November 2018 Archives

Elephant Man's mother has died

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elephant-man-photos-4.jpgThe mother of dancehall deejay Elephant Man has died.

Reports are that Yvonne Lindsay was taken to the hospital last Monday (November 5) due to respiratory problems.

She died in the wee hours on Saturday at the Andrews hospital.

The family is currently waiting on an autopsy.

Elephant Man is one of two boys for Miss Lindsay who has also left behind four daughters.





police-federation-logo.jpgFootage from a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera as they seek to uncover who is responsible for the murder of a parent yesterday morning outside Lannaman's Preparatory School in St Andrew.

The deceased has been identified as Ainsley Folkes. He was killed shortly after dropping off his child at the institution.

The police team, which responded to the killing, told THE STAR that the incident may have been captured on a nearby CCTV camera.

"There are cameras around, there is a camera on the school building so it is likely that some activity may have been captured," a policeman declared as he cordoned the scene.

Shortly after dropping off their children at school, there was a rush by some parents to get their little ones away from the compound following the brazen killing.

Another parent who witnessed the attack ran after the gunman who managed to escape in a waiting Nissan Tiida motor car.

The parent reportedly told the paper that: "The man nuh even dress like a gunman. If you see him, him look like a big man inna him 40s. Him dress normal. If yuh see him, you wouldn't think that was his intent. I mean, yuh can't tell but now we don't know who to look for. It could have been any of us."

The gunman knocked on Folkes' window as he sat in the car and as Folkes brought down the windows, the gunman reached for his waistband, pulled the firearm and shot him multiple times.

"I can't believe it. I stood by my car waiting for him (Folkes) to acknowledge me, a jus suh we move once we drop off the kids dem and see each other. Me see the man pull the gun, fire and run. Mi run after him but him manage fi escape around the road cause the car was waiting for him. Mi can't believe di man jus come and kill off the man suh," the eyewitness told the tabloid.

Folkes reportedly managed to exit his vehicle where he ran on to the school compound and collapsed. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. School was closed prematurely as counselling was provided and will continue throughout the week.

The St Andrew Central police said that investigations are ongoing.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot dead Monday morning outside the Lannaman's Preparatory School in Kingston, moments after dropping off his son at the institution.

Reports are that the father took his son onto the school compound and was returning to his vehicle, which was parked across from the school gate, when explosions were heard.

The source said the bleeding man returned to the compound in search of help. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened shortly after 7:30 am. It is also being reported that the deceased was a licensed firearm holder, however, his weapon cannot be found.





Church members pressured as young pastor arrested

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The members of the church at which a young pastor was picked up for questioning about the sexual abuse of a minor are now coming under a lot of pressure from their community.

Members say they are now under scrutiny from community members since the young pastor's arrest, and according to one stalwart in the church, she is afraid to leave her home because of the backlash that she is receiving.

"Everything happened so fast and the church just stopped immediately," said the member. "Dem a tell him seh him must stop talk to that little girl, enuh, and him never did a listen."

Daily tabloid, The Star, is reporting that the pastor took the child out on numerous occasions and even though he was pressed by members of the church to desist from the action, he still continued.

"There were times when he would often be in conflict with the church. One time he even took the child out for her birthday to Carib, and the church was really upset about it," the member said.





arrested.jpgA church pastor who was leading his congregation in prayer was arrested on Sunday following complaints by a 13-year-old child that he had sexually molested her.

The service was interrupted on Sunday as the congregation was in the middle of a service when the mayhem started.

"We were praying and I saw two officers come to the church door. He (the pastor) was praying at the altar, so the police told one of the ushers to go and call him," the member said.

Head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Charmaine Shand, confirmed that the pastor was taken into custody for the offence of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

Up to press time, he had not been charged.

Reports from CISOCA are that the suspect was contacted by the minor, who told him that she was locked out of school sometime last week.

Shand said that from reports the pastor picked the child up in Half-Way Tree and took her to a house where he had sex with her.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending further investigations, is being questioned in relation to this incident and another involving another minor.





charged.jpgThe police in St Ann have charged two 15-year-old boys in relation to the recent murder of 14-year-old Ocho Rios High School student, Raven Wilson. Police sources say that Raven was with at least one of the boys on the day of her disappearance, and was later killed. The other 15-year-old boy allegedly played the role of helping to dispose of items belonging to the girl, and assisted in dumping the body.

The identities of the accused teenagers cannot be revealed, as they are juveniles. One of the boys was charged with murder, while the other was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The charges followed a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last Thursday that the two boys should be charged.

Additionally, the teenagers were taken to court last Thursday, and were remanded in the custody of the state. They are to return to court later this month.

In confirming the detention of the teens at Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rudolph Taylor, said the teens were picked up over a week ago.

Raven Wilson's body was found in her community of Top Road in the parish capital, St Ann's Bay, on Sunday, October 21. Her body, with a wound to the head, was discovered in a garbage bag in bushes at about 6:35 a.m. The student had been missing since Friday, October 19. It is understood that she left home for school at about 6:30 a.m., but did not attend the institution that day.

The police reportedly recovered belongings of hers, including her schoolbag and a pair of shoes, which were classified as vital evidence in the probe into her death. The schoolbag was recovered at a premises in Top Road two days after Raven's body, which was clad in her school uniform, was found.

Investigators are also focused on the results of forensic tests on the recovered items, and also a post-mortem report on Raven's body.





For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2018

DAMIAN "JR. GONG" MARLEY'S

WELCOME TO JAMROCK REGGAE CRUISE

MARKS ITS 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY THIS DECEMBER

The 2018 Sold-Out Voyage Celebrates with a Special Marley Brothers Performance and Its Biggest and Baddest Lineup Thus Far

2019 WTJRC Cabins Available for Sale Now

jamrock-5-th-anniversary-december-1-to-6-2018.jpgHailed as one of the most authentic, intimate and international reggae experiences, Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise will celebrate its fifth year on the high seas from December 1-6, 2018. The sold-out 5-day voyage aboard Royal Caribbean departs Ft. Lauderdale, FL with stops in Ocho Rios and Falmouth, Jamaica.

This monumental year will be packed with unforgettable moments. To celebrate this occasion, five of Bob Marley's kin Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian will unite on one stage for a rare performance.

Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise (WTJRC) has become one of the most in-demand reggae gatherings in the world. Since its inception in 2014, every single cruise sells out almost a year in advance. Each year, fans spanning from over 40 countries all converge for their love of reggae music and Jamaican culture.

Founded by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, the Grammy-winning musician has made it his mission for the cruise to embody the island's rich culture. The music, entertainment, food, fitness and wellness activities all give cruise-goers a slice of the Jamaica before they dock, from Ital Rastafarian cuisine to the celebrity football (soccer) tournaments to cult-classic films to the annual soundclash (in layman's terms, a Jamaica-originated DJ battle), this is not the average cruise. It is the only place where fans can stay up until dawn to catch their favorite acts performing throughout the ship and join them the same morning on the pool deck for sunrise meditation with Nyabinghi drumming and chanting. After fully immersing into these pure organic experiences, the cruisers appreciate their arrival to Jamaica that much more.

This year's artist lineup boasts a diverse range of Jamaican talent from today's emerging stars to the legends who paved the way. In addition to the Marley Brothers' anticipated performance, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley will carry on the Jamrock tradition to deliver an electrifying solo set. The power bill continues with Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie, Bounty Killer, Jah Cure, Chronixx, Tarrus Riley, Third World, Konshens, Elephant Man, Aidonia, Queen Ifrica, Agent Sasco, Kabaka Pyramid, Shenseea, Skatalites, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Horace Andy, Jo Mersa Marley, Jesse Royal, Dexta Daps, Spragga Benz, General Degree, Red Rat, Buccaneer, Jah9, King Jammy's, Johnny Osbourne, Admiral Bailey, Pinchers, Bunny General and Pad Anthony.

Following the artists' performances, cruisers can catch their favorite sound systems (Stone Love, Renaissance, Mighty Crown, Tony Matterhorn, Kingston 12 Hi-Fi, Bass Odyssey, Heavy Hammer and Black Scorpio) spinning tunes until the wee hours of the night.

Throughout the cruise, there will also be a variety of DJs and hosts (DJ Rory, Mutabaruka, Bambino, Big A, Nikki Z, Colin Hines, ZJ Liquid, DJ Roy, Spex, Robbo Ranx, Rassarella, GT Taylor, Ron Muschette, Seani B, Westafa, Steelie Bashment, Shacia Payne, Foota Hype, Shortkut, DJ Gringo, Yaardcore, Mad Out, Mixmaster J, Supa Hype and Hotta Rice) providing sounds and entertainment along with enlightening discussions from guest speakers Cindy Breakspeare and Neville Garrick.

2018 may be sold out, but fans can reserve a spot on 2019's ship, on sale now.


Watch highlights from 2017's cruise:





No apology for Queen Ifrica from Kartel

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queen-ifrica-photos-3.jpgVybz Kartel will clearly not be apologising to Queen Ifrica over statements he made years ago accusing her of skin bleaching. Over the weekend, he shot down Queen Ifrica's request for an apology in the most demeaning way. Of course, few were surprised.

Vybz Kartel and Queen Ifrica's fight go back to 2011 when she called him out for his skin bleaching and he in turn suggested that she also bleached her skin. Some Kartel fans have since continued to troll Ifrica over said alleged skin bleaching, forcing her to post a video denying the allegations.

She also called out Vybz Kartel while demanding that he apologize to her for leading his fans to attack her over a false claim of skin bleaching. This is Kartel's response:

"Dwbcl ... she needs an apology from me 'she seh' because she said that she's Half Black, and not bleaching dwl," he wrote. "This House Lizard bright nuh bloodcl**t... #IFreaker PS. If ANUH a run dis a You?."

Some of Vybz Kartel's Gazanation fans also chimed in, triggering a fresh round of social media trolling. "Queen Ifrica we know yo a bleacher from longtime bout yo half black dwl, honey go hold a seat somewhere and leave the boss name out your mouth," one fan wrote.

Some fans questioned why Queen Ifrica chooses to address Vybz Kartel in 2018 - seven years after the incident.





buju-banton-on-instagram-bujus-music-no-stagnant-stephenmarley.jpgAs Buju Banton's official release date from prison draws near, the artiste's social media presence is being felt more and more. His handlers recently posted a throwback video clip with Stephen Marley giving his opinion of Buju's music and another with a young Tony Rebel endorsing Buju's upward career.

The theme is, Buju's music is not stagnant.

Buju will be released from prison on December 8.

Buju Banton on Instagram: ""Buju's music no stagnant"- @stephenmarley #bujureturns #reggae #reggaemusic"





Health benefits of Holy Basil, the Queen of Herbs

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Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) isn't like the sweet basil in your mother's marinara sauce or the Thai herb you use to flavor a steaming bowl of pho. This green leafy plant, also known as Ocimum sanctum L. and tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions, from eye diseases to ringworms.


From the leaves to the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:

  • Use its fresh flowers for bronchitis.
  • Use the leaves and seeds, with black pepper, for malaria.
  • Use the whole plant for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Use the pill and ointment form for eczema.
  • Use an alcohol extract for stomach ulcers and eye diseases.
  • Use an essential oil made from the leaves for insect bites.


Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. The nutritional value is also high, as it contains:

  • vitamin A and C
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • iron
  • chlorophyll


Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Like many supplements, holy basil is not approved as a first-line treatment. It may also interact with medications you're already taking.

Reduce stress and anxiety

All parts of the holy basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. The concept of an adaptogen is a holistic approach. But scientific research shows that holy basil has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with many types of stress.

The source of your stress can be:

  • chemical
  • physical
  • infectious
  • emotional

In the case of physical stress, holy basil is known to increase endurance in animals. Animals who had holy basil leaf extracts and went through environment-induced stress scenarios showed:

  • enhanced metabolism
  • improved swimming time
  • less tissue damage
  • lower stress levels in loud environments

Human and animal studies saw reduced:

  • stress
  • sexual problems
  • sleep problems
  • forgetfulness
  • exhaustion


According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, holy basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs. These studies examined the leaves. One study found that people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of holy basil extract each day felt less anxious, stressed, and depressed. People also felt more social.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking holy basil as tea using the leaves. And since it's caffeine-free, it's okay and even recommended to drink daily. The act of drinking tea can be ritualistic and as calming as yoga. It fosters clear thoughts, relaxation, and a sense of well-being.

But if the basil's bitter and spicy flavor isn't your cup of tea, a supplement in pill form or as an alcohol extract is available. There is less risk of contamination when taking an herb in natural form.

SUMMARY

Holy basil has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that it can help people feel more social and less anxious.





JLP councillor happy with MannaPack rise in schools

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jlp.jpgAs the issue of whether the products from Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) has been replaced by the imported MannaPack Rice continues to unfold in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Ensom City Division, George Moodie, has defended the issuing of the product, saying it is a nutritious supplement and not a replacement for the nutribuns, milk and juice supplied by NPL.

Moodie, who had vowed to address the issue at last Thursday's general meeting of the municipal corporation with evidence of the value of the imported rice, and what he described as a mischievous attempt by Peoples' National Party councillor Roogae Kirlew of the Above Rocks Division to malign the Government, was earlier in the meeting prevented from doing so.

However, in an interview with The Gleaner, Moodie, who is also a school principal, said Kirlew's assertion at last month's general meeting that the Government had scrapped the national nutrition programme of providing bake products and sachets of milk and juice to students islandwide, under a school-feeding programme operated by Nutrition Products Limited, was false and misleading.

"I want to make it clear that Nutrition Products Limited is still providing products to our schools and the Manna Rice is a very nutritious supplement to the programme," said Moodie, while displaying a container with some of the MannaPack Rice he had personally prepared for his presentation.

"This product has tremendous nutritional value and should be encouraged for the benefit of our students. My colleague's attempt to discredit the product and malign the Government is purely political," observed Moodie.

Meanwhile, in a statement from Nutrition Products Limited, the company charged with the responsibility for the production and distribution of nutritious snacks to schools islandwide, it was made clear that the company currently operates a school-feeding programme that provides bake products, milk and juice to over 1,000 schools at a minimal contribution.

The statement further described the company as a statutory body functioning under the portfolio of the Ministry of Education, funded directly by the Government and assisted by local and international donor agencies.





Two charged for attempting to expost cocaine

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charged.jpgIn another incident, also on Friday, a team from the Narcotics Police Division arrested and charged two men at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James for attempting to export cocaine.

They are: 47-year-old Nigel Barham, businessman of Nain district, St Elizabeth and 52-year-old Dennis Daley, farmer of Myersville district, also in the parish.

Police say the drug weighed approximately 4.5 pounds, and has an estimated street value of about $2.2 million.

The men were subsequently charged with Possession of Cocaine, Dealing in Cocaine, Attempting to Export Cocaine and Conspiracy to Export Cocaine.

They are scheduled to appear before the St James Parish Court on Thursday.





Policeman caught with cocaine and $1-Million in cash

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police-hat.jpgFour men, including a policeman, have been arrested for allegedly breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The unidentified police corporal was reportedly caught on Friday by Narcotics police in Porus, Manchester with one kilogramme of cocaine and $1 million in cash.

The policeman was reportedly travelling in a Toyota motor car with another man about 4:20 p.m. when it was intercepted, searched and the drugs along with cash found.

Both men were subsequently taken into custody. Their identities, according to the police, are being withheld pending further investigations.





Body found in container

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Old Harbour police in St Catherine are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found on Friday in an empty container at an industrial complex in the parish where packing is done for exporting.

The deceased, who remains unidentified, is believed to be about 52 years' old, is of dark complexion, medium built, and was clad in black pants and socks.

Reports are that about 1:30 p.m., the container, which was delivered to the facility on Wednesday, November 7, was about to be loaded with produce when the body was discovered inside of it.

The police were summoned and the scene processed.





pastor-eat-dildo-says-he-was-forced.jpgA video that went viral of a pastor in Jamaica making out with a toy has prompted him to come forward with his wife and explain his actions. However, nobody is buying Pastor's story that man juck him down and forced him to get intimate with the dildo.

This is what people are saying: "Ole hypocritical liard....His wife is blind! You can clearly see in the video that he was NOT forced, and he was fulljoying himself."

"What they juked him down with, if he didn't know if they had knifes or guns? I guess they juked him down with the dildo."

"He did that on his own free will."

"I know this preacher. He normally preached on buses throughout the corporate area !!! He was a good preacher !! However, you cannot be calling yourself a man of God and condemning others at the same time due to their sexuality !!!! You need to ask God to give you knowledge, wisdom and understanding !! Preach against rape and murder, but leave the sodomites alone. Make a report to the cybercrime unit of the JCF about the video !!!"

"Pastr ur a lier, god is gonna tear u down for that lie,u were laughing when u were doing it u were not crying ,but u never kno they were tapeing you ,😂😂😂





Sex toy bus preacher goes viral!!!

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jamaican-pastor-caught-with-dildo-in-his-mouth.jpgA self-proclaimed holy man who preaches on the buses throughout the Corporate Area, has been exposed!

The so-called preacher was caught on a now viral video enjoying a moment with a sex toy -- specifically a dildo.

The irony is that this pastor always lick out against homosexuals, gays and lesbians. But....what is he doing handling a sex toy with such expertise?

Pastor, you have been exposed in the wickedest way. Seek God and repent before it is too late. How can you be condemning the same action that you are guilty of....seemingly.





Jimmy Cliff nominated for Songwriters Hall of Fame

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jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgLegendary entertainer Jimmy Cliff has scored a nomination for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years.

Jimmy Cliff who has a career spans which more than four decades, is nominated along with country superstar Vince Gill, rapper Missy Elliott, and singer Mariah Carey among others.

Jimmy Cliff has written songs such as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers To Cross, Sitting In Limbo, Wonderful World, Beautiful People, and You Can Get It If You Really Want among countless others.

Six songwriters, or songwriting groups, will be officially inducted at the Hall's 50th annual Induction & Awards Gala in New York on June 13, 2019.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honours the contributions of our great popular music songwriters while developing new writing talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships, and digital initiatives.

In related news, Jimmy Cliff is currently in rehab recuperating after breaking his hip during falling last in October. The International singer has since postponed all performances.





Curvy Diva now a Konka ambassador

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yanique-curvy-diva.jpgEnergy drink Konka has signed a endorsement deal with media personality and recording artiste Yanique "Curvy Diva" Barrett. The agreement, which was inked on Wednesday, will see her taking on her first role as a brand ambassador, which will involve some exciting initiatives.

The 16-month deal will see Barrett immediately assuming her duties as brand ambassador through a recruitment drive to develop an all-female promotional team to be known as the Konka Army.

"I'm excited to 'konka' the road with the team. We have major plans for parties during the Christmas season and we are going to be a part of Carnival next year, but right now the Konka Army is gearing up to take on the streets. I can't wait to start auditioning the girls. They will have to bring energy, energy and more energy. Plus, we have some on-fire social media promotions," noted Barrett.

"The Konka Energy Drink brand is exciting and fresh, and that really drew me in. I see myself as conquering challenges and barriers, so this really resonates with me. The newness of the product really has me very excited, also; I can really put my stamp on it. The bonus for me, too, is Konka really does taste good," said an animated Barrett.

Andrew Ellis, brand manager for Konka Energy Drink, explained that the deal with Curvy Diva was not only exciting, but fit perfectly with the brand's objectives.

"The similarities between our brand and the Curvy Diva are just perfectly aligned. Visually, we want this brand to be the sexiest drink on the market and the Curvy Diva is the quintessential choice for us. We have already seen her growth in the industry as a new artiste in the industry. As a new energy drink on the Jamaican landscape, we also look to carve a successful path for our brand. We are ready to 'konka'," Ellis stated.





Guyana, CMC - The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) re-opened this morning a few hours after a Fly Jamaica airliner made an emergency landing 45 minutes into its flight to Toronto, Canada. Six passengers were injured.

"We can confirm that Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 bound for Toronto has returned to Georgetown with a technical problem and has suffered an accident on landing. At this time, we believe that all 118 passengers and 8 crew members are safe. We are providing local assistance and will release further information as soon as it is available," the carrier said in a statement.

Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson confirmed that six people were injured during the incident and were being treated at the Diamond Regional Hospital.

"They are all stable and are being looked at," Patterson said, adding that all the passengers and crew on board had been accounted for with "no reports of any broken bones or such".

The Boeing 757 aircraft with 118 adults and two infants on board was forced to return to the CJIA minutes after its departure for Canada because of technical difficulties and over ran the airstrip on the emergency landing.

"Where the aircraft veered off is about the exact same place the Caribbean Airlines (plane did)... so fortunately for us on this occasion, the extension (of the runway) was there so they were able to utilise the extension," Patterson said, adding that investigations into the matter had already started.

The plane with its eight crew members of six Guyanese and two Jamaicans, also had on board one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and a Trinidadian.

Patterson said that the flight departed Guyana at 2:10 a.m. (local time) and at 2:21 a.m., the pilot indicated "there was some hydraulic problem and he requested permission to return and he did".

On landing, the emergency services were activated and since then an investigator from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has taken responsibility for the crash site. Patterson said that the United States' National Transportation Safety Board has been informed.

Fly Jamaica Airways was certified by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in September 2012, and was cleared to operate in the United States by US authorities in December. On November 16, last year the airline formed by a Guyanese businessman and three Jamaican shareholders, was given permission by the Guyana government to begin direct flights between Guyana and Cuba.





crime-scene-gun.jpgRamiesh Simpson, a prominent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist, was shot and killed last night at his home in Logwood, St Thomas. His wife, who was also shot and injured, was rushed to the hospital.

It is reported that about 9 p.m. the Simpsons had just pulled up at their home when Rameish stepped out the vehicle to open the gate. He was allegedly attacked and shot multiple times, killing him on the spot.

His wife was later shot and injured after she ran from the vehicle.

Reports are that the men set the vehicle on fire before fleeing the scene.

Simpson made local news in 2015 after he and his cousin were arrested and charged with the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition following reports from the police that they removed the items from a van which Rameish, in seeking to elude the police, drove into the sea.

The items were allegedly fished from the sea following what the police described as a high-speed chase, which ended with Rameish driving his vehicle into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen, St Thomas.

Both men were offered bail and had restrictions imposed on their movements.

In granting bail, Resident Magistrate Calise Wiltshire had said claims from the prosecution that Rameish was part of a criminal gang in St Thomas was not enough reason to deny bail.





spice-captured-mixtape-launch-held-at-100-on-hope-road-album.jpg





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Westmoreland police are carrying out a high level probe into the quadruple murder this morning (Nov 8). The police say they believe that the killings could have been carried out by members of the Kings Valley gang who have been terrorizing sections of the parish.

Those killed are brothers: 31 year old mechanic Howard Humes, 33 year old farmer Paulton Humes, and 23-year-old Shavane Humes, as well as the spouse of one of the brothers, 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson.

Reports that about 1:15 this morning, residents living in the Masemure community, alerted the police after hearing gunshots coming from the direction of where the Humes family reside.

Upon the arrival of the police, the four were seen suffering from gunshot wounds.

A 5 year old child was the only occupant who was spared by the gunmen.

Community members, family and close friends of the victims, expressed their shock at the gruesome quadruple murder, which they say is the first of its kind in the community.

Pheona Malcolm - Campbell, mother of the slain woman, was broken up about the incident. She says her daughter was innocent.

And, Kenneth Wilson, who is the father of the slain woman, in an interview with Jamaican radio station, Irie FM News, said that the Humes family had been receiving threats.

Head of the Westmoreland police, Superintendent Gary McKenzie says the police are hoping for a quick breakthrough into the murders.





Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep sadness at the passing of celebrated architect and hotelier, Earl Levy.

"On behalf of all of us in tourism, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Earl Levy, during this very difficult time," said Minister Bartlett.

Levy is the mastermind behind the luxurious Trident brand in Portland. He opened the Trident Vacation Villas in the mid-1950s; then later designed the lavish Trident Castle, Hotel & Villas, in the 1980s. Over the years, Trident has received a number of service awards and has played host to a large number of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington.

He also assisted with the refurbishing of the iconic Devon House attraction in Kingston, as well as designing a number of well-appointed residential properties across the island.

"The contribution that Mr Levy, or the Earl of Portland as he is affectionately called, has made to the tourism industry is significant. He was an outstanding entrepreneur, family man and designer. He will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him," said the Minister.

Bartlett also noted the influence Levy had in strengthening brand Jamaica through his extraordinary designs.

"Earl Levy is truly irreplaceable but we take comfort in knowing that the industry will benefit from his contributions for many years to come," said Minister Bartlett.





Two confirmed cases of dengue in St Catherine

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dengue.jpgThe St Catherine Health Department says there are two confirmed cases of dengue fever in the parish and a few suspected cases that are presently been assessed by the authorities.

Delivering the Health Department's monthly report at the general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Thursday, Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, said these are isolated cases and there is no reason to fear that an outbreak is imminent at this time.

"We don't foresee an outbreak. Recent rains have caused an increase in mosquito infestation in a number of areas in the parish, especially in Portmore and its environs.

"The vector control unit of the department is currently carrying out a massive mosquito eradication drive in these areas, targeting the breeding sites, and we are seeing encouraging signs of success," Hutchinson told The Gleaner. He said that for the period under review, 35 drains were inspected of which 23 were found to be breeding sites, and fogging was undertaken in 61 communities.

According to Hutchinson, the major challenge facing the department presently is the malfunctioning ultra low volume (ULV) fogging machine which is mounted on the back of a pickup truck that can cover a wider expanse.

"In the meantime, we have employed a number of temporary workers to carry out adulticidal or fogging work in these areas and this has proven to be very effective, but there is still the need for ULV support to assist with the adulticidal work," the chief public health officer noted.

Hutchinson was quick to point out that there is no cause for alarm about any malaria outbreak, because the health department is proactive in its screening efforts.





The Ministry of Health is assuring the public that measures have been taken to restrict the spread of Malaria beyond the three Nicaraguans who were diagnosed with the virus on a fishing boat that was rescued in Jamaican waters.

In a release on Thursday, the health ministry said: "Vector control activities, including disinsection of the vessel, was conducted and are ongoing as per standard operating procedures."

The health ministry stressed that "of note, no breeding sites with the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria were found in any of the locations the members of the crew accessed".

According to the Jamaican health authority, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard notified it that a Nicaraguan vessel with 93 persons aboard was intercepted in Jamaican waters on Tuesday.

It said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department carried out the requisite procedures and it was during that process that two of the men aboard the vessel were diagnosed. They were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where they were isolated and treated. A third man from the vessel was diagnosed in a subsequent assessment.

Jamaica was returned to the Malaria free list in 2012 after an outbreak in 2006. The last local case of malaria was in 2009. Since then there have been imported cases of Malaria each year.

"Jamaica has been able to maintain its Malaria free status through surveillance, early detection and rapid isolation and treatment of all cases," the health ministry said.

"We encourage the public to play their part in keeping Jamaica Malaria free by reporting to public health officials any unofficial entry of foreigners," it added.





charged.jpgThe Clarendon police are reporting that they have captured one of the parish's most wanted criminals.

He is Shane Hannah, also called "Most High".

Hannah was held in Old Harbour, St Catherine on Monday and has since been charged with murder.

The police say he is charged in connection with the killing of taxi operator Nigel Winter, whose body was found in Swansea, Clarendon on September 21.

A former soldier, Garfield Brown, is already in custody for the same crime.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2018

Patricia Chin Honored at American Friends of Jamaica Humming Bird Gala

Recipient of Humanitarian Award at the Prestigious Annual Event

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala.jpgNew York, NY- On Friday, October 26, 2018, Co-founder of VP Records, Patricia Chin was honored with a prestigious International Humanitarian Award at American Friends of Jamaica's (AFJ) 2018 Hummingbird Gala. Held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the evening provided opportunity for the Diaspora community, supporters and friends with an interest in Jamaica to provide financial resources to vulnerable Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. VP Records also served as a proud sponsor of the prestigious annual event.

The evening began with a silent auction while guests mingled and convened before the program began. During the program, Master of Ceremonies, Ruschell Boone of NY1 introduced AFJ's annual vignette showcasing the year's work of transformative programs in Jamaica. Commentary from AFJ president Wendy Hart and Executive Director Caron Chung then led to a live auction where a total of $400K was raised. They then introduced the two Humanitarian awards for the evening, beginning with President of Real Estate Development and Management company, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc., Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin.

While receiving her award, Patricia Chin stated "I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight and supporting Friends of Jamaica and I am honored to receive the Hummingbird Humanitarian Award." When Patricia Chin, also known as Miss Pat, is not busy with helping run her label VP Records, she takes care of her many charities including her passion project with Alpha Boys School in Kingston Jamaica, where she helps to raise funds to keep the more than century old institution thriving and well.

The night concluded with live music from Dancehall Legend Johnny Osbourne, UK Singer and Songwriter Estelle, International Reggae MegaStar Tarrus Riley, TTO Band with LeRoy Graham Jr., Andy Bassford, Dean Fraser, Kyle Graham and more. International Reggae/Dancehall DJ, Max Glazer spun the latest tunes. Special guests in attendance included Reggae superstar Busy Signal, Chris Blackwell and more.

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-1.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-2.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-3.jpgPhotos by Ajamu Myrie

To left photo: Patricia Chin with Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin. Both recipients Humanitarian Award

Top right photo: Patricia Chin with Tarrus Riley

Bottom photo: Tarrus Riley and Estelle perform "Love Like Ours" from Estelle's "Lovers Rock" album

AFJ's annual Galas attract diverse individuals who have special bonds of friendship with the people of Jamaica. Former honorees include Joseph Matalon, Chairman ICD, Vincent HoSang, President Caribbean Food Delights, Cecil Sam Wright, President Quality AutoMall, Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia, Gary "Butch" Hendrickson, National Continental Baking Company, Lowell Hawthorne, GoldenKrust, Dennis Lalor, ICWI, Kenny Benjamin, Guardsman Group, Denis O'Brien, Digicel, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Harry Belafonte and others. To date, the AFJ has presented grants of over US$14M. The AFJ demonstrates the power of collaboration to engage with and to support residents of underserved Jamaican communities. 2018 Hummingbird Gala sponsors include A. J. Dwoskin & Associates, VP Records, jetBlue, ADA Music 25 and Vanessa Noel.

"The Gala was an extraordinary opportunity to experience stellar artists in an intimate setting while showing support for the mission of the AFJ" stated AFJ Executive Director, Caron Chung.

About the AFJ

Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization built on the principles of service and philanthropy and is established to give assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, and economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organizations and stakeholders to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans who need a hand up. The AFJ has partnered in providing shelter to the homeless, education to inner-city youth, healthcare to individuals and equipment to health facilities. The AFJ annual grant cycle begins the first Friday in November each year and grants are disbursed at the end of the first quarter in April the following year. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.

For press inquiries, please contact: jennifer.valentin@vprecords.com





Female taxi driver shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA female taxi operator was shot dead in Race Course, Toll Gate Clarendon by unknown assailants yesterday.

She is identified as 45-year-old Claudia Thompson from Ebony Park in the parish. According to police reports, Thompson was at a tire repair shop around 1:20 pm when she was approached by unknown assailants who opened gunfire hitting her multiple times in the upper body.

Lawmen were summoned and her body subsequently removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.





A fourth dolphin stranded in St Thomas beach; dies

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National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it finds the report of another stranded dolphin along the White Sand Beach in Holland Bay, St Thomas, yesterday "very rare and unfortunate".

NEPA, in a release today, said a team from its Veterinary Services Division as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) responded to the report, which revealed that the animal had already died. Arrangements were subsequently made to dispose of its remains.

The agency noted that the incident is the second of its kind in three days, as a similar incident involving three dolphins occurred on Monday in the same vicinity. Upon arrival that day, the response team discovered that two of the animals had already died.

"Several unsuccessful attempts were made to re-float the animal that was still alive. Veterinary professionals on location finally determined that continued attempts to re-float the animal would be futile. The animal was subsequently euthanized," NEPA disclosed.

Monique Curtis, Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch of NEPA said: "A stranding of this nature along the island's coastline is very rare and unfortunate. We acknowledge the collaborative effort and speedy response from relevant agencies and stakeholders within the area particularly Mr Everal Davis, who reported the incident, and the Golden Grove Sugar Factory, which provided assistance."

She indicated that the next steps include further surveillance of the area for other strandings and investigations into the possible cause of the incidents.

NEPA shared that the species identified on the beach has been confirmed to be the pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), which is a small member of the oceanic dolphin family, who prefer deeper areas of warmer tropical and subtropical waters.





4 family members shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgFour members of a Westmoreland family were shot dead in their community this morning.

Dead are: 31-year-old mechanic, Howard Humes; 23-year-old Shavane Humes; 33-year-old farmer, Paulton Humes, otherwise called 'Dwight' and 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson all of Masemure Meadows, Westmoreland.

The four were found dead at their home about 1:00 am by police officers who responded to reports of gunfire heard in the community.

The lawmen said the four bodies had multiple gunshot wounds. They were removed to the morgue after the crime scene was processed.

The lawmen are appealing to residents with information that can assist in the investigation to contact the Little London police at 876-955-7449, Crime Stop at 311, 811, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Winston Chung Fah "Chungie/Coach, an outstanding footballer who has touched the lives of many football fans, especially those who followed Santos, Campion, Vere Tech, and Clarendon College, has died.

Reports are that he lost his battle with cancer today.

A GoFundMe account that was set up recently, noted that Chung Fah has been a mentor and inspiration to so many young men and women. "Unfortunately, over the last few years, Chungie has been in and out of the hospital. He is currently hospitalized in Miami. When he is discharged he will need professional home care, occupational and physical therapy along with various assistive devices. Let us show our love and appreciation by making a contribution to defray some of his expenses."

The target was US$125,000.





spicy-taste-vegan-cuisine.jpgSpicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine will host the first international Vegan Fest in The Gambia. It will be held at the Kairaba Hotel from Friday to Saturday on November 23-25th from 9am to 9pm for D200 in advance, D250 at the door, and D550 for the three days. Some of the world's most renowned holistic healers and lecturers will be arriving to speak and do workshops to motivate, educate and heal people.

It will be a fun filled weekend with great tasting healthy food, kundalini yogo, music, vendors, and life changing healing information for your whole body and mind. The keynote speakers for Vegan Fest 2018 are Dr. Llaila Afrika from USA Dr. Umar Johnson from U.S.A., Dr. Melanie Stevenson from USA, Khensu I-Em-Hotep from Jamaica and UK, and Salieu Puye from The Gambia.

The Vegan Fest is being organized by Mama Naasira Ageela and Dr. Gregory Joe Bledsoe, co-authors of the #1 Best Selling Nutritional guide on Amazon, "Spicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine Series." They are also repatriates living in The Gambia for over two years. Their aim is to assist communities with weight loss and to help avoid health challenges by teaching people a natural and more sustainable way to nurture the body.

They believe that the food you eat can be the safest or the most powerful of forms of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Currently the lifespan of Gambians have decreased astronomically from generation to generation. Gambians are dying from different diseases that can be prevented with proper eating habits and proper information. Yet, The Gambia has some of the most organic and healing super foods in the world, these include moringa, baobab, neem, bissap, peanuts, sour sop and more.

Dr. Llaila Afrika is one of the world's foremost authorities on health and nutrition. He has a doctorate in Naturopathy from Anglo Saxon Institute in England. He is a Certified Addictionalogist with a degree from The American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders. He is a certified nurse from Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He is also an Acupuncturist, Metaphysician, and was an U.S. Army Social Worker nurse and Psychotherapist.

He is an expert Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Historian, Writer, Lecturer, Teacher and Medical Astrologist. Dr. Afrika has over 45 years' experience and training in ethno medicine, which is the use of disease remedies and diagnosis based upon the biochemistry of a race. Because of these tremendous credentials, he is one of the most sought after lecturers in the country.

Dr. Umar Johnson is an activist and motivational speaker. He is the "Prince of Pan-Africanism," and his ideology and movement is to bring all Africans in unity on the continent and in the diaspora. He has written several books entitled, "Psycho_Academic Holocaust: The Special Education and ADHD Wars Against Black Boys," which is the first book written by African-American targeting black people with the strategies on how to fight back against special education and ADHD. Other books are The Heroic Slave / Walker's Appeal (2 in 1 Title) and Dismantling the Matrix: Serenity for the Surveilled Vol:1. He is also working on building a school in The Gambia.

Dr. Melanie Stevenson has over 12 years' experience as a Holistic Practitioner in Health Sciences, Spirituality, and Arts. She has a wide variety of licenses as an acupuncturist, esthetician, massage therapist, spiritual counselor, marriage counselor, grieving therapist, and medical astrologist. She brings a passionate uplifting energy in her lectures and practice. She is a unique and gifted Spiritual Counselor for individuals, couples, and families. She can help you learn the state of your vitality, emotions, passions, behavior, thought process, and overall persona.

Dr Khensu I-Em-Hotep aka Dr Hotep is a Holistic Nutritional Counselor who specializes in African Holistic Health, he has been involved in the health industry since 2009 at which point he embraced a live (raw) food diet, and has never looked back, going on to pursue certification by the leading authority on Holistic Health in the western hemisphere, Dr Llaila Afrika.

Dr Hotep has since been teaching and carrying out one to one Holistic Health assessments between Jamaica and the UK, participating in numerous radio and TV Programs, he has established the Melanin Clinic based in Mandeville, Jamaica and carries out day clinics and seminars in Montego Bay and Kingston. Dr Hotep lives and works by the ancient principle of "food is medicine and medicine is food" the Melanin Clinics motto is "you were made with nutrients and ONLY nutrients will maintain and repair you."

Salieu Puye is a Gambian traditional herbalist who is member of the Traditional Healers Assembly (TRAHASS) in The Gambia. He is originally from Kololi and was adopted by culturally people who taught him about natural living and cultural ways from an early age in the provinces. He studied science and arts at Gambia College. As a former teacher, he began studying plants and the healing effects of local plants.

Mr. Puye works specifically with natural herbs and by identifying the properties of the herbs, he helps to cure different ailments. He has cured excema. edema (swollen foot), hypertension, hemorrhoids, stomach worms etc. He believes that average Gambians do not eat a balanced diet however with proper hygiene and learning how to develop better cooking methods, more Gambian can live a healthy lifestyle. He has also identified many teas in The Gambia with nutritional and healing values to help Gambians heal themselves.

We invite The Gambia to come out in numbers to learn and participate in The Gambia's First Vegan Fest. For more information or to buy tickets contact 220-347-7437 or spicytastyvegan@gmail.com. For interviews contact international publicists Olimatta Taal 220-250-9257 or senghigenproductions@gmail.com





Ishawna no stop glow from she lef Foota

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ishawna-on-instagram-from-mi-lef-bwoy-mi-nuh-stop-glow.jpgControversial Dancehall artiste, Ishawna took to Instagram over the weekend to post a selfie throwing a tad bit of shade at her ex, who all her fans believe must be the legendary Foota Hype, aka Spoonhead.

The former Downsound records singer posted the pic with the caption "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂," leading many fans to speculate as to just who she was referring to.

"From she left foota she get whiter" one fan reacted while another commented, "Bwoy all mash up now n tun maama man pon di gram."

The speculation did not stop there as several more fans continued to point to the entertainer's baby daddy, who was recently engaged in a bitter social media feud with Jamaican cricketer Marlon Samuels.

"@mslegendary Nuh know wah u did a duh with spoon head😂😂😂 @footahypemusic," a fan trolled.

The entertainer's glow has been a topic of late as she recently gave fans tips on how to get glowing skin like hers saying "I don't know why my skin is glowing...maybe it's caused from minding my business."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂

O postare distribuită de ISHAWNA (@mslegendary) pe





marcia-griffiths-photos-5.jpgReggae veterans Freddie McGregor and Marcia Griffiths, young turks Chino McGregor and Ding Dong, as well as soca star Alison Hinds are among the featured acts at this year's Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival.

Festival organisers say they are continuing to place an emphasis on culture at this year's staging. The occasion is scheduled for Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida, on Sunday.

Bridget Edwards, cultural stage coordinator, said organising an extraordinary programme is essential to highlighting and preserving the culture, while educating and entertaining attendees.

"We're always finding innovative ways to present our heritage and incorporating different elements that are in line with our culture," Edwards told the Jamaica Observer . "Under this year's theme 'Let the Drums Speak,' our Caribbean culture will reverberate from the Corporate Area and throughout the entire Markham Park."

Sets include music, dance, comedy, spoken word, fashion, and drama. Comedian Christopher "Johnny" Daley is expected to host this segment.

Fashion designer Cholla Williamson of Covered by Grace is slated to feature stylish, handcrafted African designs. For lovers of Afro-Caribbean drumming and dancing, the Sasa African Dance Theater is billed to perform their uptempo beats and moves; and for the children, Drumming Fingers will offer instructional drumming and dancing, inviting audience participation. Author Ettosi Brooks is expected to present a dramatised reading of her book S tori, Stori, Stori: Adventures in Rhythm; while Transitionsauthor Meleisha Jocelyn will perform spoken word.

"Chris Daley is a part of the Jerk Festival family. He will do more than introduce the acts -- he will perform, get audience members to join in, and may even do a little drumming himself. You never know what exciting things will happen on the Western Union Cultural Stage, that's why we ask everyone to come out early and dance, sing, and drum with us," Edwards added.





Mexico could legalise ganja

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ganja-image-5.jpgPresident-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's future interior minister introduced a bill Tuesday to legalise marijuana in Mexico, a country wracked by violence fuelled by its powerful drug cartels. Senator and future interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero introduced the bill, to "propose a responsible regulation model adapted to Mexico's circumstances," according to the text published on the Senate's website.

Sanchez has been given "carte blanche" to explore ways to overhaul drug policy under Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who takes office on December 1 after winning Mexico's July elections in a landslide. Lopez Obrador's coalition holds a majority in both houses of Congress, giving the bill a good chance of passing.

That would mark a sea change after decades of prohibitionist policy in Mexico, whose shared border with the United States, proximity to leading narcotics producers such as Colombia, and domestic production of marijuana, heroin and other drugs have made it one of the top drug trafficking countries in the world.

If the bill passed, Mexico would become just the third country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use, after Canada and Uruguay. The bill proposes "strict legal regulation" that would regulate and monitor marijuana production, sales and consumption.

It would allow users to grow up to 20 plants at a time and produce 480 grams (17 ounces) of the drug per year for personal consumption. The bill comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision last week that created a legal gray area around marijuana. The court ruled in favor of a private citizen who sued for the right to be able to consume marijuana recreationally. It was its fifth such decision, which under Mexican law sets a legal precedent.

However, as things now stand, each individual seeking permission to use the drug will have to file a separate court case. Authorities say they have received 615 requests so far. Desperate to crack down on its brutally violent cartels, Mexico deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

Since then, the violence has worsened. The country registered a record 28,711 murders last year, and the record is on track to be broken again this year.





Colorado ganja sales exceed US$1BILLION in revenues

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ganja-image-5.jpgDENVER (AP) -- A Colorado report shows marijuana sales in the state have exceeded US$1 billion as of August of this year, with tax revenue from those sales reaching US$200 million. The Denver Post reports the state Department of Revenue report indicates medical and recreational marijuana sales are on track to break last year's record of more than US$1.5 billion.

This year's combined sales reached the billion-dollar mark at the earliest point in the four years recreational marijuana has been legal in the state.

Total sales through August 2017 reached more than US$996 million.

According to the Marijuana Enforcement Division's 2018 Mid-Year Update, the industry's hot spots are in Denver, Boulder, El Paso and Pueblo counties, growing 80 per cent of all plants in the state as of June.





Democrats win House in blow to Trump

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clinton-vs-trump.jpgDemocrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump. A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his programme through Congress.

But Mr Trump's Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate.

Tuesday's vote was seen as a referendum on a polarising president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020. The election confirms a historical trend for the party that is not in the White House to make gains in the mid-terms.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - who is set to become speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011 - told cheering supporters in Washington: "Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America."

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump's administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest. They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

But analysts say dealing with a hostile House may suit the president, who is known both for his partisan style and ability to switch positions. They say he could either choose to accuse the Democrats of obstruction or try to reach deals to get legislation through.

Female candidates performed particularly well. Two 29-year-old Democrats - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer - are due to be the youngest women ever to win House seats.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. All are Democrats.





French visa application centre opens in New Kingston

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visa.jpgJaicans wishing to visit France for extended periods (more than 90 days), whether to work or attend school, no longer have to travel to Panama to obtain a visa, now that a French visa application centre has been established at the DHL building in New Kingston. The centre, which was established in August but officially opened yesterday, will be managed by VFS Global, an international company that manages visa applications on behalf of more than 100 countries.

Owing to financial constraints and other issues, the visa processing services at the French Embassy in Kingston were terminated in 2015. Persons who wanted visas for short stays in France have had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Spanish Embassy. And even though the centre is now in operation, persons can still apply for visas for short visits to France at the Spanish Embassy in Kingston.

"If an applicant plays good faith, presents good documentation and can justify all the requirements, then he will get the visa," said newly installed French ambassador to Jamaica, Denys Wibaux, at the official launch yesterday at DHL. "If people come fraudulently, they will not get through. We are an open country to tourists from all over the world, and in particular, Jamaicans and business people".

He continued: "Previously, Jamaicans applying for visas to go to France could go through our consular services in the French Embassy in Kingston. A few years ago, we had, for reasons of economy and adjustment of our public finance, to close the visa section in our embassy."

Wibaux said the new facilities will process up to 12 applications daily, but indicated that special arrangements could be made in cases of emergency.

Successful applicants should receive their visas in 12-15 days.

Application Process for French Visa

Visit the France visas official website at https://france-visas.gouv.fr/enUS/web/france-visas

  1. Start visa process by creating an account and filling out an application form online.

  2. Create an account on the VFS Global website to schedule and pay service fees http://www.vfsglobal.com/France/Jamaica/English/index.html.

  3. Return to account on www.france-visa.gouv.fr to confirm you have an appointment.

  4. Go in person to the new VFS Visa Application Center for France with your passport, appointment confirmation letter, proof of payment completed and a signed visa form, and all supporting documents. VFS then sends applications to the Consulate General of France in Washington, DC, for processing.

  5. Track status of application.




police-officers.jpgMembers of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force (JCF) who choose to dance with revellers at events are doing so at their own risk, as the force has reiterated its stance on how police personnel should conduct themselves.

This comes as another policeman is again in the spotlight after a video surfaced on the weekend, showing the lawman 'daggering' two females at once. The officer, attired in full khaki and appears to be at the rank of an inspector or above, did not shy away from dancing up a storm, as he was being influenced by the loud cheers and the commanding selector who fuelled the apparent showdown.

In the 34-second amateur video, the policeman is seen talking to a male friend at the event when he is surprised by a female dancer. The policeman readily engages with the first female to the amusement of the selector, who cheered him on while pumping the music.

To the surprise of the officer, a second female dancer joined them. She jumped on the back of the first dancer, while the policeman balances both females. According to the report in Jamiacan tabloid, the Star, it was not clear when or where the event took place, however, social media users assumed it to be somewhere in the Corporate Area at one of the weekly events.

Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, while not speaking specifically to the video in question, said that officers who act contrary to the rules and regulations of the JCF may face consequences for their actions.

"Members are always expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Anything that contradicts the force's rules and regulations can be seen as a breach of order and discipline," she said.

When asked if such a move (dancing in uniform with revellers) had severe repercussions, Garrick said: "Such a matter is definitely fit for administrative review and action. The administration would investigate to determine the breach and necessary punishment for the breach."





gofundme-logo.pngSophraya Price's life has become a waking nightmare. Loop news reports that two years ago, Price was your typical active university student playing sports like netball, posting selfies online and getting up to regular college girl shenanigans like shopping with her girlfriends. Now she is in a fight to save her life, having been confined to a wheelchair. Her bones are fragile and brittle, she is prone to seizures, and she is in constant agony as her body has turned traitor, betraying her at every corner.

And she needs your help. The family and friends of Sophraya Price are appealing to the public to contribute to the young lady's Gofundme page.

"My life is a nightmare. I'm afraid to go out now because I'm prone to getting a fractured bone easily, and we Jamaicans have the tendency when greeting someone, to hit them," she told Loop News reporter, Claude Mills.

"I had been getting treatment in Cuba. It's been a year now since I last went to Cuba. I was supposed to go back in January, but because of insufficient funds and being back and forth in the hospital, we could not go back for my treatment, which is supposed to be once every three months, and my conditions (ailments) have been progressing really fast and I've developed other illnesses," she said.

The treatment is a five-day course which costs US$5,000.

"However, with all these other conditions, we are not sure what other treatments and procedures will be needed when we go back to Cuba," Price said.

On September 20, 2016, the young and vibrant Northern Caribbean University student went for a netball drill. She was fresh out of community college with an associate degree in social work, and had started university three weeks before. Her eyes were set on her goal to do clinical work. But while going through her routine, her legs suddenly went rubbery and weak, and she collapsed. She was taken to hospital, where within a week she became paralysed and suffered multiple seizures. At first it was thought that she had a spinal injury. But the truth was much worse. She has a veritable laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder. She has been diagnosed with six different types of epileptic and non-epileptic seizures - osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, Raynaud's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease and query paraneoplastic syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and with regular trips to the emergency room, Price needs continuous treatment and medical assessment.

"Battling with these conditions, it's really not easy. I mostly stay in bed because of severe pain. I cannot be in crowded places, I'm afraid that someone might bounce on me and cause more pain. There is so much going on with my body, it's really hard to explain. Each time I go to the doctor, there is a new diagnosis," Price said.

She would give anything to walk again.

"My visits with each of my specialist is more frequent, so you know that it's more money too. I'm told they really can't help me here because they don't have certain resources. I know I can get the help in Cuba, but there is just not enough funds, so it gets me on my downside. I take so many medications and do treatments, and that's very costly. So when we do raise something, it goes straight to medications or visits to the doctor for other treatments," she said.

Through it all, she is trying to remain optimistic.

"Overall, with all these conditions, I really do try to keep myself occupied, I might not be able to go out as much now, but I've now opened an online pet store..., plus I'm on some serious meds that make me sleep a lot that practically takes up most of my days," Price added.

With hope for better days ahead, she is seeking the necessary support and assistance to get back on her feet.

Do help Sophie to walk again, if you can.





Memorial service for Elva Saturday at JC

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elva-ruddock.jpgThe memorial service celebrating the life of Jamaican comedian Elva Ruddock is slated for this Saturday at the Carl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.

The service begins at 2 p.m.

The service will be followed by a celebratory party.

There will be a shuttle bus service from Portmore and Half Way Tree for members of the public who may need transportation.

Elva died at Kingston Public Hospital on October 7, after battling Lupus.





dengue.jpgThe Health Ministry has confirmed that three men aboard a Nicaraguan vessel which drifted into Jamaican waters last week have malaria.

The vessel is near Port Royal.

Dr. Jacqueline Bissasor-McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that 93 people were found aboard the vessel.

As is customary, she said, a medical team visited those on board the vessel and carried out tests, which confirmed three people had malaria.

Dr. Bissasor-McKenzie said the persons were taken to Kingston Public Hosital where they were isolated and treated. Two of the men have completed the treatment while one is still undergoing medical care.

A post-test evaluation will be carried out on the individuals.





Trump backtracks on threat to shoot immigrants

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donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump pulled back Friday on his previous threat to have soldiers shoot migrants who throw stones at the Mexican-US border.

"I didn't say shoot," he said. "They won't have to fire. What I don't want, I don't want these people throwing rocks."

Instead, Trump told journalists at the White House, stone-throwing migrants or people asking for refugee status on the southern border are "going to be arrested for a long time."

During a Thursday speech on his bid to crack down on illegal immigration, Trump was asked how thousands of troops he has ordered to the border would react if stones were thrown at them. He responded that stone throwing would be seen as a lethal threat.

"We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," he said.

"I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle."





So Spice did not bleach her skin after all

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spice-2016.jpg"To put a end to the debate "I DID NOT BLEACH MY SKIN" and I quote "Proud a mi color, love mi pretty black skin, respect due to mi strong melanin" words from my "Black Hypocrisy" song that I wrote from my heart."

Spice's big reveal happened and it seems it was really a sort of publicity stunt....which she prefers to call awareness about colourism

Here's what she wrote on Instagram......using a black Spice picture:

"On October 22nd I posted a picture of myself where i looked like I altered my appearance and metamorphosis to match the "Eurocentric beauty standards". I fearlessly addressed an issue that has been swept under the rug and boldly took the stance in bringing a taboo topic to the fore front. I chose to do this in the manner I did because I believe Colorism is plagiarizing our black community.

While It appeared as if I had "bleached" my skin, causing a world wide debate, and even though the picture was obviously birthed around my single titled"Black hypocrisy" and my mixtape Captured.I want to openly say it was not a "publicity stunt". I wanted to create awareness to "Colorism" and it was more so done intentionally to create shock value so that I could have the worlds undivided attention to deliver the message in my music.

There are dark skin women across the world complaining every day that they are being downplayed and degraded, but the raw truth is it is us "black women" and "black men" that are fighting against each other and tearing down our own race.

It's evident in the social media comments every day, I myself have lived through it all being downgraded by my dark complexion.

Would the message in my song have been received as well as it did world wide if I didn't go to the extreme with the picture? The truth is no it would have probably been just another Spice hit song; so yes I had to go the extra mile to ensure my message be heard.

Most people got a misconception that I was boosting "Skin bleaching" but ironically it was the opposite. I used myself as an example of what people from the black community is causing other women to do because of how society makes them feel.

Yes "Black is beautiful" we say it every day but are we showing love to our black women?





Usain Bolt's Australian football dream has ended

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bolt-usain-football.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's attempt to become a professional footballer with Australia's Central Coast Mariners collapsed Friday as his trial period was terminated after contract talks failed.

The eight-time Olympic champion had been trying out with the A-League side since arriving in August, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.

The 32-year-old's quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

But his abilities have been questioned and the club reportedly offered him only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) his management were said to be seeking, with outside sponsors needed to make the deal viable.

"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt's representative Ricky Simms can today advise that the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately," the club announced.

"As previously stated, the club and Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.

"Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."





Tesha Miller charged with murder

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tesha-miller.jpgThe reputed leader of the Spanish Town-based Clansman gang Tesha Miller has been slapped with charges of accessory before and after the fact to murder. The murder allegedly happened in 2008 in St Catherine.

Miller is to appear in the Home Circuit Court on November 9 to answer the charges.

His lawyers Bert Samuels and Able Don Foote say they will be applying for bail.Miller and his girlfriend were picked up in a shopping area in St Andrew on Tuesday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch.

On Wednesday, Foote brought an application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for Miller's immediate release from custody. Parish Judge Vaughn Smith heard the application and ordered that Miller should be charged or released by 9 a.m on Friday, November 2.

Miller was deported from the Bahamas in April 2017. On his return to Jamaica, he was charged with making a false declaration to immigration officers at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Miller pleaded guilty and was fined.





compressed-ganja.jpgA St Mary man who was held by the Manchester police with 25 pounds of ganja, was slapped with fines amounting to $400,000 when he appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court on Monday.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m. on October 23, the Manchester police intercepted a white Toyota Axio motorcar with three men on board travelling along the Spur Tree Hill main road in the parish.

During a search of the vehicle, the police found two bags containing loose and compressed ganja, weighing 25 pounds. The Narcotics Police, who took over the investigation, subsequently interviewed and jointly charged all three men for possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and trafficking in ganja.

The three accused, 61-year-old Adrian McDonald and 24-year-old Fabian Waugh, both chefs of Cock Street, Port Maria; and Sadray Burray, 24, a construction worker of Friendship, Islington, appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court last Friday, but the matter was postponed until Monday.

When the case was called up on Monday, McDonald took the rap and pleaded guilty, and was hit with the unusually high fines. He was fined $80,000 for possession of ganja, with an alternative of eight months in prison; $160,000 for dealing in ganja, or eight months in prison; and $160,000 for trafficking ganja, or eight months in prison.

If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently.

The charges were dismissed against the other two accused.





3 arrested as guns, explosives seized in Tivoli

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgFour high powered weapons and several sticks of explosives were seized by members of the security forces operating in the State of Public Emergency in Western Kingston on Thursday.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the find.

Reports are that about 3:05 p.m., a joint police/military team went to an area known as 'Bumps in Tivoli Gardens and during a search two AR 15 rifles, one AK 47 and one Winchester rifle were found.

In addition to that, 54 5.56 rounds of ammunition, four.38 rounds of ammunition, 11 sticks of explosives, several gun parts and six empty magazines were also found.

Three persons were arrested in connection with the seizures. However, their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.





Trinidad rattled by 9 earthquakes in nine days

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earthquake.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - Trinidad and Tobago started November in the same manner as it ended the previous month with an earthquake rattling the twin-island republic. The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 rattled parts of the country on Thursday at 8: 40 a.m local time.

It is the ninth tremor felt in the country in as many days and the SRC said that it was located Latitude: 9.85N, Longitude: 60.48W, and at a depth of 30 kilometres.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage but the quake was felt 117 kilometres south east of San Fernando, 124 kilometres south east of the eastern town of Arima and 145 kilometres south east of the capital, Port of Spain.

Seismologist and Acting SRC Director Dr Joan Latchman has been warning Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean to be prepared for a major earthquake and that the various tremors in recent days are not anything new.

On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1. In August, many residents ran into the streets after a quake with a magnitude of 6.8 rocked the country followed by several aftershocks causing damage and but no loss of lives.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA 14-year-old child was burnt to death and other members of his family chopped and wounded, reportedly by a 41-year-old man, in Mocho, Clarendon on Wednesday. The man who reportedly carried out the attack was later found hanging in a section of the community.

The deceased child has been identified as Leroy Hamilton, while the man who is suspected to have committed suicide after carrying out the deadly attack is Craig Lawrence.

Reports are that at about 2:45 a.m., Lawrence went to the house where the child and other relatives were, and was denied entry to the dwelling.

Further reports are that he responded by forcing his way into the house and attacked and chopped occupants therein, including a 53-year-old woman and her daughter. The man then set the house on fire and left it to burn.

The 53-year-old woman and the other female managed to escape the flames, but the child was not so lucky. His charred remains were later found. A search was carried out for the man and his body was found hanging in a section of the community.

It is so far unclear what relationship existed between the attacker and the victims.





tesha-miller.jpgPolice detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch will have to charge reputed leader of the Klansman Gang Tesha Miller by Friday or release him.

One of Miller's attorneys, Able-Don Foote filed a habeas corpus application for his release in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, yesterday. Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. An order for his release was subsequently ordered by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith on Wednesday.

Miller is to be charged or released by 9:00 am on Friday.

Miller and his girlfriend were arrested on Monday at a shopping centre in Barbican, St Andrew.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA man was shot dead Monday morning outside the Lannaman's Preparatory School in Kingston, moments after dropping off his son at the institution.

Reports are that the father took his son onto the school compound and was returning to his vehicle, which was parked across from the school gate, when explosions were heard.

The source said the bleeding man returned to the compound in search of help. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident happened shortly after 7:30 am. It is also being reported that the deceased was a licensed firearm holder, however, his weapon cannot be found.





Church members pressured as young pastor arrested

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The members of the church at which a young pastor was picked up for questioning about the sexual abuse of a minor are now coming under a lot of pressure from their community.

Members say they are now under scrutiny from community members since the young pastor's arrest, and according to one stalwart in the church, she is afraid to leave her home because of the backlash that she is receiving.

"Everything happened so fast and the church just stopped immediately," said the member. "Dem a tell him seh him must stop talk to that little girl, enuh, and him never did a listen."

Daily tabloid, The Star, is reporting that the pastor took the child out on numerous occasions and even though he was pressed by members of the church to desist from the action, he still continued.

"There were times when he would often be in conflict with the church. One time he even took the child out for her birthday to Carib, and the church was really upset about it," the member said.





arrested.jpgA church pastor who was leading his congregation in prayer was arrested on Sunday following complaints by a 13-year-old child that he had sexually molested her.

The service was interrupted on Sunday as the congregation was in the middle of a service when the mayhem started.

"We were praying and I saw two officers come to the church door. He (the pastor) was praying at the altar, so the police told one of the ushers to go and call him," the member said.

Head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Charmaine Shand, confirmed that the pastor was taken into custody for the offence of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

Up to press time, he had not been charged.

Reports from CISOCA are that the suspect was contacted by the minor, who told him that she was locked out of school sometime last week.

Shand said that from reports the pastor picked the child up in Half-Way Tree and took her to a house where he had sex with her.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending further investigations, is being questioned in relation to this incident and another involving another minor.





charged.jpgThe police in St Ann have charged two 15-year-old boys in relation to the recent murder of 14-year-old Ocho Rios High School student, Raven Wilson. Police sources say that Raven was with at least one of the boys on the day of her disappearance, and was later killed. The other 15-year-old boy allegedly played the role of helping to dispose of items belonging to the girl, and assisted in dumping the body.

The identities of the accused teenagers cannot be revealed, as they are juveniles. One of the boys was charged with murder, while the other was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The charges followed a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last Thursday that the two boys should be charged.

Additionally, the teenagers were taken to court last Thursday, and were remanded in the custody of the state. They are to return to court later this month.

In confirming the detention of the teens at Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rudolph Taylor, said the teens were picked up over a week ago.

Raven Wilson's body was found in her community of Top Road in the parish capital, St Ann's Bay, on Sunday, October 21. Her body, with a wound to the head, was discovered in a garbage bag in bushes at about 6:35 a.m. The student had been missing since Friday, October 19. It is understood that she left home for school at about 6:30 a.m., but did not attend the institution that day.

The police reportedly recovered belongings of hers, including her schoolbag and a pair of shoes, which were classified as vital evidence in the probe into her death. The schoolbag was recovered at a premises in Top Road two days after Raven's body, which was clad in her school uniform, was found.

Investigators are also focused on the results of forensic tests on the recovered items, and also a post-mortem report on Raven's body.





For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2018

DAMIAN "JR. GONG" MARLEY'S

WELCOME TO JAMROCK REGGAE CRUISE

MARKS ITS 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY THIS DECEMBER

The 2018 Sold-Out Voyage Celebrates with a Special Marley Brothers Performance and Its Biggest and Baddest Lineup Thus Far

2019 WTJRC Cabins Available for Sale Now

jamrock-5-th-anniversary-december-1-to-6-2018.jpgHailed as one of the most authentic, intimate and international reggae experiences, Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise will celebrate its fifth year on the high seas from December 1-6, 2018. The sold-out 5-day voyage aboard Royal Caribbean departs Ft. Lauderdale, FL with stops in Ocho Rios and Falmouth, Jamaica.

This monumental year will be packed with unforgettable moments. To celebrate this occasion, five of Bob Marley's kin Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian will unite on one stage for a rare performance.

Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise (WTJRC) has become one of the most in-demand reggae gatherings in the world. Since its inception in 2014, every single cruise sells out almost a year in advance. Each year, fans spanning from over 40 countries all converge for their love of reggae music and Jamaican culture.

Founded by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, the Grammy-winning musician has made it his mission for the cruise to embody the island's rich culture. The music, entertainment, food, fitness and wellness activities all give cruise-goers a slice of the Jamaica before they dock, from Ital Rastafarian cuisine to the celebrity football (soccer) tournaments to cult-classic films to the annual soundclash (in layman's terms, a Jamaica-originated DJ battle), this is not the average cruise. It is the only place where fans can stay up until dawn to catch their favorite acts performing throughout the ship and join them the same morning on the pool deck for sunrise meditation with Nyabinghi drumming and chanting. After fully immersing into these pure organic experiences, the cruisers appreciate their arrival to Jamaica that much more.

This year's artist lineup boasts a diverse range of Jamaican talent from today's emerging stars to the legends who paved the way. In addition to the Marley Brothers' anticipated performance, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley will carry on the Jamrock tradition to deliver an electrifying solo set. The power bill continues with Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie, Bounty Killer, Jah Cure, Chronixx, Tarrus Riley, Third World, Konshens, Elephant Man, Aidonia, Queen Ifrica, Agent Sasco, Kabaka Pyramid, Shenseea, Skatalites, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Horace Andy, Jo Mersa Marley, Jesse Royal, Dexta Daps, Spragga Benz, General Degree, Red Rat, Buccaneer, Jah9, King Jammy's, Johnny Osbourne, Admiral Bailey, Pinchers, Bunny General and Pad Anthony.

Following the artists' performances, cruisers can catch their favorite sound systems (Stone Love, Renaissance, Mighty Crown, Tony Matterhorn, Kingston 12 Hi-Fi, Bass Odyssey, Heavy Hammer and Black Scorpio) spinning tunes until the wee hours of the night.

Throughout the cruise, there will also be a variety of DJs and hosts (DJ Rory, Mutabaruka, Bambino, Big A, Nikki Z, Colin Hines, ZJ Liquid, DJ Roy, Spex, Robbo Ranx, Rassarella, GT Taylor, Ron Muschette, Seani B, Westafa, Steelie Bashment, Shacia Payne, Foota Hype, Shortkut, DJ Gringo, Yaardcore, Mad Out, Mixmaster J, Supa Hype and Hotta Rice) providing sounds and entertainment along with enlightening discussions from guest speakers Cindy Breakspeare and Neville Garrick.

2018 may be sold out, but fans can reserve a spot on 2019's ship, on sale now.


Watch highlights from 2017's cruise:





No apology for Queen Ifrica from Kartel

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queen-ifrica-photos-3.jpgVybz Kartel will clearly not be apologising to Queen Ifrica over statements he made years ago accusing her of skin bleaching. Over the weekend, he shot down Queen Ifrica's request for an apology in the most demeaning way. Of course, few were surprised.

Vybz Kartel and Queen Ifrica's fight go back to 2011 when she called him out for his skin bleaching and he in turn suggested that she also bleached her skin. Some Kartel fans have since continued to troll Ifrica over said alleged skin bleaching, forcing her to post a video denying the allegations.

She also called out Vybz Kartel while demanding that he apologize to her for leading his fans to attack her over a false claim of skin bleaching. This is Kartel's response:

"Dwbcl ... she needs an apology from me 'she seh' because she said that she's Half Black, and not bleaching dwl," he wrote. "This House Lizard bright nuh bloodcl**t... #IFreaker PS. If ANUH a run dis a You?."

Some of Vybz Kartel's Gazanation fans also chimed in, triggering a fresh round of social media trolling. "Queen Ifrica we know yo a bleacher from longtime bout yo half black dwl, honey go hold a seat somewhere and leave the boss name out your mouth," one fan wrote.

Some fans questioned why Queen Ifrica chooses to address Vybz Kartel in 2018 - seven years after the incident.





buju-banton-on-instagram-bujus-music-no-stagnant-stephenmarley.jpgAs Buju Banton's official release date from prison draws near, the artiste's social media presence is being felt more and more. His handlers recently posted a throwback video clip with Stephen Marley giving his opinion of Buju's music and another with a young Tony Rebel endorsing Buju's upward career.

The theme is, Buju's music is not stagnant.

Buju will be released from prison on December 8.

Buju Banton on Instagram: ""Buju's music no stagnant"- @stephenmarley #bujureturns #reggae #reggaemusic"





Health benefits of Holy Basil, the Queen of Herbs

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Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) isn't like the sweet basil in your mother's marinara sauce or the Thai herb you use to flavor a steaming bowl of pho. This green leafy plant, also known as Ocimum sanctum L. and tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions, from eye diseases to ringworms.


From the leaves to the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:

  • Use its fresh flowers for bronchitis.
  • Use the leaves and seeds, with black pepper, for malaria.
  • Use the whole plant for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Use the pill and ointment form for eczema.
  • Use an alcohol extract for stomach ulcers and eye diseases.
  • Use an essential oil made from the leaves for insect bites.


Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. The nutritional value is also high, as it contains:

  • vitamin A and C
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • iron
  • chlorophyll


Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Like many supplements, holy basil is not approved as a first-line treatment. It may also interact with medications you're already taking.

Reduce stress and anxiety

All parts of the holy basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. The concept of an adaptogen is a holistic approach. But scientific research shows that holy basil has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with many types of stress.

The source of your stress can be:

  • chemical
  • physical
  • infectious
  • emotional

In the case of physical stress, holy basil is known to increase endurance in animals. Animals who had holy basil leaf extracts and went through environment-induced stress scenarios showed:

  • enhanced metabolism
  • improved swimming time
  • less tissue damage
  • lower stress levels in loud environments

Human and animal studies saw reduced:

  • stress
  • sexual problems
  • sleep problems
  • forgetfulness
  • exhaustion


According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, holy basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs. These studies examined the leaves. One study found that people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of holy basil extract each day felt less anxious, stressed, and depressed. People also felt more social.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking holy basil as tea using the leaves. And since it's caffeine-free, it's okay and even recommended to drink daily. The act of drinking tea can be ritualistic and as calming as yoga. It fosters clear thoughts, relaxation, and a sense of well-being.

But if the basil's bitter and spicy flavor isn't your cup of tea, a supplement in pill form or as an alcohol extract is available. There is less risk of contamination when taking an herb in natural form.

SUMMARY

Holy basil has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that it can help people feel more social and less anxious.





JLP councillor happy with MannaPack rise in schools

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jlp.jpgAs the issue of whether the products from Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) has been replaced by the imported MannaPack Rice continues to unfold in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Ensom City Division, George Moodie, has defended the issuing of the product, saying it is a nutritious supplement and not a replacement for the nutribuns, milk and juice supplied by NPL.

Moodie, who had vowed to address the issue at last Thursday's general meeting of the municipal corporation with evidence of the value of the imported rice, and what he described as a mischievous attempt by Peoples' National Party councillor Roogae Kirlew of the Above Rocks Division to malign the Government, was earlier in the meeting prevented from doing so.

However, in an interview with The Gleaner, Moodie, who is also a school principal, said Kirlew's assertion at last month's general meeting that the Government had scrapped the national nutrition programme of providing bake products and sachets of milk and juice to students islandwide, under a school-feeding programme operated by Nutrition Products Limited, was false and misleading.

"I want to make it clear that Nutrition Products Limited is still providing products to our schools and the Manna Rice is a very nutritious supplement to the programme," said Moodie, while displaying a container with some of the MannaPack Rice he had personally prepared for his presentation.

"This product has tremendous nutritional value and should be encouraged for the benefit of our students. My colleague's attempt to discredit the product and malign the Government is purely political," observed Moodie.

Meanwhile, in a statement from Nutrition Products Limited, the company charged with the responsibility for the production and distribution of nutritious snacks to schools islandwide, it was made clear that the company currently operates a school-feeding programme that provides bake products, milk and juice to over 1,000 schools at a minimal contribution.

The statement further described the company as a statutory body functioning under the portfolio of the Ministry of Education, funded directly by the Government and assisted by local and international donor agencies.





Two charged for attempting to expost cocaine

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charged.jpgIn another incident, also on Friday, a team from the Narcotics Police Division arrested and charged two men at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James for attempting to export cocaine.

They are: 47-year-old Nigel Barham, businessman of Nain district, St Elizabeth and 52-year-old Dennis Daley, farmer of Myersville district, also in the parish.

Police say the drug weighed approximately 4.5 pounds, and has an estimated street value of about $2.2 million.

The men were subsequently charged with Possession of Cocaine, Dealing in Cocaine, Attempting to Export Cocaine and Conspiracy to Export Cocaine.

They are scheduled to appear before the St James Parish Court on Thursday.





Policeman caught with cocaine and $1-Million in cash

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police-hat.jpgFour men, including a policeman, have been arrested for allegedly breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The unidentified police corporal was reportedly caught on Friday by Narcotics police in Porus, Manchester with one kilogramme of cocaine and $1 million in cash.

The policeman was reportedly travelling in a Toyota motor car with another man about 4:20 p.m. when it was intercepted, searched and the drugs along with cash found.

Both men were subsequently taken into custody. Their identities, according to the police, are being withheld pending further investigations.





Body found in container

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Old Harbour police in St Catherine are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found on Friday in an empty container at an industrial complex in the parish where packing is done for exporting.

The deceased, who remains unidentified, is believed to be about 52 years' old, is of dark complexion, medium built, and was clad in black pants and socks.

Reports are that about 1:30 p.m., the container, which was delivered to the facility on Wednesday, November 7, was about to be loaded with produce when the body was discovered inside of it.

The police were summoned and the scene processed.





pastor-eat-dildo-says-he-was-forced.jpgA video that went viral of a pastor in Jamaica making out with a toy has prompted him to come forward with his wife and explain his actions. However, nobody is buying Pastor's story that man juck him down and forced him to get intimate with the dildo.

This is what people are saying: "Ole hypocritical liard....His wife is blind! You can clearly see in the video that he was NOT forced, and he was fulljoying himself."

"What they juked him down with, if he didn't know if they had knifes or guns? I guess they juked him down with the dildo."

"He did that on his own free will."

"I know this preacher. He normally preached on buses throughout the corporate area !!! He was a good preacher !! However, you cannot be calling yourself a man of God and condemning others at the same time due to their sexuality !!!! You need to ask God to give you knowledge, wisdom and understanding !! Preach against rape and murder, but leave the sodomites alone. Make a report to the cybercrime unit of the JCF about the video !!!"

"Pastr ur a lier, god is gonna tear u down for that lie,u were laughing when u were doing it u were not crying ,but u never kno they were tapeing you ,😂😂😂





Sex toy bus preacher goes viral!!!

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jamaican-pastor-caught-with-dildo-in-his-mouth.jpgA self-proclaimed holy man who preaches on the buses throughout the Corporate Area, has been exposed!

The so-called preacher was caught on a now viral video enjoying a moment with a sex toy -- specifically a dildo.

The irony is that this pastor always lick out against homosexuals, gays and lesbians. But....what is he doing handling a sex toy with such expertise?

Pastor, you have been exposed in the wickedest way. Seek God and repent before it is too late. How can you be condemning the same action that you are guilty of....seemingly.





Jimmy Cliff nominated for Songwriters Hall of Fame

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jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgLegendary entertainer Jimmy Cliff has scored a nomination for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years.

Jimmy Cliff who has a career spans which more than four decades, is nominated along with country superstar Vince Gill, rapper Missy Elliott, and singer Mariah Carey among others.

Jimmy Cliff has written songs such as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers To Cross, Sitting In Limbo, Wonderful World, Beautiful People, and You Can Get It If You Really Want among countless others.

Six songwriters, or songwriting groups, will be officially inducted at the Hall's 50th annual Induction & Awards Gala in New York on June 13, 2019.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honours the contributions of our great popular music songwriters while developing new writing talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships, and digital initiatives.

In related news, Jimmy Cliff is currently in rehab recuperating after breaking his hip during falling last in October. The International singer has since postponed all performances.





Curvy Diva now a Konka ambassador

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yanique-curvy-diva.jpgEnergy drink Konka has signed a endorsement deal with media personality and recording artiste Yanique "Curvy Diva" Barrett. The agreement, which was inked on Wednesday, will see her taking on her first role as a brand ambassador, which will involve some exciting initiatives.

The 16-month deal will see Barrett immediately assuming her duties as brand ambassador through a recruitment drive to develop an all-female promotional team to be known as the Konka Army.

"I'm excited to 'konka' the road with the team. We have major plans for parties during the Christmas season and we are going to be a part of Carnival next year, but right now the Konka Army is gearing up to take on the streets. I can't wait to start auditioning the girls. They will have to bring energy, energy and more energy. Plus, we have some on-fire social media promotions," noted Barrett.

"The Konka Energy Drink brand is exciting and fresh, and that really drew me in. I see myself as conquering challenges and barriers, so this really resonates with me. The newness of the product really has me very excited, also; I can really put my stamp on it. The bonus for me, too, is Konka really does taste good," said an animated Barrett.

Andrew Ellis, brand manager for Konka Energy Drink, explained that the deal with Curvy Diva was not only exciting, but fit perfectly with the brand's objectives.

"The similarities between our brand and the Curvy Diva are just perfectly aligned. Visually, we want this brand to be the sexiest drink on the market and the Curvy Diva is the quintessential choice for us. We have already seen her growth in the industry as a new artiste in the industry. As a new energy drink on the Jamaican landscape, we also look to carve a successful path for our brand. We are ready to 'konka'," Ellis stated.





Guyana, CMC - The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) re-opened this morning a few hours after a Fly Jamaica airliner made an emergency landing 45 minutes into its flight to Toronto, Canada. Six passengers were injured.

"We can confirm that Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 bound for Toronto has returned to Georgetown with a technical problem and has suffered an accident on landing. At this time, we believe that all 118 passengers and 8 crew members are safe. We are providing local assistance and will release further information as soon as it is available," the carrier said in a statement.

Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson confirmed that six people were injured during the incident and were being treated at the Diamond Regional Hospital.

"They are all stable and are being looked at," Patterson said, adding that all the passengers and crew on board had been accounted for with "no reports of any broken bones or such".

The Boeing 757 aircraft with 118 adults and two infants on board was forced to return to the CJIA minutes after its departure for Canada because of technical difficulties and over ran the airstrip on the emergency landing.

"Where the aircraft veered off is about the exact same place the Caribbean Airlines (plane did)... so fortunately for us on this occasion, the extension (of the runway) was there so they were able to utilise the extension," Patterson said, adding that investigations into the matter had already started.

The plane with its eight crew members of six Guyanese and two Jamaicans, also had on board one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and a Trinidadian.

Patterson said that the flight departed Guyana at 2:10 a.m. (local time) and at 2:21 a.m., the pilot indicated "there was some hydraulic problem and he requested permission to return and he did".

On landing, the emergency services were activated and since then an investigator from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has taken responsibility for the crash site. Patterson said that the United States' National Transportation Safety Board has been informed.

Fly Jamaica Airways was certified by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in September 2012, and was cleared to operate in the United States by US authorities in December. On November 16, last year the airline formed by a Guyanese businessman and three Jamaican shareholders, was given permission by the Guyana government to begin direct flights between Guyana and Cuba.





crime-scene-gun.jpgRamiesh Simpson, a prominent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist, was shot and killed last night at his home in Logwood, St Thomas. His wife, who was also shot and injured, was rushed to the hospital.

It is reported that about 9 p.m. the Simpsons had just pulled up at their home when Rameish stepped out the vehicle to open the gate. He was allegedly attacked and shot multiple times, killing him on the spot.

His wife was later shot and injured after she ran from the vehicle.

Reports are that the men set the vehicle on fire before fleeing the scene.

Simpson made local news in 2015 after he and his cousin were arrested and charged with the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition following reports from the police that they removed the items from a van which Rameish, in seeking to elude the police, drove into the sea.

The items were allegedly fished from the sea following what the police described as a high-speed chase, which ended with Rameish driving his vehicle into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen, St Thomas.

Both men were offered bail and had restrictions imposed on their movements.

In granting bail, Resident Magistrate Calise Wiltshire had said claims from the prosecution that Rameish was part of a criminal gang in St Thomas was not enough reason to deny bail.





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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Westmoreland police are carrying out a high level probe into the quadruple murder this morning (Nov 8). The police say they believe that the killings could have been carried out by members of the Kings Valley gang who have been terrorizing sections of the parish.

Those killed are brothers: 31 year old mechanic Howard Humes, 33 year old farmer Paulton Humes, and 23-year-old Shavane Humes, as well as the spouse of one of the brothers, 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson.

Reports that about 1:15 this morning, residents living in the Masemure community, alerted the police after hearing gunshots coming from the direction of where the Humes family reside.

Upon the arrival of the police, the four were seen suffering from gunshot wounds.

A 5 year old child was the only occupant who was spared by the gunmen.

Community members, family and close friends of the victims, expressed their shock at the gruesome quadruple murder, which they say is the first of its kind in the community.

Pheona Malcolm - Campbell, mother of the slain woman, was broken up about the incident. She says her daughter was innocent.

And, Kenneth Wilson, who is the father of the slain woman, in an interview with Jamaican radio station, Irie FM News, said that the Humes family had been receiving threats.

Head of the Westmoreland police, Superintendent Gary McKenzie says the police are hoping for a quick breakthrough into the murders.





Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep sadness at the passing of celebrated architect and hotelier, Earl Levy.

"On behalf of all of us in tourism, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Earl Levy, during this very difficult time," said Minister Bartlett.

Levy is the mastermind behind the luxurious Trident brand in Portland. He opened the Trident Vacation Villas in the mid-1950s; then later designed the lavish Trident Castle, Hotel & Villas, in the 1980s. Over the years, Trident has received a number of service awards and has played host to a large number of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington.

He also assisted with the refurbishing of the iconic Devon House attraction in Kingston, as well as designing a number of well-appointed residential properties across the island.

"The contribution that Mr Levy, or the Earl of Portland as he is affectionately called, has made to the tourism industry is significant. He was an outstanding entrepreneur, family man and designer. He will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him," said the Minister.

Bartlett also noted the influence Levy had in strengthening brand Jamaica through his extraordinary designs.

"Earl Levy is truly irreplaceable but we take comfort in knowing that the industry will benefit from his contributions for many years to come," said Minister Bartlett.





Two confirmed cases of dengue in St Catherine

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dengue.jpgThe St Catherine Health Department says there are two confirmed cases of dengue fever in the parish and a few suspected cases that are presently been assessed by the authorities.

Delivering the Health Department's monthly report at the general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Thursday, Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, said these are isolated cases and there is no reason to fear that an outbreak is imminent at this time.

"We don't foresee an outbreak. Recent rains have caused an increase in mosquito infestation in a number of areas in the parish, especially in Portmore and its environs.

"The vector control unit of the department is currently carrying out a massive mosquito eradication drive in these areas, targeting the breeding sites, and we are seeing encouraging signs of success," Hutchinson told The Gleaner. He said that for the period under review, 35 drains were inspected of which 23 were found to be breeding sites, and fogging was undertaken in 61 communities.

According to Hutchinson, the major challenge facing the department presently is the malfunctioning ultra low volume (ULV) fogging machine which is mounted on the back of a pickup truck that can cover a wider expanse.

"In the meantime, we have employed a number of temporary workers to carry out adulticidal or fogging work in these areas and this has proven to be very effective, but there is still the need for ULV support to assist with the adulticidal work," the chief public health officer noted.

Hutchinson was quick to point out that there is no cause for alarm about any malaria outbreak, because the health department is proactive in its screening efforts.





The Ministry of Health is assuring the public that measures have been taken to restrict the spread of Malaria beyond the three Nicaraguans who were diagnosed with the virus on a fishing boat that was rescued in Jamaican waters.

In a release on Thursday, the health ministry said: "Vector control activities, including disinsection of the vessel, was conducted and are ongoing as per standard operating procedures."

The health ministry stressed that "of note, no breeding sites with the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria were found in any of the locations the members of the crew accessed".

According to the Jamaican health authority, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard notified it that a Nicaraguan vessel with 93 persons aboard was intercepted in Jamaican waters on Tuesday.

It said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department carried out the requisite procedures and it was during that process that two of the men aboard the vessel were diagnosed. They were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where they were isolated and treated. A third man from the vessel was diagnosed in a subsequent assessment.

Jamaica was returned to the Malaria free list in 2012 after an outbreak in 2006. The last local case of malaria was in 2009. Since then there have been imported cases of Malaria each year.

"Jamaica has been able to maintain its Malaria free status through surveillance, early detection and rapid isolation and treatment of all cases," the health ministry said.

"We encourage the public to play their part in keeping Jamaica Malaria free by reporting to public health officials any unofficial entry of foreigners," it added.





charged.jpgThe Clarendon police are reporting that they have captured one of the parish's most wanted criminals.

He is Shane Hannah, also called "Most High".

Hannah was held in Old Harbour, St Catherine on Monday and has since been charged with murder.

The police say he is charged in connection with the killing of taxi operator Nigel Winter, whose body was found in Swansea, Clarendon on September 21.

A former soldier, Garfield Brown, is already in custody for the same crime.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2018

Patricia Chin Honored at American Friends of Jamaica Humming Bird Gala

Recipient of Humanitarian Award at the Prestigious Annual Event

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala.jpgNew York, NY- On Friday, October 26, 2018, Co-founder of VP Records, Patricia Chin was honored with a prestigious International Humanitarian Award at American Friends of Jamaica's (AFJ) 2018 Hummingbird Gala. Held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the evening provided opportunity for the Diaspora community, supporters and friends with an interest in Jamaica to provide financial resources to vulnerable Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. VP Records also served as a proud sponsor of the prestigious annual event.

The evening began with a silent auction while guests mingled and convened before the program began. During the program, Master of Ceremonies, Ruschell Boone of NY1 introduced AFJ's annual vignette showcasing the year's work of transformative programs in Jamaica. Commentary from AFJ president Wendy Hart and Executive Director Caron Chung then led to a live auction where a total of $400K was raised. They then introduced the two Humanitarian awards for the evening, beginning with President of Real Estate Development and Management company, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc., Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin.

While receiving her award, Patricia Chin stated "I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight and supporting Friends of Jamaica and I am honored to receive the Hummingbird Humanitarian Award." When Patricia Chin, also known as Miss Pat, is not busy with helping run her label VP Records, she takes care of her many charities including her passion project with Alpha Boys School in Kingston Jamaica, where she helps to raise funds to keep the more than century old institution thriving and well.

The night concluded with live music from Dancehall Legend Johnny Osbourne, UK Singer and Songwriter Estelle, International Reggae MegaStar Tarrus Riley, TTO Band with LeRoy Graham Jr., Andy Bassford, Dean Fraser, Kyle Graham and more. International Reggae/Dancehall DJ, Max Glazer spun the latest tunes. Special guests in attendance included Reggae superstar Busy Signal, Chris Blackwell and more.

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-1.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-2.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-3.jpgPhotos by Ajamu Myrie

To left photo: Patricia Chin with Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin. Both recipients Humanitarian Award

Top right photo: Patricia Chin with Tarrus Riley

Bottom photo: Tarrus Riley and Estelle perform "Love Like Ours" from Estelle's "Lovers Rock" album

AFJ's annual Galas attract diverse individuals who have special bonds of friendship with the people of Jamaica. Former honorees include Joseph Matalon, Chairman ICD, Vincent HoSang, President Caribbean Food Delights, Cecil Sam Wright, President Quality AutoMall, Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia, Gary "Butch" Hendrickson, National Continental Baking Company, Lowell Hawthorne, GoldenKrust, Dennis Lalor, ICWI, Kenny Benjamin, Guardsman Group, Denis O'Brien, Digicel, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Harry Belafonte and others. To date, the AFJ has presented grants of over US$14M. The AFJ demonstrates the power of collaboration to engage with and to support residents of underserved Jamaican communities. 2018 Hummingbird Gala sponsors include A. J. Dwoskin & Associates, VP Records, jetBlue, ADA Music 25 and Vanessa Noel.

"The Gala was an extraordinary opportunity to experience stellar artists in an intimate setting while showing support for the mission of the AFJ" stated AFJ Executive Director, Caron Chung.

About the AFJ

Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization built on the principles of service and philanthropy and is established to give assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, and economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organizations and stakeholders to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans who need a hand up. The AFJ has partnered in providing shelter to the homeless, education to inner-city youth, healthcare to individuals and equipment to health facilities. The AFJ annual grant cycle begins the first Friday in November each year and grants are disbursed at the end of the first quarter in April the following year. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.

For press inquiries, please contact: jennifer.valentin@vprecords.com





Female taxi driver shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA female taxi operator was shot dead in Race Course, Toll Gate Clarendon by unknown assailants yesterday.

She is identified as 45-year-old Claudia Thompson from Ebony Park in the parish. According to police reports, Thompson was at a tire repair shop around 1:20 pm when she was approached by unknown assailants who opened gunfire hitting her multiple times in the upper body.

Lawmen were summoned and her body subsequently removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.





A fourth dolphin stranded in St Thomas beach; dies

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National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it finds the report of another stranded dolphin along the White Sand Beach in Holland Bay, St Thomas, yesterday "very rare and unfortunate".

NEPA, in a release today, said a team from its Veterinary Services Division as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) responded to the report, which revealed that the animal had already died. Arrangements were subsequently made to dispose of its remains.

The agency noted that the incident is the second of its kind in three days, as a similar incident involving three dolphins occurred on Monday in the same vicinity. Upon arrival that day, the response team discovered that two of the animals had already died.

"Several unsuccessful attempts were made to re-float the animal that was still alive. Veterinary professionals on location finally determined that continued attempts to re-float the animal would be futile. The animal was subsequently euthanized," NEPA disclosed.

Monique Curtis, Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch of NEPA said: "A stranding of this nature along the island's coastline is very rare and unfortunate. We acknowledge the collaborative effort and speedy response from relevant agencies and stakeholders within the area particularly Mr Everal Davis, who reported the incident, and the Golden Grove Sugar Factory, which provided assistance."

She indicated that the next steps include further surveillance of the area for other strandings and investigations into the possible cause of the incidents.

NEPA shared that the species identified on the beach has been confirmed to be the pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), which is a small member of the oceanic dolphin family, who prefer deeper areas of warmer tropical and subtropical waters.





4 family members shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgFour members of a Westmoreland family were shot dead in their community this morning.

Dead are: 31-year-old mechanic, Howard Humes; 23-year-old Shavane Humes; 33-year-old farmer, Paulton Humes, otherwise called 'Dwight' and 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson all of Masemure Meadows, Westmoreland.

The four were found dead at their home about 1:00 am by police officers who responded to reports of gunfire heard in the community.

The lawmen said the four bodies had multiple gunshot wounds. They were removed to the morgue after the crime scene was processed.

The lawmen are appealing to residents with information that can assist in the investigation to contact the Little London police at 876-955-7449, Crime Stop at 311, 811, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Winston Chung Fah "Chungie/Coach, an outstanding footballer who has touched the lives of many football fans, especially those who followed Santos, Campion, Vere Tech, and Clarendon College, has died.

Reports are that he lost his battle with cancer today.

A GoFundMe account that was set up recently, noted that Chung Fah has been a mentor and inspiration to so many young men and women. "Unfortunately, over the last few years, Chungie has been in and out of the hospital. He is currently hospitalized in Miami. When he is discharged he will need professional home care, occupational and physical therapy along with various assistive devices. Let us show our love and appreciation by making a contribution to defray some of his expenses."

The target was US$125,000.





spicy-taste-vegan-cuisine.jpgSpicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine will host the first international Vegan Fest in The Gambia. It will be held at the Kairaba Hotel from Friday to Saturday on November 23-25th from 9am to 9pm for D200 in advance, D250 at the door, and D550 for the three days. Some of the world's most renowned holistic healers and lecturers will be arriving to speak and do workshops to motivate, educate and heal people.

It will be a fun filled weekend with great tasting healthy food, kundalini yogo, music, vendors, and life changing healing information for your whole body and mind. The keynote speakers for Vegan Fest 2018 are Dr. Llaila Afrika from USA Dr. Umar Johnson from U.S.A., Dr. Melanie Stevenson from USA, Khensu I-Em-Hotep from Jamaica and UK, and Salieu Puye from The Gambia.

The Vegan Fest is being organized by Mama Naasira Ageela and Dr. Gregory Joe Bledsoe, co-authors of the #1 Best Selling Nutritional guide on Amazon, "Spicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine Series." They are also repatriates living in The Gambia for over two years. Their aim is to assist communities with weight loss and to help avoid health challenges by teaching people a natural and more sustainable way to nurture the body.

They believe that the food you eat can be the safest or the most powerful of forms of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Currently the lifespan of Gambians have decreased astronomically from generation to generation. Gambians are dying from different diseases that can be prevented with proper eating habits and proper information. Yet, The Gambia has some of the most organic and healing super foods in the world, these include moringa, baobab, neem, bissap, peanuts, sour sop and more.

Dr. Llaila Afrika is one of the world's foremost authorities on health and nutrition. He has a doctorate in Naturopathy from Anglo Saxon Institute in England. He is a Certified Addictionalogist with a degree from The American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders. He is a certified nurse from Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He is also an Acupuncturist, Metaphysician, and was an U.S. Army Social Worker nurse and Psychotherapist.

He is an expert Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Historian, Writer, Lecturer, Teacher and Medical Astrologist. Dr. Afrika has over 45 years' experience and training in ethno medicine, which is the use of disease remedies and diagnosis based upon the biochemistry of a race. Because of these tremendous credentials, he is one of the most sought after lecturers in the country.

Dr. Umar Johnson is an activist and motivational speaker. He is the "Prince of Pan-Africanism," and his ideology and movement is to bring all Africans in unity on the continent and in the diaspora. He has written several books entitled, "Psycho_Academic Holocaust: The Special Education and ADHD Wars Against Black Boys," which is the first book written by African-American targeting black people with the strategies on how to fight back against special education and ADHD. Other books are The Heroic Slave / Walker's Appeal (2 in 1 Title) and Dismantling the Matrix: Serenity for the Surveilled Vol:1. He is also working on building a school in The Gambia.

Dr. Melanie Stevenson has over 12 years' experience as a Holistic Practitioner in Health Sciences, Spirituality, and Arts. She has a wide variety of licenses as an acupuncturist, esthetician, massage therapist, spiritual counselor, marriage counselor, grieving therapist, and medical astrologist. She brings a passionate uplifting energy in her lectures and practice. She is a unique and gifted Spiritual Counselor for individuals, couples, and families. She can help you learn the state of your vitality, emotions, passions, behavior, thought process, and overall persona.

Dr Khensu I-Em-Hotep aka Dr Hotep is a Holistic Nutritional Counselor who specializes in African Holistic Health, he has been involved in the health industry since 2009 at which point he embraced a live (raw) food diet, and has never looked back, going on to pursue certification by the leading authority on Holistic Health in the western hemisphere, Dr Llaila Afrika.

Dr Hotep has since been teaching and carrying out one to one Holistic Health assessments between Jamaica and the UK, participating in numerous radio and TV Programs, he has established the Melanin Clinic based in Mandeville, Jamaica and carries out day clinics and seminars in Montego Bay and Kingston. Dr Hotep lives and works by the ancient principle of "food is medicine and medicine is food" the Melanin Clinics motto is "you were made with nutrients and ONLY nutrients will maintain and repair you."

Salieu Puye is a Gambian traditional herbalist who is member of the Traditional Healers Assembly (TRAHASS) in The Gambia. He is originally from Kololi and was adopted by culturally people who taught him about natural living and cultural ways from an early age in the provinces. He studied science and arts at Gambia College. As a former teacher, he began studying plants and the healing effects of local plants.

Mr. Puye works specifically with natural herbs and by identifying the properties of the herbs, he helps to cure different ailments. He has cured excema. edema (swollen foot), hypertension, hemorrhoids, stomach worms etc. He believes that average Gambians do not eat a balanced diet however with proper hygiene and learning how to develop better cooking methods, more Gambian can live a healthy lifestyle. He has also identified many teas in The Gambia with nutritional and healing values to help Gambians heal themselves.

We invite The Gambia to come out in numbers to learn and participate in The Gambia's First Vegan Fest. For more information or to buy tickets contact 220-347-7437 or spicytastyvegan@gmail.com. For interviews contact international publicists Olimatta Taal 220-250-9257 or senghigenproductions@gmail.com





Ishawna no stop glow from she lef Foota

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ishawna-on-instagram-from-mi-lef-bwoy-mi-nuh-stop-glow.jpgControversial Dancehall artiste, Ishawna took to Instagram over the weekend to post a selfie throwing a tad bit of shade at her ex, who all her fans believe must be the legendary Foota Hype, aka Spoonhead.

The former Downsound records singer posted the pic with the caption "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂," leading many fans to speculate as to just who she was referring to.

"From she left foota she get whiter" one fan reacted while another commented, "Bwoy all mash up now n tun maama man pon di gram."

The speculation did not stop there as several more fans continued to point to the entertainer's baby daddy, who was recently engaged in a bitter social media feud with Jamaican cricketer Marlon Samuels.

"@mslegendary Nuh know wah u did a duh with spoon head😂😂😂 @footahypemusic," a fan trolled.

The entertainer's glow has been a topic of late as she recently gave fans tips on how to get glowing skin like hers saying "I don't know why my skin is glowing...maybe it's caused from minding my business."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂

O postare distribuită de ISHAWNA (@mslegendary) pe





marcia-griffiths-photos-5.jpgReggae veterans Freddie McGregor and Marcia Griffiths, young turks Chino McGregor and Ding Dong, as well as soca star Alison Hinds are among the featured acts at this year's Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival.

Festival organisers say they are continuing to place an emphasis on culture at this year's staging. The occasion is scheduled for Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida, on Sunday.

Bridget Edwards, cultural stage coordinator, said organising an extraordinary programme is essential to highlighting and preserving the culture, while educating and entertaining attendees.

"We're always finding innovative ways to present our heritage and incorporating different elements that are in line with our culture," Edwards told the Jamaica Observer . "Under this year's theme 'Let the Drums Speak,' our Caribbean culture will reverberate from the Corporate Area and throughout the entire Markham Park."

Sets include music, dance, comedy, spoken word, fashion, and drama. Comedian Christopher "Johnny" Daley is expected to host this segment.

Fashion designer Cholla Williamson of Covered by Grace is slated to feature stylish, handcrafted African designs. For lovers of Afro-Caribbean drumming and dancing, the Sasa African Dance Theater is billed to perform their uptempo beats and moves; and for the children, Drumming Fingers will offer instructional drumming and dancing, inviting audience participation. Author Ettosi Brooks is expected to present a dramatised reading of her book S tori, Stori, Stori: Adventures in Rhythm; while Transitionsauthor Meleisha Jocelyn will perform spoken word.

"Chris Daley is a part of the Jerk Festival family. He will do more than introduce the acts -- he will perform, get audience members to join in, and may even do a little drumming himself. You never know what exciting things will happen on the Western Union Cultural Stage, that's why we ask everyone to come out early and dance, sing, and drum with us," Edwards added.





Mexico could legalise ganja

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ganja-image-5.jpgPresident-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's future interior minister introduced a bill Tuesday to legalise marijuana in Mexico, a country wracked by violence fuelled by its powerful drug cartels. Senator and future interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero introduced the bill, to "propose a responsible regulation model adapted to Mexico's circumstances," according to the text published on the Senate's website.

Sanchez has been given "carte blanche" to explore ways to overhaul drug policy under Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who takes office on December 1 after winning Mexico's July elections in a landslide. Lopez Obrador's coalition holds a majority in both houses of Congress, giving the bill a good chance of passing.

That would mark a sea change after decades of prohibitionist policy in Mexico, whose shared border with the United States, proximity to leading narcotics producers such as Colombia, and domestic production of marijuana, heroin and other drugs have made it one of the top drug trafficking countries in the world.

If the bill passed, Mexico would become just the third country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use, after Canada and Uruguay. The bill proposes "strict legal regulation" that would regulate and monitor marijuana production, sales and consumption.

It would allow users to grow up to 20 plants at a time and produce 480 grams (17 ounces) of the drug per year for personal consumption. The bill comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision last week that created a legal gray area around marijuana. The court ruled in favor of a private citizen who sued for the right to be able to consume marijuana recreationally. It was its fifth such decision, which under Mexican law sets a legal precedent.

However, as things now stand, each individual seeking permission to use the drug will have to file a separate court case. Authorities say they have received 615 requests so far. Desperate to crack down on its brutally violent cartels, Mexico deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

Since then, the violence has worsened. The country registered a record 28,711 murders last year, and the record is on track to be broken again this year.





Colorado ganja sales exceed US$1BILLION in revenues

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ganja-image-5.jpgDENVER (AP) -- A Colorado report shows marijuana sales in the state have exceeded US$1 billion as of August of this year, with tax revenue from those sales reaching US$200 million. The Denver Post reports the state Department of Revenue report indicates medical and recreational marijuana sales are on track to break last year's record of more than US$1.5 billion.

This year's combined sales reached the billion-dollar mark at the earliest point in the four years recreational marijuana has been legal in the state.

Total sales through August 2017 reached more than US$996 million.

According to the Marijuana Enforcement Division's 2018 Mid-Year Update, the industry's hot spots are in Denver, Boulder, El Paso and Pueblo counties, growing 80 per cent of all plants in the state as of June.





Democrats win House in blow to Trump

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clinton-vs-trump.jpgDemocrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump. A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his programme through Congress.

But Mr Trump's Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate.

Tuesday's vote was seen as a referendum on a polarising president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020. The election confirms a historical trend for the party that is not in the White House to make gains in the mid-terms.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - who is set to become speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011 - told cheering supporters in Washington: "Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America."

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump's administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest. They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

But analysts say dealing with a hostile House may suit the president, who is known both for his partisan style and ability to switch positions. They say he could either choose to accuse the Democrats of obstruction or try to reach deals to get legislation through.

Female candidates performed particularly well. Two 29-year-old Democrats - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer - are due to be the youngest women ever to win House seats.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. All are Democrats.





French visa application centre opens in New Kingston

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visa.jpgJaicans wishing to visit France for extended periods (more than 90 days), whether to work or attend school, no longer have to travel to Panama to obtain a visa, now that a French visa application centre has been established at the DHL building in New Kingston. The centre, which was established in August but officially opened yesterday, will be managed by VFS Global, an international company that manages visa applications on behalf of more than 100 countries.

Owing to financial constraints and other issues, the visa processing services at the French Embassy in Kingston were terminated in 2015. Persons who wanted visas for short stays in France have had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Spanish Embassy. And even though the centre is now in operation, persons can still apply for visas for short visits to France at the Spanish Embassy in Kingston.

"If an applicant plays good faith, presents good documentation and can justify all the requirements, then he will get the visa," said newly installed French ambassador to Jamaica, Denys Wibaux, at the official launch yesterday at DHL. "If people come fraudulently, they will not get through. We are an open country to tourists from all over the world, and in particular, Jamaicans and business people".

He continued: "Previously, Jamaicans applying for visas to go to France could go through our consular services in the French Embassy in Kingston. A few years ago, we had, for reasons of economy and adjustment of our public finance, to close the visa section in our embassy."

Wibaux said the new facilities will process up to 12 applications daily, but indicated that special arrangements could be made in cases of emergency.

Successful applicants should receive their visas in 12-15 days.

Application Process for French Visa

Visit the France visas official website at https://france-visas.gouv.fr/enUS/web/france-visas

  1. Start visa process by creating an account and filling out an application form online.

  2. Create an account on the VFS Global website to schedule and pay service fees http://www.vfsglobal.com/France/Jamaica/English/index.html.

  3. Return to account on www.france-visa.gouv.fr to confirm you have an appointment.

  4. Go in person to the new VFS Visa Application Center for France with your passport, appointment confirmation letter, proof of payment completed and a signed visa form, and all supporting documents. VFS then sends applications to the Consulate General of France in Washington, DC, for processing.

  5. Track status of application.




police-officers.jpgMembers of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force (JCF) who choose to dance with revellers at events are doing so at their own risk, as the force has reiterated its stance on how police personnel should conduct themselves.

This comes as another policeman is again in the spotlight after a video surfaced on the weekend, showing the lawman 'daggering' two females at once. The officer, attired in full khaki and appears to be at the rank of an inspector or above, did not shy away from dancing up a storm, as he was being influenced by the loud cheers and the commanding selector who fuelled the apparent showdown.

In the 34-second amateur video, the policeman is seen talking to a male friend at the event when he is surprised by a female dancer. The policeman readily engages with the first female to the amusement of the selector, who cheered him on while pumping the music.

To the surprise of the officer, a second female dancer joined them. She jumped on the back of the first dancer, while the policeman balances both females. According to the report in Jamiacan tabloid, the Star, it was not clear when or where the event took place, however, social media users assumed it to be somewhere in the Corporate Area at one of the weekly events.

Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, while not speaking specifically to the video in question, said that officers who act contrary to the rules and regulations of the JCF may face consequences for their actions.

"Members are always expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Anything that contradicts the force's rules and regulations can be seen as a breach of order and discipline," she said.

When asked if such a move (dancing in uniform with revellers) had severe repercussions, Garrick said: "Such a matter is definitely fit for administrative review and action. The administration would investigate to determine the breach and necessary punishment for the breach."





gofundme-logo.pngSophraya Price's life has become a waking nightmare. Loop news reports that two years ago, Price was your typical active university student playing sports like netball, posting selfies online and getting up to regular college girl shenanigans like shopping with her girlfriends. Now she is in a fight to save her life, having been confined to a wheelchair. Her bones are fragile and brittle, she is prone to seizures, and she is in constant agony as her body has turned traitor, betraying her at every corner.

And she needs your help. The family and friends of Sophraya Price are appealing to the public to contribute to the young lady's Gofundme page.

"My life is a nightmare. I'm afraid to go out now because I'm prone to getting a fractured bone easily, and we Jamaicans have the tendency when greeting someone, to hit them," she told Loop News reporter, Claude Mills.

"I had been getting treatment in Cuba. It's been a year now since I last went to Cuba. I was supposed to go back in January, but because of insufficient funds and being back and forth in the hospital, we could not go back for my treatment, which is supposed to be once every three months, and my conditions (ailments) have been progressing really fast and I've developed other illnesses," she said.

The treatment is a five-day course which costs US$5,000.

"However, with all these other conditions, we are not sure what other treatments and procedures will be needed when we go back to Cuba," Price said.

On September 20, 2016, the young and vibrant Northern Caribbean University student went for a netball drill. She was fresh out of community college with an associate degree in social work, and had started university three weeks before. Her eyes were set on her goal to do clinical work. But while going through her routine, her legs suddenly went rubbery and weak, and she collapsed. She was taken to hospital, where within a week she became paralysed and suffered multiple seizures. At first it was thought that she had a spinal injury. But the truth was much worse. She has a veritable laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder. She has been diagnosed with six different types of epileptic and non-epileptic seizures - osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, Raynaud's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease and query paraneoplastic syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and with regular trips to the emergency room, Price needs continuous treatment and medical assessment.

"Battling with these conditions, it's really not easy. I mostly stay in bed because of severe pain. I cannot be in crowded places, I'm afraid that someone might bounce on me and cause more pain. There is so much going on with my body, it's really hard to explain. Each time I go to the doctor, there is a new diagnosis," Price said.

She would give anything to walk again.

"My visits with each of my specialist is more frequent, so you know that it's more money too. I'm told they really can't help me here because they don't have certain resources. I know I can get the help in Cuba, but there is just not enough funds, so it gets me on my downside. I take so many medications and do treatments, and that's very costly. So when we do raise something, it goes straight to medications or visits to the doctor for other treatments," she said.

Through it all, she is trying to remain optimistic.

"Overall, with all these conditions, I really do try to keep myself occupied, I might not be able to go out as much now, but I've now opened an online pet store..., plus I'm on some serious meds that make me sleep a lot that practically takes up most of my days," Price added.

With hope for better days ahead, she is seeking the necessary support and assistance to get back on her feet.

Do help Sophie to walk again, if you can.





Memorial service for Elva Saturday at JC

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elva-ruddock.jpgThe memorial service celebrating the life of Jamaican comedian Elva Ruddock is slated for this Saturday at the Carl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.

The service begins at 2 p.m.

The service will be followed by a celebratory party.

There will be a shuttle bus service from Portmore and Half Way Tree for members of the public who may need transportation.

Elva died at Kingston Public Hospital on October 7, after battling Lupus.





dengue.jpgThe Health Ministry has confirmed that three men aboard a Nicaraguan vessel which drifted into Jamaican waters last week have malaria.

The vessel is near Port Royal.

Dr. Jacqueline Bissasor-McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that 93 people were found aboard the vessel.

As is customary, she said, a medical team visited those on board the vessel and carried out tests, which confirmed three people had malaria.

Dr. Bissasor-McKenzie said the persons were taken to Kingston Public Hosital where they were isolated and treated. Two of the men have completed the treatment while one is still undergoing medical care.

A post-test evaluation will be carried out on the individuals.





Trump backtracks on threat to shoot immigrants

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donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump pulled back Friday on his previous threat to have soldiers shoot migrants who throw stones at the Mexican-US border.

"I didn't say shoot," he said. "They won't have to fire. What I don't want, I don't want these people throwing rocks."

Instead, Trump told journalists at the White House, stone-throwing migrants or people asking for refugee status on the southern border are "going to be arrested for a long time."

During a Thursday speech on his bid to crack down on illegal immigration, Trump was asked how thousands of troops he has ordered to the border would react if stones were thrown at them. He responded that stone throwing would be seen as a lethal threat.

"We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," he said.

"I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle."





So Spice did not bleach her skin after all

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spice-2016.jpg"To put a end to the debate "I DID NOT BLEACH MY SKIN" and I quote "Proud a mi color, love mi pretty black skin, respect due to mi strong melanin" words from my "Black Hypocrisy" song that I wrote from my heart."

Spice's big reveal happened and it seems it was really a sort of publicity stunt....which she prefers to call awareness about colourism

Here's what she wrote on Instagram......using a black Spice picture:

"On October 22nd I posted a picture of myself where i looked like I altered my appearance and metamorphosis to match the "Eurocentric beauty standards". I fearlessly addressed an issue that has been swept under the rug and boldly took the stance in bringing a taboo topic to the fore front. I chose to do this in the manner I did because I believe Colorism is plagiarizing our black community.

While It appeared as if I had "bleached" my skin, causing a world wide debate, and even though the picture was obviously birthed around my single titled"Black hypocrisy" and my mixtape Captured.I want to openly say it was not a "publicity stunt". I wanted to create awareness to "Colorism" and it was more so done intentionally to create shock value so that I could have the worlds undivided attention to deliver the message in my music.

There are dark skin women across the world complaining every day that they are being downplayed and degraded, but the raw truth is it is us "black women" and "black men" that are fighting against each other and tearing down our own race.

It's evident in the social media comments every day, I myself have lived through it all being downgraded by my dark complexion.

Would the message in my song have been received as well as it did world wide if I didn't go to the extreme with the picture? The truth is no it would have probably been just another Spice hit song; so yes I had to go the extra mile to ensure my message be heard.

Most people got a misconception that I was boosting "Skin bleaching" but ironically it was the opposite. I used myself as an example of what people from the black community is causing other women to do because of how society makes them feel.

Yes "Black is beautiful" we say it every day but are we showing love to our black women?





Usain Bolt's Australian football dream has ended

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bolt-usain-football.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's attempt to become a professional footballer with Australia's Central Coast Mariners collapsed Friday as his trial period was terminated after contract talks failed.

The eight-time Olympic champion had been trying out with the A-League side since arriving in August, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.

The 32-year-old's quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

But his abilities have been questioned and the club reportedly offered him only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) his management were said to be seeking, with outside sponsors needed to make the deal viable.

"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt's representative Ricky Simms can today advise that the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately," the club announced.

"As previously stated, the club and Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.

"Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."





Tesha Miller charged with murder

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tesha-miller.jpgThe reputed leader of the Spanish Town-based Clansman gang Tesha Miller has been slapped with charges of accessory before and after the fact to murder. The murder allegedly happened in 2008 in St Catherine.

Miller is to appear in the Home Circuit Court on November 9 to answer the charges.

His lawyers Bert Samuels and Able Don Foote say they will be applying for bail.Miller and his girlfriend were picked up in a shopping area in St Andrew on Tuesday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch.

On Wednesday, Foote brought an application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for Miller's immediate release from custody. Parish Judge Vaughn Smith heard the application and ordered that Miller should be charged or released by 9 a.m on Friday, November 2.

Miller was deported from the Bahamas in April 2017. On his return to Jamaica, he was charged with making a false declaration to immigration officers at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Miller pleaded guilty and was fined.





compressed-ganja.jpgA St Mary man who was held by the Manchester police with 25 pounds of ganja, was slapped with fines amounting to $400,000 when he appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court on Monday.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m. on October 23, the Manchester police intercepted a white Toyota Axio motorcar with three men on board travelling along the Spur Tree Hill main road in the parish.

During a search of the vehicle, the police found two bags containing loose and compressed ganja, weighing 25 pounds. The Narcotics Police, who took over the investigation, subsequently interviewed and jointly charged all three men for possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and trafficking in ganja.

The three accused, 61-year-old Adrian McDonald and 24-year-old Fabian Waugh, both chefs of Cock Street, Port Maria; and Sadray Burray, 24, a construction worker of Friendship, Islington, appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court last Friday, but the matter was postponed until Monday.

When the case was called up on Monday, McDonald took the rap and pleaded guilty, and was hit with the unusually high fines. He was fined $80,000 for possession of ganja, with an alternative of eight months in prison; $160,000 for dealing in ganja, or eight months in prison; and $160,000 for trafficking ganja, or eight months in prison.

If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently.

The charges were dismissed against the other two accused.





3 arrested as guns, explosives seized in Tivoli

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgFour high powered weapons and several sticks of explosives were seized by members of the security forces operating in the State of Public Emergency in Western Kingston on Thursday.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the find.

Reports are that about 3:05 p.m., a joint police/military team went to an area known as 'Bumps in Tivoli Gardens and during a search two AR 15 rifles, one AK 47 and one Winchester rifle were found.

In addition to that, 54 5.56 rounds of ammunition, four.38 rounds of ammunition, 11 sticks of explosives, several gun parts and six empty magazines were also found.

Three persons were arrested in connection with the seizures. However, their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.





Trinidad rattled by 9 earthquakes in nine days

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earthquake.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - Trinidad and Tobago started November in the same manner as it ended the previous month with an earthquake rattling the twin-island republic. The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 rattled parts of the country on Thursday at 8: 40 a.m local time.

It is the ninth tremor felt in the country in as many days and the SRC said that it was located Latitude: 9.85N, Longitude: 60.48W, and at a depth of 30 kilometres.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage but the quake was felt 117 kilometres south east of San Fernando, 124 kilometres south east of the eastern town of Arima and 145 kilometres south east of the capital, Port of Spain.

Seismologist and Acting SRC Director Dr Joan Latchman has been warning Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean to be prepared for a major earthquake and that the various tremors in recent days are not anything new.

On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1. In August, many residents ran into the streets after a quake with a magnitude of 6.8 rocked the country followed by several aftershocks causing damage and but no loss of lives.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA 14-year-old child was burnt to death and other members of his family chopped and wounded, reportedly by a 41-year-old man, in Mocho, Clarendon on Wednesday. The man who reportedly carried out the attack was later found hanging in a section of the community.

The deceased child has been identified as Leroy Hamilton, while the man who is suspected to have committed suicide after carrying out the deadly attack is Craig Lawrence.

Reports are that at about 2:45 a.m., Lawrence went to the house where the child and other relatives were, and was denied entry to the dwelling.

Further reports are that he responded by forcing his way into the house and attacked and chopped occupants therein, including a 53-year-old woman and her daughter. The man then set the house on fire and left it to burn.

The 53-year-old woman and the other female managed to escape the flames, but the child was not so lucky. His charred remains were later found. A search was carried out for the man and his body was found hanging in a section of the community.

It is so far unclear what relationship existed between the attacker and the victims.





tesha-miller.jpgPolice detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch will have to charge reputed leader of the Klansman Gang Tesha Miller by Friday or release him.

One of Miller's attorneys, Able-Don Foote filed a habeas corpus application for his release in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, yesterday. Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. An order for his release was subsequently ordered by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith on Wednesday.

Miller is to be charged or released by 9:00 am on Friday.

Miller and his girlfriend were arrested on Monday at a shopping centre in Barbican, St Andrew.





Church members pressured as young pastor arrested

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The members of the church at which a young pastor was picked up for questioning about the sexual abuse of a minor are now coming under a lot of pressure from their community.

Members say they are now under scrutiny from community members since the young pastor's arrest, and according to one stalwart in the church, she is afraid to leave her home because of the backlash that she is receiving.

"Everything happened so fast and the church just stopped immediately," said the member. "Dem a tell him seh him must stop talk to that little girl, enuh, and him never did a listen."

Daily tabloid, The Star, is reporting that the pastor took the child out on numerous occasions and even though he was pressed by members of the church to desist from the action, he still continued.

"There were times when he would often be in conflict with the church. One time he even took the child out for her birthday to Carib, and the church was really upset about it," the member said.





arrested.jpgA church pastor who was leading his congregation in prayer was arrested on Sunday following complaints by a 13-year-old child that he had sexually molested her.

The service was interrupted on Sunday as the congregation was in the middle of a service when the mayhem started.

"We were praying and I saw two officers come to the church door. He (the pastor) was praying at the altar, so the police told one of the ushers to go and call him," the member said.

Head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Charmaine Shand, confirmed that the pastor was taken into custody for the offence of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

Up to press time, he had not been charged.

Reports from CISOCA are that the suspect was contacted by the minor, who told him that she was locked out of school sometime last week.

Shand said that from reports the pastor picked the child up in Half-Way Tree and took her to a house where he had sex with her.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending further investigations, is being questioned in relation to this incident and another involving another minor.





charged.jpgThe police in St Ann have charged two 15-year-old boys in relation to the recent murder of 14-year-old Ocho Rios High School student, Raven Wilson. Police sources say that Raven was with at least one of the boys on the day of her disappearance, and was later killed. The other 15-year-old boy allegedly played the role of helping to dispose of items belonging to the girl, and assisted in dumping the body.

The identities of the accused teenagers cannot be revealed, as they are juveniles. One of the boys was charged with murder, while the other was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The charges followed a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last Thursday that the two boys should be charged.

Additionally, the teenagers were taken to court last Thursday, and were remanded in the custody of the state. They are to return to court later this month.

In confirming the detention of the teens at Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rudolph Taylor, said the teens were picked up over a week ago.

Raven Wilson's body was found in her community of Top Road in the parish capital, St Ann's Bay, on Sunday, October 21. Her body, with a wound to the head, was discovered in a garbage bag in bushes at about 6:35 a.m. The student had been missing since Friday, October 19. It is understood that she left home for school at about 6:30 a.m., but did not attend the institution that day.

The police reportedly recovered belongings of hers, including her schoolbag and a pair of shoes, which were classified as vital evidence in the probe into her death. The schoolbag was recovered at a premises in Top Road two days after Raven's body, which was clad in her school uniform, was found.

Investigators are also focused on the results of forensic tests on the recovered items, and also a post-mortem report on Raven's body.





For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2018

DAMIAN "JR. GONG" MARLEY'S

WELCOME TO JAMROCK REGGAE CRUISE

MARKS ITS 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY THIS DECEMBER

The 2018 Sold-Out Voyage Celebrates with a Special Marley Brothers Performance and Its Biggest and Baddest Lineup Thus Far

2019 WTJRC Cabins Available for Sale Now

jamrock-5-th-anniversary-december-1-to-6-2018.jpgHailed as one of the most authentic, intimate and international reggae experiences, Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise will celebrate its fifth year on the high seas from December 1-6, 2018. The sold-out 5-day voyage aboard Royal Caribbean departs Ft. Lauderdale, FL with stops in Ocho Rios and Falmouth, Jamaica.

This monumental year will be packed with unforgettable moments. To celebrate this occasion, five of Bob Marley's kin Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian will unite on one stage for a rare performance.

Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise (WTJRC) has become one of the most in-demand reggae gatherings in the world. Since its inception in 2014, every single cruise sells out almost a year in advance. Each year, fans spanning from over 40 countries all converge for their love of reggae music and Jamaican culture.

Founded by Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, the Grammy-winning musician has made it his mission for the cruise to embody the island's rich culture. The music, entertainment, food, fitness and wellness activities all give cruise-goers a slice of the Jamaica before they dock, from Ital Rastafarian cuisine to the celebrity football (soccer) tournaments to cult-classic films to the annual soundclash (in layman's terms, a Jamaica-originated DJ battle), this is not the average cruise. It is the only place where fans can stay up until dawn to catch their favorite acts performing throughout the ship and join them the same morning on the pool deck for sunrise meditation with Nyabinghi drumming and chanting. After fully immersing into these pure organic experiences, the cruisers appreciate their arrival to Jamaica that much more.

This year's artist lineup boasts a diverse range of Jamaican talent from today's emerging stars to the legends who paved the way. In addition to the Marley Brothers' anticipated performance, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley will carry on the Jamrock tradition to deliver an electrifying solo set. The power bill continues with Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie, Bounty Killer, Jah Cure, Chronixx, Tarrus Riley, Third World, Konshens, Elephant Man, Aidonia, Queen Ifrica, Agent Sasco, Kabaka Pyramid, Shenseea, Skatalites, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Horace Andy, Jo Mersa Marley, Jesse Royal, Dexta Daps, Spragga Benz, General Degree, Red Rat, Buccaneer, Jah9, King Jammy's, Johnny Osbourne, Admiral Bailey, Pinchers, Bunny General and Pad Anthony.

Following the artists' performances, cruisers can catch their favorite sound systems (Stone Love, Renaissance, Mighty Crown, Tony Matterhorn, Kingston 12 Hi-Fi, Bass Odyssey, Heavy Hammer and Black Scorpio) spinning tunes until the wee hours of the night.

Throughout the cruise, there will also be a variety of DJs and hosts (DJ Rory, Mutabaruka, Bambino, Big A, Nikki Z, Colin Hines, ZJ Liquid, DJ Roy, Spex, Robbo Ranx, Rassarella, GT Taylor, Ron Muschette, Seani B, Westafa, Steelie Bashment, Shacia Payne, Foota Hype, Shortkut, DJ Gringo, Yaardcore, Mad Out, Mixmaster J, Supa Hype and Hotta Rice) providing sounds and entertainment along with enlightening discussions from guest speakers Cindy Breakspeare and Neville Garrick.

2018 may be sold out, but fans can reserve a spot on 2019's ship, on sale now.


Watch highlights from 2017's cruise:





No apology for Queen Ifrica from Kartel

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queen-ifrica-photos-3.jpgVybz Kartel will clearly not be apologising to Queen Ifrica over statements he made years ago accusing her of skin bleaching. Over the weekend, he shot down Queen Ifrica's request for an apology in the most demeaning way. Of course, few were surprised.

Vybz Kartel and Queen Ifrica's fight go back to 2011 when she called him out for his skin bleaching and he in turn suggested that she also bleached her skin. Some Kartel fans have since continued to troll Ifrica over said alleged skin bleaching, forcing her to post a video denying the allegations.

She also called out Vybz Kartel while demanding that he apologize to her for leading his fans to attack her over a false claim of skin bleaching. This is Kartel's response:

"Dwbcl ... she needs an apology from me 'she seh' because she said that she's Half Black, and not bleaching dwl," he wrote. "This House Lizard bright nuh bloodcl**t... #IFreaker PS. If ANUH a run dis a You?."

Some of Vybz Kartel's Gazanation fans also chimed in, triggering a fresh round of social media trolling. "Queen Ifrica we know yo a bleacher from longtime bout yo half black dwl, honey go hold a seat somewhere and leave the boss name out your mouth," one fan wrote.

Some fans questioned why Queen Ifrica chooses to address Vybz Kartel in 2018 - seven years after the incident.





buju-banton-on-instagram-bujus-music-no-stagnant-stephenmarley.jpgAs Buju Banton's official release date from prison draws near, the artiste's social media presence is being felt more and more. His handlers recently posted a throwback video clip with Stephen Marley giving his opinion of Buju's music and another with a young Tony Rebel endorsing Buju's upward career.

The theme is, Buju's music is not stagnant.

Buju will be released from prison on December 8.

Buju Banton on Instagram: ""Buju's music no stagnant"- @stephenmarley #bujureturns #reggae #reggaemusic"





Health benefits of Holy Basil, the Queen of Herbs

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Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) isn't like the sweet basil in your mother's marinara sauce or the Thai herb you use to flavor a steaming bowl of pho. This green leafy plant, also known as Ocimum sanctum L. and tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions, from eye diseases to ringworms.


From the leaves to the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:

  • Use its fresh flowers for bronchitis.
  • Use the leaves and seeds, with black pepper, for malaria.
  • Use the whole plant for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Use the pill and ointment form for eczema.
  • Use an alcohol extract for stomach ulcers and eye diseases.
  • Use an essential oil made from the leaves for insect bites.


Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. The nutritional value is also high, as it contains:

  • vitamin A and C
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • iron
  • chlorophyll


Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Like many supplements, holy basil is not approved as a first-line treatment. It may also interact with medications you're already taking.

Reduce stress and anxiety

All parts of the holy basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. The concept of an adaptogen is a holistic approach. But scientific research shows that holy basil has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with many types of stress.

The source of your stress can be:

  • chemical
  • physical
  • infectious
  • emotional

In the case of physical stress, holy basil is known to increase endurance in animals. Animals who had holy basil leaf extracts and went through environment-induced stress scenarios showed:

  • enhanced metabolism
  • improved swimming time
  • less tissue damage
  • lower stress levels in loud environments

Human and animal studies saw reduced:

  • stress
  • sexual problems
  • sleep problems
  • forgetfulness
  • exhaustion


According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, holy basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs. These studies examined the leaves. One study found that people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of holy basil extract each day felt less anxious, stressed, and depressed. People also felt more social.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking holy basil as tea using the leaves. And since it's caffeine-free, it's okay and even recommended to drink daily. The act of drinking tea can be ritualistic and as calming as yoga. It fosters clear thoughts, relaxation, and a sense of well-being.

But if the basil's bitter and spicy flavor isn't your cup of tea, a supplement in pill form or as an alcohol extract is available. There is less risk of contamination when taking an herb in natural form.

SUMMARY

Holy basil has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that it can help people feel more social and less anxious.





JLP councillor happy with MannaPack rise in schools

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jlp.jpgAs the issue of whether the products from Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) has been replaced by the imported MannaPack Rice continues to unfold in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Ensom City Division, George Moodie, has defended the issuing of the product, saying it is a nutritious supplement and not a replacement for the nutribuns, milk and juice supplied by NPL.

Moodie, who had vowed to address the issue at last Thursday's general meeting of the municipal corporation with evidence of the value of the imported rice, and what he described as a mischievous attempt by Peoples' National Party councillor Roogae Kirlew of the Above Rocks Division to malign the Government, was earlier in the meeting prevented from doing so.

However, in an interview with The Gleaner, Moodie, who is also a school principal, said Kirlew's assertion at last month's general meeting that the Government had scrapped the national nutrition programme of providing bake products and sachets of milk and juice to students islandwide, under a school-feeding programme operated by Nutrition Products Limited, was false and misleading.

"I want to make it clear that Nutrition Products Limited is still providing products to our schools and the Manna Rice is a very nutritious supplement to the programme," said Moodie, while displaying a container with some of the MannaPack Rice he had personally prepared for his presentation.

"This product has tremendous nutritional value and should be encouraged for the benefit of our students. My colleague's attempt to discredit the product and malign the Government is purely political," observed Moodie.

Meanwhile, in a statement from Nutrition Products Limited, the company charged with the responsibility for the production and distribution of nutritious snacks to schools islandwide, it was made clear that the company currently operates a school-feeding programme that provides bake products, milk and juice to over 1,000 schools at a minimal contribution.

The statement further described the company as a statutory body functioning under the portfolio of the Ministry of Education, funded directly by the Government and assisted by local and international donor agencies.





Two charged for attempting to expost cocaine

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charged.jpgIn another incident, also on Friday, a team from the Narcotics Police Division arrested and charged two men at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James for attempting to export cocaine.

They are: 47-year-old Nigel Barham, businessman of Nain district, St Elizabeth and 52-year-old Dennis Daley, farmer of Myersville district, also in the parish.

Police say the drug weighed approximately 4.5 pounds, and has an estimated street value of about $2.2 million.

The men were subsequently charged with Possession of Cocaine, Dealing in Cocaine, Attempting to Export Cocaine and Conspiracy to Export Cocaine.

They are scheduled to appear before the St James Parish Court on Thursday.





Policeman caught with cocaine and $1-Million in cash

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police-hat.jpgFour men, including a policeman, have been arrested for allegedly breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The unidentified police corporal was reportedly caught on Friday by Narcotics police in Porus, Manchester with one kilogramme of cocaine and $1 million in cash.

The policeman was reportedly travelling in a Toyota motor car with another man about 4:20 p.m. when it was intercepted, searched and the drugs along with cash found.

Both men were subsequently taken into custody. Their identities, according to the police, are being withheld pending further investigations.





Body found in container

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crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe Old Harbour police in St Catherine are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found on Friday in an empty container at an industrial complex in the parish where packing is done for exporting.

The deceased, who remains unidentified, is believed to be about 52 years' old, is of dark complexion, medium built, and was clad in black pants and socks.

Reports are that about 1:30 p.m., the container, which was delivered to the facility on Wednesday, November 7, was about to be loaded with produce when the body was discovered inside of it.

The police were summoned and the scene processed.





pastor-eat-dildo-says-he-was-forced.jpgA video that went viral of a pastor in Jamaica making out with a toy has prompted him to come forward with his wife and explain his actions. However, nobody is buying Pastor's story that man juck him down and forced him to get intimate with the dildo.

This is what people are saying: "Ole hypocritical liard....His wife is blind! You can clearly see in the video that he was NOT forced, and he was fulljoying himself."

"What they juked him down with, if he didn't know if they had knifes or guns? I guess they juked him down with the dildo."

"He did that on his own free will."

"I know this preacher. He normally preached on buses throughout the corporate area !!! He was a good preacher !! However, you cannot be calling yourself a man of God and condemning others at the same time due to their sexuality !!!! You need to ask God to give you knowledge, wisdom and understanding !! Preach against rape and murder, but leave the sodomites alone. Make a report to the cybercrime unit of the JCF about the video !!!"

"Pastr ur a lier, god is gonna tear u down for that lie,u were laughing when u were doing it u were not crying ,but u never kno they were tapeing you ,😂😂😂





Sex toy bus preacher goes viral!!!

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jamaican-pastor-caught-with-dildo-in-his-mouth.jpgA self-proclaimed holy man who preaches on the buses throughout the Corporate Area, has been exposed!

The so-called preacher was caught on a now viral video enjoying a moment with a sex toy -- specifically a dildo.

The irony is that this pastor always lick out against homosexuals, gays and lesbians. But....what is he doing handling a sex toy with such expertise?

Pastor, you have been exposed in the wickedest way. Seek God and repent before it is too late. How can you be condemning the same action that you are guilty of....seemingly.





Jimmy Cliff nominated for Songwriters Hall of Fame

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jimmy-cliff-photo-2.jpgLegendary entertainer Jimmy Cliff has scored a nomination for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years.

Jimmy Cliff who has a career spans which more than four decades, is nominated along with country superstar Vince Gill, rapper Missy Elliott, and singer Mariah Carey among others.

Jimmy Cliff has written songs such as The Harder They Come, Many Rivers To Cross, Sitting In Limbo, Wonderful World, Beautiful People, and You Can Get It If You Really Want among countless others.

Six songwriters, or songwriting groups, will be officially inducted at the Hall's 50th annual Induction & Awards Gala in New York on June 13, 2019.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honours the contributions of our great popular music songwriters while developing new writing talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships, and digital initiatives.

In related news, Jimmy Cliff is currently in rehab recuperating after breaking his hip during falling last in October. The International singer has since postponed all performances.





Curvy Diva now a Konka ambassador

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yanique-curvy-diva.jpgEnergy drink Konka has signed a endorsement deal with media personality and recording artiste Yanique "Curvy Diva" Barrett. The agreement, which was inked on Wednesday, will see her taking on her first role as a brand ambassador, which will involve some exciting initiatives.

The 16-month deal will see Barrett immediately assuming her duties as brand ambassador through a recruitment drive to develop an all-female promotional team to be known as the Konka Army.

"I'm excited to 'konka' the road with the team. We have major plans for parties during the Christmas season and we are going to be a part of Carnival next year, but right now the Konka Army is gearing up to take on the streets. I can't wait to start auditioning the girls. They will have to bring energy, energy and more energy. Plus, we have some on-fire social media promotions," noted Barrett.

"The Konka Energy Drink brand is exciting and fresh, and that really drew me in. I see myself as conquering challenges and barriers, so this really resonates with me. The newness of the product really has me very excited, also; I can really put my stamp on it. The bonus for me, too, is Konka really does taste good," said an animated Barrett.

Andrew Ellis, brand manager for Konka Energy Drink, explained that the deal with Curvy Diva was not only exciting, but fit perfectly with the brand's objectives.

"The similarities between our brand and the Curvy Diva are just perfectly aligned. Visually, we want this brand to be the sexiest drink on the market and the Curvy Diva is the quintessential choice for us. We have already seen her growth in the industry as a new artiste in the industry. As a new energy drink on the Jamaican landscape, we also look to carve a successful path for our brand. We are ready to 'konka'," Ellis stated.





Guyana, CMC - The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) re-opened this morning a few hours after a Fly Jamaica airliner made an emergency landing 45 minutes into its flight to Toronto, Canada. Six passengers were injured.

"We can confirm that Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 bound for Toronto has returned to Georgetown with a technical problem and has suffered an accident on landing. At this time, we believe that all 118 passengers and 8 crew members are safe. We are providing local assistance and will release further information as soon as it is available," the carrier said in a statement.

Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson confirmed that six people were injured during the incident and were being treated at the Diamond Regional Hospital.

"They are all stable and are being looked at," Patterson said, adding that all the passengers and crew on board had been accounted for with "no reports of any broken bones or such".

The Boeing 757 aircraft with 118 adults and two infants on board was forced to return to the CJIA minutes after its departure for Canada because of technical difficulties and over ran the airstrip on the emergency landing.

"Where the aircraft veered off is about the exact same place the Caribbean Airlines (plane did)... so fortunately for us on this occasion, the extension (of the runway) was there so they were able to utilise the extension," Patterson said, adding that investigations into the matter had already started.

The plane with its eight crew members of six Guyanese and two Jamaicans, also had on board one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and a Trinidadian.

Patterson said that the flight departed Guyana at 2:10 a.m. (local time) and at 2:21 a.m., the pilot indicated "there was some hydraulic problem and he requested permission to return and he did".

On landing, the emergency services were activated and since then an investigator from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has taken responsibility for the crash site. Patterson said that the United States' National Transportation Safety Board has been informed.

Fly Jamaica Airways was certified by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in September 2012, and was cleared to operate in the United States by US authorities in December. On November 16, last year the airline formed by a Guyanese businessman and three Jamaican shareholders, was given permission by the Guyana government to begin direct flights between Guyana and Cuba.





crime-scene-gun.jpgRamiesh Simpson, a prominent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist, was shot and killed last night at his home in Logwood, St Thomas. His wife, who was also shot and injured, was rushed to the hospital.

It is reported that about 9 p.m. the Simpsons had just pulled up at their home when Rameish stepped out the vehicle to open the gate. He was allegedly attacked and shot multiple times, killing him on the spot.

His wife was later shot and injured after she ran from the vehicle.

Reports are that the men set the vehicle on fire before fleeing the scene.

Simpson made local news in 2015 after he and his cousin were arrested and charged with the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition following reports from the police that they removed the items from a van which Rameish, in seeking to elude the police, drove into the sea.

The items were allegedly fished from the sea following what the police described as a high-speed chase, which ended with Rameish driving his vehicle into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen, St Thomas.

Both men were offered bail and had restrictions imposed on their movements.

In granting bail, Resident Magistrate Calise Wiltshire had said claims from the prosecution that Rameish was part of a criminal gang in St Thomas was not enough reason to deny bail.





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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Westmoreland police are carrying out a high level probe into the quadruple murder this morning (Nov 8). The police say they believe that the killings could have been carried out by members of the Kings Valley gang who have been terrorizing sections of the parish.

Those killed are brothers: 31 year old mechanic Howard Humes, 33 year old farmer Paulton Humes, and 23-year-old Shavane Humes, as well as the spouse of one of the brothers, 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson.

Reports that about 1:15 this morning, residents living in the Masemure community, alerted the police after hearing gunshots coming from the direction of where the Humes family reside.

Upon the arrival of the police, the four were seen suffering from gunshot wounds.

A 5 year old child was the only occupant who was spared by the gunmen.

Community members, family and close friends of the victims, expressed their shock at the gruesome quadruple murder, which they say is the first of its kind in the community.

Pheona Malcolm - Campbell, mother of the slain woman, was broken up about the incident. She says her daughter was innocent.

And, Kenneth Wilson, who is the father of the slain woman, in an interview with Jamaican radio station, Irie FM News, said that the Humes family had been receiving threats.

Head of the Westmoreland police, Superintendent Gary McKenzie says the police are hoping for a quick breakthrough into the murders.





Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep sadness at the passing of celebrated architect and hotelier, Earl Levy.

"On behalf of all of us in tourism, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Earl Levy, during this very difficult time," said Minister Bartlett.

Levy is the mastermind behind the luxurious Trident brand in Portland. He opened the Trident Vacation Villas in the mid-1950s; then later designed the lavish Trident Castle, Hotel & Villas, in the 1980s. Over the years, Trident has received a number of service awards and has played host to a large number of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington.

He also assisted with the refurbishing of the iconic Devon House attraction in Kingston, as well as designing a number of well-appointed residential properties across the island.

"The contribution that Mr Levy, or the Earl of Portland as he is affectionately called, has made to the tourism industry is significant. He was an outstanding entrepreneur, family man and designer. He will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him," said the Minister.

Bartlett also noted the influence Levy had in strengthening brand Jamaica through his extraordinary designs.

"Earl Levy is truly irreplaceable but we take comfort in knowing that the industry will benefit from his contributions for many years to come," said Minister Bartlett.





Two confirmed cases of dengue in St Catherine

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dengue.jpgThe St Catherine Health Department says there are two confirmed cases of dengue fever in the parish and a few suspected cases that are presently been assessed by the authorities.

Delivering the Health Department's monthly report at the general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Thursday, Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, said these are isolated cases and there is no reason to fear that an outbreak is imminent at this time.

"We don't foresee an outbreak. Recent rains have caused an increase in mosquito infestation in a number of areas in the parish, especially in Portmore and its environs.

"The vector control unit of the department is currently carrying out a massive mosquito eradication drive in these areas, targeting the breeding sites, and we are seeing encouraging signs of success," Hutchinson told The Gleaner. He said that for the period under review, 35 drains were inspected of which 23 were found to be breeding sites, and fogging was undertaken in 61 communities.

According to Hutchinson, the major challenge facing the department presently is the malfunctioning ultra low volume (ULV) fogging machine which is mounted on the back of a pickup truck that can cover a wider expanse.

"In the meantime, we have employed a number of temporary workers to carry out adulticidal or fogging work in these areas and this has proven to be very effective, but there is still the need for ULV support to assist with the adulticidal work," the chief public health officer noted.

Hutchinson was quick to point out that there is no cause for alarm about any malaria outbreak, because the health department is proactive in its screening efforts.





The Ministry of Health is assuring the public that measures have been taken to restrict the spread of Malaria beyond the three Nicaraguans who were diagnosed with the virus on a fishing boat that was rescued in Jamaican waters.

In a release on Thursday, the health ministry said: "Vector control activities, including disinsection of the vessel, was conducted and are ongoing as per standard operating procedures."

The health ministry stressed that "of note, no breeding sites with the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria were found in any of the locations the members of the crew accessed".

According to the Jamaican health authority, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard notified it that a Nicaraguan vessel with 93 persons aboard was intercepted in Jamaican waters on Tuesday.

It said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department carried out the requisite procedures and it was during that process that two of the men aboard the vessel were diagnosed. They were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where they were isolated and treated. A third man from the vessel was diagnosed in a subsequent assessment.

Jamaica was returned to the Malaria free list in 2012 after an outbreak in 2006. The last local case of malaria was in 2009. Since then there have been imported cases of Malaria each year.

"Jamaica has been able to maintain its Malaria free status through surveillance, early detection and rapid isolation and treatment of all cases," the health ministry said.

"We encourage the public to play their part in keeping Jamaica Malaria free by reporting to public health officials any unofficial entry of foreigners," it added.





charged.jpgThe Clarendon police are reporting that they have captured one of the parish's most wanted criminals.

He is Shane Hannah, also called "Most High".

Hannah was held in Old Harbour, St Catherine on Monday and has since been charged with murder.

The police say he is charged in connection with the killing of taxi operator Nigel Winter, whose body was found in Swansea, Clarendon on September 21.

A former soldier, Garfield Brown, is already in custody for the same crime.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2018

Patricia Chin Honored at American Friends of Jamaica Humming Bird Gala

Recipient of Humanitarian Award at the Prestigious Annual Event

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala.jpgNew York, NY- On Friday, October 26, 2018, Co-founder of VP Records, Patricia Chin was honored with a prestigious International Humanitarian Award at American Friends of Jamaica's (AFJ) 2018 Hummingbird Gala. Held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the evening provided opportunity for the Diaspora community, supporters and friends with an interest in Jamaica to provide financial resources to vulnerable Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. VP Records also served as a proud sponsor of the prestigious annual event.

The evening began with a silent auction while guests mingled and convened before the program began. During the program, Master of Ceremonies, Ruschell Boone of NY1 introduced AFJ's annual vignette showcasing the year's work of transformative programs in Jamaica. Commentary from AFJ president Wendy Hart and Executive Director Caron Chung then led to a live auction where a total of $400K was raised. They then introduced the two Humanitarian awards for the evening, beginning with President of Real Estate Development and Management company, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc., Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin.

While receiving her award, Patricia Chin stated "I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight and supporting Friends of Jamaica and I am honored to receive the Hummingbird Humanitarian Award." When Patricia Chin, also known as Miss Pat, is not busy with helping run her label VP Records, she takes care of her many charities including her passion project with Alpha Boys School in Kingston Jamaica, where she helps to raise funds to keep the more than century old institution thriving and well.

The night concluded with live music from Dancehall Legend Johnny Osbourne, UK Singer and Songwriter Estelle, International Reggae MegaStar Tarrus Riley, TTO Band with LeRoy Graham Jr., Andy Bassford, Dean Fraser, Kyle Graham and more. International Reggae/Dancehall DJ, Max Glazer spun the latest tunes. Special guests in attendance included Reggae superstar Busy Signal, Chris Blackwell and more.

patricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-1.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-2.jpgpatricia-chin-honored-at-american-friends-of-jamaica-humming-bird-gala-photo-3.jpgPhotos by Ajamu Myrie

To left photo: Patricia Chin with Mr. Albert J. Dwoskin. Both recipients Humanitarian Award

Top right photo: Patricia Chin with Tarrus Riley

Bottom photo: Tarrus Riley and Estelle perform "Love Like Ours" from Estelle's "Lovers Rock" album

AFJ's annual Galas attract diverse individuals who have special bonds of friendship with the people of Jamaica. Former honorees include Joseph Matalon, Chairman ICD, Vincent HoSang, President Caribbean Food Delights, Cecil Sam Wright, President Quality AutoMall, Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia, Gary "Butch" Hendrickson, National Continental Baking Company, Lowell Hawthorne, GoldenKrust, Dennis Lalor, ICWI, Kenny Benjamin, Guardsman Group, Denis O'Brien, Digicel, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Harry Belafonte and others. To date, the AFJ has presented grants of over US$14M. The AFJ demonstrates the power of collaboration to engage with and to support residents of underserved Jamaican communities. 2018 Hummingbird Gala sponsors include A. J. Dwoskin & Associates, VP Records, jetBlue, ADA Music 25 and Vanessa Noel.

"The Gala was an extraordinary opportunity to experience stellar artists in an intimate setting while showing support for the mission of the AFJ" stated AFJ Executive Director, Caron Chung.

About the AFJ

Founded in 1982, the American Friends of Jamaica is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization built on the principles of service and philanthropy and is established to give assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, and economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organizations and stakeholders to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans who need a hand up. The AFJ has partnered in providing shelter to the homeless, education to inner-city youth, healthcare to individuals and equipment to health facilities. The AFJ annual grant cycle begins the first Friday in November each year and grants are disbursed at the end of the first quarter in April the following year. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.

For press inquiries, please contact: jennifer.valentin@vprecords.com





Female taxi driver shot dead

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA female taxi operator was shot dead in Race Course, Toll Gate Clarendon by unknown assailants yesterday.

She is identified as 45-year-old Claudia Thompson from Ebony Park in the parish. According to police reports, Thompson was at a tire repair shop around 1:20 pm when she was approached by unknown assailants who opened gunfire hitting her multiple times in the upper body.

Lawmen were summoned and her body subsequently removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.





A fourth dolphin stranded in St Thomas beach; dies

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National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it finds the report of another stranded dolphin along the White Sand Beach in Holland Bay, St Thomas, yesterday "very rare and unfortunate".

NEPA, in a release today, said a team from its Veterinary Services Division as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) responded to the report, which revealed that the animal had already died. Arrangements were subsequently made to dispose of its remains.

The agency noted that the incident is the second of its kind in three days, as a similar incident involving three dolphins occurred on Monday in the same vicinity. Upon arrival that day, the response team discovered that two of the animals had already died.

"Several unsuccessful attempts were made to re-float the animal that was still alive. Veterinary professionals on location finally determined that continued attempts to re-float the animal would be futile. The animal was subsequently euthanized," NEPA disclosed.

Monique Curtis, Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch of NEPA said: "A stranding of this nature along the island's coastline is very rare and unfortunate. We acknowledge the collaborative effort and speedy response from relevant agencies and stakeholders within the area particularly Mr Everal Davis, who reported the incident, and the Golden Grove Sugar Factory, which provided assistance."

She indicated that the next steps include further surveillance of the area for other strandings and investigations into the possible cause of the incidents.

NEPA shared that the species identified on the beach has been confirmed to be the pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), which is a small member of the oceanic dolphin family, who prefer deeper areas of warmer tropical and subtropical waters.





4 family members shot dead in Westmoreland

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crime-scene-gun.jpgFour members of a Westmoreland family were shot dead in their community this morning.

Dead are: 31-year-old mechanic, Howard Humes; 23-year-old Shavane Humes; 33-year-old farmer, Paulton Humes, otherwise called 'Dwight' and 25-year-old Keneisha Wilson all of Masemure Meadows, Westmoreland.

The four were found dead at their home about 1:00 am by police officers who responded to reports of gunfire heard in the community.

The lawmen said the four bodies had multiple gunshot wounds. They were removed to the morgue after the crime scene was processed.

The lawmen are appealing to residents with information that can assist in the investigation to contact the Little London police at 876-955-7449, Crime Stop at 311, 811, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Winston Chung Fah "Chungie/Coach, an outstanding footballer who has touched the lives of many football fans, especially those who followed Santos, Campion, Vere Tech, and Clarendon College, has died.

Reports are that he lost his battle with cancer today.

A GoFundMe account that was set up recently, noted that Chung Fah has been a mentor and inspiration to so many young men and women. "Unfortunately, over the last few years, Chungie has been in and out of the hospital. He is currently hospitalized in Miami. When he is discharged he will need professional home care, occupational and physical therapy along with various assistive devices. Let us show our love and appreciation by making a contribution to defray some of his expenses."

The target was US$125,000.





spicy-taste-vegan-cuisine.jpgSpicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine will host the first international Vegan Fest in The Gambia. It will be held at the Kairaba Hotel from Friday to Saturday on November 23-25th from 9am to 9pm for D200 in advance, D250 at the door, and D550 for the three days. Some of the world's most renowned holistic healers and lecturers will be arriving to speak and do workshops to motivate, educate and heal people.

It will be a fun filled weekend with great tasting healthy food, kundalini yogo, music, vendors, and life changing healing information for your whole body and mind. The keynote speakers for Vegan Fest 2018 are Dr. Llaila Afrika from USA Dr. Umar Johnson from U.S.A., Dr. Melanie Stevenson from USA, Khensu I-Em-Hotep from Jamaica and UK, and Salieu Puye from The Gambia.

The Vegan Fest is being organized by Mama Naasira Ageela and Dr. Gregory Joe Bledsoe, co-authors of the #1 Best Selling Nutritional guide on Amazon, "Spicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine Series." They are also repatriates living in The Gambia for over two years. Their aim is to assist communities with weight loss and to help avoid health challenges by teaching people a natural and more sustainable way to nurture the body.

They believe that the food you eat can be the safest or the most powerful of forms of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Currently the lifespan of Gambians have decreased astronomically from generation to generation. Gambians are dying from different diseases that can be prevented with proper eating habits and proper information. Yet, The Gambia has some of the most organic and healing super foods in the world, these include moringa, baobab, neem, bissap, peanuts, sour sop and more.

Dr. Llaila Afrika is one of the world's foremost authorities on health and nutrition. He has a doctorate in Naturopathy from Anglo Saxon Institute in England. He is a Certified Addictionalogist with a degree from The American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders. He is a certified nurse from Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He is also an Acupuncturist, Metaphysician, and was an U.S. Army Social Worker nurse and Psychotherapist.

He is an expert Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Historian, Writer, Lecturer, Teacher and Medical Astrologist. Dr. Afrika has over 45 years' experience and training in ethno medicine, which is the use of disease remedies and diagnosis based upon the biochemistry of a race. Because of these tremendous credentials, he is one of the most sought after lecturers in the country.

Dr. Umar Johnson is an activist and motivational speaker. He is the "Prince of Pan-Africanism," and his ideology and movement is to bring all Africans in unity on the continent and in the diaspora. He has written several books entitled, "Psycho_Academic Holocaust: The Special Education and ADHD Wars Against Black Boys," which is the first book written by African-American targeting black people with the strategies on how to fight back against special education and ADHD. Other books are The Heroic Slave / Walker's Appeal (2 in 1 Title) and Dismantling the Matrix: Serenity for the Surveilled Vol:1. He is also working on building a school in The Gambia.

Dr. Melanie Stevenson has over 12 years' experience as a Holistic Practitioner in Health Sciences, Spirituality, and Arts. She has a wide variety of licenses as an acupuncturist, esthetician, massage therapist, spiritual counselor, marriage counselor, grieving therapist, and medical astrologist. She brings a passionate uplifting energy in her lectures and practice. She is a unique and gifted Spiritual Counselor for individuals, couples, and families. She can help you learn the state of your vitality, emotions, passions, behavior, thought process, and overall persona.

Dr Khensu I-Em-Hotep aka Dr Hotep is a Holistic Nutritional Counselor who specializes in African Holistic Health, he has been involved in the health industry since 2009 at which point he embraced a live (raw) food diet, and has never looked back, going on to pursue certification by the leading authority on Holistic Health in the western hemisphere, Dr Llaila Afrika.

Dr Hotep has since been teaching and carrying out one to one Holistic Health assessments between Jamaica and the UK, participating in numerous radio and TV Programs, he has established the Melanin Clinic based in Mandeville, Jamaica and carries out day clinics and seminars in Montego Bay and Kingston. Dr Hotep lives and works by the ancient principle of "food is medicine and medicine is food" the Melanin Clinics motto is "you were made with nutrients and ONLY nutrients will maintain and repair you."

Salieu Puye is a Gambian traditional herbalist who is member of the Traditional Healers Assembly (TRAHASS) in The Gambia. He is originally from Kololi and was adopted by culturally people who taught him about natural living and cultural ways from an early age in the provinces. He studied science and arts at Gambia College. As a former teacher, he began studying plants and the healing effects of local plants.

Mr. Puye works specifically with natural herbs and by identifying the properties of the herbs, he helps to cure different ailments. He has cured excema. edema (swollen foot), hypertension, hemorrhoids, stomach worms etc. He believes that average Gambians do not eat a balanced diet however with proper hygiene and learning how to develop better cooking methods, more Gambian can live a healthy lifestyle. He has also identified many teas in The Gambia with nutritional and healing values to help Gambians heal themselves.

We invite The Gambia to come out in numbers to learn and participate in The Gambia's First Vegan Fest. For more information or to buy tickets contact 220-347-7437 or spicytastyvegan@gmail.com. For interviews contact international publicists Olimatta Taal 220-250-9257 or senghigenproductions@gmail.com





Ishawna no stop glow from she lef Foota

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ishawna-on-instagram-from-mi-lef-bwoy-mi-nuh-stop-glow.jpgControversial Dancehall artiste, Ishawna took to Instagram over the weekend to post a selfie throwing a tad bit of shade at her ex, who all her fans believe must be the legendary Foota Hype, aka Spoonhead.

The former Downsound records singer posted the pic with the caption "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂," leading many fans to speculate as to just who she was referring to.

"From she left foota she get whiter" one fan reacted while another commented, "Bwoy all mash up now n tun maama man pon di gram."

The speculation did not stop there as several more fans continued to point to the entertainer's baby daddy, who was recently engaged in a bitter social media feud with Jamaican cricketer Marlon Samuels.

"@mslegendary Nuh know wah u did a duh with spoon head😂😂😂 @footahypemusic," a fan trolled.

The entertainer's glow has been a topic of late as she recently gave fans tips on how to get glowing skin like hers saying "I don't know why my skin is glowing...maybe it's caused from minding my business."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

From mi lef bwoy, mi nuh stop glow...😂

O postare distribuită de ISHAWNA (@mslegendary) pe





marcia-griffiths-photos-5.jpgReggae veterans Freddie McGregor and Marcia Griffiths, young turks Chino McGregor and Ding Dong, as well as soca star Alison Hinds are among the featured acts at this year's Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival.

Festival organisers say they are continuing to place an emphasis on culture at this year's staging. The occasion is scheduled for Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida, on Sunday.

Bridget Edwards, cultural stage coordinator, said organising an extraordinary programme is essential to highlighting and preserving the culture, while educating and entertaining attendees.

"We're always finding innovative ways to present our heritage and incorporating different elements that are in line with our culture," Edwards told the Jamaica Observer . "Under this year's theme 'Let the Drums Speak,' our Caribbean culture will reverberate from the Corporate Area and throughout the entire Markham Park."

Sets include music, dance, comedy, spoken word, fashion, and drama. Comedian Christopher "Johnny" Daley is expected to host this segment.

Fashion designer Cholla Williamson of Covered by Grace is slated to feature stylish, handcrafted African designs. For lovers of Afro-Caribbean drumming and dancing, the Sasa African Dance Theater is billed to perform their uptempo beats and moves; and for the children, Drumming Fingers will offer instructional drumming and dancing, inviting audience participation. Author Ettosi Brooks is expected to present a dramatised reading of her book S tori, Stori, Stori: Adventures in Rhythm; while Transitionsauthor Meleisha Jocelyn will perform spoken word.

"Chris Daley is a part of the Jerk Festival family. He will do more than introduce the acts -- he will perform, get audience members to join in, and may even do a little drumming himself. You never know what exciting things will happen on the Western Union Cultural Stage, that's why we ask everyone to come out early and dance, sing, and drum with us," Edwards added.





Mexico could legalise ganja

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ganja-image-5.jpgPresident-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's future interior minister introduced a bill Tuesday to legalise marijuana in Mexico, a country wracked by violence fuelled by its powerful drug cartels. Senator and future interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero introduced the bill, to "propose a responsible regulation model adapted to Mexico's circumstances," according to the text published on the Senate's website.

Sanchez has been given "carte blanche" to explore ways to overhaul drug policy under Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who takes office on December 1 after winning Mexico's July elections in a landslide. Lopez Obrador's coalition holds a majority in both houses of Congress, giving the bill a good chance of passing.

That would mark a sea change after decades of prohibitionist policy in Mexico, whose shared border with the United States, proximity to leading narcotics producers such as Colombia, and domestic production of marijuana, heroin and other drugs have made it one of the top drug trafficking countries in the world.

If the bill passed, Mexico would become just the third country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use, after Canada and Uruguay. The bill proposes "strict legal regulation" that would regulate and monitor marijuana production, sales and consumption.

It would allow users to grow up to 20 plants at a time and produce 480 grams (17 ounces) of the drug per year for personal consumption. The bill comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision last week that created a legal gray area around marijuana. The court ruled in favor of a private citizen who sued for the right to be able to consume marijuana recreationally. It was its fifth such decision, which under Mexican law sets a legal precedent.

However, as things now stand, each individual seeking permission to use the drug will have to file a separate court case. Authorities say they have received 615 requests so far. Desperate to crack down on its brutally violent cartels, Mexico deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

Since then, the violence has worsened. The country registered a record 28,711 murders last year, and the record is on track to be broken again this year.





Colorado ganja sales exceed US$1BILLION in revenues

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ganja-image-5.jpgDENVER (AP) -- A Colorado report shows marijuana sales in the state have exceeded US$1 billion as of August of this year, with tax revenue from those sales reaching US$200 million. The Denver Post reports the state Department of Revenue report indicates medical and recreational marijuana sales are on track to break last year's record of more than US$1.5 billion.

This year's combined sales reached the billion-dollar mark at the earliest point in the four years recreational marijuana has been legal in the state.

Total sales through August 2017 reached more than US$996 million.

According to the Marijuana Enforcement Division's 2018 Mid-Year Update, the industry's hot spots are in Denver, Boulder, El Paso and Pueblo counties, growing 80 per cent of all plants in the state as of June.





Democrats win House in blow to Trump

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clinton-vs-trump.jpgDemocrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump. A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his programme through Congress.

But Mr Trump's Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate.

Tuesday's vote was seen as a referendum on a polarising president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020. The election confirms a historical trend for the party that is not in the White House to make gains in the mid-terms.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - who is set to become speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011 - told cheering supporters in Washington: "Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America."

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump's administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest. They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

But analysts say dealing with a hostile House may suit the president, who is known both for his partisan style and ability to switch positions. They say he could either choose to accuse the Democrats of obstruction or try to reach deals to get legislation through.

Female candidates performed particularly well. Two 29-year-old Democrats - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer - are due to be the youngest women ever to win House seats.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. All are Democrats.





French visa application centre opens in New Kingston

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visa.jpgJaicans wishing to visit France for extended periods (more than 90 days), whether to work or attend school, no longer have to travel to Panama to obtain a visa, now that a French visa application centre has been established at the DHL building in New Kingston. The centre, which was established in August but officially opened yesterday, will be managed by VFS Global, an international company that manages visa applications on behalf of more than 100 countries.

Owing to financial constraints and other issues, the visa processing services at the French Embassy in Kingston were terminated in 2015. Persons who wanted visas for short stays in France have had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Spanish Embassy. And even though the centre is now in operation, persons can still apply for visas for short visits to France at the Spanish Embassy in Kingston.

"If an applicant plays good faith, presents good documentation and can justify all the requirements, then he will get the visa," said newly installed French ambassador to Jamaica, Denys Wibaux, at the official launch yesterday at DHL. "If people come fraudulently, they will not get through. We are an open country to tourists from all over the world, and in particular, Jamaicans and business people".

He continued: "Previously, Jamaicans applying for visas to go to France could go through our consular services in the French Embassy in Kingston. A few years ago, we had, for reasons of economy and adjustment of our public finance, to close the visa section in our embassy."

Wibaux said the new facilities will process up to 12 applications daily, but indicated that special arrangements could be made in cases of emergency.

Successful applicants should receive their visas in 12-15 days.

Application Process for French Visa

Visit the France visas official website at https://france-visas.gouv.fr/enUS/web/france-visas

  1. Start visa process by creating an account and filling out an application form online.

  2. Create an account on the VFS Global website to schedule and pay service fees http://www.vfsglobal.com/France/Jamaica/English/index.html.

  3. Return to account on www.france-visa.gouv.fr to confirm you have an appointment.

  4. Go in person to the new VFS Visa Application Center for France with your passport, appointment confirmation letter, proof of payment completed and a signed visa form, and all supporting documents. VFS then sends applications to the Consulate General of France in Washington, DC, for processing.

  5. Track status of application.




police-officers.jpgMembers of the Jamaica COnstabulary Force (JCF) who choose to dance with revellers at events are doing so at their own risk, as the force has reiterated its stance on how police personnel should conduct themselves.

This comes as another policeman is again in the spotlight after a video surfaced on the weekend, showing the lawman 'daggering' two females at once. The officer, attired in full khaki and appears to be at the rank of an inspector or above, did not shy away from dancing up a storm, as he was being influenced by the loud cheers and the commanding selector who fuelled the apparent showdown.

In the 34-second amateur video, the policeman is seen talking to a male friend at the event when he is surprised by a female dancer. The policeman readily engages with the first female to the amusement of the selector, who cheered him on while pumping the music.

To the surprise of the officer, a second female dancer joined them. She jumped on the back of the first dancer, while the policeman balances both females. According to the report in Jamiacan tabloid, the Star, it was not clear when or where the event took place, however, social media users assumed it to be somewhere in the Corporate Area at one of the weekly events.

Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, while not speaking specifically to the video in question, said that officers who act contrary to the rules and regulations of the JCF may face consequences for their actions.

"Members are always expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Anything that contradicts the force's rules and regulations can be seen as a breach of order and discipline," she said.

When asked if such a move (dancing in uniform with revellers) had severe repercussions, Garrick said: "Such a matter is definitely fit for administrative review and action. The administration would investigate to determine the breach and necessary punishment for the breach."





gofundme-logo.pngSophraya Price's life has become a waking nightmare. Loop news reports that two years ago, Price was your typical active university student playing sports like netball, posting selfies online and getting up to regular college girl shenanigans like shopping with her girlfriends. Now she is in a fight to save her life, having been confined to a wheelchair. Her bones are fragile and brittle, she is prone to seizures, and she is in constant agony as her body has turned traitor, betraying her at every corner.

And she needs your help. The family and friends of Sophraya Price are appealing to the public to contribute to the young lady's Gofundme page.

"My life is a nightmare. I'm afraid to go out now because I'm prone to getting a fractured bone easily, and we Jamaicans have the tendency when greeting someone, to hit them," she told Loop News reporter, Claude Mills.

"I had been getting treatment in Cuba. It's been a year now since I last went to Cuba. I was supposed to go back in January, but because of insufficient funds and being back and forth in the hospital, we could not go back for my treatment, which is supposed to be once every three months, and my conditions (ailments) have been progressing really fast and I've developed other illnesses," she said.

The treatment is a five-day course which costs US$5,000.

"However, with all these other conditions, we are not sure what other treatments and procedures will be needed when we go back to Cuba," Price said.

On September 20, 2016, the young and vibrant Northern Caribbean University student went for a netball drill. She was fresh out of community college with an associate degree in social work, and had started university three weeks before. Her eyes were set on her goal to do clinical work. But while going through her routine, her legs suddenly went rubbery and weak, and she collapsed. She was taken to hospital, where within a week she became paralysed and suffered multiple seizures. At first it was thought that she had a spinal injury. But the truth was much worse. She has a veritable laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder. She has been diagnosed with six different types of epileptic and non-epileptic seizures - osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, Raynaud's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease and query paraneoplastic syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and with regular trips to the emergency room, Price needs continuous treatment and medical assessment.

"Battling with these conditions, it's really not easy. I mostly stay in bed because of severe pain. I cannot be in crowded places, I'm afraid that someone might bounce on me and cause more pain. There is so much going on with my body, it's really hard to explain. Each time I go to the doctor, there is a new diagnosis," Price said.

She would give anything to walk again.

"My visits with each of my specialist is more frequent, so you know that it's more money too. I'm told they really can't help me here because they don't have certain resources. I know I can get the help in Cuba, but there is just not enough funds, so it gets me on my downside. I take so many medications and do treatments, and that's very costly. So when we do raise something, it goes straight to medications or visits to the doctor for other treatments," she said.

Through it all, she is trying to remain optimistic.

"Overall, with all these conditions, I really do try to keep myself occupied, I might not be able to go out as much now, but I've now opened an online pet store..., plus I'm on some serious meds that make me sleep a lot that practically takes up most of my days," Price added.

With hope for better days ahead, she is seeking the necessary support and assistance to get back on her feet.

Do help Sophie to walk again, if you can.





Memorial service for Elva Saturday at JC

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elva-ruddock.jpgThe memorial service celebrating the life of Jamaican comedian Elva Ruddock is slated for this Saturday at the Carl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College.

The service begins at 2 p.m.

The service will be followed by a celebratory party.

There will be a shuttle bus service from Portmore and Half Way Tree for members of the public who may need transportation.

Elva died at Kingston Public Hospital on October 7, after battling Lupus.





dengue.jpgThe Health Ministry has confirmed that three men aboard a Nicaraguan vessel which drifted into Jamaican waters last week have malaria.

The vessel is near Port Royal.

Dr. Jacqueline Bissasor-McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that 93 people were found aboard the vessel.

As is customary, she said, a medical team visited those on board the vessel and carried out tests, which confirmed three people had malaria.

Dr. Bissasor-McKenzie said the persons were taken to Kingston Public Hosital where they were isolated and treated. Two of the men have completed the treatment while one is still undergoing medical care.

A post-test evaluation will be carried out on the individuals.





Trump backtracks on threat to shoot immigrants

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donald-trump-photo-3.jpgDonald Trump pulled back Friday on his previous threat to have soldiers shoot migrants who throw stones at the Mexican-US border.

"I didn't say shoot," he said. "They won't have to fire. What I don't want, I don't want these people throwing rocks."

Instead, Trump told journalists at the White House, stone-throwing migrants or people asking for refugee status on the southern border are "going to be arrested for a long time."

During a Thursday speech on his bid to crack down on illegal immigration, Trump was asked how thousands of troops he has ordered to the border would react if stones were thrown at them. He responded that stone throwing would be seen as a lethal threat.

"We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," he said.

"I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle."





So Spice did not bleach her skin after all

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spice-2016.jpg"To put a end to the debate "I DID NOT BLEACH MY SKIN" and I quote "Proud a mi color, love mi pretty black skin, respect due to mi strong melanin" words from my "Black Hypocrisy" song that I wrote from my heart."

Spice's big reveal happened and it seems it was really a sort of publicity stunt....which she prefers to call awareness about colourism

Here's what she wrote on Instagram......using a black Spice picture:

"On October 22nd I posted a picture of myself where i looked like I altered my appearance and metamorphosis to match the "Eurocentric beauty standards". I fearlessly addressed an issue that has been swept under the rug and boldly took the stance in bringing a taboo topic to the fore front. I chose to do this in the manner I did because I believe Colorism is plagiarizing our black community.

While It appeared as if I had "bleached" my skin, causing a world wide debate, and even though the picture was obviously birthed around my single titled"Black hypocrisy" and my mixtape Captured.I want to openly say it was not a "publicity stunt". I wanted to create awareness to "Colorism" and it was more so done intentionally to create shock value so that I could have the worlds undivided attention to deliver the message in my music.

There are dark skin women across the world complaining every day that they are being downplayed and degraded, but the raw truth is it is us "black women" and "black men" that are fighting against each other and tearing down our own race.

It's evident in the social media comments every day, I myself have lived through it all being downgraded by my dark complexion.

Would the message in my song have been received as well as it did world wide if I didn't go to the extreme with the picture? The truth is no it would have probably been just another Spice hit song; so yes I had to go the extra mile to ensure my message be heard.

Most people got a misconception that I was boosting "Skin bleaching" but ironically it was the opposite. I used myself as an example of what people from the black community is causing other women to do because of how society makes them feel.

Yes "Black is beautiful" we say it every day but are we showing love to our black women?





Usain Bolt's Australian football dream has ended

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bolt-usain-football.jpgSprint king Usain Bolt's attempt to become a professional footballer with Australia's Central Coast Mariners collapsed Friday as his trial period was terminated after contract talks failed.

The eight-time Olympic champion had been trying out with the A-League side since arriving in August, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.

The 32-year-old's quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

But his abilities have been questioned and the club reportedly offered him only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) his management were said to be seeking, with outside sponsors needed to make the deal viable.

"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt's representative Ricky Simms can today advise that the indefinite training period of Usain Bolt with the Mariners has drawn to an end, effective immediately," the club announced.

"As previously stated, the club and Ricky Simms have been in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.

"Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner."





Tesha Miller charged with murder

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tesha-miller.jpgThe reputed leader of the Spanish Town-based Clansman gang Tesha Miller has been slapped with charges of accessory before and after the fact to murder. The murder allegedly happened in 2008 in St Catherine.

Miller is to appear in the Home Circuit Court on November 9 to answer the charges.

His lawyers Bert Samuels and Able Don Foote say they will be applying for bail.Miller and his girlfriend were picked up in a shopping area in St Andrew on Tuesday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch.

On Wednesday, Foote brought an application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for Miller's immediate release from custody. Parish Judge Vaughn Smith heard the application and ordered that Miller should be charged or released by 9 a.m on Friday, November 2.

Miller was deported from the Bahamas in April 2017. On his return to Jamaica, he was charged with making a false declaration to immigration officers at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Miller pleaded guilty and was fined.





compressed-ganja.jpgA St Mary man who was held by the Manchester police with 25 pounds of ganja, was slapped with fines amounting to $400,000 when he appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court on Monday.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m. on October 23, the Manchester police intercepted a white Toyota Axio motorcar with three men on board travelling along the Spur Tree Hill main road in the parish.

During a search of the vehicle, the police found two bags containing loose and compressed ganja, weighing 25 pounds. The Narcotics Police, who took over the investigation, subsequently interviewed and jointly charged all three men for possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and trafficking in ganja.

The three accused, 61-year-old Adrian McDonald and 24-year-old Fabian Waugh, both chefs of Cock Street, Port Maria; and Sadray Burray, 24, a construction worker of Friendship, Islington, appeared in the Mandeville Parish Court last Friday, but the matter was postponed until Monday.

When the case was called up on Monday, McDonald took the rap and pleaded guilty, and was hit with the unusually high fines. He was fined $80,000 for possession of ganja, with an alternative of eight months in prison; $160,000 for dealing in ganja, or eight months in prison; and $160,000 for trafficking ganja, or eight months in prison.

If the fines are not paid, the sentences are to run concurrently.

The charges were dismissed against the other two accused.





3 arrested as guns, explosives seized in Tivoli

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgFour high powered weapons and several sticks of explosives were seized by members of the security forces operating in the State of Public Emergency in Western Kingston on Thursday.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the find.

Reports are that about 3:05 p.m., a joint police/military team went to an area known as 'Bumps in Tivoli Gardens and during a search two AR 15 rifles, one AK 47 and one Winchester rifle were found.

In addition to that, 54 5.56 rounds of ammunition, four.38 rounds of ammunition, 11 sticks of explosives, several gun parts and six empty magazines were also found.

Three persons were arrested in connection with the seizures. However, their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.





Trinidad rattled by 9 earthquakes in nine days

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earthquake.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - Trinidad and Tobago started November in the same manner as it ended the previous month with an earthquake rattling the twin-island republic. The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 rattled parts of the country on Thursday at 8: 40 a.m local time.

It is the ninth tremor felt in the country in as many days and the SRC said that it was located Latitude: 9.85N, Longitude: 60.48W, and at a depth of 30 kilometres.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage but the quake was felt 117 kilometres south east of San Fernando, 124 kilometres south east of the eastern town of Arima and 145 kilometres south east of the capital, Port of Spain.

Seismologist and Acting SRC Director Dr Joan Latchman has been warning Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean to be prepared for a major earthquake and that the various tremors in recent days are not anything new.

On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1. In August, many residents ran into the streets after a quake with a magnitude of 6.8 rocked the country followed by several aftershocks causing damage and but no loss of lives.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgA 14-year-old child was burnt to death and other members of his family chopped and wounded, reportedly by a 41-year-old man, in Mocho, Clarendon on Wednesday. The man who reportedly carried out the attack was later found hanging in a section of the community.

The deceased child has been identified as Leroy Hamilton, while the man who is suspected to have committed suicide after carrying out the deadly attack is Craig Lawrence.

Reports are that at about 2:45 a.m., Lawrence went to the house where the child and other relatives were, and was denied entry to the dwelling.

Further reports are that he responded by forcing his way into the house and attacked and chopped occupants therein, including a 53-year-old woman and her daughter. The man then set the house on fire and left it to burn.

The 53-year-old woman and the other female managed to escape the flames, but the child was not so lucky. His charred remains were later found. A search was carried out for the man and his body was found hanging in a section of the community.

It is so far unclear what relationship existed between the attacker and the victims.





tesha-miller.jpgPolice detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch will have to charge reputed leader of the Klansman Gang Tesha Miller by Friday or release him.

One of Miller's attorneys, Able-Don Foote filed a habeas corpus application for his release in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, yesterday. Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. An order for his release was subsequently ordered by Parish Judge Vaughn Smith on Wednesday.

Miller is to be charged or released by 9:00 am on Friday.

Miller and his girlfriend were arrested on Monday at a shopping centre in Barbican, St Andrew.





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