dianna-ross-photo-2.jpg





The 7Eleven video fiasco. who is to blame?

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dexta-daps-photo-1.jpgDancehall fans are no idiots. In the same way they can identify a big tune, they will also sniff out a flop. And that is basically what they did with the video for Dexta Daps' big tune 7Eleven.

Since making its debut last week, fans have been heavily criticizing the concept of the video on social media and on YouTube. Some called the 7Eleven music video a complete waste of time while others labeled it a failed concept because the storyline differs from the song.

Following harsh criticisms, producer Troyton is taking responsibility for Dexta Daps music video for his infectious hit 7Eleven.

According to reports, Dexta Daps claims the music video was shot in January and was not completed because he did not approve of the quality of the video and had opted out of shooting more scenes.

However, Troyton admits that he went ahead with the music video to appease eager fans. The Producer also blames miscommunication as a reason for the current 7Eleven mishap.





Celebs mourn the dead in Charleston shooting

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Celebrities have taken to social media to show support for those affected by Wednesday night's shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine black worshippers were killed.

Singer John Legend wrote "Charleston. My heart hurts."

Solange Knowles added "Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black?"

Zendaya said "I have no words...all I can say is to all the families and friends who lost someone, Charleston my heart goes out to you..."

Michelle Williams used her 140 characters to ask for prayers for Charleston and reminded her followers that, though the accused is captured, the bigger issue of racism will have to be explored.





Charleston shooter arrested

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charleston-shooter-arrested.jpgDylann Storm Roof, the man who allegedly entered a South Carolina church last night and massacred nine people at their weekly bible study meeting, has been escorted in prison stripes onto a plane to be extradited from North Carolina.

The 21-year-old was arrested shortly before noon on Thursday in Shelby, NC, 250 miles north of the targeted church in Charleston, SC.

At 6.20pm local time he was seen in a jumpsuit, chains, handcuffs and a bullet-proof vest being chaperoned by dozens of armed police officers on to an airplane at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport bound for South Carolina.

Survivors of the massacre claim Roof sat in the room for over an hour before standing up and saying: 'You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.'

He was detained after a member of the public spotted his car and called 911. Police say he surrendered without contest and was taken into custody when an officer approached his black Hyundai.

'In America, we don't let bad people like this get away,' said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. at a press conference announcing the arrest.





Men plead guilty to lottery scam involvement

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court.jpgTwo men pleaded guilty to their involvement in the lottery scam when they appeared in the St. Elizabeth Circuit Court.

They are auto mechanic Triston Tomlinson, 20 and Domar Robinson,21, both of Bigwoods in Darliston, Westmoreland.

The men are charged with knowingly possessing identity information.

The court has ordered a social enquiry report and sentencing is set for June 26.

On January 2 last year members of the St. Elizabeth Proactive Investigation Unit were on patrol along High Street in Black River when they observed two men acting suspiciously.

Both men were accosted and found to possess identity information of persons living in the US.





court.jpgA policeman from St Ann, Sergeant Orden Nelson, who was accused of beating a prisoner in custody breaking his arm in the process three years ago, was arrested and charged by INDECOM on Thursday morning.

Nelson was taken before the St Ann's Bay Criminal Court where he was offered bail in the sum of J$150-thousand .He's charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

INDECOM reported that in 2012, Sergeant Nelson arrested the complainant, Luke Murray, for using indecent language.This led to a tussle between the two after Mr Murray allegedly resisted arrest.

Nelson called for reinforcement and Murray was taken to the St Ann police station.It's alleged that the policeman used a baton to beat Murray, breaking his arm.

INDECOM investigated the matter and ruled that there was no justification for the beating.

In court defence attorney Oswest Senior Smith said his client strongly denied the allegations and insisted that the report given to INDECOM by Mr Murray was false.

Nelson is to return to court on July 17.





A father and son duo who robbed a shop in Guy's Hill, St Catherine, didn't fare too well at all. The get-away vehicle crashed not far from the scene of the crime and residents pounced upon the duo, beating the father to death, even as the son escaped.

However, his luck was short-lived because his mother subsequently marched him to the police station. The man was handed over to the police about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday by his mother. Investigators said that further investigation will be conducted with a view to charge the accused man. He is expected to be charged with robbery.

Reports are that on Monday, about 6:30 a.m., the accused and his father, Egetan Taylor, reportedly robbed a shop in the rural farming community.They escaped in a Fiat Uno motor car which overturned at Tavern Hill, Guy's Hill.

An angry mob descended on the men and Taylor was beaten and chopped to death in the process.

The suspect, who is now in custody, managed to escape and was been sought by the police.





Yah So NOT so nice for Potential Kidd

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potential-kidd-everything-govern.jpgDeejay Potential Kidd made his name with the gimmicks tune 'A Yah So Nice', but the truth is that yahso really not so nice for the kid. He is listed as 'WANTED' by the police

Cops say they are seeking the deejay for questioning in relation to the ongoing violence in the Trench Town area of western Kingston.

The western Kingston police, who have seen an upsurge of violence in the division in recent weeks, have since listed the dancehall artiste as a person of interest.

The artiste, born Dwayne Taylor, is of a Trench Town address, and was listed among 34 other persons following last week's shooting of four people in Coronation Market, which the police say is linked to a break-in at a wholesale owned by a popular Tivoli Gardens family.

On Monday, a man was killed and a woman injured behind the Kingston Public Hospital, and the police theorise these recent incidents of crime and violence are linked to an ongoing fight between gangs.

According to head of the western Kingston police division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, Potential Kidd "is influencing the violence in Trench Town."

He further stated an illegal firearm that was purchased in the community had been confiscated by thugs and is believed to be the root of the problem.

Ford said police intelligence operatives are checking the information received and the entertainer will be questioned in relation to this information.

The police requested those listed as persons of interest to turn themselves in to the police as of 8 a.m. yesterday.

A few have reportedly complied, however, up to late yesterday afternoon, Potential Kidd had not turned himself in to the police.

Potential Kidd is known for songs like A Yah So Nice and Everything Govern.





trinidad-p-m-kamla-persad-bissessar.jpgWith the Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams denying the existence of any report on the discovery of marijuana at the Prime Minister's home in 2013, Jack Warner held a news conference this afternoon, to "reveal all the details".

The news conference, attended by local and foreign media, was held at Mandela Hall, Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

Warner played three tape recorded conversations between him and a man sounding like former National Security Minister Gary Griffith, and an email exchange in which Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar and the alleged marijuana find at her home, was the subject.

In an interview with Express Chief Reporter Joel Julien on Tuesday afternoon, Griffith confirmed he was the person whose voice was heard in the taped conversations. Griffith said he is leaving it to the population to decide the kind of man Warner is for secretly taping him.

He however dismissed Warner's "bombshell", saying everything remains as is and that Warner was the only person who ever mentioned a situation of marijuana being found at Persad-Bissessar's home.

Speaking with reporters in Tobago on Monday, Williams was asked about the Sunday Express report, in which Warner, in a statement submitted to a Justice of the Peace last week, claimed that on Friday April 12, 2013, former deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson came to the Parliament and informed him (Warner) that a packet containing four ounces of marijuana was found outside a window of Persad-Bissessar's private Phillipine residence.

Warner, then the National Security Minister , claimed that he called Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal who advised him to contact the Prime Minister who was in New York at the time.

Warner claimed when he contacted the Prime Minister, she was surprised and enquired whether she should return home immediately and resign.

He claimed that he advised Persad-Bissessar to not resign as he and others- Richardson, Moonilal as well as former national security adviser Gary Griffith - would cover up the ganja find.

In the Sunday Express article, reporter Denyse Renne said she was shown a copy of a police diary extract which stated that 113 grammes of marijuana were found at Persad-Bissessar's house during a routine patrol at around 7am on April 12.

Richardson, Moonilal, and Griffith have all since denied the claims by Warner, who is fighting extradition to the United States on multiple charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering brought by the US Department of Justice, linked to alleged wrong-doing while he was a FIFA Vice President. A check by the Express also found that Persad-Bissessar was in the country on April 12, and left for New York two days later.

Acting Commissioner Williams said he sought to verify the claims made by Warner "and there is no report recorded in the police service concerning a matter like that. I was head of the police service at that point in time and that matter was not brought to my attention".

Williams said he had also spoken with the operational head of the special branch named in the report. 'He has publicly already said he nothing about that report and he has confirmed that position to me"

Regarding the existence of a police diary extract concerning the marijuana find, Williams said "there is no recorded report based on the check and verification"





judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgSo nice they had to do it twice, is an apt description of Judy Mowatt's performance last year at Groovin' In The Park and the promoters' decision to bring back the in-demand reggae-turned-gospel singer for this year's staging.

"Based on Sister Judy's outstanding performance last year when she was a guest of Marcia Griffiths and numerous fan requests, we were compelled to extend an invitation to her to return to the Groovin' stage to deliver a full length performance" Christopher Roberts, founder and CEO of Groovin' In The Park said.

YardFlex caught up with the veteran songstress and at her Kingston home and she expressed her delight and honour at being invited again this year.

"It is always a pleasure performing for the New York fans and family and I am looking forward to sharing the the stage with some of my favourite performers - Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage and my brother Stitchie," the former I-Three member stated.

Smiling radiantly, an attribute which Sister Judy says comes from her profoundly deep relationship with the Almighty, the singer noted that she is "feeling blessed" and thanked the promoters for having her on the show this year.

"Promoters are important people in this business of ours and we have to respect them and always ensure that they feel appreciated. Over the decades, I have met promoters along the way who have become like family and I want to say a special shout out to Christopher Roberts and Ras Clem and wish them success on the event," Sister Judy said.

Judy Mowatt will join Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage, Stitchie, Capleton Luciano and Cocoa Tea as confirmed acts at Groovin' in The Park 2015 which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday June 28.judy-mowatt.jpg





bounty-killer-photo-6.jpgDancehall icon Bounty Killer was on a high as a great outpouring of love met him at his birthday celebrations dubbed: Hennessy 'It's Tha Party' at Oneil's Place, Hagley Park Road, St Andrew last Friday.

With Hennessy Brand Manager, Jared Samuel, and his team in attendance, the party was on its way to a big success.

The venue was jam-packed and security personnel had to limit the number of patrons that could enter the club at any given time.

Popular selector Sky Juice paid tribute to the dancehall icon, while he spun tunes from the turn tables.

A number of artistes attended including, Beenie Man, Kalado, Patexx, K-Queens, Richie Stephens, Future Fambo, New Kidz, KipRich, Popcaan and his Unruly crew, among others.

Bounty Killer has influenced the careers of many top artistes including Vybz Kartel, Aidonia, Mavado and Wayne Marshall among others.





jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgThe 22nd annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival takes place at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, California this weekend. SNWMF features three days of the very best Roots Reggae and World Music.

The festivities kick off on Friday afternoon with a Native American blessing from Pomo elder Clayton Duncan. Roots reggae music from Jamaica will be in full effect on the Village Stage with rising star Hempress Sativa, the band Pentateuch, Admiral Tibet and Yellowman.

Saturday has always been roots reggae day at SNWMF, and this year will be no exception. The morning will get started with some Solstice Yoga after which The Itals will get the music going. Performing next will be Meta & The Cornerstones, a roots reggae band whose lead singer was born and raised in Senegal. Jesse Royal will be bringing his musical message and so too will Nattali Rize who has spent the past year living and recording in Jamaica and the fruits of that labor will be revealed when Nattali Rize & Notis take the stage. Taj Weekes, Soul Syndicate, Jamaica's consummate cultural DJ, Big Youth, along with his son, Tafari, Ken Boothe and Max Romeo, are all scheduled to appear. Interestingly, Max Romeo will be making his first U.S. appearance in over 25 years. Reggae Ambassadors Third World will be returning to Boonville again this year. Rounding out the Valley Stage lineup on Saturday will be Jimmy Cliff.

yellow-man-photo-1.jpgThe dancehall will be rammed on Saturday night when SNWMF presents a very special Dancehall Session with Nattali Rize, Hirie, Ras Muhamad and members of No-Maddz and Pentateuch pass the microphone around backed by Jah Warrrior Shelter Hi-Fi. The dancehall will be capped of when Rory returns to SNWMF as Rorystonelove Black Dub.

max-romeo.jpgSunday's musical festivities will begin with some uplifting conscious music courtesy of Mendocino County's own Joseph Israel. He will be followed by what is sure to be a very entertaining set from another new band out of Jamiaca, No-Maddz. Evening time will see the return of 'vintage music' on the Village Stage compliments of Monty Morris and B.B. Seaton, who was a founding member of The Gaylads. The blast from the past will continue with the return of Keith & Tex who blew away those that witnessed their performance at SNWMF in 2013. The Melodians will bring down the curtain on vintage night on the Village Stage.

ken-boothe.jpgThe Valley Stage on Sunday features self-proclaimed Reggae Ambassador of Indonesia, Ras Muhamad, Gentleman's Dub Club, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, "Jah Messenjah" Luciano, award-winning group The Very Best and Thievery Corporation.





Bike thieves rob $700,000 from businessman

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Bike robbers who have been staging robberies in the Corporate Area over the last week, struck again on Monday, stealing more than J$700,000 from a businessman along Lyndhurst Road in the afternoon.

It's reported that shortly after midday, the businessman parked his Toyota Rav 4 in front of the JUTC depot to have lunch at a nearby restaurant when two men on bike rode up. They smashed the back window of the vehicle and removed a bag with the cash.

It is reported that the men had trailed the businessman from a nearby cambio.

Over the last week, men on bikes have been attacking persons after they conducted transactions at financial institutions in the Half-Way-Tree area.

A policewoman and a female auto parts dealer were robbed of a combined $400,000 in separate attacks on Friday by men on motor bikes.





Ganja Business Clinics

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The Cannabis Development and Promotions Secretariat comprised and coordinated by The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Institute

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association (formerly the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association) & The National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja will host a business clinic at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday.

Introduction to Cannabiz

Objectives

(1) to explain the Dangerous Drug (2015) Amendment Act and the role and function of the Cannabis Licensing Authority.

(2) to expose our members in particular to the wide range and variety of cannabis plants / strains and products that the regulated cannabis industry entails, how to get started, which support agencies exists and to link them with potential cooperatives, partners, local and international investors.





Upon hearing the news of a police raid on bleaching products, bleachers have refused to bow.

"More bleaching cream deh bout."

"Is a good ting seh me stock up."

"Bleaching nah stop no matter what them try," are some of the comments from hardcore male and female bleachers who swear by the bleaching products and spend thousands of dollars annually to achieve their 'browning' complexion.

On the weekend, cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).reportedly seized more than 2,000 bottles of bleaching cream in various locations within the Corporate Area. No one was arrested in connection with the seizures.

Assistant commissioner of police, (ACP) Devon Watkis, revealed that after a series of investigations, a raid had been launched to seize the highly coveted creams.

The raid was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

It is well known that prolonged skin whitening, popularly referred to as bleaching, can lead to lethal health risks.

Some of these dangerous skin fairness cocktails contain steroids, hydroquinone and tretinoin among others and are likely to cause skin cancers, permanent pigmentation, and liver damage.





Although he gave the gunmen who had invaded his home in the dead of night the cash they demanded, 47 year-old Rohan Bent, was still shot and killed.

Bent was at his Clarendon home with other people about 2:00 am Monday when four gunmen gained entry to his home by placing a ladder against an open upstairs window and barged in.

They held Bent at gunpoint and demanded cash and the whereabouts of a safe.

He yielded to their demands and gave them the cash he had in his possession, however he never gave up any information about a safe.

Angered, the gunmen shot him repeatedly before ransacking the house. When their search for a safe came up empty handed, the gunmen relieved the other occupants of the house of their cellular phones before leaving them cowering in fear.

Some persons in the area said they saw a white car leaving the community with a ladder on top.





Please stop exporting cocaine in fried fish!

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cocaine-in-fried-fish.jpgThe story of a 38-year-old woman arriving on a flight from Jamaica to Miami last weekend packed with cocaine-laced fried fish is disturbing on many levels.

Fried fish is one of the delicacies that Jamaican living abroad look forward to. Fish fried in Jamaica has a special taste and flavour that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Many Jamaican who are stuck in foreign lands look forward to a piece of fried fish and breadfruit in the worse way.

So it's not fair for drugs smugglers to abuse this in such a way. UScustoms are now going to target every fried fish for drugh from now on. As soon as they detect fried fish, they are just going to dump it.

Come on smugglers, have a heart when trying to be creative. Don't spoil up we fried fish thing like that man.

According to the police report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the Miami International Airport seized over 2 pounds of cocaine concealed inside fried fish Saturday in the luggage of the passenger, whose name has not been released.

During an X-ray examination of the passenger's luggage, CBP OFO officers at the airport noticed anomalies in some of the cooked fish. Upon further examination the officers observed that the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest. CBP OFO officers discovered approximately 2.3 pounds of cocaine and subsequently seized the illicit substance.





man-nephew-counterfeit-notes.jpgThe popular saying 'guh mek some money' has taken on a literal meaning even as the Manchester police have confirmed that two men were charged for possession of and manufacturing counterfeit notes.

The men have been identified as Paul Graham, 60, and his 30-year-old nephew, Tyrone Graham.

According to police reports, members of the Proactive Investigation team, acting on information, went to their home in Union district, Hatfield, Manchester, about 8:00 pm, and found the men making the fake money.

The total sum seized, including some partially made notes, was J$72,000.

The counterfeit notes were seized on Monday.

Additionally, a printer, sheets of parchment paper, ink cartridges, a stencil knife, and a ruler that were used in the process, were seized by the police.

The police say that the younger Graham was released from jail late last year after serving six months for a similar offence.

The two men are suspected to be part of a larger network that is manufacturing counterfeit notes in the parish.





ht-first-church-cannabis-sign.jpgThese aren't your traditional Holy Rollers.

The First Church of Cannabis, established in Indianapolis, Indiana, will launch its inaugural service on July 1, joining an emerging trend of marijuana-based ministries such as The United Cannabis Ministry of California and Hawaii and The Healing Church of Rhode Island.

Though unaffiliated with one another, all are united in at least one principle of worship: Ganja is godly.

"[I was] inspired by love and my compassion for fellow humans," First Church of Cannabis founder William Levin told ABC News, regarding his decision to form the mission. "We had a lot of fertilizer in our state thanks to our governor, so it bloomed quickly..."

Timed to debut the same day the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) goes into effect, the First Church of Cannabis has already attracted more than 42,000 followers on Facebook and is expecting a massive attendance at its first meeting, said Levin, who will lead sermons.

The self-titled "Grand Poobah" and "Minister of Love" said his service format will include four introductory songs, followed by an "interactive celebration of life."

"At the end, we all rise and read the Deity Dozen, and at the end of the 12th Pathway we light up," he said.

Tenets of the Deity Dozen, a sort of Ten Commandments for the church's cannabiterian membership, range from starting the day with a smile to spending 10 minutes per day in quiet contemplation to "Do not be a 'troll' on the internet."

"Cannabis, 'the Healing Plant' is our sacrament," reads the description of the 12th Pathway. "It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group."

While the church has no legal authority to grow, sell, trade or donate cannabis in the state of Indiana, congregants will be free to smoke on church premises, under the protection of the RFRA.

But attendees should not expect to hear psalms, gospels or feel pressured to even use the words "amen" or "hallelujah."

"We will not use any old books," Levin said. "No guilt, sin or judgement. We teach the teachings of love and life... Same as the old guys did, just with a modern pitch to it."

Many who have gotten a whiff of this message have responded enthusiastically online.

"Please let me know if there is any way I can help with the building of this church," wrote one follower of the church's Facebook page. "Our world needs more love and it seems like this church WILL do that."

"I'm not for religion, personally," echoed another comment. "Much more on the side of spirituality and freedom of choosing one's way from many paths, if need be. However ... I have more faith in this being a genuinely GOOD religion than most other paths in this country. Thank you all for running with this! One Toke, One Smile, One Love, all!"





ganja-licence.jpgThe Ministry of Justice has scheduled a town hall meeting aimed at raising awareness of the amendments made to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as 'the Ganja Law' at the St Luke's Anglican Church Hall in Cross Roads, Kingston, Wednesday evening.

The ministry said that the meeting will seek to address misconceptions held by the public about the law relating to the possession of ganja and will provide an opportunity for questions on the controversial subject.

Topics to be discussed include the possession of ganja, use of ganja as a sacrament and cultivation for personal and medicinal/therapeutic use.

Presenters include Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding; director, Criminal and Civil Justice Administration Division, Kathlene Arnold; and Legal Officer at the Justice Ministry Jamila Simms.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act was brought into operation on April 15 this year making possession of two or less ounces of ganja a ticketable offence.

Additionally, the Bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places, and makes provisions for the granting of licences, and permits to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.

It also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority.





Beenie's visa blues

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beenie-man-photo-8.jpgThe dancehall doctor, Beenie Man is currently experiencing a hard time trying to get his US work permit renewed.

The current visa issue has forced the king of the dancehall to reschedule dates for his planned US Tour.

Beenie who was recently denied a United States work permit was barred from performing at the 2015 staging of Best of the Best held late last month.

A rep for the dancehall deejay explained that US promoters have agreed to postpone the show dates until the situation is resolved.

Beenie Man was expected to hit several US cities as part of his upcoming summer tour.





Rapper Rick Ross for Reggae Sumfest

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rick-ross-photo-1.jpgAmerican Rapper and Mabach Music record label creator Rick Ross has been confirmed as one of the headliners for the 23rd staging of Reggae Sumfest, the greatest reggae show on earth.

Rick Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, will be joining the likes of Common, Yazz and Jennifer Hudson as well as dancehall veterans Beenie Man and Capleton, as a headline act to grace the Sumfest stage.

The rapper known for a plethora of hits including ' Stay scheming', 'Hustling' and 'Aston Martin Music' will perform on Friday July 17 at the Catherine Hall venue, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Rick Ross has a string of collabs with artistes like Nicki Minaj, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, Usher, Jay Z and Drake.

Reggae Sumfest will be held at Catherine Hall Montego Bay on Sunday July 12 to Saturday July 18.





Judy Mowatt to perform at Groovin' In The Park

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judy-mowatt-groovin-2014.jpgNY: Veteran reggae singer Judy Mowatt, who thrilled fans as part of the Marcia Griffiths & friends package at last summer's Groovin' In The Park concert in New York, has been invited to perform at the festival for the second consecutive year. Beres Hammond is the only artiste who has performed at the annual festival twice.

"Based on Sister Judy's outstanding performance last year when she was a guest of Marcia Griffiths and numerous fan requests, we were compelled to extend an invitation to her to return to the Groovin' stage to deliver a full length performance" Christopher Roberts, founder and CEO of Groovin' In The Park said.

Mowatt will join Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, Billy Ocean, Morgan Heritage, Stitchie, Carleton Luciano and Cocoa Tea as confirmed acts at Groovin' in The Park 2015 which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday June 28.

The revered singer rose to prominence in the 70's as a member of the I-Threes (which included original members Marcia Griffiths and Rita Marley) the backing vocalist for Bob Marley and The Wailers. She is the first female singer nominated for a Grammy Award in the reggae category for her 'Working Wonders' album which was nominated in 1985. Her 'Black Woman' album which was released in 1980 is considered one of the best reggae albums by a female artiste.

As a solo act she is best known for songs like 'Many Are Called,' 'Black Woman' and 'I Shall Sing.'

In 1999 the Jamaican government awarded her the Order of Distinction for her contribution to Jamaica's music industry.

Presenting sponsor of Groovin' In The Park is the Door Restaurant. Supporting sponsors include The Smoke House, TD Bank, SQPA, Nutrament, Caribbean Foods Delight Inc, BullZii Marketing, Groovin' Radio, Laparkin Shipping, Tower Isle Patties and VP Records. Log on towww.groovininthepark.com orwww.groovinradiony.com for concert information.





usain-bolt-wins-soo-gran-prix.jpgUsain Bolt's first visit to New York produced a world record, and the start of his reign as track's biggest icon. Saturday's return produced a narrow victory in the 200 meters that was so unimpressive and uninspiring that even the Jamaican star called it the worst turn he had run in his career, and fretted races like this could tarnish his sterling legacy.

Hyperbole, to be sure. Bolt ran just his second competitive 200 meters since 2013 and won the Adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in 20.29 seconds. But for a six-time Olympic gold medalist whose 19.19 world record is over a second faster, it's not the kind of race he wants or the sort that will earn him gold next summer in Rio.

"I'm definitely not happy about my performance today. My turn was horrible. I don't know what happened. I really can't explain. It was really bad. It was probably one of the worst turns I've ever run in my entire life,'' said Bolt, quickly amending that to "the worst, for sure. The worst ever.

"I ran to 150, I knew it wasn't going to be a good time because of the turn I ran. After the turn, I pretty much gave up. ... I have no idea [why.] I'm still kind of baffled over what happened.''

It was enough to beat Anguilla's Zharnel Hughes (20.32) into a strong headwind. But it wasn't what Bolt or longtime coach Glen Mills expected.

"Right now I'm not even worried about Rio. I'm worried about what's happening and I just need to try to figure out what's going on this season. I need to buckle down and get everything right,'' Bolt said. "I'm happy about my legacy but this season is not going so smoothly. I've got to work, see what's going on, sit with my coach. With this pace, my legacy is going to be in trouble.''

The fastest 200 this year is the 19.68 run by Bolt's Brooklyn-born rival Justin Gatlin, who also has the top 100 time (9.74). They won't meet until the World Championships two months from now in Beijing, with neither competing in Saturday's 100, won by American Tyson Gay in a come-from-behind win.





rachel-dolezal.jpgRachel Dolezal stepped down from her position as the president of an NAACP chapter in Washington State on Monday - days after her ethnic identity became a national controversy.

The civil rights activist made the announcement in an open letter - posted on Facebook - to the organization's executive committee and members.

"It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley," she wrote.

Dolezal vowed to always fight for "what is right and good in this world" and thanked everyone who had supported her throughout the media firestorm that erupted over her ethnicity.





shocked.jpgA Finnish court on Monday sentenced a 36-year-old woman to life in prison for killing her five newborns between 2005 and 2013 and hiding them in a freezer.

The Oulu district court in western Finland found the woman guilty of five counts of murder and five counts of disturbing the peace of the dead for failing to give the babies proper burials.

"The homicides took place by leaving the newborns without care and warmth... Clearly this measure... caused particular agony to the babies," the court said in its ruling.

The woman, who has a 14-year-old son, had pleaded innocent and said the babies were all stillborn. But the court ruled on the basis of dental examinations that at least some of the babies had lived for up to four days before dying in a bucket where she had left them.

The horrific crimes were discovered in June 2014 when neighbours began to complain of a bad smell in the apartment building where a new couple had moved in. It was soon discovered that the woman had dumped the babies' bodies in garbage bags in the building's cellar. Previously she had managed to hide the bodies by keeping them in a freezer in her old apartment but there was no longer room for a freezer in the new apartment.

Court documents showed she had hid her pregnancies under loose clothing, and gave birth to the babies at home without anyone's knowledge.District prosecutor Sari Kemppainen told AFP that all of the babies were born full-term or nearly full-term.

The fathers of the first two babies were not identified, but in 2010 she married a man and got pregnant a third time. She later told him she had suffered a miscarriage. The husband went on to father two more babies, but was unaware of his wife's pregnancies or crimes. He petitioned for divorce immediately after the bodies were discovered.

When questioned by police, the mother was unable to explain why she had opted to keep, and not bury, the bodies.





Regional banks listed in US FIFA probe

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fifa-scandal.jpgSix regional banks including the JMMB Group owned Intercommercial Bank in Trinidad and Tobago, have been listed in the U.S. indictment against 14 people including present and past FIFA officials for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. indictment said Intercommercial Bank, First Citizens and Republic Bank - all based in Trinidad and Tobago - were used to complete wire transfers of large sums of money for FIFA officials.

Trinidad's Express Newspaper reported that two of the transactions in the US indictment including an alleged US$10 million bribe paid to former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner to host the 2010 World Cup passed through banks based in Trinidad and Tobago.

It also said the banks processed another US$1.2 million alleged bribe from Qatari billionaire Mohamed bin Hammam, for Warner's facilitation of the May 2011 CONCACAF meeting where the cash-for-votes scandal occurred.

The other three banks that were cited were First Caribbean International Bank operations in the Bahamas and Barclays and Fidelity banks in the Cayman Islands.

None of the banks has been charged with any crime or regulatory violation.





Ponzi schemes on the rise again

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A re-emergence of unregulated investment schemes which have been trying to solicit business from local investors has caught the attention of the police with initial checks being carried out into their operations.

The matter is being handled by the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch, C-TOC. Two weeks ago the Financial Services Commission, FSC, issued an advisory cautioning investors about solicitations by International Financial Services Limited which it said is not licensed to sell securities in Jamaica.

The spotlight is also on another entity, World Ventures Holdings. Head of C-TOC, Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis, last night said the police have taken preemptive steps.

The FSC says members of the public should verify the registration of any entity or individual offering an investment opportunity by checking the Commission's website.





The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit is advising members of the public to be cautious when purchasing meat in Riversdale, St. Catherine, following the slaughter of two pregnant cows on a farm in the community.

According to the unit, pregnant animals must not be slaughtered unless inspected by a registered veterinary surgeon, who certifies that the meat is fit for consumption. Head of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Francis, says there are also instances where the carcasses are transported in unsanitry conditions and this poses health risks.

Francis has urged members of the public with information on the slaighter of the cows in Riversdale to contact investigators as soon as possible.





GSAT results Wednesday

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gsat-results-2015.jpgThe Ministry of Education says the results for this year's sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test, GSAT, will be released to all Regional Offices on Wednesday.

In a release this morning, the Education Ministry said principals are asked to liaise with their respective Regional Offices to collect their packages commencing at 2pm.

It says this is to facilitate easy access and to quickly indicate to parents and students all placements following the sitting of the examination.

38,470 students were registered to sit this year's GSAT examination which took place on March 26 and 27.





Janet Jackson reveals 'Unbreakable' tour dates

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janet-jackson-tour.jpgSon's team announced the dates and cities for North American leg of her Unbreakable World Tour on Sunday. The concert series will start in Vancouver, Canada on Aug. 31 and conclude in Honolulu on Nov. 13.

Aug. 31 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Sep. 2 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Sep. 4 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Sep. 8 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Sep. 11 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Sep. 15 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Sep. 17 Raleigh, NC Walnut Creek Amphitheater
Sep. 18 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
Sep. 20 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
Sep. 23 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Sep. 24 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Sep. 26 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
Sep. 27 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater
Sep. 29 Memphis, TN Fedex Forum
Sep. 30 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
Oct. 9 Las Vegas, NV AXS at Planet Hollywood
Oct. 10 Las Vegas, NV AXS at Planet Hollywood
Oct. 16 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
Oct. 17 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena
Oct. 19 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Oct. 24 Salt Lake City, UT Energy Solutions Arena
Oct. 25 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Oct. 27. Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Oct. 29 St Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena
Oct 30. Omaha, NE Centurylink Center
Nov. 1 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Nov. 12 Honolulu, HI Neal S. Blaisdell Center
Nov. 13 Honolulu, HI Neal S. Blaisdell Center (on-sale date TBA)

This is Jackson's first trek across North America since here her Number Ones greatest hits tour in 2011.vTickets for the Unbreakable tour, ranging from $45 to $250 each, are to go on sale to the general public on June 22 at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at livenation.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000 FREE.

In addition to hitting the road and recording a new album, Jackson is also launching her own record label. With Rhythm Nation, Jackson will become the second African American female recording artist to form her own label.





Julian Marley working on new album

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julian-marley.jpgMarley is working on his fourth album which is expected to be out early next year. According to the 40-year-old singer, it will display his maturity as an artiste.

"A lot of creativity will be on the album. Creativity is something that flows each day and everyday life is an experience. I have matured and progressed a lot since my last album," said Marley.

Marley worked mainly with producers at Ghetto Youths International on the project. He is co-owner of that label along with his brothers Stephen and Damian, who produced his current single, Lemme Go.

The song is on the Corner 'riddim' and addresses recent moves to decriminalise ganja in Jamaica.

"It's great to see the herb getting free-up in Jamaica an' around the world. Reggae music an' the herb have enjoyed a good mix over the years and the hemp industry has been around for a while. People come to Jamaica for the music and the herb," he reasoned.

While there are plans for a few collaborations on the yet-titled album, Marley said it will comprise mainly live music.

The fifth of reggae icon Bob Marley's sons, Julian Marley was born in the United Kingdom. He learned to play several instruments in his youth, including keyboards, drums, bass and guitar.

He released his debut album, Lion in the Morning, in 1996. His second album, A Time And Place, came out in 2003.

His previous album, Awake (released in 2009), was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category.





Empire's V Bozeman wows CFW audience

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v-bozeman.jpgActress and singer, V Bozeman was simply sensational at the first of three Caribbean FashionWeek's (CFW) signature event held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew on Friday.

Bozeman, who plays Veronica in the American hit television series Empire, was dressed in a sexy, close-fitting black dress, and rocked a fiercely shaved hairdo.

The singer started her three-song set by powerfully churning out the lyrics to Race Jones.

Confidently walking the catwalk, Bozeman interacted with her fans then diverted into her second single, a rendition of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

Bozeman ignited her audience and had them hanging on to her every word throughout her set.

She reached the peak of her performance when she belted the crowd's favourite What is Love.

In the opening scene of Empire, Bozeman delivers a heart-wrenching performance of What is Love, which captivated viewers. That performance earned the second-highest downloaded song from the Empire soundtrack.

And her CFW's performance was just as compelling.

Ahead and after the live performance, over 10 designers showcased their creations on CFW's runway, which included handbags, footwear, and accessories.





xgully-bop-drops-new-video-with-dutch.jpgGully Bop's newest music video to accompany the single Miss Hottie Hottie, is already making waves a few weeks since its release. Miss Hottie Hottie is a collab with United Kingdom-based reggae artiste Dutch and the entire project was was recorded, produced, and filmed in England.

Tony Ra of 2DMP directed the music video in London while Gully Bop went on his first international tour. Dutch and Gully Bop had a reunion after not seeing each other for many years, resulting in a modern creation with a retro feel.

"Me and Bop go way back. It's a good feeling to see him again and celebrate his success. We wrote and recorded the song in no time for Crazy Rock Music. This video is of an old-fashion vibe, even the wardrobe. The ska bass line and rhythms make it all magical," said Dutch.

Gully Bop is equally jubilant about the release. "This combination song with me and Dutch - dah song ya bad! Dis song yah name old-time someting come back again. Di real ting me a talk 'bout. Me a talk 'bout ska. Feel good to do real authentic music that a guh live on," he said.

Gully Bop wrapped up his first European tour recently, after a month of promotion filled with appearances and performances.He journeyed to events in Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.





naacp-rachel-dolezal.jpgRachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP, is being accused of falsely portraying herself as a black woman, CBS News' Adriana Diaz reports.

Her biological parents claim she is misrepresenting "major portions of her life," including being born white. As the city's mayor says it has opened an investigation and is gathering facts to determine if any city policies were violated, Dolezal is denying these accusations.

"Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black. So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black," Dolezal said to Spokane affiliate KREM.

But Dolezal's biological parents say that's just not true.

"Our daughter is primarily German and Czech and of European descent," her mother said.

Her parents, Ruthanne and Larry, live in a rural home in Troy, Montana.

Her father described a young Dolezal as blonde, blue-eyed and freckled-face.

"No way to get around it," he said.

The couple say their daughter is pretending to be someone she's not.

"Rachel has wanted to be somebody she's not. She's chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African-American woman or a biracial person," Ruthanne said.

Dolezal's biography at Eastern Washington University says she received her master's degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C.

KREM-TV obtained police reports in which Dolezal claims to be the victim of several hate crimes. They found that police responded but no suspects were identified and no arrests were ever made.

She said the only ones questioning her identity are Larry and Ruthanne.

"I don't give two (expletive) what they think," Dolezal said.

"It's more important for me to clarify that with the black community and my executive board than with people who don't understand," she said.

In the past, Dolezal has identified herself as a mix of black, white and Native American.

Dolezal dismisses the controversy as little more than an ugly byproduct of family dysfunction.





malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-1.jpgFour Western tourists were ordered deported from Malaysia on Friday after pleading guilty to obscenity charges for taking nude photos on a popular climbing peak, an act some in the country blamed for causing a deadly earthquake.

The defendants -- Eleanor Hawkins of Britain, 24, Dutchman Dylan Snel, 23, and Canadian brother and sister Lindsey, 23, and Danielle Petersen, 22 -- were arrested earlier this week in the wake of the deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu.

A court in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo island, sentenced them to three days' jail time starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, meaning their term had been served.

They also were fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit ($1,330) and ordered deported for committing an "obscene act in a public place," which can carry a three-month jail term.

It was not immediately clear when they would be deported.





Bolt leads 200m at Adidas Grand Prix

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On Saturday June 13, 2015, the Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York City will come alive with the hosting of the Adidas Grand Prix athletics meet, the 7th of the 14 Diamond League series.

Seven years ago on a wet track in this stadium, Usain Bolt rewrote the history books with his first 100m world record of 9.72 seconds. Interestingly, the meet had to break midway due to a brief lightning storm which probably was a warning of the 'lightning run' the fans would witness later that night in the final event. As is customary, nowadays when Usain Bolt competes, the stadium is sold out way in advance and the World and Olympic champion's return to the 11th New York Adidas Grand Prix will guarantee another bumper crowd.

Bolt rarely runs in the United States and being a consummate entertainer, the world and Olympic champion may deliver another 'lightning' performance that will leave the New York fans ecstatic for a number of years to come. Interestingly, Bolt will be competing in the 200m on this occasion.

Last year at this meet, Jamaica's Warren Weir executed one of his best 200m races of the Diamond League season posting a stunning 19.82 seconds on his way to victory. One of the remarkable things about the race was seeing Warren Weir slowing down considerably for the last 10 metres. Weir has raced sparingly this season and will be using this meet as a serious examination of his form going into the Jamaica Senior trials 15 days later.

Usain Bolt will be competing in his third 200m this season. Bolt who is on a mission to protect his legacy over the next three years will be aiming for his first sub-20 second outing this year. The world record holder has an automatic bye in both sprints for the World Championship in August and will be using this 200m race to sharpen up. Other notable contenders in the event include Diamond Race leader Alonso Edward of Panama, Curtis Mitchell of the U.S.A and T&T's Richard Thompson.





chris-brown-and-kendrick-lamar.jpgR&B superstar Chris Brown, who leads the pack with six nominations, is among the first performers to be announced for the 2015 BET Awards show.

His "Autumn Leaves" collaborator Kendrick Lamar will also take the stage at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The rap MVP is riding high off the success of his chart-topping album 'To Pimp a Butterfly'.

Additionally, Zendaya and actor Michael B. Jordan have been announced as the first presenters for the 15th anniversary event.

Nicki Minaj ties Brown with six nominations, while Beyoncé and Lil Wayne score four nods each.

Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the BET Awards 2015 will air live on Sunday, June 28.

Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the weeks ahead.





Barky from Bass Odyssey is dead

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barky-bass-odyssey.jpgAlvin 'Barky' McCarty, a longtime member of the Bass Odyssey sound system, died Monday at his home in Alexandria, St Ann.

Bass Odyssey's CEO Keith Ralford said the team "is shocked and saddened" by McCarty's sudden passing.

"You were a part of the crew from 1989. From the very first sound box, up to now. No riches, no name. Your contribution is forever written in history," read a post on the 'sound's Facebook page.

Ralford said McCarty who was in his 50s, showed no sign of illness. He last saw him on Saturday.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.





All systems go for CFW

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cfw.jpgIt's all systems go for this year's staging of Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW).

The runway show kicks off tonight at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew and Kingsley Cooper, chief executive officer of Pulse, organisers of the event, notes that everything is in place for the start of the 15th anniversary staging.

"There are 40 designers in town representing a number of countries in North America and the wider Caribbean. Everything is in place and we anticipate a great show. Our models including Jeniel Williams and Oraine Barrett are here. Our latest star, Francine James, is busy having just shot 14 pages for German Vogue that it is unlikely she will make it."

Cooper is pleased with the contingent coming from the Caribbean island of Tobago.

"They have the largest contingent coming from any one country and we are happy to have them with us. They are developing their own fashion industry and see CFW as an excellend platform."

Seven Tobagonian designers will showcase their talent at CFW. The Division of Finance and Enterprise Development in that country has co-ordinated this year's participation.Designers Kirsten Benjamin, Juliet Bernard, Ted Arthur, Lydia Arnaud-Lawrence (L.O.C.K Creations), and Cherie Warner (Cee Wee Designs), are returning to CFW for the second time, while Cassey Daniel (Yesa! Designs) and Camille Khan (Kamille Kahn Designs), are both making their CFW debut.





diaspora-conference.jpgMembers of the Diaspora and Jamaicans at home will gather at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James, from June 13 to 18, to participate in the sixth staging of the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

Activities will include a business and cultural exposition, a range of meetings to address investment opportunities and social activities, culminating with a Diaspora Day of Service.

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.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, tells JIS News that the last staging saw a record number of diaspora members in attendance. He is hoping the number will increase in 2015.

"Our intent is to have 1,000 local participants and hopefully, we will have an equal amount from the Diaspora in attendance at the conference," he says.

Since its inception in 2004, the event has grown, and in 2013 more than 1,500 participants attended the conference.

He notes that efforts are being made to increase the turnout through the deliberate targeting of the Diaspora outside of the traditional areas of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada.

Since the conference was officially launched in February 2015 by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, Mr. Brown says several others have been held to promote it overseas, noting that the first international launch was held at the St. Georges Episcopal Church, in New York.

"Consequent upon the New York launch, we launched in Canada from the 12th of April to the 19th of April. There were launches in Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and all launch events have gone fairly well," he adds.

So far, over 1000 persons have registered for the conference.





bigga-ford.jpgHead of the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford, believes a recent break-in at a wholesale on Spanish Town Road is behind Thursday's shooting in West Kingston

SSP Ford says four persons were shot in the Coronation Market and one in Tivoli Gardens near to Darling Street. He warned that police would be pulling out all the stops to capture those responsible.

"I just want to use the opportunity to let Jamaica know what is happening in the area," said Ford.

"In the last five weeks the division was peaceful and quiet. These latest attacks are in retaliation to a recent incident where the wholesale of a well-known businessman was robbed," the senior cop added.

Police said more than $1 million worth of items were stolen from the business.

"Since this incident there have been a series of attacks, which have so far claimed the life of one person," Ford told the Observer.

He said that in response to the developments police have not only increased their presence in the area but have also identified some of the individuals who they believe are key players in the ongoing feud.

He says all five are at hospital.





malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-1.jpgA group of Western tourists who sparked anger in Malaysia for posing naked on top of a sacred mountain could be sentenced to three months in prison - or face a traditional Malay tribunal and pay a fine of 10 buffalo.

Eleanor Hawkins, a 24-year-old from Derby, was arrested on Tuesday after a photograph appeared showing her and nine others posing naked on top of Mount Kinabalu.

Of the ten tourists, five have been arrested, including a Canadian brother and sister, Lindsey, 22, and 23-year-old Danielle Peterson; another Candadian, 33-year-old Emil Kaminski, and a Dutch man, Dylan Snel, 23.

Authorities are currently searching for the other five people involved.

The detained group are being held in at Karamunsing police station in Kota Kinabalu, the main town near Mount Kimbalu.

According to Malaysian law, the punishment for such an offence is a fine of 400 ringgit ($106).

Mount Kinabalu, a World Heritage Site and popular climbing destination, is considered sacred by Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribal group, who believe it is a resting place for spirits. The pictures infuriated many in Malaysia.

On Friday a 6.0-magnitude quake struck near the mountain, sending landslides crashing down from its summit just as more than 150 hikers were at the peak enjoying sunrise views.

Sixteen people have been confirmed killed on the mountain and two remain missing.

In the wake of the disaster, Malaysian social media users and some Sabah officials have focused on the nudists, suggesting that their actions angered the spirits and led to the earthquake.

"This will certainly bring misfortune... we can't play with the spirit of the sacred mountain," deputy state chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan had told reporters on Saturday.malaysia-mount-kinabalu-naked-tourists-photo-2.jpg





jack-warner-photo-1.jpgThe media frenzy surrounding former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner continued on Sunday as a reporter from UK news station Channel 4 was asked to leave his office.

Jonathan Rugman and his camera crew went to Warner's constituency office on Sunday to question him over an alleged US$10 million bribe.

Rugman was curious as to why they couldn't question him and stood in his office to film the video, while Warner sat in silence behind him.

"We've been given permission to film Jack Warner in his constituency office this morning but we've been told we cant ask him any questions, we can't ask, for example, whether he was part of a scheme to receive $10 million in bribes to rig the location of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, that is the allegation," he said.

In response Warner asked that they respect his privacy, eventually becoming exasperated and stood up at his desk, while his security asked the Channel 4 team to leave.





robert-pumpkinhead-diaz.jpgNew York-based rapper Robert 'Pumpkinhead' Diaz has died at the age of 39.

The Orange Moon Over Brooklyn singer died on Tuesday, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The cause of his death is not know. His passing comes just days after undergoing minor surgery in New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with the couple's daughter, and two sons.

Diaz first became famous in 1997 with the release of his song Dynamic.

He then released two albums - The Old Testament in 2001 and Beautiful Mind in 2003. Orange Moon Over Brooklyn came out in 2005.

Pumpkinhead also sang on albums by Immortal Technique and Jean Grae.

The rap community on the East Coast have mourned his passing.

Musician Kweli wrote on Instagram, 'There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz.'

Immortal Technique said Diaz was a great supporter of other artists.





richi-homie-quan.jpgAmerican rapper Rich Homie Quan is in the island utilising the facility at Geejam Studios for the recording of his soon-to- be-released album.

According to the rapper, who revealed his location to the public via social media, working at the Port Antonio, Portland-based recording studio generates a different vibe.

"I'm in Jamaica as we speak, man. yea, man, working on album, different thoughts. yea, man, real trees, real water, album on the way," he posted to his Instagram.

The rapper recently severed ties with veteran producer Birdman and his Rich Gang group, opting to manage and self produce his projects. He is also promoting a new mix-tape called If You EverThink I Will Stop Going In Ask RR.

Rich Homie Quan broke on to the scene in 2013 with hit record Type of Way. He then followed up with My Ni@@a and Lifestyle among others.

His latest hit single, Flex Ooh Ooh Ooh, currently sits at number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Other international acts who have worked at Geejam include Neyo, Alecia Keys, Solange Knowles, and Kathy Perry among others.





jennifer-hudson.jpgAmerican recording artiste Jennifer Hudson is the confirmed headliner for the final night of Reggae Sumfest 2015, Saturday July 18th at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay.

Johnny Gourzong Executive Director of Summerfest Productions, producers of the event, made the announcement in a press release.

"We are extremely happy to have been able to confirm Jennifer Hudson as the headline artiste on International Night 2. She is a powerhouse vocalist and a has huge catalogue of hits that Jamaicans and people from all across the world know and love," Gourzong said.

This will be the first time that Hudson will perform in Jamaica and she is looking forward to it."We understand that she is anticipating the trip to Jamaica and is already preparing for her performance," he added.

An international superstar, Hudson made her film debut as Effie White in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, garnering her several awards that year, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hudson went to release her first Grammy-winning, RIAA Gold Certified album in 2008.

The self-titled album entered Billboard's Top 200 at No 2 and marked the biggest first week sales for an R and B female entry since 2004 and has since sold over 1.1 million albums worldwide to date. Hudson's sophomore album, I Remember Me, was introduced on March 22, 2011 to rave reviews. The album debuted at No 2 on Billboard's Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the US. Most recently, Hudson released her third critically acclaimed album, JHUD, which opened in the Billboard Top 10 on September 23, 2014. The album, released by Sony/RCA, features hit tracks in collaboration with the likes of Pharrell Williams, R Kelly, Iggy Azalea and OVO/1985.

Reggae Sumfest begins on Sunday July 12 with a beach party at the Aquasol Theme Park, All White party at Pier 1 on Tuesday July 14 and the main event, Thursday July 16 to Saturday July 18 at Catherine Hall. The event is being held in association with sponsors - Digicel, Iberostar, Secrets, Pepsi, Jamaica Tourist Board, Red Stripe, Red Bull and the Gleaner.





Copyright Act debate continues

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copyright.jpgCopyright stakeholders will be watching today's Parliamentary debate closely on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to increase protection for Jamaica's copyright holders.

One of the main issues being discussed is the extension of copyright protection from the life of the author plus 50 years, to the life of the author plus 95 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was made.

The Bill also notes that the current Copyright Act does not explicitly protect intellectual property rights over digital networks.

"Without clear protection in the digital environment, e-commerce activities in Jamaica by musicians, performers, publishers and authors would be at risk, and the right holders would not be able to derive the potential revenue from this stream of commerce provided by the Internet," the Bill's memorandum of objects and reasons points out.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton thinks that the copyright industry has potential for economic growth and the creation of wealth across all sections of the society.





14-year-old killed by gunmen

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Gunmen reportedly shot four males, killing a 14-year-old and another, in the Malcolm Heights community of Lucea, Hanover early this morning.

Reports are that the four were asleep in a house in the area when gunmen broke in and shot them.

The injured men have reportedly been admitted to hospital in serious conditions.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed the incident but said the scene is still being processed.





A woman has been taken into custody as the police investigate a narcotics trafficking ring which reportedly involves one of their colleagues.

A 43-year-old constable, who has been a member of the Force for 20 years, was held on Sunday during a raid involving MOCA.

The constable, who is assigned to the Kingston Central Division, is facing drug charges. A statement from MOCA said the woman was arrested after the cop was taken into custody.

According to reports, the constable was stopped by a MOCA team while travelling on the Palisadoes main road. He was en route to the Norman Manley International Airport. His vehicle was searched and ganja along with US$7- thousand and more than J$100-thousand reportedly seized. Investigations led MOCA detectives to a house in St. Catherine.

During a search of the premises in Bridgeport, ganja and cash were seized and the woman taken into custody.





18-year-old charged with bestiality

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court-bestiality.jpgMany persons lost their composure in the Spanish Town RM Court on June 9, when it was announced that an 18-year-old man from Milk River, Clarendon, had been charged with bestiality.

Reports are the teenager was doing construction work in Old Harbour, when he was allegedly caught having sex with a goat "wheel barrow" style.

When the allegation was read out in open court, the usually stern-faced RM Lyle Armstrong had a smile on her face. It took a few minutes before order could be returned to the proceedings.

The accused was granted bail in the sum of $80,000 with 1 to 3 sureties.

He is to report to the Old Harbour Police on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 6 a.m and 6 p.m.





Cocaine Ras begs judge for mercy

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court-bestiality.jpgA Rastafarian man who was caught trying to export a quantity of cocaine was slapped with fines and imprisonment when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's (RM) Court Monday.

Charged with possession, dealing, taking steps to export and conspiracy to export is Bentley Lewis.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

The court was told that when Lewis was cautioned, he said, "Yes, mi know a coke Is a man give me fi go foreign."

Senior RM Judith Pusey asked the accused: "Why shouldn't you go to jail for this?"

He said: "Mi a beg yuh likkle leniency, beg yuh likkle mercy. When I was doing what I did I did not think of the consequences."

The court heard that the drug weighed one pound, six ounces.

Lewis was fined $150,000, or six months for possession; $250,000, or six months

for dealing; $350,000, or eight months for attempting to export, plus 12 months for conspiracy. If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently, but consecutive to the 12- month sentence.

A fingerprint order was also made against Lewis.





8-year-old commits suicide; found hanging

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shocked.jpgA family is in mourning following a child's suspected suicide at his home in Gordon Town, St Andrew on Tuesday.

The deceased is Chad Robinson of Dublin Castle in the community. He reportedly went missing around 9pm. He was later found hanging by his shoelaces from a ladder in the yard.

The Gordon Town police was summoned and the body was removed.





CAYMAN: Acting head of fire services suspended

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cayman-john-bodden-acting-chief-fire-officer.jpgJohn Bodden, acting Chief Fire Officer of the the Cayman Islands, has been suspended, with pay, pending the outcome of a police investigation against him.

Cayman Islands Police have confirmed that Mr. Bodden remains on bail on suspicion of dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident in January, but he has not been charged with a crime, so far.

Mr. Bodden was arrested last Thursday and his vehicle seized as part of the police investigation.





usain-model.jpgUsain Bolt has seen his rank among the highest paid athletes in the world fall significantly, but not because of a major decline in his earnings.

Influential business magazine, Forbes, estimates the athlete earned US$21 million in the last 12 months, which was enough to rank him at number 73 among the top earning athletes in the world. That was just US$2 million lower than the US$23 million he earned in the prior year which had him ranked at 46th.

Bolt picks up most of his earnings from endorsements with Puma, his chief sponsor, responsible for US$10 million of the amount through to the 2017 World Championships, which is the year in which he is expected to retire.

After retirement, Puma is contracted to pay him US$4 million a year through to 2025.

The top five earning athletes last year were boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, footballers Critiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Tennis star Roger Federer.





adele-21.jpgAdele's album '21' is the biggest-selling album of the decade to date in the U.K. The British singer's sophomore set has sold more than 4.75 million copies in her homeland. The album spent 23 weeks at the UK chart.

The recording has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, following its arrival in 2011.

Adele's 21 was named the best-selling album of the millennium in an OCC report issued in March.

There's still no firm release date, or even a title, for her third studio album.





Jamaica Film Festival launched

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minister-launches-festival-2015.jpgThe inaugural Jamaica Film Festival was recently launched at Jampro's Business Auditorium in Kingston.

The festival aims to provide an avenue for local film makers to show their work and to receive technical assistance from experts in the film and media industry.

The event will run for five days July, 7-11, and features workshops and screenings.





sly-and-robbie.jpgA group of Jamaican musicians have arrived in Cuba for the first recorded musical collaboration between Jamaican and Cuban instrument players.

Bongo Herman, Sly and Robbie, and Bopee are among the Jamaicans who left the island yesterday for the project.

Jake Savana, the Australian producer who is the organizer, sayss he has worked with Jamaican musicians and considers this a special moment.

He says the musicians will start their recording today.

The project is being done to showcase the musical styles of Jamaica and Cuba.





omi-cheerleader.jpgRecording artiste OMI, who is managed and produced by Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon, is on the verge of breaking into the Billboard Hot 100 top 10, with the remix of his song 'Cheerleader' by Germany-born Flex Jaehn. The single currently sits at number 11.

The remix, which was released in May 2014 by the United States-based recording label, Ultra Music, has climbed steadily on several foreign radio charts. It has also been playlisted on several radio stations, including the French radio station NRJ, East FM and Swedish radio station SR P3.

OMI, who inked a deal with Ultra Music in 2014, is also working with international label Sony Music Entertainment. He toured Europe extensively to promote the song, and says that the next step is to direct some of the attention to the United States' market. Given that some of OMI's focus has now been directed to the US market, the single has steadily climbed the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Since making its debut last month at number 95, Cheerleader has moved swiftly to the top 20, ahead of Shaggy's I Need Your Love which sits at number 66.

Wiz Khalifa's See You Again currently sits at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, however, the popular Fast and The Furious sound track single still trails OMI's Cheerleader in France despite leading the way on several other international charts.

According to an article posted on Billboard.com in May, based on growing popularity of Cheerleader in the US market, the single seems destined for the number one spot.

"Jamaican singer OMI's quickly rising Cheerleader is going to be the next ruler of the Hot 100. In two weeks on the chart, Cheerleader has already gone from No 95 to No 63 - so they might just be on to something", the page posted.





Under the theme, 'Proud and Free!' Jamaica 53, the 2015 Emancipation and Independence celebrations were launched yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Culture minister, Lisa Hanna, who spoke at the launch, said a series of activities will be staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to commemorate the events.

"We will also see the return of Festival Fashion. The usual annual events including Mello Go Round, Grand Gala as well as the Emancipation vigil in all parishes will take place. We want to unite the country in our major celebration," said Hanna.

A national emancipation and independence church service will kick off celebratory events on July 26 at the St Jago De La Vega Cathedral in Spanish Town.

On July 31, there will be a national celebration of the Emancipation Jubilee at Seville Heritage Park in St Ann. That day, Emancipation vigils will be held in St Thomas, Clarendon, Portland, Hanover, Trelawny, Manchester, Westmoreland, St Catherine, St Mary, St Elizabeth and St James.

On August 1, Emancipation Day, there will be a national celebration at what is dubbed Market Place on Hope Road in Kingston. The coronation of the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen takes place later that evening at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The final of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition is scheduled for August 2. The following day sees the return of Auntie Roachie Festival and Fashion Greets Music festival, at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

On August 6, Independence Day, the Grand Gala is at the National Stadium.





mothers-enterprise-operator.jpgThe operator of Mother's Enterprise, Richard Foreman, was arrested and charged on Thursday by the Fraud Squad.

Foreman has been charged with creating public mischief after allegedly filing a false report to the police.

It's reported that last year, the 56 year old businessman gave CARMAX Limited a vehicle to sell.

Following the collapse of the car dealership, Foreman went to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station last month and reported the vehicle stolen.

An investigation was conducted and it was discovered he had filed a false report.

Foreman, who is represented by attorney, Peter Champagnie, has been released on J$200-thousand station bail.

He's booked to appear before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on July 15.





Shooting in downtown Kingston leaves 4 injured

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A section of downtown Kingston is tense following a shooting in the busy market district, which left four persons injured.

Reports are that armed men travelling in a car went to Lizard Town, near Coronation Market, where they shot and seriously injured a man, known only as "Bigga". Three other persons were shot in the attack, but their conditions are not known.

Senior Superintendent Cornwall "Bigga" Ford, head of the Kingston Western Police, has appealed for calm in the area.

"With support of the police high command I have put all the resources necessary in that location, he said"

According to Superintendent Ford, the shooting stemmed from a recent break-in at a store. This reportedly led to the shooting death of a man from West Kingston.





shanique-myrie.jpgShanique Myrie who made headlines by taking the Barbados Government to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) after she was denied entry is entering representational politics.

Peoples' National Party (PNP) insiders confirmed that Myrie has been given the nod to represent the PNP in the next Local Government elections.

On Sunday at the PNP's Olympic Gardens Divisional Conference,delegates endorsed her application to represent the party.The incumbent is the Jamaica Labour Party's Christopher Townsend.

A recommendation regarding Miss Myrie was presented at Wednesday night's monthly Constituency Executive meeting.

A source said it is now left to the Party's Region Three executive to ratify Myrie's application.

In a landmark ruling the six-member CCJ panel ruled that Myrie was wrongfully denied entry by Barbados border officials in March 2011.

She was awarded damages after she filed a lawsuit claiming she was subjected to a dehumanising cavity search by a female immigration officer.





14-y-o-student-executed-leon-grant.jpgThe double murder on Tuesday of 14-year-old Leon Grant and 20-year-old unemployed Travis 'Shane' McKenzie, both of Malcolm Drive, Lucea, has brought to 14 the number of homicides recorded by the Hanover police since the start of the year.

The brutal slaying of the Rhodes Hall High School student and his brother during a pre-dawn attack at their home in Lucea on Tuesday has left the community in shock and the school in mourning. At Rhodes Hall High School, traumatised staff members and students were fighting to come to grips with the tragedy.Principal Loreen Aljoe said the slain teen possessed leadership qualities.

"He was assisting because I guess he had that kind of leadership quality about him. He is a leader. The others looked up to him. So for us it's a loss. We never got the opportunity to see Leon graduate," Aljoe lamented.

She said Leon was well-liked by his peers and the teaching and ancillary staff.

"When we came this [Tuesday] morning we had teachers crying, students crying, everybody, because

Leon was a popular student here. So everybody knows Leon," said Aljoe.

She explained that Leon was one of the school's success stories, having drastically changed for the better since grade seven following the intervention of teachers.

The incident occurred about 2:00 am Tuesday, when masked men kicked open the front door to the home and started shooting.

Leon was hauled outside the house and shot execution style, even as his mother hurled a hammer at his killers, a police source explained.

This led the detectives to surmise that McKenzie may have been the target of the attack because the shooters did not attempt to harm his mother when she went to her son's assistance.

Investigators later removed spent shells, fired from AK-47 and M-16 rifles, .9mm and .45 pistols, from the scene.

Meanwhile, the Hanover police have taken one man into custody in connection with the murders. Investigators have linked the murders to the multi-million-dollar lottery scam targeting United States citizens, most of them elderly.

Their 24-year-old sister and stepfather have being treated for gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting.

An incident on Labour Day in which a car belonging to a family member was shot up foreshadowed Tuesday's attack.





Kalado is a wagonist, says Bad Boy Trevor

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kalado-photo-7.jpgWhen Beenie Man took the mic from Bad Boy Trevor last week and sternly reprimanded him for trying to freak out Dancehall and turn it into a go-go club, one artiste who showed support for Beenie's actions was Kalado.

Kalado has gone on record thanking Beenie Man for saving Dancehall.

As Expected, with the accolades being heaped on Beenie Man, some of the praise has fallen from Beenie Man's head to Kalado's shoulders.

Bad Boy Trevor, however, while saying that he has no problem with Beenie Man doing what he did, he has a few choice words for Kalado.

"Kalado is a wagonist. He was there in the venue all along enjoying the thing. He didn't open his mouth to speak out against it until Beenie Man walked up to the stage and started to lash out."

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direct-flights.jpgA new direct flight from Ireland to Jamaica will be added for summer 2016, according to the tourism Ministry.

The flight, added through Falcon Holidays and Thomson Holidays, both part of the Tourist Union International (TUI) Group, is as a result of continuous upward trends in stopover visitor arrivals from Europe. The European Conglomerate TUI Group, has been helping to drive significant growth out of the European market, the ministry says.

Making the announcement Saturday at the 54th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill said TUI will roll out its new charter programme from Dublin, Ireland using a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Beginning June 2016, the service will run six flights weekly with holiday packages running for two weeks, thereby adding an additional 12, 222 room nights for the destination.

"We have TUI's assurance that should this short programme be successful they will consider expanding into the following summer," Minister McNeill noted.

He had more good news of increased airlift out of Europe later this year. Commencing November 29, Ving, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Nordic, will operate new service from Gothenburg, Sweden via Oslo Norway, to Montego Bay.

Also, commencing mid-December the fortnightly service, which TUI Sweden operated from Stockholm to Montego Bay last winter, will be doubled to weekly flights for the 2015/16 winter season, the release stated.

The ministry explained that the renewed thrust in Europe is bolstered by the fact that arrivals from January to April 2015 out of that market went up by 9.1 per cent over the corresponding period last year, with a total of 95,177 stopover visitors gracing Jamaica's shores.





Zika virus spreads from Brazil to Dom Rep

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zika-virus.jpgAs the Jamaican authorities put preventive measures in place for the zika virus, the Dominican Republic is reporting that it has recorded its first case of the mosquito-borne illness.

A 12-year-old girl from Puerto Plata has become the first person to contract the virus in that country. According to a newspaper report, the patient is hospitalised in a private clinic in the northern city. No further information on her condition has been revealed.

A month ago the Brazilian media reported on a number of zika virus infections in Bahia state and other places. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The main clinical symptoms in patients are fever, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and a rash.

Jamaica's Ministry of Health has been urging persons to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to prevent the Zika virus from reaching Jamaica.





A Detective Constable suspected of being involved in a major drug network,was arrested Sunday morning during a sting operation along the Palisadoes Main Road in Kingston.He is a 20-year veteran of the Police Force,

It's understood that investigators from Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption agency MOCA intercepted the constable's vehicle and seized more than 19 parcels containing ganja.A large quantity of US currency was also allegedly seized in the vehicle.

Investigators theorised that the policeman was travelling to the Norman Manley International Airport to drop off the shipment of ganja.It's understood that MOCA moved in on the policeman after placing him under surveillance.

His St Andrew home was also raided as part of a drug trafficking and money laundering investigation.





Head of the St James Police Division, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, says the shooting of a parent at a school in the parish on is linked to lottery scamming. Sheldon Dennis, 28, was killed because of a dispute over the proceeds from the illegal scamming activity.

Cops have since arrested a man in connection with Friday morning's murder of Dennis, a parent at the St Mary's Preparatory and Kindergarten School. Reports are that Dennis had arrived at the institution to drop off his two children when he was chased by gunmen and shot repeatedly.

Students and school staff have been severely traumatised by the incident which caused classes to be suspended for the day.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgThe high death toll on the roads has been a cause of concern for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who urged Jamaicans to take greater personal responsibility for road safety, even as the Government implements strategic measures to make the use of the nation's roads safer for all.

Since January 1 this year, 150 people have died in road crashes, a figure which represents an increase of nine more deaths when compared to the corresponding period last year.

Addressing the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association's (JGRA) National Road Safety Month launch, at Coore's Fesco service station in Angels, St. Catherine, Simpson Miller said that as part of efforts to reduce road crashes Government will be updating the Road Traffic Act and continue to carry out various public awareness campaigns.

She said the Government is also looking at implementing more electronic surveillance systems in order to curb speeding and the running of red lights.

She also said that it will take the combined efforts of all Jamaicans to reverse the developing trend of increased deaths due to road crashes.

"The most direct and effective action to improve road safety is personal responsibility by road users," she said.





lisa-hanna-photo-3.jpgMinister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna was on Sunday night hospitalised after a car crash on the Spanish Town leg of Highway 2000.

According to reports, Hanna was travelling in a Toyota Corolla motorcar which crashed after trying to swerve out the way of the scene of another accident. Her driver was also injured.

Hanna is said to be suffering from chest pains after the air bag opened on impact. She was taken to hospital by security minister Peter Bunting who was also coming from an event where Hanna was in attendance.

The Youth and Culture Minister took to social media to thank well wishers. She also shared a photo of the mangled remains of the vehicle involved in the accident.

"Thank you for the concern. There was an existing accident on the highway and the cars had no lights, we swerved out of the way. God is great! I was on the passenger side in the front. P and I were able to walk out of the car and taken to the hospital," she said.

Hanna was said to have undergone x-Ray examination and CT scans.

She is expected to be released from hospital on Monday.





Reports reaching YardFLex are that a member of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force recently attacked his girlfriend and removeD one of her body parts because he became suspicious that she was cheating on him.

According to various accounts of the incident, the policeman from Portland was having an affair with the woman, but things apparently went sour because he became suspicious of her activities, which he linked to infidelity.

The cop reportedly reached breaking point recently and proceeded to cut out the woman's vagina and douse her with a substance similar to acid.

Please note that the picture below is very graphic.

policeman-cuts-out-cheating-girlfriend-vagina.jpg





yazz-the-greatest-getty-image.jpgYoung, up and coming rapper, Yazz, from the hit TV show 'Empire', has been confirmed to appear at this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest, which will run from July 12-18, at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.

The 21-year-old rapper/actor is scheduled to perform on International night one of the annual concert on Friday July 17. Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director of Summerfest Productions, producers of the event is ecstatic at the young acts inclusion.

"Summerfest is committed to the development of music in this hemisphere and believes that young artistes must have a platform to showcase their talents. The Sumfest stage has been the platform for many young acts and we are happy to confirm that Yazz will be one of those at the 2015 staging," Gourzong said.

Yazz is popularly known for his role in the thrilling television series 'Empire', as Hakeem Lyon, an aspiring rapper and son of platinum rapper and producer, Lucious Lyons.

Born Bryshere Gray, Yazz the Greatest as he is known on stage, is already a skilled hip hop artist in his own right. He started rapping at the age of 16, after being injured playing football for the Overbrook High School team. The Philadelphia rapper spent his recoup months studying music and in 2011 released his first music video for his single 'Ransom', which earned him a place as one of the city's top young artiste.

Although he is yet to officially release his debut album, Yazz has been making a buzz since 2013 with tours and appearances at music festivals including Jay Z's Made in America Festival.





deva-bratt-photo-1.jpgDancehall artiste Deva Brat is again showing his bratty side. A warrant has been issued for his arrest in the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida after he failed to appear in court to answer to charges of driving without a valid licence.

"An open warrant was issued. He was supposed to appear in court at 9:00 on Monday but failed to appear," one source told Loop Jamaica.

However, when contacted, Deva Bratt told a reporter that he has just arrived in New York on a flight from Florida, and that he was a "busy man".

"Mi just fly from Florida to New York, so what is this all about? Mi nuh know what this is all about, how people love me so? Mi like it. Mek dem gwaan love me continuously because if yu nuh have haters, you are nothing," he said.

The artiste, whose real name is Sheldon Owen Smith, recently escaped a batter case in Boca Raton, Florida, as it was thrown out due to an "uncooperative victim". Battery is an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with another person.

The artiste, who was an integral member of the Kartel-led Portmore Empire, is known for the single, Gussie Clarke which hit number one on various charts over seven years ago. He has a checkered criminal history and he has been acquitted of indecent assault and assault occasioning bodily harm of two females in the Spanish Town RM Court in St Catherine in 2012.

Prior to that, he was freed of a carnal abuse charge following an incident in 2008 involving a minor.





Kranium happy at repping on Rihanna's album

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"I did, actually. I can't even talk on it, but I can say that I've been in studio working on projects with Rihanna - well, for Rihanna, basically. I flew to Italy and we did some work and it's looking good, so we'll see how it goes," dancehall artiste Kranium said in a recent radio interview.

Pop princess, Rihanna, has been teasing fans about her eighth studio album and has also been hinting she wants to throw in some reggae and dancehall tracks in the final compilation. She says she wants to create timeless music.

Online articles revealed that the singer's camp reached out to several dancehall and reggae artistes. At least one such artiste has come forward saying Rihanna has been making good on her promises.

In an interview with ABC News Radio, one of dancehall's newest sensations, Kranium, said he has done work for the R&B singer that will be included in her upcoming album. Kranium also spoke on why collaborating with mainstream stars is a big deal for many reggae and dancehall acts. "It's very good! I mean, at the end of the day, that's Rihanna, you know. You have R&B artistes that come to Jamaica to work with certain reggae artistes because we are big in our own world," he explained. "You know, it's just perfect when it's clashed, so I'm just taking it one day at a t