December 2016 Archives

Carrie Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds dead at 84

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carrie-fisher-s-mother-debbie-reynolds-above-together-in-2015.jpgDebbie Reynolds, the Oscar-nominated singer-actress who was the mother of late actress Carrie Fisher, has died at Cedars-Sinai hospital. She was 84.

"She wanted to be with Carrie," her son Todd Fisher told Variety.

She was taken to the hospital from Carrie Fisher's Beverly Hills house Wednesday after suffering a stroke, the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died.

The vivacious blonde, who had a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship with her daughter, was one of MGM's principal stars of the 1950s and '60s in such films as the 1952 classic "Singin' in the Rain" and 1964's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," for which she received an Oscar nomination as best actress.

Reynolds received the SAG lifetime achievement award in January 2015; in August of that year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted to present the actress with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Nov. 14 Governors Awards, but she was unable to attend the ceremony due to an "unexpectedly long recovery from a recent surgery."

Carrie Fisher died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday.

The actress never regained consciousness after suffering a heart attack on board a United Airline flight from London to LAX on Christmas Eve.

Fisher went in to cardiac arrest 15 minutes before the aircraft was due to land and received CPR from a paramedic who was also traveling on the flight. Lourd confirmed her mother's death on Tuesday.

'It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,' a spokesman for Lourd, 24, said.

The star's daughter added: 'She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.

'Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.' Star Wars fans the world over are mourning her death.

Some flocked to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to lay flowers on her star while millions shared their grief online.





 

Man who shot up police station killed

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe man who opened gunfire inside the Hunts Bay Police Station this afternoon was killed by police, it has been reported.

The police said the gunman, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, went to the police station with the intention of killing a man who was reporting to the station regarding a criminal matter.

His target and a woman were reportedly shot and have been taken to hospital for treatment.





kip-rich-sting-awards.jpgPathetic is perhaps the kindest word one could find to describe the travesty that took place on the lawns of Devon House on Boxing Day, December 26, 2016. What was packaged as a red-carpet-invitation-only awards ceremony to recognize those who have contributed to the success of Sting over the umpteen years of the show's existence, turned out to be a hard lesson in what not to do when staging an event of this nature.

First of all, the e-vites asked invited guests and their 'plus one' to arrive by 7:00 PM. However, the poorly produced and scantily attended event did not get started until close to 10:PM. Not only that, but in the absence of a vital guest list at the entrance, the security told guests that they would not be allowed to enter without their invitation. What the hell!? Seriously? Who attends these function with an invitation? It gets better. Having been informed that the invitations were sent via email, the security then asked the invited guests to show him their invitations ...on their emails.... using their smart phones. Ohhhhhh!!!! The audacity of it all!

Well, having passed the intense scrutiny and the sickie finally flying the pearly gates, we were gleefully rubbing our palms -- and everything else -- in anticipation of having quite a treat. Surely, no less a being than the angel Gabriel would have been seen beyond the gate, perhaps serenading us with his harp. That was not to be. What? No Gabriel...after that invasive background check at the gate? Okay, we were prepared to see at least Barack Obama....nope. Oprah Winfrey?..Nope. Donald Trump? The Pope? No and No.

After doing a walkabout, and being careful not to get our heels sinking in the grass, we finally spotted the night's big celeb, looking rather important amidst a gaggle of ordinary folk...none other than Kippo. Looking quite dapper and taking his role as the headline act at the event, the man who was awarded the Sting Clash Champion plaque said he was honoured to receive the award.

Actually, Kip Rich saved the night for Isaiah Laing and his Supreme Promotions partners, because he was the biggest artiste to grace the event with his presence.

Just take a quick listen to the roll call of the awardees who were absent: Brigadier Jerry, Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Masicka. Selector Skyjuice, Junior Reid, Michael "Lick Shot" Palmer, Half Pint, Vybz Kartel, Buju Banton, Etana, Sagitarius Band, Merciless, Stitchie, Beenie Man, Papa San, Pinchers, Lady G, Ninjaman, Sister Charmaine, and Bounty Killer .

None of the Icons of Sting were present or sent representatives; none of the incarcerated artistes sent reps and of the Sting Hall of Fame inductees, only two sent representatives -- Ruff Kutt Band and Capleton. All the others were no-shows.

If after 32 years in the business of producing an annual stage show of the magnitude of a Sting, the organisers could not get one lickle awards show right, then it's little wonder that Sting is in the mess that it has found itself. And did we mention that the host for the evening was originally reading from a piece of paper with hand-writing scribbled thereon? Then,someone had a brilliant idea to give her the tablet to read from. Perhaps this suggestion came from none other than the social media savvy sickie who had earlier demanded to see our email on our phones as proof of our e-vite.





Bolt has new role as CEO of French champagne company

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bolt-ceo-champagne-photo-1.jpgWorld record holder and fastest man Usain Bolt has taken on a new role with French champagne company, Maison Mumm as its Chief Entertainment Officer.

"Maison Mumm is proud to announce the special appointment of Usain Bolt, one of the world's most daring and decorated athletes, as the newest CEO - chief entertainment officer," the company stated on its website.

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Bolt, who publisised the Mumm's appointment with a video posting to his Facebook page on Friday, was appointed to the post in November. The new role will see Bolt taking the lead in ideating unique ways to bring celebrations to consumers in the markets which the international company operates.

Mumm, which was founded in 1827 and is owned by Pernod Ricard is one of the largest and most prestigious champagne houses in the world.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Thomas police are investigating yet another domestic murder after the body of a young woman was reportedly found at the home of her boyfriend in the community of Arcadia in the parish Sunday morning.

Dead is 19 year-old Shamaine Tashoy Barrett of Arcadia, St Thomas.

Reports are that after a friend of Shamaine failed to reach her by phone, Sunday morning, they went to her boyfriend's house, where they discovered her body inside with the throat slashed.

An alarm was made.

Police say the boyfriend is being sought for questioning.

Barrett was a student of Paul Bogle Vocational school.

Barrett's aunt said her niece was last seen alive sometime after midnight, when she left church.





2016 murder figures surpass those for 2015

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crime-scene-knife.jpgWith just a few days left in 2016, the police are reporting that 1,300 people have been murdered so far this year.

Last year's murder figure of 1,192 was surpassed last month.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal investigation Branch, has highlighted several factors which he believes have contributed to the increase in murders, chief among them being lack of respect, one person for the other.

"To disrespect somebody is the easiest thing to do, and people interpret that in many, many ways, and that results in death, so gangsters, if you come across their turf, you're disrespecting the gang, and it ends in death," he said.

The same problem obtains in domestic relationships he said, citing simple disputes between couples, in which the woman says something to the man, "which he interprets as being disrespectful to him... it's going to result in death."





crime-scene-gun.jpgChristmas Day ended in horror in the St James community of Hendon, Norwood, Sunday.

It's reported that shortly after 7 p.m three men and a woman were shot dead and a second woman injured at a shop.?

They were playing dominoes when a car with several men aboard drove up.

It's reported that the occupants got out of the car and opened fire on the group, killing the? four people on the spot. The deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Monique Woolery of Llandilo, Westmoreland and 5th Avenue in Montego Hills, Jason Anderson, 30, of Nelly Lane, 39-year-old Leo Mitchell, otherwise called 'Fire' of Columbus Square, Norwood, and 43-years-old Yorken Silvera, of Norwood.

According to the Montego Bay Police, about 7:30 Ms Woolery and a male companion were walking along Nelly Lane when a white motorcar drove up.

Armed men alighted and started firing shots at the couple, who ran into a nearby shop to take cover. The men continued firing at them while in the shop. Ms. Woolery and four other persons were shot and injured.

The injured persons were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A 16-year-old girl was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

Ms. Woolery's male companion escaped unhurt.

The St. James Police are appealing to the public for information to assist in their investigation into the incident.





17 persons killed between December 23 - 26

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are reporting a high number of murders over the Christmas weekend in Jamaica, with 17 killed during the period, December 23 to early on the 26th.

Among them were four shot at a shop in Hendon, Norwood in the western parish of St. James on Christmas night. A fifth person was shot and injured in that incident.

The latest statistics come at the tail-end of a dismal year for the country, with the murder count easily outstipping the 2015 figure.

Data obtained from the police revealed that just over 1300 hundred murders have been committed since January, significantly ahead the 1192 people killed in all of 2015.

In the face of such daunting statistics, the Police High Command is again promising to put in place additional anti-crime measures across the country.

Sunday's target

Regarding Sunday's shooting in St. James, investigators say they believe the gunmen were targeting a single victim.





woman-on-cocaine-charge-clcock.jpgA female who is said to be a relative of reggae recording artiste Jah Cure was arrested on Wednesday, December 21 in Florida after she was caught attempting to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

According to information from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Mckadia Damale Alcock, 29, was arrested by US Marshals at the Fort-Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and charged with possession of cocaine.

The 29-year-old is being held prior to trial at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach, Florida.

More details to come.





Singer George Michael dead at 53

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george-michael.jpgGeorge Michael has died at his home in Oxfordshire.

Michael's publicist said that he had 'passed away peacefully' at his property in Goring at 1.42pm today.

Michael, 53, had previously battled drug addiction. However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown.

Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas.

The singer - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

In a statement, the star's publicist said: 'It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.

'The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.'





Manhunt launched for US soldier missing in Jamaica

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police-photo-1.jpgPolice in Jamaica have launched a search for a twenty-nine-year-old member of the US army, who has been missing since Friday, December 23.

The US soldier has been identified as Roshain Brooks of Brooklyn, New York.

He is of dark complexion, medium build and is about 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall.

Reports from the Mandeville Police are that about 3:00 p.m., Brooks was last seen on Brumalia Road, Mandeville, Manchester wearing a blue T- shirt, blue denim pants and a pair of red shoes. Efforts to contact him have proven futile

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Roshain Brooks is being asked to contact the Mandeville Police at 904-1577, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





crime-scene-knife.jpgThe Montego Bay police are probing the circumstances surrounding the murder of an unidentified woman whose corpse was discovered with stab wounds in that resort city on Christmas morning.

Reports are that about 8:00 am Sunday, the police, who responded to a call, discovered the body along Church Lane, lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck.

The deceased was reportedly last seen about 7:30 pm Saturday, entering a building - near where the body was found - in the company of a male.





The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) has launched a probe into the theft of more than J$15 million from an account held by the Ministry of Health at National Commercial Bank.

It's believed that thieves hacked into the account and removed the money between May and last month.

Hackers made off with $6 million between May and June this year. They struck again last month, removing an additional nine million dollars from the account.

A senior investigator revelaed that hackers began targeting the account when the Ministry placed it online earlier this year.

The special account deals with HIV/Aids and is funded by overseas agencies.

The Ministry has confirmed that $6 million has since been recovered by the bank, following intense investigations.

The Ministry says the breach occurred due to malicious software or malware.

Malware are computer programmes designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user's consent. They can be used to gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems.





St Thomas butcher shot dead at home on Christmas Eve

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man was shot and killed at his home during an alleged robbery on Christmas Eve.

He has been identified as 49-year old Wilbert Squire, a meat vendor of Brown's Lane in Morant Bay.

The police say about 9:20 p.m., Squire was in his yard when he was attacked by two armed men.

He was shot several times in the upper body, killing him on the spot.





lobbyist-dr-wayne-west.jpgDr Wayne West, Chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) is urging Jamaicans to have a heightened awareness of how a recent vote in the United Nations to affirm the mandate of an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity can affect laws in the country.

Jamaica was one of 77 countries which voted to block the mandate of the Independent Expert; however 84 countries voted for the expert to carry out his mandate to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people.

But that vote by Jamaica and others opposed to the appointment failed. That UN expert, who was appointed on November 1, is now free to do his work.

Dr West nevertheless praised the Jamaican Government for "taking a very sensible stand," on the issue, arguing that the rights being promoted by the new Independent Expert "are really based illogical premises, and are going to lead to great harm."

He told RJR News that, while he has no problem with protecting LGBT people, he is worried the agenda of the UN appointed independent expert is broader than protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

"The expert himself has articulated that his agenda is actually integrating these concepts into the society, via things such as the education curricular that children are exposed to," he said.

Accordingly, he stressed that "while I do not want violence against anyone, it is wholly illogical to integrate abnormality as normal in the society."

The resolution must now be taken to Parliament for ratification, but Dr West says he fears "activist" judges in Jamaica may follow their counterparts in Belize in implementing the mandate of the LGBT expert through the courts.

"We must make our Parliament aware that we do not want that to happen, and if an activist judge does it, we need challenge it...," he declared.

Dr. West has sharply criticized the UN as an agency, set up to find solutions to global problems, which is now going beyond its mandate to advance the LGBT agenda.





250 pounds of ganja seized in St Bess

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ganja-seized.jpgTwo hundred and fifty pounds of compressed ganja valued at about J$1.5 million were seized by the police in St Elizabeth on Christmas Eve.

According to the police's Corporate Communication Unit, the ganja was seized on the Pedro Plains about 12:45 a.m. yesterday.

The police say they were in the area when a group of men were seen loading parcels onto a vessel. When the men saw the police they ran leaving the parcels behind. Upon inspection the parcels were discovered to be five knitted bags containing compressed ganja.

No arrests were made.





St Lucia considers medicinal marijuana in 2017

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medical-ganja.jpgPrime Minister of St Lucia, Roosevelt Skerrit, says his administration will discuss the issue of medical marijuana in the coming year.

Skerrit who was a guest on a local radio programme on Wednesday said the topic must be discussed in a focused and informed manner, in order to take full advantage of the use of the herb, which many have sworn has saved their lives.

"We have started the conversation. I think we maybe need to put a better structure in place where we can have a more structured, informed dialogue or discussion on medical marijuana, to see how we can take advantage of this.

I think in the New Year you will see a more focused, more structured approach to the discussion...I think that if there is a plant in our country which people are swearing by as having saved their lives or assisted them in reducing the pain or managing their ailment, then I think it is important for there to be a very serious discussion about it, and to see how we can go about taking advantage of this development," the Prime Minister said.

He suggested that Dominica could adopt and tweak measures from other countries that have been successful in the use of medical marijuana.

The Prime Minister said while the government is not opposed to the eventual legalisation of marijuana several things must be carefully considered before such a decision is brought forward.

The issue of marijuana legalisation has been heavily discussed in Dominica. .

In Dominica, marijuana has been classified as a 'Class B' drug, as a result, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.





Mystery illness of 83 JDF recruits bugging doctors

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Medical authorities have not yet been able to identify the specific respiratory infection that struck 83 Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers at the army's New Castle training base in St Andrew.

So far the dreaded Influenza A (H1N1/swine flu) virus has been ruled out, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston de la Haye. He told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that none of the tests for other viral infections have uncovered any definitive results.

"So far we haven't got a definitive indication of anything specific, and it is with that in mind that we have included PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). They are ready to assist in widening the net of possible pathogens (even those that we don't have the capacity to test for) sending samples to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States) or CARPHA (Caribbean Publich Health Agency) in Trinidad to do further testing. The aim is to identify the organism and zero in effectively in terms of treatment," he explained.

Dr de la Haye stressed that, apart from the resemblance to H1N1, it is difficult to put a finger on the cause of the symptoms. "It's really just clinical presentations that we can comment on. The presentation being so severe in some, suggesting a possible H1N1," he stated.





2 shot dead at hairdresser in Negril

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were Thursday afternoon shot dead at a hairdressing parlour in Negril, Westmoreland.

The names of the deceased are yet to be established.

Reports are that about 1:20 the two young men were among other customers at the hairdressing parlour in Negril when gunshots were heard.

Upon the arrival of the police who were summoned, one of the two young men was found slumped in a hairdresser's chair, while the other was found lying outside the establishment, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

The Negril police are investigating.





deputy-commissioner-novelette-grant.jpgDeputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant is to act as Police Commissioner effective January 7, 2017.

A day earlier, the current commissioner Dr Carl Williams will go on pre-retirement leave.

The Police Service Commission says Grant will act for 90 days.

It also says it intends to publicly advertise for the post.





Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams resigns

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police-commissioner-dr-carl-williams-photo-1.jpgPolice Commissioner Dr Carl Williams has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and has resigned the post.

Accordinghe Gleaner has obtained a copy of a letter Williams wrote to the Police Service Commission indicating that he will proceed on early retirement effective January 6.

He also indicated that his decision to step down as police chief was based on personal reasons.

"My retirement is provided for on the basis of my age and years of service," Williams wrote in the letter, addressed to chairman of the PSC Professor Gordon Shirley.

"Having enlisted in the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] in February 1984, it has been my honour to have given more than three decades of tireless service to my country," he added.

Williams was appointed Commissioner in September 2014 after his predecessor Owen Ellington also resigned from the post, in a bid for early retirement.

Williams' decision to step down follows a tough year for the police.

Since the start of the year, nearly 1,200 persons have been reported killed, a near five per cent increase when compared with last year.





The St Catherine North Police have intensified their presence across the division in light of the discovery of an alleged plot by members of the Tesha Miller faction of the Clansman Gang to carry out significant violent attacks in the division during the festive season.

According to police, based on intelligence garnered by the Jamaica Constabulary Force plans are being made to carry out shootings against rival gang members in several communities.

The areas of target include Top Banks, the Spanish Town Bus Park, the Spanish Town Centre, and March Pen Road and its environs.

The police say with the absence of Tesha Miller another man, Akeem Jackson or Johnson, otherwise known as 'Bobo Sparks', has played a lead role in a number of murders and shootings in the division.

The police also say Jackson is the St Catherine North's most wanted man.

Miller is still a Person of Interest and is wanted for questioning.

The police are appealing to both men to turn in themselves immediately.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tesha Miller or Akeem Jackson is being asked to call the police.





Check out this video of Ninjaman blasting Sting

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Beenie Man's brother is NOT dead

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Beenie Man brother is alive and well.

Recent rumors claimed that the dancehall king is mourning the death of his brother who was gunned down in broad day light earlier this week.

A video of the gruesome crime has been circulating on social media this week. The clip shows a man laying in the middle of the road in severe pain from a gunshot wound to his neck. Folks were on the side of the road filming with their cellphones while you can hear some persons in the background sayings its Beenie Man's brother.

A rep for the confirmed that the slain man is not the dancehall artists brother. "No thats false report its not the Doc [Beenie Man] brother," his rep said.





macka-diamond-wig.jpgAll right, so Sample Man pop off Macka wig off her head over at Ghetto Splash wha day yah and a bare things a happen to Macka after she get over the embarrassment of it all.

According to reports, Macka Diamond will be shooting a video this week for her latest single, 'Wig Haffi Fly', a song that relates the incident during which she lost her wig onstage during the Ghetto Splash concert at the Waterhouse mini-stadium last week.

The single is produced by Andrew 'Anju Blaxx' Myrie.

"Right now, things mad, the video of the incident went viral and the day after, I recorded the song for Andrew Blacks and he said say video shoot right away this Wednesday," she said.

Macka has been creating waves on social media over the past week, and the trend continued when she wore daring yellow wig to a dance, after which a photo circulated that attracted hundreds of comments - both negative and positive - over the weekend.

"Mi go Boom Boom party and I wore a yellow wig, because it was a blue-and-yellow birthday party and the Internet went wild, the picture went viral, so right now, people ah talk all kinda things but I couldn't care less. Macka Diamond hot ya now," she said.





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange is urging radio stations to play more Jamaican music.

According to a news release from the ministry, Grange said that based on data from the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP), which deals with the payment of royalties for the performance of music in Jamaica, it was clear that local disc jockeys prefer to play foreign music.

"I am very disappointed about JACAP having to pay out more money for foreign music played on the radio than it has for Jamaican music. Thirty-two million dollars have been sent out of the country while only $7 million have been paid to Jamaican writers for music based on what the radio stations are playing," Grange said at the launch of Rebel Salute 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday.

Grange said that if there were not such a huge disparity, more money would be distributed to local creators of music and spent in the local economy.





Cops detain 30 in Majesty Gardens

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More than 30 men were detained on Tuesday morning during a joint police/military operation in Majesty Gardens, off Spanish Town Road in St. Andrew.

Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit, said, among the persons picked up, is a man who was wanted by police for a case of shooting with intent.

She said the community has been tense since a drive-by shooting on Monday night, which resulted in the death of a man. He has been identified as 23-year-old Carlos Green of Majesty Gardens.

It is believed that Mr. Green was by the side of the road when armed men approached and shot him all over his body.

Superintendent Lindsay said the shooting has been linked to a feud involving members of the 'Unruly Gang'.

She said the security forces will continue to maintain a presence in the area.





JDF recruits recovering from mysterious illness

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The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has said about half of its recruits who fell ill last week with respiratory problems have recovered and returned to training at the Twickenham Park range in St. Catherine.

More than 50 recruits were afflicted with flu-like symptoms which Ministry of Health personnel had suspected was the H1N1 virus.

Major Basil Jarrett, JDF Media Affairs Officer, said it started out with two trainees falling ill.

"We didn't think anything of it because recruits go through a very intense and rigorous training programme and sometimes their body just breaks down... but when a third recruit fell ill, we started to connect the dots and we suspected that we might be dealing with something a little bit bigger than typical recruit fatigue," he argued.

However, he said tests by the Ministry of Health have cleared the recruits.

"They came in, they did some tests on the recruits, they swabbed the recruits who were still out at the area and up to yesterday, about 57 of the recruits had reported symptoms. But with testing done by the Ministry of Health this morning, I can confirm that we are not dealing with H1N1," Major Jarrett asserted to RJR News.

He said the other trainees are recovering well.





The Ministry of Health has called in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to assist in finding what has caused eighty Jamaica Defence Force soldiers in training to have fallen ill.

One trainee is reported to be in critical condition. This prompted a team from the Ministry of Health to tour the facility in Twickenham Park in St. Catherine Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Winston De La Haye, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, has said it is not the H1N1 they had initially suspected.

"So far, we have had no result which is positive for H1N1, which is one of the diagnoses entertained, neither is there any other influenza type virus. Other viruses can present those types of symptoms," he informed.

Hence, he said PAHO has been called to test samples to rule out other organisms, such as mycoplasma and legionella.

Although the cause of the illness is still unknown, Dr. De La Haye said the ministry has recommended that the JDF ensure that all future trainees are given vaccination for the influenza virus to minimise the recurrence of such an incident.

In this case, the chief medical officer said trainees who presented symptoms were isolated and all the healthy individuals were given the influenza vaccine.





Recently, a letter writer to The Gleaner complained that Scotiabank Jamaica had increased charges to encash a cheque from $140 to $1,358.

Commerce Minister Karl Samuda has described the decision of to increase by more than 1000 per cent the fee to encash cheques drawn on other banks as preposterous.

Samuda says the Government will be seeking to improve the way it presents information on bank charges to help customers

He says this increase in the cost to encash cheques at Scotiabank is unexplainable.

According to Samuda the bank seems to be ignoring the impact that these charges will have on small businesses.





taxi-man-leo-henry-is-dead.jpgThe taxi driver, who was shot by a security guard at a staff party at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in St Ann, after he stabbed his ex-girlfriend has died at hospital.

The police have identified the cabbie as 39-year-old Leo Henry, of Belle Aire Meadows in Runaway Bay, St Ann. Henry was reportedly a popular taxi driver on the Brown's Town to Discovery Bay route.

Reports are that sometime after midnight altercation developed between a female hotel staff member and Henry, who is her ex-boyfriend. He reportedly stabbed the woman on both legs and on her left hand.

A senior security officer at the hotel intervened in the incident and fired his gun and shot Henry. The bullet exited the man's body and hit the 17-year-old son of the hotel employee in his side.

Henry later succumbed to his injuries late Tuesday morning.

The 17-year-old remains in serious, but stable condition at the hospital.

The shooting resulted in chaos, bringing an end to the party as Romain Virgo - who was the featured act - had to abandon his performance.





anthony-b-photo-5.jpgAnthony B is warning fans against unscrupulous promoters after being falsely advertised for a string of events in the United Kingdom.

The entertainer says friends in London made him aware of the events.

According to Anthony B he was never contracted nor was he contacted about any of the events for which he's being advertised.

Anthony B is contracted for a couple in Europe after which he is scheduled to return to Jamaica for GT Taylor's Christmas Extravaganza slated for December 25 at its new location at the Luana Sports Complex, in Black River, St. Elizabeth.





Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor dead at 99

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zsa-zsa-gabor.jpgHungarian actress and longtime socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor has passed away at the age of 99.

The icon suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead on Sunday.

The long-time Beverly Hills socialite had dealt with a number of health troubles after being involved in a car accident in 2002 which resulted in her becoming partially paralyzed.

Back in February, the actress who was known for her love life as she was for her films, was rushed to an emergency room after suffering from breathing difficulties.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA supermarket attendant was shot and killed by unknown assailants who ensnared him on his way home from work in the parish of St James on Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Sinclair of a Cambridge address in the parish.

Reports are that about 9:30 last night, Sinclair was walking in the Train Line section of Cambridge when he was ambushed by unknown assailants who shot him. He died instantly.

While no motive has been established for the killing, the St James Police their investigation.





Ex-cop dies a week after being shot

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ex-cop-leroy-rowe.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgA former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who was shot two Saturdays ago in Montego Bay, St James died of his injuries Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Leroy Rowe of Accompong Town, St Elizabeth, passed away in the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he'd been undergoing treatment since being attacked on Saturday, December 10.

Rowe was shot by an unknown assailant while conducting business along Barnett Street.

The killer remains at large.





Husband stabs 50-year-old wife to death in Hanover

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crime-scene-knife.jpgAnother case of domestic violence has claimed the life of a woman after she was stabbed to death during a dispute with her husband at their home in Hanover on Friday.

Jennifer Garrison, 50, of Dias in Hanover, died after being stabbed multiple times with a knife by her husband.

Deputy Superintendent Andrew Nish, acting head of the Hanover Police, said the husband is in police custody and is expected to be charged shortly.

He said a team is conducting grief counselling with family members.

DSP Nish said this was the third time in recent weeks that a domestic dispute in the parish had turned deadly.

Last week, an 18-year-old woman was killed by her alleged ex-boyfriend and an elderly man was also reportedly killed by a woman.





car-crashes-into-departure-lounge.jpgTwo people sustained injuries when a motor car crashed into the glass facade of the departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning.

One of those injured is the driver of the motor car. The other is a traveller who was sitting in the departure lounge when the vehicle crashed into the glass facade. The extent of their injuries is not known. Their identities have not been released.

It is reported that the driver does not have a licence to operate a vehicle. He remains in police custody.

Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says the incident happened about 6:45 a.m. as two brothers, one of whom was the driver, dropped their mother at the airport.

He is reminding drivers to ensure that their engines are switched off before leaving their motor vehicles.





A St Elizabeth man is to appear in court on January 3 next year after he allegedly left the island on a fake Bahamian passport.

The police say 26-year-old Tim Joseph, otherwise called Marvin 'Curtis', a farmer of Waterloo district in St Elizabeth has been charged with uttering forged documents.

The Norman Manley Airport Police say Joseph boarded a flight destined for London, England under the name 'Marvin Curtis'.

On arrival at the Gatwick International Airport, he was being processed when immigration officers detected that his passport was forged and so he was denied entry and returned to Jamaica.





Woman who stole baby from hospital for court today

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court-case.jpgThe medical assistant charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on December 9 is to appear in court Friday.

Forty-seven-year-old Lorna Williams -- who is of a Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 address -- is to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication and awoke, around 10:30am, to find her missing.

The baby was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town, in St Andrew, about five hours later.





Excitement as Major Lazer set for tonight

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All is set for tonight's staging of Major Lazer & Friends, according to organisers.

Now in its fifth year, the EDM show is scheduled for Mas Camp in St Andrew.

"The production will be even bigger than last year, doubling the intensity. We have amazing performances planned and an incredible light and sound show," said Kamal Bankay, event organiser.

"We have a couple surprises up our sleeves. I'm 100 per cent confident everyone will have an amazing time. Security is in place, production is set," said Bankay.





No Sting on Boxing Day this year

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Supreme Promotions, organisers of annual stage show Sting will not be hosting the 32-year-old event this year, instead there will be a red-carpet Celebration Party and Awards Ceremony to honour more than 40 industry players from the entertainment fraternity.

The by-invitation-only ceremony will be held on Boxing Day, December 26, in the Corporate Area at a location to be announced.

An after-party will be held the following day (December 27) at House of Dancehall on 6 Cargill Ave in Kingston.





edward-braithwaite-to-sir-wth-love.jpgEdward (E.R.) Braithwaite, the Guyanese author of the seminal book, To Sir With Love, which became the basis of a hit move by the same name, has died at age 104.

Braithwaite passed away on Monday in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States.

He had taught at Howard University for many years.

Named Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite at birth, on June 27, 1912, he attended Guyana's prestigious high school, Queen's College, then City College of New York.

He later moved to Britain and fought in the Royal Air Force, but later, even with the benefit of a Cambridge degree in engineering, he was denied a job in a related field because he was Black.

Desperate for meaningful employment, he turned to teaching and wound up in an unruly class in a London slum school. It was that experience in which he helped to turn the lives of his students around while also detailing his experience of racism in Britain that he chronicled in To Sir With Love.

Later he served as a diplomat representing his country, Guyana, at the United Nations and in Venezuela.

He spent much of his later life as a lecturer and wrote several other books.





A police officer on the scene confirmed to Loop News that the alleged ex-lover of the woman was apprehended.

He is now in police custody, where he is to be questioned by investigators.

The incident drew scores of onlookers as a police forensic team examined the crime scene.





Baby thief a no-show in court

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stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgThe medical assistant accused of stealing a day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) did not appear in court on Wednesday.

No reason has been given for the no-show of 47-year-old Lorna Williams.

She is expected to appear in court by Friday.

Ms Williams, a resident of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 was charged on Friday with Child Stealing.

She was arrested five hours after the baby was found at her home in East Kingston.

The child was taken from a cot next to her mother on Ward Eleven last week.





Another woman stabbed to death by her ex-lover

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A woman was stabbed by her ex-lover in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after she made a report to the police that the man had threatened to kill her. The woman has been identified by relatives as 20-year-old Alisa Garey, a bartender of Ocho Rios.

Reports are that the male went to Garey's house on Wednesday morning and threatened to kill her. Garey later went to the Ocho Rios police and reported the threat. It is understood that the male was warned by the police and both left the station in opposite directions.

However, Garey was reportedly pounced upon and stabbed in the chest by her ex-boyfriend at the back entrance of Champion Plaza, on the Ocho Rios bypass. He reportedly then fled the scene.

Garey was assisted to the hospital by relatives, where she died while being treated. This brings to four the number of women murdered as a result of domestic violence in a little over one week.





Fast and Furious 8 trailer released

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fast-and-furious-8-fate-of-the-furious.jpgFans of the Fast and Furious racing film franchise got a taste of the latest installment of the popular series with an action-packed trailer for the upcoming The Fate of the Furious film.

The eighth Fast and Furious movie promises plenty of fast cars, chases and explosions as lead character Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, goes rogue.

The film also stars Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham and Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

The Fate of the Furious is scheduled for release in April.





AIM First Fest returns

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After a two-year hiatus, gospel concert AIM First Fest returns for it's 2017 staging.

Organizers Action Entertainment in association with The RJR Communications Group and title sponsor AIM Financial Corporation, will lead the list of gospel shows to be held on Monday, January 2 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

Grammy nominated singer Dietrich Haddon returns to Jamaica to headline the festival after his summer performance was aborted due to bad weather.

Local favourites Kevin Downswell, DJ Nicholas, Prodigal Son, George Nooks, Jabez, Joan Flemmings, Sister Patt, Keesa Peart and Reverend Glen Graham are all expected to perform.





bob-marley-photo-3.jpgDecades after his death, reggae icon Bob Marley is creating musical waves, with his latest feat a number one album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

The Legend Live - Santa Barbara from the 1979 Country Bowl, debuted in the pole position.

Grammy nominees J.Boog and Rebelution occupy the number 3 and 4 spots respectively.

The top 10 also includes Stephen Marley's Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life.





Peter Bunting not entering PNP leadership race

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peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeter Bunting says he will not seek nomination for the post of Presidency of the People's National Party (PNP) following the announcement by party leader Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election.

Dr. Peter Phillips is now the sole aspirant.

This comes eight days after Mr. Bunting said he was interested in the post following the decision by Portia Simpson Miller not to seek re-election.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Mr. Bunting said he held consultations with Parliamentary and local government representatives and has concluded that a large majority feels that " it is Comrade Peter Phillips' turn".

Mr. Bunting said he is of the view that leadership decisions should be made on a wider set of considerations.

He said based on the feedback, it would be irresponsible to cause the party to expend resources and divert focus and energy at this time and he will therefore not make himself available for nomination for the post of PNP President.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has temporarily ceased the clearance of rice at all ports of entry.

The agency made the announcement Monday afternoon amid reports of artificial rice being sold in Jamaica. It said members of the public are urged to call Jamaica Customs or the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and report if they have bought artificial rice or are aware of the places where it is being distributed so that steps may be taken for its removal.

It added that a public advisory will be issued on protecting the health and safety of the population.

In the meantime, the Bureau of Standards has said it is in possession of a sample of the 'plastic' rice, on which tests are being conducted.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers who have purchased the artificial rice to contact its office and take a receipt to show proof of purchase.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency has adjusted its decision to put a hold on the clearance of rice at all ports of entry. It delayed shipments on Monday following reports that artificial rice is being sold in Jamaica.

Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reece confirmed on Monday night that a rapid inspection will be done of all shipments, and then the products will be released.

Major Reece says Customs is to do rapid testing of samples to ensure there is limited delay. He explained that this will be made more efficient because the sources of the rice are known. He noted that this should not result in delays of over a day.

Meanwhile, Major Reece has given the context to Monday's decision. He says members of the public have an important role to play in the monitoring process.





Rice from Guyana and Suriname good to go

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rice-guyana-logo.pngA decision has also been made to clear the rice from two Caribbean suppliers, namely Guyana and Suriname.

He, however, pledged that the authorities will be vigilant in their testing programme, which will include spot checks on all rice imports.

Meanwhile, the Manchester Police have said they have not found any evidence that artificial rice is being sold in the parish.

A video, purportedly originating from Manchester, claimed that the rice is being sold to consumers in the parish. The video has sparked fear among consumers.

Senior Superintendent Wayne Cameron, head of the Manchester Police, says the matter is under investigation, however, there has been no confirmation or official report of any such case of fake rice.





PLASTIC RICE SAGA: No evidence found in samples

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plastic-rice.jpgCommerce Minister Karl Samuda says no evidence of plastic rice has been found in samples which have been tested by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).

Mr. Samuda made the disclosure at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, where he gave the assurance that the rice being sold in Jamaica is safe.

Mr. Samuda said the authorities are trying to find the creator of the social media video showing evidence of artificial rice.

The public is being asked to send samples of the rice to the Bureau of Standards.





beauty-queen-marsha-gay-reynolds-cocaine.jpgA former Miss Jamaica runner-up and JetBlue flight attendant pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a cross-country drug smuggling operation that was discovered when she bolted from a screening checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

Marsha Gay Reynolds abandoned a suitcase loaded with 60 pounds of cocaine. She faces a mandatory 10-year prison term when sentenced March 3 in federal court on a single count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

Reynolds, 32, acknowledged earning thousands of dollars to help smuggle drugs and money through airport security at LAX and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by using her "known crew member" status to breeze past security and then transfer the contraband to a co-conspirator.

Airline employees with the clearance can bypass typical screening, even during personal travel in the U.S., but can be randomly searched.

When she was pulled aside for screening March 18, she flung off her high heels and ran down an upward-moving escalator out of the terminal. Authorities said the cocaine was worth about $3 million.

Reynolds reported to work for a flight to New York the next day and surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Administration there four days later.

The U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, New York, was dressed in a white jail jumpsuit Monday with her ankles chained together and wrists shackled to her waist. She could barely raise her right hand to pledge to tell the truth before her guilty plea.

She spoke in a soft voice and politely answered more than a dozen questions, addressing Judge Virginia Phillips as "your honor" almost each time.

The investigation into a larger drug ring is ongoing, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

In addition to a co-conspirator identified only as G.B., who fled to Jamaica, court papers refer to others "known and unknown" who carried out the scheme.

G.B. was in the U.S. illegally and stole the identities of mentally disabled men to get passports and driver's licenses in their names that he used to fly, court papers said. He and Reynolds were often on the same flights.

"She was able to facilitate this individual's drug trafficking operation," Mrozek said. "She was ferrying the drugs across the country and then bringing the proceeds of the drug sales back to Southern California."

Defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb said outside court that he expects Reynolds will be able to get a reduced sentence despite the mandatory minimum. He would not explain how that would happen.

Typically, convicts who testify against co-defendants can get some break in sentencing. Goldfarb said Reynolds was not cooperating at this point with authorities.

Reynolds' plea agreement mentioned nine dates she helped the unnamed co-conspirator pull off the scheme so he could deliver drugs to customers in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Source: AP





ex-lover-phillip-brown-murder-suspect.jpgPhillip Brown, the man accused of killing his former girlfriend and dumping her body at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St. Andrew on the weekend was charged with murder Tuesday afternoon.

He is scheduled to appear in court next week.

The 35-year-old construction worker surrendered to the police hours after he allegedly killed and tried to dump the body of 31-year-old Kerry Ann Wilson, the mother of his child, at his apartment which is across from the Police Commissioner's office.

Ms Wilson was visiting her child at the apartment when she was attacked.

Preliminary examinations revealed that she died after being struck on the head by a blunt force instrument.





A Cuban national who was among several staying at the Red Cross facility after arriving on the island illegally by boat was shot dead on the compound in Central Village, St. Catherine, Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that shortly after 1:00 pm, a man went on the Red Cross compound and opened fire on the Cuban man.

The 30-year-old victim was pronounced dead at hospital.

Police are searching for a suspect who goes by the alias Coolie. He is said to be an area leader from the nearby community of Little Lane.





tommy-lee-photo-12.jpgDancehall deejay Tommy Lee Sparta is set to receive an undisclosed sum from the government of Dominica.

The entertainer's attorney Bert Samuels has received a monetary offer from the Dominican Government for the deejay and his team who were wrongfully denied entry to that country.

The settlement follows an ongoing case stems from an incident in 2014 in which Tommy Lee and three members of his team were barred from entering Dominica following protests from organizations such as the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches who claims Tommy Lee Sparta's music glorifies Satan and promotes lawlessness and violence.





$$$Millions forfeited to the state

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The court has ruled that millions of dollars seized from a woman at the Norman Manley International Airport five years ago be turned over to the State.The Financial Investigations Division (FID) has successfully secured the forfeiture of US$92,657 and TT$11.The money was taken from Dorrette Reynolds as she was about to board a flight to Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011. On Tuesday, the court ruled that based on the evidence and proceedings at the trial, the cash was unlawfully obtained or intended for use in unlawful conduct, and ordered the forfeiture of the cash and interest accrued.Apart from making a false declaration to airport officials, the defendant was found to have a suitcase with false compartments, containing 14 parcels of cash wrapped in plastic, that she denied having any knowledge of.The FID relied heavily on the assistance of the Narcotics Division which carried out the seizure and provided evidence to the court.

On Tuesday, the court also ruled in favour of the Financial Investigations Division in another matter.Justice Lyle Armstrong ordered the forfeiture of US$11,950 plus interest accrued.The case involved the seizure of cash in July 2010 from Kingston-based businessman Constantine Tucker at the Norman Manley International Airport.A statement from the FID said given the failure of Mr. Tucker to properly and truthfully account for the money in any convincing way, the court found that the funds were either unlawfully obtained or connected to unlawful conduct.

St. Ann and St. Mary experience torrential rains

Heavy rains have been impacting sections of St. Mary and St. Ann since Saturday night leaving several roads impassable.

As a result, in St. Mary, the Junction road is blocked.

"The section of road in Georgia that dropped - we have boulders in that section of that corridor....flooding has been reported in several communities and we are moving to carry out what work we can as it continues to rain in the parishes," said Stephen Shaw, Communication Manager at the National Works Agency.

The heavy rain has left flooded streets and buildings in St. Ann, with the communities of Runaway Bay and Dumbarton being affected.

In Mount Edgecombe, the main bridge that connects Runaway Bay to Brown's Town is impassable while the main road connecting Brown's Town to Discovery Bay has been cut in two.

Several houses in Mount Edgecombe have also been flooded, while others are under threat of being flooded.

The Runaway Bay police station was not spared from flood waters and efforts are being made to relocate police personnel and prisoners.





crime-scene-knife.jpgPhillip Brown, the man who was being sought in connection with the murder of a woman at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St Andrew is in police custody.

The 35 year old construction worker turned himself in to detectives assigned to the St. Andrew Central Police early this morning.

Brown went to the police station shortly before 1 a.m.in the company of his relatives.

He was wanted in relation to the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found, wrapped in a tarpaulin outside the Crystal Towers apartment building yesterday morning.

He was trying to dump the body in a gully when an alarm was made.





Teen stabbed to death by lover

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teen-stabbed.jpgA Hanover teenager is now dead after reportedly being stabbed by her boyfriend early this morning.

The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Shantea Thelwell, of Wells Lane in Sandy Bay, Hanover.

The police Corporate Communications Unit says Thelwell was killed at her home about 1:45 this morning.

The police say she was at home with her companion when they had a dispute and he allegedly stabbed her in the chest with a knife. She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The police say the companion has not yet been apprehended.





The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association Jamaica has expressed frustration with what it says have been technical failures with the ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) system at the Jamaica Customs Agency over the past two weeks.

It has issued a statement highlighting long clearance times and complaints from customers. ASYCUDA is a web-based application that allows clients of Jamaica Customs to undertake e-transactions.

President of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, Marcia Bent, outlined the challenges facing the members.

"The delays and the down times at this point has resulted in increased storage charges, .... it is adding to congestion at the ports. At this time of the year, there is normally an increase in traffic in commercial activities with the merchants who do seasonal stuff.....

The Association represents more than 200 licensed customs brokers in Jamaica.

Bent says the problems with ASYCUDA has had a ripple effect on other industries.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man said to be of unsound mind has been shot dead by a licensed firearm holder.

It is reported that sometime after 3 o'clock Wednesrday afternoon, the licensed firearm holder visited a property he owns in the Trinityville community which is occupied by 54-year-old Vassell Grannell.

Grannell allegedly threw stones at the licensed firearm owner and told him to leave the property.

It is further reported that while the property owner was running away he fell.

Grannell was reportedly approaching him with a machete when the licensed firearm holder shot and killed him on the spot.





stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgA medical assistant has been charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on Friday, December 09.

On Saturday, the St. Andrew Central Police charged 47-year-old Lorna Williams of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2, with Child Stealing. The child was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town in the parish about five hours after she was reported missing. Williams will appear before the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday, December 14.

Reports are that the mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication. When she woke up at about 10:30 am, the child was missing, according to reports.

The hospital alerted staff members and the police, and a search was carried out and the child located in Williams' care in Rollington Town.





crime-scene-7.jpgcommon-law-husband-of-woman-phillip-brown.jpgDetectives assigned to the St Andrew Central Police Division have listed 29-year-old Phillip Brown of Crystal Towers, Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, as wanted.

The police say Brown is wanted in connection with the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found wrapped in a tarpaulin in a gully near the Crystal Towers Apartment complex.

The police confirmed Saturday that Brown is Wilson's common-law husband.

Anyone knowing Brown's whereabouts is asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree Police Station at 926-2551, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311, or the nearest police station.





Woman killed in complex near to police HQ identified

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have released the name of the woman believed to have been beaten to death Friday night at the Crystal Towers apartment complex on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.

She is 33-year-old Shelly-Ann Wilson. The police could not immediately provide any further detail on the woman.

The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the constabulary has, however, confirmed that her common-law husband is a suspect in the killing.However, up to Saturday evening, he was not in custody. CCU said Wilson's body was found shortly after 9 o'clock on Saturday morning in a gully inside the apartment complex located opposite the Office of the Police Commissioner.

Residents reported hearing a loud argument in her apartment. They also reported seeing a man toss a tarpaulin before fleeing the complex.





Black woman to appear on Canadian banknote

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canada-banknote-women-viola.jpgA black woman often described as Canada's Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater will be the first Canadian woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday that Viola Desmond will grace the front of the $10 bill when the next series goes into circulation in 2018.

A businesswoman turned civil libertarian, Desmond built a business as a beautician and mentored young black women in Nova Scotia.

It was in 1946 when she rejected racial discrimination by sitting in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. She was arrested and fined. Her actions inspired later generations of black people in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.





Shaggy to be inducted CVSS Hall of Fame

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shaggy-at-sting.jpgEntertainer Shaggy is to be inducted into the Council of Voluntary Social Services Hall of Fame for 10 years of outstanding voluntary support to the Bustamante Children's Hospital.

A member of the Hall of Fame is selected every two years for dedicated and significant contribution to national development through volunteerism.

This year Shaggy presented a cheque for $55 million to the Bustamante Children's Hospital, representing proceeds from the 2016 fundraiser Shaggy & Friends Concert.

Since its inception in 2009, the concert has raised more than $255 million to acquire 450 pieces of medical equipment to treat over 77,000 children each year.

The induction will take place at the 3rd staging of the CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards on Thursday, December 8 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, at which Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be guest speaker.

The event will be held under the theme 'Volunteerism as a Catalyst for National Development'.

The CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards Banquet celebrates and honours volunteers that continue to support and improve social development by giving of their self and time.





Charly Blacks Party Animal sells diamond

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charly-blacks.jpgTrelawny entertainer Charly Blacks continues to fly the dancehall banner worldwide.

The dancehall deejay celebrates on Instagram after his single Gyal Yuh A Party Animal produced by Kurt Riley for Techniques Records sold diamond.

While in Costa Rica, Charly Blacks took to IG where he shared a photograph showing off his diamond selling accolade received in the Latin market. The entertainer captioned the pic; I'm now a diamond selling artist. Give God the glory. #anotherlevel

Charly Blacks' "Gyal You A Party Animal" was released July 2014.





Cops probe double murder in Clarendon

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crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice investigators are probing a double killing in the parish Clarendon.

A taxi-man 52 year old Renald Allen and a bartender, 36-year-old Marcia Forda were shot and killed at a bar in Red Road, near the Bustamante Highway on Wednesday evening.

The police report that shortly after 7:00 p.m.,Forda,who was a bartender at the establishment, and Allen, were attacked by gunmen who shot them several times.

The police are reportedly following leads and have ruled out robbery as the motive.





pnp-headquarters.jpgPeople's National Party's Ralston Wilson will be among the Councillors sworn in at the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation on Thursday after a magisterial recount for the Ginger Ridge division confirmed that he won the seat in the Local Government election.

Mr. Wilson defeated the Jamaica Labour Party's Huit Johnson by 16 votes in the final count.

Following the recount on Tuesday, Mr. Wilson's lead was increased to 18 votes.

Mr. Johnson, who will be the councillor/caretaker says he has accepted the decision.





There has been a change to the islandwide de-bushing and drain cleaning programme which remains at the centre of controversy. The programme has been reduced from $600 million to $400 million.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Opposition earlier walked out of the House after insisting that the Prime Minister should speak about the programme.

Mr. Holness subsequently did speak on the matter, in the absence of the Opposition, and outlined that $400 million will be spent on the programme and that there will be a change to its scope.

"We have expended approximately $219 million out of the $400 million that has been allocated. The balance of approximately $180 million will be used exclusively to deal with the island's drainage network according to the strategic templates of priorities prepared by the NWA," he asserted.





Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits Trinidad

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earthquake.jpgA magnitude 6.2, earthquake hit Trinidad and Tobago at roughly 5:42pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The epicenter of the earthquake occurred just 16km south east of Scarborough, Tobago at a depth of 29km.

It was located 78 km north east of Arima and 99 km north east of Port of Spain.

People reported feeling the earthquake nationwide including Chaguanas, Trincity, Point Fortin, Couva, Arima, Santa Cruz, Port of Spain.

There is no tsunami warning currently in place.





Grammy Awards overview

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grammy-awards.jpgThe Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards] to recording artists for quality works in the reggae music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording, the honor was presented to artists for eligible songs or albums. The Jamaican group Black Uhuru received the first award in 1985. Beginning with the 1992 ceremony, the name of the award was changed to Best Reggae Album. Starting in 2002, awards were often presented to the engineers, mixers, and/or producers in addition to the performing artists. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, eligible works are vocal or instrumental reggae albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", including roots reggae, dancehall and ska music.

Stephen Marley holds the record for the most wins in this category, with six wins total (three times as a member of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers). Similarly, Ziggy Marley has been presented the award four times total, three times as the leader of his eponymous band. Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks. Jamaican artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality. Buju Banton's nomination for the 2010 award sparked controversy and protest from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to homophobic lyrics within his music.





johnny-daley.jpgComedian and Actor Christopher Johnny Daley reportedly received rave reviews for his performance in the semifinals of the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the world competition held on Monday December 5,. The contest, currently being staged in Helsinki Finland, has 18 comedians from all over the globe vying for the top spot and a US$100,000 cash prize.

Johnny left the island last Friday to compete in the semifinals and finals of the international comedy contest after two months of campaigning for online votes and being selected out of over 80 applicants.

With only a five minute set to impress the Finnish audience and judges, Daley had the crowd crackling from the get-go. His set went over perfectly with the audience in attendance and gave him near perfect scores from the three judges. He now waits for the announcement of the final 5 acts who will perform this weekend in the grand finals,. Locally, Daley garnered support from popular Jamaica brand Magnum Tonic Wine who saw the opportunity to work with Johnny to 'Tek Charge' of Comedy in Helsinki.

"The Magnum brand saw this as a great opportunity to support a Jamaican product representing on the world stage. Christopher Johnny Daley is hard working and deserves the opportunity to show the world what we already see; talent, charisma and the ability to 'Tek Charge' of the grand prize!" shared Tamika West, Marketing Manager, J Wray & Nephew Ltd.





Beyonce tops Grammy nominations with 9 nods

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beyonce-photo-3.jpgBeyonce secured the most nominations for next year's Grammy Awards ceremony. She leads the field with nine after the release of her album Lemonade.

Following closely behind are Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nods each.

British singer Adele secured five nominations, tying with the late great David Bowie.

Other nominees include Chance the Rapper for best New Artiste, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, Desiigner and Kirk Franklin.

The 59th Grammy Awards will take place on February 12.





devin-di-dakta-and-jl.jpggrammy-awards.jpgDevin Di Dakta and J.L. have been given their first nod for the honour award from The Recording Academy.

Devin Di Dakta who turned 21 yesterday says he is "excited and overjoyed" to wake up to the news of the nomination.

The collaboration EP Sly & Robbie Presents ... Reggae For Her features eight songs written by Devin and J.L. on the Tuff Gong International, Taxi Records label have been selected in the Best Reggae Album category of the 59th Grammy awards.

Other nominees in the Best Reggae Album category are: J Boog for Rose Petals on the Wash House Music Group label; Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley on the Tuff Gong Worldwide label, Raging Fyah for Everlasting on the Dub Rockers/VP Records label and Rebelution for Falling Into Place on the Easy Star Records label.





raging-fyah.jpggrammy-awards.jpgIn 2016 Pele, Demar, Anthony Watson, Courtland "Gizmo" White and Kumar collectively known as Raging Fyah released their third studio album "Everlasting" to rave reviews from fans and music industry alike.

Proudly the top charting album received the highest honor in music with a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. Recorded live at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong Studios producer Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown, Everlasting incorporates broad based influences, various acoustic subtleties, and a few guest artists, all of which further established Raging Fyah's reggae identity.

Speaking on their nomination, lead singer Kumar stated "We feel honored and humbled, we are just taking it in, it feels good. It gives us a sense of accomplishment as humble musicians. It's more than just the band, it's the Jamaican culture, reggae culture. Being nominated is a win itself, Its going to do a lot for the younger musicians Coming from Edna Manley I think it changes the culture of musicianship, of the struggles we overcome. To be nominated for Best Reggae Album alongside Ziggy Marley, J Boog, Sly & Robbie, Rebelution and SOJA is a win for us, for all struggling young musicians, we give thanks, we feel really good".





Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers' Union (NWU), has described the dismissal of 12 workers from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) as an inhumane and unlawful act of political discrimination.

The workers, mainly from the agency's Parks and Markets Department, were recently handed termination letters, dated November 30.

They carried out a peaceful protest at the agency's Half Way Tree headquarters Monday afternoon.

Mr. Valentine, claiming political victimisation, said the workers are supporters of the People's National Party (PNP).

"It is inhumane, it is downright cruel to men of straw. These are persons who are at the lowest level of the economic scale and it's unfortunate that right after the national election, that persons would have taken such steps, which is deemed and looks in every direction to be political victimisation," Mr. Valentine lamented.

The NWU general secretary said a meeting on Monday with union representatives and the management of the NSWMA ended on a hopeful note.

"We are expecting that the senior management must do the prudent thing and reinstate these persons with immediacy and ensure that they too have a good and peaceful Christmas," he declared.





woman-shot-dead-chrissy-vaughan.jpgThe police in St James have vowed to bring to justice the man responsible for Monday morning's gun slaying of popular Montego Bay mortician, 31-year-old Chrissy Vaughan.

"He (killer) is known to the persons who were there (crime scene ) and we think that in very short order he will be brought to justice," head of operations at the St James Police Division, acting Superintendent of Police, Gary McKenzie told members of the western Jamaica media fraternity, at a press conference at the Freeport Police Station on Monday afternoon.

The shooting occurred sometime after 2 am, outside a club in Bogue Village, St James, where Vaughan was among a group of patrons when a fight broke out between two members.

One of the two reportedly took out a gunand fired, shooting the mortician in her head, as she sought to flee the scene in her motorcar. She lost control of the vehicle which slammed into a sidewalk.

The police discovered Vaughan slumped around the steering wheel of the vehicle, suffering from gunshot wound. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Early this morning, the police were notified that an explosion was heard in the Bogue Village area. Based on what we gather so far, persons were at a club. They are known to each other and the understanding is that a dispute developed and one person drew a firearm and fired shots, one of which caught her," DSP McKenzie related.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA woman was fatally shot in Montego Bay, St. James early Monday morning.

She has been identified as 31-year-old Christine Johnson, an embalming officer from Bogue in the parish.

About 2:00 a.m., Ms Johnson was at a party with a man, when an argument developed between her companion and another man.

Ms Johnson walked away from the argument and proceeded to her car. But as she was about to drive off, one of the men allegedly pulled a firearm and shot Ms Johnson in the head.

The car crashed into an embankment.

Both men left the scene.

Ms. Johnson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Would-be robber shot and killed by ex-JDF soldier

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Half Way Tree, St. Andrew Monday afternoon.

It is reported that he attempted to rob a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who had just left the bank. The ex-soldier was reportedly in civilian clothing when the male trailed him from the bank and attempted to rob him at about 12:20 p.m.

The would-be robber reportedly attacked the ex-soldier with a knife, slashing him on the hand, thus forcing the former army man to use his licensed firearm to shoot his attacker. The man reportedly died on the spot.

The dead man has been identified by his alias Biggie. He was from Chestnut Lane in Kingston.

A photo of the would-be thief laying facedown in a blue shirt is being circulated on social media.





peter-phillips-photo-2.jpgpeter-bunting-photo-1.jpgFollowing Sunday's announcement by People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election, the two Peters - Dr. Peter Phillips and Peter Bunting -- have confirmed that they will be available for nomination when the time comes.

In an interview Sunday night, Mr. Bunting told popular radio station RJR, that he was up to the task of leading the PNP in the next general election.

"I intend to offer myself when the schedule for nominiations is made clear and to signal that I'm available for the next four years until the next general and local government election," he declared.

Also speaking with the same entity following the party's National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, Dr. Peter Phillips announced his intention to bid for the PNP presidency.

"Certainly, when the arrangements are in place for our elections to be held for the presidency of the party, I intend to offer myself," he stated.





Lady Saw's album for Grammy consideration

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lady-saw-photo-7.jpgMinister Marion Hall, formerly known as Lady Saw, has confirmed that her debut gospel album is currently up for consideration by the Grammy Award committee.

She released her debut 14 track gospel album When God Speaks in July.

She already shares a Grammy Award with No Doubt, the first female DJ to do so and is also the first to be certified as a triple-platinum artist.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is slated for February 12, 2017.





Jr Gong's manager partners with Jay-Z's Roc Nation

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junior-gong-photo-2.jpgDan Dalton, whose Dalton Entertainment Group manages Damian Jr Gong Marley, has announced a partnership with Jay Z's Roc Nation, that will see the two working together across all areas of their businesses, which include touring, marketing and branding.

Roc Nation's roster includes Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Meek Mill and Big Sean among others.

The deal means Roc Nation may spearhead the release of Marley's album due for release in 2017.





bolt-ap-iaaf-award.jpgNine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has won the IAAF male Athlete of the Year award for a record sixth time.

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana, who broke the 10,000m world record by over 14 seconds in winning Olympic gold in Rio this summer, won the female award, beating Jamaica's Elaine Thompson who won 100m and 200m gold and silver in the 4x100m at the Rio Olympics.

Bolt, 30, sealed the 'triple triple' in Rio, winning his third Olympic title in each of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"It's definitely a big deal," said the Jamaican of the award he also won in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Bolt will retire next year, following the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

He added: "When you get to be athlete of the year it means that all the hard work has paid off, so if I can win it for a sixth year means as much as the first one."





cholera-cemetery-in-st-andrew.jpgA public health expert wants details on the process which resulted in approval being given for a commercial development on a cemetery on Waterloo and West Kings House Roads in St Andrew where victims of the 1860 cholera outbreak are buried.

The land has been partially cleared and drilling equipment is in place.

Town Clerk Robert Hill reportedly told RJR News that approval was granted in September for work to be done on the land and NEPA and the Public Health Department have declared that there are no public health risks.

Head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology at UTECH, Professor Winston Davidson, says this will not be enough to ease public concerns.

"I don't know that there are any hazards, but it is very important for the public to know the evidence...I have never researched this. But it is something that I have to look at ...."





Four persons killed in Manchester in 24 hours

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crime-scene-7.jpgFour persons were murdered in Manchester in two incidents between yesterday and this morning.

Three persons were killed in Craighead. The other incident took place in Albion.

Report are that a family was attacked at a house in Craighead early Sunday morning. Two women and a man were killed and the house set on fire. They have not yet been identified.

Meanwhile, in Albion on Saturday afternoon, 33-year-old Mark Evans, a taxi operator, was shot and killed by a gunman on Palm Drive. The police report that about 4:45 residents heard explosions. A man was seen running away with a gun in his hand.

Evans' body was found in the driver's seat of his car with what appeared to be bullet wounds.





portia.jpgComrades, I have been in politics for many years and I have been assessing my future as leader of my beloved People's National Party. I have been reflecting on what the past 10 years have meant and mean. It has been quite a journey.

We have been in Government and in Opposition. In 2012, we had a landslide victory and led a four-year period of some of the most fundamental strides to set the Jamaican economy on the right track. Now we are back in Opposition by the slimmest margin ever. What decade it has been! We have held together through some very stormy seas.

Earlier this year, I signalled to the Party that I wanted to see us through the Local Government Elections. There was a reason for that. I never wanted a new leader of this movement to commence their term with an election loss which we expected in the Local Government election. I wanted to give that person a clean slate on which to build. I have given over 40 years of selfless and dedicated service to this great Party and country. I have been through some tough battles for this party. I have witnessed many Comrades fall. There were times along the way when only a few brave souls were left standing.The only thing we had was courage but we were fighting for a cause and we were never going to quit on the people.

In you my Comrades, I see the best of humanity - You are resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in the future of the PNP. With courage and confidence in our ideals, this great party will never tire, never falter, and never fail. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. I have been blessed to represent my party and nation. I am proud of and happy about the strong endorsement given to me by the delegates of the Party in September. To receive 93% of the votes is indeed an overwhelming endorsement. However, there comes a time when one must assess their political future.

Today, I am indicating to the Party that I will not offer myself for re-election as President of this noble movement for the next political year beginning in September. I want the transition to a new leader to be seamless. I will lead the officers to establish clear guidelines and a period for campaigning. There will be sanctions and a ban on public advertisements. Any action by candidates and their supporters to tarnish other comrades or bring the party into disrepute will be met with sanctions. Those who want leadership must remember that the PNP is bigger than all of us. If we cannot put the party before personal ambitions, we do not deserve to lead this movement. I will do everything I can in the time I have left as Leader of this Party to lead our reconnection with the Jamaican people and to influence the return to power of the PNP.

Comrades, let us resolve today to do our best to unite the party and build bonds that will never be broken by pettiness and personal ambitions. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. I thank you for the countless acts of sacrifice, courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed especially over the last 10 years.

God bless you.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOdane Smith, otherwise called 'Queng Queng',an alleged West Kingston gangster has been slapped with charges relating to two counts of murder.

Smith was recently listed as one of the Kingston Western Police Division's most wanted men; he was earlier this week charged with the two counts of murder and is expected to face a third capital charge soon.

Smith was held during a police operation in the division on November 22.

In a follow-up security operation in the division on Thursday afternoon, an illegal gun was seized and five men taken into custody.

The gun, an Intratech 9mm pistol, was reportedly seized on Gem Road.





julian-robinson.jpgMember of Parliament for St Andrew South East Julian Robinson took over as general secretary of the People's National Party (PNP) on Sunday, promising to lead a secretariat that is fair and impartial.

Robinson replaces Paul Burke, who served as PNP general secretary for the past three years.

He said his team will focus on people, processes and policies.

Robinson said he wants to ensure that the PNP's processes are in line with first world standards.

In addition, he said the policies developed by the party must be to uplift quality of life for all Jamaicans.





Another cop shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe policeman who was fatally shot on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston this morning has been identified.

He is 31-year-old Corporal Kamoi Miller who was attached to the Kingston Eastern Division. It is believed he was off-duty at the time of the incident.

Our news team understands that the 31-year-old officer was found slumped over the steering wheel of a 2011 Toyota Rav 4 he was driving with gunshot wounds to the back and head.

Residents initially heard the explosion and a subsequent crash. They called the police, who found their colleague dead in the car.





Portia to step down as leader of the PNP

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portia.jpgPresident of the People's National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller says she will be stepping down soon.

Speaking on Sunday to members of the PNPs National Executive Council (NEC) at Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, Mrs Simpson Miller announced her imminent departure and promised to give the new president enough time to rebuild the party to win the next general election.

It was only in September that she was reconfirmed as PNP President when she dismissed a weak challenge from Dr. Karl Blythe.

Sunday's announcement came amidst calls for Mrs Simpson Miller to step down, in light of the defeats suffered by the PNP in the February 25 general election and the November 28 local government election.

Portia Simpson Miller was first elected PNP President in February 2006. In that contest she prevailed over three other candidates - Dr Peter Phillips, Dr Omar Davies and Dr Karl Blythe.





lisa-hanna-photo-4.jpgAs expected, there was quite a bit of bangarang at the big PNP National Executive Council meeting on Sunday at the Cedar Grove Academy in St Catherine. People's National Party supporters loyal to President Portia Simpson Miller and others supporting St Ann South East Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna traded insults. Also, as expected, a huge brawl was on the verge of erupting, as the two sets of rabble rousers squared off.

"Lisa must go!" was the chant of the group loyal to Simpson Miller, while Hanna's much smaller faction retorted: "Everything in life has an expiry date."

A fight nearly broke out between two men and shortly after, a vicious looking woman pulled a knife threatening to stab a man.The police intervened, but by then the party animal had flung away the weapon.

The knife was subsequently recovered by the police.





UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday apologised for the first time to the people of Haiti for the role played by the world body's peacekeepers in sparking a devastating cholera epidemic in the country.

"On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly we apologise to the Haitian people," he said three times -- in Haitian Creole, French and English.

"We simply did not do enough with regards to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti," Ban said. "We are profoundly sorry for our role."





new-jdf-chief-meade.jpgBrigadier Rocky Meade has been sworn in today as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

The swearing in ceremony took place at 3:00 p.m. at King's House.

Brigadier Meade will succeed Major General Antony Anderson who has been appointed National Security Advisor.

He has been Deputy Chief of Defence Staff for five years.





fidel-castro-el-general-photo-2.jpgThe Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has announced that the Jamaican flag will be flown at half-mast tomorrow, December 2, on all government offices and national buildings as a tribute to the late former President of the Republic of Cuban Fidel Castro Ruz, who died on last Friday.

According to the OPM, Jamaica will join the rest of Caricom in the symbolic gesture of condolence to mark Castro's passing and mourn with the people of Cuba.





5 seats to PNP and 5 to JLP in St Thomas

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pnp-headquarters.jpgThe tie in the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation remains after the official count was completed in all ten divisions.

Both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) has five seats in the ten member corporation.

In the Seaforth division, Vivene Spencer of the JLP polled 1,223 votes, beating the PNP's Dexter Effs, who polled 719 votes.

In the White Horses division, Hubert Williams of the PNP polled 1,301 votes, defeating the JLP's Daveon McKenzie, who polled 1,007 votes.

The final count in the municipality ended about 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.





prince-harry-and-rihanna-photo-1.jpgPrince Harry is on a royal tour in the Caribbean and found himself in Barbados for festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the island nation's independence from Britain.

The country's most famous native star, Rihanna, was also in attendance, and the two met up twice on Wednesday.

Rihanna sang the Barbados national anthem with the country's national youth choir and the Prince made a speech before a mega concert at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.

prince-harry-and-rihanna-photo-2.jpg





crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice have identified the businessman who was shot and killed in Twickenham Park , St Catherine yesterday as 49-year-old Shawn Hall of March Pen Road in Spanish Town.

It is reported that about 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Hall was standing at his tyre shop along the Greendale Main Road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by a group men dressed in orange shirts.

The reportedly shot him several times, killing him on the spot and then escaped.

No motive has been established.

Persons in the Twickenham Park area have described Hall as a good person who provided employment for several persons in and around the community.





us-wanted-top-10.jpgA man believed to be a Jamaican citizen has been listed as one of the 10 Most Wanted Fugitives by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

While acknowledging that the man's identity and nationality is still uncertain, FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola said investigators are calling him 'Marlon Jones'.

In a statement posted on the FBI's website, Garriola said 'Jones' has an "extensive violent criminal" history and uses multiple alias names and dates of birth.

"We're calling him Marlon Jones based on his criminal history in New York, but at this point it's anyone's guess what his actual birth name is. We don't believe he is a US citizen," Garriola said.

According to the FBI Special Agent, 'Jones' has been charged with crimes in the state of New Jersey under the name 'Rasheen Brantley' and served time in New York under the name 'Floyd Evans'. Further, he said 'Jones' has used the names 'Anthony Howard', 'Anthony Winter' and variations of those names.Garriola said Jones is about 5'10" tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has provided dates of birth ranging from 1970-1981.

"The biggest challenge right now besides finding him is trying to figure out who he really is," the FBI agent underscored.

Garriola said 'Jones' is wanted in connection with the early-morning killing of four people, including Jamaican gang leader Robert 'Rodigan' Davis, in California on October 15 this year. The Los Angeles Police report that 10 persons were also injured in the shooting.





Cops probe murder in Spanish Town

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Spanish Town, St Catherine this afternoon.

The police say that the was standing near a tyre repair shop along the Greendale main road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by men who shot him.

The identity of the dead man, who is said to be from the Young Street area of the Old Capital, was not revealed by the police.

A probe is being conducted by the St Catherine Major Investigation Division.





jetblue.jpgReports are that a JetBlue Airways flight which had been scheduled to land in Kingston at 6 p.m on Wednesday had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport because there were no lights on the runway at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The plane, which left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 5 o'clock this afternoon is carrying 150 passengers.

One passenger on board said the plane had started its descent into Kingston, when the pilot announced that the Norman Manley airport had advised that the runway lights were not working.

As a result, the plane had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.





No parish council seat for Buju's daughter

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buju-banton-daughter-jodi.jpgBuju Banton's daughter Jodian Myrie, fell short in her bid to win a seat in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Jodian lost by 107 votes to the People's National Party (PNP) Nenna Wilson in the Hagley Park Division.

The Hagley Park Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has never been won by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The party came within a whisker of taking the seat in 2007 when Mazielyn McIntosh fell short by 75 votes.

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ziggy-marley-photo-1.jpgA new Grammy-sponsored charity auction has been launched in celebration of the holiday season that's offering a variety of autographed collectibles and VIP experiences. Among the many items up for bid are VIP packages from reggae star Ziggy Marley, son of the late reggae legend, Bob Marley.

Some of the biggest stars in the music industry are auctioning pieces of Grammy Awards history, including signed guitars, microphones and even tickets to next year's ceremony. For Ziggy Marley, there is the chance to get tickets to his 2017 U.S shows, meet-and-greet passes and a Marley-themed gift basket.

Shure microphones signed by Rihanna and Smokey Robinson as well as items signed by Lenny Kravitz and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp are also a part of the auction.

The Grammy Charity Giving sale runs until December 9 and proceeds raised will benefit the MusiCares organization as well as the Grammy Foundation.

All the items are available for viewing at eBay.com/Grammy.





ninja-sting.jpgOutspoken veteran entertainer, Desmond John Ballentine, better known as Ninjaman, is of the opinion that the powers that be have been feigning ignorance of the fact that jailed deejay Vybz Kartel, has been recording music while in prison.

Ninjaman, in a recent interview with Jamaica's afternoon tabloid, The Star, further opined that the government had to move Vybz Kartel to athe maximum security General Penitentiary prison to 'save face'

"There is no question there about weh di man a do, so I don't want the Government gwaan like dem take people fi idiot. Di whole a dem did know, but the reason why the Government have to make this drastic step is because it obvious now."

According to artiste -- whose full moniker sounds something like this: The Original Gold-Teeth-Gun-Pon-Teeth- Don-Gorgon -- there was no way that the self-proclaimed World Boss could have answered Mavado's very recent diss directly, unless he had voiced those particular set of lyrics while behind bars.

"Mi nuh business bout nuh body business, but nobody a nuh idiot. Nobody nuh supposed to ask me if the man a record inna prison because how you fi answer Mavado if you nah record?" Ninjaman is reported as saying.

vybz-kartel-photo-4-larger.jpg

Ninjaman, himself no stranger to life behind bars, and who is currently out on bail awaiting trial in a murder case in which he has been fingered,curiously enough voiced his support for Kartel's recent transfer.

The many-time jailed artiste explained to the Star thus: "Well, as an artiste, fi Kartel go a GP is a better situation,. Him have more chances fi do him work because you have studio inna di General Penitentiary. You have schools, you have radio stations, everything."

The former Brother Desmond, however, had a word of caution,"The only thing is that if the Government seh him not supposed to record, him nah go can record." - YP





 

kip-rich-sting-awards.jpgPathetic is perhaps the kindest word one could find to describe the travesty that took place on the lawns of Devon House on Boxing Day, December 26, 2016. What was packaged as a red-carpet-invitation-only awards ceremony to recognize those who have contributed to the success of Sting over the umpteen years of the show's existence, turned out to be a hard lesson in what not to do when staging an event of this nature.

First of all, the e-vites asked invited guests and their 'plus one' to arrive by 7:00 PM. However, the poorly produced and scantily attended event did not get started until close to 10:PM. Not only that, but in the absence of a vital guest list at the entrance, the security told guests that they would not be allowed to enter without their invitation. What the hell!? Seriously? Who attends these function with an invitation? It gets better. Having been informed that the invitations were sent via email, the security then asked the invited guests to show him their invitations ...on their emails.... using their smart phones. Ohhhhhh!!!! The audacity of it all!

Well, having passed the intense scrutiny and the sickie finally flying the pearly gates, we were gleefully rubbing our palms -- and everything else -- in anticipation of having quite a treat. Surely, no less a being than the angel Gabriel would have been seen beyond the gate, perhaps serenading us with his harp. That was not to be. What? No Gabriel...after that invasive background check at the gate? Okay, we were prepared to see at least Barack Obama....nope. Oprah Winfrey?..Nope. Donald Trump? The Pope? No and No.

After doing a walkabout, and being careful not to get our heels sinking in the grass, we finally spotted the night's big celeb, looking rather important amidst a gaggle of ordinary folk...none other than Kippo. Looking quite dapper and taking his role as the headline act at the event, the man who was awarded the Sting Clash Champion plaque said he was honoured to receive the award.

Actually, Kip Rich saved the night for Isaiah Laing and his Supreme Promotions partners, because he was the biggest artiste to grace the event with his presence.

Just take a quick listen to the roll call of the awardees who were absent: Brigadier Jerry, Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Masicka. Selector Skyjuice, Junior Reid, Michael "Lick Shot" Palmer, Half Pint, Vybz Kartel, Buju Banton, Etana, Sagitarius Band, Merciless, Stitchie, Beenie Man, Papa San, Pinchers, Lady G, Ninjaman, Sister Charmaine, and Bounty Killer .

None of the Icons of Sting were present or sent representatives; none of the incarcerated artistes sent reps and of the Sting Hall of Fame inductees, only two sent representatives -- Ruff Kutt Band and Capleton. All the others were no-shows.

If after 32 years in the business of producing an annual stage show of the magnitude of a Sting, the organisers could not get one lickle awards show right, then it's little wonder that Sting is in the mess that it has found itself. And did we mention that the host for the evening was originally reading from a piece of paper with hand-writing scribbled thereon? Then,someone had a brilliant idea to give her the tablet to read from. Perhaps this suggestion came from none other than the social media savvy sickie who had earlier demanded to see our email on our phones as proof of our e-vite.





Bolt has new role as CEO of French champagne company

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bolt-ceo-champagne-photo-1.jpgWorld record holder and fastest man Usain Bolt has taken on a new role with French champagne company, Maison Mumm as its Chief Entertainment Officer.

"Maison Mumm is proud to announce the special appointment of Usain Bolt, one of the world's most daring and decorated athletes, as the newest CEO - chief entertainment officer," the company stated on its website.

bolt-ceo-champagne-photo-2.jpg

Bolt, who publisised the Mumm's appointment with a video posting to his Facebook page on Friday, was appointed to the post in November. The new role will see Bolt taking the lead in ideating unique ways to bring celebrations to consumers in the markets which the international company operates.

Mumm, which was founded in 1827 and is owned by Pernod Ricard is one of the largest and most prestigious champagne houses in the world.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Thomas police are investigating yet another domestic murder after the body of a young woman was reportedly found at the home of her boyfriend in the community of Arcadia in the parish Sunday morning.

Dead is 19 year-old Shamaine Tashoy Barrett of Arcadia, St Thomas.

Reports are that after a friend of Shamaine failed to reach her by phone, Sunday morning, they went to her boyfriend's house, where they discovered her body inside with the throat slashed.

An alarm was made.

Police say the boyfriend is being sought for questioning.

Barrett was a student of Paul Bogle Vocational school.

Barrett's aunt said her niece was last seen alive sometime after midnight, when she left church.





2016 murder figures surpass those for 2015

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crime-scene-knife.jpgWith just a few days left in 2016, the police are reporting that 1,300 people have been murdered so far this year.

Last year's murder figure of 1,192 was surpassed last month.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal investigation Branch, has highlighted several factors which he believes have contributed to the increase in murders, chief among them being lack of respect, one person for the other.

"To disrespect somebody is the easiest thing to do, and people interpret that in many, many ways, and that results in death, so gangsters, if you come across their turf, you're disrespecting the gang, and it ends in death," he said.

The same problem obtains in domestic relationships he said, citing simple disputes between couples, in which the woman says something to the man, "which he interprets as being disrespectful to him... it's going to result in death."





crime-scene-gun.jpgChristmas Day ended in horror in the St James community of Hendon, Norwood, Sunday.

It's reported that shortly after 7 p.m three men and a woman were shot dead and a second woman injured at a shop.?

They were playing dominoes when a car with several men aboard drove up.

It's reported that the occupants got out of the car and opened fire on the group, killing the? four people on the spot. The deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Monique Woolery of Llandilo, Westmoreland and 5th Avenue in Montego Hills, Jason Anderson, 30, of Nelly Lane, 39-year-old Leo Mitchell, otherwise called 'Fire' of Columbus Square, Norwood, and 43-years-old Yorken Silvera, of Norwood.

According to the Montego Bay Police, about 7:30 Ms Woolery and a male companion were walking along Nelly Lane when a white motorcar drove up.

Armed men alighted and started firing shots at the couple, who ran into a nearby shop to take cover. The men continued firing at them while in the shop. Ms. Woolery and four other persons were shot and injured.

The injured persons were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A 16-year-old girl was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

Ms. Woolery's male companion escaped unhurt.

The St. James Police are appealing to the public for information to assist in their investigation into the incident.





17 persons killed between December 23 - 26

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are reporting a high number of murders over the Christmas weekend in Jamaica, with 17 killed during the period, December 23 to early on the 26th.

Among them were four shot at a shop in Hendon, Norwood in the western parish of St. James on Christmas night. A fifth person was shot and injured in that incident.

The latest statistics come at the tail-end of a dismal year for the country, with the murder count easily outstipping the 2015 figure.

Data obtained from the police revealed that just over 1300 hundred murders have been committed since January, significantly ahead the 1192 people killed in all of 2015.

In the face of such daunting statistics, the Police High Command is again promising to put in place additional anti-crime measures across the country.

Sunday's target

Regarding Sunday's shooting in St. James, investigators say they believe the gunmen were targeting a single victim.





woman-on-cocaine-charge-clcock.jpgA female who is said to be a relative of reggae recording artiste Jah Cure was arrested on Wednesday, December 21 in Florida after she was caught attempting to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

According to information from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Mckadia Damale Alcock, 29, was arrested by US Marshals at the Fort-Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and charged with possession of cocaine.

The 29-year-old is being held prior to trial at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach, Florida.

More details to come.





Singer George Michael dead at 53

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george-michael.jpgGeorge Michael has died at his home in Oxfordshire.

Michael's publicist said that he had 'passed away peacefully' at his property in Goring at 1.42pm today.

Michael, 53, had previously battled drug addiction. However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown.

Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas.

The singer - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

In a statement, the star's publicist said: 'It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.

'The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.'





Manhunt launched for US soldier missing in Jamaica

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police-photo-1.jpgPolice in Jamaica have launched a search for a twenty-nine-year-old member of the US army, who has been missing since Friday, December 23.

The US soldier has been identified as Roshain Brooks of Brooklyn, New York.

He is of dark complexion, medium build and is about 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall.

Reports from the Mandeville Police are that about 3:00 p.m., Brooks was last seen on Brumalia Road, Mandeville, Manchester wearing a blue T- shirt, blue denim pants and a pair of red shoes. Efforts to contact him have proven futile

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Roshain Brooks is being asked to contact the Mandeville Police at 904-1577, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





crime-scene-knife.jpgThe Montego Bay police are probing the circumstances surrounding the murder of an unidentified woman whose corpse was discovered with stab wounds in that resort city on Christmas morning.

Reports are that about 8:00 am Sunday, the police, who responded to a call, discovered the body along Church Lane, lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck.

The deceased was reportedly last seen about 7:30 pm Saturday, entering a building - near where the body was found - in the company of a male.





The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) has launched a probe into the theft of more than J$15 million from an account held by the Ministry of Health at National Commercial Bank.

It's believed that thieves hacked into the account and removed the money between May and last month.

Hackers made off with $6 million between May and June this year. They struck again last month, removing an additional nine million dollars from the account.

A senior investigator revelaed that hackers began targeting the account when the Ministry placed it online earlier this year.

The special account deals with HIV/Aids and is funded by overseas agencies.

The Ministry has confirmed that $6 million has since been recovered by the bank, following intense investigations.

The Ministry says the breach occurred due to malicious software or malware.

Malware are computer programmes designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user's consent. They can be used to gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems.





St Thomas butcher shot dead at home on Christmas Eve

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man was shot and killed at his home during an alleged robbery on Christmas Eve.

He has been identified as 49-year old Wilbert Squire, a meat vendor of Brown's Lane in Morant Bay.

The police say about 9:20 p.m., Squire was in his yard when he was attacked by two armed men.

He was shot several times in the upper body, killing him on the spot.





lobbyist-dr-wayne-west.jpgDr Wayne West, Chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) is urging Jamaicans to have a heightened awareness of how a recent vote in the United Nations to affirm the mandate of an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity can affect laws in the country.

Jamaica was one of 77 countries which voted to block the mandate of the Independent Expert; however 84 countries voted for the expert to carry out his mandate to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people.

But that vote by Jamaica and others opposed to the appointment failed. That UN expert, who was appointed on November 1, is now free to do his work.

Dr West nevertheless praised the Jamaican Government for "taking a very sensible stand," on the issue, arguing that the rights being promoted by the new Independent Expert "are really based illogical premises, and are going to lead to great harm."

He told RJR News that, while he has no problem with protecting LGBT people, he is worried the agenda of the UN appointed independent expert is broader than protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

"The expert himself has articulated that his agenda is actually integrating these concepts into the society, via things such as the education curricular that children are exposed to," he said.

Accordingly, he stressed that "while I do not want violence against anyone, it is wholly illogical to integrate abnormality as normal in the society."

The resolution must now be taken to Parliament for ratification, but Dr West says he fears "activist" judges in Jamaica may follow their counterparts in Belize in implementing the mandate of the LGBT expert through the courts.

"We must make our Parliament aware that we do not want that to happen, and if an activist judge does it, we need challenge it...," he declared.

Dr. West has sharply criticized the UN as an agency, set up to find solutions to global problems, which is now going beyond its mandate to advance the LGBT agenda.





250 pounds of ganja seized in St Bess

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ganja-seized.jpgTwo hundred and fifty pounds of compressed ganja valued at about J$1.5 million were seized by the police in St Elizabeth on Christmas Eve.

According to the police's Corporate Communication Unit, the ganja was seized on the Pedro Plains about 12:45 a.m. yesterday.

The police say they were in the area when a group of men were seen loading parcels onto a vessel. When the men saw the police they ran leaving the parcels behind. Upon inspection the parcels were discovered to be five knitted bags containing compressed ganja.

No arrests were made.





St Lucia considers medicinal marijuana in 2017

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medical-ganja.jpgPrime Minister of St Lucia, Roosevelt Skerrit, says his administration will discuss the issue of medical marijuana in the coming year.

Skerrit who was a guest on a local radio programme on Wednesday said the topic must be discussed in a focused and informed manner, in order to take full advantage of the use of the herb, which many have sworn has saved their lives.

"We have started the conversation. I think we maybe need to put a better structure in place where we can have a more structured, informed dialogue or discussion on medical marijuana, to see how we can take advantage of this.

I think in the New Year you will see a more focused, more structured approach to the discussion...I think that if there is a plant in our country which people are swearing by as having saved their lives or assisted them in reducing the pain or managing their ailment, then I think it is important for there to be a very serious discussion about it, and to see how we can go about taking advantage of this development," the Prime Minister said.

He suggested that Dominica could adopt and tweak measures from other countries that have been successful in the use of medical marijuana.

The Prime Minister said while the government is not opposed to the eventual legalisation of marijuana several things must be carefully considered before such a decision is brought forward.

The issue of marijuana legalisation has been heavily discussed in Dominica. .

In Dominica, marijuana has been classified as a 'Class B' drug, as a result, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.





Mystery illness of 83 JDF recruits bugging doctors

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Medical authorities have not yet been able to identify the specific respiratory infection that struck 83 Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers at the army's New Castle training base in St Andrew.

So far the dreaded Influenza A (H1N1/swine flu) virus has been ruled out, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston de la Haye. He told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that none of the tests for other viral infections have uncovered any definitive results.

"So far we haven't got a definitive indication of anything specific, and it is with that in mind that we have included PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). They are ready to assist in widening the net of possible pathogens (even those that we don't have the capacity to test for) sending samples to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States) or CARPHA (Caribbean Publich Health Agency) in Trinidad to do further testing. The aim is to identify the organism and zero in effectively in terms of treatment," he explained.

Dr de la Haye stressed that, apart from the resemblance to H1N1, it is difficult to put a finger on the cause of the symptoms. "It's really just clinical presentations that we can comment on. The presentation being so severe in some, suggesting a possible H1N1," he stated.





2 shot dead at hairdresser in Negril

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were Thursday afternoon shot dead at a hairdressing parlour in Negril, Westmoreland.

The names of the deceased are yet to be established.

Reports are that about 1:20 the two young men were among other customers at the hairdressing parlour in Negril when gunshots were heard.

Upon the arrival of the police who were summoned, one of the two young men was found slumped in a hairdresser's chair, while the other was found lying outside the establishment, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

The Negril police are investigating.





deputy-commissioner-novelette-grant.jpgDeputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant is to act as Police Commissioner effective January 7, 2017.

A day earlier, the current commissioner Dr Carl Williams will go on pre-retirement leave.

The Police Service Commission says Grant will act for 90 days.

It also says it intends to publicly advertise for the post.





Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams resigns

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police-commissioner-dr-carl-williams-photo-1.jpgPolice Commissioner Dr Carl Williams has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and has resigned the post.

Accordinghe Gleaner has obtained a copy of a letter Williams wrote to the Police Service Commission indicating that he will proceed on early retirement effective January 6.

He also indicated that his decision to step down as police chief was based on personal reasons.

"My retirement is provided for on the basis of my age and years of service," Williams wrote in the letter, addressed to chairman of the PSC Professor Gordon Shirley.

"Having enlisted in the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] in February 1984, it has been my honour to have given more than three decades of tireless service to my country," he added.

Williams was appointed Commissioner in September 2014 after his predecessor Owen Ellington also resigned from the post, in a bid for early retirement.

Williams' decision to step down follows a tough year for the police.

Since the start of the year, nearly 1,200 persons have been reported killed, a near five per cent increase when compared with last year.





The St Catherine North Police have intensified their presence across the division in light of the discovery of an alleged plot by members of the Tesha Miller faction of the Clansman Gang to carry out significant violent attacks in the division during the festive season.

According to police, based on intelligence garnered by the Jamaica Constabulary Force plans are being made to carry out shootings against rival gang members in several communities.

The areas of target include Top Banks, the Spanish Town Bus Park, the Spanish Town Centre, and March Pen Road and its environs.

The police say with the absence of Tesha Miller another man, Akeem Jackson or Johnson, otherwise known as 'Bobo Sparks', has played a lead role in a number of murders and shootings in the division.

The police also say Jackson is the St Catherine North's most wanted man.

Miller is still a Person of Interest and is wanted for questioning.

The police are appealing to both men to turn in themselves immediately.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tesha Miller or Akeem Jackson is being asked to call the police.





Check out this video of Ninjaman blasting Sting

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ninja-sting.jpg





Beenie Man's brother is NOT dead

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Beenie Man brother is alive and well.

Recent rumors claimed that the dancehall king is mourning the death of his brother who was gunned down in broad day light earlier this week.

A video of the gruesome crime has been circulating on social media this week. The clip shows a man laying in the middle of the road in severe pain from a gunshot wound to his neck. Folks were on the side of the road filming with their cellphones while you can hear some persons in the background sayings its Beenie Man's brother.

A rep for the confirmed that the slain man is not the dancehall artists brother. "No thats false report its not the Doc [Beenie Man] brother," his rep said.





macka-diamond-wig.jpgAll right, so Sample Man pop off Macka wig off her head over at Ghetto Splash wha day yah and a bare things a happen to Macka after she get over the embarrassment of it all.

According to reports, Macka Diamond will be shooting a video this week for her latest single, 'Wig Haffi Fly', a song that relates the incident during which she lost her wig onstage during the Ghetto Splash concert at the Waterhouse mini-stadium last week.

The single is produced by Andrew 'Anju Blaxx' Myrie.

"Right now, things mad, the video of the incident went viral and the day after, I recorded the song for Andrew Blacks and he said say video shoot right away this Wednesday," she said.

Macka has been creating waves on social media over the past week, and the trend continued when she wore daring yellow wig to a dance, after which a photo circulated that attracted hundreds of comments - both negative and positive - over the weekend.

"Mi go Boom Boom party and I wore a yellow wig, because it was a blue-and-yellow birthday party and the Internet went wild, the picture went viral, so right now, people ah talk all kinda things but I couldn't care less. Macka Diamond hot ya now," she said.





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange is urging radio stations to play more Jamaican music.

According to a news release from the ministry, Grange said that based on data from the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP), which deals with the payment of royalties for the performance of music in Jamaica, it was clear that local disc jockeys prefer to play foreign music.

"I am very disappointed about JACAP having to pay out more money for foreign music played on the radio than it has for Jamaican music. Thirty-two million dollars have been sent out of the country while only $7 million have been paid to Jamaican writers for music based on what the radio stations are playing," Grange said at the launch of Rebel Salute 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday.

Grange said that if there were not such a huge disparity, more money would be distributed to local creators of music and spent in the local economy.





Cops detain 30 in Majesty Gardens

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More than 30 men were detained on Tuesday morning during a joint police/military operation in Majesty Gardens, off Spanish Town Road in St. Andrew.

Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit, said, among the persons picked up, is a man who was wanted by police for a case of shooting with intent.

She said the community has been tense since a drive-by shooting on Monday night, which resulted in the death of a man. He has been identified as 23-year-old Carlos Green of Majesty Gardens.

It is believed that Mr. Green was by the side of the road when armed men approached and shot him all over his body.

Superintendent Lindsay said the shooting has been linked to a feud involving members of the 'Unruly Gang'.

She said the security forces will continue to maintain a presence in the area.





JDF recruits recovering from mysterious illness

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The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has said about half of its recruits who fell ill last week with respiratory problems have recovered and returned to training at the Twickenham Park range in St. Catherine.

More than 50 recruits were afflicted with flu-like symptoms which Ministry of Health personnel had suspected was the H1N1 virus.

Major Basil Jarrett, JDF Media Affairs Officer, said it started out with two trainees falling ill.

"We didn't think anything of it because recruits go through a very intense and rigorous training programme and sometimes their body just breaks down... but when a third recruit fell ill, we started to connect the dots and we suspected that we might be dealing with something a little bit bigger than typical recruit fatigue," he argued.

However, he said tests by the Ministry of Health have cleared the recruits.

"They came in, they did some tests on the recruits, they swabbed the recruits who were still out at the area and up to yesterday, about 57 of the recruits had reported symptoms. But with testing done by the Ministry of Health this morning, I can confirm that we are not dealing with H1N1," Major Jarrett asserted to RJR News.

He said the other trainees are recovering well.





The Ministry of Health has called in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to assist in finding what has caused eighty Jamaica Defence Force soldiers in training to have fallen ill.

One trainee is reported to be in critical condition. This prompted a team from the Ministry of Health to tour the facility in Twickenham Park in St. Catherine Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Winston De La Haye, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, has said it is not the H1N1 they had initially suspected.

"So far, we have had no result which is positive for H1N1, which is one of the diagnoses entertained, neither is there any other influenza type virus. Other viruses can present those types of symptoms," he informed.

Hence, he said PAHO has been called to test samples to rule out other organisms, such as mycoplasma and legionella.

Although the cause of the illness is still unknown, Dr. De La Haye said the ministry has recommended that the JDF ensure that all future trainees are given vaccination for the influenza virus to minimise the recurrence of such an incident.

In this case, the chief medical officer said trainees who presented symptoms were isolated and all the healthy individuals were given the influenza vaccine.





Recently, a letter writer to The Gleaner complained that Scotiabank Jamaica had increased charges to encash a cheque from $140 to $1,358.

Commerce Minister Karl Samuda has described the decision of to increase by more than 1000 per cent the fee to encash cheques drawn on other banks as preposterous.

Samuda says the Government will be seeking to improve the way it presents information on bank charges to help customers

He says this increase in the cost to encash cheques at Scotiabank is unexplainable.

According to Samuda the bank seems to be ignoring the impact that these charges will have on small businesses.





taxi-man-leo-henry-is-dead.jpgThe taxi driver, who was shot by a security guard at a staff party at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in St Ann, after he stabbed his ex-girlfriend has died at hospital.

The police have identified the cabbie as 39-year-old Leo Henry, of Belle Aire Meadows in Runaway Bay, St Ann. Henry was reportedly a popular taxi driver on the Brown's Town to Discovery Bay route.

Reports are that sometime after midnight altercation developed between a female hotel staff member and Henry, who is her ex-boyfriend. He reportedly stabbed the woman on both legs and on her left hand.

A senior security officer at the hotel intervened in the incident and fired his gun and shot Henry. The bullet exited the man's body and hit the 17-year-old son of the hotel employee in his side.

Henry later succumbed to his injuries late Tuesday morning.

The 17-year-old remains in serious, but stable condition at the hospital.

The shooting resulted in chaos, bringing an end to the party as Romain Virgo - who was the featured act - had to abandon his performance.





anthony-b-photo-5.jpgAnthony B is warning fans against unscrupulous promoters after being falsely advertised for a string of events in the United Kingdom.

The entertainer says friends in London made him aware of the events.

According to Anthony B he was never contracted nor was he contacted about any of the events for which he's being advertised.

Anthony B is contracted for a couple in Europe after which he is scheduled to return to Jamaica for GT Taylor's Christmas Extravaganza slated for December 25 at its new location at the Luana Sports Complex, in Black River, St. Elizabeth.





Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor dead at 99

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zsa-zsa-gabor.jpgHungarian actress and longtime socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor has passed away at the age of 99.

The icon suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead on Sunday.

The long-time Beverly Hills socialite had dealt with a number of health troubles after being involved in a car accident in 2002 which resulted in her becoming partially paralyzed.

Back in February, the actress who was known for her love life as she was for her films, was rushed to an emergency room after suffering from breathing difficulties.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA supermarket attendant was shot and killed by unknown assailants who ensnared him on his way home from work in the parish of St James on Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Sinclair of a Cambridge address in the parish.

Reports are that about 9:30 last night, Sinclair was walking in the Train Line section of Cambridge when he was ambushed by unknown assailants who shot him. He died instantly.

While no motive has been established for the killing, the St James Police their investigation.





Ex-cop dies a week after being shot

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ex-cop-leroy-rowe.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgA former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who was shot two Saturdays ago in Montego Bay, St James died of his injuries Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Leroy Rowe of Accompong Town, St Elizabeth, passed away in the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he'd been undergoing treatment since being attacked on Saturday, December 10.

Rowe was shot by an unknown assailant while conducting business along Barnett Street.

The killer remains at large.





Husband stabs 50-year-old wife to death in Hanover

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crime-scene-knife.jpgAnother case of domestic violence has claimed the life of a woman after she was stabbed to death during a dispute with her husband at their home in Hanover on Friday.

Jennifer Garrison, 50, of Dias in Hanover, died after being stabbed multiple times with a knife by her husband.

Deputy Superintendent Andrew Nish, acting head of the Hanover Police, said the husband is in police custody and is expected to be charged shortly.

He said a team is conducting grief counselling with family members.

DSP Nish said this was the third time in recent weeks that a domestic dispute in the parish had turned deadly.

Last week, an 18-year-old woman was killed by her alleged ex-boyfriend and an elderly man was also reportedly killed by a woman.





car-crashes-into-departure-lounge.jpgTwo people sustained injuries when a motor car crashed into the glass facade of the departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning.

One of those injured is the driver of the motor car. The other is a traveller who was sitting in the departure lounge when the vehicle crashed into the glass facade. The extent of their injuries is not known. Their identities have not been released.

It is reported that the driver does not have a licence to operate a vehicle. He remains in police custody.

Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says the incident happened about 6:45 a.m. as two brothers, one of whom was the driver, dropped their mother at the airport.

He is reminding drivers to ensure that their engines are switched off before leaving their motor vehicles.





A St Elizabeth man is to appear in court on January 3 next year after he allegedly left the island on a fake Bahamian passport.

The police say 26-year-old Tim Joseph, otherwise called Marvin 'Curtis', a farmer of Waterloo district in St Elizabeth has been charged with uttering forged documents.

The Norman Manley Airport Police say Joseph boarded a flight destined for London, England under the name 'Marvin Curtis'.

On arrival at the Gatwick International Airport, he was being processed when immigration officers detected that his passport was forged and so he was denied entry and returned to Jamaica.





Woman who stole baby from hospital for court today

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court-case.jpgThe medical assistant charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on December 9 is to appear in court Friday.

Forty-seven-year-old Lorna Williams -- who is of a Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 address -- is to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication and awoke, around 10:30am, to find her missing.

The baby was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town, in St Andrew, about five hours later.





Excitement as Major Lazer set for tonight

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All is set for tonight's staging of Major Lazer & Friends, according to organisers.

Now in its fifth year, the EDM show is scheduled for Mas Camp in St Andrew.

"The production will be even bigger than last year, doubling the intensity. We have amazing performances planned and an incredible light and sound show," said Kamal Bankay, event organiser.

"We have a couple surprises up our sleeves. I'm 100 per cent confident everyone will have an amazing time. Security is in place, production is set," said Bankay.





No Sting on Boxing Day this year

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Supreme Promotions, organisers of annual stage show Sting will not be hosting the 32-year-old event this year, instead there will be a red-carpet Celebration Party and Awards Ceremony to honour more than 40 industry players from the entertainment fraternity.

The by-invitation-only ceremony will be held on Boxing Day, December 26, in the Corporate Area at a location to be announced.

An after-party will be held the following day (December 27) at House of Dancehall on 6 Cargill Ave in Kingston.





edward-braithwaite-to-sir-wth-love.jpgEdward (E.R.) Braithwaite, the Guyanese author of the seminal book, To Sir With Love, which became the basis of a hit move by the same name, has died at age 104.

Braithwaite passed away on Monday in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States.

He had taught at Howard University for many years.

Named Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite at birth, on June 27, 1912, he attended Guyana's prestigious high school, Queen's College, then City College of New York.

He later moved to Britain and fought in the Royal Air Force, but later, even with the benefit of a Cambridge degree in engineering, he was denied a job in a related field because he was Black.

Desperate for meaningful employment, he turned to teaching and wound up in an unruly class in a London slum school. It was that experience in which he helped to turn the lives of his students around while also detailing his experience of racism in Britain that he chronicled in To Sir With Love.

Later he served as a diplomat representing his country, Guyana, at the United Nations and in Venezuela.

He spent much of his later life as a lecturer and wrote several other books.





A police officer on the scene confirmed to Loop News that the alleged ex-lover of the woman was apprehended.

He is now in police custody, where he is to be questioned by investigators.

The incident drew scores of onlookers as a police forensic team examined the crime scene.





Baby thief a no-show in court

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stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgThe medical assistant accused of stealing a day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) did not appear in court on Wednesday.

No reason has been given for the no-show of 47-year-old Lorna Williams.

She is expected to appear in court by Friday.

Ms Williams, a resident of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 was charged on Friday with Child Stealing.

She was arrested five hours after the baby was found at her home in East Kingston.

The child was taken from a cot next to her mother on Ward Eleven last week.





Another woman stabbed to death by her ex-lover

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A woman was stabbed by her ex-lover in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after she made a report to the police that the man had threatened to kill her. The woman has been identified by relatives as 20-year-old Alisa Garey, a bartender of Ocho Rios.

Reports are that the male went to Garey's house on Wednesday morning and threatened to kill her. Garey later went to the Ocho Rios police and reported the threat. It is understood that the male was warned by the police and both left the station in opposite directions.

However, Garey was reportedly pounced upon and stabbed in the chest by her ex-boyfriend at the back entrance of Champion Plaza, on the Ocho Rios bypass. He reportedly then fled the scene.

Garey was assisted to the hospital by relatives, where she died while being treated. This brings to four the number of women murdered as a result of domestic violence in a little over one week.





Fast and Furious 8 trailer released

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fast-and-furious-8-fate-of-the-furious.jpgFans of the Fast and Furious racing film franchise got a taste of the latest installment of the popular series with an action-packed trailer for the upcoming The Fate of the Furious film.

The eighth Fast and Furious movie promises plenty of fast cars, chases and explosions as lead character Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, goes rogue.

The film also stars Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham and Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

The Fate of the Furious is scheduled for release in April.





AIM First Fest returns

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After a two-year hiatus, gospel concert AIM First Fest returns for it's 2017 staging.

Organizers Action Entertainment in association with The RJR Communications Group and title sponsor AIM Financial Corporation, will lead the list of gospel shows to be held on Monday, January 2 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

Grammy nominated singer Dietrich Haddon returns to Jamaica to headline the festival after his summer performance was aborted due to bad weather.

Local favourites Kevin Downswell, DJ Nicholas, Prodigal Son, George Nooks, Jabez, Joan Flemmings, Sister Patt, Keesa Peart and Reverend Glen Graham are all expected to perform.





bob-marley-photo-3.jpgDecades after his death, reggae icon Bob Marley is creating musical waves, with his latest feat a number one album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

The Legend Live - Santa Barbara from the 1979 Country Bowl, debuted in the pole position.

Grammy nominees J.Boog and Rebelution occupy the number 3 and 4 spots respectively.

The top 10 also includes Stephen Marley's Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life.





Peter Bunting not entering PNP leadership race

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peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeter Bunting says he will not seek nomination for the post of Presidency of the People's National Party (PNP) following the announcement by party leader Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election.

Dr. Peter Phillips is now the sole aspirant.

This comes eight days after Mr. Bunting said he was interested in the post following the decision by Portia Simpson Miller not to seek re-election.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Mr. Bunting said he held consultations with Parliamentary and local government representatives and has concluded that a large majority feels that " it is Comrade Peter Phillips' turn".

Mr. Bunting said he is of the view that leadership decisions should be made on a wider set of considerations.

He said based on the feedback, it would be irresponsible to cause the party to expend resources and divert focus and energy at this time and he will therefore not make himself available for nomination for the post of PNP President.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has temporarily ceased the clearance of rice at all ports of entry.

The agency made the announcement Monday afternoon amid reports of artificial rice being sold in Jamaica. It said members of the public are urged to call Jamaica Customs or the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and report if they have bought artificial rice or are aware of the places where it is being distributed so that steps may be taken for its removal.

It added that a public advisory will be issued on protecting the health and safety of the population.

In the meantime, the Bureau of Standards has said it is in possession of a sample of the 'plastic' rice, on which tests are being conducted.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers who have purchased the artificial rice to contact its office and take a receipt to show proof of purchase.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency has adjusted its decision to put a hold on the clearance of rice at all ports of entry. It delayed shipments on Monday following reports that artificial rice is being sold in Jamaica.

Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reece confirmed on Monday night that a rapid inspection will be done of all shipments, and then the products will be released.

Major Reece says Customs is to do rapid testing of samples to ensure there is limited delay. He explained that this will be made more efficient because the sources of the rice are known. He noted that this should not result in delays of over a day.

Meanwhile, Major Reece has given the context to Monday's decision. He says members of the public have an important role to play in the monitoring process.





Rice from Guyana and Suriname good to go

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rice-guyana-logo.pngA decision has also been made to clear the rice from two Caribbean suppliers, namely Guyana and Suriname.

He, however, pledged that the authorities will be vigilant in their testing programme, which will include spot checks on all rice imports.

Meanwhile, the Manchester Police have said they have not found any evidence that artificial rice is being sold in the parish.

A video, purportedly originating from Manchester, claimed that the rice is being sold to consumers in the parish. The video has sparked fear among consumers.

Senior Superintendent Wayne Cameron, head of the Manchester Police, says the matter is under investigation, however, there has been no confirmation or official report of any such case of fake rice.





PLASTIC RICE SAGA: No evidence found in samples

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plastic-rice.jpgCommerce Minister Karl Samuda says no evidence of plastic rice has been found in samples which have been tested by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).

Mr. Samuda made the disclosure at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, where he gave the assurance that the rice being sold in Jamaica is safe.

Mr. Samuda said the authorities are trying to find the creator of the social media video showing evidence of artificial rice.

The public is being asked to send samples of the rice to the Bureau of Standards.





beauty-queen-marsha-gay-reynolds-cocaine.jpgA former Miss Jamaica runner-up and JetBlue flight attendant pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a cross-country drug smuggling operation that was discovered when she bolted from a screening checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

Marsha Gay Reynolds abandoned a suitcase loaded with 60 pounds of cocaine. She faces a mandatory 10-year prison term when sentenced March 3 in federal court on a single count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

Reynolds, 32, acknowledged earning thousands of dollars to help smuggle drugs and money through airport security at LAX and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by using her "known crew member" status to breeze past security and then transfer the contraband to a co-conspirator.

Airline employees with the clearance can bypass typical screening, even during personal travel in the U.S., but can be randomly searched.

When she was pulled aside for screening March 18, she flung off her high heels and ran down an upward-moving escalator out of the terminal. Authorities said the cocaine was worth about $3 million.

Reynolds reported to work for a flight to New York the next day and surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Administration there four days later.

The U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, New York, was dressed in a white jail jumpsuit Monday with her ankles chained together and wrists shackled to her waist. She could barely raise her right hand to pledge to tell the truth before her guilty plea.

She spoke in a soft voice and politely answered more than a dozen questions, addressing Judge Virginia Phillips as "your honor" almost each time.

The investigation into a larger drug ring is ongoing, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

In addition to a co-conspirator identified only as G.B., who fled to Jamaica, court papers refer to others "known and unknown" who carried out the scheme.

G.B. was in the U.S. illegally and stole the identities of mentally disabled men to get passports and driver's licenses in their names that he used to fly, court papers said. He and Reynolds were often on the same flights.

"She was able to facilitate this individual's drug trafficking operation," Mrozek said. "She was ferrying the drugs across the country and then bringing the proceeds of the drug sales back to Southern California."

Defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb said outside court that he expects Reynolds will be able to get a reduced sentence despite the mandatory minimum. He would not explain how that would happen.

Typically, convicts who testify against co-defendants can get some break in sentencing. Goldfarb said Reynolds was not cooperating at this point with authorities.

Reynolds' plea agreement mentioned nine dates she helped the unnamed co-conspirator pull off the scheme so he could deliver drugs to customers in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Source: AP





ex-lover-phillip-brown-murder-suspect.jpgPhillip Brown, the man accused of killing his former girlfriend and dumping her body at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St. Andrew on the weekend was charged with murder Tuesday afternoon.

He is scheduled to appear in court next week.

The 35-year-old construction worker surrendered to the police hours after he allegedly killed and tried to dump the body of 31-year-old Kerry Ann Wilson, the mother of his child, at his apartment which is across from the Police Commissioner's office.

Ms Wilson was visiting her child at the apartment when she was attacked.

Preliminary examinations revealed that she died after being struck on the head by a blunt force instrument.





A Cuban national who was among several staying at the Red Cross facility after arriving on the island illegally by boat was shot dead on the compound in Central Village, St. Catherine, Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that shortly after 1:00 pm, a man went on the Red Cross compound and opened fire on the Cuban man.

The 30-year-old victim was pronounced dead at hospital.

Police are searching for a suspect who goes by the alias Coolie. He is said to be an area leader from the nearby community of Little Lane.





tommy-lee-photo-12.jpgDancehall deejay Tommy Lee Sparta is set to receive an undisclosed sum from the government of Dominica.

The entertainer's attorney Bert Samuels has received a monetary offer from the Dominican Government for the deejay and his team who were wrongfully denied entry to that country.

The settlement follows an ongoing case stems from an incident in 2014 in which Tommy Lee and three members of his team were barred from entering Dominica following protests from organizations such as the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches who claims Tommy Lee Sparta's music glorifies Satan and promotes lawlessness and violence.





$$$Millions forfeited to the state

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The court has ruled that millions of dollars seized from a woman at the Norman Manley International Airport five years ago be turned over to the State.The Financial Investigations Division (FID) has successfully secured the forfeiture of US$92,657 and TT$11.The money was taken from Dorrette Reynolds as she was about to board a flight to Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011. On Tuesday, the court ruled that based on the evidence and proceedings at the trial, the cash was unlawfully obtained or intended for use in unlawful conduct, and ordered the forfeiture of the cash and interest accrued.Apart from making a false declaration to airport officials, the defendant was found to have a suitcase with false compartments, containing 14 parcels of cash wrapped in plastic, that she denied having any knowledge of.The FID relied heavily on the assistance of the Narcotics Division which carried out the seizure and provided evidence to the court.

On Tuesday, the court also ruled in favour of the Financial Investigations Division in another matter.Justice Lyle Armstrong ordered the forfeiture of US$11,950 plus interest accrued.The case involved the seizure of cash in July 2010 from Kingston-based businessman Constantine Tucker at the Norman Manley International Airport.A statement from the FID said given the failure of Mr. Tucker to properly and truthfully account for the money in any convincing way, the court found that the funds were either unlawfully obtained or connected to unlawful conduct.

St. Ann and St. Mary experience torrential rains

Heavy rains have been impacting sections of St. Mary and St. Ann since Saturday night leaving several roads impassable.

As a result, in St. Mary, the Junction road is blocked.

"The section of road in Georgia that dropped - we have boulders in that section of that corridor....flooding has been reported in several communities and we are moving to carry out what work we can as it continues to rain in the parishes," said Stephen Shaw, Communication Manager at the National Works Agency.

The heavy rain has left flooded streets and buildings in St. Ann, with the communities of Runaway Bay and Dumbarton being affected.

In Mount Edgecombe, the main bridge that connects Runaway Bay to Brown's Town is impassable while the main road connecting Brown's Town to Discovery Bay has been cut in two.

Several houses in Mount Edgecombe have also been flooded, while others are under threat of being flooded.

The Runaway Bay police station was not spared from flood waters and efforts are being made to relocate police personnel and prisoners.





crime-scene-knife.jpgPhillip Brown, the man who was being sought in connection with the murder of a woman at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St Andrew is in police custody.

The 35 year old construction worker turned himself in to detectives assigned to the St. Andrew Central Police early this morning.

Brown went to the police station shortly before 1 a.m.in the company of his relatives.

He was wanted in relation to the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found, wrapped in a tarpaulin outside the Crystal Towers apartment building yesterday morning.

He was trying to dump the body in a gully when an alarm was made.





Teen stabbed to death by lover

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teen-stabbed.jpgA Hanover teenager is now dead after reportedly being stabbed by her boyfriend early this morning.

The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Shantea Thelwell, of Wells Lane in Sandy Bay, Hanover.

The police Corporate Communications Unit says Thelwell was killed at her home about 1:45 this morning.

The police say she was at home with her companion when they had a dispute and he allegedly stabbed her in the chest with a knife. She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The police say the companion has not yet been apprehended.





The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association Jamaica has expressed frustration with what it says have been technical failures with the ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) system at the Jamaica Customs Agency over the past two weeks.

It has issued a statement highlighting long clearance times and complaints from customers. ASYCUDA is a web-based application that allows clients of Jamaica Customs to undertake e-transactions.

President of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, Marcia Bent, outlined the challenges facing the members.

"The delays and the down times at this point has resulted in increased storage charges, .... it is adding to congestion at the ports. At this time of the year, there is normally an increase in traffic in commercial activities with the merchants who do seasonal stuff.....

The Association represents more than 200 licensed customs brokers in Jamaica.

Bent says the problems with ASYCUDA has had a ripple effect on other industries.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man said to be of unsound mind has been shot dead by a licensed firearm holder.

It is reported that sometime after 3 o'clock Wednesrday afternoon, the licensed firearm holder visited a property he owns in the Trinityville community which is occupied by 54-year-old Vassell Grannell.

Grannell allegedly threw stones at the licensed firearm owner and told him to leave the property.

It is further reported that while the property owner was running away he fell.

Grannell was reportedly approaching him with a machete when the licensed firearm holder shot and killed him on the spot.





stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgA medical assistant has been charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on Friday, December 09.

On Saturday, the St. Andrew Central Police charged 47-year-old Lorna Williams of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2, with Child Stealing. The child was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town in the parish about five hours after she was reported missing. Williams will appear before the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday, December 14.

Reports are that the mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication. When she woke up at about 10:30 am, the child was missing, according to reports.

The hospital alerted staff members and the police, and a search was carried out and the child located in Williams' care in Rollington Town.





crime-scene-7.jpgcommon-law-husband-of-woman-phillip-brown.jpgDetectives assigned to the St Andrew Central Police Division have listed 29-year-old Phillip Brown of Crystal Towers, Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, as wanted.

The police say Brown is wanted in connection with the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found wrapped in a tarpaulin in a gully near the Crystal Towers Apartment complex.

The police confirmed Saturday that Brown is Wilson's common-law husband.

Anyone knowing Brown's whereabouts is asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree Police Station at 926-2551, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311, or the nearest police station.





Woman killed in complex near to police HQ identified

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have released the name of the woman believed to have been beaten to death Friday night at the Crystal Towers apartment complex on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.

She is 33-year-old Shelly-Ann Wilson. The police could not immediately provide any further detail on the woman.

The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the constabulary has, however, confirmed that her common-law husband is a suspect in the killing.However, up to Saturday evening, he was not in custody. CCU said Wilson's body was found shortly after 9 o'clock on Saturday morning in a gully inside the apartment complex located opposite the Office of the Police Commissioner.

Residents reported hearing a loud argument in her apartment. They also reported seeing a man toss a tarpaulin before fleeing the complex.





Black woman to appear on Canadian banknote

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canada-banknote-women-viola.jpgA black woman often described as Canada's Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater will be the first Canadian woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday that Viola Desmond will grace the front of the $10 bill when the next series goes into circulation in 2018.

A businesswoman turned civil libertarian, Desmond built a business as a beautician and mentored young black women in Nova Scotia.

It was in 1946 when she rejected racial discrimination by sitting in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. She was arrested and fined. Her actions inspired later generations of black people in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.





Shaggy to be inducted CVSS Hall of Fame

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shaggy-at-sting.jpgEntertainer Shaggy is to be inducted into the Council of Voluntary Social Services Hall of Fame for 10 years of outstanding voluntary support to the Bustamante Children's Hospital.

A member of the Hall of Fame is selected every two years for dedicated and significant contribution to national development through volunteerism.

This year Shaggy presented a cheque for $55 million to the Bustamante Children's Hospital, representing proceeds from the 2016 fundraiser Shaggy & Friends Concert.

Since its inception in 2009, the concert has raised more than $255 million to acquire 450 pieces of medical equipment to treat over 77,000 children each year.

The induction will take place at the 3rd staging of the CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards on Thursday, December 8 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, at which Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be guest speaker.

The event will be held under the theme 'Volunteerism as a Catalyst for National Development'.

The CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards Banquet celebrates and honours volunteers that continue to support and improve social development by giving of their self and time.





Charly Blacks Party Animal sells diamond

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charly-blacks.jpgTrelawny entertainer Charly Blacks continues to fly the dancehall banner worldwide.

The dancehall deejay celebrates on Instagram after his single Gyal Yuh A Party Animal produced by Kurt Riley for Techniques Records sold diamond.

While in Costa Rica, Charly Blacks took to IG where he shared a photograph showing off his diamond selling accolade received in the Latin market. The entertainer captioned the pic; I'm now a diamond selling artist. Give God the glory. #anotherlevel

Charly Blacks' "Gyal You A Party Animal" was released July 2014.





Cops probe double murder in Clarendon

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crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice investigators are probing a double killing in the parish Clarendon.

A taxi-man 52 year old Renald Allen and a bartender, 36-year-old Marcia Forda were shot and killed at a bar in Red Road, near the Bustamante Highway on Wednesday evening.

The police report that shortly after 7:00 p.m.,Forda,who was a bartender at the establishment, and Allen, were attacked by gunmen who shot them several times.

The police are reportedly following leads and have ruled out robbery as the motive.





pnp-headquarters.jpgPeople's National Party's Ralston Wilson will be among the Councillors sworn in at the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation on Thursday after a magisterial recount for the Ginger Ridge division confirmed that he won the seat in the Local Government election.

Mr. Wilson defeated the Jamaica Labour Party's Huit Johnson by 16 votes in the final count.

Following the recount on Tuesday, Mr. Wilson's lead was increased to 18 votes.

Mr. Johnson, who will be the councillor/caretaker says he has accepted the decision.





There has been a change to the islandwide de-bushing and drain cleaning programme which remains at the centre of controversy. The programme has been reduced from $600 million to $400 million.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Opposition earlier walked out of the House after insisting that the Prime Minister should speak about the programme.

Mr. Holness subsequently did speak on the matter, in the absence of the Opposition, and outlined that $400 million will be spent on the programme and that there will be a change to its scope.

"We have expended approximately $219 million out of the $400 million that has been allocated. The balance of approximately $180 million will be used exclusively to deal with the island's drainage network according to the strategic templates of priorities prepared by the NWA," he asserted.





Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits Trinidad

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earthquake.jpgA magnitude 6.2, earthquake hit Trinidad and Tobago at roughly 5:42pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The epicenter of the earthquake occurred just 16km south east of Scarborough, Tobago at a depth of 29km.

It was located 78 km north east of Arima and 99 km north east of Port of Spain.

People reported feeling the earthquake nationwide including Chaguanas, Trincity, Point Fortin, Couva, Arima, Santa Cruz, Port of Spain.

There is no tsunami warning currently in place.





Grammy Awards overview

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grammy-awards.jpgThe Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards] to recording artists for quality works in the reggae music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording, the honor was presented to artists for eligible songs or albums. The Jamaican group Black Uhuru received the first award in 1985. Beginning with the 1992 ceremony, the name of the award was changed to Best Reggae Album. Starting in 2002, awards were often presented to the engineers, mixers, and/or producers in addition to the performing artists. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, eligible works are vocal or instrumental reggae albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", including roots reggae, dancehall and ska music.

Stephen Marley holds the record for the most wins in this category, with six wins total (three times as a member of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers). Similarly, Ziggy Marley has been presented the award four times total, three times as the leader of his eponymous band. Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks. Jamaican artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality. Buju Banton's nomination for the 2010 award sparked controversy and protest from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to homophobic lyrics within his music.





johnny-daley.jpgComedian and Actor Christopher Johnny Daley reportedly received rave reviews for his performance in the semifinals of the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the world competition held on Monday December 5,. The contest, currently being staged in Helsinki Finland, has 18 comedians from all over the globe vying for the top spot and a US$100,000 cash prize.

Johnny left the island last Friday to compete in the semifinals and finals of the international comedy contest after two months of campaigning for online votes and being selected out of over 80 applicants.

With only a five minute set to impress the Finnish audience and judges, Daley had the crowd crackling from the get-go. His set went over perfectly with the audience in attendance and gave him near perfect scores from the three judges. He now waits for the announcement of the final 5 acts who will perform this weekend in the grand finals,. Locally, Daley garnered support from popular Jamaica brand Magnum Tonic Wine who saw the opportunity to work with Johnny to 'Tek Charge' of Comedy in Helsinki.

"The Magnum brand saw this as a great opportunity to support a Jamaican product representing on the world stage. Christopher Johnny Daley is hard working and deserves the opportunity to show the world what we already see; talent, charisma and the ability to 'Tek Charge' of the grand prize!" shared Tamika West, Marketing Manager, J Wray & Nephew Ltd.





Beyonce tops Grammy nominations with 9 nods

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beyonce-photo-3.jpgBeyonce secured the most nominations for next year's Grammy Awards ceremony. She leads the field with nine after the release of her album Lemonade.

Following closely behind are Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nods each.

British singer Adele secured five nominations, tying with the late great David Bowie.

Other nominees include Chance the Rapper for best New Artiste, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, Desiigner and Kirk Franklin.

The 59th Grammy Awards will take place on February 12.





devin-di-dakta-and-jl.jpggrammy-awards.jpgDevin Di Dakta and J.L. have been given their first nod for the honour award from The Recording Academy.

Devin Di Dakta who turned 21 yesterday says he is "excited and overjoyed" to wake up to the news of the nomination.

The collaboration EP Sly & Robbie Presents ... Reggae For Her features eight songs written by Devin and J.L. on the Tuff Gong International, Taxi Records label have been selected in the Best Reggae Album category of the 59th Grammy awards.

Other nominees in the Best Reggae Album category are: J Boog for Rose Petals on the Wash House Music Group label; Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley on the Tuff Gong Worldwide label, Raging Fyah for Everlasting on the Dub Rockers/VP Records label and Rebelution for Falling Into Place on the Easy Star Records label.





raging-fyah.jpggrammy-awards.jpgIn 2016 Pele, Demar, Anthony Watson, Courtland "Gizmo" White and Kumar collectively known as Raging Fyah released their third studio album "Everlasting" to rave reviews from fans and music industry alike.

Proudly the top charting album received the highest honor in music with a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. Recorded live at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong Studios producer Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown, Everlasting incorporates broad based influences, various acoustic subtleties, and a few guest artists, all of which further established Raging Fyah's reggae identity.

Speaking on their nomination, lead singer Kumar stated "We feel honored and humbled, we are just taking it in, it feels good. It gives us a sense of accomplishment as humble musicians. It's more than just the band, it's the Jamaican culture, reggae culture. Being nominated is a win itself, Its going to do a lot for the younger musicians Coming from Edna Manley I think it changes the culture of musicianship, of the struggles we overcome. To be nominated for Best Reggae Album alongside Ziggy Marley, J Boog, Sly & Robbie, Rebelution and SOJA is a win for us, for all struggling young musicians, we give thanks, we feel really good".





Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers' Union (NWU), has described the dismissal of 12 workers from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) as an inhumane and unlawful act of political discrimination.

The workers, mainly from the agency's Parks and Markets Department, were recently handed termination letters, dated November 30.

They carried out a peaceful protest at the agency's Half Way Tree headquarters Monday afternoon.

Mr. Valentine, claiming political victimisation, said the workers are supporters of the People's National Party (PNP).

"It is inhumane, it is downright cruel to men of straw. These are persons who are at the lowest level of the economic scale and it's unfortunate that right after the national election, that persons would have taken such steps, which is deemed and looks in every direction to be political victimisation," Mr. Valentine lamented.

The NWU general secretary said a meeting on Monday with union representatives and the management of the NSWMA ended on a hopeful note.

"We are expecting that the senior management must do the prudent thing and reinstate these persons with immediacy and ensure that they too have a good and peaceful Christmas," he declared.





woman-shot-dead-chrissy-vaughan.jpgThe police in St James have vowed to bring to justice the man responsible for Monday morning's gun slaying of popular Montego Bay mortician, 31-year-old Chrissy Vaughan.

"He (killer) is known to the persons who were there (crime scene ) and we think that in very short order he will be brought to justice," head of operations at the St James Police Division, acting Superintendent of Police, Gary McKenzie told members of the western Jamaica media fraternity, at a press conference at the Freeport Police Station on Monday afternoon.

The shooting occurred sometime after 2 am, outside a club in Bogue Village, St James, where Vaughan was among a group of patrons when a fight broke out between two members.

One of the two reportedly took out a gunand fired, shooting the mortician in her head, as she sought to flee the scene in her motorcar. She lost control of the vehicle which slammed into a sidewalk.

The police discovered Vaughan slumped around the steering wheel of the vehicle, suffering from gunshot wound. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Early this morning, the police were notified that an explosion was heard in the Bogue Village area. Based on what we gather so far, persons were at a club. They are known to each other and the understanding is that a dispute developed and one person drew a firearm and fired shots, one of which caught her," DSP McKenzie related.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA woman was fatally shot in Montego Bay, St. James early Monday morning.

She has been identified as 31-year-old Christine Johnson, an embalming officer from Bogue in the parish.

About 2:00 a.m., Ms Johnson was at a party with a man, when an argument developed between her companion and another man.

Ms Johnson walked away from the argument and proceeded to her car. But as she was about to drive off, one of the men allegedly pulled a firearm and shot Ms Johnson in the head.

The car crashed into an embankment.

Both men left the scene.

Ms. Johnson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Would-be robber shot and killed by ex-JDF soldier

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Half Way Tree, St. Andrew Monday afternoon.

It is reported that he attempted to rob a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who had just left the bank. The ex-soldier was reportedly in civilian clothing when the male trailed him from the bank and attempted to rob him at about 12:20 p.m.

The would-be robber reportedly attacked the ex-soldier with a knife, slashing him on the hand, thus forcing the former army man to use his licensed firearm to shoot his attacker. The man reportedly died on the spot.

The dead man has been identified by his alias Biggie. He was from Chestnut Lane in Kingston.

A photo of the would-be thief laying facedown in a blue shirt is being circulated on social media.





peter-phillips-photo-2.jpgpeter-bunting-photo-1.jpgFollowing Sunday's announcement by People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election, the two Peters - Dr. Peter Phillips and Peter Bunting -- have confirmed that they will be available for nomination when the time comes.

In an interview Sunday night, Mr. Bunting told popular radio station RJR, that he was up to the task of leading the PNP in the next general election.

"I intend to offer myself when the schedule for nominiations is made clear and to signal that I'm available for the next four years until the next general and local government election," he declared.

Also speaking with the same entity following the party's National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, Dr. Peter Phillips announced his intention to bid for the PNP presidency.

"Certainly, when the arrangements are in place for our elections to be held for the presidency of the party, I intend to offer myself," he stated.





Lady Saw's album for Grammy consideration

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lady-saw-photo-7.jpgMinister Marion Hall, formerly known as Lady Saw, has confirmed that her debut gospel album is currently up for consideration by the Grammy Award committee.

She released her debut 14 track gospel album When God Speaks in July.

She already shares a Grammy Award with No Doubt, the first female DJ to do so and is also the first to be certified as a triple-platinum artist.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is slated for February 12, 2017.





Jr Gong's manager partners with Jay-Z's Roc Nation

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junior-gong-photo-2.jpgDan Dalton, whose Dalton Entertainment Group manages Damian Jr Gong Marley, has announced a partnership with Jay Z's Roc Nation, that will see the two working together across all areas of their businesses, which include touring, marketing and branding.

Roc Nation's roster includes Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Meek Mill and Big Sean among others.

The deal means Roc Nation may spearhead the release of Marley's album due for release in 2017.





bolt-ap-iaaf-award.jpgNine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has won the IAAF male Athlete of the Year award for a record sixth time.

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana, who broke the 10,000m world record by over 14 seconds in winning Olympic gold in Rio this summer, won the female award, beating Jamaica's Elaine Thompson who won 100m and 200m gold and silver in the 4x100m at the Rio Olympics.

Bolt, 30, sealed the 'triple triple' in Rio, winning his third Olympic title in each of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"It's definitely a big deal," said the Jamaican of the award he also won in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Bolt will retire next year, following the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

He added: "When you get to be athlete of the year it means that all the hard work has paid off, so if I can win it for a sixth year means as much as the first one."





cholera-cemetery-in-st-andrew.jpgA public health expert wants details on the process which resulted in approval being given for a commercial development on a cemetery on Waterloo and West Kings House Roads in St Andrew where victims of the 1860 cholera outbreak are buried.

The land has been partially cleared and drilling equipment is in place.

Town Clerk Robert Hill reportedly told RJR News that approval was granted in September for work to be done on the land and NEPA and the Public Health Department have declared that there are no public health risks.

Head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology at UTECH, Professor Winston Davidson, says this will not be enough to ease public concerns.

"I don't know that there are any hazards, but it is very important for the public to know the evidence...I have never researched this. But it is something that I have to look at ...."





Four persons killed in Manchester in 24 hours

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crime-scene-7.jpgFour persons were murdered in Manchester in two incidents between yesterday and this morning.

Three persons were killed in Craighead. The other incident took place in Albion.

Report are that a family was attacked at a house in Craighead early Sunday morning. Two women and a man were killed and the house set on fire. They have not yet been identified.

Meanwhile, in Albion on Saturday afternoon, 33-year-old Mark Evans, a taxi operator, was shot and killed by a gunman on Palm Drive. The police report that about 4:45 residents heard explosions. A man was seen running away with a gun in his hand.

Evans' body was found in the driver's seat of his car with what appeared to be bullet wounds.





portia.jpgComrades, I have been in politics for many years and I have been assessing my future as leader of my beloved People's National Party. I have been reflecting on what the past 10 years have meant and mean. It has been quite a journey.

We have been in Government and in Opposition. In 2012, we had a landslide victory and led a four-year period of some of the most fundamental strides to set the Jamaican economy on the right track. Now we are back in Opposition by the slimmest margin ever. What decade it has been! We have held together through some very stormy seas.

Earlier this year, I signalled to the Party that I wanted to see us through the Local Government Elections. There was a reason for that. I never wanted a new leader of this movement to commence their term with an election loss which we expected in the Local Government election. I wanted to give that person a clean slate on which to build. I have given over 40 years of selfless and dedicated service to this great Party and country. I have been through some tough battles for this party. I have witnessed many Comrades fall. There were times along the way when only a few brave souls were left standing.The only thing we had was courage but we were fighting for a cause and we were never going to quit on the people.

In you my Comrades, I see the best of humanity - You are resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in the future of the PNP. With courage and confidence in our ideals, this great party will never tire, never falter, and never fail. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. I have been blessed to represent my party and nation. I am proud of and happy about the strong endorsement given to me by the delegates of the Party in September. To receive 93% of the votes is indeed an overwhelming endorsement. However, there comes a time when one must assess their political future.

Today, I am indicating to the Party that I will not offer myself for re-election as President of this noble movement for the next political year beginning in September. I want the transition to a new leader to be seamless. I will lead the officers to establish clear guidelines and a period for campaigning. There will be sanctions and a ban on public advertisements. Any action by candidates and their supporters to tarnish other comrades or bring the party into disrepute will be met with sanctions. Those who want leadership must remember that the PNP is bigger than all of us. If we cannot put the party before personal ambitions, we do not deserve to lead this movement. I will do everything I can in the time I have left as Leader of this Party to lead our reconnection with the Jamaican people and to influence the return to power of the PNP.

Comrades, let us resolve today to do our best to unite the party and build bonds that will never be broken by pettiness and personal ambitions. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. I thank you for the countless acts of sacrifice, courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed especially over the last 10 years.

God bless you.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOdane Smith, otherwise called 'Queng Queng',an alleged West Kingston gangster has been slapped with charges relating to two counts of murder.

Smith was recently listed as one of the Kingston Western Police Division's most wanted men; he was earlier this week charged with the two counts of murder and is expected to face a third capital charge soon.

Smith was held during a police operation in the division on November 22.

In a follow-up security operation in the division on Thursday afternoon, an illegal gun was seized and five men taken into custody.

The gun, an Intratech 9mm pistol, was reportedly seized on Gem Road.





julian-robinson.jpgMember of Parliament for St Andrew South East Julian Robinson took over as general secretary of the People's National Party (PNP) on Sunday, promising to lead a secretariat that is fair and impartial.

Robinson replaces Paul Burke, who served as PNP general secretary for the past three years.

He said his team will focus on people, processes and policies.

Robinson said he wants to ensure that the PNP's processes are in line with first world standards.

In addition, he said the policies developed by the party must be to uplift quality of life for all Jamaicans.





Another cop shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe policeman who was fatally shot on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston this morning has been identified.

He is 31-year-old Corporal Kamoi Miller who was attached to the Kingston Eastern Division. It is believed he was off-duty at the time of the incident.

Our news team understands that the 31-year-old officer was found slumped over the steering wheel of a 2011 Toyota Rav 4 he was driving with gunshot wounds to the back and head.

Residents initially heard the explosion and a subsequent crash. They called the police, who found their colleague dead in the car.





Portia to step down as leader of the PNP

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portia.jpgPresident of the People's National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller says she will be stepping down soon.

Speaking on Sunday to members of the PNPs National Executive Council (NEC) at Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, Mrs Simpson Miller announced her imminent departure and promised to give the new president enough time to rebuild the party to win the next general election.

It was only in September that she was reconfirmed as PNP President when she dismissed a weak challenge from Dr. Karl Blythe.

Sunday's announcement came amidst calls for Mrs Simpson Miller to step down, in light of the defeats suffered by the PNP in the February 25 general election and the November 28 local government election.

Portia Simpson Miller was first elected PNP President in February 2006. In that contest she prevailed over three other candidates - Dr Peter Phillips, Dr Omar Davies and Dr Karl Blythe.





lisa-hanna-photo-4.jpgAs expected, there was quite a bit of bangarang at the big PNP National Executive Council meeting on Sunday at the Cedar Grove Academy in St Catherine. People's National Party supporters loyal to President Portia Simpson Miller and others supporting St Ann South East Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna traded insults. Also, as expected, a huge brawl was on the verge of erupting, as the two sets of rabble rousers squared off.

"Lisa must go!" was the chant of the group loyal to Simpson Miller, while Hanna's much smaller faction retorted: "Everything in life has an expiry date."

A fight nearly broke out between two men and shortly after, a vicious looking woman pulled a knife threatening to stab a man.The police intervened, but by then the party animal had flung away the weapon.

The knife was subsequently recovered by the police.





UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday apologised for the first time to the people of Haiti for the role played by the world body's peacekeepers in sparking a devastating cholera epidemic in the country.

"On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly we apologise to the Haitian people," he said three times -- in Haitian Creole, French and English.

"We simply did not do enough with regards to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti," Ban said. "We are profoundly sorry for our role."





new-jdf-chief-meade.jpgBrigadier Rocky Meade has been sworn in today as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

The swearing in ceremony took place at 3:00 p.m. at King's House.

Brigadier Meade will succeed Major General Antony Anderson who has been appointed National Security Advisor.

He has been Deputy Chief of Defence Staff for five years.





fidel-castro-el-general-photo-2.jpgThe Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has announced that the Jamaican flag will be flown at half-mast tomorrow, December 2, on all government offices and national buildings as a tribute to the late former President of the Republic of Cuban Fidel Castro Ruz, who died on last Friday.

According to the OPM, Jamaica will join the rest of Caricom in the symbolic gesture of condolence to mark Castro's passing and mourn with the people of Cuba.





5 seats to PNP and 5 to JLP in St Thomas

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pnp-headquarters.jpgThe tie in the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation remains after the official count was completed in all ten divisions.

Both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) has five seats in the ten member corporation.

In the Seaforth division, Vivene Spencer of the JLP polled 1,223 votes, beating the PNP's Dexter Effs, who polled 719 votes.

In the White Horses division, Hubert Williams of the PNP polled 1,301 votes, defeating the JLP's Daveon McKenzie, who polled 1,007 votes.

The final count in the municipality ended about 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.





prince-harry-and-rihanna-photo-1.jpgPrince Harry is on a royal tour in the Caribbean and found himself in Barbados for festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the island nation's independence from Britain.

The country's most famous native star, Rihanna, was also in attendance, and the two met up twice on Wednesday.

Rihanna sang the Barbados national anthem with the country's national youth choir and the Prince made a speech before a mega concert at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.

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crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice have identified the businessman who was shot and killed in Twickenham Park , St Catherine yesterday as 49-year-old Shawn Hall of March Pen Road in Spanish Town.

It is reported that about 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Hall was standing at his tyre shop along the Greendale Main Road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by a group men dressed in orange shirts.

The reportedly shot him several times, killing him on the spot and then escaped.

No motive has been established.

Persons in the Twickenham Park area have described Hall as a good person who provided employment for several persons in and around the community.





us-wanted-top-10.jpgA man believed to be a Jamaican citizen has been listed as one of the 10 Most Wanted Fugitives by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

While acknowledging that the man's identity and nationality is still uncertain, FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola said investigators are calling him 'Marlon Jones'.

In a statement posted on the FBI's website, Garriola said 'Jones' has an "extensive violent criminal" history and uses multiple alias names and dates of birth.

"We're calling him Marlon Jones based on his criminal history in New York, but at this point it's anyone's guess what his actual birth name is. We don't believe he is a US citizen," Garriola said.

According to the FBI Special Agent, 'Jones' has been charged with crimes in the state of New Jersey under the name 'Rasheen Brantley' and served time in New York under the name 'Floyd Evans'. Further, he said 'Jones' has used the names 'Anthony Howard', 'Anthony Winter' and variations of those names.Garriola said Jones is about 5'10" tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has provided dates of birth ranging from 1970-1981.

"The biggest challenge right now besides finding him is trying to figure out who he really is," the FBI agent underscored.

Garriola said 'Jones' is wanted in connection with the early-morning killing of four people, including Jamaican gang leader Robert 'Rodigan' Davis, in California on October 15 this year. The Los Angeles Police report that 10 persons were also injured in the shooting.





Cops probe murder in Spanish Town

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Spanish Town, St Catherine this afternoon.

The police say that the was standing near a tyre repair shop along the Greendale main road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by men who shot him.

The identity of the dead man, who is said to be from the Young Street area of the Old Capital, was not revealed by the police.

A probe is being conducted by the St Catherine Major Investigation Division.





jetblue.jpgReports are that a JetBlue Airways flight which had been scheduled to land in Kingston at 6 p.m on Wednesday had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport because there were no lights on the runway at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The plane, which left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 5 o'clock this afternoon is carrying 150 passengers.

One passenger on board said the plane had started its descent into Kingston, when the pilot announced that the Norman Manley airport had advised that the runway lights were not working.

As a result, the plane had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.





No parish council seat for Buju's daughter

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buju-banton-daughter-jodi.jpgBuju Banton's daughter Jodian Myrie, fell short in her bid to win a seat in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Jodian lost by 107 votes to the People's National Party (PNP) Nenna Wilson in the Hagley Park Division.

The Hagley Park Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has never been won by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The party came within a whisker of taking the seat in 2007 when Mazielyn McIntosh fell short by 75 votes.

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ziggy-marley-photo-1.jpgA new Grammy-sponsored charity auction has been launched in celebration of the holiday season that's offering a variety of autographed collectibles and VIP experiences. Among the many items up for bid are VIP packages from reggae star Ziggy Marley, son of the late reggae legend, Bob Marley.

Some of the biggest stars in the music industry are auctioning pieces of Grammy Awards history, including signed guitars, microphones and even tickets to next year's ceremony. For Ziggy Marley, there is the chance to get tickets to his 2017 U.S shows, meet-and-greet passes and a Marley-themed gift basket.

Shure microphones signed by Rihanna and Smokey Robinson as well as items signed by Lenny Kravitz and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp are also a part of the auction.

The Grammy Charity Giving sale runs until December 9 and proceeds raised will benefit the MusiCares organization as well as the Grammy Foundation.

All the items are available for viewing at eBay.com/Grammy.





ninja-sting.jpgOutspoken veteran entertainer, Desmond John Ballentine, better known as Ninjaman, is of the opinion that the powers that be have been feigning ignorance of the fact that jailed deejay Vybz Kartel, has been recording music while in prison.

Ninjaman, in a recent interview with Jamaica's afternoon tabloid, The Star, further opined that the government had to move Vybz Kartel to athe maximum security General Penitentiary prison to 'save face'

"There is no question there about weh di man a do, so I don't want the Government gwaan like dem take people fi idiot. Di whole a dem did know, but the reason why the Government have to make this drastic step is because it obvious now."

According to artiste -- whose full moniker sounds something like this: The Original Gold-Teeth-Gun-Pon-Teeth- Don-Gorgon -- there was no way that the self-proclaimed World Boss could have answered Mavado's very recent diss directly, unless he had voiced those particular set of lyrics while behind bars.

"Mi nuh business bout nuh body business, but nobody a nuh idiot. Nobody nuh supposed to ask me if the man a record inna prison because how you fi answer Mavado if you nah record?" Ninjaman is reported as saying.

vybz-kartel-photo-4-larger.jpg

Ninjaman, himself no stranger to life behind bars, and who is currently out on bail awaiting trial in a murder case in which he has been fingered,curiously enough voiced his support for Kartel's recent transfer.

The many-time jailed artiste explained to the Star thus: "Well, as an artiste, fi Kartel go a GP is a better situation,. Him have more chances fi do him work because you have studio inna di General Penitentiary. You have schools, you have radio stations, everything."

The former Brother Desmond, however, had a word of caution,"The only thing is that if the Government seh him not supposed to record, him nah go can record." - YP





 

Bolt has new role as CEO of French champagne company

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bolt-ceo-champagne-photo-1.jpgWorld record holder and fastest man Usain Bolt has taken on a new role with French champagne company, Maison Mumm as its Chief Entertainment Officer.

"Maison Mumm is proud to announce the special appointment of Usain Bolt, one of the world's most daring and decorated athletes, as the newest CEO - chief entertainment officer," the company stated on its website.

bolt-ceo-champagne-photo-2.jpg

Bolt, who publisised the Mumm's appointment with a video posting to his Facebook page on Friday, was appointed to the post in November. The new role will see Bolt taking the lead in ideating unique ways to bring celebrations to consumers in the markets which the international company operates.

Mumm, which was founded in 1827 and is owned by Pernod Ricard is one of the largest and most prestigious champagne houses in the world.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Thomas police are investigating yet another domestic murder after the body of a young woman was reportedly found at the home of her boyfriend in the community of Arcadia in the parish Sunday morning.

Dead is 19 year-old Shamaine Tashoy Barrett of Arcadia, St Thomas.

Reports are that after a friend of Shamaine failed to reach her by phone, Sunday morning, they went to her boyfriend's house, where they discovered her body inside with the throat slashed.

An alarm was made.

Police say the boyfriend is being sought for questioning.

Barrett was a student of Paul Bogle Vocational school.

Barrett's aunt said her niece was last seen alive sometime after midnight, when she left church.





2016 murder figures surpass those for 2015

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crime-scene-knife.jpgWith just a few days left in 2016, the police are reporting that 1,300 people have been murdered so far this year.

Last year's murder figure of 1,192 was surpassed last month.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal investigation Branch, has highlighted several factors which he believes have contributed to the increase in murders, chief among them being lack of respect, one person for the other.

"To disrespect somebody is the easiest thing to do, and people interpret that in many, many ways, and that results in death, so gangsters, if you come across their turf, you're disrespecting the gang, and it ends in death," he said.

The same problem obtains in domestic relationships he said, citing simple disputes between couples, in which the woman says something to the man, "which he interprets as being disrespectful to him... it's going to result in death."





crime-scene-gun.jpgChristmas Day ended in horror in the St James community of Hendon, Norwood, Sunday.

It's reported that shortly after 7 p.m three men and a woman were shot dead and a second woman injured at a shop.?

They were playing dominoes when a car with several men aboard drove up.

It's reported that the occupants got out of the car and opened fire on the group, killing the? four people on the spot. The deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Monique Woolery of Llandilo, Westmoreland and 5th Avenue in Montego Hills, Jason Anderson, 30, of Nelly Lane, 39-year-old Leo Mitchell, otherwise called 'Fire' of Columbus Square, Norwood, and 43-years-old Yorken Silvera, of Norwood.

According to the Montego Bay Police, about 7:30 Ms Woolery and a male companion were walking along Nelly Lane when a white motorcar drove up.

Armed men alighted and started firing shots at the couple, who ran into a nearby shop to take cover. The men continued firing at them while in the shop. Ms. Woolery and four other persons were shot and injured.

The injured persons were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A 16-year-old girl was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

Ms. Woolery's male companion escaped unhurt.

The St. James Police are appealing to the public for information to assist in their investigation into the incident.





17 persons killed between December 23 - 26

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are reporting a high number of murders over the Christmas weekend in Jamaica, with 17 killed during the period, December 23 to early on the 26th.

Among them were four shot at a shop in Hendon, Norwood in the western parish of St. James on Christmas night. A fifth person was shot and injured in that incident.

The latest statistics come at the tail-end of a dismal year for the country, with the murder count easily outstipping the 2015 figure.

Data obtained from the police revealed that just over 1300 hundred murders have been committed since January, significantly ahead the 1192 people killed in all of 2015.

In the face of such daunting statistics, the Police High Command is again promising to put in place additional anti-crime measures across the country.

Sunday's target

Regarding Sunday's shooting in St. James, investigators say they believe the gunmen were targeting a single victim.





woman-on-cocaine-charge-clcock.jpgA female who is said to be a relative of reggae recording artiste Jah Cure was arrested on Wednesday, December 21 in Florida after she was caught attempting to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

According to information from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Mckadia Damale Alcock, 29, was arrested by US Marshals at the Fort-Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and charged with possession of cocaine.

The 29-year-old is being held prior to trial at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach, Florida.

More details to come.





Singer George Michael dead at 53

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george-michael.jpgGeorge Michael has died at his home in Oxfordshire.

Michael's publicist said that he had 'passed away peacefully' at his property in Goring at 1.42pm today.

Michael, 53, had previously battled drug addiction. However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown.

Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas.

The singer - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

In a statement, the star's publicist said: 'It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.

'The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.'





Manhunt launched for US soldier missing in Jamaica

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police-photo-1.jpgPolice in Jamaica have launched a search for a twenty-nine-year-old member of the US army, who has been missing since Friday, December 23.

The US soldier has been identified as Roshain Brooks of Brooklyn, New York.

He is of dark complexion, medium build and is about 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall.

Reports from the Mandeville Police are that about 3:00 p.m., Brooks was last seen on Brumalia Road, Mandeville, Manchester wearing a blue T- shirt, blue denim pants and a pair of red shoes. Efforts to contact him have proven futile

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Roshain Brooks is being asked to contact the Mandeville Police at 904-1577, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





crime-scene-knife.jpgThe Montego Bay police are probing the circumstances surrounding the murder of an unidentified woman whose corpse was discovered with stab wounds in that resort city on Christmas morning.

Reports are that about 8:00 am Sunday, the police, who responded to a call, discovered the body along Church Lane, lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck.

The deceased was reportedly last seen about 7:30 pm Saturday, entering a building - near where the body was found - in the company of a male.





The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (CTOC) has launched a probe into the theft of more than J$15 million from an account held by the Ministry of Health at National Commercial Bank.

It's believed that thieves hacked into the account and removed the money between May and last month.

Hackers made off with $6 million between May and June this year. They struck again last month, removing an additional nine million dollars from the account.

A senior investigator revelaed that hackers began targeting the account when the Ministry placed it online earlier this year.

The special account deals with HIV/Aids and is funded by overseas agencies.

The Ministry has confirmed that $6 million has since been recovered by the bank, following intense investigations.

The Ministry says the breach occurred due to malicious software or malware.

Malware are computer programmes designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user's consent. They can be used to gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems.





St Thomas butcher shot dead at home on Christmas Eve

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man was shot and killed at his home during an alleged robbery on Christmas Eve.

He has been identified as 49-year old Wilbert Squire, a meat vendor of Brown's Lane in Morant Bay.

The police say about 9:20 p.m., Squire was in his yard when he was attacked by two armed men.

He was shot several times in the upper body, killing him on the spot.





lobbyist-dr-wayne-west.jpgDr Wayne West, Chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) is urging Jamaicans to have a heightened awareness of how a recent vote in the United Nations to affirm the mandate of an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity can affect laws in the country.

Jamaica was one of 77 countries which voted to block the mandate of the Independent Expert; however 84 countries voted for the expert to carry out his mandate to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people.

But that vote by Jamaica and others opposed to the appointment failed. That UN expert, who was appointed on November 1, is now free to do his work.

Dr West nevertheless praised the Jamaican Government for "taking a very sensible stand," on the issue, arguing that the rights being promoted by the new Independent Expert "are really based illogical premises, and are going to lead to great harm."

He told RJR News that, while he has no problem with protecting LGBT people, he is worried the agenda of the UN appointed independent expert is broader than protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

"The expert himself has articulated that his agenda is actually integrating these concepts into the society, via things such as the education curricular that children are exposed to," he said.

Accordingly, he stressed that "while I do not want violence against anyone, it is wholly illogical to integrate abnormality as normal in the society."

The resolution must now be taken to Parliament for ratification, but Dr West says he fears "activist" judges in Jamaica may follow their counterparts in Belize in implementing the mandate of the LGBT expert through the courts.

"We must make our Parliament aware that we do not want that to happen, and if an activist judge does it, we need challenge it...," he declared.

Dr. West has sharply criticized the UN as an agency, set up to find solutions to global problems, which is now going beyond its mandate to advance the LGBT agenda.





250 pounds of ganja seized in St Bess

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ganja-seized.jpgTwo hundred and fifty pounds of compressed ganja valued at about J$1.5 million were seized by the police in St Elizabeth on Christmas Eve.

According to the police's Corporate Communication Unit, the ganja was seized on the Pedro Plains about 12:45 a.m. yesterday.

The police say they were in the area when a group of men were seen loading parcels onto a vessel. When the men saw the police they ran leaving the parcels behind. Upon inspection the parcels were discovered to be five knitted bags containing compressed ganja.

No arrests were made.





St Lucia considers medicinal marijuana in 2017

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medical-ganja.jpgPrime Minister of St Lucia, Roosevelt Skerrit, says his administration will discuss the issue of medical marijuana in the coming year.

Skerrit who was a guest on a local radio programme on Wednesday said the topic must be discussed in a focused and informed manner, in order to take full advantage of the use of the herb, which many have sworn has saved their lives.

"We have started the conversation. I think we maybe need to put a better structure in place where we can have a more structured, informed dialogue or discussion on medical marijuana, to see how we can take advantage of this.

I think in the New Year you will see a more focused, more structured approach to the discussion...I think that if there is a plant in our country which people are swearing by as having saved their lives or assisted them in reducing the pain or managing their ailment, then I think it is important for there to be a very serious discussion about it, and to see how we can go about taking advantage of this development," the Prime Minister said.

He suggested that Dominica could adopt and tweak measures from other countries that have been successful in the use of medical marijuana.

The Prime Minister said while the government is not opposed to the eventual legalisation of marijuana several things must be carefully considered before such a decision is brought forward.

The issue of marijuana legalisation has been heavily discussed in Dominica. .

In Dominica, marijuana has been classified as a 'Class B' drug, as a result, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell the substance.





Mystery illness of 83 JDF recruits bugging doctors

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Medical authorities have not yet been able to identify the specific respiratory infection that struck 83 Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers at the army's New Castle training base in St Andrew.

So far the dreaded Influenza A (H1N1/swine flu) virus has been ruled out, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston de la Haye. He told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that none of the tests for other viral infections have uncovered any definitive results.

"So far we haven't got a definitive indication of anything specific, and it is with that in mind that we have included PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). They are ready to assist in widening the net of possible pathogens (even those that we don't have the capacity to test for) sending samples to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States) or CARPHA (Caribbean Publich Health Agency) in Trinidad to do further testing. The aim is to identify the organism and zero in effectively in terms of treatment," he explained.

Dr de la Haye stressed that, apart from the resemblance to H1N1, it is difficult to put a finger on the cause of the symptoms. "It's really just clinical presentations that we can comment on. The presentation being so severe in some, suggesting a possible H1N1," he stated.





2 shot dead at hairdresser in Negril

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crime-scene-gun.jpgTwo men were Thursday afternoon shot dead at a hairdressing parlour in Negril, Westmoreland.

The names of the deceased are yet to be established.

Reports are that about 1:20 the two young men were among other customers at the hairdressing parlour in Negril when gunshots were heard.

Upon the arrival of the police who were summoned, one of the two young men was found slumped in a hairdresser's chair, while the other was found lying outside the establishment, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

The Negril police are investigating.





deputy-commissioner-novelette-grant.jpgDeputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant is to act as Police Commissioner effective January 7, 2017.

A day earlier, the current commissioner Dr Carl Williams will go on pre-retirement leave.

The Police Service Commission says Grant will act for 90 days.

It also says it intends to publicly advertise for the post.





Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams resigns

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police-commissioner-dr-carl-williams-photo-1.jpgPolice Commissioner Dr Carl Williams has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and has resigned the post.

Accordinghe Gleaner has obtained a copy of a letter Williams wrote to the Police Service Commission indicating that he will proceed on early retirement effective January 6.

He also indicated that his decision to step down as police chief was based on personal reasons.

"My retirement is provided for on the basis of my age and years of service," Williams wrote in the letter, addressed to chairman of the PSC Professor Gordon Shirley.

"Having enlisted in the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] in February 1984, it has been my honour to have given more than three decades of tireless service to my country," he added.

Williams was appointed Commissioner in September 2014 after his predecessor Owen Ellington also resigned from the post, in a bid for early retirement.

Williams' decision to step down follows a tough year for the police.

Since the start of the year, nearly 1,200 persons have been reported killed, a near five per cent increase when compared with last year.





The St Catherine North Police have intensified their presence across the division in light of the discovery of an alleged plot by members of the Tesha Miller faction of the Clansman Gang to carry out significant violent attacks in the division during the festive season.

According to police, based on intelligence garnered by the Jamaica Constabulary Force plans are being made to carry out shootings against rival gang members in several communities.

The areas of target include Top Banks, the Spanish Town Bus Park, the Spanish Town Centre, and March Pen Road and its environs.

The police say with the absence of Tesha Miller another man, Akeem Jackson or Johnson, otherwise known as 'Bobo Sparks', has played a lead role in a number of murders and shootings in the division.

The police also say Jackson is the St Catherine North's most wanted man.

Miller is still a Person of Interest and is wanted for questioning.

The police are appealing to both men to turn in themselves immediately.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Tesha Miller or Akeem Jackson is being asked to call the police.





Check out this video of Ninjaman blasting Sting

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ninja-sting.jpg





Beenie Man's brother is NOT dead

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Beenie Man brother is alive and well.

Recent rumors claimed that the dancehall king is mourning the death of his brother who was gunned down in broad day light earlier this week.

A video of the gruesome crime has been circulating on social media this week. The clip shows a man laying in the middle of the road in severe pain from a gunshot wound to his neck. Folks were on the side of the road filming with their cellphones while you can hear some persons in the background sayings its Beenie Man's brother.

A rep for the confirmed that the slain man is not the dancehall artists brother. "No thats false report its not the Doc [Beenie Man] brother," his rep said.





macka-diamond-wig.jpgAll right, so Sample Man pop off Macka wig off her head over at Ghetto Splash wha day yah and a bare things a happen to Macka after she get over the embarrassment of it all.

According to reports, Macka Diamond will be shooting a video this week for her latest single, 'Wig Haffi Fly', a song that relates the incident during which she lost her wig onstage during the Ghetto Splash concert at the Waterhouse mini-stadium last week.

The single is produced by Andrew 'Anju Blaxx' Myrie.

"Right now, things mad, the video of the incident went viral and the day after, I recorded the song for Andrew Blacks and he said say video shoot right away this Wednesday," she said.

Macka has been creating waves on social media over the past week, and the trend continued when she wore daring yellow wig to a dance, after which a photo circulated that attracted hundreds of comments - both negative and positive - over the weekend.

"Mi go Boom Boom party and I wore a yellow wig, because it was a blue-and-yellow birthday party and the Internet went wild, the picture went viral, so right now, people ah talk all kinda things but I couldn't care less. Macka Diamond hot ya now," she said.





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange is urging radio stations to play more Jamaican music.

According to a news release from the ministry, Grange said that based on data from the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP), which deals with the payment of royalties for the performance of music in Jamaica, it was clear that local disc jockeys prefer to play foreign music.

"I am very disappointed about JACAP having to pay out more money for foreign music played on the radio than it has for Jamaican music. Thirty-two million dollars have been sent out of the country while only $7 million have been paid to Jamaican writers for music based on what the radio stations are playing," Grange said at the launch of Rebel Salute 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday.

Grange said that if there were not such a huge disparity, more money would be distributed to local creators of music and spent in the local economy.





Cops detain 30 in Majesty Gardens

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More than 30 men were detained on Tuesday morning during a joint police/military operation in Majesty Gardens, off Spanish Town Road in St. Andrew.

Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit, said, among the persons picked up, is a man who was wanted by police for a case of shooting with intent.

She said the community has been tense since a drive-by shooting on Monday night, which resulted in the death of a man. He has been identified as 23-year-old Carlos Green of Majesty Gardens.

It is believed that Mr. Green was by the side of the road when armed men approached and shot him all over his body.

Superintendent Lindsay said the shooting has been linked to a feud involving members of the 'Unruly Gang'.

She said the security forces will continue to maintain a presence in the area.





JDF recruits recovering from mysterious illness

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The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has said about half of its recruits who fell ill last week with respiratory problems have recovered and returned to training at the Twickenham Park range in St. Catherine.

More than 50 recruits were afflicted with flu-like symptoms which Ministry of Health personnel had suspected was the H1N1 virus.

Major Basil Jarrett, JDF Media Affairs Officer, said it started out with two trainees falling ill.

"We didn't think anything of it because recruits go through a very intense and rigorous training programme and sometimes their body just breaks down... but when a third recruit fell ill, we started to connect the dots and we suspected that we might be dealing with something a little bit bigger than typical recruit fatigue," he argued.

However, he said tests by the Ministry of Health have cleared the recruits.

"They came in, they did some tests on the recruits, they swabbed the recruits who were still out at the area and up to yesterday, about 57 of the recruits had reported symptoms. But with testing done by the Ministry of Health this morning, I can confirm that we are not dealing with H1N1," Major Jarrett asserted to RJR News.

He said the other trainees are recovering well.





The Ministry of Health has called in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to assist in finding what has caused eighty Jamaica Defence Force soldiers in training to have fallen ill.

One trainee is reported to be in critical condition. This prompted a team from the Ministry of Health to tour the facility in Twickenham Park in St. Catherine Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Winston De La Haye, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, has said it is not the H1N1 they had initially suspected.

"So far, we have had no result which is positive for H1N1, which is one of the diagnoses entertained, neither is there any other influenza type virus. Other viruses can present those types of symptoms," he informed.

Hence, he said PAHO has been called to test samples to rule out other organisms, such as mycoplasma and legionella.

Although the cause of the illness is still unknown, Dr. De La Haye said the ministry has recommended that the JDF ensure that all future trainees are given vaccination for the influenza virus to minimise the recurrence of such an incident.

In this case, the chief medical officer said trainees who presented symptoms were isolated and all the healthy individuals were given the influenza vaccine.





Recently, a letter writer to The Gleaner complained that Scotiabank Jamaica had increased charges to encash a cheque from $140 to $1,358.

Commerce Minister Karl Samuda has described the decision of to increase by more than 1000 per cent the fee to encash cheques drawn on other banks as preposterous.

Samuda says the Government will be seeking to improve the way it presents information on bank charges to help customers

He says this increase in the cost to encash cheques at Scotiabank is unexplainable.

According to Samuda the bank seems to be ignoring the impact that these charges will have on small businesses.





taxi-man-leo-henry-is-dead.jpgThe taxi driver, who was shot by a security guard at a staff party at the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel in St Ann, after he stabbed his ex-girlfriend has died at hospital.

The police have identified the cabbie as 39-year-old Leo Henry, of Belle Aire Meadows in Runaway Bay, St Ann. Henry was reportedly a popular taxi driver on the Brown's Town to Discovery Bay route.

Reports are that sometime after midnight altercation developed between a female hotel staff member and Henry, who is her ex-boyfriend. He reportedly stabbed the woman on both legs and on her left hand.

A senior security officer at the hotel intervened in the incident and fired his gun and shot Henry. The bullet exited the man's body and hit the 17-year-old son of the hotel employee in his side.

Henry later succumbed to his injuries late Tuesday morning.

The 17-year-old remains in serious, but stable condition at the hospital.

The shooting resulted in chaos, bringing an end to the party as Romain Virgo - who was the featured act - had to abandon his performance.





anthony-b-photo-5.jpgAnthony B is warning fans against unscrupulous promoters after being falsely advertised for a string of events in the United Kingdom.

The entertainer says friends in London made him aware of the events.

According to Anthony B he was never contracted nor was he contacted about any of the events for which he's being advertised.

Anthony B is contracted for a couple in Europe after which he is scheduled to return to Jamaica for GT Taylor's Christmas Extravaganza slated for December 25 at its new location at the Luana Sports Complex, in Black River, St. Elizabeth.





Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor dead at 99

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zsa-zsa-gabor.jpgHungarian actress and longtime socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor has passed away at the age of 99.

The icon suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead on Sunday.

The long-time Beverly Hills socialite had dealt with a number of health troubles after being involved in a car accident in 2002 which resulted in her becoming partially paralyzed.

Back in February, the actress who was known for her love life as she was for her films, was rushed to an emergency room after suffering from breathing difficulties.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA supermarket attendant was shot and killed by unknown assailants who ensnared him on his way home from work in the parish of St James on Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Jacob Sinclair of a Cambridge address in the parish.

Reports are that about 9:30 last night, Sinclair was walking in the Train Line section of Cambridge when he was ambushed by unknown assailants who shot him. He died instantly.

While no motive has been established for the killing, the St James Police their investigation.





Ex-cop dies a week after being shot

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ex-cop-leroy-rowe.jpgcrime-scene-gun.jpgA former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who was shot two Saturdays ago in Montego Bay, St James died of his injuries Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Leroy Rowe of Accompong Town, St Elizabeth, passed away in the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he'd been undergoing treatment since being attacked on Saturday, December 10.

Rowe was shot by an unknown assailant while conducting business along Barnett Street.

The killer remains at large.





Husband stabs 50-year-old wife to death in Hanover

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crime-scene-knife.jpgAnother case of domestic violence has claimed the life of a woman after she was stabbed to death during a dispute with her husband at their home in Hanover on Friday.

Jennifer Garrison, 50, of Dias in Hanover, died after being stabbed multiple times with a knife by her husband.

Deputy Superintendent Andrew Nish, acting head of the Hanover Police, said the husband is in police custody and is expected to be charged shortly.

He said a team is conducting grief counselling with family members.

DSP Nish said this was the third time in recent weeks that a domestic dispute in the parish had turned deadly.

Last week, an 18-year-old woman was killed by her alleged ex-boyfriend and an elderly man was also reportedly killed by a woman.





car-crashes-into-departure-lounge.jpgTwo people sustained injuries when a motor car crashed into the glass facade of the departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this morning.

One of those injured is the driver of the motor car. The other is a traveller who was sitting in the departure lounge when the vehicle crashed into the glass facade. The extent of their injuries is not known. Their identities have not been released.

It is reported that the driver does not have a licence to operate a vehicle. He remains in police custody.

Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says the incident happened about 6:45 a.m. as two brothers, one of whom was the driver, dropped their mother at the airport.

He is reminding drivers to ensure that their engines are switched off before leaving their motor vehicles.





A St Elizabeth man is to appear in court on January 3 next year after he allegedly left the island on a fake Bahamian passport.

The police say 26-year-old Tim Joseph, otherwise called Marvin 'Curtis', a farmer of Waterloo district in St Elizabeth has been charged with uttering forged documents.

The Norman Manley Airport Police say Joseph boarded a flight destined for London, England under the name 'Marvin Curtis'.

On arrival at the Gatwick International Airport, he was being processed when immigration officers detected that his passport was forged and so he was denied entry and returned to Jamaica.





Woman who stole baby from hospital for court today

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court-case.jpgThe medical assistant charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on December 9 is to appear in court Friday.

Forty-seven-year-old Lorna Williams -- who is of a Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 address -- is to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication and awoke, around 10:30am, to find her missing.

The baby was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town, in St Andrew, about five hours later.





Excitement as Major Lazer set for tonight

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All is set for tonight's staging of Major Lazer & Friends, according to organisers.

Now in its fifth year, the EDM show is scheduled for Mas Camp in St Andrew.

"The production will be even bigger than last year, doubling the intensity. We have amazing performances planned and an incredible light and sound show," said Kamal Bankay, event organiser.

"We have a couple surprises up our sleeves. I'm 100 per cent confident everyone will have an amazing time. Security is in place, production is set," said Bankay.





No Sting on Boxing Day this year

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Supreme Promotions, organisers of annual stage show Sting will not be hosting the 32-year-old event this year, instead there will be a red-carpet Celebration Party and Awards Ceremony to honour more than 40 industry players from the entertainment fraternity.

The by-invitation-only ceremony will be held on Boxing Day, December 26, in the Corporate Area at a location to be announced.

An after-party will be held the following day (December 27) at House of Dancehall on 6 Cargill Ave in Kingston.





edward-braithwaite-to-sir-wth-love.jpgEdward (E.R.) Braithwaite, the Guyanese author of the seminal book, To Sir With Love, which became the basis of a hit move by the same name, has died at age 104.

Braithwaite passed away on Monday in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States.

He had taught at Howard University for many years.

Named Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite at birth, on June 27, 1912, he attended Guyana's prestigious high school, Queen's College, then City College of New York.

He later moved to Britain and fought in the Royal Air Force, but later, even with the benefit of a Cambridge degree in engineering, he was denied a job in a related field because he was Black.

Desperate for meaningful employment, he turned to teaching and wound up in an unruly class in a London slum school. It was that experience in which he helped to turn the lives of his students around while also detailing his experience of racism in Britain that he chronicled in To Sir With Love.

Later he served as a diplomat representing his country, Guyana, at the United Nations and in Venezuela.

He spent much of his later life as a lecturer and wrote several other books.





A police officer on the scene confirmed to Loop News that the alleged ex-lover of the woman was apprehended.

He is now in police custody, where he is to be questioned by investigators.

The incident drew scores of onlookers as a police forensic team examined the crime scene.





Baby thief a no-show in court

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stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgThe medical assistant accused of stealing a day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) did not appear in court on Wednesday.

No reason has been given for the no-show of 47-year-old Lorna Williams.

She is expected to appear in court by Friday.

Ms Williams, a resident of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2 was charged on Friday with Child Stealing.

She was arrested five hours after the baby was found at her home in East Kingston.

The child was taken from a cot next to her mother on Ward Eleven last week.





Another woman stabbed to death by her ex-lover

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A woman was stabbed by her ex-lover in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after she made a report to the police that the man had threatened to kill her. The woman has been identified by relatives as 20-year-old Alisa Garey, a bartender of Ocho Rios.

Reports are that the male went to Garey's house on Wednesday morning and threatened to kill her. Garey later went to the Ocho Rios police and reported the threat. It is understood that the male was warned by the police and both left the station in opposite directions.

However, Garey was reportedly pounced upon and stabbed in the chest by her ex-boyfriend at the back entrance of Champion Plaza, on the Ocho Rios bypass. He reportedly then fled the scene.

Garey was assisted to the hospital by relatives, where she died while being treated. This brings to four the number of women murdered as a result of domestic violence in a little over one week.





Fast and Furious 8 trailer released

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fast-and-furious-8-fate-of-the-furious.jpgFans of the Fast and Furious racing film franchise got a taste of the latest installment of the popular series with an action-packed trailer for the upcoming The Fate of the Furious film.

The eighth Fast and Furious movie promises plenty of fast cars, chases and explosions as lead character Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, goes rogue.

The film also stars Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham and Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

The Fate of the Furious is scheduled for release in April.





AIM First Fest returns

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After a two-year hiatus, gospel concert AIM First Fest returns for it's 2017 staging.

Organizers Action Entertainment in association with The RJR Communications Group and title sponsor AIM Financial Corporation, will lead the list of gospel shows to be held on Monday, January 2 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

Grammy nominated singer Dietrich Haddon returns to Jamaica to headline the festival after his summer performance was aborted due to bad weather.

Local favourites Kevin Downswell, DJ Nicholas, Prodigal Son, George Nooks, Jabez, Joan Flemmings, Sister Patt, Keesa Peart and Reverend Glen Graham are all expected to perform.





bob-marley-photo-3.jpgDecades after his death, reggae icon Bob Marley is creating musical waves, with his latest feat a number one album on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

The Legend Live - Santa Barbara from the 1979 Country Bowl, debuted in the pole position.

Grammy nominees J.Boog and Rebelution occupy the number 3 and 4 spots respectively.

The top 10 also includes Stephen Marley's Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life.





Peter Bunting not entering PNP leadership race

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peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeter Bunting says he will not seek nomination for the post of Presidency of the People's National Party (PNP) following the announcement by party leader Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election.

Dr. Peter Phillips is now the sole aspirant.

This comes eight days after Mr. Bunting said he was interested in the post following the decision by Portia Simpson Miller not to seek re-election.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Mr. Bunting said he held consultations with Parliamentary and local government representatives and has concluded that a large majority feels that " it is Comrade Peter Phillips' turn".

Mr. Bunting said he is of the view that leadership decisions should be made on a wider set of considerations.

He said based on the feedback, it would be irresponsible to cause the party to expend resources and divert focus and energy at this time and he will therefore not make himself available for nomination for the post of PNP President.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has temporarily ceased the clearance of rice at all ports of entry.

The agency made the announcement Monday afternoon amid reports of artificial rice being sold in Jamaica. It said members of the public are urged to call Jamaica Customs or the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and report if they have bought artificial rice or are aware of the places where it is being distributed so that steps may be taken for its removal.

It added that a public advisory will be issued on protecting the health and safety of the population.

In the meantime, the Bureau of Standards has said it is in possession of a sample of the 'plastic' rice, on which tests are being conducted.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is advising consumers who have purchased the artificial rice to contact its office and take a receipt to show proof of purchase.





plastic-rice.jpgThe Jamaica Customs Agency has adjusted its decision to put a hold on the clearance of rice at all ports of entry. It delayed shipments on Monday following reports that artificial rice is being sold in Jamaica.

Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reece confirmed on Monday night that a rapid inspection will be done of all shipments, and then the products will be released.

Major Reece says Customs is to do rapid testing of samples to ensure there is limited delay. He explained that this will be made more efficient because the sources of the rice are known. He noted that this should not result in delays of over a day.

Meanwhile, Major Reece has given the context to Monday's decision. He says members of the public have an important role to play in the monitoring process.





Rice from Guyana and Suriname good to go

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rice-guyana-logo.pngA decision has also been made to clear the rice from two Caribbean suppliers, namely Guyana and Suriname.

He, however, pledged that the authorities will be vigilant in their testing programme, which will include spot checks on all rice imports.

Meanwhile, the Manchester Police have said they have not found any evidence that artificial rice is being sold in the parish.

A video, purportedly originating from Manchester, claimed that the rice is being sold to consumers in the parish. The video has sparked fear among consumers.

Senior Superintendent Wayne Cameron, head of the Manchester Police, says the matter is under investigation, however, there has been no confirmation or official report of any such case of fake rice.





PLASTIC RICE SAGA: No evidence found in samples

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plastic-rice.jpgCommerce Minister Karl Samuda says no evidence of plastic rice has been found in samples which have been tested by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).

Mr. Samuda made the disclosure at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, where he gave the assurance that the rice being sold in Jamaica is safe.

Mr. Samuda said the authorities are trying to find the creator of the social media video showing evidence of artificial rice.

The public is being asked to send samples of the rice to the Bureau of Standards.





beauty-queen-marsha-gay-reynolds-cocaine.jpgA former Miss Jamaica runner-up and JetBlue flight attendant pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a cross-country drug smuggling operation that was discovered when she bolted from a screening checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

Marsha Gay Reynolds abandoned a suitcase loaded with 60 pounds of cocaine. She faces a mandatory 10-year prison term when sentenced March 3 in federal court on a single count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

Reynolds, 32, acknowledged earning thousands of dollars to help smuggle drugs and money through airport security at LAX and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by using her "known crew member" status to breeze past security and then transfer the contraband to a co-conspirator.

Airline employees with the clearance can bypass typical screening, even during personal travel in the U.S., but can be randomly searched.

When she was pulled aside for screening March 18, she flung off her high heels and ran down an upward-moving escalator out of the terminal. Authorities said the cocaine was worth about $3 million.

Reynolds reported to work for a flight to New York the next day and surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Administration there four days later.

The U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, New York, was dressed in a white jail jumpsuit Monday with her ankles chained together and wrists shackled to her waist. She could barely raise her right hand to pledge to tell the truth before her guilty plea.

She spoke in a soft voice and politely answered more than a dozen questions, addressing Judge Virginia Phillips as "your honor" almost each time.

The investigation into a larger drug ring is ongoing, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

In addition to a co-conspirator identified only as G.B., who fled to Jamaica, court papers refer to others "known and unknown" who carried out the scheme.

G.B. was in the U.S. illegally and stole the identities of mentally disabled men to get passports and driver's licenses in their names that he used to fly, court papers said. He and Reynolds were often on the same flights.

"She was able to facilitate this individual's drug trafficking operation," Mrozek said. "She was ferrying the drugs across the country and then bringing the proceeds of the drug sales back to Southern California."

Defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb said outside court that he expects Reynolds will be able to get a reduced sentence despite the mandatory minimum. He would not explain how that would happen.

Typically, convicts who testify against co-defendants can get some break in sentencing. Goldfarb said Reynolds was not cooperating at this point with authorities.

Reynolds' plea agreement mentioned nine dates she helped the unnamed co-conspirator pull off the scheme so he could deliver drugs to customers in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Source: AP





ex-lover-phillip-brown-murder-suspect.jpgPhillip Brown, the man accused of killing his former girlfriend and dumping her body at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St. Andrew on the weekend was charged with murder Tuesday afternoon.

He is scheduled to appear in court next week.

The 35-year-old construction worker surrendered to the police hours after he allegedly killed and tried to dump the body of 31-year-old Kerry Ann Wilson, the mother of his child, at his apartment which is across from the Police Commissioner's office.

Ms Wilson was visiting her child at the apartment when she was attacked.

Preliminary examinations revealed that she died after being struck on the head by a blunt force instrument.





A Cuban national who was among several staying at the Red Cross facility after arriving on the island illegally by boat was shot dead on the compound in Central Village, St. Catherine, Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that shortly after 1:00 pm, a man went on the Red Cross compound and opened fire on the Cuban man.

The 30-year-old victim was pronounced dead at hospital.

Police are searching for a suspect who goes by the alias Coolie. He is said to be an area leader from the nearby community of Little Lane.





tommy-lee-photo-12.jpgDancehall deejay Tommy Lee Sparta is set to receive an undisclosed sum from the government of Dominica.

The entertainer's attorney Bert Samuels has received a monetary offer from the Dominican Government for the deejay and his team who were wrongfully denied entry to that country.

The settlement follows an ongoing case stems from an incident in 2014 in which Tommy Lee and three members of his team were barred from entering Dominica following protests from organizations such as the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches who claims Tommy Lee Sparta's music glorifies Satan and promotes lawlessness and violence.





$$$Millions forfeited to the state

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The court has ruled that millions of dollars seized from a woman at the Norman Manley International Airport five years ago be turned over to the State.The Financial Investigations Division (FID) has successfully secured the forfeiture of US$92,657 and TT$11.The money was taken from Dorrette Reynolds as she was about to board a flight to Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011. On Tuesday, the court ruled that based on the evidence and proceedings at the trial, the cash was unlawfully obtained or intended for use in unlawful conduct, and ordered the forfeiture of the cash and interest accrued.Apart from making a false declaration to airport officials, the defendant was found to have a suitcase with false compartments, containing 14 parcels of cash wrapped in plastic, that she denied having any knowledge of.The FID relied heavily on the assistance of the Narcotics Division which carried out the seizure and provided evidence to the court.

On Tuesday, the court also ruled in favour of the Financial Investigations Division in another matter.Justice Lyle Armstrong ordered the forfeiture of US$11,950 plus interest accrued.The case involved the seizure of cash in July 2010 from Kingston-based businessman Constantine Tucker at the Norman Manley International Airport.A statement from the FID said given the failure of Mr. Tucker to properly and truthfully account for the money in any convincing way, the court found that the funds were either unlawfully obtained or connected to unlawful conduct.

St. Ann and St. Mary experience torrential rains

Heavy rains have been impacting sections of St. Mary and St. Ann since Saturday night leaving several roads impassable.

As a result, in St. Mary, the Junction road is blocked.

"The section of road in Georgia that dropped - we have boulders in that section of that corridor....flooding has been reported in several communities and we are moving to carry out what work we can as it continues to rain in the parishes," said Stephen Shaw, Communication Manager at the National Works Agency.

The heavy rain has left flooded streets and buildings in St. Ann, with the communities of Runaway Bay and Dumbarton being affected.

In Mount Edgecombe, the main bridge that connects Runaway Bay to Brown's Town is impassable while the main road connecting Brown's Town to Discovery Bay has been cut in two.

Several houses in Mount Edgecombe have also been flooded, while others are under threat of being flooded.

The Runaway Bay police station was not spared from flood waters and efforts are being made to relocate police personnel and prisoners.





crime-scene-knife.jpgPhillip Brown, the man who was being sought in connection with the murder of a woman at Crystal Towers on Old Hope Road in St Andrew is in police custody.

The 35 year old construction worker turned himself in to detectives assigned to the St. Andrew Central Police early this morning.

Brown went to the police station shortly before 1 a.m.in the company of his relatives.

He was wanted in relation to the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found, wrapped in a tarpaulin outside the Crystal Towers apartment building yesterday morning.

He was trying to dump the body in a gully when an alarm was made.





Teen stabbed to death by lover

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teen-stabbed.jpgA Hanover teenager is now dead after reportedly being stabbed by her boyfriend early this morning.

The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Shantea Thelwell, of Wells Lane in Sandy Bay, Hanover.

The police Corporate Communications Unit says Thelwell was killed at her home about 1:45 this morning.

The police say she was at home with her companion when they had a dispute and he allegedly stabbed her in the chest with a knife. She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The police say the companion has not yet been apprehended.





The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association Jamaica has expressed frustration with what it says have been technical failures with the ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) system at the Jamaica Customs Agency over the past two weeks.

It has issued a statement highlighting long clearance times and complaints from customers. ASYCUDA is a web-based application that allows clients of Jamaica Customs to undertake e-transactions.

President of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, Marcia Bent, outlined the challenges facing the members.

"The delays and the down times at this point has resulted in increased storage charges, .... it is adding to congestion at the ports. At this time of the year, there is normally an increase in traffic in commercial activities with the merchants who do seasonal stuff.....

The Association represents more than 200 licensed customs brokers in Jamaica.

Bent says the problems with ASYCUDA has had a ripple effect on other industries.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Thomas man said to be of unsound mind has been shot dead by a licensed firearm holder.

It is reported that sometime after 3 o'clock Wednesrday afternoon, the licensed firearm holder visited a property he owns in the Trinityville community which is occupied by 54-year-old Vassell Grannell.

Grannell allegedly threw stones at the licensed firearm owner and told him to leave the property.

It is further reported that while the property owner was running away he fell.

Grannell was reportedly approaching him with a machete when the licensed firearm holder shot and killed him on the spot.





stolen-baby-uhwi.jpgA medical assistant has been charged for stealing a one-day-old baby girl from the University Hospital of the West Indies on Friday, December 09.

On Saturday, the St. Andrew Central Police charged 47-year-old Lorna Williams of Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 2, with Child Stealing. The child was found in Williams' care in Rollington Town in the parish about five hours after she was reported missing. Williams will appear before the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday, December 14.

Reports are that the mother reportedly fell asleep with the baby in her hand after receiving medication. When she woke up at about 10:30 am, the child was missing, according to reports.

The hospital alerted staff members and the police, and a search was carried out and the child located in Williams' care in Rollington Town.





crime-scene-7.jpgcommon-law-husband-of-woman-phillip-brown.jpgDetectives assigned to the St Andrew Central Police Division have listed 29-year-old Phillip Brown of Crystal Towers, Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, as wanted.

The police say Brown is wanted in connection with the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, whose body was found wrapped in a tarpaulin in a gully near the Crystal Towers Apartment complex.

The police confirmed Saturday that Brown is Wilson's common-law husband.

Anyone knowing Brown's whereabouts is asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree Police Station at 926-2551, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311, or the nearest police station.





Woman killed in complex near to police HQ identified

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe police have released the name of the woman believed to have been beaten to death Friday night at the Crystal Towers apartment complex on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.

She is 33-year-old Shelly-Ann Wilson. The police could not immediately provide any further detail on the woman.

The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the constabulary has, however, confirmed that her common-law husband is a suspect in the killing.However, up to Saturday evening, he was not in custody. CCU said Wilson's body was found shortly after 9 o'clock on Saturday morning in a gully inside the apartment complex located opposite the Office of the Police Commissioner.

Residents reported hearing a loud argument in her apartment. They also reported seeing a man toss a tarpaulin before fleeing the complex.





Black woman to appear on Canadian banknote

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canada-banknote-women-viola.jpgA black woman often described as Canada's Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater will be the first Canadian woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday that Viola Desmond will grace the front of the $10 bill when the next series goes into circulation in 2018.

A businesswoman turned civil libertarian, Desmond built a business as a beautician and mentored young black women in Nova Scotia.

It was in 1946 when she rejected racial discrimination by sitting in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. She was arrested and fined. Her actions inspired later generations of black people in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.





Shaggy to be inducted CVSS Hall of Fame

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shaggy-at-sting.jpgEntertainer Shaggy is to be inducted into the Council of Voluntary Social Services Hall of Fame for 10 years of outstanding voluntary support to the Bustamante Children's Hospital.

A member of the Hall of Fame is selected every two years for dedicated and significant contribution to national development through volunteerism.

This year Shaggy presented a cheque for $55 million to the Bustamante Children's Hospital, representing proceeds from the 2016 fundraiser Shaggy & Friends Concert.

Since its inception in 2009, the concert has raised more than $255 million to acquire 450 pieces of medical equipment to treat over 77,000 children each year.

The induction will take place at the 3rd staging of the CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards on Thursday, December 8 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, at which Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be guest speaker.

The event will be held under the theme 'Volunteerism as a Catalyst for National Development'.

The CVSS Hall of Fame & Volunteer Awards Banquet celebrates and honours volunteers that continue to support and improve social development by giving of their self and time.





Charly Blacks Party Animal sells diamond

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charly-blacks.jpgTrelawny entertainer Charly Blacks continues to fly the dancehall banner worldwide.

The dancehall deejay celebrates on Instagram after his single Gyal Yuh A Party Animal produced by Kurt Riley for Techniques Records sold diamond.

While in Costa Rica, Charly Blacks took to IG where he shared a photograph showing off his diamond selling accolade received in the Latin market. The entertainer captioned the pic; I'm now a diamond selling artist. Give God the glory. #anotherlevel

Charly Blacks' "Gyal You A Party Animal" was released July 2014.





Cops probe double murder in Clarendon

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crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice investigators are probing a double killing in the parish Clarendon.

A taxi-man 52 year old Renald Allen and a bartender, 36-year-old Marcia Forda were shot and killed at a bar in Red Road, near the Bustamante Highway on Wednesday evening.

The police report that shortly after 7:00 p.m.,Forda,who was a bartender at the establishment, and Allen, were attacked by gunmen who shot them several times.

The police are reportedly following leads and have ruled out robbery as the motive.





pnp-headquarters.jpgPeople's National Party's Ralston Wilson will be among the Councillors sworn in at the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation on Thursday after a magisterial recount for the Ginger Ridge division confirmed that he won the seat in the Local Government election.

Mr. Wilson defeated the Jamaica Labour Party's Huit Johnson by 16 votes in the final count.

Following the recount on Tuesday, Mr. Wilson's lead was increased to 18 votes.

Mr. Johnson, who will be the councillor/caretaker says he has accepted the decision.





There has been a change to the islandwide de-bushing and drain cleaning programme which remains at the centre of controversy. The programme has been reduced from $600 million to $400 million.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Opposition earlier walked out of the House after insisting that the Prime Minister should speak about the programme.

Mr. Holness subsequently did speak on the matter, in the absence of the Opposition, and outlined that $400 million will be spent on the programme and that there will be a change to its scope.

"We have expended approximately $219 million out of the $400 million that has been allocated. The balance of approximately $180 million will be used exclusively to deal with the island's drainage network according to the strategic templates of priorities prepared by the NWA," he asserted.





Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits Trinidad

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earthquake.jpgA magnitude 6.2, earthquake hit Trinidad and Tobago at roughly 5:42pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The epicenter of the earthquake occurred just 16km south east of Scarborough, Tobago at a depth of 29km.

It was located 78 km north east of Arima and 99 km north east of Port of Spain.

People reported feeling the earthquake nationwide including Chaguanas, Trincity, Point Fortin, Couva, Arima, Santa Cruz, Port of Spain.

There is no tsunami warning currently in place.





Grammy Awards overview

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grammy-awards.jpgThe Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards] to recording artists for quality works in the reggae music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording, the honor was presented to artists for eligible songs or albums. The Jamaican group Black Uhuru received the first award in 1985. Beginning with the 1992 ceremony, the name of the award was changed to Best Reggae Album. Starting in 2002, awards were often presented to the engineers, mixers, and/or producers in addition to the performing artists. According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, eligible works are vocal or instrumental reggae albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", including roots reggae, dancehall and ska music.

Stephen Marley holds the record for the most wins in this category, with six wins total (three times as a member of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers). Similarly, Ziggy Marley has been presented the award four times total, three times as the leader of his eponymous band. Bunny Wailer has received the award three times, and two-time recipients include Burning Spear, Damian Marley, and Shabba Ranks. Jamaican artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality. Buju Banton's nomination for the 2010 award sparked controversy and protest from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation due to homophobic lyrics within his music.





johnny-daley.jpgComedian and Actor Christopher Johnny Daley reportedly received rave reviews for his performance in the semifinals of the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the world competition held on Monday December 5,. The contest, currently being staged in Helsinki Finland, has 18 comedians from all over the globe vying for the top spot and a US$100,000 cash prize.

Johnny left the island last Friday to compete in the semifinals and finals of the international comedy contest after two months of campaigning for online votes and being selected out of over 80 applicants.

With only a five minute set to impress the Finnish audience and judges, Daley had the crowd crackling from the get-go. His set went over perfectly with the audience in attendance and gave him near perfect scores from the three judges. He now waits for the announcement of the final 5 acts who will perform this weekend in the grand finals,. Locally, Daley garnered support from popular Jamaica brand Magnum Tonic Wine who saw the opportunity to work with Johnny to 'Tek Charge' of Comedy in Helsinki.

"The Magnum brand saw this as a great opportunity to support a Jamaican product representing on the world stage. Christopher Johnny Daley is hard working and deserves the opportunity to show the world what we already see; talent, charisma and the ability to 'Tek Charge' of the grand prize!" shared Tamika West, Marketing Manager, J Wray & Nephew Ltd.





Beyonce tops Grammy nominations with 9 nods

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beyonce-photo-3.jpgBeyonce secured the most nominations for next year's Grammy Awards ceremony. She leads the field with nine after the release of her album Lemonade.

Following closely behind are Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nods each.

British singer Adele secured five nominations, tying with the late great David Bowie.

Other nominees include Chance the Rapper for best New Artiste, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, Desiigner and Kirk Franklin.

The 59th Grammy Awards will take place on February 12.





devin-di-dakta-and-jl.jpggrammy-awards.jpgDevin Di Dakta and J.L. have been given their first nod for the honour award from The Recording Academy.

Devin Di Dakta who turned 21 yesterday says he is "excited and overjoyed" to wake up to the news of the nomination.

The collaboration EP Sly & Robbie Presents ... Reggae For Her features eight songs written by Devin and J.L. on the Tuff Gong International, Taxi Records label have been selected in the Best Reggae Album category of the 59th Grammy awards.

Other nominees in the Best Reggae Album category are: J Boog for Rose Petals on the Wash House Music Group label; Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley on the Tuff Gong Worldwide label, Raging Fyah for Everlasting on the Dub Rockers/VP Records label and Rebelution for Falling Into Place on the Easy Star Records label.





raging-fyah.jpggrammy-awards.jpgIn 2016 Pele, Demar, Anthony Watson, Courtland "Gizmo" White and Kumar collectively known as Raging Fyah released their third studio album "Everlasting" to rave reviews from fans and music industry alike.

Proudly the top charting album received the highest honor in music with a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. Recorded live at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong Studios producer Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown, Everlasting incorporates broad based influences, various acoustic subtleties, and a few guest artists, all of which further established Raging Fyah's reggae identity.

Speaking on their nomination, lead singer Kumar stated "We feel honored and humbled, we are just taking it in, it feels good. It gives us a sense of accomplishment as humble musicians. It's more than just the band, it's the Jamaican culture, reggae culture. Being nominated is a win itself, Its going to do a lot for the younger musicians Coming from Edna Manley I think it changes the culture of musicianship, of the struggles we overcome. To be nominated for Best Reggae Album alongside Ziggy Marley, J Boog, Sly & Robbie, Rebelution and SOJA is a win for us, for all struggling young musicians, we give thanks, we feel really good".





Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers' Union (NWU), has described the dismissal of 12 workers from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) as an inhumane and unlawful act of political discrimination.

The workers, mainly from the agency's Parks and Markets Department, were recently handed termination letters, dated November 30.

They carried out a peaceful protest at the agency's Half Way Tree headquarters Monday afternoon.

Mr. Valentine, claiming political victimisation, said the workers are supporters of the People's National Party (PNP).

"It is inhumane, it is downright cruel to men of straw. These are persons who are at the lowest level of the economic scale and it's unfortunate that right after the national election, that persons would have taken such steps, which is deemed and looks in every direction to be political victimisation," Mr. Valentine lamented.

The NWU general secretary said a meeting on Monday with union representatives and the management of the NSWMA ended on a hopeful note.

"We are expecting that the senior management must do the prudent thing and reinstate these persons with immediacy and ensure that they too have a good and peaceful Christmas," he declared.





woman-shot-dead-chrissy-vaughan.jpgThe police in St James have vowed to bring to justice the man responsible for Monday morning's gun slaying of popular Montego Bay mortician, 31-year-old Chrissy Vaughan.

"He (killer) is known to the persons who were there (crime scene ) and we think that in very short order he will be brought to justice," head of operations at the St James Police Division, acting Superintendent of Police, Gary McKenzie told members of the western Jamaica media fraternity, at a press conference at the Freeport Police Station on Monday afternoon.

The shooting occurred sometime after 2 am, outside a club in Bogue Village, St James, where Vaughan was among a group of patrons when a fight broke out between two members.

One of the two reportedly took out a gunand fired, shooting the mortician in her head, as she sought to flee the scene in her motorcar. She lost control of the vehicle which slammed into a sidewalk.

The police discovered Vaughan slumped around the steering wheel of the vehicle, suffering from gunshot wound. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Early this morning, the police were notified that an explosion was heard in the Bogue Village area. Based on what we gather so far, persons were at a club. They are known to each other and the understanding is that a dispute developed and one person drew a firearm and fired shots, one of which caught her," DSP McKenzie related.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA woman was fatally shot in Montego Bay, St. James early Monday morning.

She has been identified as 31-year-old Christine Johnson, an embalming officer from Bogue in the parish.

About 2:00 a.m., Ms Johnson was at a party with a man, when an argument developed between her companion and another man.

Ms Johnson walked away from the argument and proceeded to her car. But as she was about to drive off, one of the men allegedly pulled a firearm and shot Ms Johnson in the head.

The car crashed into an embankment.

Both men left the scene.

Ms. Johnson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Would-be robber shot and killed by ex-JDF soldier

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Half Way Tree, St. Andrew Monday afternoon.

It is reported that he attempted to rob a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who had just left the bank. The ex-soldier was reportedly in civilian clothing when the male trailed him from the bank and attempted to rob him at about 12:20 p.m.

The would-be robber reportedly attacked the ex-soldier with a knife, slashing him on the hand, thus forcing the former army man to use his licensed firearm to shoot his attacker. The man reportedly died on the spot.

The dead man has been identified by his alias Biggie. He was from Chestnut Lane in Kingston.

A photo of the would-be thief laying facedown in a blue shirt is being circulated on social media.





peter-phillips-photo-2.jpgpeter-bunting-photo-1.jpgFollowing Sunday's announcement by People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller that she will not be seeking re-election, the two Peters - Dr. Peter Phillips and Peter Bunting -- have confirmed that they will be available for nomination when the time comes.

In an interview Sunday night, Mr. Bunting told popular radio station RJR, that he was up to the task of leading the PNP in the next general election.

"I intend to offer myself when the schedule for nominiations is made clear and to signal that I'm available for the next four years until the next general and local government election," he declared.

Also speaking with the same entity following the party's National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, Dr. Peter Phillips announced his intention to bid for the PNP presidency.

"Certainly, when the arrangements are in place for our elections to be held for the presidency of the party, I intend to offer myself," he stated.





Lady Saw's album for Grammy consideration

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lady-saw-photo-7.jpgMinister Marion Hall, formerly known as Lady Saw, has confirmed that her debut gospel album is currently up for consideration by the Grammy Award committee.

She released her debut 14 track gospel album When God Speaks in July.

She already shares a Grammy Award with No Doubt, the first female DJ to do so and is also the first to be certified as a triple-platinum artist.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is slated for February 12, 2017.





Jr Gong's manager partners with Jay-Z's Roc Nation

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junior-gong-photo-2.jpgDan Dalton, whose Dalton Entertainment Group manages Damian Jr Gong Marley, has announced a partnership with Jay Z's Roc Nation, that will see the two working together across all areas of their businesses, which include touring, marketing and branding.

Roc Nation's roster includes Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Meek Mill and Big Sean among others.

The deal means Roc Nation may spearhead the release of Marley's album due for release in 2017.





bolt-ap-iaaf-award.jpgNine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has won the IAAF male Athlete of the Year award for a record sixth time.

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana, who broke the 10,000m world record by over 14 seconds in winning Olympic gold in Rio this summer, won the female award, beating Jamaica's Elaine Thompson who won 100m and 200m gold and silver in the 4x100m at the Rio Olympics.

Bolt, 30, sealed the 'triple triple' in Rio, winning his third Olympic title in each of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"It's definitely a big deal," said the Jamaican of the award he also won in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Bolt will retire next year, following the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

He added: "When you get to be athlete of the year it means that all the hard work has paid off, so if I can win it for a sixth year means as much as the first one."





cholera-cemetery-in-st-andrew.jpgA public health expert wants details on the process which resulted in approval being given for a commercial development on a cemetery on Waterloo and West Kings House Roads in St Andrew where victims of the 1860 cholera outbreak are buried.

The land has been partially cleared and drilling equipment is in place.

Town Clerk Robert Hill reportedly told RJR News that approval was granted in September for work to be done on the land and NEPA and the Public Health Department have declared that there are no public health risks.

Head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology at UTECH, Professor Winston Davidson, says this will not be enough to ease public concerns.

"I don't know that there are any hazards, but it is very important for the public to know the evidence...I have never researched this. But it is something that I have to look at ...."





Four persons killed in Manchester in 24 hours

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crime-scene-7.jpgFour persons were murdered in Manchester in two incidents between yesterday and this morning.

Three persons were killed in Craighead. The other incident took place in Albion.

Report are that a family was attacked at a house in Craighead early Sunday morning. Two women and a man were killed and the house set on fire. They have not yet been identified.

Meanwhile, in Albion on Saturday afternoon, 33-year-old Mark Evans, a taxi operator, was shot and killed by a gunman on Palm Drive. The police report that about 4:45 residents heard explosions. A man was seen running away with a gun in his hand.

Evans' body was found in the driver's seat of his car with what appeared to be bullet wounds.





portia.jpgComrades, I have been in politics for many years and I have been assessing my future as leader of my beloved People's National Party. I have been reflecting on what the past 10 years have meant and mean. It has been quite a journey.

We have been in Government and in Opposition. In 2012, we had a landslide victory and led a four-year period of some of the most fundamental strides to set the Jamaican economy on the right track. Now we are back in Opposition by the slimmest margin ever. What decade it has been! We have held together through some very stormy seas.

Earlier this year, I signalled to the Party that I wanted to see us through the Local Government Elections. There was a reason for that. I never wanted a new leader of this movement to commence their term with an election loss which we expected in the Local Government election. I wanted to give that person a clean slate on which to build. I have given over 40 years of selfless and dedicated service to this great Party and country. I have been through some tough battles for this party. I have witnessed many Comrades fall. There were times along the way when only a few brave souls were left standing.The only thing we had was courage but we were fighting for a cause and we were never going to quit on the people.

In you my Comrades, I see the best of humanity - You are resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in the future of the PNP. With courage and confidence in our ideals, this great party will never tire, never falter, and never fail. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. I have been blessed to represent my party and nation. I am proud of and happy about the strong endorsement given to me by the delegates of the Party in September. To receive 93% of the votes is indeed an overwhelming endorsement. However, there comes a time when one must assess their political future.

Today, I am indicating to the Party that I will not offer myself for re-election as President of this noble movement for the next political year beginning in September. I want the transition to a new leader to be seamless. I will lead the officers to establish clear guidelines and a period for campaigning. There will be sanctions and a ban on public advertisements. Any action by candidates and their supporters to tarnish other comrades or bring the party into disrepute will be met with sanctions. Those who want leadership must remember that the PNP is bigger than all of us. If we cannot put the party before personal ambitions, we do not deserve to lead this movement. I will do everything I can in the time I have left as Leader of this Party to lead our reconnection with the Jamaican people and to influence the return to power of the PNP.

Comrades, let us resolve today to do our best to unite the party and build bonds that will never be broken by pettiness and personal ambitions. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. I thank you for the countless acts of sacrifice, courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed especially over the last 10 years.

God bless you.





hands-behind-bars.jpgOdane Smith, otherwise called 'Queng Queng',an alleged West Kingston gangster has been slapped with charges relating to two counts of murder.

Smith was recently listed as one of the Kingston Western Police Division's most wanted men; he was earlier this week charged with the two counts of murder and is expected to face a third capital charge soon.

Smith was held during a police operation in the division on November 22.

In a follow-up security operation in the division on Thursday afternoon, an illegal gun was seized and five men taken into custody.

The gun, an Intratech 9mm pistol, was reportedly seized on Gem Road.





julian-robinson.jpgMember of Parliament for St Andrew South East Julian Robinson took over as general secretary of the People's National Party (PNP) on Sunday, promising to lead a secretariat that is fair and impartial.

Robinson replaces Paul Burke, who served as PNP general secretary for the past three years.

He said his team will focus on people, processes and policies.

Robinson said he wants to ensure that the PNP's processes are in line with first world standards.

In addition, he said the policies developed by the party must be to uplift quality of life for all Jamaicans.





Another cop shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe policeman who was fatally shot on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston this morning has been identified.

He is 31-year-old Corporal Kamoi Miller who was attached to the Kingston Eastern Division. It is believed he was off-duty at the time of the incident.

Our news team understands that the 31-year-old officer was found slumped over the steering wheel of a 2011 Toyota Rav 4 he was driving with gunshot wounds to the back and head.

Residents initially heard the explosion and a subsequent crash. They called the police, who found their colleague dead in the car.





Portia to step down as leader of the PNP

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portia.jpgPresident of the People's National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller says she will be stepping down soon.

Speaking on Sunday to members of the PNPs National Executive Council (NEC) at Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, Mrs Simpson Miller announced her imminent departure and promised to give the new president enough time to rebuild the party to win the next general election.

It was only in September that she was reconfirmed as PNP President when she dismissed a weak challenge from Dr. Karl Blythe.

Sunday's announcement came amidst calls for Mrs Simpson Miller to step down, in light of the defeats suffered by the PNP in the February 25 general election and the November 28 local government election.

Portia Simpson Miller was first elected PNP President in February 2006. In that contest she prevailed over three other candidates - Dr Peter Phillips, Dr Omar Davies and Dr Karl Blythe.





lisa-hanna-photo-4.jpgAs expected, there was quite a bit of bangarang at the big PNP National Executive Council meeting on Sunday at the Cedar Grove Academy in St Catherine. People's National Party supporters loyal to President Portia Simpson Miller and others supporting St Ann South East Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna traded insults. Also, as expected, a huge brawl was on the verge of erupting, as the two sets of rabble rousers squared off.

"Lisa must go!" was the chant of the group loyal to Simpson Miller, while Hanna's much smaller faction retorted: "Everything in life has an expiry date."

A fight nearly broke out between two men and shortly after, a vicious looking woman pulled a knife threatening to stab a man.The police intervened, but by then the party animal had flung away the weapon.

The knife was subsequently recovered by the police.





UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday apologised for the first time to the people of Haiti for the role played by the world body's peacekeepers in sparking a devastating cholera epidemic in the country.

"On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly we apologise to the Haitian people," he said three times -- in Haitian Creole, French and English.

"We simply did not do enough with regards to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti," Ban said. "We are profoundly sorry for our role."





new-jdf-chief-meade.jpgBrigadier Rocky Meade has been sworn in today as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

The swearing in ceremony took place at 3:00 p.m. at King's House.

Brigadier Meade will succeed Major General Antony Anderson who has been appointed National Security Advisor.

He has been Deputy Chief of Defence Staff for five years.





fidel-castro-el-general-photo-2.jpgThe Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has announced that the Jamaican flag will be flown at half-mast tomorrow, December 2, on all government offices and national buildings as a tribute to the late former President of the Republic of Cuban Fidel Castro Ruz, who died on last Friday.

According to the OPM, Jamaica will join the rest of Caricom in the symbolic gesture of condolence to mark Castro's passing and mourn with the people of Cuba.





5 seats to PNP and 5 to JLP in St Thomas

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pnp-headquarters.jpgThe tie in the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation remains after the official count was completed in all ten divisions.

Both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) has five seats in the ten member corporation.

In the Seaforth division, Vivene Spencer of the JLP polled 1,223 votes, beating the PNP's Dexter Effs, who polled 719 votes.

In the White Horses division, Hubert Williams of the PNP polled 1,301 votes, defeating the JLP's Daveon McKenzie, who polled 1,007 votes.

The final count in the municipality ended about 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.





prince-harry-and-rihanna-photo-1.jpgPrince Harry is on a royal tour in the Caribbean and found himself in Barbados for festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the island nation's independence from Britain.

The country's most famous native star, Rihanna, was also in attendance, and the two met up twice on Wednesday.

Rihanna sang the Barbados national anthem with the country's national youth choir and the Prince made a speech before a mega concert at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.

prince-harry-and-rihanna-photo-2.jpg





crime-scene-gun.jpgPolice have identified the businessman who was shot and killed in Twickenham Park , St Catherine yesterday as 49-year-old Shawn Hall of March Pen Road in Spanish Town.

It is reported that about 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Hall was standing at his tyre shop along the Greendale Main Road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by a group men dressed in orange shirts.

The reportedly shot him several times, killing him on the spot and then escaped.

No motive has been established.

Persons in the Twickenham Park area have described Hall as a good person who provided employment for several persons in and around the community.





us-wanted-top-10.jpgA man believed to be a Jamaican citizen has been listed as one of the 10 Most Wanted Fugitives by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

While acknowledging that the man's identity and nationality is still uncertain, FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola said investigators are calling him 'Marlon Jones'.

In a statement posted on the FBI's website, Garriola said 'Jones' has an "extensive violent criminal" history and uses multiple alias names and dates of birth.

"We're calling him Marlon Jones based on his criminal history in New York, but at this point it's anyone's guess what his actual birth name is. We don't believe he is a US citizen," Garriola said.

According to the FBI Special Agent, 'Jones' has been charged with crimes in the state of New Jersey under the name 'Rasheen Brantley' and served time in New York under the name 'Floyd Evans'. Further, he said 'Jones' has used the names 'Anthony Howard', 'Anthony Winter' and variations of those names.Garriola said Jones is about 5'10" tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has provided dates of birth ranging from 1970-1981.

"The biggest challenge right now besides finding him is trying to figure out who he really is," the FBI agent underscored.

Garriola said 'Jones' is wanted in connection with the early-morning killing of four people, including Jamaican gang leader Robert 'Rodigan' Davis, in California on October 15 this year. The Los Angeles Police report that 10 persons were also injured in the shooting.





Cops probe murder in Spanish Town

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot and killed in Spanish Town, St Catherine this afternoon.

The police say that the was standing near a tyre repair shop along the Greendale main road in Twickenham Park when he was pounced upon by men who shot him.

The identity of the dead man, who is said to be from the Young Street area of the Old Capital, was not revealed by the police.

A probe is being conducted by the St Catherine Major Investigation Division.





jetblue.jpgReports are that a JetBlue Airways flight which had been scheduled to land in Kingston at 6 p.m on Wednesday had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport because there were no lights on the runway at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The plane, which left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 5 o'clock this afternoon is carrying 150 passengers.

One passenger on board said the plane had started its descent into Kingston, when the pilot announced that the Norman Manley airport had advised that the runway lights were not working.

As a result, the plane had to be diverted to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.





No parish council seat for Buju's daughter

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buju-banton-daughter-jodi.jpgBuju Banton's daughter Jodian Myrie, fell short in her bid to win a seat in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Jodian lost by 107 votes to the People's National Party (PNP) Nenna Wilson in the Hagley Park Division.

The Hagley Park Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has never been won by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The party came within a whisker of taking the seat in 2007 when Mazielyn McIntosh fell short by 75 votes.

buju-banton-photo-9.jpg





ziggy-marley-photo-1.jpgA new Grammy-sponsored charity auction has been launched in celebration of the holiday season that's offering a variety of autographed collectibles and VIP experiences. Among the many items up for bid are VIP packages from reggae star Ziggy Marley, son of the late reggae legend, Bob Marley.

Some of the biggest stars in the music industry are auctioning pieces of Grammy Awards history, including signed guitars, microphones and even tickets to next year's ceremony. For Ziggy Marley, there is the chance to get tickets to his 2017 U.S shows, meet-and-greet passes and a Marley-themed gift basket.

Shure microphones signed by Rihanna and Smokey Robinson as well as items signed by Lenny Kravitz and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp are also a part of the auction.

The Grammy Charity Giving sale runs until December 9 and proceeds raised will benefit the MusiCares organization as well as the Grammy Foundation.

All the items are available for viewing at eBay.com/Grammy.





ninja-sting.jpgOutspoken veteran entertainer, Desmond John Ballentine, better known as Ninjaman, is of the opinion that the powers that be have been feigning ignorance of the fact that jailed deejay Vybz Kartel, has been recording music while in prison.

Ninjaman, in a recent interview with Jamaica's afternoon tabloid, The Star, further opined that the government had to move Vybz Kartel to athe maximum security General Penitentiary prison to 'save face'

"There is no question there about weh di man a do, so I don't want the Government gwaan like dem take people fi idiot. Di whole a dem did know, but the reason why the Government have to make this drastic step is because it obvious now."

According to artiste -- whose full moniker sounds something like this: The Original Gold-Teeth-Gun-Pon-Teeth- Don-Gorgon -- there was no way that the self-proclaimed World Boss could have answered Mavado's very recent diss directly, unless he had voiced those particular set of lyrics while behind bars.

"Mi nuh business bout nuh body business, but nobody a nuh idiot. Nobody nuh supposed to ask me if the man a record inna prison because how you fi answer Mavado if you nah record?" Ninjaman is reported as saying.

vybz-kartel-photo-4-larger.jpg

Ninjaman, himself no stranger to life behind bars, and who is currently out on bail awaiting trial in a murder case in which he has been fingered,curiously enough voiced his support for Kartel's recent transfer.

The many-time jailed artiste explained to the Star thus: "Well, as an artiste, fi Kartel go a GP is a better situation,. Him have more chances fi do him work because you have studio inna di General Penitentiary. You have schools, you have radio stations, everything."

The former Brother Desmond, however, had a word of caution,"The only thing is that if the Government seh him not supposed to record, him nah go can record." - YP





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