August 2018 Archives

Veteran dancer Labba Labba refreshes rumours of Beenie Man's alleged involvement in the murder of iconic dancer Bogle.

The veteran Dancehall artiste is facing fresh scrutiny following allegations by veteran dancer Labba Labba, who claims he allegedly paid a hitmen to kill the legendary dancer back in 2005.

According to Labba Labba, the veteran entertainer paid a man called Chris Royal $100,000 to kill the iconic dancer.





jah-cure.jpgGrammy nominated Jah Cure's video for "Risk it All" featuring Haitian American singer Phyllisia Ross is now available. Released last week, the single is the first from his upcoming album with VP Records and included in this year's 25th Anniversary of Reggae Gold.

The visuals embody express the songs meaning of doing whatever it takes for their love to flourish. Jah Cure and Phyllisia narrate the story of childhood love that was threatened by the girls father and has prevailed through adulthood.

Produced by Jah Cure For Iyah Cure Production, the rhythmic love song showcases the reggae crooners raw, effortless and poetic vocals. Jah Cure and Phyllisia have a history of collaborations with previous hit singles "Call on Me" and "Unconditional Love".

In 2015, Jah Cure was nominated for his first Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. The album held the #1 spot for 3 consecutive weeks after its debut and steadily remained on the Top 10 U.S. Billboard Reggae Album Chart since its July 2015 release.

"Risk it All, is a perfect re-introduction to Jah Cure and his upcoming release," said Stephen Chin, project manager at VP Records. "The song has all of the elements that his fans love and the added vocals of Phyllisia Ross make it a scorching summer jam."





Police probing Corey Todd's wife shooting

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corey-todd-and-wife.jpgIt's been almost two weeks since Shemara Todd, the wife of Corey Todd, owner of Taboo night club, was shot by bike riders while driving along Washington Boulevard in Kingston. And it has been hush-hush ever since.

Finally, the police say that they are reportedly following a number of leads into the shooting.

According to the police, they are leaving no stones unturned in their investigations and are already following several leads and are determined to capture the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible for the shooting.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit, they are looking into all possible leads including those circulating on social media that it may be connected to her husband's shooting several years ago.

Investigators also confirmed reports that a large sum of money was taken from the Taboo nightclub owner's vehicle, but theorize that it was taken by hoodlums after the shooting incident and not by the attackers.

Shemara Todd was shot and injured earlier this month by two gunmen on motorcycles who were seemingly awaiting her along a section of the Washington Boulevard highway.

The woman was reportedly shot four times and lost control of her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which collided with several other vehicles before finally crashing into the wall of a home.

Todd was rushed to hospital by a passing by a passing motorist.

Unconfirmed reports are that Mrs Todd left the island via air ambulance for an undisclosed location.





gun-shooting.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is calling for the Prime Minister to fire Robert Montague, the current Minister of Transport and Mining and the former Minister of National Security, over his decision to empanel a special review body which granted 29 gun licences to persons who reportedly had questionable characters.

Mr. Montague made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday where he defended his action.

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) had rejected the applications from the 29 persons, reportedly on account of adverse traces during background checks.

The press conference came a day after Television Jamaica reported that Montague, as the then security minister, overturned a decision of the FLA and granted a gun licence to a man who the police said allegedly had ties to criminal activities.





robbery.jpgA Jamaica woman who is based in the United States has been left stranded in the island following a robbery in downtown Kingston over the weekend. The woman was robbed of her travel documents and cash.

Officers attached to the Darling Street Police Station say that they received a report that the woman, was walking on Princess Street in downtown Kingston on Saturday when she was held up at knife point by a group of men and robbed of over a $100, 000 and documents, including her passport. She told the police that losing the money and other documents has left her literally stranded in the island as she was to leave the island later that same day.

Police were up to early Tuesday morning searching for the group of hoodlums who held up the woman .

The men cornered the woman, threatened to harm her and then grabbed her bag and ran, he said.

Police are reportedly following several leads in their efforts to locate the perpetrators.

According to law enforcement officers, there has been a noticeable increase in robberies in and around downtown Kingston in recent months, a development that has triggered concerns among members of the public.





Decomposing body of contractor found in St James

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe decomposing body of a contractor was found at his home in Lilliput, St James, on Monday.

Detectives attached to the Barrett Town Police Station said they are not sure of the cause of death. However, they have identified the man as 73-year-old Neville Parkinson, otherwise called 'Rasta'.

Reports are that Parkinson's body was found by residents after they went to look for him after not seeing him for a couple days.

Reports are that about 8:30 a.m., a neighbour went to his house to investigate what had happened to him. After smelling something unpleasant coming from his house, the resident alerted others in the community, and they made their way inside his house where his body discovered.

The police were called and his body was removed to the morgue.





Cubans get free Internet for a whole day!!!

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cubans-free-internet.jpgCuba's government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island's more than five million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial.

Tuesday marks the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.





(AP) -- A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she'd had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy's mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him.

Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children -- and possibly many more -- since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a clergyman who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., of systematically covering up complaints.

The "real number" of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward, the grand jury said. U.S. bishops adopted sweeping reforms in 2002 when clergy abuse became a national crisis for the church, including stricter requirements for reporting accusations to law enforcement and a streamlined process for removing clerics who abuse children. But the grand jury said more changes are needed.

"Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability," the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all."

Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that "it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

In nearly every case, prosecutors found that the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. More than 100 of the priests are dead. Many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave. Authorities charged just two as a result of the grand jury investigation, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty, though some of those named had been charged years ago.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing. The investigation of six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses-- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton -- is the most extensive investigation of Catholic clergy abuse by any state, according to victim advocates. The dioceses represent about 1.7 million Catholics.





OUT NOW! 'Can't Bring Me Down' by Red Sage

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DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

cant-bring-me-down.jpgRoots Musician Records is proud to announce the brand new release from Red Sage, "Can't Bring Me Down". Red Sage is a collective of musicians hailing from Colorado's thriving music scene. The group brings a blend of reggae, latin, blues, and soul influences that is combined to make an interesting type of roots music.

The music is inspired by true life, current events, as well as a will to spread love throughout the darkest corners of the world.

"Can't Bring Me Down" sends a message to the listener to never let anyone bring down their spirit, and keep their heads held high throughout dark times. "Can't Bring Me Down" was mixed and mastered by E.N Young at Imperial Sound Recording Studio in Imperial Beach California.

We hope you enjoy the free download link to the song below and please add it to your playlists and mixes today!

DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

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Day Dream August 2018 | Photos by: Ashon Williams

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aretha.jpgAretha Franklin is "gravely ill" and surrounded by her friends and family in Detroit, a person close to the soul singer confirmed. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the singer is seriously ill.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman, who first reported the news of Franklin is "gravely ill" on Sunday, said the Queen of Soul's family is "asking for prayers and privacy." Franklin's family also confirmed the news to WDIV Local 4. No further details about her health were immediately available, and reps for Franklin did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Franklin's friend, journalist Roland Martin, tweeted a photo of her at her birthday party in 2016 along with a message to followers seemingly confirming the singer's condition.

"Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin. Folks, I've known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That's all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers."





denique-birth.jpgEntertainer Denyque and her husband Careem Mullings are following the trend set by celebrities and have already set up an Instagram account for their newborn.

The baby, a boy named Conner Dash, was delivered on Wednesday. Connor Dash's Instagram page is private.

Denique's husband, Careem Mullings, posted photos of his pregnant wife, moments before delivery, as well as an image of the newborn in his arms.

Careem has edited his own profile to reflect the fact that he is now a father and Denyque has added 'Mama' to her profile..

Denique, a Miss Universe Jamaica 2016 finalist, had kept her pregnancy private even though persons began speculating during the time of Jamaica Carnival in April that she was expecting a child.





Honorary Doctorate from UWI for Monty Alexander

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monty-alexander.jpgOver five decades of performances and more than 70 CDs later, award-winning Jamaican-born jazz maestro, Monty Alexander, is being bestowed with a honorary doctorate degree from the University of West Indies, (UWI). Alexander, born Montgomery Bernard Alexander on D-Day in Kingston, Jamaica, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the UWI Mona Campus this November.

The degree was approved by the University's Council and will be conferred at the 2018 graduation ceremonies and presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The man, who singer extraordinaire, Tony Bennett, has declared put on one of the "best jazz shows" he has ever seen, will be one of four stellar Caribbean-born musicians who will be presented with honorary doctorates by UWI.

They include Bajan star Rihanna; fellow Jamaican artist Grace Jones, and Winston A. Bailey, aka the Mighty Shadow, from Trinidad and Tobago.

In commenting on the incredible recognition and prestigious honor, Alexander said humbly: "I have a sense of great privilege and gratitude."

Alexander began his musical career at age four by playing Christmas carols by ear. By age 5, he was entertaining neighbors and relatives and at age 6, he was taking his first piano lessons.

Alexander began playing in local Kingston clubs at 14, when he also made his first recordings, some as leader of a group called Monty and the Cyclones, and others as a sideman for such legendary producers as Ken Khouri (Federal Records), Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), and Clement Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.

These early sessions for Federal, which Alexander describes as "not calypso music, but the beginning of Ska," included such subsequently famous talents as trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxophonist Roland Alphonso and guitarist Ernest Ranglin.

Alexander is most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function, as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

He also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums. He debuted the project at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2009 and documented it both on the Grammy-nominated 2011 CD, Harlem-Kingston Express: LIVE, and its 2014 Soultrain Award nominated follow-up, Harlem Kingston Express 2: The River Rolls On (Motéma).

For more on the Monty Alexander and his amazing brand of jazz, visit him on YouTube or at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.





Police following leads in murder on Arnie Francis

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Police say they are following several leads into the murder of businessman Arnie Francis in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday night.

One of the leads suggest that the 54-year-old man, who was a manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, fell victim to a contract killing, a senior officer from the St Andrew Central Police Division told Loop News.

Francis was attacked and shot multiple times as he arrived at his home on Butter Cup Drive.

"We are looking at several leads as we step up our probe in this case and the main one is that the attack was a contract hit," the senior officer said on Saturday.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the attacker shot the business man multiple times and then fled the scene.

"There were no signs that he was robbed," police said.

The Matilda's Corner police reported that about 9:25 pm, Francis entered his home with his wife when they were pounced upon by a lone gunman who opened fire at them. Francis was hit multiple times in the upper body, while his wife was shot in the leg. The gunman then made his escape.

The couple was taken to hospital, where Francis succumbed to his injuries and the female was admitted in stable condition.





crime-scene-tape.jpgA 21-year-old student of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Kingston, drowned after saving a woman from also drowning at Vortex Springs, Florida in the United States on Wednesday.

While several persons have expressed sadness at the tragic circumstances, which led to the Jamaican's death, others have hailed his heroic exploits. The student has since been identified as Terril Crossfield, who was residing in Pensacola, Florida at the time of his death.

According to a release from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida, deputies responded to the drowning at the Vortex Springs venue on Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m.

Vortex Springs is a freshwater diving, swimming and camping resort located in Ponce De Leon. Eyewitnesses told the police that Crossfield responded to a female swimmer, who showed signs of being distressed in the water. The Jamaican successfully passed the swimmer to another individual in the water to bring her to safety on shore. But Crossfield then started experiencing difficulties and went underwater. Witnesses told the police that a diver pulled the student from the water and CPR was administered until emergency responders arrived.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office said Crossfield was later pronounced dead at the scene.

As news spread of the tragic death of the Maritime student, several Jamaicans expressed their sadness of the news on social media site, Facebook.

"Terril (Crossfield) you died being a hero bro. My heart is cold and bleeding right now when I heard of your death. You were kind, helpful and honest. Sleep in peace, but I wish you could come back," one social media user posted.

Another comment read: "So sad... Such a promising young man. May his soul rest in peace... Keeping his family and friends in my prayers."

Meanwhile, the Students' Union of the Caribbean Maritime University has also joined those in expressing condolences to Crossfield's family.

"The Students Union of the Caribbean Maritime University would like to extend our condolences to the family of the late Terril Crossfield. We pray that the Lord will give his family and friends strength in their time of grief. #RipTerril," wrote the union on their Facebook page.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida is continuing their probe into the latest drowning at Vortex Springs. Crossfield is the third person to have died at the resort since the start of the year, according to US media reports.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Anchovy Police have confirmed that an elderly bus driver who had just arrived on the island from visiting his wife in the United States of America, died several hours after his involvement in a fatal crash which occurred along the Spring Garden main road in St James.

The police have also reported that the vehicle being driven by the elderly man resulted in the death of a taxi operator from the community of Hopewell and seriously injured five other passengers along Spring Garden main road on Wednesday night of July 31st.

The ill-fated accident claimed the life of Ricardo Wallace, otherwise called "Links" 38-year-old taxi operator of Lookout district in Hopewell, Hanover.

Reports by the Anchovy police are that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Wallace was transporting passengers from Hopewell to Montego Bay in his Toyota Ipsum, seven seater motor car.

On reaching a section of the Spring Garden main road, in the vicinity of Ramson compound, Wallace collided head-on with a Toyota Hiace tour bus, which was traveling in the opposite direction and which was being driven by the elderly man. Wallace and five passengers sustained head and body injuries. They were rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where Wallace was pronounced dead and the other victims admitted in serious condition.

A number of motorists who arrived on the accident scene threatened the life of the elderly bus driver who was also injured in the crash.

In fear of his life, he refrained from going to the hospital for treatment and was discovered dead the following day at his apartment in Bogue Village. Investigators also pointed out that, they were informed that the elderly man who had just arrived in the island on Emancipation Day, had just performed a heart surgery in the USA and had returned home to heal.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are seeking to determine the motive for last night's gun attack on businessman Arnie Francis and his wife at their home on Buttercup Drive in Mona, St Andrew.

Fifty-year-old Francis, who was the Manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, succumbed to his injuries in hospital while his wife is admitted in stable condition.

The police say they arrived home about 9:25 and were attacked by a gunman as they entered the premises.

They say the businessman was shot in his upper body and that his wife was shot in one of her legs.

The gunman then escaped.

Meanwhile, news of Francis's murder sent shockwaves through the business community and tributes have been pouring in.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgThe University of the West Indies UWI has released new information regarding the award of an honorary doctorate to Barbadian singer, Rihanna.

She was listed as one of three to receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Cave Hill Campus in a ceremony on October 20.

In a statement the UWI disclosed that Rihanna, unfortunately, will not be able to receive the award this year because of scheduling commitments.

The UWI Cave Hill, Barbados campus has chosen to honour the charitable singer with a special dissertation.

The honorary degree should have been presented to her at a special ceremony scheduled for October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus in her homeland Barbados.

Rihanna received The Harvard Foundation award for Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.





Kei Kei drops out of Rising Stars

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Danielle Kei Kei Shelton has decided to make a premature departure from Season 15 of the Digicel Rising Stars Competition.

Her decision to quit the show follows countless online criticisms about her performances.

This is the first time in the show's 14-year history that a contestant has dropped out.

The singer says she does not have the mental "toughness" that is required to remain in the competition and has apologised to her voters for not continuing with the show.

Her decision has been supported by the show's producer, Sharon Schroeter.





jamaican-paper-money.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Shemara Todd, the wife of artiste manager and businessman, Corey Todd was rrobbed after she was shot and injured last Friday.

According to reports a large sum of cash was taken from the businesswoman car by people that was at the scene of the accident after she was shot multiple times by gunmen on a motorcycle.

This is the second shooting incident involving Todd and his family in the last few years. In 2014, the businessman was shot and injured during a robbery incident in Montego Bay outside of his nightclub Taboo.

Corey became a well-known figure in dancehall by his business affiliation with Vybz Kartel, the two launched the "Street Vybz Rum" which was a hot seller.

Currently, the popular nightclub owner is the manager of Dancehall artiste Masicka.





UWI to confer 17 with honorary degrees

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International music and fashion icon, Jamaican Grace Jones, fellow entertainers, Trinidadian Winston Bailey, more popularly known as Mighty Shadow, former cricketers Shivnarine Chanderpaul from Guyana and Michael Anthony Holding from Jamaica are among 17 persons to be conferred with honorary degrees by The University of the West Indies UWI at its graduation ceremonies in October.

The UWI says the honorary graduands represent a cross-section of eminent people in the arts, sciences and other fields.

The university says their degrees, which were approved by the University Council, will be presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The schedule of graduation ceremonies begins October 13 at the Open Campus in St Lucia and continues on October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus, October 25 to 27 at the St Augustine Campus and November 2 to 3 at the Mona Campus.

Each ceremony will be streamed live allowing friends, family and well-wishers to view the proceedings.





Ganja seized in Hanover valued at $11m, police say

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ganja-seized.jpgThe narcotics police are reporting that the ganja which was seized in Green Island, Hanover on Tuesday night is valued at $11 million.

The ganja, which weighed 2,734 pounds was found in the vicinity of Davis Cove.

Three persons were taken into custody.

Two buses and two firearms with 29 rounds of ammunition were also seized during the operation.





CXC results Friday

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cxc-logo.jpgThe Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says it will release the results of its May/June 2018 exams on Friday.

The results are to be released at a ceremony in Grenada.

CXC said the report on candidates' performance will be presented as well as one on administration issues.

In the meantime, CXC said candidates can access results for the May/June Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) online as of August 12.

Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) results will be available on August 16.





shocked.jpgAn 18-year-old Brooklyn teenager who returned from a trip from Jamaica has been identified as the mother of the premature newborn found dead inside an airplane toilet at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Officials said the teenager, who had travelled with her sister, could have been the victim of a botched abortion.

The teenager, who checked into Kings County Hospital after she got off the plane, claimed she never knew she was pregnant when she rushed into the bathroom of an American Airlines plane after it landed at LaGuardia about 10:45 Monday night.

A law enforcement source said she put the baby in the toilet and covered it with paper.

The teenager reportedly told investigators she had not been feeling well for days.

The source said she showed little emotion.

Doctors examined her at Kings County Hospital.

The teenager told police she had visited a doctor in Jamaica before flying back to the U.S.

It was unclear whether police asked if she had gone for an abortion.

A cleaning crew for Airway Cleaners found the baby's body in a middle bathroom of the plane, which was parked outside an American Airlines hangar early Tuesday morning.

The baby appeared to have been born three months premature.





court-image-1.jpgThe Court of Appeal has added another three years to the sentence of a Jamaican man convicted of smuggling cocaine into the island.

Dwayne George Watson, of Mavis Bank address in St Andrew, Jamaica, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year by a Supreme Court judge, but will now have to serve nine years after prosecutors successfully argued the sentence was "manifestly inadequate".

Watson, who was arrested at Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport with US$200,000 worth of cocaine, told authorities he thought he was importing cannabis.

In his judgement, Appeal Judge Anthony Smellie said Watson's claim was not enough to earn him a reduced sentence.

He said: "A mere assertion by a defendant that he believed the drug to be different from that actually imported must be approached with great circumspection.

"In response to an indictment for the importation of an illegal drug, it can hardly be sufficient for him merely to point to the condition of the container itself as a reason for his failure to ascertain the true nature of the drugs. There should ordinarily be something more -- some objective point of reference -- against which his professed belief might be assessed for credibility."

Watson arrived in Bermuda from Jamaica via New York when he was stopped for a random search on September 1 last year.

Customs officers noticed that he shook while he answered questions and that the suitcase had been zip-tied shut. An x-ray of the case showed "irregularities" in the handle. Customs officers drilled into the handle and found white powder inside. A further search revealed 11 packages of cocaine and cocaine freebase, also known as crack, in the case's base, handle and corners.

More than a kilogramme of cocaine was found, which prosecutors said had an estimated street value of up to US$200,634.

He told police he agreed to smuggle cannabis into Bermuda because he had struggled to find work in Jamaica and was shocked to find the packages contained cocaine.

He said he expected to receive $3,000 and planned to use the cash to buy a taxi.

In January, Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe sentenced the then 22-year-old Watson to six years in prison on the basis that he believed the drugs to be cannabis. But, the Crown filed an appeal on the grounds that the sentence was inadequate. Watson's lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, argued that based on her client's youth, early plea and lack of previous convictions, combined with his mistaken belief about the drug, the sentence was appropriate.

The Court of Appeal found that the judge had set the basic sentence "far too low", which resulted in a low final sentence. Jamaican-born Justice Smellie said: "While there is some cogency to Ms Christopher's submissions, they do not justify or explain the disparity of sentencing in this case. This sentence, when assessed against the established principles and precedents of sentencing, must be regarded as manifestly inadequate."





ganja-image-5.jpgAgriculture Minister Audley Shaw says Jamaica will not be last to board the ganja train

At the opening address of the 66th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural Show, Shaw stated that the island will have got to sort out the arrangements as "we cannot allow the ganja train to leave the station without Jamaica," he told the gathering to loud cheers.

Stressing the need to shift the focus from negativity surrounding ganja and cannabis, he said that the country should instead look at the revolution that is taking place with the product.

"Some of us in Jamaica are not even aware, we are not even on the cusp of the awareness of what's happening globally with cannabis," he said highlighting the negative side effects of opiods - a class of pain-reliever drugs that include heroin and can be obtained legally.

He said that many lives have been lost because of opioid use, and for that reason, America has been studying cannabis for the past 10 years with the findings that "cannabis, the much-maligned ganja, is seen as a miracle drug coming straight from out of the ground".

Pointing out that medical cannbis is a growing industry, he said that Canada has already built a foothold in the industry.





chinese-cooking-dogs-in-jamaica.jpgCampaigners have called on Theresa May to ban the eating of dogs in Britain after claiming the disturbing practice is on the rise across Europe.

International canine welfare group, the World Dog Alliance (WDA), is launching a campaign in the UK this Autumn for a full ban on dog meat consumption.

Although the habit of eating canines is met with revulsion in most countries around the world, killing dogs to eat and consuming their meat is legal in Britain.

In a statement, the WDA said: 'The UK is the first country in the world which enacts the Animal Welfare Act. It is unfortunate to see dog meat consumption being legal in this nation. The WDA believes a legal ban on eating dog meat would allow the UK to continue to have a global leading role in the field of animal protection, especially after UK leaves the EU.

'Local citizens in the Western countries barely eat dog meat, but the WDA worries that dog meat consumption may be spread to UK with immigration. In the US, people who eat dog meat are mainly immigrants from Asia.'





Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing the security guard who shot and killed a patron at a Dream Weekend party last week, says his client has been receiving death threats since the incident.

Champagnie told Loop News that he will be raising the issue among others related to the case in a letter to the police high command.

"Chief among (the issues) are security concerns and a publication that have appeared on some social media sites that have revealed the identity of the guard and his family members and address," said the attorney.

According to Champagnie, the publication of his client's personal details has "jeopardized the safety" of the security guard.

Jean Mathieu, 37, a businessman of a Millsborough Crescent address in St Andrew, was shot dead at a party at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland last Friday morning.

Police report that about 3:15 am, Mathieu was a patron at the Dream Live party when he became engaged in an altercation with the security guard over access to the VIP area.

The dispute reportedly escalated with Mathieu, a licensed firearm holder, bringing his gun into play before being shot in the chest by the security officer. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.





police-station.jpgThe St Andrew South Police say that investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a woman that occurred at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Headley Avenue in Kingston on Friday were advanced.

Police have not named the woman, but reports are that she is Shemara Todd, the wife of nightclub operator Corey Todd, who runs the popular Taboo clubs with locations in Kingston and Montego Bay.

Law enforcers said that around 5:15 pm, the woman was driving her Mercedes Benz along the road when men drove up on motorcycles and shot at her. She was hit several times but escaped her attackers before crashing the car in a fence.

Police later took her to hospital where she remains in serious but stable condition.





The Supreme Court last Friday granted an injunction preventing the board of management of the Kensington Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, from blocking a five-year-old girl from entering the school because of her dreadlocked hairstyle.

The injunction was granted on a motion filed by Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) on July 18 on behalf of the parents of the child, who, last month, were given an ultimatum that their daughter had until August 29 to remove her locks to enter grade one in September in keeping with the school's policy.

The human-rights group challenged the school's position on the basis that enforcement of the rule would violate constitutionally protected human rights of the child and her family and that no other remedy existed to prevent the threat of that violation, given the school's demand.

Attorneys from the Attorney General's Chambers, appearing on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, consented to the order.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Dream Live party, which is a part of the five-day Dream Weekend music festival at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland was on Friday morning the scene of a deadly shooting.

Jean Mathieu, a 37 year-old businessman of Millsborough Crescent in St. Andrew, was shot during a reported altercation with a security guard.

It's reported that about 3:15, Mr. Mathieu was at the entertainment event when he tried to take a female companion into the VIP area with out the required armband. He was denied entry by the guard.

Mr. Mathieu reportedly hit the guard several times before pointing his licenced firearm at him. The guard then pulled his licensed gun and fired a round hitting Mr. Mathieu in the chest.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit, said detailed searches should be conducted to prevent persons from entering entertainment events with firearms.

ASP Garrick reminded patrons at the annual Dream Weekend events to hand over their licensed firearms at Negril police station for safe keeping.

The organisers of Dream Weekend say that there is a strict no weapons policy for the event.





A detailed probe has been ordered into the operations of St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) in relation to operations of the Dunns River Falls. It is unclear what prompted the probe.

However, the Board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) said it took the decision with the support of the Board of SADCO

The UDC Board said it is of the view that, based on internal preliminary reports, there is sufficient cause for concern. It said it has contracted international specialists to perform an examination of the governance and control environment, as well as evaluate any potential weaknesses or risk areas.

UDC said it will act swiftly to consider and address concerns raised upon conclusion of the examination.

It said Dunns River Falls remains open to the public for recreational activities during the auditing process.





ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have commenced investigations into the seizure of approximately 400 pounds of compressed ganja in Spice Grove, St Elizabeth on Thursday, August 2.

Reports are that about 9:30 p.m., police were on operation in the community when they found seven knitted bags containing 48 parcels, each with compressed ganja.

The drugs were seized and an investigation launched.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.6 million.

The Narcotics Police are appealing to anyone with information about the seizure to contact them at 923-5729, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Havendale under siege from criminals

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For years, residents of the middle class community of Havendale in St Andrew have been complaining they are being held at ransom by criminals who are committing armed robberies at will.

On the morning of Saturday August 4, a young couple was reportedly held at gunpoint and robbed of everything but their lives. They had reportedly just walked onto Havendale Drive from Mannings Hill Road when they were approached by two men who brandished handguns and demanded that they hand over their back packs, wallets, cellular phones and other valuables.

The backpacks contained laptop computers which the couple used to work on social media services for entities. The profits are in turn used to fund the teenagers' tertiary education costs.

A few weeks ago, a carload of robbers held up a female and threatened to rape her after stealing her belongings. That incident followed another in which a teenaged girl suffered several cuts and bruises after she scaled a barbed wire fence in order to escape gunmen travelling in a motorcar who demanded her to get inside their vehicle.

The community has been a feeding ground for robbers for years and the residents have complained that, despite numerous reports to the police, it seems the robbers can't be caught.

Havendale residents are calling on the police to ramp up their presence in the community and make a concerted effort to catch the nefarious characters.

"This has been going on for too long now. We are tired of making reports and although there are police patrols, the thieves always seem to get away. We cannot live as hostages in our own area," one distraught man said.

"There has to be a way for the police to help us. Maybe by walking along the road and catch them off guard. For years we have been suffering now. We need help before somebody gets killed by these thugs," one woman, who declined to be named, said.





The Ministry of Health says its investigation into claims that visitors to the island contracted leptospirosis after swimming at the Blue Hole attractions in St Ann is inconclusive at this point because of a lack of information.

The ministry says inspections were conducted at the sites by the St Ann Health Department, which is now reporting that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the locations were the source of the leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira.

It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months.

The health ministry says it is awaiting communication from official sources in the United States regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The ministry says prior to receiving the complaints the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

According to the ministry, samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Full Statement

The Ministry of Health and the St Ann Health Department have been investigating and monitoring the Blue Hole attractions in St. Ann following reports of cases of Leptospirosis associated with visits to the locations.

Following on inspections at the Blue Hole attractions, the St. Ann Health Department is reporting that not enough evidence exists to conclude that the locations in question were the source of Leptospirosis in the cases reported.

There is limited information available on the publicised cases and the Ministry of Health is awaiting communication from official sources in the USA regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is concerned about any possible risk to the public and has therefore conducted investigations and follow-up visits to the locations.

During the initial visit to the attractions, the public health inspectors reviewed the services offered, food service operations, sanitation and sewage disposal and other aspects of the operations.

Breaches of public health standards were identified at some facilities and the St. Ann Health Department had issued instructions to the management of the attractions to remedy these. Afollow-up visit was conducted in late July, which indicated that several of the breaches were remedied while others were still in progress. Prior to receiving the complaints, the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

Samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months. It is transmitted by rodents, dogs, farm animals, and horses. Animals and humans become infected through contact with water, food or soil that contains the urine of the infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Person to person transmission is rare. The disease causes a wide range of symptoms and some persons have no symptoms at all.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with pets and animals. The disease is also associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.

The St. Ann Health Department will continue to maintain a presence at the Blue Hole attractions and along the White River course. Additionally, routine checks will be carried out at the various locations to ensure the health and safety of the public.





The former leadership of the State-owned Petrojam oil refinery spent more than J$1.4 million (US$10,500) to host a 'staff party' for 25 guests at the upscale Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay, St James, on September 19, last year.

That was less than 24 hours before they racked up another bill of just under J$5 million (US$37,827) at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall for accommodation and food for a four-day staff retreat and board of directors meeting.

The spending continued with the company shelling out a further US$132,162 (J$17.1 million) to an American firm to provide 'Balanced Scorecard Training and Strategic Development' during the retreat.

Details of the spending by the former leaders of Petrojam were provided to The Gleaner in response to an Access to Information (ATI) request.

But the company noted that it had provided The Gleaner with only some of the invoices for the retreat, which ran from September 20 to 23, 2017, with no explanation as to what invoices were omitted or why.

According to the invoices provided by Petrojam, the pre-retreat staff party was coordinated by Rose Hall Developments Limited, but there was no indication if accommodation was provided after the party with the staff retreat set to begin at the nearby Hyatt Ziva the following day.

Efforts to get additional information from Petrojam last week, including the number of staff members and directors who attended the retreat, were unsuccessful, as the company insisted that other questions would only be answered via another ATI request.

But a public-relations and event planner with government clients told The Gleaner that the purpose of the party before the retreat was more important than the bill.

According to the event planner, who asked not to be named, the J$1.4-million bill for 25 guests was in line with standard industry pricing for premium VIP hosting.

"The bigger picture is - why is a government entity spending this amount of money? Was this the best spend of our resources and what are other government entities doing for VIP hosting?" said the event planner.

Another event planner added, "The pricing for 25 people could be justified based on the deliverables needed to execute the event. However, at almost $55,000 per head, what was the return on investment for hosting the party; that's very important in Government."

The Strategy Management Group out of the US, which operates the Balanced Scorecard Institute, billed Petrojam the US$132,162 for professional fees, an introductory course, accommodation, meals and travel for presenters and shipping.

A balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool used by businesses and governments worldwide to set and measure targets.

The Gleaner has asked Petrojam to outline the method used to procure the services of Strategy Management Group and justify the engagement of an overseas firm at that cost.

The Petrojam management team that organised the party and retreat was led by Floyd Grindley, who has since resigned. The board chairman at the time, Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, and the other Jamaican members of the board have also resigned and have since been replaced.





drake.jpgDrake has finally unleashed the accompanying video to his massive 2018 hit, 'In My Feelings'!

The 'Scorpion' cut, currently sitting pretty at #1 on the Hot 100, blast onto the charts thanks to the inescapable #InMyFeelings challenge and - if its star-studded music video has anything to do with it - won't be loosening its grip from the top any time soon.

Shot in New Orleans and featuring the legendary TV actress Phylicia Rashad and actress/model/TV hostess Lala Anthony among its supporting cast, look inside to see the highly anticipated visual:

Drake - In My Feelings





blac-chyna-photo-3.jpgThe drama between Blac Chyna and her mother, Tokyo Toni has just gotten a whole lot uglier. Toni previously reached out to Amber Rose, urging her to get through to her daughter and let her spend time with her grandchildren. According to her, she hasn't seen either Dream or King Cairo in two years and she's getting insanely frustrated. In a fit of rage, Tokyo Toni absolutely blasted her daughter for keeping the kids away from her, calling her one of the things you never want to hear in your life.

The lengthy social media rant was likely the worst of them all so far. Describing her strained relationship with Chyna and bringing up both Tyga and Rob Kardashian, Toni made some ugly claims about her daughter. Speaking directly to the camera, she said, "Blac Chyna, the name I gave you was Angela Renee. The disrespect that you have been giving me for the past, quite a few years, I've tolerated. Because I'm your momma, you're the only child, but you better keep in your mind I'm a bad b-tch." Proceeding to prove her "bad b-tch" status, she dragged her own daughter with the following statement: "Oh fuck birthing you b-tch... that was a mistake, just happened to come into play. You was a statutory rape baby."

I don't know about you but that's a pretty heartbreaking thing to hear. Social media is clearly not the place to be airing out all this family drama. Hopefully, this gets Chyna to pick up the phone and bring the kids over to see their grandmother. Watch the video below.





New video from Vybz Kartel

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Kartel drops the video for his Dre Skull-produced single "Real Bad Gal."

Some of you may be familiar with this beat from PARTYNEXTDOOR's single "Not Nice" which sampled this track before the original even came out. Earlier this year, Mixpak Records released the original Vybz Kartel version and it became an instant hit. Now we have some visuals to go with the beat and Kartel's impeccable flow. Dre Skull has worked with Kartel for years and even worked on his landmark album Kingston Story.

Skull recently worked with Popcaan on his new album Forever which has been doing well since its release over a week ago. The Ivar Wigan-directed cut kicks off with a commentary from a female who let the world know that she can defend herself.

"Go tell a gal go chat to yo back / She cant touch a button a you she can't knock / You a real bad gal weh no tek back chat / And anything yo say yo can defend that," Vybz Kartel spits.

Vybz Kartel - Real Bad Gal (Official Video)





wayne-marshall.jpgWayne Marshall has collaborated with Bounty Killer for his second gospel single, Thank Yuh Fi the Blessing.

The track, produced by Danny Brownie, is now available for pre-order.

Speaking at the music video shoot for Glory to God at Hope United Church on Old Hope Road this week, Marshall said Bounty Killer made the initial contact.

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"Killer heard Glory to God and said it's a powerful song and we need fi come together and give some praise," Marshall told Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash. "Nuff people woulda say 'Killer?', but is a man weh God-fearing and love God and spiritual too. As early as I knew Killer he was singing songs giving praise, so mi know him spirit and mi know him household. His mother was a devout Christian and a very religious person and I'm sure if she was alive this would be one of her favourite Killer songs."

The two have a longstanding friendship and Marshall also formed part of Bounty Killer's Alliance crew in the early 2000s. Their previous collaborations include Smoke Clears, Sufferer, Be on the Alert and Go Hard.

For others now curious about Marshall's musical direction, he noted that God is not inaccessible and he is allowing himself to be used by Him.

"There are people who tell me to do more gospel music now based on the success and feel of Glory to God," he said. "It's not really pressure because I am good at giving praises to God. I know that God gave us the music as an expression of our emotions, so it's always good when we can use the music to honour Him. I could do a hundred albums just giving thanks to God for the many blessings, so I don't feel pressure about doing gospel music."





Ernie Smith will headline the University of Technology (UTech) 60th anniversary concert set for Thursday, August 9 at 5:30 pm at the Amphitheatre, Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus.

Smith, whose hits of the 1970s yielded Duppy or Gunman, Life Is Just For Living, Ride on Sammy, and Pitta Patta says he will be performing his originals as well as covers at the showcase dubbed "Evening of Musical Excellence Down Memory Lane."

In a release UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie said that patrons can "expect to be delighted with an evening of superb high-energy live entertainment."

The concert is free of charge and is open to the public.

Other acts who will perform at the concert include singer Everton Pessoa, the UTech Choir, UTech Steel Pan band and the Nexus Performing Arts Company of Jamaica.

Smith will be backed by Desi Jones and Friends.





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFounder of Sonic Sounds, Neville Lee, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, at Medical Associates Hospital. Renowned Roman Cathlic priest, Father Ho Lung paid tribute to Mr Lee in his article on Friday.

According to the priest, the family was all gathered around. They wept and gathered each other in their arms. Steve, the eldest of his sons, said to me, " ....his last audible words were 'Our God is great!'"

Winnie, his wife, was drawn into her husband's deep unconsciousness. He could not speak. I placed my arms around her; she was deeply absorbed looking at the face of her husband.

As she prayed, I said to the family "I do not know if he will live or he will die. That is in God's hands. We must remember St Paul's words, 'If I live, I live in Christ. If I die, I die in Christ so whether I live or die it doesn't matter it is in Christ'. We must remember that for us Christians, death is not the final end, but is only a door that opens to eternal life."

Neville Lee was a beloved friend of mine and the brothers, and of the poor. He was a wonderful family man, businessman, Christian, Roman Catholic, lover of the poor, lover of Jamaica, lover of Christ.

"Why do you and the brothers come and visit me? You are so busy. Why, why, why?"

"Because you are our friend, because you are so kind, because you love the poor," was my reply.

Tears rolled down his eyes.

Neville spoke to me with such humility about his sins.

I told him, "Neville, the Lord forgives you your sins."

He nodded gratefully. "Yes, father, I am a sinner. I have done so much wrong. Forgive me Lord, forgive me!"

"I am sure the Lord forgives you, Neville," I said.

He smiled gratefully.

Neville Lee understands the essences of life - being a family man, being faithful to his friends and his workers; feeding, caring for, loving to his wife and children; loving His Lord and the poor.

The last words he said to me was, "Keep on in your ministry to the poor. Keep serving them."

Neville had the custom of kneeling with his wife Winnie before Christ and the Blessed Sacrament every Sunday after Sunday mass at Sts Peter and Paul. He had learned this habit as a school boy at St George's College.

He turned to me and asked me, "I have taken care of my children materially; I wish for them to come closer to Christ."

I gave him the sacrament of the sick and dying.

We blessed the holy oil, anointed his head, his chest, his hands and feet - anointing of the sick and dying before the entire family. We prayed for him and read the gospel from St Matthew 11:28-30.

Meanwhile, the funeral service for Neville Lee will be held at St. Peter & Paul Church on August 28 at 1:00 pm





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFor the second time this week, the music fraternity has been plunged into mourning.

Neville Lee, producer, manufacturer, distributor and founder of Sonic Sounds, passed away on Tuesday, while a patient at the Medical Associates Hospital in St Andrew.

Mr Lee, who is being hailed as a philanthropist, a humanitarian, and a devoted huisband, father and grandfather, made his transition following a battle with leukemia and diabetes. He was 80 years old and had celebrated 58 years of marriage on Monday. He is survived by wife Winnifred, who spent their anniversary at the hospital with him on Monday; children Stephen, Gordon, Jason and Susan, along with several grand-children.

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Neville Lee is remember for his compassionate and giving nature. One of his grand-daughters told Yardflex that her grandfather "truly an Angel. He was compassionate and was always giving."

And that sentiment has been echoed hundreds of times by those who knew him well, as well as those who had just a passing acquaintance. Culture Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange said she felt a personal loss with death of such a giant in the music industry.

In seeking ways to honour Neville Lee, film-maker Lennie Little-White is calling for the main studio at CVM TV to be renamed in his honour.

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In a letter to CVM Chairman Wayne Chen, he explained that Lee was an initial investor in the station and when there was difficulty in getting the station off the ground, Lee gave up the ground floor of the Sonic Sounds building on Retirement Road to house the first cadre of employees without charge.

"When we acquired the current space on Constant Spring Road, he and I were totally responsible for converting an empty warehouse into a TV studio. He provided some of his own staff to help in the construction phase. Given his major contribution in the creation of the current main studio, I am recommending that the board names the primary studio as The Neville Lee Studio," said Little-White.

A stalwart in music industry, Lee formed Sonic Sounds, in 1979, having been recruited into the music business by his brother, the late Byron Lee, owner of record-manufacturing and distribution company Dynamic Sounds.

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Mr. Lee's son Jason recalled his father's strong sense of business and commitment to develop the local industry.

"From the early days Sonic Sounds pretty much controlled the distribution of all the major reggae artistes -- Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailers, Rita Marley, Gregory (Isaacs), you name them. Daddy also had the Volcano music label during this time. All the artistes loved him as he was very generous with his time and knowledge. He eased out of the business in 1989."





jah-cure.jpgGrammy nominated Jah Cure's video for "Risk it All" featuring Haitian American singer Phyllisia Ross is now available. Released last week, the single is the first from his upcoming album with VP Records and included in this year's 25th Anniversary of Reggae Gold.

The visuals embody express the songs meaning of doing whatever it takes for their love to flourish. Jah Cure and Phyllisia narrate the story of childhood love that was threatened by the girls father and has prevailed through adulthood.

Produced by Jah Cure For Iyah Cure Production, the rhythmic love song showcases the reggae crooners raw, effortless and poetic vocals. Jah Cure and Phyllisia have a history of collaborations with previous hit singles "Call on Me" and "Unconditional Love".

In 2015, Jah Cure was nominated for his first Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. The album held the #1 spot for 3 consecutive weeks after its debut and steadily remained on the Top 10 U.S. Billboard Reggae Album Chart since its July 2015 release.

"Risk it All, is a perfect re-introduction to Jah Cure and his upcoming release," said Stephen Chin, project manager at VP Records. "The song has all of the elements that his fans love and the added vocals of Phyllisia Ross make it a scorching summer jam."





Police probing Corey Todd's wife shooting

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corey-todd-and-wife.jpgIt's been almost two weeks since Shemara Todd, the wife of Corey Todd, owner of Taboo night club, was shot by bike riders while driving along Washington Boulevard in Kingston. And it has been hush-hush ever since.

Finally, the police say that they are reportedly following a number of leads into the shooting.

According to the police, they are leaving no stones unturned in their investigations and are already following several leads and are determined to capture the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible for the shooting.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit, they are looking into all possible leads including those circulating on social media that it may be connected to her husband's shooting several years ago.

Investigators also confirmed reports that a large sum of money was taken from the Taboo nightclub owner's vehicle, but theorize that it was taken by hoodlums after the shooting incident and not by the attackers.

Shemara Todd was shot and injured earlier this month by two gunmen on motorcycles who were seemingly awaiting her along a section of the Washington Boulevard highway.

The woman was reportedly shot four times and lost control of her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which collided with several other vehicles before finally crashing into the wall of a home.

Todd was rushed to hospital by a passing by a passing motorist.

Unconfirmed reports are that Mrs Todd left the island via air ambulance for an undisclosed location.





gun-shooting.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is calling for the Prime Minister to fire Robert Montague, the current Minister of Transport and Mining and the former Minister of National Security, over his decision to empanel a special review body which granted 29 gun licences to persons who reportedly had questionable characters.

Mr. Montague made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday where he defended his action.

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) had rejected the applications from the 29 persons, reportedly on account of adverse traces during background checks.

The press conference came a day after Television Jamaica reported that Montague, as the then security minister, overturned a decision of the FLA and granted a gun licence to a man who the police said allegedly had ties to criminal activities.





robbery.jpgA Jamaica woman who is based in the United States has been left stranded in the island following a robbery in downtown Kingston over the weekend. The woman was robbed of her travel documents and cash.

Officers attached to the Darling Street Police Station say that they received a report that the woman, was walking on Princess Street in downtown Kingston on Saturday when she was held up at knife point by a group of men and robbed of over a $100, 000 and documents, including her passport. She told the police that losing the money and other documents has left her literally stranded in the island as she was to leave the island later that same day.

Police were up to early Tuesday morning searching for the group of hoodlums who held up the woman .

The men cornered the woman, threatened to harm her and then grabbed her bag and ran, he said.

Police are reportedly following several leads in their efforts to locate the perpetrators.

According to law enforcement officers, there has been a noticeable increase in robberies in and around downtown Kingston in recent months, a development that has triggered concerns among members of the public.





Decomposing body of contractor found in St James

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe decomposing body of a contractor was found at his home in Lilliput, St James, on Monday.

Detectives attached to the Barrett Town Police Station said they are not sure of the cause of death. However, they have identified the man as 73-year-old Neville Parkinson, otherwise called 'Rasta'.

Reports are that Parkinson's body was found by residents after they went to look for him after not seeing him for a couple days.

Reports are that about 8:30 a.m., a neighbour went to his house to investigate what had happened to him. After smelling something unpleasant coming from his house, the resident alerted others in the community, and they made their way inside his house where his body discovered.

The police were called and his body was removed to the morgue.





Cubans get free Internet for a whole day!!!

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cubans-free-internet.jpgCuba's government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island's more than five million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial.

Tuesday marks the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.





(AP) -- A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she'd had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy's mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him.

Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children -- and possibly many more -- since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a clergyman who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., of systematically covering up complaints.

The "real number" of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward, the grand jury said. U.S. bishops adopted sweeping reforms in 2002 when clergy abuse became a national crisis for the church, including stricter requirements for reporting accusations to law enforcement and a streamlined process for removing clerics who abuse children. But the grand jury said more changes are needed.

"Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability," the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all."

Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that "it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

In nearly every case, prosecutors found that the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. More than 100 of the priests are dead. Many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave. Authorities charged just two as a result of the grand jury investigation, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty, though some of those named had been charged years ago.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing. The investigation of six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses-- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton -- is the most extensive investigation of Catholic clergy abuse by any state, according to victim advocates. The dioceses represent about 1.7 million Catholics.





OUT NOW! 'Can't Bring Me Down' by Red Sage

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DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

cant-bring-me-down.jpgRoots Musician Records is proud to announce the brand new release from Red Sage, "Can't Bring Me Down". Red Sage is a collective of musicians hailing from Colorado's thriving music scene. The group brings a blend of reggae, latin, blues, and soul influences that is combined to make an interesting type of roots music.

The music is inspired by true life, current events, as well as a will to spread love throughout the darkest corners of the world.

"Can't Bring Me Down" sends a message to the listener to never let anyone bring down their spirit, and keep their heads held high throughout dark times. "Can't Bring Me Down" was mixed and mastered by E.N Young at Imperial Sound Recording Studio in Imperial Beach California.

We hope you enjoy the free download link to the song below and please add it to your playlists and mixes today!

DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

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Day Dream August 2018 | Photos by: Ashon Williams

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aretha.jpgAretha Franklin is "gravely ill" and surrounded by her friends and family in Detroit, a person close to the soul singer confirmed. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the singer is seriously ill.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman, who first reported the news of Franklin is "gravely ill" on Sunday, said the Queen of Soul's family is "asking for prayers and privacy." Franklin's family also confirmed the news to WDIV Local 4. No further details about her health were immediately available, and reps for Franklin did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Franklin's friend, journalist Roland Martin, tweeted a photo of her at her birthday party in 2016 along with a message to followers seemingly confirming the singer's condition.

"Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin. Folks, I've known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That's all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers."





denique-birth.jpgEntertainer Denyque and her husband Careem Mullings are following the trend set by celebrities and have already set up an Instagram account for their newborn.

The baby, a boy named Conner Dash, was delivered on Wednesday. Connor Dash's Instagram page is private.

Denique's husband, Careem Mullings, posted photos of his pregnant wife, moments before delivery, as well as an image of the newborn in his arms.

Careem has edited his own profile to reflect the fact that he is now a father and Denyque has added 'Mama' to her profile..

Denique, a Miss Universe Jamaica 2016 finalist, had kept her pregnancy private even though persons began speculating during the time of Jamaica Carnival in April that she was expecting a child.





Honorary Doctorate from UWI for Monty Alexander

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monty-alexander.jpgOver five decades of performances and more than 70 CDs later, award-winning Jamaican-born jazz maestro, Monty Alexander, is being bestowed with a honorary doctorate degree from the University of West Indies, (UWI). Alexander, born Montgomery Bernard Alexander on D-Day in Kingston, Jamaica, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the UWI Mona Campus this November.

The degree was approved by the University's Council and will be conferred at the 2018 graduation ceremonies and presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The man, who singer extraordinaire, Tony Bennett, has declared put on one of the "best jazz shows" he has ever seen, will be one of four stellar Caribbean-born musicians who will be presented with honorary doctorates by UWI.

They include Bajan star Rihanna; fellow Jamaican artist Grace Jones, and Winston A. Bailey, aka the Mighty Shadow, from Trinidad and Tobago.

In commenting on the incredible recognition and prestigious honor, Alexander said humbly: "I have a sense of great privilege and gratitude."

Alexander began his musical career at age four by playing Christmas carols by ear. By age 5, he was entertaining neighbors and relatives and at age 6, he was taking his first piano lessons.

Alexander began playing in local Kingston clubs at 14, when he also made his first recordings, some as leader of a group called Monty and the Cyclones, and others as a sideman for such legendary producers as Ken Khouri (Federal Records), Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), and Clement Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.

These early sessions for Federal, which Alexander describes as "not calypso music, but the beginning of Ska," included such subsequently famous talents as trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxophonist Roland Alphonso and guitarist Ernest Ranglin.

Alexander is most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function, as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

He also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums. He debuted the project at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2009 and documented it both on the Grammy-nominated 2011 CD, Harlem-Kingston Express: LIVE, and its 2014 Soultrain Award nominated follow-up, Harlem Kingston Express 2: The River Rolls On (Motéma).

For more on the Monty Alexander and his amazing brand of jazz, visit him on YouTube or at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.





Police following leads in murder on Arnie Francis

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Police say they are following several leads into the murder of businessman Arnie Francis in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday night.

One of the leads suggest that the 54-year-old man, who was a manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, fell victim to a contract killing, a senior officer from the St Andrew Central Police Division told Loop News.

Francis was attacked and shot multiple times as he arrived at his home on Butter Cup Drive.

"We are looking at several leads as we step up our probe in this case and the main one is that the attack was a contract hit," the senior officer said on Saturday.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the attacker shot the business man multiple times and then fled the scene.

"There were no signs that he was robbed," police said.

The Matilda's Corner police reported that about 9:25 pm, Francis entered his home with his wife when they were pounced upon by a lone gunman who opened fire at them. Francis was hit multiple times in the upper body, while his wife was shot in the leg. The gunman then made his escape.

The couple was taken to hospital, where Francis succumbed to his injuries and the female was admitted in stable condition.





crime-scene-tape.jpgA 21-year-old student of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Kingston, drowned after saving a woman from also drowning at Vortex Springs, Florida in the United States on Wednesday.

While several persons have expressed sadness at the tragic circumstances, which led to the Jamaican's death, others have hailed his heroic exploits. The student has since been identified as Terril Crossfield, who was residing in Pensacola, Florida at the time of his death.

According to a release from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida, deputies responded to the drowning at the Vortex Springs venue on Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m.

Vortex Springs is a freshwater diving, swimming and camping resort located in Ponce De Leon. Eyewitnesses told the police that Crossfield responded to a female swimmer, who showed signs of being distressed in the water. The Jamaican successfully passed the swimmer to another individual in the water to bring her to safety on shore. But Crossfield then started experiencing difficulties and went underwater. Witnesses told the police that a diver pulled the student from the water and CPR was administered until emergency responders arrived.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office said Crossfield was later pronounced dead at the scene.

As news spread of the tragic death of the Maritime student, several Jamaicans expressed their sadness of the news on social media site, Facebook.

"Terril (Crossfield) you died being a hero bro. My heart is cold and bleeding right now when I heard of your death. You were kind, helpful and honest. Sleep in peace, but I wish you could come back," one social media user posted.

Another comment read: "So sad... Such a promising young man. May his soul rest in peace... Keeping his family and friends in my prayers."

Meanwhile, the Students' Union of the Caribbean Maritime University has also joined those in expressing condolences to Crossfield's family.

"The Students Union of the Caribbean Maritime University would like to extend our condolences to the family of the late Terril Crossfield. We pray that the Lord will give his family and friends strength in their time of grief. #RipTerril," wrote the union on their Facebook page.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida is continuing their probe into the latest drowning at Vortex Springs. Crossfield is the third person to have died at the resort since the start of the year, according to US media reports.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Anchovy Police have confirmed that an elderly bus driver who had just arrived on the island from visiting his wife in the United States of America, died several hours after his involvement in a fatal crash which occurred along the Spring Garden main road in St James.

The police have also reported that the vehicle being driven by the elderly man resulted in the death of a taxi operator from the community of Hopewell and seriously injured five other passengers along Spring Garden main road on Wednesday night of July 31st.

The ill-fated accident claimed the life of Ricardo Wallace, otherwise called "Links" 38-year-old taxi operator of Lookout district in Hopewell, Hanover.

Reports by the Anchovy police are that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Wallace was transporting passengers from Hopewell to Montego Bay in his Toyota Ipsum, seven seater motor car.

On reaching a section of the Spring Garden main road, in the vicinity of Ramson compound, Wallace collided head-on with a Toyota Hiace tour bus, which was traveling in the opposite direction and which was being driven by the elderly man. Wallace and five passengers sustained head and body injuries. They were rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where Wallace was pronounced dead and the other victims admitted in serious condition.

A number of motorists who arrived on the accident scene threatened the life of the elderly bus driver who was also injured in the crash.

In fear of his life, he refrained from going to the hospital for treatment and was discovered dead the following day at his apartment in Bogue Village. Investigators also pointed out that, they were informed that the elderly man who had just arrived in the island on Emancipation Day, had just performed a heart surgery in the USA and had returned home to heal.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are seeking to determine the motive for last night's gun attack on businessman Arnie Francis and his wife at their home on Buttercup Drive in Mona, St Andrew.

Fifty-year-old Francis, who was the Manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, succumbed to his injuries in hospital while his wife is admitted in stable condition.

The police say they arrived home about 9:25 and were attacked by a gunman as they entered the premises.

They say the businessman was shot in his upper body and that his wife was shot in one of her legs.

The gunman then escaped.

Meanwhile, news of Francis's murder sent shockwaves through the business community and tributes have been pouring in.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgThe University of the West Indies UWI has released new information regarding the award of an honorary doctorate to Barbadian singer, Rihanna.

She was listed as one of three to receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Cave Hill Campus in a ceremony on October 20.

In a statement the UWI disclosed that Rihanna, unfortunately, will not be able to receive the award this year because of scheduling commitments.

The UWI Cave Hill, Barbados campus has chosen to honour the charitable singer with a special dissertation.

The honorary degree should have been presented to her at a special ceremony scheduled for October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus in her homeland Barbados.

Rihanna received The Harvard Foundation award for Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.





Kei Kei drops out of Rising Stars

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Danielle Kei Kei Shelton has decided to make a premature departure from Season 15 of the Digicel Rising Stars Competition.

Her decision to quit the show follows countless online criticisms about her performances.

This is the first time in the show's 14-year history that a contestant has dropped out.

The singer says she does not have the mental "toughness" that is required to remain in the competition and has apologised to her voters for not continuing with the show.

Her decision has been supported by the show's producer, Sharon Schroeter.





jamaican-paper-money.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Shemara Todd, the wife of artiste manager and businessman, Corey Todd was rrobbed after she was shot and injured last Friday.

According to reports a large sum of cash was taken from the businesswoman car by people that was at the scene of the accident after she was shot multiple times by gunmen on a motorcycle.

This is the second shooting incident involving Todd and his family in the last few years. In 2014, the businessman was shot and injured during a robbery incident in Montego Bay outside of his nightclub Taboo.

Corey became a well-known figure in dancehall by his business affiliation with Vybz Kartel, the two launched the "Street Vybz Rum" which was a hot seller.

Currently, the popular nightclub owner is the manager of Dancehall artiste Masicka.





UWI to confer 17 with honorary degrees

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International music and fashion icon, Jamaican Grace Jones, fellow entertainers, Trinidadian Winston Bailey, more popularly known as Mighty Shadow, former cricketers Shivnarine Chanderpaul from Guyana and Michael Anthony Holding from Jamaica are among 17 persons to be conferred with honorary degrees by The University of the West Indies UWI at its graduation ceremonies in October.

The UWI says the honorary graduands represent a cross-section of eminent people in the arts, sciences and other fields.

The university says their degrees, which were approved by the University Council, will be presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The schedule of graduation ceremonies begins October 13 at the Open Campus in St Lucia and continues on October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus, October 25 to 27 at the St Augustine Campus and November 2 to 3 at the Mona Campus.

Each ceremony will be streamed live allowing friends, family and well-wishers to view the proceedings.





Ganja seized in Hanover valued at $11m, police say

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ganja-seized.jpgThe narcotics police are reporting that the ganja which was seized in Green Island, Hanover on Tuesday night is valued at $11 million.

The ganja, which weighed 2,734 pounds was found in the vicinity of Davis Cove.

Three persons were taken into custody.

Two buses and two firearms with 29 rounds of ammunition were also seized during the operation.





CXC results Friday

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cxc-logo.jpgThe Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says it will release the results of its May/June 2018 exams on Friday.

The results are to be released at a ceremony in Grenada.

CXC said the report on candidates' performance will be presented as well as one on administration issues.

In the meantime, CXC said candidates can access results for the May/June Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) online as of August 12.

Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) results will be available on August 16.





shocked.jpgAn 18-year-old Brooklyn teenager who returned from a trip from Jamaica has been identified as the mother of the premature newborn found dead inside an airplane toilet at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Officials said the teenager, who had travelled with her sister, could have been the victim of a botched abortion.

The teenager, who checked into Kings County Hospital after she got off the plane, claimed she never knew she was pregnant when she rushed into the bathroom of an American Airlines plane after it landed at LaGuardia about 10:45 Monday night.

A law enforcement source said she put the baby in the toilet and covered it with paper.

The teenager reportedly told investigators she had not been feeling well for days.

The source said she showed little emotion.

Doctors examined her at Kings County Hospital.

The teenager told police she had visited a doctor in Jamaica before flying back to the U.S.

It was unclear whether police asked if she had gone for an abortion.

A cleaning crew for Airway Cleaners found the baby's body in a middle bathroom of the plane, which was parked outside an American Airlines hangar early Tuesday morning.

The baby appeared to have been born three months premature.





court-image-1.jpgThe Court of Appeal has added another three years to the sentence of a Jamaican man convicted of smuggling cocaine into the island.

Dwayne George Watson, of Mavis Bank address in St Andrew, Jamaica, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year by a Supreme Court judge, but will now have to serve nine years after prosecutors successfully argued the sentence was "manifestly inadequate".

Watson, who was arrested at Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport with US$200,000 worth of cocaine, told authorities he thought he was importing cannabis.

In his judgement, Appeal Judge Anthony Smellie said Watson's claim was not enough to earn him a reduced sentence.

He said: "A mere assertion by a defendant that he believed the drug to be different from that actually imported must be approached with great circumspection.

"In response to an indictment for the importation of an illegal drug, it can hardly be sufficient for him merely to point to the condition of the container itself as a reason for his failure to ascertain the true nature of the drugs. There should ordinarily be something more -- some objective point of reference -- against which his professed belief might be assessed for credibility."

Watson arrived in Bermuda from Jamaica via New York when he was stopped for a random search on September 1 last year.

Customs officers noticed that he shook while he answered questions and that the suitcase had been zip-tied shut. An x-ray of the case showed "irregularities" in the handle. Customs officers drilled into the handle and found white powder inside. A further search revealed 11 packages of cocaine and cocaine freebase, also known as crack, in the case's base, handle and corners.

More than a kilogramme of cocaine was found, which prosecutors said had an estimated street value of up to US$200,634.

He told police he agreed to smuggle cannabis into Bermuda because he had struggled to find work in Jamaica and was shocked to find the packages contained cocaine.

He said he expected to receive $3,000 and planned to use the cash to buy a taxi.

In January, Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe sentenced the then 22-year-old Watson to six years in prison on the basis that he believed the drugs to be cannabis. But, the Crown filed an appeal on the grounds that the sentence was inadequate. Watson's lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, argued that based on her client's youth, early plea and lack of previous convictions, combined with his mistaken belief about the drug, the sentence was appropriate.

The Court of Appeal found that the judge had set the basic sentence "far too low", which resulted in a low final sentence. Jamaican-born Justice Smellie said: "While there is some cogency to Ms Christopher's submissions, they do not justify or explain the disparity of sentencing in this case. This sentence, when assessed against the established principles and precedents of sentencing, must be regarded as manifestly inadequate."





ganja-image-5.jpgAgriculture Minister Audley Shaw says Jamaica will not be last to board the ganja train

At the opening address of the 66th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural Show, Shaw stated that the island will have got to sort out the arrangements as "we cannot allow the ganja train to leave the station without Jamaica," he told the gathering to loud cheers.

Stressing the need to shift the focus from negativity surrounding ganja and cannabis, he said that the country should instead look at the revolution that is taking place with the product.

"Some of us in Jamaica are not even aware, we are not even on the cusp of the awareness of what's happening globally with cannabis," he said highlighting the negative side effects of opiods - a class of pain-reliever drugs that include heroin and can be obtained legally.

He said that many lives have been lost because of opioid use, and for that reason, America has been studying cannabis for the past 10 years with the findings that "cannabis, the much-maligned ganja, is seen as a miracle drug coming straight from out of the ground".

Pointing out that medical cannbis is a growing industry, he said that Canada has already built a foothold in the industry.





chinese-cooking-dogs-in-jamaica.jpgCampaigners have called on Theresa May to ban the eating of dogs in Britain after claiming the disturbing practice is on the rise across Europe.

International canine welfare group, the World Dog Alliance (WDA), is launching a campaign in the UK this Autumn for a full ban on dog meat consumption.

Although the habit of eating canines is met with revulsion in most countries around the world, killing dogs to eat and consuming their meat is legal in Britain.

In a statement, the WDA said: 'The UK is the first country in the world which enacts the Animal Welfare Act. It is unfortunate to see dog meat consumption being legal in this nation. The WDA believes a legal ban on eating dog meat would allow the UK to continue to have a global leading role in the field of animal protection, especially after UK leaves the EU.

'Local citizens in the Western countries barely eat dog meat, but the WDA worries that dog meat consumption may be spread to UK with immigration. In the US, people who eat dog meat are mainly immigrants from Asia.'





Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing the security guard who shot and killed a patron at a Dream Weekend party last week, says his client has been receiving death threats since the incident.

Champagnie told Loop News that he will be raising the issue among others related to the case in a letter to the police high command.

"Chief among (the issues) are security concerns and a publication that have appeared on some social media sites that have revealed the identity of the guard and his family members and address," said the attorney.

According to Champagnie, the publication of his client's personal details has "jeopardized the safety" of the security guard.

Jean Mathieu, 37, a businessman of a Millsborough Crescent address in St Andrew, was shot dead at a party at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland last Friday morning.

Police report that about 3:15 am, Mathieu was a patron at the Dream Live party when he became engaged in an altercation with the security guard over access to the VIP area.

The dispute reportedly escalated with Mathieu, a licensed firearm holder, bringing his gun into play before being shot in the chest by the security officer. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.





police-station.jpgThe St Andrew South Police say that investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a woman that occurred at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Headley Avenue in Kingston on Friday were advanced.

Police have not named the woman, but reports are that she is Shemara Todd, the wife of nightclub operator Corey Todd, who runs the popular Taboo clubs with locations in Kingston and Montego Bay.

Law enforcers said that around 5:15 pm, the woman was driving her Mercedes Benz along the road when men drove up on motorcycles and shot at her. She was hit several times but escaped her attackers before crashing the car in a fence.

Police later took her to hospital where she remains in serious but stable condition.





The Supreme Court last Friday granted an injunction preventing the board of management of the Kensington Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, from blocking a five-year-old girl from entering the school because of her dreadlocked hairstyle.

The injunction was granted on a motion filed by Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) on July 18 on behalf of the parents of the child, who, last month, were given an ultimatum that their daughter had until August 29 to remove her locks to enter grade one in September in keeping with the school's policy.

The human-rights group challenged the school's position on the basis that enforcement of the rule would violate constitutionally protected human rights of the child and her family and that no other remedy existed to prevent the threat of that violation, given the school's demand.

Attorneys from the Attorney General's Chambers, appearing on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, consented to the order.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Dream Live party, which is a part of the five-day Dream Weekend music festival at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland was on Friday morning the scene of a deadly shooting.

Jean Mathieu, a 37 year-old businessman of Millsborough Crescent in St. Andrew, was shot during a reported altercation with a security guard.

It's reported that about 3:15, Mr. Mathieu was at the entertainment event when he tried to take a female companion into the VIP area with out the required armband. He was denied entry by the guard.

Mr. Mathieu reportedly hit the guard several times before pointing his licenced firearm at him. The guard then pulled his licensed gun and fired a round hitting Mr. Mathieu in the chest.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit, said detailed searches should be conducted to prevent persons from entering entertainment events with firearms.

ASP Garrick reminded patrons at the annual Dream Weekend events to hand over their licensed firearms at Negril police station for safe keeping.

The organisers of Dream Weekend say that there is a strict no weapons policy for the event.





A detailed probe has been ordered into the operations of St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) in relation to operations of the Dunns River Falls. It is unclear what prompted the probe.

However, the Board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) said it took the decision with the support of the Board of SADCO

The UDC Board said it is of the view that, based on internal preliminary reports, there is sufficient cause for concern. It said it has contracted international specialists to perform an examination of the governance and control environment, as well as evaluate any potential weaknesses or risk areas.

UDC said it will act swiftly to consider and address concerns raised upon conclusion of the examination.

It said Dunns River Falls remains open to the public for recreational activities during the auditing process.





ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have commenced investigations into the seizure of approximately 400 pounds of compressed ganja in Spice Grove, St Elizabeth on Thursday, August 2.

Reports are that about 9:30 p.m., police were on operation in the community when they found seven knitted bags containing 48 parcels, each with compressed ganja.

The drugs were seized and an investigation launched.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.6 million.

The Narcotics Police are appealing to anyone with information about the seizure to contact them at 923-5729, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Havendale under siege from criminals

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For years, residents of the middle class community of Havendale in St Andrew have been complaining they are being held at ransom by criminals who are committing armed robberies at will.

On the morning of Saturday August 4, a young couple was reportedly held at gunpoint and robbed of everything but their lives. They had reportedly just walked onto Havendale Drive from Mannings Hill Road when they were approached by two men who brandished handguns and demanded that they hand over their back packs, wallets, cellular phones and other valuables.

The backpacks contained laptop computers which the couple used to work on social media services for entities. The profits are in turn used to fund the teenagers' tertiary education costs.

A few weeks ago, a carload of robbers held up a female and threatened to rape her after stealing her belongings. That incident followed another in which a teenaged girl suffered several cuts and bruises after she scaled a barbed wire fence in order to escape gunmen travelling in a motorcar who demanded her to get inside their vehicle.

The community has been a feeding ground for robbers for years and the residents have complained that, despite numerous reports to the police, it seems the robbers can't be caught.

Havendale residents are calling on the police to ramp up their presence in the community and make a concerted effort to catch the nefarious characters.

"This has been going on for too long now. We are tired of making reports and although there are police patrols, the thieves always seem to get away. We cannot live as hostages in our own area," one distraught man said.

"There has to be a way for the police to help us. Maybe by walking along the road and catch them off guard. For years we have been suffering now. We need help before somebody gets killed by these thugs," one woman, who declined to be named, said.





The Ministry of Health says its investigation into claims that visitors to the island contracted leptospirosis after swimming at the Blue Hole attractions in St Ann is inconclusive at this point because of a lack of information.

The ministry says inspections were conducted at the sites by the St Ann Health Department, which is now reporting that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the locations were the source of the leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira.

It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months.

The health ministry says it is awaiting communication from official sources in the United States regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The ministry says prior to receiving the complaints the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

According to the ministry, samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Full Statement

The Ministry of Health and the St Ann Health Department have been investigating and monitoring the Blue Hole attractions in St. Ann following reports of cases of Leptospirosis associated with visits to the locations.

Following on inspections at the Blue Hole attractions, the St. Ann Health Department is reporting that not enough evidence exists to conclude that the locations in question were the source of Leptospirosis in the cases reported.

There is limited information available on the publicised cases and the Ministry of Health is awaiting communication from official sources in the USA regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is concerned about any possible risk to the public and has therefore conducted investigations and follow-up visits to the locations.

During the initial visit to the attractions, the public health inspectors reviewed the services offered, food service operations, sanitation and sewage disposal and other aspects of the operations.

Breaches of public health standards were identified at some facilities and the St. Ann Health Department had issued instructions to the management of the attractions to remedy these. Afollow-up visit was conducted in late July, which indicated that several of the breaches were remedied while others were still in progress. Prior to receiving the complaints, the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

Samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months. It is transmitted by rodents, dogs, farm animals, and horses. Animals and humans become infected through contact with water, food or soil that contains the urine of the infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Person to person transmission is rare. The disease causes a wide range of symptoms and some persons have no symptoms at all.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with pets and animals. The disease is also associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.

The St. Ann Health Department will continue to maintain a presence at the Blue Hole attractions and along the White River course. Additionally, routine checks will be carried out at the various locations to ensure the health and safety of the public.





The former leadership of the State-owned Petrojam oil refinery spent more than J$1.4 million (US$10,500) to host a 'staff party' for 25 guests at the upscale Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay, St James, on September 19, last year.

That was less than 24 hours before they racked up another bill of just under J$5 million (US$37,827) at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall for accommodation and food for a four-day staff retreat and board of directors meeting.

The spending continued with the company shelling out a further US$132,162 (J$17.1 million) to an American firm to provide 'Balanced Scorecard Training and Strategic Development' during the retreat.

Details of the spending by the former leaders of Petrojam were provided to The Gleaner in response to an Access to Information (ATI) request.

But the company noted that it had provided The Gleaner with only some of the invoices for the retreat, which ran from September 20 to 23, 2017, with no explanation as to what invoices were omitted or why.

According to the invoices provided by Petrojam, the pre-retreat staff party was coordinated by Rose Hall Developments Limited, but there was no indication if accommodation was provided after the party with the staff retreat set to begin at the nearby Hyatt Ziva the following day.

Efforts to get additional information from Petrojam last week, including the number of staff members and directors who attended the retreat, were unsuccessful, as the company insisted that other questions would only be answered via another ATI request.

But a public-relations and event planner with government clients told The Gleaner that the purpose of the party before the retreat was more important than the bill.

According to the event planner, who asked not to be named, the J$1.4-million bill for 25 guests was in line with standard industry pricing for premium VIP hosting.

"The bigger picture is - why is a government entity spending this amount of money? Was this the best spend of our resources and what are other government entities doing for VIP hosting?" said the event planner.

Another event planner added, "The pricing for 25 people could be justified based on the deliverables needed to execute the event. However, at almost $55,000 per head, what was the return on investment for hosting the party; that's very important in Government."

The Strategy Management Group out of the US, which operates the Balanced Scorecard Institute, billed Petrojam the US$132,162 for professional fees, an introductory course, accommodation, meals and travel for presenters and shipping.

A balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool used by businesses and governments worldwide to set and measure targets.

The Gleaner has asked Petrojam to outline the method used to procure the services of Strategy Management Group and justify the engagement of an overseas firm at that cost.

The Petrojam management team that organised the party and retreat was led by Floyd Grindley, who has since resigned. The board chairman at the time, Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, and the other Jamaican members of the board have also resigned and have since been replaced.





drake.jpgDrake has finally unleashed the accompanying video to his massive 2018 hit, 'In My Feelings'!

The 'Scorpion' cut, currently sitting pretty at #1 on the Hot 100, blast onto the charts thanks to the inescapable #InMyFeelings challenge and - if its star-studded music video has anything to do with it - won't be loosening its grip from the top any time soon.

Shot in New Orleans and featuring the legendary TV actress Phylicia Rashad and actress/model/TV hostess Lala Anthony among its supporting cast, look inside to see the highly anticipated visual:

Drake - In My Feelings





blac-chyna-photo-3.jpgThe drama between Blac Chyna and her mother, Tokyo Toni has just gotten a whole lot uglier. Toni previously reached out to Amber Rose, urging her to get through to her daughter and let her spend time with her grandchildren. According to her, she hasn't seen either Dream or King Cairo in two years and she's getting insanely frustrated. In a fit of rage, Tokyo Toni absolutely blasted her daughter for keeping the kids away from her, calling her one of the things you never want to hear in your life.

The lengthy social media rant was likely the worst of them all so far. Describing her strained relationship with Chyna and bringing up both Tyga and Rob Kardashian, Toni made some ugly claims about her daughter. Speaking directly to the camera, she said, "Blac Chyna, the name I gave you was Angela Renee. The disrespect that you have been giving me for the past, quite a few years, I've tolerated. Because I'm your momma, you're the only child, but you better keep in your mind I'm a bad b-tch." Proceeding to prove her "bad b-tch" status, she dragged her own daughter with the following statement: "Oh fuck birthing you b-tch... that was a mistake, just happened to come into play. You was a statutory rape baby."

I don't know about you but that's a pretty heartbreaking thing to hear. Social media is clearly not the place to be airing out all this family drama. Hopefully, this gets Chyna to pick up the phone and bring the kids over to see their grandmother. Watch the video below.





New video from Vybz Kartel

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Kartel drops the video for his Dre Skull-produced single "Real Bad Gal."

Some of you may be familiar with this beat from PARTYNEXTDOOR's single "Not Nice" which sampled this track before the original even came out. Earlier this year, Mixpak Records released the original Vybz Kartel version and it became an instant hit. Now we have some visuals to go with the beat and Kartel's impeccable flow. Dre Skull has worked with Kartel for years and even worked on his landmark album Kingston Story.

Skull recently worked with Popcaan on his new album Forever which has been doing well since its release over a week ago. The Ivar Wigan-directed cut kicks off with a commentary from a female who let the world know that she can defend herself.

"Go tell a gal go chat to yo back / She cant touch a button a you she can't knock / You a real bad gal weh no tek back chat / And anything yo say yo can defend that," Vybz Kartel spits.

Vybz Kartel - Real Bad Gal (Official Video)





wayne-marshall.jpgWayne Marshall has collaborated with Bounty Killer for his second gospel single, Thank Yuh Fi the Blessing.

The track, produced by Danny Brownie, is now available for pre-order.

Speaking at the music video shoot for Glory to God at Hope United Church on Old Hope Road this week, Marshall said Bounty Killer made the initial contact.

bounty-killer-photo-11.jpg

"Killer heard Glory to God and said it's a powerful song and we need fi come together and give some praise," Marshall told Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash. "Nuff people woulda say 'Killer?', but is a man weh God-fearing and love God and spiritual too. As early as I knew Killer he was singing songs giving praise, so mi know him spirit and mi know him household. His mother was a devout Christian and a very religious person and I'm sure if she was alive this would be one of her favourite Killer songs."

The two have a longstanding friendship and Marshall also formed part of Bounty Killer's Alliance crew in the early 2000s. Their previous collaborations include Smoke Clears, Sufferer, Be on the Alert and Go Hard.

For others now curious about Marshall's musical direction, he noted that God is not inaccessible and he is allowing himself to be used by Him.

"There are people who tell me to do more gospel music now based on the success and feel of Glory to God," he said. "It's not really pressure because I am good at giving praises to God. I know that God gave us the music as an expression of our emotions, so it's always good when we can use the music to honour Him. I could do a hundred albums just giving thanks to God for the many blessings, so I don't feel pressure about doing gospel music."





Ernie Smith will headline the University of Technology (UTech) 60th anniversary concert set for Thursday, August 9 at 5:30 pm at the Amphitheatre, Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus.

Smith, whose hits of the 1970s yielded Duppy or Gunman, Life Is Just For Living, Ride on Sammy, and Pitta Patta says he will be performing his originals as well as covers at the showcase dubbed "Evening of Musical Excellence Down Memory Lane."

In a release UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie said that patrons can "expect to be delighted with an evening of superb high-energy live entertainment."

The concert is free of charge and is open to the public.

Other acts who will perform at the concert include singer Everton Pessoa, the UTech Choir, UTech Steel Pan band and the Nexus Performing Arts Company of Jamaica.

Smith will be backed by Desi Jones and Friends.





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFounder of Sonic Sounds, Neville Lee, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, at Medical Associates Hospital. Renowned Roman Cathlic priest, Father Ho Lung paid tribute to Mr Lee in his article on Friday.

According to the priest, the family was all gathered around. They wept and gathered each other in their arms. Steve, the eldest of his sons, said to me, " ....his last audible words were 'Our God is great!'"

Winnie, his wife, was drawn into her husband's deep unconsciousness. He could not speak. I placed my arms around her; she was deeply absorbed looking at the face of her husband.

As she prayed, I said to the family "I do not know if he will live or he will die. That is in God's hands. We must remember St Paul's words, 'If I live, I live in Christ. If I die, I die in Christ so whether I live or die it doesn't matter it is in Christ'. We must remember that for us Christians, death is not the final end, but is only a door that opens to eternal life."

Neville Lee was a beloved friend of mine and the brothers, and of the poor. He was a wonderful family man, businessman, Christian, Roman Catholic, lover of the poor, lover of Jamaica, lover of Christ.

"Why do you and the brothers come and visit me? You are so busy. Why, why, why?"

"Because you are our friend, because you are so kind, because you love the poor," was my reply.

Tears rolled down his eyes.

Neville spoke to me with such humility about his sins.

I told him, "Neville, the Lord forgives you your sins."

He nodded gratefully. "Yes, father, I am a sinner. I have done so much wrong. Forgive me Lord, forgive me!"

"I am sure the Lord forgives you, Neville," I said.

He smiled gratefully.

Neville Lee understands the essences of life - being a family man, being faithful to his friends and his workers; feeding, caring for, loving to his wife and children; loving His Lord and the poor.

The last words he said to me was, "Keep on in your ministry to the poor. Keep serving them."

Neville had the custom of kneeling with his wife Winnie before Christ and the Blessed Sacrament every Sunday after Sunday mass at Sts Peter and Paul. He had learned this habit as a school boy at St George's College.

He turned to me and asked me, "I have taken care of my children materially; I wish for them to come closer to Christ."

I gave him the sacrament of the sick and dying.

We blessed the holy oil, anointed his head, his chest, his hands and feet - anointing of the sick and dying before the entire family. We prayed for him and read the gospel from St Matthew 11:28-30.

Meanwhile, the funeral service for Neville Lee will be held at St. Peter & Paul Church on August 28 at 1:00 pm





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFor the second time this week, the music fraternity has been plunged into mourning.

Neville Lee, producer, manufacturer, distributor and founder of Sonic Sounds, passed away on Tuesday, while a patient at the Medical Associates Hospital in St Andrew.

Mr Lee, who is being hailed as a philanthropist, a humanitarian, and a devoted huisband, father and grandfather, made his transition following a battle with leukemia and diabetes. He was 80 years old and had celebrated 58 years of marriage on Monday. He is survived by wife Winnifred, who spent their anniversary at the hospital with him on Monday; children Stephen, Gordon, Jason and Susan, along with several grand-children.

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Neville Lee is remember for his compassionate and giving nature. One of his grand-daughters told Yardflex that her grandfather "truly an Angel. He was compassionate and was always giving."

And that sentiment has been echoed hundreds of times by those who knew him well, as well as those who had just a passing acquaintance. Culture Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange said she felt a personal loss with death of such a giant in the music industry.

In seeking ways to honour Neville Lee, film-maker Lennie Little-White is calling for the main studio at CVM TV to be renamed in his honour.

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In a letter to CVM Chairman Wayne Chen, he explained that Lee was an initial investor in the station and when there was difficulty in getting the station off the ground, Lee gave up the ground floor of the Sonic Sounds building on Retirement Road to house the first cadre of employees without charge.

"When we acquired the current space on Constant Spring Road, he and I were totally responsible for converting an empty warehouse into a TV studio. He provided some of his own staff to help in the construction phase. Given his major contribution in the creation of the current main studio, I am recommending that the board names the primary studio as The Neville Lee Studio," said Little-White.

A stalwart in music industry, Lee formed Sonic Sounds, in 1979, having been recruited into the music business by his brother, the late Byron Lee, owner of record-manufacturing and distribution company Dynamic Sounds.

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Mr. Lee's son Jason recalled his father's strong sense of business and commitment to develop the local industry.

"From the early days Sonic Sounds pretty much controlled the distribution of all the major reggae artistes -- Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailers, Rita Marley, Gregory (Isaacs), you name them. Daddy also had the Volcano music label during this time. All the artistes loved him as he was very generous with his time and knowledge. He eased out of the business in 1989."





Police probing Corey Todd's wife shooting

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corey-todd-and-wife.jpgIt's been almost two weeks since Shemara Todd, the wife of Corey Todd, owner of Taboo night club, was shot by bike riders while driving along Washington Boulevard in Kingston. And it has been hush-hush ever since.

Finally, the police say that they are reportedly following a number of leads into the shooting.

According to the police, they are leaving no stones unturned in their investigations and are already following several leads and are determined to capture the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible for the shooting.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit, they are looking into all possible leads including those circulating on social media that it may be connected to her husband's shooting several years ago.

Investigators also confirmed reports that a large sum of money was taken from the Taboo nightclub owner's vehicle, but theorize that it was taken by hoodlums after the shooting incident and not by the attackers.

Shemara Todd was shot and injured earlier this month by two gunmen on motorcycles who were seemingly awaiting her along a section of the Washington Boulevard highway.

The woman was reportedly shot four times and lost control of her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which collided with several other vehicles before finally crashing into the wall of a home.

Todd was rushed to hospital by a passing by a passing motorist.

Unconfirmed reports are that Mrs Todd left the island via air ambulance for an undisclosed location.





gun-shooting.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is calling for the Prime Minister to fire Robert Montague, the current Minister of Transport and Mining and the former Minister of National Security, over his decision to empanel a special review body which granted 29 gun licences to persons who reportedly had questionable characters.

Mr. Montague made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday where he defended his action.

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) had rejected the applications from the 29 persons, reportedly on account of adverse traces during background checks.

The press conference came a day after Television Jamaica reported that Montague, as the then security minister, overturned a decision of the FLA and granted a gun licence to a man who the police said allegedly had ties to criminal activities.





robbery.jpgA Jamaica woman who is based in the United States has been left stranded in the island following a robbery in downtown Kingston over the weekend. The woman was robbed of her travel documents and cash.

Officers attached to the Darling Street Police Station say that they received a report that the woman, was walking on Princess Street in downtown Kingston on Saturday when she was held up at knife point by a group of men and robbed of over a $100, 000 and documents, including her passport. She told the police that losing the money and other documents has left her literally stranded in the island as she was to leave the island later that same day.

Police were up to early Tuesday morning searching for the group of hoodlums who held up the woman .

The men cornered the woman, threatened to harm her and then grabbed her bag and ran, he said.

Police are reportedly following several leads in their efforts to locate the perpetrators.

According to law enforcement officers, there has been a noticeable increase in robberies in and around downtown Kingston in recent months, a development that has triggered concerns among members of the public.





Decomposing body of contractor found in St James

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe decomposing body of a contractor was found at his home in Lilliput, St James, on Monday.

Detectives attached to the Barrett Town Police Station said they are not sure of the cause of death. However, they have identified the man as 73-year-old Neville Parkinson, otherwise called 'Rasta'.

Reports are that Parkinson's body was found by residents after they went to look for him after not seeing him for a couple days.

Reports are that about 8:30 a.m., a neighbour went to his house to investigate what had happened to him. After smelling something unpleasant coming from his house, the resident alerted others in the community, and they made their way inside his house where his body discovered.

The police were called and his body was removed to the morgue.





Cubans get free Internet for a whole day!!!

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cubans-free-internet.jpgCuba's government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island's more than five million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial.

Tuesday marks the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.





(AP) -- A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she'd had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy's mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him.

Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children -- and possibly many more -- since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a clergyman who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., of systematically covering up complaints.

The "real number" of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward, the grand jury said. U.S. bishops adopted sweeping reforms in 2002 when clergy abuse became a national crisis for the church, including stricter requirements for reporting accusations to law enforcement and a streamlined process for removing clerics who abuse children. But the grand jury said more changes are needed.

"Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability," the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all."

Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that "it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

In nearly every case, prosecutors found that the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. More than 100 of the priests are dead. Many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave. Authorities charged just two as a result of the grand jury investigation, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty, though some of those named had been charged years ago.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing. The investigation of six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses-- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton -- is the most extensive investigation of Catholic clergy abuse by any state, according to victim advocates. The dioceses represent about 1.7 million Catholics.





OUT NOW! 'Can't Bring Me Down' by Red Sage

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DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

cant-bring-me-down.jpgRoots Musician Records is proud to announce the brand new release from Red Sage, "Can't Bring Me Down". Red Sage is a collective of musicians hailing from Colorado's thriving music scene. The group brings a blend of reggae, latin, blues, and soul influences that is combined to make an interesting type of roots music.

The music is inspired by true life, current events, as well as a will to spread love throughout the darkest corners of the world.

"Can't Bring Me Down" sends a message to the listener to never let anyone bring down their spirit, and keep their heads held high throughout dark times. "Can't Bring Me Down" was mixed and mastered by E.N Young at Imperial Sound Recording Studio in Imperial Beach California.

We hope you enjoy the free download link to the song below and please add it to your playlists and mixes today!

DJ's and Press Click Here For a Free Download of Red Sage's Brand New Single "Can't Bring Me Down"

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Day Dream August 2018 | Photos by: Ashon Williams

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aretha.jpgAretha Franklin is "gravely ill" and surrounded by her friends and family in Detroit, a person close to the soul singer confirmed. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the singer is seriously ill.

Showbiz411's Roger Friedman, who first reported the news of Franklin is "gravely ill" on Sunday, said the Queen of Soul's family is "asking for prayers and privacy." Franklin's family also confirmed the news to WDIV Local 4. No further details about her health were immediately available, and reps for Franklin did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Franklin's friend, journalist Roland Martin, tweeted a photo of her at her birthday party in 2016 along with a message to followers seemingly confirming the singer's condition.

"Many of you are asking me to confirm the health status of @ArethaFranklin. Folks, I've known for several months. The Queen is surrounded by loved ones. That's all I will say for now. Please keep her, the family and her longtime support staff in your prayers."





denique-birth.jpgEntertainer Denyque and her husband Careem Mullings are following the trend set by celebrities and have already set up an Instagram account for their newborn.

The baby, a boy named Conner Dash, was delivered on Wednesday. Connor Dash's Instagram page is private.

Denique's husband, Careem Mullings, posted photos of his pregnant wife, moments before delivery, as well as an image of the newborn in his arms.

Careem has edited his own profile to reflect the fact that he is now a father and Denyque has added 'Mama' to her profile..

Denique, a Miss Universe Jamaica 2016 finalist, had kept her pregnancy private even though persons began speculating during the time of Jamaica Carnival in April that she was expecting a child.





Honorary Doctorate from UWI for Monty Alexander

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monty-alexander.jpgOver five decades of performances and more than 70 CDs later, award-winning Jamaican-born jazz maestro, Monty Alexander, is being bestowed with a honorary doctorate degree from the University of West Indies, (UWI). Alexander, born Montgomery Bernard Alexander on D-Day in Kingston, Jamaica, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the UWI Mona Campus this November.

The degree was approved by the University's Council and will be conferred at the 2018 graduation ceremonies and presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The man, who singer extraordinaire, Tony Bennett, has declared put on one of the "best jazz shows" he has ever seen, will be one of four stellar Caribbean-born musicians who will be presented with honorary doctorates by UWI.

They include Bajan star Rihanna; fellow Jamaican artist Grace Jones, and Winston A. Bailey, aka the Mighty Shadow, from Trinidad and Tobago.

In commenting on the incredible recognition and prestigious honor, Alexander said humbly: "I have a sense of great privilege and gratitude."

Alexander began his musical career at age four by playing Christmas carols by ear. By age 5, he was entertaining neighbors and relatives and at age 6, he was taking his first piano lessons.

Alexander began playing in local Kingston clubs at 14, when he also made his first recordings, some as leader of a group called Monty and the Cyclones, and others as a sideman for such legendary producers as Ken Khouri (Federal Records), Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), and Clement Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.

These early sessions for Federal, which Alexander describes as "not calypso music, but the beginning of Ska," included such subsequently famous talents as trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxophonist Roland Alphonso and guitarist Ernest Ranglin.

Alexander is most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function, as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

He also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums. He debuted the project at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2009 and documented it both on the Grammy-nominated 2011 CD, Harlem-Kingston Express: LIVE, and its 2014 Soultrain Award nominated follow-up, Harlem Kingston Express 2: The River Rolls On (Motéma).

For more on the Monty Alexander and his amazing brand of jazz, visit him on YouTube or at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.





Police following leads in murder on Arnie Francis

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Police say they are following several leads into the murder of businessman Arnie Francis in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday night.

One of the leads suggest that the 54-year-old man, who was a manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, fell victim to a contract killing, a senior officer from the St Andrew Central Police Division told Loop News.

Francis was attacked and shot multiple times as he arrived at his home on Butter Cup Drive.

"We are looking at several leads as we step up our probe in this case and the main one is that the attack was a contract hit," the senior officer said on Saturday.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the attacker shot the business man multiple times and then fled the scene.

"There were no signs that he was robbed," police said.

The Matilda's Corner police reported that about 9:25 pm, Francis entered his home with his wife when they were pounced upon by a lone gunman who opened fire at them. Francis was hit multiple times in the upper body, while his wife was shot in the leg. The gunman then made his escape.

The couple was taken to hospital, where Francis succumbed to his injuries and the female was admitted in stable condition.





crime-scene-tape.jpgA 21-year-old student of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Kingston, drowned after saving a woman from also drowning at Vortex Springs, Florida in the United States on Wednesday.

While several persons have expressed sadness at the tragic circumstances, which led to the Jamaican's death, others have hailed his heroic exploits. The student has since been identified as Terril Crossfield, who was residing in Pensacola, Florida at the time of his death.

According to a release from the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida, deputies responded to the drowning at the Vortex Springs venue on Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m.

Vortex Springs is a freshwater diving, swimming and camping resort located in Ponce De Leon. Eyewitnesses told the police that Crossfield responded to a female swimmer, who showed signs of being distressed in the water. The Jamaican successfully passed the swimmer to another individual in the water to bring her to safety on shore. But Crossfield then started experiencing difficulties and went underwater. Witnesses told the police that a diver pulled the student from the water and CPR was administered until emergency responders arrived.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office said Crossfield was later pronounced dead at the scene.

As news spread of the tragic death of the Maritime student, several Jamaicans expressed their sadness of the news on social media site, Facebook.

"Terril (Crossfield) you died being a hero bro. My heart is cold and bleeding right now when I heard of your death. You were kind, helpful and honest. Sleep in peace, but I wish you could come back," one social media user posted.

Another comment read: "So sad... Such a promising young man. May his soul rest in peace... Keeping his family and friends in my prayers."

Meanwhile, the Students' Union of the Caribbean Maritime University has also joined those in expressing condolences to Crossfield's family.

"The Students Union of the Caribbean Maritime University would like to extend our condolences to the family of the late Terril Crossfield. We pray that the Lord will give his family and friends strength in their time of grief. #RipTerril," wrote the union on their Facebook page.

The Holmes County Sheriff's Office in Florida is continuing their probe into the latest drowning at Vortex Springs. Crossfield is the third person to have died at the resort since the start of the year, according to US media reports.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Anchovy Police have confirmed that an elderly bus driver who had just arrived on the island from visiting his wife in the United States of America, died several hours after his involvement in a fatal crash which occurred along the Spring Garden main road in St James.

The police have also reported that the vehicle being driven by the elderly man resulted in the death of a taxi operator from the community of Hopewell and seriously injured five other passengers along Spring Garden main road on Wednesday night of July 31st.

The ill-fated accident claimed the life of Ricardo Wallace, otherwise called "Links" 38-year-old taxi operator of Lookout district in Hopewell, Hanover.

Reports by the Anchovy police are that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Wallace was transporting passengers from Hopewell to Montego Bay in his Toyota Ipsum, seven seater motor car.

On reaching a section of the Spring Garden main road, in the vicinity of Ramson compound, Wallace collided head-on with a Toyota Hiace tour bus, which was traveling in the opposite direction and which was being driven by the elderly man. Wallace and five passengers sustained head and body injuries. They were rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where Wallace was pronounced dead and the other victims admitted in serious condition.

A number of motorists who arrived on the accident scene threatened the life of the elderly bus driver who was also injured in the crash.

In fear of his life, he refrained from going to the hospital for treatment and was discovered dead the following day at his apartment in Bogue Village. Investigators also pointed out that, they were informed that the elderly man who had just arrived in the island on Emancipation Day, had just performed a heart surgery in the USA and had returned home to heal.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are seeking to determine the motive for last night's gun attack on businessman Arnie Francis and his wife at their home on Buttercup Drive in Mona, St Andrew.

Fifty-year-old Francis, who was the Manager at Alliance Investment Management Limited in New Kingston, St Andrew, succumbed to his injuries in hospital while his wife is admitted in stable condition.

The police say they arrived home about 9:25 and were attacked by a gunman as they entered the premises.

They say the businessman was shot in his upper body and that his wife was shot in one of her legs.

The gunman then escaped.

Meanwhile, news of Francis's murder sent shockwaves through the business community and tributes have been pouring in.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgThe University of the West Indies UWI has released new information regarding the award of an honorary doctorate to Barbadian singer, Rihanna.

She was listed as one of three to receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the Cave Hill Campus in a ceremony on October 20.

In a statement the UWI disclosed that Rihanna, unfortunately, will not be able to receive the award this year because of scheduling commitments.

The UWI Cave Hill, Barbados campus has chosen to honour the charitable singer with a special dissertation.

The honorary degree should have been presented to her at a special ceremony scheduled for October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus in her homeland Barbados.

Rihanna received The Harvard Foundation award for Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.





Kei Kei drops out of Rising Stars

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Danielle Kei Kei Shelton has decided to make a premature departure from Season 15 of the Digicel Rising Stars Competition.

Her decision to quit the show follows countless online criticisms about her performances.

This is the first time in the show's 14-year history that a contestant has dropped out.

The singer says she does not have the mental "toughness" that is required to remain in the competition and has apologised to her voters for not continuing with the show.

Her decision has been supported by the show's producer, Sharon Schroeter.





jamaican-paper-money.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Shemara Todd, the wife of artiste manager and businessman, Corey Todd was rrobbed after she was shot and injured last Friday.

According to reports a large sum of cash was taken from the businesswoman car by people that was at the scene of the accident after she was shot multiple times by gunmen on a motorcycle.

This is the second shooting incident involving Todd and his family in the last few years. In 2014, the businessman was shot and injured during a robbery incident in Montego Bay outside of his nightclub Taboo.

Corey became a well-known figure in dancehall by his business affiliation with Vybz Kartel, the two launched the "Street Vybz Rum" which was a hot seller.

Currently, the popular nightclub owner is the manager of Dancehall artiste Masicka.





UWI to confer 17 with honorary degrees

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International music and fashion icon, Jamaican Grace Jones, fellow entertainers, Trinidadian Winston Bailey, more popularly known as Mighty Shadow, former cricketers Shivnarine Chanderpaul from Guyana and Michael Anthony Holding from Jamaica are among 17 persons to be conferred with honorary degrees by The University of the West Indies UWI at its graduation ceremonies in October.

The UWI says the honorary graduands represent a cross-section of eminent people in the arts, sciences and other fields.

The university says their degrees, which were approved by the University Council, will be presented by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

The schedule of graduation ceremonies begins October 13 at the Open Campus in St Lucia and continues on October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus, October 25 to 27 at the St Augustine Campus and November 2 to 3 at the Mona Campus.

Each ceremony will be streamed live allowing friends, family and well-wishers to view the proceedings.





Ganja seized in Hanover valued at $11m, police say

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ganja-seized.jpgThe narcotics police are reporting that the ganja which was seized in Green Island, Hanover on Tuesday night is valued at $11 million.

The ganja, which weighed 2,734 pounds was found in the vicinity of Davis Cove.

Three persons were taken into custody.

Two buses and two firearms with 29 rounds of ammunition were also seized during the operation.





CXC results Friday

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cxc-logo.jpgThe Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says it will release the results of its May/June 2018 exams on Friday.

The results are to be released at a ceremony in Grenada.

CXC said the report on candidates' performance will be presented as well as one on administration issues.

In the meantime, CXC said candidates can access results for the May/June Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) online as of August 12.

Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) results will be available on August 16.





shocked.jpgAn 18-year-old Brooklyn teenager who returned from a trip from Jamaica has been identified as the mother of the premature newborn found dead inside an airplane toilet at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Officials said the teenager, who had travelled with her sister, could have been the victim of a botched abortion.

The teenager, who checked into Kings County Hospital after she got off the plane, claimed she never knew she was pregnant when she rushed into the bathroom of an American Airlines plane after it landed at LaGuardia about 10:45 Monday night.

A law enforcement source said she put the baby in the toilet and covered it with paper.

The teenager reportedly told investigators she had not been feeling well for days.

The source said she showed little emotion.

Doctors examined her at Kings County Hospital.

The teenager told police she had visited a doctor in Jamaica before flying back to the U.S.

It was unclear whether police asked if she had gone for an abortion.

A cleaning crew for Airway Cleaners found the baby's body in a middle bathroom of the plane, which was parked outside an American Airlines hangar early Tuesday morning.

The baby appeared to have been born three months premature.





court-image-1.jpgThe Court of Appeal has added another three years to the sentence of a Jamaican man convicted of smuggling cocaine into the island.

Dwayne George Watson, of Mavis Bank address in St Andrew, Jamaica, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year by a Supreme Court judge, but will now have to serve nine years after prosecutors successfully argued the sentence was "manifestly inadequate".

Watson, who was arrested at Bermuda's L.F. Wade International Airport with US$200,000 worth of cocaine, told authorities he thought he was importing cannabis.

In his judgement, Appeal Judge Anthony Smellie said Watson's claim was not enough to earn him a reduced sentence.

He said: "A mere assertion by a defendant that he believed the drug to be different from that actually imported must be approached with great circumspection.

"In response to an indictment for the importation of an illegal drug, it can hardly be sufficient for him merely to point to the condition of the container itself as a reason for his failure to ascertain the true nature of the drugs. There should ordinarily be something more -- some objective point of reference -- against which his professed belief might be assessed for credibility."

Watson arrived in Bermuda from Jamaica via New York when he was stopped for a random search on September 1 last year.

Customs officers noticed that he shook while he answered questions and that the suitcase had been zip-tied shut. An x-ray of the case showed "irregularities" in the handle. Customs officers drilled into the handle and found white powder inside. A further search revealed 11 packages of cocaine and cocaine freebase, also known as crack, in the case's base, handle and corners.

More than a kilogramme of cocaine was found, which prosecutors said had an estimated street value of up to US$200,634.

He told police he agreed to smuggle cannabis into Bermuda because he had struggled to find work in Jamaica and was shocked to find the packages contained cocaine.

He said he expected to receive $3,000 and planned to use the cash to buy a taxi.

In January, Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe sentenced the then 22-year-old Watson to six years in prison on the basis that he believed the drugs to be cannabis. But, the Crown filed an appeal on the grounds that the sentence was inadequate. Watson's lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, argued that based on her client's youth, early plea and lack of previous convictions, combined with his mistaken belief about the drug, the sentence was appropriate.

The Court of Appeal found that the judge had set the basic sentence "far too low", which resulted in a low final sentence. Jamaican-born Justice Smellie said: "While there is some cogency to Ms Christopher's submissions, they do not justify or explain the disparity of sentencing in this case. This sentence, when assessed against the established principles and precedents of sentencing, must be regarded as manifestly inadequate."





ganja-image-5.jpgAgriculture Minister Audley Shaw says Jamaica will not be last to board the ganja train

At the opening address of the 66th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural Show, Shaw stated that the island will have got to sort out the arrangements as "we cannot allow the ganja train to leave the station without Jamaica," he told the gathering to loud cheers.

Stressing the need to shift the focus from negativity surrounding ganja and cannabis, he said that the country should instead look at the revolution that is taking place with the product.

"Some of us in Jamaica are not even aware, we are not even on the cusp of the awareness of what's happening globally with cannabis," he said highlighting the negative side effects of opiods - a class of pain-reliever drugs that include heroin and can be obtained legally.

He said that many lives have been lost because of opioid use, and for that reason, America has been studying cannabis for the past 10 years with the findings that "cannabis, the much-maligned ganja, is seen as a miracle drug coming straight from out of the ground".

Pointing out that medical cannbis is a growing industry, he said that Canada has already built a foothold in the industry.





chinese-cooking-dogs-in-jamaica.jpgCampaigners have called on Theresa May to ban the eating of dogs in Britain after claiming the disturbing practice is on the rise across Europe.

International canine welfare group, the World Dog Alliance (WDA), is launching a campaign in the UK this Autumn for a full ban on dog meat consumption.

Although the habit of eating canines is met with revulsion in most countries around the world, killing dogs to eat and consuming their meat is legal in Britain.

In a statement, the WDA said: 'The UK is the first country in the world which enacts the Animal Welfare Act. It is unfortunate to see dog meat consumption being legal in this nation. The WDA believes a legal ban on eating dog meat would allow the UK to continue to have a global leading role in the field of animal protection, especially after UK leaves the EU.

'Local citizens in the Western countries barely eat dog meat, but the WDA worries that dog meat consumption may be spread to UK with immigration. In the US, people who eat dog meat are mainly immigrants from Asia.'





Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, who is representing the security guard who shot and killed a patron at a Dream Weekend party last week, says his client has been receiving death threats since the incident.

Champagnie told Loop News that he will be raising the issue among others related to the case in a letter to the police high command.

"Chief among (the issues) are security concerns and a publication that have appeared on some social media sites that have revealed the identity of the guard and his family members and address," said the attorney.

According to Champagnie, the publication of his client's personal details has "jeopardized the safety" of the security guard.

Jean Mathieu, 37, a businessman of a Millsborough Crescent address in St Andrew, was shot dead at a party at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland last Friday morning.

Police report that about 3:15 am, Mathieu was a patron at the Dream Live party when he became engaged in an altercation with the security guard over access to the VIP area.

The dispute reportedly escalated with Mathieu, a licensed firearm holder, bringing his gun into play before being shot in the chest by the security officer. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.





police-station.jpgThe St Andrew South Police say that investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a woman that occurred at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Headley Avenue in Kingston on Friday were advanced.

Police have not named the woman, but reports are that she is Shemara Todd, the wife of nightclub operator Corey Todd, who runs the popular Taboo clubs with locations in Kingston and Montego Bay.

Law enforcers said that around 5:15 pm, the woman was driving her Mercedes Benz along the road when men drove up on motorcycles and shot at her. She was hit several times but escaped her attackers before crashing the car in a fence.

Police later took her to hospital where she remains in serious but stable condition.





The Supreme Court last Friday granted an injunction preventing the board of management of the Kensington Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, from blocking a five-year-old girl from entering the school because of her dreadlocked hairstyle.

The injunction was granted on a motion filed by Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) on July 18 on behalf of the parents of the child, who, last month, were given an ultimatum that their daughter had until August 29 to remove her locks to enter grade one in September in keeping with the school's policy.

The human-rights group challenged the school's position on the basis that enforcement of the rule would violate constitutionally protected human rights of the child and her family and that no other remedy existed to prevent the threat of that violation, given the school's demand.

Attorneys from the Attorney General's Chambers, appearing on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, consented to the order.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Dream Live party, which is a part of the five-day Dream Weekend music festival at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Westmoreland was on Friday morning the scene of a deadly shooting.

Jean Mathieu, a 37 year-old businessman of Millsborough Crescent in St. Andrew, was shot during a reported altercation with a security guard.

It's reported that about 3:15, Mr. Mathieu was at the entertainment event when he tried to take a female companion into the VIP area with out the required armband. He was denied entry by the guard.

Mr. Mathieu reportedly hit the guard several times before pointing his licenced firearm at him. The guard then pulled his licensed gun and fired a round hitting Mr. Mathieu in the chest.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit, said detailed searches should be conducted to prevent persons from entering entertainment events with firearms.

ASP Garrick reminded patrons at the annual Dream Weekend events to hand over their licensed firearms at Negril police station for safe keeping.

The organisers of Dream Weekend say that there is a strict no weapons policy for the event.





A detailed probe has been ordered into the operations of St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) in relation to operations of the Dunns River Falls. It is unclear what prompted the probe.

However, the Board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) said it took the decision with the support of the Board of SADCO

The UDC Board said it is of the view that, based on internal preliminary reports, there is sufficient cause for concern. It said it has contracted international specialists to perform an examination of the governance and control environment, as well as evaluate any potential weaknesses or risk areas.

UDC said it will act swiftly to consider and address concerns raised upon conclusion of the examination.

It said Dunns River Falls remains open to the public for recreational activities during the auditing process.





ganja-seized.jpgThe Narcotics Police have commenced investigations into the seizure of approximately 400 pounds of compressed ganja in Spice Grove, St Elizabeth on Thursday, August 2.

Reports are that about 9:30 p.m., police were on operation in the community when they found seven knitted bags containing 48 parcels, each with compressed ganja.

The drugs were seized and an investigation launched.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.6 million.

The Narcotics Police are appealing to anyone with information about the seizure to contact them at 923-5729, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Havendale under siege from criminals

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For years, residents of the middle class community of Havendale in St Andrew have been complaining they are being held at ransom by criminals who are committing armed robberies at will.

On the morning of Saturday August 4, a young couple was reportedly held at gunpoint and robbed of everything but their lives. They had reportedly just walked onto Havendale Drive from Mannings Hill Road when they were approached by two men who brandished handguns and demanded that they hand over their back packs, wallets, cellular phones and other valuables.

The backpacks contained laptop computers which the couple used to work on social media services for entities. The profits are in turn used to fund the teenagers' tertiary education costs.

A few weeks ago, a carload of robbers held up a female and threatened to rape her after stealing her belongings. That incident followed another in which a teenaged girl suffered several cuts and bruises after she scaled a barbed wire fence in order to escape gunmen travelling in a motorcar who demanded her to get inside their vehicle.

The community has been a feeding ground for robbers for years and the residents have complained that, despite numerous reports to the police, it seems the robbers can't be caught.

Havendale residents are calling on the police to ramp up their presence in the community and make a concerted effort to catch the nefarious characters.

"This has been going on for too long now. We are tired of making reports and although there are police patrols, the thieves always seem to get away. We cannot live as hostages in our own area," one distraught man said.

"There has to be a way for the police to help us. Maybe by walking along the road and catch them off guard. For years we have been suffering now. We need help before somebody gets killed by these thugs," one woman, who declined to be named, said.





The Ministry of Health says its investigation into claims that visitors to the island contracted leptospirosis after swimming at the Blue Hole attractions in St Ann is inconclusive at this point because of a lack of information.

The ministry says inspections were conducted at the sites by the St Ann Health Department, which is now reporting that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the locations were the source of the leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira.

It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months.

The health ministry says it is awaiting communication from official sources in the United States regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The ministry says prior to receiving the complaints the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

According to the ministry, samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Full Statement

The Ministry of Health and the St Ann Health Department have been investigating and monitoring the Blue Hole attractions in St. Ann following reports of cases of Leptospirosis associated with visits to the locations.

Following on inspections at the Blue Hole attractions, the St. Ann Health Department is reporting that not enough evidence exists to conclude that the locations in question were the source of Leptospirosis in the cases reported.

There is limited information available on the publicised cases and the Ministry of Health is awaiting communication from official sources in the USA regarding any citizen who may have contracted the disease in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is concerned about any possible risk to the public and has therefore conducted investigations and follow-up visits to the locations.

During the initial visit to the attractions, the public health inspectors reviewed the services offered, food service operations, sanitation and sewage disposal and other aspects of the operations.

Breaches of public health standards were identified at some facilities and the St. Ann Health Department had issued instructions to the management of the attractions to remedy these. Afollow-up visit was conducted in late July, which indicated that several of the breaches were remedied while others were still in progress. Prior to receiving the complaints, the health department had been monitoring the water quality on a monthly basis from the mouth of the river upon its exit to the coast.

Samples were also collected recently from different points in the vicinity of the Blue Hole attractions, which tested negative for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It is transmitted through the urine of infected animals that enter the water or soil and survive for months. It is transmitted by rodents, dogs, farm animals, and horses. Animals and humans become infected through contact with water, food or soil that contains the urine of the infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Person to person transmission is rare. The disease causes a wide range of symptoms and some persons have no symptoms at all.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with pets and animals. The disease is also associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.

The St. Ann Health Department will continue to maintain a presence at the Blue Hole attractions and along the White River course. Additionally, routine checks will be carried out at the various locations to ensure the health and safety of the public.





The former leadership of the State-owned Petrojam oil refinery spent more than J$1.4 million (US$10,500) to host a 'staff party' for 25 guests at the upscale Palms at Palmyra in Montego Bay, St James, on September 19, last year.

That was less than 24 hours before they racked up another bill of just under J$5 million (US$37,827) at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall for accommodation and food for a four-day staff retreat and board of directors meeting.

The spending continued with the company shelling out a further US$132,162 (J$17.1 million) to an American firm to provide 'Balanced Scorecard Training and Strategic Development' during the retreat.

Details of the spending by the former leaders of Petrojam were provided to The Gleaner in response to an Access to Information (ATI) request.

But the company noted that it had provided The Gleaner with only some of the invoices for the retreat, which ran from September 20 to 23, 2017, with no explanation as to what invoices were omitted or why.

According to the invoices provided by Petrojam, the pre-retreat staff party was coordinated by Rose Hall Developments Limited, but there was no indication if accommodation was provided after the party with the staff retreat set to begin at the nearby Hyatt Ziva the following day.

Efforts to get additional information from Petrojam last week, including the number of staff members and directors who attended the retreat, were unsuccessful, as the company insisted that other questions would only be answered via another ATI request.

But a public-relations and event planner with government clients told The Gleaner that the purpose of the party before the retreat was more important than the bill.

According to the event planner, who asked not to be named, the J$1.4-million bill for 25 guests was in line with standard industry pricing for premium VIP hosting.

"The bigger picture is - why is a government entity spending this amount of money? Was this the best spend of our resources and what are other government entities doing for VIP hosting?" said the event planner.

Another event planner added, "The pricing for 25 people could be justified based on the deliverables needed to execute the event. However, at almost $55,000 per head, what was the return on investment for hosting the party; that's very important in Government."

The Strategy Management Group out of the US, which operates the Balanced Scorecard Institute, billed Petrojam the US$132,162 for professional fees, an introductory course, accommodation, meals and travel for presenters and shipping.

A balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool used by businesses and governments worldwide to set and measure targets.

The Gleaner has asked Petrojam to outline the method used to procure the services of Strategy Management Group and justify the engagement of an overseas firm at that cost.

The Petrojam management team that organised the party and retreat was led by Floyd Grindley, who has since resigned. The board chairman at the time, Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, and the other Jamaican members of the board have also resigned and have since been replaced.





drake.jpgDrake has finally unleashed the accompanying video to his massive 2018 hit, 'In My Feelings'!

The 'Scorpion' cut, currently sitting pretty at #1 on the Hot 100, blast onto the charts thanks to the inescapable #InMyFeelings challenge and - if its star-studded music video has anything to do with it - won't be loosening its grip from the top any time soon.

Shot in New Orleans and featuring the legendary TV actress Phylicia Rashad and actress/model/TV hostess Lala Anthony among its supporting cast, look inside to see the highly anticipated visual:

Drake - In My Feelings





blac-chyna-photo-3.jpgThe drama between Blac Chyna and her mother, Tokyo Toni has just gotten a whole lot uglier. Toni previously reached out to Amber Rose, urging her to get through to her daughter and let her spend time with her grandchildren. According to her, she hasn't seen either Dream or King Cairo in two years and she's getting insanely frustrated. In a fit of rage, Tokyo Toni absolutely blasted her daughter for keeping the kids away from her, calling her one of the things you never want to hear in your life.

The lengthy social media rant was likely the worst of them all so far. Describing her strained relationship with Chyna and bringing up both Tyga and Rob Kardashian, Toni made some ugly claims about her daughter. Speaking directly to the camera, she said, "Blac Chyna, the name I gave you was Angela Renee. The disrespect that you have been giving me for the past, quite a few years, I've tolerated. Because I'm your momma, you're the only child, but you better keep in your mind I'm a bad b-tch." Proceeding to prove her "bad b-tch" status, she dragged her own daughter with the following statement: "Oh fuck birthing you b-tch... that was a mistake, just happened to come into play. You was a statutory rape baby."

I don't know about you but that's a pretty heartbreaking thing to hear. Social media is clearly not the place to be airing out all this family drama. Hopefully, this gets Chyna to pick up the phone and bring the kids over to see their grandmother. Watch the video below.





New video from Vybz Kartel

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Kartel drops the video for his Dre Skull-produced single "Real Bad Gal."

Some of you may be familiar with this beat from PARTYNEXTDOOR's single "Not Nice" which sampled this track before the original even came out. Earlier this year, Mixpak Records released the original Vybz Kartel version and it became an instant hit. Now we have some visuals to go with the beat and Kartel's impeccable flow. Dre Skull has worked with Kartel for years and even worked on his landmark album Kingston Story.

Skull recently worked with Popcaan on his new album Forever which has been doing well since its release over a week ago. The Ivar Wigan-directed cut kicks off with a commentary from a female who let the world know that she can defend herself.

"Go tell a gal go chat to yo back / She cant touch a button a you she can't knock / You a real bad gal weh no tek back chat / And anything yo say yo can defend that," Vybz Kartel spits.

Vybz Kartel - Real Bad Gal (Official Video)





wayne-marshall.jpgWayne Marshall has collaborated with Bounty Killer for his second gospel single, Thank Yuh Fi the Blessing.

The track, produced by Danny Brownie, is now available for pre-order.

Speaking at the music video shoot for Glory to God at Hope United Church on Old Hope Road this week, Marshall said Bounty Killer made the initial contact.

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"Killer heard Glory to God and said it's a powerful song and we need fi come together and give some praise," Marshall told Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash. "Nuff people woulda say 'Killer?', but is a man weh God-fearing and love God and spiritual too. As early as I knew Killer he was singing songs giving praise, so mi know him spirit and mi know him household. His mother was a devout Christian and a very religious person and I'm sure if she was alive this would be one of her favourite Killer songs."

The two have a longstanding friendship and Marshall also formed part of Bounty Killer's Alliance crew in the early 2000s. Their previous collaborations include Smoke Clears, Sufferer, Be on the Alert and Go Hard.

For others now curious about Marshall's musical direction, he noted that God is not inaccessible and he is allowing himself to be used by Him.

"There are people who tell me to do more gospel music now based on the success and feel of Glory to God," he said. "It's not really pressure because I am good at giving praises to God. I know that God gave us the music as an expression of our emotions, so it's always good when we can use the music to honour Him. I could do a hundred albums just giving thanks to God for the many blessings, so I don't feel pressure about doing gospel music."





Ernie Smith will headline the University of Technology (UTech) 60th anniversary concert set for Thursday, August 9 at 5:30 pm at the Amphitheatre, Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus.

Smith, whose hits of the 1970s yielded Duppy or Gunman, Life Is Just For Living, Ride on Sammy, and Pitta Patta says he will be performing his originals as well as covers at the showcase dubbed "Evening of Musical Excellence Down Memory Lane."

In a release UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie said that patrons can "expect to be delighted with an evening of superb high-energy live entertainment."

The concert is free of charge and is open to the public.

Other acts who will perform at the concert include singer Everton Pessoa, the UTech Choir, UTech Steel Pan band and the Nexus Performing Arts Company of Jamaica.

Smith will be backed by Desi Jones and Friends.





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFounder of Sonic Sounds, Neville Lee, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, at Medical Associates Hospital. Renowned Roman Cathlic priest, Father Ho Lung paid tribute to Mr Lee in his article on Friday.

According to the priest, the family was all gathered around. They wept and gathered each other in their arms. Steve, the eldest of his sons, said to me, " ....his last audible words were 'Our God is great!'"

Winnie, his wife, was drawn into her husband's deep unconsciousness. He could not speak. I placed my arms around her; she was deeply absorbed looking at the face of her husband.

As she prayed, I said to the family "I do not know if he will live or he will die. That is in God's hands. We must remember St Paul's words, 'If I live, I live in Christ. If I die, I die in Christ so whether I live or die it doesn't matter it is in Christ'. We must remember that for us Christians, death is not the final end, but is only a door that opens to eternal life."

Neville Lee was a beloved friend of mine and the brothers, and of the poor. He was a wonderful family man, businessman, Christian, Roman Catholic, lover of the poor, lover of Jamaica, lover of Christ.

"Why do you and the brothers come and visit me? You are so busy. Why, why, why?"

"Because you are our friend, because you are so kind, because you love the poor," was my reply.

Tears rolled down his eyes.

Neville spoke to me with such humility about his sins.

I told him, "Neville, the Lord forgives you your sins."

He nodded gratefully. "Yes, father, I am a sinner. I have done so much wrong. Forgive me Lord, forgive me!"

"I am sure the Lord forgives you, Neville," I said.

He smiled gratefully.

Neville Lee understands the essences of life - being a family man, being faithful to his friends and his workers; feeding, caring for, loving to his wife and children; loving His Lord and the poor.

The last words he said to me was, "Keep on in your ministry to the poor. Keep serving them."

Neville had the custom of kneeling with his wife Winnie before Christ and the Blessed Sacrament every Sunday after Sunday mass at Sts Peter and Paul. He had learned this habit as a school boy at St George's College.

He turned to me and asked me, "I have taken care of my children materially; I wish for them to come closer to Christ."

I gave him the sacrament of the sick and dying.

We blessed the holy oil, anointed his head, his chest, his hands and feet - anointing of the sick and dying before the entire family. We prayed for him and read the gospel from St Matthew 11:28-30.

Meanwhile, the funeral service for Neville Lee will be held at St. Peter & Paul Church on August 28 at 1:00 pm





neville-lee-photo-1.jpgFor the second time this week, the music fraternity has been plunged into mourning.

Neville Lee, producer, manufacturer, distributor and founder of Sonic Sounds, passed away on Tuesday, while a patient at the Medical Associates Hospital in St Andrew.

Mr Lee, who is being hailed as a philanthropist, a humanitarian, and a devoted huisband, father and grandfather, made his transition following a battle with leukemia and diabetes. He was 80 years old and had celebrated 58 years of marriage on Monday. He is survived by wife Winnifred, who spent their anniversary at the hospital with him on Monday; children Stephen, Gordon, Jason and Susan, along with several grand-children.

neville-lee-photo-2.jpg

Neville Lee is remember for his compassionate and giving nature. One of his grand-daughters told Yardflex that her grandfather "truly an Angel. He was compassionate and was always giving."

And that sentiment has been echoed hundreds of times by those who knew him well, as well as those who had just a passing acquaintance. Culture Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange said she felt a personal loss with death of such a giant in the music industry.

In seeking ways to honour Neville Lee, film-maker Lennie Little-White is calling for the main studio at CVM TV to be renamed in his honour.

neville-lee-photo-3.jpg

In a letter to CVM Chairman Wayne Chen, he explained that Lee was an initial investor in the station and when there was difficulty in getting the station off the ground, Lee gave up the ground floor of the Sonic Sounds building on Retirement Road to house the first cadre of employees without charge.

"When we acquired the current space on Constant Spring Road, he and I were totally responsible for converting an empty warehouse into a TV studio. He provided some of his own staff to help in the construction phase. Given his major contribution in the creation of the current main studio, I am recommending that the board names the primary studio as The Neville Lee Studio," said Little-White.

A stalwart in music industry, Lee formed Sonic Sounds, in 1979, having been recruited into the music business by his brother, the late Byron Lee, owner of record-manufacturing and distribution company Dynamic Sounds.

neville-lee-photo-4.png

Mr. Lee's son Jason recalled his father's strong sense of business and commitment to develop the local industry.

"From the early days Sonic Sounds pretty much controlled the distribution of all the major reggae artistes -- Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailers, Rita Marley, Gregory (Isaacs), you name them. Daddy also had the Volcano music label during this time. All the artistes loved him as he was very generous with his time and knowledge. He eased out of the business in 1989."





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