January 2019 Archives

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9 Mile Music Festival 2019
MARCH 9, 2019


9 MILE MUSIC FESTIVAL
HISTORIC VIRGINIA KEY BEACH PARK
4020 VIRGINIA BEACH DR, KEY BISCAYNE, FL 33149, USA

Buy Tickets: https://9milemusicfestival.com/#tickets2





pnp-gen-sec-paul-burke.jpgFormer General Secretary of the opposition People's National Party (PNP), Paul Burke has disclosed that he was offered US$1 million (J$130 million) to successfully broker a deal between Venezuela and a consortium, of which he is a part, for the acquisition of the 49 per cent stake in Petrojam that is held by that country.

The Jamaican government holds the other 51 per cent stake in the Marcus Garvey Drive-based oil refinery.

Burke made the admission in an "amended letter" to Prime Minister Andrew Holness dated January 19 and which has been made public.

"In the interest of disclosure and transparency in this public matter, I have received no up-front payments, incentives or allowances of any sort, but stand to be paid US$1 million if I can successfully broker this deal. In this regard, I have an agreement to pay the attorney acting on my behalf in Venezuela, a success fee of US$400,000. I therefore and unapologetically, have a vested interest in this matter," Burke said in his letter.

The company on whose behalf Burke was reportedly working is listed as Cheriton Trading and Investments, with registered offices at 6 Cheriton Road, Kingston 2.

Burke and his consortium have offered to pay the Venezuelans US$55 million (J$7.1 billion) for their 49 per cent stake, while according to former PNP General Secretary Colin Campbell, another Jamaican company had offered the Venezuelans US$100 million for the shares. Campbell, in a column in a local newspaper, said it was noteworthy that the Jamaican government's offer of US$50 million to the Venezuelans, "strikingly resembles" the US$55 million that was offered by a local company.

Burke's amended letter to Holness, was also sent in the prime minister's capacity as energy minister. But, while stating his intention to clear up any misunderstanding in the letter, Burke appears to have deepened the controversy.

In his letter, he tells Holness that he cannot, at this time, make public the names of the other members of the consortium. He also said the consortium was interested in acquiring Petrojam from as far back as the first quarter of 2018 after members were told that the refinery was up for sale and that it would likely be snapped up by the Chinese.

According to Burke, he was "happily prepared to allow cyber experts from the OPM (Office of the Prime Minister), to have access to specific emails and contents, so as to verify and establish the authenticity for, among other things, dates and when members of the consortium first expressed an interest in acquiring Petrojam.

As to the Chinese entity to which Burke said the Jamaican government was interested in divesting its Petrojam shares, Burke said he will not mention the company's name. But the former general secretary said consortium members were of the view that "Jamaicans could and should own a major stake in this strategic entity."

"Let me also declare, that if the Government of Jamaica is not interested in purchasing these (Venezuelan) shares, this consortium of investors, at an appropriate time, will demonstrate proof and source of funds. The Jamaican public will then be able to judge, who is sincere and who are 'poker bluffing'," said Burke.

"Fortunately, or unfortunately, because this matter was never discussed on any of my phones, police intelligence would not have been able to pick up any information relating to this issue," Burke added.

He said the first offer was made in early November, 2018 and a final and revised offer was actually made on the November 21, sent to an attorney in Venezuela and dispatched to the Venezuelan Embassy on November 26. He also made public the offer letter written by him in his capacity as CEO of Cheriton.

He indicated that the letter was copied to Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, PNP spokesman on energy, Phillip Paulwell and PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson as well as relevant permanent secretaries.

Burke described Cheriton as being part of a consortium of investors with an "idyllic mix of talent and sufficiency of financial resources...".

He said the purpose of the letter was to "express the consortium's extreme interest in acquiring the republic's (Venezuela's) equity ownership in Petrojam."





Lawyer missing since January 5

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police-federation-logo.jpgSixty-five-year-old Williams Hines, otherwise called 'Baldie', an attorney-at-law of Greenside, Falmouth in Trelawny and Mona in St Andrew, has been missing since Sunday, January 6.

Hines is of dark complexion, slim built and is about 170 centimetres (five feet seven inches) tall.

Reports from the Falmouth police are that about 11:00 a.m., Hines was last seen at home in Trelawny.

He has not been heard from since.

His mode of dress at the time he went missing is unknown.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Williams Hines is being asked to contact the Falmouth police at 876-954-3271, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgPop singer Rihanna is about to make history as the first black female to head up a fashion brand at the world's largest luxury conglomerate, LVMH.

LVHM fashion house group owns Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

Rihanna's new brand under Louis Vuitton is expected to take the singer's last name, Fenty, which she uses for her make-up and lingerie businesses.

The line which is expected to launch in coming months will include handbags and accessories.





Fish released in gullies to fight dengue

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dengue.jpgWith the recent increase in cases of dengue-related illnesses and deaths in Jamaica, residents of Old Harbour in St. Catherine are one step closer to a dengue free environment.

This as some 1800 Tilapia fish, provided by the Ministry of Fisheries, were deposited into gullies in the community recently.

Noting that a sensitization meeting was also held in the community last Friday, where 24 bottles of mosquito repellent were distributed, Community and Public Relations Specialist at Jamaica Energy Partners, JEP, Mellisa Newman says the move is one step to successful mosquito eradication.

She adds that the fish will significantly reduce the number of larvae that exist in water settlements, such as gullies.

Noting the possible health effects associated with mosquito-borne diseases Newman says she hopes other organizations will play their part in creating a mosquito free environment.

She says a larvae count will be conducted in the upcoming weeks to assess the effectiveness of this environmentally friendly approach of reducing mosquito reproduction.





Good news as Jamaican appointed to Canadian Senate

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The Government and representatives from several organisations are celebrating the appointment of Jamaican born, Dr. Rosemary Moodie to the Canadian senate. Dr. Moodie who has distinguished herself in healthcare and community service, both in Jamaica, and her adopted homeland, was recently recommended by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to be an independent member of the upper house of their parliament.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, senator Kamina Johnson Smith, the appointment is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the partnership between Jamaica and Canada, and Dr. Moodie has been exemplary with her involvement in reducing social inequalities and health disparities, locally and internationally.

Senator Johnson Smith was among government officials, sector leaders and diplomats who gathered recently at the official residence of Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, in St. Andrew, to honour the Jamaican for her latest achievement.

In 2017, she was conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the government of Jamaica.

Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says the move is a source of very great pride to us, that one more native has excelled to an esteemed international body.

In making the announcement in December, to appoint Dr. Moodie to the senate, Prime Minister Trudeau says she and the other three new independent senators bring with them wealth of knowledge and experience, that will greatly benefit parliament, and all of Canada.





grace-hamilton-on-instagram-please-help-me-wish-my-little-princess.jpgPlease help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like this 🙏🏾 I love you my cupcake 🧁 I promise to be right by your side every step of the way. I'm so grateful that I was able to grant the pool party you requested, even tho mi nearly drown ina the dunk tank 🤣 thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate this special moment with us 💕💕💕 #Daughter #Mommymode #BlackwigmeansGrace

Grace Hamilton on Instagram: "Please help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like..."





A year-long calendar of activities has been announced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of VP Records. The year will see a variety of music and cultural events, products, historical exhibits and experiences, in Jamaica, across the US, Toronto, Canada and London, England.

"VP is integral to the history of reggae and dancehall music. We take this responsibility seriously and we are using our 40th anniversary to celebrate the music's rich heritage as we steward the genre into the future," said company President Randy Chin. "A major focus for the anniversary is highlighting the company's commitment to the development, promotion, and globalisation of Jamaican music."

The company kicks off its anniversary celebrations with a return to its homeland of Jamaica in January for Strictly The Best - LIVE Montego Bay on January 30, continuing into the summer with a historical exhibit titled A Reggae Music Journey at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The exhibition will move to Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport in June through to the end of the year.

Stateside, VP will launch The Reggae Trail, an interactive digital experience that features a map of historical locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City central to the growth of the Jamaican music industry and VP Records.

In April there will be Record Store Day to commemorate the annual celebration of vinyl culture. Four newly issued vinyl exclusives are expected to be released. VP Records will present a live sound system showcase at its retail outlets in New York and Florida. There will also be at least three major live concerts in the New York City area this summer, including the 9th staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Sunday, July 21.

A box set drawn from the vast catalogue of hits and rarities from VP Records is also being considered.

VP Records has been at the heart of reggae, dancehall and soca for 40 years sharing the music of Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Freddie McGregor, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Tarrus Riley, and a host of others.





buju-banton-photo-11.jpgBoom Energy Drink is the title sponsor for the first concert of Buju Banton's Long Walk to Freedom Tour, scheduled for National Stadium in St Andrew on March 16, 2019. William Mahfood, Wisynco Group chairman, explained his company's association with the event.

"When we look at the importance of reggae music in the Jamaican culture, there have been a few artistes over the course of our history of music who have had a material impact, and in so many ways. The reggae icon Buju Banton is definitely one of those artistes. In our first meeting upon his arrival, we shared similar passions for improving the lives of our Jamaican people, our culture, and reggae music. I knew immediately that it was important as a Jamaican company that sells predominately Jamaican products, that we had a vital role to play to help elevate his platform -- to unlock the true opportunity, to inspire Jamaican youth," said Mahfood.

"Wisynco has a set of core values that speak to CHIRP. This stands for compassion, humility, integrity, respect, and passion. As a company, it's through our belief in compassion and reciprocity, centred on core Christian principles, which inspire us to lead by example and encourage others to have compassion for our fellow Jamaican people."

The evening will also be supported through an associate sponsorship with the Tru-Juice and WATA brands.

"As the number one energy drink in Jamaica, BOOM knows what it takes to be the best. We are committed to providing the highest-quality products and experiences that are accessible to all Jamaicans, no matter their status. This is perfectly aligned with how we view Buju's music and stage presence, second to none, we know that this will be delivered to all of his fans on the night of March 16," said Tamara Ward, senior marketing and PR manager.

Patrons can participate in ticket giveaways on BOOM's IG, Twitter, and Facebook pages until February 8.





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gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-kissing.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Gully Bop is upset at Chyn for stealing his lines and is reportedly considering to file a lawsuit against the woman who was supposedly his ex-fiancee.

According to sources, the "Wuk Affa Mi" deejay is not here for it with Chyn, who is using "From The Money To The Gully" line for her debut album.

Shauna Chyn who is currently buzzing on the local scene with her new singles, announced earlier this week that she will be dropping an EP later this year with the tagline which was coined by Bop shortly after his rise to stardom.

"Right now this is an insult to injury for Gully Bop if you ask me", sources are reported as saying. "There is a lot of things they are doing behind the scenes to stop Bop's food and now this is crossing the line. How can you take his tagline and trying to profit from it? He might be taking her to court so we shall see how this plays out" a report states.

Last year Shauna Chyn revealed that her romance with Gully Bop was just for the camera as they weren't actually dating. The "Suicide" singer claimed it was only a publicity stunt designed by his management team.

According to Chyn, the plan which was structured as a 'nothing to something' success story was going great until the "Body Specialist" deejay wanted more out of the arrangement. She claims that Bop began to have real feelings for her and forgot it was all a show.

Shauna added that she wasn't going to speak out on their business deal however she's tired of her name getting involved with Gully Bop as the negative press is affecting her music career.





Central High student dies from Dengue

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dengue.jpgCentral High School in May Pen, Clarendon has implemented measures to prevent the spread of dengue fever at the institution after a student died of the virus.

Fourteen year-old Areel Foster died at Kingston Public Hospital on Wednesday.

Uvalyn Daley, Acting Principal of Central High, said several of the vector control measures had been implemented prior to Areel's death.

It was reported that Areel spent the Christmas Holidays in Portmore, St. Catherine.

On returning to her home in Clarendon, she fell ill and was later diagnosed with dengue.

She was admitted to May Pen Hospital then transferred to Kingston Public Hospital.

Areel last year represented Central High in TVJ's All Together Sing competition.

Miss Daley said grief counsellors visited Central High on Thursday to speak to Areel's colleagues.

She said students and staff were in a sombre mood.





Caribbean on Dengue fever alert

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dengue.jpgAs Jamaica records another death caused by dengue fever, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has called for health officials across the region to prepare for the possibility of a severe outbreak of the mosquito borne virus.

In a statement Thursday, CARPHA said the last major regional outbreak of dengue occurred in 2009.

It said, since then, the region has experienced two large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases - Chikungunya in 2014 and Zika in 2016 -which are unlikely to reoccur soon.

CARPHA said disease modelling predicts that another regional outbreak of dengue may occur in the near future, adding that last year, Latin America showed an increase in the number of cases.

CARPHA has also pointed to the recent outbreak of dengue in Jamaica, saying that it has elevated the level of concern in other Caribbean countries.

The regional health agency is advising countries to implement enhanced measures to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of disease.

Research carried out by CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization shows that drums and tyres are the main mosquito breeding sources in Caribbean countries.

Symptoms of dengue typically begin four to ten days after infection, and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complications, such as internal hemorrhaging, intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness and persistent vomiting.

Jamaica has recorded 79 suspected and presumed confirmed dengue cases since the start of the year.

Speaking at Wednesday night's monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton disclosed that Jamaica recorded 996 cases last year.

He said the Ministry of Health is making progress in controlling the dengue outbreak and it is expected that there will be a lull in cases by March.





TAJ prosecutes wholesaler

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Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) says it has prosecuted the operators of a wholesale in St Ann for failing to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities.

Proprietors of DAFA Wholesale and Retail Limited were fined $250,000 when they appeared before the parish court on December 14 following "intelligence gathering" by the TAJ's Intelligence, Investigation and Enforcement Unit.

The wholesale establishment was charged under Section 17 of the amended Revenue Administration Act (RAA) for failure to produce books, records and documents as requested.

In the meantime, the TAJ is reminding taxpayers that it is an offence not to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities, and failure to produce such books, records and do.





lawyer-gareth-forbes-murdered.jpgA man was shot and killed inside his St Andrew home on Thursday.

He has been identified as 49-year-old Gareth Forbes, a lawyer of Oakridge, Stilwell Road in Kingston 8.

Reports from the Constant Spring Police are that about 10:00 pm, a relative found Forbes unresponsive at his home and summoned them. On arrival of the lawmen, his body was seen lying in a pool of blood; he had been shot several times.

Other reports say his body was found with a bullet wound to the back and the hands and feet were bound.

Investigators say his dog and Toyota Prado motor vehicle were stolen.

The police are urging anyone with information on the murder to contact the Constant Spring CIB, 119 or the nearest police station.

The crime scene was processed and the body was removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.

Just over one month ago, attorney Nordraka Williams Burnett of the law firm Townsend, Whyte and Porter, died after being stabbed by her husband, who is a member of the Jamaica Defence Force.





The A.T.F. Band - Yardie (Official Music Video)

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buju-banton-on-instagram-with-tremendous-response-from-fans-worldwide.jpgFollowing the release of the tickets for Buju Banton's March 16 concert in Kingston, Jamaica, on bujubanton.com and caribtix.com both websites have crashed.

Buju Banton had to post a message today to tell fans that the companies are working to get the sites back up as soon as possible. The message states:

"With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is working expeditiously to get the sites back up please pay close attention to @destinemedia and / or @budafuco96 for more information"

TICKETS are still available! Tickets Are NOT SOLD OUT!!!! DO NOT PURCHASE from ANY OTHER Site!!!

Buju Banton on Instagram: "With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is..."





Six high-risk inmates housed at Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre on South Camp Road in Kingston have been relocated to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road. This is part of the additional security measures which have been instituted in light of the recent unrest at Fort Augusta. Following the stabbing of an inmate at the prison last week, other inmates took to social media in a live Facebook video raising several concerns including allegations that those in authority were violating their rights. In a statement Wednesday morning, providing details of the security measures, Rudyard Spencer, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, said, following a health assessment by the institutions' medical team, three inmates were diagnosed as mentally ill and placed in single cells. Mr Spencer said frequent random searches will also be conducted and gate procedures enhanced. In addition, more staff will be deployed shortly to reinforce the inmate to officer ratio, he said. Regarding the use of mobile phones by inmates, Mr Spencer said all electrical outlets will be removed from cell blocks. He also sought to contradict the claims of ill-treatment, asserting that inmates are fed three nutritious meals daily, and their living conditions are sanitary. The enhanced measures were announced following a tour of Fort Augusta on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Carla Gullotta, Executive Director of human-rights advocacy group Stand Up for Jamaica, has urged the Ministry of National Security to take action following its probe into allegations by inmates at Fort Augusta.   The police and INDECOM are investigating the alleged assault of the inmate at the facility.    However, following reports that the inmates recorded their concerns in Facebook Live post, Stand Up For Jamaica has called for inmates to use legal means to voice their grouses.




JDF soldier killed in Mandeville

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier was shot and killed by gunmen in Mandeville over the weekend. He has been identified as Gabe Reid. Information is sketchy at this time, but reports are that the military man, who is part owner of a car mart in the Manchester capital, was at his business establishment when he was approached and chased by a group of men. Several explosions were heard shortly after. The police were called to the area and a search conducted, during which the soldier was found in nearby bushes suffering from gunshot wounds. Reid was taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital and later transferred to another medical institution, where he succumbed to his injuries.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgSinger Rihanna has taken her father to court in the US, accusing him of exploiting her name to further his entertainment business. She claims her father, Ronald Fenty, and his business partner have falsely suggested that she is connected to their firm, Fenty Entertainment. The lawsuit says their conduct has misled the public and hurt her Fenty brand, the name of her beauty business. Fenty Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rihanna has asked the court to bar the firm from using the Fenty name for business. The lawsuit says Rihanna owns trademarks in the US for the Fenty name and has sent formal cease and desist requests.





crime-scene-gun.jpgWell-known musician and businessman Lester Adderley Sr was shot outside a night spot in Freeport early Sunday morning. In August 2015 his son, Lester Adderley Jr, who owned and operated several businesses in Freeport, was also murdered after being shot outside his residence. After his son's death, the elder Adderley took over and ran the businesses. According to reports, Adderley Sr was shot and killed at Gametime, located in the former Gwen's Plaza, which was one of several establishments acquired by his late son. Sometime after midnight Sunday, police received reports of multiple gunshots fired in the area of East Atlantic Drive and sent a team of officers to investigate. When police arrived, they discovered the lifeless body of a man on the ground. Supt Brian Rolle, officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit on the island, said officers are in the preliminary stage of their investigation and were unable to release the victim's name at this time. A video was circulated on social media of the deceased - a light-skinned man with dreadlocks - lying in a pool of blood on the concrete floor just outside the plaza. Supt Rolle said that medical personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Adderley Sr was a talented musician and entertainer in Grand Bahama for many years. A guitarist, Adderley Sr made a remix of one of the songs on Baha Men's "2 Zero" album, "Hooked On a Feeling," released in 1999. Adderley Sr was an "incredible guitarist," and a musician's musician. "In addition to being a musician, Lester was also a highly successful music producer with many hit songs and albums to his name," recalled a friend, Mr Mackey, who in the mid-80s produced an album with Adderley Sr called "Lester Farai". "We spent countless hours at Cay Gottlieb's Cicada Sound Studio (the present Grand Bahama home of The Tribune, KISS FM and 100 Jamz radio station) perfecting and recording his album. "The interesting thing about that album of late is that there has been a resurgence of interest expressed by international persons in the last year to get their hands on vinyl copies of his album paying upwards to $125 for a single copy. I send condolences to his family through this tragic loss of his life," he said. In August 2015, Adderley Sr's son was found shot dead at an apartment complex, the Blue Marina Cove apartments, on Sunken Treasure Drive, near the Xanadu Beach. Adderley Jr, had been the owner of the former Mega Hits music store, and a few other business establishments. The younger Adderley was one of s





richie-spice-photo-1.jpgNew York, NY- Reggae and Rastafari champion, Richie Spice, returns to VP Records with a brand-new single "Beautiful Life" featuring Toronto based singer/songwriter Kathryn Aria, available worldwide January 18th. The new single combines two of Richie's strongest themes of love and consciousness. "Beautiful Life" simultaneously presents itself as a lover's tune while bridging together the universal concept of 'One Love' for life and consciousness. Produced by Steven Stanley, the song is sure to become a staple in Richie Spice's already impressive music catalogue. With over 111 Million Streams across all platforms and known for his core hit reggae songs "Earth A Run Red," 'Youth Dem So Cold," "Marijuana," "Brown Skin" and "Ghetto Girl," Richie Spice has recorded 8 albums for VP Records in his career, including his debut album "Spice In Your Life" which earned unanimous critical praise. He is is in the studio finishing his new album and will be heading to the KICC in Nairobi Kenya February 16th for a live show. A US tour is slated for April with "The Element Band". "It's about the love of life, the connection, togetherness, that Rastafari call "Full Joy", says Richie Spice on the 'Beautiful Life'. "The song expresses the beauty of life whether in the perfection of Mother Nature's rivers and seas or in the intimacy between two persons."





No line-up revealed at Buju's concert launch

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buju-banton-photo-11.jpgContrary to the expectations of many present at the Spanish COurt Hotel in New Kingston Wednesday night, the line-up for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom March 16 concert was not announced. A throng of media, including scores of photographers, videographers, bloggers, traditional media and wanna-bees converged on the launch, waiting for the smallest scrap of new information, but not much was forthcoming. Tickets for the Jamaica concert, which should have gone on sale on Wednesday, will now be on sale Thursday morning via the website www.bujubanton.com.





Fans send love as Buju Banton posts new picture

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buju-banton-on-instagram-from-my-vantage-point-its-all-upside-down.jpg

On Wednesday, Buju Banton posted a new pic on IG, along with a rather cryptic caption: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr." This same picture, however, was centrally positioned at the launch of the LWTF tour and a host of drummers performed in front of it. Fans seem to be loving the photo and have been sending their love to the Grammy award-winning entertainer. "Nothing but lots of love and blessings. I will not miss this concert." "Historic! The world is waiting. "MAGIC CITY!!" "Bless me artise good to see the man seems more humble that before much love." "The lessons in LIFE are tough, you went away, came back BETTER, we await your new music, your NEW SELF, a better improved self aware SPIRITUAL GIANT....U GOT THIS NEXT CHAPTER Buju, unite the world with your newness and music, the time is NOW.❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥"

Buju Banton on Instagram: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr"





It was obvious that something was happening at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on the night of January 16. That something turned out to be the launch of Buju Banton's highly anticipated Long Walk To Freedom Tour, but, alas, something was amiss. Present were a host of media personnel; artistes fi stone dog, sponsors, well-wishers aplenty and of course, gal pickiney dressed to the nines all waiting to salute the return of the Gargamel.  The Gargamel, however, was nowhere in sight. However, the Dancehall/Reggae superstar made sure to send a heartfelt message to his fans for their continued support over the years. "Thank you for coming out tonight," Buju Banton send via video, "I want to thank you all for making time from your busy schedules to be here with us. I want to thank our sponsors, those who saw it fit to come together in the spirit of unity to make something of this magnitude happen here in Jamaica. I want to thank those in the media, the print media, radio, television, for their love and support over the years and especially at this time... On the 16th of March, the national stadium will be a venue like no other. So many years since i've seen my people and we have exchanged communications spiritually, mystically and on the 16th of March we endeavour to reconnect.




Rebel Salute's Herb Curb just got even better

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Rebel Salute has partnered with Epican Jamaica to bring the Herb Curb to life for its 2019 staging. The unique Herb Curb is an enclosed area within the music festival, through which organizers want to highlight the business of cannabis, not just its recreational properties.

The event became the first to be granted an exemption under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act to allow the use and sale of small amounts of cannabis, more popularly known as marijuana. Marijuana is an integral part of Rastafarian culture and that culture is at the heart of Rebel Salute, so both are intricately intertwined.

Tony Rebel, Founder Rebel Salute, disclosed that the event is joining forces with Epican Jamaica to expand the event. "We are looking at a two-day herb conference on the Thursday and Friday before the festival starts and then a Symposium on Saturday. We really want to explore all the ways we can benefit from herb," said Tony Rebel.

The curb will display educational, medicinal, recreational and spiritual products and content that give more insight into the world of cannabis. Artisans, herb practitioners and educators will be on hand to explain the benefits, uses, applications and numerous byproducts on the cutting edge of organic medicinal exploration.

In addition, there will be a designated smoking lounge, complete with seating and video feed from the main stage.

Jermaine Bibbons Head of Marketing at Epican, says the company is excited about being a part of Rebel Salute.





Buju Banton launches foundation

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buju-banton-on-instagram-born-in-abject-poverty-i-know-what-it-is-for.jpgThis is what Buju wrote on social media as he recently launched his foundation:

"Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams and lots of determination. Unfortunately, daunted and unable to achieve your destiny, due to lack of a helping hand. It is not an easy road, my children. However, Jah has blessed me. I have made it my mission through the Buju Banton Foundation, to help, by giving light to youth living in the darkness of poverty...Through provision of food, clothing, healthcare and education. Thus ensuring they too have equal opportunities to succeed.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams..."





For the second year running, the British Council is partnering with the music festival Rebel Salute with its live music skills training programme for young people -- Backstage to the Future: Caribbean.

This year, 12 trainees will be offered the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in stage management, lighting and sound, through on-site teaching of technical skills and hands-on shadowing, at Rebel Salute's annual live music event slated for January 18-19, at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.

"We have expanded the scope of the programme this year, increasing the number of Jamaican participants to five. In addition to the Green Moon festival in San Andrés, Colombia, and Rebel Salute here in Jamaica, we've added the Havana World Music Festival in Cuba as a third event at which these young professionals will receive additional training. We also recognise the importance of contributing content and are supporting the participation of top international Reggae act, Dawn Penn, at the festival," shared British Council country director, Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick.

"This partnership underscores the commitment of the British Council towards creating opportunities for cultural exchange that support social and economic development, through the arts and the creative economy, in Jamaica. Rebel Salute provides an excellent training ground for the future generation of festival professionals. We are very pleased to support the growth and development of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean by contributing to the continuing professionalisation of the live-event sector, building bridges between Jamaican festival professionals, the UK and international markets, as well as creating jobs through self-employment." Jacobs-Bonnick outlined.

Backstage to the Future: Caribbean is a skills training programme for live music events that was launched in San Andrés, Colombia, in August 2017, during the 30th anniversary of the Green Moon Festival. The programme is designed to develop and nurture future live-event producers and technicians in San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia), Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, with a focus on building technical and soft skills. The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.





held.jpgA Jamaican woman and a Bahamian man are in police custody in northern Bahamas in connection with the seizure of ganja and stolen items.They were arrested on Tuesday.

It is reported that the police and immigration officers went to an area on one of the Abaco Islands about 1 p.m.

They discovered a number of stolen items and 10 pots of ganja plants.

The 46 year-old Jamaican woman, who was found at the location, was taken into custody.

During further searches in the area, the police discovered 50 additional ganja plants.

A 44 year-old Bahamian man was taken into custody.





Second person killed in Westmoreland since 2019

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWestmoreland recorded its second murder since the start of the year following the gun slaying of a popular businessman in the parish on Saturday afternoon. The deceased has been identified as Kevin Bird, 37, of Good Hope, Negril.

Reports are that about 4:30 p.m., Bird was among a group of men playing a table game outside a supermarket in the town centre of Negril, when two men rode up on a motorcycle; one climbed off and opened fire, hitting Bird multiple times.

The businessman was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No motive has so far been established for the killing.

Bird's murder comes on the heels of the New Year's Day killing of 48-year-old hardware supervisor, Anthony Meyler, of Rocky Hill, Sheffield, Westmoreland, and the shooting and injuring of a 33-year-old labourer of Fairmount, Sheffield in Westmoreland.

Meyer's licensed 9mm Heckler and Koch pistol was stolen during the attack on him.

Last year 142 murders were recorded in Westmoreland, six shy of the 148 that were recorded there in 2017.

Westmoreland led among the parishes nationally in terms of its murder tally last year.





court-case.jpgJoelle Clayton, the woman who abandoned her four-month-old baby in a car as she partied last month, will return to court next March. Clayton appeared before a judge on Tuesday after she was charged with child endangerment.

The infant is reportedly being cared for by Clayton's relatives.

Reports are that a passer-by saw the child inside the vehicle crying, and summoned the police. The police, in trying locate the parents, used a sound system at the party that was being held inside Sabina Park, Kingston, to call for the parents to come forward.

The police also broke the window of the vehicle in order to rescue the baby.

The child was medically examined and the vehicle towed.





Canadian woman killed in accident involving Munga

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munga-honorable.jpgDancehall entertainer Damion Rhoden aka Munga Honorebel, was involved in a fatal accident on Saturday morning, which claimed the life of a Canadian woman, Tashana Cumbermack.

The accident took place on the Mandela Highway, in the vicinity of Ferry in St Catherine.

Reports from Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are that Munga was driving a Toyota Axio, about 5:50 Saturday morning, which crashed into a Suzuki Vitara. The Vitara, in turn, hit a bus in which Cumbermack was travelling.

Munga and one of his passengers as well as Cumbermack were rushed to hospital where Cumbermack was pronounced dead.

Munga is said to be in stable condition.





Message from Cyntoia Brown

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cyntoia-brown-photo-2.jpgA message from Brown was read aloud during a news conference hosted by her legal team Monday morning.

"Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.

I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.

Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor's degree, which I will complete in May 2019.

I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His Saving Grace.

Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years.

I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.

I love all of you and will be forever grateful.

With God's help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.

Thank you."





Cyntoia Brown granted clemency

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cyntoia-brown-photo-1.jpg

Cyntoia Brown stands trial as an adult even though she was just 15 years old at the time.

The day before the first gathering of the 111th General Assembly, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said Monday he was granting clemency to Cyntoia Brown.

If you remember the story which has been making headlines again lately, the 30-year-old Brown, said in 2004, she was forced into prostitution and scared for her life when she shot Nashville real estate Johnny Allen.

Haslam's announcement, which was quickly met with praise from Democrats, comes less than two weeks before he exits office. He is also in the midst of weighing a possible bid for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

"This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case," Haslam said.

In 2004, Brown killed Johnny Mitchell Allen, who Brown said had solicited her for sex and taken her back to his house. Prosecutors at the time said Brown shot Allen in the head while he was sleeping, stole money and guns, took his truck, and fled the scene. They argued the killing wasn't motivated by self-defense, but robbery.

Brown said she was scared for her life by Allen's behavior, and took money for fear of returning empty-handed to her pimp, nicknamed "Cut Throat."

A juvenile court found Brown competent to be tried as an adult. She was convicted of murder and robbery, and sentenced to life in prison.

Though more than a decade had passed since her trial, the harsh punishment for a teenage victim of sex trafficking sparked outrage around the US -- particularly after celebrities Rihanna and Kardashian West came to her defense on social media in 2017. She would not have been eligible for parole until she had served for 51 years.





Police searching for newborn stolen from Jubilee

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police-cars.jpgDetectives attached to the Jamaica Constabulary Force are searching for a baby who was born on Tuesday but who was stolen from the hospital ward early Wednesday morning.

Head of the Constabulary's Corporate Communication's Unit, CCU, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Dahlia Garrick, says the baby's mother raised an alarm after returning from the restroom to find that her baby was missing from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, where she did her delivery.

ASP Garrick is appealing to the public to provide any information that can assist the police in its search for the missing baby.

This is the second newborn to be kidnapped in the last 5-days. On Friday, a three week old was kidnapped at the Cornwall Regional Hospital after the baby's mother asked a woman who befriended her to watch the baby.

The mother reportedly went to use the restroom after leaving the hospital's pharmacy. The police found the baby on Sunday in Norwood in St. James.

The alleged kidnapper and her boyfriend were taken into custody.





vershon-on-and-off-switch-on-instagram-2019-lets-make-it-a-year.jpgThis is Vershon's wish for 2019:

vershonmusic

#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity

So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up!

So I'm gonna start by saying

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's!

All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity!

@grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼

And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch on Instagram: "#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I..."

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#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up! So I'm gonna start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's! All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity! @grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼 And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

O postare distribuită de 🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch (@vershonmusic) pe





danielle-di-on-instagram-if-a-man-want-it-him-affi-pay-dung-pon-it.jpgDanielle DI looking to great things in 2019, after sharing underwear clad pic of her Priceless part in November.

Danielle D.I. on Instagram: "🎶If a man want it him affi pay dung pon it 🎶🤑 #PricelessPumpum 💚hair by @kendradolls"





ishawna-on-instagram-da-pussy-yah-it-aguh-tun-mi-inna-billionaire.jpgAs other female artistes are busy feuding, Ishawna seems to have taken the high road..

"Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!" she posted to social media on Thursday.

A few days earlier, Ishawna had stripped down to a revealing swing-suit and made bold statements about her vagina turning her into a billionaire.

"Da p*$$y yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Da pussy yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!"





D'Angel releases new single, 'Nuh Trust Dem'

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michelle-downer-on-instagram-nuh-trust-dem.jpgThe former wife of Dancehall King, Beenie Man is on a roll. She has released two new singles in quick succession, seemingly inspired by the war with self-proclaimed Queen of Dancehall', Spice. The song iis entitled "Nuh Trust Dem.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "Nuh Trust Dem!"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Nuh Trust Dem!

O postare distribuită de Michelle Downer (@dangelmusic) pe





michelle-downer-on-instagram-world-premier-of-mind-yuh-business.jpgThe song is entitled "Min Yuh Business" and is produced by Irie FM disc jock, DJ Sunshine, who blasted a world premiere this week.

Clearly this is D'Angel's ansa to Spice as their feud heats up.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "World Premier Of "Mind Yuh Business" @djsunshineja_yellowmoonrecords 💣💣💣💣"





vybz-promo-on-instagram-spiceofficial-granma-amari-a-talk-to-you.jpgSo this is really high drama. Amari, the former fiancee of Gully Bop, has weighed in on the feud between D'Angel and Spice. Amari, who is also an artiste, and also a producer, has made a video telling Spice to be careful and remember that Amari is a force to be reckoned with.

Watch carefully as you read these comments :

Vybz Promo on Instagram: "@spiceofficial Granma Amari a talk to you. 🤷🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️"


😢😢😢😢😢

jyngeregnyj

When u hear 1mill a gi weh.. all termite surface🤣🤣🤣🤣

nikkirona_clarke

😂😂😂😂😂

welshy_wish

😂😂😂

amoy119

Every gal want a piece a spice! Boom!

0mallia

Amari moving!!! moving like a nuclear!!🔥🤣 but idk where

kenisarobin

Stop yuh coming and come....look from when and yuh can't reach

island_girl_tee21

Mi stress out🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

winsome.martin

Whoiiiiii a cah laugh 😂😂😂😂😂

shaznii__

Straight out the old age home

_respectmycurves_

Come gwoop!

mesheck_today

@skkanme thief in the night

mesheck_today

Ugly

domzphotography

Somebody caa box har dung 😒

_kimmone

is that a choker on her neck or its jus how her neck creases ? 🤔

mseanique__

Kmt damn mad woman @spiceofficial don't even look goodz kmt

call_me_roxi

Spice amari is coming.!!.. Wonder where she going.... Must to get those dentures fixed

sassymama_sil

@dellano007 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

erfman69

Dwl

ricksmediagroup

Mouth look soft 😂😂 go sit down lady

fullyjamaican

This woman must sick cuz idk y she always embarrassing herself like this

sham_balla

👀👀👀👀

_badgalshelly

But who tf is she

freshlysqueezed_sunshine

A wah really cudda cause this tho??!! 🤣🤣🤣 @ayondaescollections

im_melanin_876

@skkanme some homeless chick from NY🤦‍♀️

GULLY BOP EX AMARI HAS A MESSAGE FOR SPICE





roy-fowl-cook-out-album-2019-01-04.jpg





crime-scene-7.jpgPolice have reopened an investigation into a drug overdose death at a wealthy Democratic donor's home in West Hollywood after a second man died on the premises early Monday morning.

Edward Buck, a regular donor to democratic campaigns including Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, was investigated for a suspected murder when Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of a meth overdose in July 2017.

The case was closed after the Los Angeles District Attorney found insufficient evidence to prosecute, sparking controversy from local campaign groups.

Now a second man has been found dead in Buck's apartment. The LA Sheriff's Department said the cause of death is 'unknown at this time'.

The retired donor and political activist has been interviewed by police.

According to police Buck was present for both deaths and both men were black.

An African-American man was found dead in the Los Angeles apartment of a prominent Democratic Party donor - the second time a black man died in the home in the past 18 months. The coroner is seen with the body in West Hollywood on Monday.Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies found the body of the man in the early morning hours Monday at the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck

Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, said the man was a long-time friend of Bucks in his 50s, and had lived in West Hollywood for 25 years. Amster claimed that the man had 'a history of substance abuse'.

'Unfortunately in the early hours this morning, a good friend of Ed's reached out to him. Ed was reluctant to have him over but he was insistent. He had him come over and come into his apartment,' Amster told DailyMail.com.

'Ed had just gotten out of the shower, so he went to get himself more appropriately attired. He came back into his living room and his friend was acting with bizarre behavior. Shortly thereafter it was obvious his friend needed medical assistance. Ed called paramedics. They arrived, they were unable to revive him, and unfortunately he died in the apartment.

This is the same apartment where in July 2017, Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of an apparent overdose of methamphetamine'It seems the individual came over already having consumed controlled substances. There were no controlled substances ingested in the presence of Ed, nor did Ed give any to his friend.'

The attorney said Buck was initially interviewed by officers who arrived on the scene, but has declined further interviews with homicide detectives.

'On Monday, January 7, 2019, at 1.05am, West Hollywood Station deputies responded to the 1200 block of Laurel Ave in the City of West Hollywood regarding a person not breathing,' the LA Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

'The informant performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and called 9-1-1. Los Angeles County Fire responded to the location and pronounced a male adult deceased. The cause of death is unknown at this time and will be determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office.

'On July 27, 2017 there was a death investigation of a male adult, Gemmel Moore, who was determined to have overdosed at the same location. Mr. Edward Buck was present during both incidents.

'The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau has responded to the location and Investigators are conducting a thorough investigation, which includes follow up interviews and a secondary review of the July 27, 2017 incident.'

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo +10

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo

At the time of Moore's death the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute Buck, saying there was 'insufficient [evidence] to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Buck] is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore.'

The DA's Office said: 'Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.'

In February of last year Moore's family published pages from his diary in which he alleged that it was Buck who first introduced him to narcotics.

These revelations prompted the LASD to reopen its investigation into Buck.

Since the investigation was launched, a number of other men of color have come forward to claim political power player Buck, who is single and came out as gay at 16, paid them to take drugs.

The coroner's report, from July 31, 2017, noted that investigators spoke with a woman who knew Moore, who said that the prostitute had told her about another man he knew that had been tied up by Buck 'over a year ago', who then 'held him against his will at the residence in West Hollywood.'





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia "Babsy" Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks who died on Friday at the age of 69.

The minister in a statement this afternoon recalled that: "Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment."

She noted that even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, Crooks offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts.

"Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue," Grange said.

"Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.

"I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond. He will be sorely missed," the minister continued.





bob-marley-large.jpgReggae legend Bob Marley and the Wailers are the only Jamaican artistes whose compilation made the cut for Billboard's top 200 albums for 2018. The album, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers, came in at number 78 on the charts.

Although the album dropped five places from the number 73 spot it occupied in 2017 end of year charts, the album remained the sole project from a Jamaican act to be included on the coveted chart. It is also the only compilation by a Jamaican act to be included in several other Billboard year-end charts. Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers also makes the cut on the Top Catalogue Albums chart, (coming in at number six, down from its number five spot last year); the Top R&B/Hip Hop chart (placing number 46 out of 100, and moving up one spot from 47 last year) and the top R&B Albums chart (coming in at number nine up from the number 13).

The album was originally released on May 1,1984, and debuted on the Billboard 200 in August of that year at No 54. The album created history back in 2017, when it spent a landmark 500 non- consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. At that point, it was the album with the second most weeks on the list beaten only by Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

Except for three years between 1985 and 1988, the album was a regular feature on the chart





Bartlett praises the late Walt Crooks

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has expressed sadness at the passing of Montego Bay entertainment entrepreneur, Walton "Walt" Crooks who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 69. No official cause of death has been announced.

Bartlett remembered Crooks for his bold undertaking in the establishment of the Disco Inferno club in Montego Bay. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was one of Jamaica's hippest venues, with several high-profile acts performing there.

"Walt Crooks stood out as a giant in the entertainment industry, going beyond the ordinary as he engaged top class international singers to perform at Disco Inferno," said Bartlett.

"Walt was very passionate about his venture and this led him to successfully bring the internationally recognised Hal Jackson's Talented Teens Pageant to Montego Bay, giving many young Jamaicans the opportunity to showcase their talents on stage and earning recognition," the minister continued.

Although Disco Inferno folded, Walt Crooks maintained his devotion to entertainment and tourism as a director of Summerfest Productions, working behind the scenes in the staging of the annual Reggae Sumfest, which launched in Montego Bay in 1993.

In his tribute, Bartlett expressed the view that Walt Crooks was truly ahead of his time and it is regretted that he was not able to fulfil the dream he had in expanding Disco Inferno into a world class entertainment complex.





PM Holness hails Accompong Maroons

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andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) -- Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has hailed the Accompong Town Maroons in St Elizabeth, noting that their togetherness is a shining example of peace for the rest of Jamaica.

According to the prime minister, the Maroons have preserved the culture of their ancestors, using it as a guide to live in peace and harmony with each other, a standard that the rest of the country should strive to emulate.

Holness was speaking at the Accompong Maroons' 281st celebration of the signing of the peace treaty with the British and to commemorate the birthday of their past leader, Cudjoe, yesterday, in the Maroon village.

"Within this town, you may have about two to three thousand people, but I looked at the murder statistics and I don't see one murder in this town or in this area. In fact, the crime rate here is very low and it is not just today or last year or the year before. This has been the case from ever since, and there is a reason for that. You hold on to a heritage [because] you know that your ancestors, your forefathers fought for your freedom," the prime minister said.

The festival marks the victory of the Maroons in their first war against the British in 1738, in which they fought for their freedom, led by Cudjoe. This year's staging was held under the theme 'Advancing to the Future while Standing True to our Culture'.

The prime minister underscored that the unique and distinct Maroon culture has kept them apart from what he said is the "chaos and violence that may exist in other parts of the country".

"Your forefathers fought and earned the respect of their enemies... to the point where your tenacity, your relentless pursuit of your freedom led to the signing of a peace treaty 281 years ago. It means something to each and every one of you who claim the Maroon heritage. So, you are not about to allow that heritage to be disrespected by violence, killing each other. You have used that heritage to live together under a particular system of governance which demonstrates respect for your chief, respect for your elders and respect for the culture," Holness said.

In the meantime, the prime minister gave a commitment to the Maroons that the government will improve the infrastructure of Accompong Town to make it easier for visitors to travel to the historic village to experience the rich culture of the people.

"People travel when it is easier and seamless, so if you fix the road, more people will come, and if we support you with a little museum, so that the artefacts that you have can be properly displayed, more people will come," Holness said.

He further informed that plans are afoot to improve the water supply system in the community. The day's festivities included performances by Maroon cultural and folk groups and the Beeston Spring Mento Band.





Barbados recalls hypertension medication

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Health authorities in Barbados have announced the withdrawal of the Citron branded Valsartan after tests conducted by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that the recall of the Citron branded Valsartan, along with Indapamide, was due to the "failure of both tablets to dissolve.

"This decision was made after testing was carried out by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and is not related to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) recall," the Ministry of Health and Wellness said.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George said the authorities "will continue to monitor the FDA drug recalls for all categories of drugs and will make all necessary decisions to protect the health of the Barbadian public".

Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said it wanted to assure the public that none of the drugs identified in the December 31 recall of the hypertensive drug, Valsartan, by the FDA is approved by the Barbados Drug Service for sale in Barbados.

It said that the FDA recall is related to the discovery of an impurity believed to increase cancer risk. The branded products recalled are from a specific company and have been identified as Valsartan, Amlodipine-Valsartan and Valsartan hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

"The ministry has made it clear that all brands approved for dispensing in Barbados are FDA-approved and also meet local standards," the statement said.





Schools on high alert after dengue outbreak

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dengue.jpgThe education ministry has put school administrators on high alert in light of the dengue outbreak which the island is now experiencing, urging them to take necessary measures to protect the school population.

In a bulletin ahead of the reopening of school today the ministry has advised administrators to "free the school environment of mosquito breeding sites such as old tyres and containers in which water can settle, tins are punched with holes before disposing, and large drums, barrels and tanks holding water are securely covered".

The ministry has also advised that public health teams from the Ministry of Health will be visiting schools to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented.

Last week the health ministry told the country that the mosquito-borne virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for the month of December, with 123 case reports.

At an emergency press conference Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton stressed that: "This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December - the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold. As at today, 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed".

The ministry says it has implemented a number of response measures, including the extension of the enhanced vector control programme up to March 2019 to include the employment of an additional 500 temporary workers to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites.

Opening hours for a number of health facilities have been extended to 8:00 pm, and an extended public education campaign is also being rolled out, with public service announcements regarding mosquito breeding sites, symptoms of dengue and personal protection tips being shared across media platforms, the ministry said.





Rihanna's Reggae album 'R9' on the horizon

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rihanna-photo-2.jpgRihanna's dancehall-inspired album is reportedly close to being released.

The 9th studio album will reportedly be titled R9.

Rihanna's vocal producer Kuk Harrell has teased fans that the album sounds "amazing."

R9 will be RiRi's follow up to her critically acclaimed album, ANTI.

Last month, the Grammy-winning mogul shared a silent video of herself dancing in the studio to her new music.





Grammy voting session to close soon

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grammy.jpgThe final round of voting in the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will close in a few days time .

In the running for the Grammy for best Reggae Album are Etana, Protoge, Shaggy and Sting, Black Uhuru, and Ziggy Marley.

Etana created history being the fourth female to be nominated since 1997. Etana is nominated for the album Reggae Forever distributed by Tads Records. If she wins she will be the first female ever to cop a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

Judy Mowatt scored the first nomination in 1986, Rita Marley in 1992 and Sister Carol in 1997. The were all nominated, but didn't win.

Meanwhile Protoje has secured his first Grammy nomination with A Matter Of Time!

Black Uhuru who won the first ever Reggae Grammy in 1985, is nominated for As The World Turns.

Shaggy and Sting who currently sit in the number one position on the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart, is nominated for their collaborative album, 44/876.

And Ziggy Marley who holds the record for the most Best Reggae Album wins with a total of 7, is nominated for Rebellion Rises.

The 2019 Grammys will be held on February 10 in Los Angeles.





michelle-downer-on-instagram-dangel-clears-the-air-full-video.jpgFans of D'Angel are feeling her recent video in which she cuts and clear the air as it relates to insults hurled at her by Spice, who labelled the First Lady of Dancehall a hypocrite, among other things.

Spice, in a recent Live, told fans that D'Angel had "begged" her to do their collab hit song, "No Worries" and had called her everyday, before she finally decided to do it. "Memba say nutten did a gwaan fi Angel before me do the song with her her. And after me and she do the song, she don't call back mi phone," Spice bawled out.

D'Angel, in her video basically called Spice a liar as she explained how the song really came about.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "D'Angel Clears The Air Full Video Link In Bio👆👆👆👆 #cutanclear"





August Town under curfew

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curfew-in-areas-of-west-kingston.jpgThe police have imposed a two-day curfew in August Town, eastern St Andrew, which has been the scene of multiple killings since start of the new year.

The curfew began Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and will end Monday at 6:00 p.m.

The boundaries of the curfew are as follows:

NORTH: Along an imaginary line about 500 metres from the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa in the vicinity of a large upstairs building to the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road.

EAST: Along an imaginary line about 2,000 metres from the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road to the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road.

SOUTH: Along an imaginary line about 200 metres from the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road to Top Road.

WEST: Along an imaginary line about 1,500 metres from Top Road to the large upstairs building along the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries of the curfew are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised in writing by the ground commander.





The international consultant recruited to lead a security audit of Jamaica's hotels and attractions is set to arrive in the island today. A release from the Ministry of Tourism today said Dr Peter Tarlow will arrive to join the team carrying out an intensive security audit of the tourism sector. The tourism ministry said eight properties have already been audited.

The arrival of Tarlow to lead the security audit comes in the wake of multiple claims of sexual harassment by female visitors to the island.

The audit of all hotels and attractions is being led by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), as part of what the tourism ministry said are "efforts to ramp up the island's destination assurance programme".

"I look forward to welcoming Dr Tarlow to the island, as his visit comes at a crucial point in the development of our product. We must safeguard the key aspects of destination assurance such as security, safety and seamlessness of our tourism product," Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett was quoted in the release to the media.

"Dr Tarlow and the team will help us take a step in the right direction and provide insight in legislation that may be implemented to make the industry safer, as well as help us develop a new programme on how to better relate and interact with international guests," Bartlett added.

The security audit, which is to be completed by the first half of 2019, will identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike. Tarlow and the audit team are also expected to assist with constructing a new architecture for tourism ethics and visitor safety.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner Wilfred Baghaloo, who heads the Tourism Working Group, which was recently established by Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, will also be a part of the audit team.





earthquake.jpgThe Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Friday said an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled three Caribbean islands, as the region recorded three earth tremors within a 24-hour period.

It said that latest quake, which occurred at 6:52 pm (local time) was felt in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the French island of Guadeloupe.

According to the SRC the quake was located Latitude: 16.88N, Longitude: 61.15W and at a depth of 10 kilometres (km).

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but it was felt 81 km east-south-east of St John's, Antigua and Barbuda, 82 km north east of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and 177 km north of the Dominican capital, Roseau.

Earlier on Friday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, after one with a magnitude of 3.9 shook St Lucia, Martinique and St Vincent and the Grenadines just after midnight.





Baby stolen from hospital car park

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shocked.jpgThe police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing baby girl and a woman suspected of taking her from the parking lot of the Cornwall Regional Hospital on Friday.

The baby is three weeks old, of brown complexion and was wearing a pink outfit with pink and black socks when she was taken.

Meanwhile, the suspect is said to be of brown complexion, medium build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. The police said she was wearing a wig and a multi-coloured dress at the time of the incident.

Reports are that the mother of the child was at the facility for an appointment when she was allegedly befriended by the suspect.

"About 1:50 pm, they both left the pharmacy at the hospital and ventured into the parking lot. The child's mother reportedly left the baby in the care of the suspect to use the restroom and upon her return, neither her child nor the woman was seen," the police reported this afternoon.

The police were summoned and an investigation commenced.

Anyone with information about the child and the suspect is being asked to contact the Montego Bay police at (876) 979-8452, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





A Jamaican boat captain died after spending 22 days adrift in waters off the coast of Nicaragua, while two other men who were on the vessel were rescued and remain in the Central American country.

Nicaragua media has named the dead captain as Joshua Strekley, 44 and said he has been buried there.

According to the report, the two survivors Clifton C Edwards, 43, and Reid Derreique Anthonio, 45 said they set sail from St Thomas in Jamaica on December 10, 2018 to the fishing bank known as Murrant Cay Saumont Bank.

The two explained that after travelling 30 miles out to sea, they were surprised by a strong storm that damaged the left side of their boat.

The fishermen said they were left without fuel and food until they ran aground on the Halouver coast, 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua, where they received help from community members.

The residents reportedly took Strekly to the health post in the town, where he died and they decided to bury him.

The surviving fishermen were subsequently sent to immigration authorities for their return to Jamaica.





dengue.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Ministry of Health is allocating an additional $250 million to support enhanced measures to contain the spread of the dengue fever virus.

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a press conference held at the ministry's corporate offices in New Kingston today, where he confirmed that the virus surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.

Tufton said the latest figures from the Epidemiological Unit indicate that 123 dengue case reports (suspected, presumed and confirmed) were received for the month.

"This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December, and is the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold," he said.

"This has been a more active season than last year, and we have been observing and monitoring the numbers and increases with each month, but by the clinical standards could only claim an epidemic once the threshold is surpassed," Tufton noted.

He said that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018.

A total of 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed since January 2018.





Dengue Fever Outbreak In Jamaica

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dengue.jpgHealth Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has declared that the island is now experiencing an outbreak of dengue fever.

Tufton made the disclosure at an emergency press conference at his offices in New Kingston.

He revealed that 123 cases were recorded in December 2018.

The figure includes suspected, presumed and confirmed cases.

He said that the number surpasses the outbreak threshold, which is 96.

Tufton pointed out that December was the first time that dengue cases climbed beyond that mark.

Additionally, the health minister disclosed that in 2018 the country recorded seven suspected cases of dengue-related deaths.

Tufton said two of the cases have since been confirmed.





buju-banton-on-instagram-do-you-know-what-this-means.jpgNo doubt about ti, Buju Banton ius HOT!!! And when he posts a picture of himself, the reaction is swift.

On Thursday he posted a pic to IG with the caption: bujuofficialDo you know what this means?

His adoring fans were only too willing to tell him:

Check out a few of the comments below

zosa_naturalCleansing and sanctification

mcraepinnockYou a get the mind ,soul and body right fi di road mi general. Dem can't hold the god bless yute. Uptop!!

sexygaljayCleansing the spirit

chillibibbiWashing off that American blight!

guntego_Gargamel in person calm am easy bless 🙏 up mi bruh inna real life wash all crossess, start fresh 🍃💦mi General hill 🗻 n valley.

llinks45Freedom to do whatever you want @bujuofficial more life Mi elder you are the real role model, you held the faith and it shows, much respect ✊🏿 🇯🇲🇯🇲

iammenot_herCleansing the mind body and soul..washing away all the evil.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Do you know what this means?"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Do you know what this means?

O postare distribuită de Buju Banton (@bujuofficial) pe





crime-scene-gun.jpgIt was not a happy sight in Payton Place in August Town, St Andrew, as news spread of the death of Omar Johnson, the country's first murder victim for the year.

It was only eight hours into 2019 when reports surfaced that Johnson was killed by unknown assailants in the community about 8 a.m. yesterday.

And just as persons were coming to terms with Johnson's death, two persons were shot and killed in the August Town Tuesday evening.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit confirmed the incident, but could not say when or where the shootings occurred.

One resident said that they were simply hanging out in the community when Johnson was killed.

"Wi a hold a vibes right yah so, and wi see two man a drag him dung the lane. Dem did a try hide the gun, but wi see it and tek weh wiself. After that mi just hear a shot and then mi hear dem a tear dung the bush and a go weh," the resident said.

Although saddened by Johnson's death, the residents are also convinced that Johnson's death may have been a warning for someone else.

"It's not like him is a yute weh involve in anything or have anyone weh involve in anything. Him is a handyman. If you have a fan to fix and him can do it, it a fix. Anything you want help wid, him a dweet," the resident said.

Johnson is not originally from the community, but he was welcomed by many because of how friendly he was.

Another resident said that they are now fearful because Johnson was killed innocently.

"Dis mek wi start pree di thing different yah now because a nuh yah him come from, and a nuh bad man thing mek him come yah neither. Him a look a betta life, and him have a place of his own yah now and him a do him thing. Him do him job and talk wid everybody. To mi, this is like a warning killing, and it just mean seh no one is safe now," the resident said.





Five Jamaicans are among several Caribbean nationals who have been pardoned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The others given pardon include: one Trinidadian, one Haitian and six nationals from the Dominican Republic.

Convicted of minor drug and other offences, the pardon has saved them from possible deportation under the Donald Trump administration's tough policy on immigrants. Cuomo said he was granting clemency to 29 immigrants "who have demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to community crime reduction.

"While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities," said Cuomo, adding "these actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York".

The NY governor said the pardons are in recognition of the immigrants' "rehabilitative efforts and to remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status.

"Some are facing deportation, while others wish to be able to participate in their communities as citizens of the country they call home. In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic," he said.

Cuomo said Jamaican Olive Ferguson, 75, was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1991 and that "she has been crime-free ever since".

He said Ferguson is "an active member of her church. She has remained crime-free for 27 years. A pardon will minimise her risk of deportation."

Jamaican Rohan Hylton, 47, was convicted of a similar offence in 1992 as well as criminal possession of marijuana in in 2001 and 2003.

Cuomo said Hylton came to the United States over 30 years ago with his family "to escape political persecution.

"As a father and dedicated family man, he now lives and works in Queens. A pardon will allow him to apply for discretionary relief from his deportation order. He has not been convicted of any misdemeanours or felonies for 12 years."

Cuomo said another Jamaican, Kerrone Kay-Marie Parks, 33, was convicted in 2013 on drug related charges.

"She is a domestic violence survivor, a mother of three children on the honour roll, and currently volunteers full-time at a nursing home. She has remained crime-free for five years."

Jamaican Jeremy Grant, 58, was also convicted of drug related charges in 2005 "when an individual in a group he was a member of sold drugs to an undercover cop and the entire group was convicted in Manhattan," the New York governor said.

He said Grant "has been in prolonged removal proceedings since 2006," and "has remained crime-free for 13 years.

"A pardon would remove the barriers to apply for a green card renewal, and prevent him from being deported and losing his access to necessary medical treatment," Cuomo said.

He said Grant's compatriot, Trevor Elliot, 67, was convicted of drugs in the early 1990s and has worked at a non-profit that provides social services for the youth and as an elder care provider.

"A pardon would allow Mr. Elliot to apply for citizenship. He has maintained a crime-free lifestyle for 10 years."

Trinidadian Anthony Khan, 66, was convicted of a drug offence in 1980 when he accompanied an acquaintance to sell a controlled substance and was arrested as part of a sting operation in the Bronx.

Cuomo said Khan, who migrated to the United States in 1971, is "an active church goer and a husband and father, who has worked with the Taxi and Limousine Commission for 35 years."

He has remained crime-free for 37 years, the governor said.

Haitian Reginald Castel, 45, was convicted of assault in 1999 and Cuomo said Castel, who came to the United States at the age of eight, is married with four children and was deported without notice in September 2017.

"A pardon will allow Mr. Castel to apply for re-entry to the United States and re-unite with his family. He has remained crime free for 19 years."

Alisa Wellek, executive director of New York's Immigrant Defence Project, said that in pardoning immigrant New Yorkers who face deportation, despite years of contributing to the community, Cuomo "has used a powerful tool to restore dignity to people for whom punishment will otherwise never end, simply because they were not born here.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor's office and our Immigrant Clemency Project to provide immigrant New Yorkers with a fighting chance to remain with their families in the face of Trump's hateful agenda," she said.

Cuomo had last year announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's policy of forced family separation on the US southern border.

To protect Caribbean and other immigrants from overly aggressive deportation tactics increasingly utilised by the US Immigration and Customs.





arrested.jpgA St Ann based Chinese businessman has been arrested by the police after he reportedly stabbed one of his customers with a knife during an altercation last week.

Investigators reported that about 1pm, the cumer had an argument with another Chinese national in the store operated by the businessman.

The situation was brought under control by security personnel, but tempers flared again between both men.

It is alleged that the businessman used a knife to inflict a wound to the customer resulting in serious intestinal injuries.

He was rushed to the St Ann's Bay regional hospital for treatment where an angry crowd gathered outside the store to express outrage at the incident.





Man murdered in Dallas Castle

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police are probing the shooting death of a man whose bullet-riddled body was found in a house in Dallas Castle on Thursday.

Investigators say the unidentified male is of brown complexion, slim build, about 6ft tall and has a tattoo on his right arm marked "Mickella".

It's reported that during a power outage in the area, shortly after 7 o'clock Thursday evening, residents saw a man being chased by three men armed with guns.

He ran into a house where he was attacked and shot several times by the men.The cops who were called to the scene found his body under a bed.

Several spent shells and bullet fragments were recovered from the scene.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police have arrested a 17 year old boy for the Boxing Day murder of a 15 year old in the Springs Plaza off Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.

Maleek Brown,15, of Blackwood Terrace, Stony Hill, St Andrew, died from a stab wound to the chest.

It's reported that Brown was with his friends on the plaza when they got into a dispute with another group of boys. During the dispute, the teenager was stabbed. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 17 year old was arrested in connection with the killing, following an investigation by the Half-Way-Tree police.





64-year-old attorney on fraud charge

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charged.jpgAnother attorney - Anthony Pearson, was arrested and charged yesterday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) following allegations that he defrauded one of his clients of more than $3-million.

It's reported that Pearson sold a property on behalf of his client for $6.5 million and reportedly paid half of the money to the client, but failed to hand over the balance.

The 64 year old attorney, who has been charged with fraudulent conversion, is scheduled to appear in court on February 28.

He was released on bail amounting to $400-thousand.





No exemptions as plastic bag ban takes effect

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plastic-bags.jpgThe Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is expressing concern about the Government's decision not to allow exemptions to the ban on certain plastics, which comes into effect on Tuesday

The ban means that importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and imported styrofoam products will no longer be allowed

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, is reported as saying that the government will compensate business operators instead of granting an exemption to allow them to use up their existing stock.

However, the government says compensation will only be allowed to business operators who have not completed stocks purchased before announcement of the ban in September.

Programme Director at the JET Tamoy Singh-Clarke says she understands the rationale for the decision not to allow exemptions.

However, she says there are some instances in which an exemption may be necessary.

Some Municipal Corporations are working on a plan to distribute thousands of reuseable bags in the markets.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda told the Gleaner that 30,000 environmentally friendly bags are to be distributed in the coming days by mayors.

This is part of the government's efforts to equip Jamaicans with alternatives to plastic bags.





Lawyer missing since January 5

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police-federation-logo.jpgSixty-five-year-old Williams Hines, otherwise called 'Baldie', an attorney-at-law of Greenside, Falmouth in Trelawny and Mona in St Andrew, has been missing since Sunday, January 6.

Hines is of dark complexion, slim built and is about 170 centimetres (five feet seven inches) tall.

Reports from the Falmouth police are that about 11:00 a.m., Hines was last seen at home in Trelawny.

He has not been heard from since.

His mode of dress at the time he went missing is unknown.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Williams Hines is being asked to contact the Falmouth police at 876-954-3271, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgPop singer Rihanna is about to make history as the first black female to head up a fashion brand at the world's largest luxury conglomerate, LVMH.

LVHM fashion house group owns Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

Rihanna's new brand under Louis Vuitton is expected to take the singer's last name, Fenty, which she uses for her make-up and lingerie businesses.

The line which is expected to launch in coming months will include handbags and accessories.





Fish released in gullies to fight dengue

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dengue.jpgWith the recent increase in cases of dengue-related illnesses and deaths in Jamaica, residents of Old Harbour in St. Catherine are one step closer to a dengue free environment.

This as some 1800 Tilapia fish, provided by the Ministry of Fisheries, were deposited into gullies in the community recently.

Noting that a sensitization meeting was also held in the community last Friday, where 24 bottles of mosquito repellent were distributed, Community and Public Relations Specialist at Jamaica Energy Partners, JEP, Mellisa Newman says the move is one step to successful mosquito eradication.

She adds that the fish will significantly reduce the number of larvae that exist in water settlements, such as gullies.

Noting the possible health effects associated with mosquito-borne diseases Newman says she hopes other organizations will play their part in creating a mosquito free environment.

She says a larvae count will be conducted in the upcoming weeks to assess the effectiveness of this environmentally friendly approach of reducing mosquito reproduction.





Good news as Jamaican appointed to Canadian Senate

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The Government and representatives from several organisations are celebrating the appointment of Jamaican born, Dr. Rosemary Moodie to the Canadian senate. Dr. Moodie who has distinguished herself in healthcare and community service, both in Jamaica, and her adopted homeland, was recently recommended by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to be an independent member of the upper house of their parliament.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, senator Kamina Johnson Smith, the appointment is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the partnership between Jamaica and Canada, and Dr. Moodie has been exemplary with her involvement in reducing social inequalities and health disparities, locally and internationally.

Senator Johnson Smith was among government officials, sector leaders and diplomats who gathered recently at the official residence of Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, in St. Andrew, to honour the Jamaican for her latest achievement.

In 2017, she was conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the government of Jamaica.

Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says the move is a source of very great pride to us, that one more native has excelled to an esteemed international body.

In making the announcement in December, to appoint Dr. Moodie to the senate, Prime Minister Trudeau says she and the other three new independent senators bring with them wealth of knowledge and experience, that will greatly benefit parliament, and all of Canada.





grace-hamilton-on-instagram-please-help-me-wish-my-little-princess.jpgPlease help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like this 🙏🏾 I love you my cupcake 🧁 I promise to be right by your side every step of the way. I'm so grateful that I was able to grant the pool party you requested, even tho mi nearly drown ina the dunk tank 🤣 thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate this special moment with us 💕💕💕 #Daughter #Mommymode #BlackwigmeansGrace

Grace Hamilton on Instagram: "Please help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like..."





A year-long calendar of activities has been announced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of VP Records. The year will see a variety of music and cultural events, products, historical exhibits and experiences, in Jamaica, across the US, Toronto, Canada and London, England.

"VP is integral to the history of reggae and dancehall music. We take this responsibility seriously and we are using our 40th anniversary to celebrate the music's rich heritage as we steward the genre into the future," said company President Randy Chin. "A major focus for the anniversary is highlighting the company's commitment to the development, promotion, and globalisation of Jamaican music."

The company kicks off its anniversary celebrations with a return to its homeland of Jamaica in January for Strictly The Best - LIVE Montego Bay on January 30, continuing into the summer with a historical exhibit titled A Reggae Music Journey at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The exhibition will move to Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport in June through to the end of the year.

Stateside, VP will launch The Reggae Trail, an interactive digital experience that features a map of historical locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City central to the growth of the Jamaican music industry and VP Records.

In April there will be Record Store Day to commemorate the annual celebration of vinyl culture. Four newly issued vinyl exclusives are expected to be released. VP Records will present a live sound system showcase at its retail outlets in New York and Florida. There will also be at least three major live concerts in the New York City area this summer, including the 9th staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Sunday, July 21.

A box set drawn from the vast catalogue of hits and rarities from VP Records is also being considered.

VP Records has been at the heart of reggae, dancehall and soca for 40 years sharing the music of Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Freddie McGregor, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Tarrus Riley, and a host of others.





buju-banton-photo-11.jpgBoom Energy Drink is the title sponsor for the first concert of Buju Banton's Long Walk to Freedom Tour, scheduled for National Stadium in St Andrew on March 16, 2019. William Mahfood, Wisynco Group chairman, explained his company's association with the event.

"When we look at the importance of reggae music in the Jamaican culture, there have been a few artistes over the course of our history of music who have had a material impact, and in so many ways. The reggae icon Buju Banton is definitely one of those artistes. In our first meeting upon his arrival, we shared similar passions for improving the lives of our Jamaican people, our culture, and reggae music. I knew immediately that it was important as a Jamaican company that sells predominately Jamaican products, that we had a vital role to play to help elevate his platform -- to unlock the true opportunity, to inspire Jamaican youth," said Mahfood.

"Wisynco has a set of core values that speak to CHIRP. This stands for compassion, humility, integrity, respect, and passion. As a company, it's through our belief in compassion and reciprocity, centred on core Christian principles, which inspire us to lead by example and encourage others to have compassion for our fellow Jamaican people."

The evening will also be supported through an associate sponsorship with the Tru-Juice and WATA brands.

"As the number one energy drink in Jamaica, BOOM knows what it takes to be the best. We are committed to providing the highest-quality products and experiences that are accessible to all Jamaicans, no matter their status. This is perfectly aligned with how we view Buju's music and stage presence, second to none, we know that this will be delivered to all of his fans on the night of March 16," said Tamara Ward, senior marketing and PR manager.

Patrons can participate in ticket giveaways on BOOM's IG, Twitter, and Facebook pages until February 8.





buju-banton-launch-at-spanish-court-hotel-album-2019-01-16.jpg





gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-kissing.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Gully Bop is upset at Chyn for stealing his lines and is reportedly considering to file a lawsuit against the woman who was supposedly his ex-fiancee.

According to sources, the "Wuk Affa Mi" deejay is not here for it with Chyn, who is using "From The Money To The Gully" line for her debut album.

Shauna Chyn who is currently buzzing on the local scene with her new singles, announced earlier this week that she will be dropping an EP later this year with the tagline which was coined by Bop shortly after his rise to stardom.

"Right now this is an insult to injury for Gully Bop if you ask me", sources are reported as saying. "There is a lot of things they are doing behind the scenes to stop Bop's food and now this is crossing the line. How can you take his tagline and trying to profit from it? He might be taking her to court so we shall see how this plays out" a report states.

Last year Shauna Chyn revealed that her romance with Gully Bop was just for the camera as they weren't actually dating. The "Suicide" singer claimed it was only a publicity stunt designed by his management team.

According to Chyn, the plan which was structured as a 'nothing to something' success story was going great until the "Body Specialist" deejay wanted more out of the arrangement. She claims that Bop began to have real feelings for her and forgot it was all a show.

Shauna added that she wasn't going to speak out on their business deal however she's tired of her name getting involved with Gully Bop as the negative press is affecting her music career.





Central High student dies from Dengue

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dengue.jpgCentral High School in May Pen, Clarendon has implemented measures to prevent the spread of dengue fever at the institution after a student died of the virus.

Fourteen year-old Areel Foster died at Kingston Public Hospital on Wednesday.

Uvalyn Daley, Acting Principal of Central High, said several of the vector control measures had been implemented prior to Areel's death.

It was reported that Areel spent the Christmas Holidays in Portmore, St. Catherine.

On returning to her home in Clarendon, she fell ill and was later diagnosed with dengue.

She was admitted to May Pen Hospital then transferred to Kingston Public Hospital.

Areel last year represented Central High in TVJ's All Together Sing competition.

Miss Daley said grief counsellors visited Central High on Thursday to speak to Areel's colleagues.

She said students and staff were in a sombre mood.





Caribbean on Dengue fever alert

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dengue.jpgAs Jamaica records another death caused by dengue fever, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has called for health officials across the region to prepare for the possibility of a severe outbreak of the mosquito borne virus.

In a statement Thursday, CARPHA said the last major regional outbreak of dengue occurred in 2009.

It said, since then, the region has experienced two large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases - Chikungunya in 2014 and Zika in 2016 -which are unlikely to reoccur soon.

CARPHA said disease modelling predicts that another regional outbreak of dengue may occur in the near future, adding that last year, Latin America showed an increase in the number of cases.

CARPHA has also pointed to the recent outbreak of dengue in Jamaica, saying that it has elevated the level of concern in other Caribbean countries.

The regional health agency is advising countries to implement enhanced measures to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of disease.

Research carried out by CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization shows that drums and tyres are the main mosquito breeding sources in Caribbean countries.

Symptoms of dengue typically begin four to ten days after infection, and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complications, such as internal hemorrhaging, intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness and persistent vomiting.

Jamaica has recorded 79 suspected and presumed confirmed dengue cases since the start of the year.

Speaking at Wednesday night's monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton disclosed that Jamaica recorded 996 cases last year.

He said the Ministry of Health is making progress in controlling the dengue outbreak and it is expected that there will be a lull in cases by March.





TAJ prosecutes wholesaler

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Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) says it has prosecuted the operators of a wholesale in St Ann for failing to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities.

Proprietors of DAFA Wholesale and Retail Limited were fined $250,000 when they appeared before the parish court on December 14 following "intelligence gathering" by the TAJ's Intelligence, Investigation and Enforcement Unit.

The wholesale establishment was charged under Section 17 of the amended Revenue Administration Act (RAA) for failure to produce books, records and documents as requested.

In the meantime, the TAJ is reminding taxpayers that it is an offence not to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities, and failure to produce such books, records and do.





lawyer-gareth-forbes-murdered.jpgA man was shot and killed inside his St Andrew home on Thursday.

He has been identified as 49-year-old Gareth Forbes, a lawyer of Oakridge, Stilwell Road in Kingston 8.

Reports from the Constant Spring Police are that about 10:00 pm, a relative found Forbes unresponsive at his home and summoned them. On arrival of the lawmen, his body was seen lying in a pool of blood; he had been shot several times.

Other reports say his body was found with a bullet wound to the back and the hands and feet were bound.

Investigators say his dog and Toyota Prado motor vehicle were stolen.

The police are urging anyone with information on the murder to contact the Constant Spring CIB, 119 or the nearest police station.

The crime scene was processed and the body was removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.

Just over one month ago, attorney Nordraka Williams Burnett of the law firm Townsend, Whyte and Porter, died after being stabbed by her husband, who is a member of the Jamaica Defence Force.





The A.T.F. Band - Yardie (Official Music Video)

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buju-banton-on-instagram-with-tremendous-response-from-fans-worldwide.jpgFollowing the release of the tickets for Buju Banton's March 16 concert in Kingston, Jamaica, on bujubanton.com and caribtix.com both websites have crashed.

Buju Banton had to post a message today to tell fans that the companies are working to get the sites back up as soon as possible. The message states:

"With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is working expeditiously to get the sites back up please pay close attention to @destinemedia and / or @budafuco96 for more information"

TICKETS are still available! Tickets Are NOT SOLD OUT!!!! DO NOT PURCHASE from ANY OTHER Site!!!

Buju Banton on Instagram: "With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is..."





Six high-risk inmates housed at Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre on South Camp Road in Kingston have been relocated to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road. This is part of the additional security measures which have been instituted in light of the recent unrest at Fort Augusta. Following the stabbing of an inmate at the prison last week, other inmates took to social media in a live Facebook video raising several concerns including allegations that those in authority were violating their rights. In a statement Wednesday morning, providing details of the security measures, Rudyard Spencer, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, said, following a health assessment by the institutions' medical team, three inmates were diagnosed as mentally ill and placed in single cells. Mr Spencer said frequent random searches will also be conducted and gate procedures enhanced. In addition, more staff will be deployed shortly to reinforce the inmate to officer ratio, he said. Regarding the use of mobile phones by inmates, Mr Spencer said all electrical outlets will be removed from cell blocks. He also sought to contradict the claims of ill-treatment, asserting that inmates are fed three nutritious meals daily, and their living conditions are sanitary. The enhanced measures were announced following a tour of Fort Augusta on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Carla Gullotta, Executive Director of human-rights advocacy group Stand Up for Jamaica, has urged the Ministry of National Security to take action following its probe into allegations by inmates at Fort Augusta.   The police and INDECOM are investigating the alleged assault of the inmate at the facility.    However, following reports that the inmates recorded their concerns in Facebook Live post, Stand Up For Jamaica has called for inmates to use legal means to voice their grouses.




JDF soldier killed in Mandeville

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier was shot and killed by gunmen in Mandeville over the weekend. He has been identified as Gabe Reid. Information is sketchy at this time, but reports are that the military man, who is part owner of a car mart in the Manchester capital, was at his business establishment when he was approached and chased by a group of men. Several explosions were heard shortly after. The police were called to the area and a search conducted, during which the soldier was found in nearby bushes suffering from gunshot wounds. Reid was taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital and later transferred to another medical institution, where he succumbed to his injuries.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgSinger Rihanna has taken her father to court in the US, accusing him of exploiting her name to further his entertainment business. She claims her father, Ronald Fenty, and his business partner have falsely suggested that she is connected to their firm, Fenty Entertainment. The lawsuit says their conduct has misled the public and hurt her Fenty brand, the name of her beauty business. Fenty Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rihanna has asked the court to bar the firm from using the Fenty name for business. The lawsuit says Rihanna owns trademarks in the US for the Fenty name and has sent formal cease and desist requests.





crime-scene-gun.jpgWell-known musician and businessman Lester Adderley Sr was shot outside a night spot in Freeport early Sunday morning. In August 2015 his son, Lester Adderley Jr, who owned and operated several businesses in Freeport, was also murdered after being shot outside his residence. After his son's death, the elder Adderley took over and ran the businesses. According to reports, Adderley Sr was shot and killed at Gametime, located in the former Gwen's Plaza, which was one of several establishments acquired by his late son. Sometime after midnight Sunday, police received reports of multiple gunshots fired in the area of East Atlantic Drive and sent a team of officers to investigate. When police arrived, they discovered the lifeless body of a man on the ground. Supt Brian Rolle, officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit on the island, said officers are in the preliminary stage of their investigation and were unable to release the victim's name at this time. A video was circulated on social media of the deceased - a light-skinned man with dreadlocks - lying in a pool of blood on the concrete floor just outside the plaza. Supt Rolle said that medical personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Adderley Sr was a talented musician and entertainer in Grand Bahama for many years. A guitarist, Adderley Sr made a remix of one of the songs on Baha Men's "2 Zero" album, "Hooked On a Feeling," released in 1999. Adderley Sr was an "incredible guitarist," and a musician's musician. "In addition to being a musician, Lester was also a highly successful music producer with many hit songs and albums to his name," recalled a friend, Mr Mackey, who in the mid-80s produced an album with Adderley Sr called "Lester Farai". "We spent countless hours at Cay Gottlieb's Cicada Sound Studio (the present Grand Bahama home of The Tribune, KISS FM and 100 Jamz radio station) perfecting and recording his album. "The interesting thing about that album of late is that there has been a resurgence of interest expressed by international persons in the last year to get their hands on vinyl copies of his album paying upwards to $125 for a single copy. I send condolences to his family through this tragic loss of his life," he said. In August 2015, Adderley Sr's son was found shot dead at an apartment complex, the Blue Marina Cove apartments, on Sunken Treasure Drive, near the Xanadu Beach. Adderley Jr, had been the owner of the former Mega Hits music store, and a few other business establishments. The younger Adderley was one of s





richie-spice-photo-1.jpgNew York, NY- Reggae and Rastafari champion, Richie Spice, returns to VP Records with a brand-new single "Beautiful Life" featuring Toronto based singer/songwriter Kathryn Aria, available worldwide January 18th. The new single combines two of Richie's strongest themes of love and consciousness. "Beautiful Life" simultaneously presents itself as a lover's tune while bridging together the universal concept of 'One Love' for life and consciousness. Produced by Steven Stanley, the song is sure to become a staple in Richie Spice's already impressive music catalogue. With over 111 Million Streams across all platforms and known for his core hit reggae songs "Earth A Run Red," 'Youth Dem So Cold," "Marijuana," "Brown Skin" and "Ghetto Girl," Richie Spice has recorded 8 albums for VP Records in his career, including his debut album "Spice In Your Life" which earned unanimous critical praise. He is is in the studio finishing his new album and will be heading to the KICC in Nairobi Kenya February 16th for a live show. A US tour is slated for April with "The Element Band". "It's about the love of life, the connection, togetherness, that Rastafari call "Full Joy", says Richie Spice on the 'Beautiful Life'. "The song expresses the beauty of life whether in the perfection of Mother Nature's rivers and seas or in the intimacy between two persons."





No line-up revealed at Buju's concert launch

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buju-banton-photo-11.jpgContrary to the expectations of many present at the Spanish COurt Hotel in New Kingston Wednesday night, the line-up for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom March 16 concert was not announced. A throng of media, including scores of photographers, videographers, bloggers, traditional media and wanna-bees converged on the launch, waiting for the smallest scrap of new information, but not much was forthcoming. Tickets for the Jamaica concert, which should have gone on sale on Wednesday, will now be on sale Thursday morning via the website www.bujubanton.com.





Fans send love as Buju Banton posts new picture

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buju-banton-on-instagram-from-my-vantage-point-its-all-upside-down.jpg

On Wednesday, Buju Banton posted a new pic on IG, along with a rather cryptic caption: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr." This same picture, however, was centrally positioned at the launch of the LWTF tour and a host of drummers performed in front of it. Fans seem to be loving the photo and have been sending their love to the Grammy award-winning entertainer. "Nothing but lots of love and blessings. I will not miss this concert." "Historic! The world is waiting. "MAGIC CITY!!" "Bless me artise good to see the man seems more humble that before much love." "The lessons in LIFE are tough, you went away, came back BETTER, we await your new music, your NEW SELF, a better improved self aware SPIRITUAL GIANT....U GOT THIS NEXT CHAPTER Buju, unite the world with your newness and music, the time is NOW.❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥"

Buju Banton on Instagram: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr"





It was obvious that something was happening at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on the night of January 16. That something turned out to be the launch of Buju Banton's highly anticipated Long Walk To Freedom Tour, but, alas, something was amiss. Present were a host of media personnel; artistes fi stone dog, sponsors, well-wishers aplenty and of course, gal pickiney dressed to the nines all waiting to salute the return of the Gargamel.  The Gargamel, however, was nowhere in sight. However, the Dancehall/Reggae superstar made sure to send a heartfelt message to his fans for their continued support over the years. "Thank you for coming out tonight," Buju Banton send via video, "I want to thank you all for making time from your busy schedules to be here with us. I want to thank our sponsors, those who saw it fit to come together in the spirit of unity to make something of this magnitude happen here in Jamaica. I want to thank those in the media, the print media, radio, television, for their love and support over the years and especially at this time... On the 16th of March, the national stadium will be a venue like no other. So many years since i've seen my people and we have exchanged communications spiritually, mystically and on the 16th of March we endeavour to reconnect.




Rebel Salute's Herb Curb just got even better

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Rebel Salute has partnered with Epican Jamaica to bring the Herb Curb to life for its 2019 staging. The unique Herb Curb is an enclosed area within the music festival, through which organizers want to highlight the business of cannabis, not just its recreational properties.

The event became the first to be granted an exemption under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act to allow the use and sale of small amounts of cannabis, more popularly known as marijuana. Marijuana is an integral part of Rastafarian culture and that culture is at the heart of Rebel Salute, so both are intricately intertwined.

Tony Rebel, Founder Rebel Salute, disclosed that the event is joining forces with Epican Jamaica to expand the event. "We are looking at a two-day herb conference on the Thursday and Friday before the festival starts and then a Symposium on Saturday. We really want to explore all the ways we can benefit from herb," said Tony Rebel.

The curb will display educational, medicinal, recreational and spiritual products and content that give more insight into the world of cannabis. Artisans, herb practitioners and educators will be on hand to explain the benefits, uses, applications and numerous byproducts on the cutting edge of organic medicinal exploration.

In addition, there will be a designated smoking lounge, complete with seating and video feed from the main stage.

Jermaine Bibbons Head of Marketing at Epican, says the company is excited about being a part of Rebel Salute.





Buju Banton launches foundation

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buju-banton-on-instagram-born-in-abject-poverty-i-know-what-it-is-for.jpgThis is what Buju wrote on social media as he recently launched his foundation:

"Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams and lots of determination. Unfortunately, daunted and unable to achieve your destiny, due to lack of a helping hand. It is not an easy road, my children. However, Jah has blessed me. I have made it my mission through the Buju Banton Foundation, to help, by giving light to youth living in the darkness of poverty...Through provision of food, clothing, healthcare and education. Thus ensuring they too have equal opportunities to succeed.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams..."





For the second year running, the British Council is partnering with the music festival Rebel Salute with its live music skills training programme for young people -- Backstage to the Future: Caribbean.

This year, 12 trainees will be offered the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in stage management, lighting and sound, through on-site teaching of technical skills and hands-on shadowing, at Rebel Salute's annual live music event slated for January 18-19, at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.

"We have expanded the scope of the programme this year, increasing the number of Jamaican participants to five. In addition to the Green Moon festival in San Andrés, Colombia, and Rebel Salute here in Jamaica, we've added the Havana World Music Festival in Cuba as a third event at which these young professionals will receive additional training. We also recognise the importance of contributing content and are supporting the participation of top international Reggae act, Dawn Penn, at the festival," shared British Council country director, Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick.

"This partnership underscores the commitment of the British Council towards creating opportunities for cultural exchange that support social and economic development, through the arts and the creative economy, in Jamaica. Rebel Salute provides an excellent training ground for the future generation of festival professionals. We are very pleased to support the growth and development of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean by contributing to the continuing professionalisation of the live-event sector, building bridges between Jamaican festival professionals, the UK and international markets, as well as creating jobs through self-employment." Jacobs-Bonnick outlined.

Backstage to the Future: Caribbean is a skills training programme for live music events that was launched in San Andrés, Colombia, in August 2017, during the 30th anniversary of the Green Moon Festival. The programme is designed to develop and nurture future live-event producers and technicians in San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia), Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, with a focus on building technical and soft skills. The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.





held.jpgA Jamaican woman and a Bahamian man are in police custody in northern Bahamas in connection with the seizure of ganja and stolen items.They were arrested on Tuesday.

It is reported that the police and immigration officers went to an area on one of the Abaco Islands about 1 p.m.

They discovered a number of stolen items and 10 pots of ganja plants.

The 46 year-old Jamaican woman, who was found at the location, was taken into custody.

During further searches in the area, the police discovered 50 additional ganja plants.

A 44 year-old Bahamian man was taken into custody.





Second person killed in Westmoreland since 2019

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWestmoreland recorded its second murder since the start of the year following the gun slaying of a popular businessman in the parish on Saturday afternoon. The deceased has been identified as Kevin Bird, 37, of Good Hope, Negril.

Reports are that about 4:30 p.m., Bird was among a group of men playing a table game outside a supermarket in the town centre of Negril, when two men rode up on a motorcycle; one climbed off and opened fire, hitting Bird multiple times.

The businessman was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No motive has so far been established for the killing.

Bird's murder comes on the heels of the New Year's Day killing of 48-year-old hardware supervisor, Anthony Meyler, of Rocky Hill, Sheffield, Westmoreland, and the shooting and injuring of a 33-year-old labourer of Fairmount, Sheffield in Westmoreland.

Meyer's licensed 9mm Heckler and Koch pistol was stolen during the attack on him.

Last year 142 murders were recorded in Westmoreland, six shy of the 148 that were recorded there in 2017.

Westmoreland led among the parishes nationally in terms of its murder tally last year.





court-case.jpgJoelle Clayton, the woman who abandoned her four-month-old baby in a car as she partied last month, will return to court next March. Clayton appeared before a judge on Tuesday after she was charged with child endangerment.

The infant is reportedly being cared for by Clayton's relatives.

Reports are that a passer-by saw the child inside the vehicle crying, and summoned the police. The police, in trying locate the parents, used a sound system at the party that was being held inside Sabina Park, Kingston, to call for the parents to come forward.

The police also broke the window of the vehicle in order to rescue the baby.

The child was medically examined and the vehicle towed.





Canadian woman killed in accident involving Munga

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munga-honorable.jpgDancehall entertainer Damion Rhoden aka Munga Honorebel, was involved in a fatal accident on Saturday morning, which claimed the life of a Canadian woman, Tashana Cumbermack.

The accident took place on the Mandela Highway, in the vicinity of Ferry in St Catherine.

Reports from Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are that Munga was driving a Toyota Axio, about 5:50 Saturday morning, which crashed into a Suzuki Vitara. The Vitara, in turn, hit a bus in which Cumbermack was travelling.

Munga and one of his passengers as well as Cumbermack were rushed to hospital where Cumbermack was pronounced dead.

Munga is said to be in stable condition.





Message from Cyntoia Brown

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cyntoia-brown-photo-2.jpgA message from Brown was read aloud during a news conference hosted by her legal team Monday morning.

"Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.

I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.

Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor's degree, which I will complete in May 2019.

I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His Saving Grace.

Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years.

I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.

I love all of you and will be forever grateful.

With God's help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.

Thank you."





Cyntoia Brown granted clemency

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cyntoia-brown-photo-1.jpg

Cyntoia Brown stands trial as an adult even though she was just 15 years old at the time.

The day before the first gathering of the 111th General Assembly, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said Monday he was granting clemency to Cyntoia Brown.

If you remember the story which has been making headlines again lately, the 30-year-old Brown, said in 2004, she was forced into prostitution and scared for her life when she shot Nashville real estate Johnny Allen.

Haslam's announcement, which was quickly met with praise from Democrats, comes less than two weeks before he exits office. He is also in the midst of weighing a possible bid for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

"This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case," Haslam said.

In 2004, Brown killed Johnny Mitchell Allen, who Brown said had solicited her for sex and taken her back to his house. Prosecutors at the time said Brown shot Allen in the head while he was sleeping, stole money and guns, took his truck, and fled the scene. They argued the killing wasn't motivated by self-defense, but robbery.

Brown said she was scared for her life by Allen's behavior, and took money for fear of returning empty-handed to her pimp, nicknamed "Cut Throat."

A juvenile court found Brown competent to be tried as an adult. She was convicted of murder and robbery, and sentenced to life in prison.

Though more than a decade had passed since her trial, the harsh punishment for a teenage victim of sex trafficking sparked outrage around the US -- particularly after celebrities Rihanna and Kardashian West came to her defense on social media in 2017. She would not have been eligible for parole until she had served for 51 years.





Police searching for newborn stolen from Jubilee

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police-cars.jpgDetectives attached to the Jamaica Constabulary Force are searching for a baby who was born on Tuesday but who was stolen from the hospital ward early Wednesday morning.

Head of the Constabulary's Corporate Communication's Unit, CCU, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Dahlia Garrick, says the baby's mother raised an alarm after returning from the restroom to find that her baby was missing from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, where she did her delivery.

ASP Garrick is appealing to the public to provide any information that can assist the police in its search for the missing baby.

This is the second newborn to be kidnapped in the last 5-days. On Friday, a three week old was kidnapped at the Cornwall Regional Hospital after the baby's mother asked a woman who befriended her to watch the baby.

The mother reportedly went to use the restroom after leaving the hospital's pharmacy. The police found the baby on Sunday in Norwood in St. James.

The alleged kidnapper and her boyfriend were taken into custody.





vershon-on-and-off-switch-on-instagram-2019-lets-make-it-a-year.jpgThis is Vershon's wish for 2019:

vershonmusic

#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity

So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up!

So I'm gonna start by saying

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's!

All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity!

@grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼

And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch on Instagram: "#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I..."

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up! So I'm gonna start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's! All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity! @grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼 And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

O postare distribuită de 🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch (@vershonmusic) pe





danielle-di-on-instagram-if-a-man-want-it-him-affi-pay-dung-pon-it.jpgDanielle DI looking to great things in 2019, after sharing underwear clad pic of her Priceless part in November.

Danielle D.I. on Instagram: "🎶If a man want it him affi pay dung pon it 🎶🤑 #PricelessPumpum 💚hair by @kendradolls"





ishawna-on-instagram-da-pussy-yah-it-aguh-tun-mi-inna-billionaire.jpgAs other female artistes are busy feuding, Ishawna seems to have taken the high road..

"Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!" she posted to social media on Thursday.

A few days earlier, Ishawna had stripped down to a revealing swing-suit and made bold statements about her vagina turning her into a billionaire.

"Da p*$$y yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Da pussy yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!"





D'Angel releases new single, 'Nuh Trust Dem'

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michelle-downer-on-instagram-nuh-trust-dem.jpgThe former wife of Dancehall King, Beenie Man is on a roll. She has released two new singles in quick succession, seemingly inspired by the war with self-proclaimed Queen of Dancehall', Spice. The song iis entitled "Nuh Trust Dem.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "Nuh Trust Dem!"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Nuh Trust Dem!

O postare distribuită de Michelle Downer (@dangelmusic) pe





michelle-downer-on-instagram-world-premier-of-mind-yuh-business.jpgThe song is entitled "Min Yuh Business" and is produced by Irie FM disc jock, DJ Sunshine, who blasted a world premiere this week.

Clearly this is D'Angel's ansa to Spice as their feud heats up.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "World Premier Of "Mind Yuh Business" @djsunshineja_yellowmoonrecords 💣💣💣💣"





vybz-promo-on-instagram-spiceofficial-granma-amari-a-talk-to-you.jpgSo this is really high drama. Amari, the former fiancee of Gully Bop, has weighed in on the feud between D'Angel and Spice. Amari, who is also an artiste, and also a producer, has made a video telling Spice to be careful and remember that Amari is a force to be reckoned with.

Watch carefully as you read these comments :

Vybz Promo on Instagram: "@spiceofficial Granma Amari a talk to you. 🤷🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️"


😢😢😢😢😢

jyngeregnyj

When u hear 1mill a gi weh.. all termite surface🤣🤣🤣🤣

nikkirona_clarke

😂😂😂😂😂

welshy_wish

😂😂😂

amoy119

Every gal want a piece a spice! Boom!

0mallia

Amari moving!!! moving like a nuclear!!🔥🤣 but idk where

kenisarobin

Stop yuh coming and come....look from when and yuh can't reach

island_girl_tee21

Mi stress out🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

winsome.martin

Whoiiiiii a cah laugh 😂😂😂😂😂

shaznii__

Straight out the old age home

_respectmycurves_

Come gwoop!

mesheck_today

@skkanme thief in the night

mesheck_today

Ugly

domzphotography

Somebody caa box har dung 😒

_kimmone

is that a choker on her neck or its jus how her neck creases ? 🤔

mseanique__

Kmt damn mad woman @spiceofficial don't even look goodz kmt

call_me_roxi

Spice amari is coming.!!.. Wonder where she going.... Must to get those dentures fixed

sassymama_sil

@dellano007 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

erfman69

Dwl

ricksmediagroup

Mouth look soft 😂😂 go sit down lady

fullyjamaican

This woman must sick cuz idk y she always embarrassing herself like this

sham_balla

👀👀👀👀

_badgalshelly

But who tf is she

freshlysqueezed_sunshine

A wah really cudda cause this tho??!! 🤣🤣🤣 @ayondaescollections

im_melanin_876

@skkanme some homeless chick from NY🤦‍♀️

GULLY BOP EX AMARI HAS A MESSAGE FOR SPICE





roy-fowl-cook-out-album-2019-01-04.jpg





crime-scene-7.jpgPolice have reopened an investigation into a drug overdose death at a wealthy Democratic donor's home in West Hollywood after a second man died on the premises early Monday morning.

Edward Buck, a regular donor to democratic campaigns including Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, was investigated for a suspected murder when Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of a meth overdose in July 2017.

The case was closed after the Los Angeles District Attorney found insufficient evidence to prosecute, sparking controversy from local campaign groups.

Now a second man has been found dead in Buck's apartment. The LA Sheriff's Department said the cause of death is 'unknown at this time'.

The retired donor and political activist has been interviewed by police.

According to police Buck was present for both deaths and both men were black.

An African-American man was found dead in the Los Angeles apartment of a prominent Democratic Party donor - the second time a black man died in the home in the past 18 months. The coroner is seen with the body in West Hollywood on Monday.Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies found the body of the man in the early morning hours Monday at the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck

Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, said the man was a long-time friend of Bucks in his 50s, and had lived in West Hollywood for 25 years. Amster claimed that the man had 'a history of substance abuse'.

'Unfortunately in the early hours this morning, a good friend of Ed's reached out to him. Ed was reluctant to have him over but he was insistent. He had him come over and come into his apartment,' Amster told DailyMail.com.

'Ed had just gotten out of the shower, so he went to get himself more appropriately attired. He came back into his living room and his friend was acting with bizarre behavior. Shortly thereafter it was obvious his friend needed medical assistance. Ed called paramedics. They arrived, they were unable to revive him, and unfortunately he died in the apartment.

This is the same apartment where in July 2017, Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of an apparent overdose of methamphetamine'It seems the individual came over already having consumed controlled substances. There were no controlled substances ingested in the presence of Ed, nor did Ed give any to his friend.'

The attorney said Buck was initially interviewed by officers who arrived on the scene, but has declined further interviews with homicide detectives.

'On Monday, January 7, 2019, at 1.05am, West Hollywood Station deputies responded to the 1200 block of Laurel Ave in the City of West Hollywood regarding a person not breathing,' the LA Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

'The informant performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and called 9-1-1. Los Angeles County Fire responded to the location and pronounced a male adult deceased. The cause of death is unknown at this time and will be determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office.

'On July 27, 2017 there was a death investigation of a male adult, Gemmel Moore, who was determined to have overdosed at the same location. Mr. Edward Buck was present during both incidents.

'The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau has responded to the location and Investigators are conducting a thorough investigation, which includes follow up interviews and a secondary review of the July 27, 2017 incident.'

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo +10

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo

At the time of Moore's death the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute Buck, saying there was 'insufficient [evidence] to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Buck] is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore.'

The DA's Office said: 'Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.'

In February of last year Moore's family published pages from his diary in which he alleged that it was Buck who first introduced him to narcotics.

These revelations prompted the LASD to reopen its investigation into Buck.

Since the investigation was launched, a number of other men of color have come forward to claim political power player Buck, who is single and came out as gay at 16, paid them to take drugs.

The coroner's report, from July 31, 2017, noted that investigators spoke with a woman who knew Moore, who said that the prostitute had told her about another man he knew that had been tied up by Buck 'over a year ago', who then 'held him against his will at the residence in West Hollywood.'





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia "Babsy" Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks who died on Friday at the age of 69.

The minister in a statement this afternoon recalled that: "Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment."

She noted that even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, Crooks offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts.

"Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue," Grange said.

"Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.

"I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond. He will be sorely missed," the minister continued.





bob-marley-large.jpgReggae legend Bob Marley and the Wailers are the only Jamaican artistes whose compilation made the cut for Billboard's top 200 albums for 2018. The album, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers, came in at number 78 on the charts.

Although the album dropped five places from the number 73 spot it occupied in 2017 end of year charts, the album remained the sole project from a Jamaican act to be included on the coveted chart. It is also the only compilation by a Jamaican act to be included in several other Billboard year-end charts. Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers also makes the cut on the Top Catalogue Albums chart, (coming in at number six, down from its number five spot last year); the Top R&B/Hip Hop chart (placing number 46 out of 100, and moving up one spot from 47 last year) and the top R&B Albums chart (coming in at number nine up from the number 13).

The album was originally released on May 1,1984, and debuted on the Billboard 200 in August of that year at No 54. The album created history back in 2017, when it spent a landmark 500 non- consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. At that point, it was the album with the second most weeks on the list beaten only by Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

Except for three years between 1985 and 1988, the album was a regular feature on the chart





Bartlett praises the late Walt Crooks

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has expressed sadness at the passing of Montego Bay entertainment entrepreneur, Walton "Walt" Crooks who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 69. No official cause of death has been announced.

Bartlett remembered Crooks for his bold undertaking in the establishment of the Disco Inferno club in Montego Bay. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was one of Jamaica's hippest venues, with several high-profile acts performing there.

"Walt Crooks stood out as a giant in the entertainment industry, going beyond the ordinary as he engaged top class international singers to perform at Disco Inferno," said Bartlett.

"Walt was very passionate about his venture and this led him to successfully bring the internationally recognised Hal Jackson's Talented Teens Pageant to Montego Bay, giving many young Jamaicans the opportunity to showcase their talents on stage and earning recognition," the minister continued.

Although Disco Inferno folded, Walt Crooks maintained his devotion to entertainment and tourism as a director of Summerfest Productions, working behind the scenes in the staging of the annual Reggae Sumfest, which launched in Montego Bay in 1993.

In his tribute, Bartlett expressed the view that Walt Crooks was truly ahead of his time and it is regretted that he was not able to fulfil the dream he had in expanding Disco Inferno into a world class entertainment complex.





PM Holness hails Accompong Maroons

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andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) -- Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has hailed the Accompong Town Maroons in St Elizabeth, noting that their togetherness is a shining example of peace for the rest of Jamaica.

According to the prime minister, the Maroons have preserved the culture of their ancestors, using it as a guide to live in peace and harmony with each other, a standard that the rest of the country should strive to emulate.

Holness was speaking at the Accompong Maroons' 281st celebration of the signing of the peace treaty with the British and to commemorate the birthday of their past leader, Cudjoe, yesterday, in the Maroon village.

"Within this town, you may have about two to three thousand people, but I looked at the murder statistics and I don't see one murder in this town or in this area. In fact, the crime rate here is very low and it is not just today or last year or the year before. This has been the case from ever since, and there is a reason for that. You hold on to a heritage [because] you know that your ancestors, your forefathers fought for your freedom," the prime minister said.

The festival marks the victory of the Maroons in their first war against the British in 1738, in which they fought for their freedom, led by Cudjoe. This year's staging was held under the theme 'Advancing to the Future while Standing True to our Culture'.

The prime minister underscored that the unique and distinct Maroon culture has kept them apart from what he said is the "chaos and violence that may exist in other parts of the country".

"Your forefathers fought and earned the respect of their enemies... to the point where your tenacity, your relentless pursuit of your freedom led to the signing of a peace treaty 281 years ago. It means something to each and every one of you who claim the Maroon heritage. So, you are not about to allow that heritage to be disrespected by violence, killing each other. You have used that heritage to live together under a particular system of governance which demonstrates respect for your chief, respect for your elders and respect for the culture," Holness said.

In the meantime, the prime minister gave a commitment to the Maroons that the government will improve the infrastructure of Accompong Town to make it easier for visitors to travel to the historic village to experience the rich culture of the people.

"People travel when it is easier and seamless, so if you fix the road, more people will come, and if we support you with a little museum, so that the artefacts that you have can be properly displayed, more people will come," Holness said.

He further informed that plans are afoot to improve the water supply system in the community. The day's festivities included performances by Maroon cultural and folk groups and the Beeston Spring Mento Band.





Barbados recalls hypertension medication

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Health authorities in Barbados have announced the withdrawal of the Citron branded Valsartan after tests conducted by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that the recall of the Citron branded Valsartan, along with Indapamide, was due to the "failure of both tablets to dissolve.

"This decision was made after testing was carried out by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and is not related to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) recall," the Ministry of Health and Wellness said.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George said the authorities "will continue to monitor the FDA drug recalls for all categories of drugs and will make all necessary decisions to protect the health of the Barbadian public".

Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said it wanted to assure the public that none of the drugs identified in the December 31 recall of the hypertensive drug, Valsartan, by the FDA is approved by the Barbados Drug Service for sale in Barbados.

It said that the FDA recall is related to the discovery of an impurity believed to increase cancer risk. The branded products recalled are from a specific company and have been identified as Valsartan, Amlodipine-Valsartan and Valsartan hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

"The ministry has made it clear that all brands approved for dispensing in Barbados are FDA-approved and also meet local standards," the statement said.





Schools on high alert after dengue outbreak

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dengue.jpgThe education ministry has put school administrators on high alert in light of the dengue outbreak which the island is now experiencing, urging them to take necessary measures to protect the school population.

In a bulletin ahead of the reopening of school today the ministry has advised administrators to "free the school environment of mosquito breeding sites such as old tyres and containers in which water can settle, tins are punched with holes before disposing, and large drums, barrels and tanks holding water are securely covered".

The ministry has also advised that public health teams from the Ministry of Health will be visiting schools to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented.

Last week the health ministry told the country that the mosquito-borne virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for the month of December, with 123 case reports.

At an emergency press conference Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton stressed that: "This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December - the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold. As at today, 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed".

The ministry says it has implemented a number of response measures, including the extension of the enhanced vector control programme up to March 2019 to include the employment of an additional 500 temporary workers to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites.

Opening hours for a number of health facilities have been extended to 8:00 pm, and an extended public education campaign is also being rolled out, with public service announcements regarding mosquito breeding sites, symptoms of dengue and personal protection tips being shared across media platforms, the ministry said.





Rihanna's Reggae album 'R9' on the horizon

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rihanna-photo-2.jpgRihanna's dancehall-inspired album is reportedly close to being released.

The 9th studio album will reportedly be titled R9.

Rihanna's vocal producer Kuk Harrell has teased fans that the album sounds "amazing."

R9 will be RiRi's follow up to her critically acclaimed album, ANTI.

Last month, the Grammy-winning mogul shared a silent video of herself dancing in the studio to her new music.





Grammy voting session to close soon

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grammy.jpgThe final round of voting in the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will close in a few days time .

In the running for the Grammy for best Reggae Album are Etana, Protoge, Shaggy and Sting, Black Uhuru, and Ziggy Marley.

Etana created history being the fourth female to be nominated since 1997. Etana is nominated for the album Reggae Forever distributed by Tads Records. If she wins she will be the first female ever to cop a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

Judy Mowatt scored the first nomination in 1986, Rita Marley in 1992 and Sister Carol in 1997. The were all nominated, but didn't win.

Meanwhile Protoje has secured his first Grammy nomination with A Matter Of Time!

Black Uhuru who won the first ever Reggae Grammy in 1985, is nominated for As The World Turns.

Shaggy and Sting who currently sit in the number one position on the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart, is nominated for their collaborative album, 44/876.

And Ziggy Marley who holds the record for the most Best Reggae Album wins with a total of 7, is nominated for Rebellion Rises.

The 2019 Grammys will be held on February 10 in Los Angeles.





michelle-downer-on-instagram-dangel-clears-the-air-full-video.jpgFans of D'Angel are feeling her recent video in which she cuts and clear the air as it relates to insults hurled at her by Spice, who labelled the First Lady of Dancehall a hypocrite, among other things.

Spice, in a recent Live, told fans that D'Angel had "begged" her to do their collab hit song, "No Worries" and had called her everyday, before she finally decided to do it. "Memba say nutten did a gwaan fi Angel before me do the song with her her. And after me and she do the song, she don't call back mi phone," Spice bawled out.

D'Angel, in her video basically called Spice a liar as she explained how the song really came about.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "D'Angel Clears The Air Full Video Link In Bio👆👆👆👆 #cutanclear"





August Town under curfew

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curfew-in-areas-of-west-kingston.jpgThe police have imposed a two-day curfew in August Town, eastern St Andrew, which has been the scene of multiple killings since start of the new year.

The curfew began Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and will end Monday at 6:00 p.m.

The boundaries of the curfew are as follows:

NORTH: Along an imaginary line about 500 metres from the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa in the vicinity of a large upstairs building to the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road.

EAST: Along an imaginary line about 2,000 metres from the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road to the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road.

SOUTH: Along an imaginary line about 200 metres from the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road to Top Road.

WEST: Along an imaginary line about 1,500 metres from Top Road to the large upstairs building along the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries of the curfew are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised in writing by the ground commander.





The international consultant recruited to lead a security audit of Jamaica's hotels and attractions is set to arrive in the island today. A release from the Ministry of Tourism today said Dr Peter Tarlow will arrive to join the team carrying out an intensive security audit of the tourism sector. The tourism ministry said eight properties have already been audited.

The arrival of Tarlow to lead the security audit comes in the wake of multiple claims of sexual harassment by female visitors to the island.

The audit of all hotels and attractions is being led by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), as part of what the tourism ministry said are "efforts to ramp up the island's destination assurance programme".

"I look forward to welcoming Dr Tarlow to the island, as his visit comes at a crucial point in the development of our product. We must safeguard the key aspects of destination assurance such as security, safety and seamlessness of our tourism product," Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett was quoted in the release to the media.

"Dr Tarlow and the team will help us take a step in the right direction and provide insight in legislation that may be implemented to make the industry safer, as well as help us develop a new programme on how to better relate and interact with international guests," Bartlett added.

The security audit, which is to be completed by the first half of 2019, will identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike. Tarlow and the audit team are also expected to assist with constructing a new architecture for tourism ethics and visitor safety.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner Wilfred Baghaloo, who heads the Tourism Working Group, which was recently established by Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, will also be a part of the audit team.





earthquake.jpgThe Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Friday said an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled three Caribbean islands, as the region recorded three earth tremors within a 24-hour period.

It said that latest quake, which occurred at 6:52 pm (local time) was felt in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the French island of Guadeloupe.

According to the SRC the quake was located Latitude: 16.88N, Longitude: 61.15W and at a depth of 10 kilometres (km).

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but it was felt 81 km east-south-east of St John's, Antigua and Barbuda, 82 km north east of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and 177 km north of the Dominican capital, Roseau.

Earlier on Friday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, after one with a magnitude of 3.9 shook St Lucia, Martinique and St Vincent and the Grenadines just after midnight.





Baby stolen from hospital car park

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shocked.jpgThe police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing baby girl and a woman suspected of taking her from the parking lot of the Cornwall Regional Hospital on Friday.

The baby is three weeks old, of brown complexion and was wearing a pink outfit with pink and black socks when she was taken.

Meanwhile, the suspect is said to be of brown complexion, medium build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. The police said she was wearing a wig and a multi-coloured dress at the time of the incident.

Reports are that the mother of the child was at the facility for an appointment when she was allegedly befriended by the suspect.

"About 1:50 pm, they both left the pharmacy at the hospital and ventured into the parking lot. The child's mother reportedly left the baby in the care of the suspect to use the restroom and upon her return, neither her child nor the woman was seen," the police reported this afternoon.

The police were summoned and an investigation commenced.

Anyone with information about the child and the suspect is being asked to contact the Montego Bay police at (876) 979-8452, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





A Jamaican boat captain died after spending 22 days adrift in waters off the coast of Nicaragua, while two other men who were on the vessel were rescued and remain in the Central American country.

Nicaragua media has named the dead captain as Joshua Strekley, 44 and said he has been buried there.

According to the report, the two survivors Clifton C Edwards, 43, and Reid Derreique Anthonio, 45 said they set sail from St Thomas in Jamaica on December 10, 2018 to the fishing bank known as Murrant Cay Saumont Bank.

The two explained that after travelling 30 miles out to sea, they were surprised by a strong storm that damaged the left side of their boat.

The fishermen said they were left without fuel and food until they ran aground on the Halouver coast, 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua, where they received help from community members.

The residents reportedly took Strekly to the health post in the town, where he died and they decided to bury him.

The surviving fishermen were subsequently sent to immigration authorities for their return to Jamaica.





dengue.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Ministry of Health is allocating an additional $250 million to support enhanced measures to contain the spread of the dengue fever virus.

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a press conference held at the ministry's corporate offices in New Kingston today, where he confirmed that the virus surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.

Tufton said the latest figures from the Epidemiological Unit indicate that 123 dengue case reports (suspected, presumed and confirmed) were received for the month.

"This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December, and is the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold," he said.

"This has been a more active season than last year, and we have been observing and monitoring the numbers and increases with each month, but by the clinical standards could only claim an epidemic once the threshold is surpassed," Tufton noted.

He said that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018.

A total of 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed since January 2018.





Dengue Fever Outbreak In Jamaica

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dengue.jpgHealth Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has declared that the island is now experiencing an outbreak of dengue fever.

Tufton made the disclosure at an emergency press conference at his offices in New Kingston.

He revealed that 123 cases were recorded in December 2018.

The figure includes suspected, presumed and confirmed cases.

He said that the number surpasses the outbreak threshold, which is 96.

Tufton pointed out that December was the first time that dengue cases climbed beyond that mark.

Additionally, the health minister disclosed that in 2018 the country recorded seven suspected cases of dengue-related deaths.

Tufton said two of the cases have since been confirmed.





buju-banton-on-instagram-do-you-know-what-this-means.jpgNo doubt about ti, Buju Banton ius HOT!!! And when he posts a picture of himself, the reaction is swift.

On Thursday he posted a pic to IG with the caption: bujuofficialDo you know what this means?

His adoring fans were only too willing to tell him:

Check out a few of the comments below

zosa_naturalCleansing and sanctification

mcraepinnockYou a get the mind ,soul and body right fi di road mi general. Dem can't hold the god bless yute. Uptop!!

sexygaljayCleansing the spirit

chillibibbiWashing off that American blight!

guntego_Gargamel in person calm am easy bless 🙏 up mi bruh inna real life wash all crossess, start fresh 🍃💦mi General hill 🗻 n valley.

llinks45Freedom to do whatever you want @bujuofficial more life Mi elder you are the real role model, you held the faith and it shows, much respect ✊🏿 🇯🇲🇯🇲

iammenot_herCleansing the mind body and soul..washing away all the evil.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Do you know what this means?"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Do you know what this means?

O postare distribuită de Buju Banton (@bujuofficial) pe





crime-scene-gun.jpgIt was not a happy sight in Payton Place in August Town, St Andrew, as news spread of the death of Omar Johnson, the country's first murder victim for the year.

It was only eight hours into 2019 when reports surfaced that Johnson was killed by unknown assailants in the community about 8 a.m. yesterday.

And just as persons were coming to terms with Johnson's death, two persons were shot and killed in the August Town Tuesday evening.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit confirmed the incident, but could not say when or where the shootings occurred.

One resident said that they were simply hanging out in the community when Johnson was killed.

"Wi a hold a vibes right yah so, and wi see two man a drag him dung the lane. Dem did a try hide the gun, but wi see it and tek weh wiself. After that mi just hear a shot and then mi hear dem a tear dung the bush and a go weh," the resident said.

Although saddened by Johnson's death, the residents are also convinced that Johnson's death may have been a warning for someone else.

"It's not like him is a yute weh involve in anything or have anyone weh involve in anything. Him is a handyman. If you have a fan to fix and him can do it, it a fix. Anything you want help wid, him a dweet," the resident said.

Johnson is not originally from the community, but he was welcomed by many because of how friendly he was.

Another resident said that they are now fearful because Johnson was killed innocently.

"Dis mek wi start pree di thing different yah now because a nuh yah him come from, and a nuh bad man thing mek him come yah neither. Him a look a betta life, and him have a place of his own yah now and him a do him thing. Him do him job and talk wid everybody. To mi, this is like a warning killing, and it just mean seh no one is safe now," the resident said.





Five Jamaicans are among several Caribbean nationals who have been pardoned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The others given pardon include: one Trinidadian, one Haitian and six nationals from the Dominican Republic.

Convicted of minor drug and other offences, the pardon has saved them from possible deportation under the Donald Trump administration's tough policy on immigrants. Cuomo said he was granting clemency to 29 immigrants "who have demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to community crime reduction.

"While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities," said Cuomo, adding "these actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York".

The NY governor said the pardons are in recognition of the immigrants' "rehabilitative efforts and to remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status.

"Some are facing deportation, while others wish to be able to participate in their communities as citizens of the country they call home. In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic," he said.

Cuomo said Jamaican Olive Ferguson, 75, was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1991 and that "she has been crime-free ever since".

He said Ferguson is "an active member of her church. She has remained crime-free for 27 years. A pardon will minimise her risk of deportation."

Jamaican Rohan Hylton, 47, was convicted of a similar offence in 1992 as well as criminal possession of marijuana in in 2001 and 2003.

Cuomo said Hylton came to the United States over 30 years ago with his family "to escape political persecution.

"As a father and dedicated family man, he now lives and works in Queens. A pardon will allow him to apply for discretionary relief from his deportation order. He has not been convicted of any misdemeanours or felonies for 12 years."

Cuomo said another Jamaican, Kerrone Kay-Marie Parks, 33, was convicted in 2013 on drug related charges.

"She is a domestic violence survivor, a mother of three children on the honour roll, and currently volunteers full-time at a nursing home. She has remained crime-free for five years."

Jamaican Jeremy Grant, 58, was also convicted of drug related charges in 2005 "when an individual in a group he was a member of sold drugs to an undercover cop and the entire group was convicted in Manhattan," the New York governor said.

He said Grant "has been in prolonged removal proceedings since 2006," and "has remained crime-free for 13 years.

"A pardon would remove the barriers to apply for a green card renewal, and prevent him from being deported and losing his access to necessary medical treatment," Cuomo said.

He said Grant's compatriot, Trevor Elliot, 67, was convicted of drugs in the early 1990s and has worked at a non-profit that provides social services for the youth and as an elder care provider.

"A pardon would allow Mr. Elliot to apply for citizenship. He has maintained a crime-free lifestyle for 10 years."

Trinidadian Anthony Khan, 66, was convicted of a drug offence in 1980 when he accompanied an acquaintance to sell a controlled substance and was arrested as part of a sting operation in the Bronx.

Cuomo said Khan, who migrated to the United States in 1971, is "an active church goer and a husband and father, who has worked with the Taxi and Limousine Commission for 35 years."

He has remained crime-free for 37 years, the governor said.

Haitian Reginald Castel, 45, was convicted of assault in 1999 and Cuomo said Castel, who came to the United States at the age of eight, is married with four children and was deported without notice in September 2017.

"A pardon will allow Mr. Castel to apply for re-entry to the United States and re-unite with his family. He has remained crime free for 19 years."

Alisa Wellek, executive director of New York's Immigrant Defence Project, said that in pardoning immigrant New Yorkers who face deportation, despite years of contributing to the community, Cuomo "has used a powerful tool to restore dignity to people for whom punishment will otherwise never end, simply because they were not born here.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor's office and our Immigrant Clemency Project to provide immigrant New Yorkers with a fighting chance to remain with their families in the face of Trump's hateful agenda," she said.

Cuomo had last year announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's policy of forced family separation on the US southern border.

To protect Caribbean and other immigrants from overly aggressive deportation tactics increasingly utilised by the US Immigration and Customs.





arrested.jpgA St Ann based Chinese businessman has been arrested by the police after he reportedly stabbed one of his customers with a knife during an altercation last week.

Investigators reported that about 1pm, the cumer had an argument with another Chinese national in the store operated by the businessman.

The situation was brought under control by security personnel, but tempers flared again between both men.

It is alleged that the businessman used a knife to inflict a wound to the customer resulting in serious intestinal injuries.

He was rushed to the St Ann's Bay regional hospital for treatment where an angry crowd gathered outside the store to express outrage at the incident.





Man murdered in Dallas Castle

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police are probing the shooting death of a man whose bullet-riddled body was found in a house in Dallas Castle on Thursday.

Investigators say the unidentified male is of brown complexion, slim build, about 6ft tall and has a tattoo on his right arm marked "Mickella".

It's reported that during a power outage in the area, shortly after 7 o'clock Thursday evening, residents saw a man being chased by three men armed with guns.

He ran into a house where he was attacked and shot several times by the men.The cops who were called to the scene found his body under a bed.

Several spent shells and bullet fragments were recovered from the scene.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police have arrested a 17 year old boy for the Boxing Day murder of a 15 year old in the Springs Plaza off Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.

Maleek Brown,15, of Blackwood Terrace, Stony Hill, St Andrew, died from a stab wound to the chest.

It's reported that Brown was with his friends on the plaza when they got into a dispute with another group of boys. During the dispute, the teenager was stabbed. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 17 year old was arrested in connection with the killing, following an investigation by the Half-Way-Tree police.





64-year-old attorney on fraud charge

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charged.jpgAnother attorney - Anthony Pearson, was arrested and charged yesterday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) following allegations that he defrauded one of his clients of more than $3-million.

It's reported that Pearson sold a property on behalf of his client for $6.5 million and reportedly paid half of the money to the client, but failed to hand over the balance.

The 64 year old attorney, who has been charged with fraudulent conversion, is scheduled to appear in court on February 28.

He was released on bail amounting to $400-thousand.





No exemptions as plastic bag ban takes effect

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plastic-bags.jpgThe Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is expressing concern about the Government's decision not to allow exemptions to the ban on certain plastics, which comes into effect on Tuesday

The ban means that importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and imported styrofoam products will no longer be allowed

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, is reported as saying that the government will compensate business operators instead of granting an exemption to allow them to use up their existing stock.

However, the government says compensation will only be allowed to business operators who have not completed stocks purchased before announcement of the ban in September.

Programme Director at the JET Tamoy Singh-Clarke says she understands the rationale for the decision not to allow exemptions.

However, she says there are some instances in which an exemption may be necessary.

Some Municipal Corporations are working on a plan to distribute thousands of reuseable bags in the markets.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda told the Gleaner that 30,000 environmentally friendly bags are to be distributed in the coming days by mayors.

This is part of the government's efforts to equip Jamaicans with alternatives to plastic bags.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgPop singer Rihanna is about to make history as the first black female to head up a fashion brand at the world's largest luxury conglomerate, LVMH.

LVHM fashion house group owns Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

Rihanna's new brand under Louis Vuitton is expected to take the singer's last name, Fenty, which she uses for her make-up and lingerie businesses.

The line which is expected to launch in coming months will include handbags and accessories.





Fish released in gullies to fight dengue

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dengue.jpgWith the recent increase in cases of dengue-related illnesses and deaths in Jamaica, residents of Old Harbour in St. Catherine are one step closer to a dengue free environment.

This as some 1800 Tilapia fish, provided by the Ministry of Fisheries, were deposited into gullies in the community recently.

Noting that a sensitization meeting was also held in the community last Friday, where 24 bottles of mosquito repellent were distributed, Community and Public Relations Specialist at Jamaica Energy Partners, JEP, Mellisa Newman says the move is one step to successful mosquito eradication.

She adds that the fish will significantly reduce the number of larvae that exist in water settlements, such as gullies.

Noting the possible health effects associated with mosquito-borne diseases Newman says she hopes other organizations will play their part in creating a mosquito free environment.

She says a larvae count will be conducted in the upcoming weeks to assess the effectiveness of this environmentally friendly approach of reducing mosquito reproduction.





Good news as Jamaican appointed to Canadian Senate

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The Government and representatives from several organisations are celebrating the appointment of Jamaican born, Dr. Rosemary Moodie to the Canadian senate. Dr. Moodie who has distinguished herself in healthcare and community service, both in Jamaica, and her adopted homeland, was recently recommended by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to be an independent member of the upper house of their parliament.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, senator Kamina Johnson Smith, the appointment is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the partnership between Jamaica and Canada, and Dr. Moodie has been exemplary with her involvement in reducing social inequalities and health disparities, locally and internationally.

Senator Johnson Smith was among government officials, sector leaders and diplomats who gathered recently at the official residence of Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, in St. Andrew, to honour the Jamaican for her latest achievement.

In 2017, she was conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the government of Jamaica.

Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says the move is a source of very great pride to us, that one more native has excelled to an esteemed international body.

In making the announcement in December, to appoint Dr. Moodie to the senate, Prime Minister Trudeau says she and the other three new independent senators bring with them wealth of knowledge and experience, that will greatly benefit parliament, and all of Canada.





grace-hamilton-on-instagram-please-help-me-wish-my-little-princess.jpgPlease help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like this 🙏🏾 I love you my cupcake 🧁 I promise to be right by your side every step of the way. I'm so grateful that I was able to grant the pool party you requested, even tho mi nearly drown ina the dunk tank 🤣 thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate this special moment with us 💕💕💕 #Daughter #Mommymode #BlackwigmeansGrace

Grace Hamilton on Instagram: "Please help me wish my little princess, Nicholatoy happy birthday 🎈🎉🎊🎁🎂. Here's a reason why I flight so hard to give you happy days like..."





A year-long calendar of activities has been announced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of VP Records. The year will see a variety of music and cultural events, products, historical exhibits and experiences, in Jamaica, across the US, Toronto, Canada and London, England.

"VP is integral to the history of reggae and dancehall music. We take this responsibility seriously and we are using our 40th anniversary to celebrate the music's rich heritage as we steward the genre into the future," said company President Randy Chin. "A major focus for the anniversary is highlighting the company's commitment to the development, promotion, and globalisation of Jamaican music."

The company kicks off its anniversary celebrations with a return to its homeland of Jamaica in January for Strictly The Best - LIVE Montego Bay on January 30, continuing into the summer with a historical exhibit titled A Reggae Music Journey at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The exhibition will move to Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport in June through to the end of the year.

Stateside, VP will launch The Reggae Trail, an interactive digital experience that features a map of historical locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City central to the growth of the Jamaican music industry and VP Records.

In April there will be Record Store Day to commemorate the annual celebration of vinyl culture. Four newly issued vinyl exclusives are expected to be released. VP Records will present a live sound system showcase at its retail outlets in New York and Florida. There will also be at least three major live concerts in the New York City area this summer, including the 9th staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Sunday, July 21.

A box set drawn from the vast catalogue of hits and rarities from VP Records is also being considered.

VP Records has been at the heart of reggae, dancehall and soca for 40 years sharing the music of Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Freddie McGregor, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Tarrus Riley, and a host of others.





buju-banton-photo-11.jpgBoom Energy Drink is the title sponsor for the first concert of Buju Banton's Long Walk to Freedom Tour, scheduled for National Stadium in St Andrew on March 16, 2019. William Mahfood, Wisynco Group chairman, explained his company's association with the event.

"When we look at the importance of reggae music in the Jamaican culture, there have been a few artistes over the course of our history of music who have had a material impact, and in so many ways. The reggae icon Buju Banton is definitely one of those artistes. In our first meeting upon his arrival, we shared similar passions for improving the lives of our Jamaican people, our culture, and reggae music. I knew immediately that it was important as a Jamaican company that sells predominately Jamaican products, that we had a vital role to play to help elevate his platform -- to unlock the true opportunity, to inspire Jamaican youth," said Mahfood.

"Wisynco has a set of core values that speak to CHIRP. This stands for compassion, humility, integrity, respect, and passion. As a company, it's through our belief in compassion and reciprocity, centred on core Christian principles, which inspire us to lead by example and encourage others to have compassion for our fellow Jamaican people."

The evening will also be supported through an associate sponsorship with the Tru-Juice and WATA brands.

"As the number one energy drink in Jamaica, BOOM knows what it takes to be the best. We are committed to providing the highest-quality products and experiences that are accessible to all Jamaicans, no matter their status. This is perfectly aligned with how we view Buju's music and stage presence, second to none, we know that this will be delivered to all of his fans on the night of March 16," said Tamara Ward, senior marketing and PR manager.

Patrons can participate in ticket giveaways on BOOM's IG, Twitter, and Facebook pages until February 8.





buju-banton-launch-at-spanish-court-hotel-album-2019-01-16.jpg





gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-kissing.jpgUnconfirmed reports are that Gully Bop is upset at Chyn for stealing his lines and is reportedly considering to file a lawsuit against the woman who was supposedly his ex-fiancee.

According to sources, the "Wuk Affa Mi" deejay is not here for it with Chyn, who is using "From The Money To The Gully" line for her debut album.

Shauna Chyn who is currently buzzing on the local scene with her new singles, announced earlier this week that she will be dropping an EP later this year with the tagline which was coined by Bop shortly after his rise to stardom.

"Right now this is an insult to injury for Gully Bop if you ask me", sources are reported as saying. "There is a lot of things they are doing behind the scenes to stop Bop's food and now this is crossing the line. How can you take his tagline and trying to profit from it? He might be taking her to court so we shall see how this plays out" a report states.

Last year Shauna Chyn revealed that her romance with Gully Bop was just for the camera as they weren't actually dating. The "Suicide" singer claimed it was only a publicity stunt designed by his management team.

According to Chyn, the plan which was structured as a 'nothing to something' success story was going great until the "Body Specialist" deejay wanted more out of the arrangement. She claims that Bop began to have real feelings for her and forgot it was all a show.

Shauna added that she wasn't going to speak out on their business deal however she's tired of her name getting involved with Gully Bop as the negative press is affecting her music career.





Central High student dies from Dengue

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dengue.jpgCentral High School in May Pen, Clarendon has implemented measures to prevent the spread of dengue fever at the institution after a student died of the virus.

Fourteen year-old Areel Foster died at Kingston Public Hospital on Wednesday.

Uvalyn Daley, Acting Principal of Central High, said several of the vector control measures had been implemented prior to Areel's death.

It was reported that Areel spent the Christmas Holidays in Portmore, St. Catherine.

On returning to her home in Clarendon, she fell ill and was later diagnosed with dengue.

She was admitted to May Pen Hospital then transferred to Kingston Public Hospital.

Areel last year represented Central High in TVJ's All Together Sing competition.

Miss Daley said grief counsellors visited Central High on Thursday to speak to Areel's colleagues.

She said students and staff were in a sombre mood.





Caribbean on Dengue fever alert

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dengue.jpgAs Jamaica records another death caused by dengue fever, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has called for health officials across the region to prepare for the possibility of a severe outbreak of the mosquito borne virus.

In a statement Thursday, CARPHA said the last major regional outbreak of dengue occurred in 2009.

It said, since then, the region has experienced two large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases - Chikungunya in 2014 and Zika in 2016 -which are unlikely to reoccur soon.

CARPHA said disease modelling predicts that another regional outbreak of dengue may occur in the near future, adding that last year, Latin America showed an increase in the number of cases.

CARPHA has also pointed to the recent outbreak of dengue in Jamaica, saying that it has elevated the level of concern in other Caribbean countries.

The regional health agency is advising countries to implement enhanced measures to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of disease.

Research carried out by CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization shows that drums and tyres are the main mosquito breeding sources in Caribbean countries.

Symptoms of dengue typically begin four to ten days after infection, and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complications, such as internal hemorrhaging, intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness and persistent vomiting.

Jamaica has recorded 79 suspected and presumed confirmed dengue cases since the start of the year.

Speaking at Wednesday night's monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton disclosed that Jamaica recorded 996 cases last year.

He said the Ministry of Health is making progress in controlling the dengue outbreak and it is expected that there will be a lull in cases by March.





TAJ prosecutes wholesaler

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Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) says it has prosecuted the operators of a wholesale in St Ann for failing to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities.

Proprietors of DAFA Wholesale and Retail Limited were fined $250,000 when they appeared before the parish court on December 14 following "intelligence gathering" by the TAJ's Intelligence, Investigation and Enforcement Unit.

The wholesale establishment was charged under Section 17 of the amended Revenue Administration Act (RAA) for failure to produce books, records and documents as requested.

In the meantime, the TAJ is reminding taxpayers that it is an offence not to keep proper books and records relating to their business activities, and failure to produce such books, records and do.





lawyer-gareth-forbes-murdered.jpgA man was shot and killed inside his St Andrew home on Thursday.

He has been identified as 49-year-old Gareth Forbes, a lawyer of Oakridge, Stilwell Road in Kingston 8.

Reports from the Constant Spring Police are that about 10:00 pm, a relative found Forbes unresponsive at his home and summoned them. On arrival of the lawmen, his body was seen lying in a pool of blood; he had been shot several times.

Other reports say his body was found with a bullet wound to the back and the hands and feet were bound.

Investigators say his dog and Toyota Prado motor vehicle were stolen.

The police are urging anyone with information on the murder to contact the Constant Spring CIB, 119 or the nearest police station.

The crime scene was processed and the body was removed to the morgue.

Investigations are ongoing.

Just over one month ago, attorney Nordraka Williams Burnett of the law firm Townsend, Whyte and Porter, died after being stabbed by her husband, who is a member of the Jamaica Defence Force.





The A.T.F. Band - Yardie (Official Music Video)

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buju-banton-on-instagram-with-tremendous-response-from-fans-worldwide.jpgFollowing the release of the tickets for Buju Banton's March 16 concert in Kingston, Jamaica, on bujubanton.com and caribtix.com both websites have crashed.

Buju Banton had to post a message today to tell fans that the companies are working to get the sites back up as soon as possible. The message states:

"With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is working expeditiously to get the sites back up please pay close attention to @destinemedia and / or @budafuco96 for more information"

TICKETS are still available! Tickets Are NOT SOLD OUT!!!! DO NOT PURCHASE from ANY OTHER Site!!!

Buju Banton on Instagram: "With tremendous response from fans worldwide we are aware that both bujubanton.com and Caribtix.com website have crashed. My team is..."





Six high-risk inmates housed at Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre on South Camp Road in Kingston have been relocated to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road. This is part of the additional security measures which have been instituted in light of the recent unrest at Fort Augusta. Following the stabbing of an inmate at the prison last week, other inmates took to social media in a live Facebook video raising several concerns including allegations that those in authority were violating their rights. In a statement Wednesday morning, providing details of the security measures, Rudyard Spencer, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, said, following a health assessment by the institutions' medical team, three inmates were diagnosed as mentally ill and placed in single cells. Mr Spencer said frequent random searches will also be conducted and gate procedures enhanced. In addition, more staff will be deployed shortly to reinforce the inmate to officer ratio, he said. Regarding the use of mobile phones by inmates, Mr Spencer said all electrical outlets will be removed from cell blocks. He also sought to contradict the claims of ill-treatment, asserting that inmates are fed three nutritious meals daily, and their living conditions are sanitary. The enhanced measures were announced following a tour of Fort Augusta on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Carla Gullotta, Executive Director of human-rights advocacy group Stand Up for Jamaica, has urged the Ministry of National Security to take action following its probe into allegations by inmates at Fort Augusta.   The police and INDECOM are investigating the alleged assault of the inmate at the facility.    However, following reports that the inmates recorded their concerns in Facebook Live post, Stand Up For Jamaica has called for inmates to use legal means to voice their grouses.




JDF soldier killed in Mandeville

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier was shot and killed by gunmen in Mandeville over the weekend. He has been identified as Gabe Reid. Information is sketchy at this time, but reports are that the military man, who is part owner of a car mart in the Manchester capital, was at his business establishment when he was approached and chased by a group of men. Several explosions were heard shortly after. The police were called to the area and a search conducted, during which the soldier was found in nearby bushes suffering from gunshot wounds. Reid was taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital and later transferred to another medical institution, where he succumbed to his injuries.





rihanna-photo-2.jpgSinger Rihanna has taken her father to court in the US, accusing him of exploiting her name to further his entertainment business. She claims her father, Ronald Fenty, and his business partner have falsely suggested that she is connected to their firm, Fenty Entertainment. The lawsuit says their conduct has misled the public and hurt her Fenty brand, the name of her beauty business. Fenty Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rihanna has asked the court to bar the firm from using the Fenty name for business. The lawsuit says Rihanna owns trademarks in the US for the Fenty name and has sent formal cease and desist requests.





crime-scene-gun.jpgWell-known musician and businessman Lester Adderley Sr was shot outside a night spot in Freeport early Sunday morning. In August 2015 his son, Lester Adderley Jr, who owned and operated several businesses in Freeport, was also murdered after being shot outside his residence. After his son's death, the elder Adderley took over and ran the businesses. According to reports, Adderley Sr was shot and killed at Gametime, located in the former Gwen's Plaza, which was one of several establishments acquired by his late son. Sometime after midnight Sunday, police received reports of multiple gunshots fired in the area of East Atlantic Drive and sent a team of officers to investigate. When police arrived, they discovered the lifeless body of a man on the ground. Supt Brian Rolle, officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit on the island, said officers are in the preliminary stage of their investigation and were unable to release the victim's name at this time. A video was circulated on social media of the deceased - a light-skinned man with dreadlocks - lying in a pool of blood on the concrete floor just outside the plaza. Supt Rolle said that medical personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Adderley Sr was a talented musician and entertainer in Grand Bahama for many years. A guitarist, Adderley Sr made a remix of one of the songs on Baha Men's "2 Zero" album, "Hooked On a Feeling," released in 1999. Adderley Sr was an "incredible guitarist," and a musician's musician. "In addition to being a musician, Lester was also a highly successful music producer with many hit songs and albums to his name," recalled a friend, Mr Mackey, who in the mid-80s produced an album with Adderley Sr called "Lester Farai". "We spent countless hours at Cay Gottlieb's Cicada Sound Studio (the present Grand Bahama home of The Tribune, KISS FM and 100 Jamz radio station) perfecting and recording his album. "The interesting thing about that album of late is that there has been a resurgence of interest expressed by international persons in the last year to get their hands on vinyl copies of his album paying upwards to $125 for a single copy. I send condolences to his family through this tragic loss of his life," he said. In August 2015, Adderley Sr's son was found shot dead at an apartment complex, the Blue Marina Cove apartments, on Sunken Treasure Drive, near the Xanadu Beach. Adderley Jr, had been the owner of the former Mega Hits music store, and a few other business establishments. The younger Adderley was one of s





richie-spice-photo-1.jpgNew York, NY- Reggae and Rastafari champion, Richie Spice, returns to VP Records with a brand-new single "Beautiful Life" featuring Toronto based singer/songwriter Kathryn Aria, available worldwide January 18th. The new single combines two of Richie's strongest themes of love and consciousness. "Beautiful Life" simultaneously presents itself as a lover's tune while bridging together the universal concept of 'One Love' for life and consciousness. Produced by Steven Stanley, the song is sure to become a staple in Richie Spice's already impressive music catalogue. With over 111 Million Streams across all platforms and known for his core hit reggae songs "Earth A Run Red," 'Youth Dem So Cold," "Marijuana," "Brown Skin" and "Ghetto Girl," Richie Spice has recorded 8 albums for VP Records in his career, including his debut album "Spice In Your Life" which earned unanimous critical praise. He is is in the studio finishing his new album and will be heading to the KICC in Nairobi Kenya February 16th for a live show. A US tour is slated for April with "The Element Band". "It's about the love of life, the connection, togetherness, that Rastafari call "Full Joy", says Richie Spice on the 'Beautiful Life'. "The song expresses the beauty of life whether in the perfection of Mother Nature's rivers and seas or in the intimacy between two persons."





No line-up revealed at Buju's concert launch

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buju-banton-photo-11.jpgContrary to the expectations of many present at the Spanish COurt Hotel in New Kingston Wednesday night, the line-up for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom March 16 concert was not announced. A throng of media, including scores of photographers, videographers, bloggers, traditional media and wanna-bees converged on the launch, waiting for the smallest scrap of new information, but not much was forthcoming. Tickets for the Jamaica concert, which should have gone on sale on Wednesday, will now be on sale Thursday morning via the website www.bujubanton.com.





Fans send love as Buju Banton posts new picture

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buju-banton-on-instagram-from-my-vantage-point-its-all-upside-down.jpg

On Wednesday, Buju Banton posted a new pic on IG, along with a rather cryptic caption: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr." This same picture, however, was centrally positioned at the launch of the LWTF tour and a host of drummers performed in front of it. Fans seem to be loving the photo and have been sending their love to the Grammy award-winning entertainer. "Nothing but lots of love and blessings. I will not miss this concert." "Historic! The world is waiting. "MAGIC CITY!!" "Bless me artise good to see the man seems more humble that before much love." "The lessons in LIFE are tough, you went away, came back BETTER, we await your new music, your NEW SELF, a better improved self aware SPIRITUAL GIANT....U GOT THIS NEXT CHAPTER Buju, unite the world with your newness and music, the time is NOW.❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥"

Buju Banton on Instagram: "From my vantage point, it's all upside down. Work to be done. Photo by: 📸 @will_i_amr"





It was obvious that something was happening at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on the night of January 16. That something turned out to be the launch of Buju Banton's highly anticipated Long Walk To Freedom Tour, but, alas, something was amiss. Present were a host of media personnel; artistes fi stone dog, sponsors, well-wishers aplenty and of course, gal pickiney dressed to the nines all waiting to salute the return of the Gargamel.  The Gargamel, however, was nowhere in sight. However, the Dancehall/Reggae superstar made sure to send a heartfelt message to his fans for their continued support over the years. "Thank you for coming out tonight," Buju Banton send via video, "I want to thank you all for making time from your busy schedules to be here with us. I want to thank our sponsors, those who saw it fit to come together in the spirit of unity to make something of this magnitude happen here in Jamaica. I want to thank those in the media, the print media, radio, television, for their love and support over the years and especially at this time... On the 16th of March, the national stadium will be a venue like no other. So many years since i've seen my people and we have exchanged communications spiritually, mystically and on the 16th of March we endeavour to reconnect.




Rebel Salute's Herb Curb just got even better

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Rebel Salute has partnered with Epican Jamaica to bring the Herb Curb to life for its 2019 staging. The unique Herb Curb is an enclosed area within the music festival, through which organizers want to highlight the business of cannabis, not just its recreational properties.

The event became the first to be granted an exemption under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act to allow the use and sale of small amounts of cannabis, more popularly known as marijuana. Marijuana is an integral part of Rastafarian culture and that culture is at the heart of Rebel Salute, so both are intricately intertwined.

Tony Rebel, Founder Rebel Salute, disclosed that the event is joining forces with Epican Jamaica to expand the event. "We are looking at a two-day herb conference on the Thursday and Friday before the festival starts and then a Symposium on Saturday. We really want to explore all the ways we can benefit from herb," said Tony Rebel.

The curb will display educational, medicinal, recreational and spiritual products and content that give more insight into the world of cannabis. Artisans, herb practitioners and educators will be on hand to explain the benefits, uses, applications and numerous byproducts on the cutting edge of organic medicinal exploration.

In addition, there will be a designated smoking lounge, complete with seating and video feed from the main stage.

Jermaine Bibbons Head of Marketing at Epican, says the company is excited about being a part of Rebel Salute.





Buju Banton launches foundation

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buju-banton-on-instagram-born-in-abject-poverty-i-know-what-it-is-for.jpgThis is what Buju wrote on social media as he recently launched his foundation:

"Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams and lots of determination. Unfortunately, daunted and unable to achieve your destiny, due to lack of a helping hand. It is not an easy road, my children. However, Jah has blessed me. I have made it my mission through the Buju Banton Foundation, to help, by giving light to youth living in the darkness of poverty...Through provision of food, clothing, healthcare and education. Thus ensuring they too have equal opportunities to succeed.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Born in abject poverty, I know what it is for a child to go without basic necessities. I also know what it is to be a youth with big dreams..."





For the second year running, the British Council is partnering with the music festival Rebel Salute with its live music skills training programme for young people -- Backstage to the Future: Caribbean.

This year, 12 trainees will be offered the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in stage management, lighting and sound, through on-site teaching of technical skills and hands-on shadowing, at Rebel Salute's annual live music event slated for January 18-19, at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.

"We have expanded the scope of the programme this year, increasing the number of Jamaican participants to five. In addition to the Green Moon festival in San Andrés, Colombia, and Rebel Salute here in Jamaica, we've added the Havana World Music Festival in Cuba as a third event at which these young professionals will receive additional training. We also recognise the importance of contributing content and are supporting the participation of top international Reggae act, Dawn Penn, at the festival," shared British Council country director, Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick.

"This partnership underscores the commitment of the British Council towards creating opportunities for cultural exchange that support social and economic development, through the arts and the creative economy, in Jamaica. Rebel Salute provides an excellent training ground for the future generation of festival professionals. We are very pleased to support the growth and development of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean by contributing to the continuing professionalisation of the live-event sector, building bridges between Jamaican festival professionals, the UK and international markets, as well as creating jobs through self-employment." Jacobs-Bonnick outlined.

Backstage to the Future: Caribbean is a skills training programme for live music events that was launched in San Andrés, Colombia, in August 2017, during the 30th anniversary of the Green Moon Festival. The programme is designed to develop and nurture future live-event producers and technicians in San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia), Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela, with a focus on building technical and soft skills. The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.





held.jpgA Jamaican woman and a Bahamian man are in police custody in northern Bahamas in connection with the seizure of ganja and stolen items.They were arrested on Tuesday.

It is reported that the police and immigration officers went to an area on one of the Abaco Islands about 1 p.m.

They discovered a number of stolen items and 10 pots of ganja plants.

The 46 year-old Jamaican woman, who was found at the location, was taken into custody.

During further searches in the area, the police discovered 50 additional ganja plants.

A 44 year-old Bahamian man was taken into custody.





Second person killed in Westmoreland since 2019

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWestmoreland recorded its second murder since the start of the year following the gun slaying of a popular businessman in the parish on Saturday afternoon. The deceased has been identified as Kevin Bird, 37, of Good Hope, Negril.

Reports are that about 4:30 p.m., Bird was among a group of men playing a table game outside a supermarket in the town centre of Negril, when two men rode up on a motorcycle; one climbed off and opened fire, hitting Bird multiple times.

The businessman was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No motive has so far been established for the killing.

Bird's murder comes on the heels of the New Year's Day killing of 48-year-old hardware supervisor, Anthony Meyler, of Rocky Hill, Sheffield, Westmoreland, and the shooting and injuring of a 33-year-old labourer of Fairmount, Sheffield in Westmoreland.

Meyer's licensed 9mm Heckler and Koch pistol was stolen during the attack on him.

Last year 142 murders were recorded in Westmoreland, six shy of the 148 that were recorded there in 2017.

Westmoreland led among the parishes nationally in terms of its murder tally last year.





court-case.jpgJoelle Clayton, the woman who abandoned her four-month-old baby in a car as she partied last month, will return to court next March. Clayton appeared before a judge on Tuesday after she was charged with child endangerment.

The infant is reportedly being cared for by Clayton's relatives.

Reports are that a passer-by saw the child inside the vehicle crying, and summoned the police. The police, in trying locate the parents, used a sound system at the party that was being held inside Sabina Park, Kingston, to call for the parents to come forward.

The police also broke the window of the vehicle in order to rescue the baby.

The child was medically examined and the vehicle towed.





Canadian woman killed in accident involving Munga

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munga-honorable.jpgDancehall entertainer Damion Rhoden aka Munga Honorebel, was involved in a fatal accident on Saturday morning, which claimed the life of a Canadian woman, Tashana Cumbermack.

The accident took place on the Mandela Highway, in the vicinity of Ferry in St Catherine.

Reports from Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are that Munga was driving a Toyota Axio, about 5:50 Saturday morning, which crashed into a Suzuki Vitara. The Vitara, in turn, hit a bus in which Cumbermack was travelling.

Munga and one of his passengers as well as Cumbermack were rushed to hospital where Cumbermack was pronounced dead.

Munga is said to be in stable condition.





Message from Cyntoia Brown

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cyntoia-brown-photo-2.jpgA message from Brown was read aloud during a news conference hosted by her legal team Monday morning.

"Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.

I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.

Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor's degree, which I will complete in May 2019.

I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His Saving Grace.

Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years.

I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day.

I love all of you and will be forever grateful.

With God's help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.

Thank you."





Cyntoia Brown granted clemency

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cyntoia-brown-photo-1.jpg

Cyntoia Brown stands trial as an adult even though she was just 15 years old at the time.

The day before the first gathering of the 111th General Assembly, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said Monday he was granting clemency to Cyntoia Brown.

If you remember the story which has been making headlines again lately, the 30-year-old Brown, said in 2004, she was forced into prostitution and scared for her life when she shot Nashville real estate Johnny Allen.

Haslam's announcement, which was quickly met with praise from Democrats, comes less than two weeks before he exits office. He is also in the midst of weighing a possible bid for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

"This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case," Haslam said.

In 2004, Brown killed Johnny Mitchell Allen, who Brown said had solicited her for sex and taken her back to his house. Prosecutors at the time said Brown shot Allen in the head while he was sleeping, stole money and guns, took his truck, and fled the scene. They argued the killing wasn't motivated by self-defense, but robbery.

Brown said she was scared for her life by Allen's behavior, and took money for fear of returning empty-handed to her pimp, nicknamed "Cut Throat."

A juvenile court found Brown competent to be tried as an adult. She was convicted of murder and robbery, and sentenced to life in prison.

Though more than a decade had passed since her trial, the harsh punishment for a teenage victim of sex trafficking sparked outrage around the US -- particularly after celebrities Rihanna and Kardashian West came to her defense on social media in 2017. She would not have been eligible for parole until she had served for 51 years.





Police searching for newborn stolen from Jubilee

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police-cars.jpgDetectives attached to the Jamaica Constabulary Force are searching for a baby who was born on Tuesday but who was stolen from the hospital ward early Wednesday morning.

Head of the Constabulary's Corporate Communication's Unit, CCU, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Dahlia Garrick, says the baby's mother raised an alarm after returning from the restroom to find that her baby was missing from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, where she did her delivery.

ASP Garrick is appealing to the public to provide any information that can assist the police in its search for the missing baby.

This is the second newborn to be kidnapped in the last 5-days. On Friday, a three week old was kidnapped at the Cornwall Regional Hospital after the baby's mother asked a woman who befriended her to watch the baby.

The mother reportedly went to use the restroom after leaving the hospital's pharmacy. The police found the baby on Sunday in Norwood in St. James.

The alleged kidnapper and her boyfriend were taken into custody.





vershon-on-and-off-switch-on-instagram-2019-lets-make-it-a-year.jpgThis is Vershon's wish for 2019:

vershonmusic

#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity

So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up!

So I'm gonna start by saying

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's!

All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity!

@grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼

And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch on Instagram: "#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I..."

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

#2019 let's make it a year of peace love and unity So I'm calling out @spiceofficial @dangelmusic @mslegendary @ms.kingdom @doveymagnum I love you all ❤️ but it's too early for the segregation 😕. January 1 I became 20nuff 🤫 and I realized that I'm not getting any younger if I'm suppose to die this very moment I wanna know I did the right thing! I don't want to have up any one in my heart regardless of who wanna have me up! So I'm gonna start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR TO @mavadogully @thegreatjahmiel @manhimselff @popcaanmusic @aidonia4thgenna @masickamusic @govanagenna and all the others! let's make this a year of unity success and blessings 🙏🏼. #2019 ago be a great year in music mi can feel the energy because look @bujuofficial deh a road and ready fi creat history at the national stadium this march coming 🎹🎸🥁🎺🕺🏾. By now and summer @vybzkartel ago deh a road a free man in Jesus name!!!🙏🏼. Regardless of who have the big song who a run di place none a we nuh bigger than di Marley's! All a di negativity weh we a gwan wid mi nuh see nuh body a collect nuh award for it 🤔. The only man mi see go di closest to a award a @chronixxmusic and mi nuh see him a war wid nuh body! lets make this year a year of unity! @grunggaadzilla @kingbeenieman Supacat, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Ninja Man and all di other veterans work too hard to build this fi wi come mash it up 🤦🏼‍♂. So remember year of unity! 👈🏼 And fi all a who still nuh like mi after this memba (MI EARS HAVE AN #On & #Off Switch) and mi a build one fi mi eyes dem right as mi speak!!!!!!! So mi nuh hear unu! and mi definitely nuh see unu!!!! #NuhInaDiFuckryDahYearYah!

O postare distribuită de 🦂Vershon🦂 On And Off Switch (@vershonmusic) pe





danielle-di-on-instagram-if-a-man-want-it-him-affi-pay-dung-pon-it.jpgDanielle DI looking to great things in 2019, after sharing underwear clad pic of her Priceless part in November.

Danielle D.I. on Instagram: "🎶If a man want it him affi pay dung pon it 🎶🤑 #PricelessPumpum 💚hair by @kendradolls"





ishawna-on-instagram-da-pussy-yah-it-aguh-tun-mi-inna-billionaire.jpgAs other female artistes are busy feuding, Ishawna seems to have taken the high road..

"Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!" she posted to social media on Thursday.

A few days earlier, Ishawna had stripped down to a revealing swing-suit and made bold statements about her vagina turning her into a billionaire.

"Da p*$$y yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Da pussy yah it aguh tun mi inna Billionaire, even if it aguh tek a Million Year..."

ISHAWNA on Instagram: "Just leave me alone for crying out loud😩😭 New year, new me bitches!!!"





D'Angel releases new single, 'Nuh Trust Dem'

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michelle-downer-on-instagram-nuh-trust-dem.jpgThe former wife of Dancehall King, Beenie Man is on a roll. She has released two new singles in quick succession, seemingly inspired by the war with self-proclaimed Queen of Dancehall', Spice. The song iis entitled "Nuh Trust Dem.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "Nuh Trust Dem!"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Nuh Trust Dem!

O postare distribuită de Michelle Downer (@dangelmusic) pe





michelle-downer-on-instagram-world-premier-of-mind-yuh-business.jpgThe song is entitled "Min Yuh Business" and is produced by Irie FM disc jock, DJ Sunshine, who blasted a world premiere this week.

Clearly this is D'Angel's ansa to Spice as their feud heats up.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "World Premier Of "Mind Yuh Business" @djsunshineja_yellowmoonrecords 💣💣💣💣"





vybz-promo-on-instagram-spiceofficial-granma-amari-a-talk-to-you.jpgSo this is really high drama. Amari, the former fiancee of Gully Bop, has weighed in on the feud between D'Angel and Spice. Amari, who is also an artiste, and also a producer, has made a video telling Spice to be careful and remember that Amari is a force to be reckoned with.

Watch carefully as you read these comments :

Vybz Promo on Instagram: "@spiceofficial Granma Amari a talk to you. 🤷🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️"


😢😢😢😢😢

jyngeregnyj

When u hear 1mill a gi weh.. all termite surface🤣🤣🤣🤣

nikkirona_clarke

😂😂😂😂😂

welshy_wish

😂😂😂

amoy119

Every gal want a piece a spice! Boom!

0mallia

Amari moving!!! moving like a nuclear!!🔥🤣 but idk where

kenisarobin

Stop yuh coming and come....look from when and yuh can't reach

island_girl_tee21

Mi stress out🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

winsome.martin

Whoiiiiii a cah laugh 😂😂😂😂😂

shaznii__

Straight out the old age home

_respectmycurves_

Come gwoop!

mesheck_today

@skkanme thief in the night

mesheck_today

Ugly

domzphotography

Somebody caa box har dung 😒

_kimmone

is that a choker on her neck or its jus how her neck creases ? 🤔

mseanique__

Kmt damn mad woman @spiceofficial don't even look goodz kmt

call_me_roxi

Spice amari is coming.!!.. Wonder where she going.... Must to get those dentures fixed

sassymama_sil

@dellano007 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

erfman69

Dwl

ricksmediagroup

Mouth look soft 😂😂 go sit down lady

fullyjamaican

This woman must sick cuz idk y she always embarrassing herself like this

sham_balla

👀👀👀👀

_badgalshelly

But who tf is she

freshlysqueezed_sunshine

A wah really cudda cause this tho??!! 🤣🤣🤣 @ayondaescollections

im_melanin_876

@skkanme some homeless chick from NY🤦‍♀️

GULLY BOP EX AMARI HAS A MESSAGE FOR SPICE





roy-fowl-cook-out-album-2019-01-04.jpg





crime-scene-7.jpgPolice have reopened an investigation into a drug overdose death at a wealthy Democratic donor's home in West Hollywood after a second man died on the premises early Monday morning.

Edward Buck, a regular donor to democratic campaigns including Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, was investigated for a suspected murder when Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of a meth overdose in July 2017.

The case was closed after the Los Angeles District Attorney found insufficient evidence to prosecute, sparking controversy from local campaign groups.

Now a second man has been found dead in Buck's apartment. The LA Sheriff's Department said the cause of death is 'unknown at this time'.

The retired donor and political activist has been interviewed by police.

According to police Buck was present for both deaths and both men were black.

An African-American man was found dead in the Los Angeles apartment of a prominent Democratic Party donor - the second time a black man died in the home in the past 18 months. The coroner is seen with the body in West Hollywood on Monday.Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies found the body of the man in the early morning hours Monday at the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck

Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, said the man was a long-time friend of Bucks in his 50s, and had lived in West Hollywood for 25 years. Amster claimed that the man had 'a history of substance abuse'.

'Unfortunately in the early hours this morning, a good friend of Ed's reached out to him. Ed was reluctant to have him over but he was insistent. He had him come over and come into his apartment,' Amster told DailyMail.com.

'Ed had just gotten out of the shower, so he went to get himself more appropriately attired. He came back into his living room and his friend was acting with bizarre behavior. Shortly thereafter it was obvious his friend needed medical assistance. Ed called paramedics. They arrived, they were unable to revive him, and unfortunately he died in the apartment.

This is the same apartment where in July 2017, Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead of an apparent overdose of methamphetamine'It seems the individual came over already having consumed controlled substances. There were no controlled substances ingested in the presence of Ed, nor did Ed give any to his friend.'

The attorney said Buck was initially interviewed by officers who arrived on the scene, but has declined further interviews with homicide detectives.

'On Monday, January 7, 2019, at 1.05am, West Hollywood Station deputies responded to the 1200 block of Laurel Ave in the City of West Hollywood regarding a person not breathing,' the LA Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

'The informant performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and called 9-1-1. Los Angeles County Fire responded to the location and pronounced a male adult deceased. The cause of death is unknown at this time and will be determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office.

'On July 27, 2017 there was a death investigation of a male adult, Gemmel Moore, who was determined to have overdosed at the same location. Mr. Edward Buck was present during both incidents.

'The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau has responded to the location and Investigators are conducting a thorough investigation, which includes follow up interviews and a secondary review of the July 27, 2017 incident.'

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo +10

Emergency crews at the scene tried to revive the man, who has yet to be identified, but were unsuccessful. Buck's West Hollywood apartment on Laurel Avenue is seen in the above file photo

At the time of Moore's death the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute Buck, saying there was 'insufficient [evidence] to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that [Buck] is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore.'

The DA's Office said: 'Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.'

In February of last year Moore's family published pages from his diary in which he alleged that it was Buck who first introduced him to narcotics.

These revelations prompted the LASD to reopen its investigation into Buck.

Since the investigation was launched, a number of other men of color have come forward to claim political power player Buck, who is single and came out as gay at 16, paid them to take drugs.

The coroner's report, from July 31, 2017, noted that investigators spoke with a woman who knew Moore, who said that the prostitute had told her about another man he knew that had been tied up by Buck 'over a year ago', who then 'held him against his will at the residence in West Hollywood.'





babsy-grange-minister.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia "Babsy" Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks who died on Friday at the age of 69.

The minister in a statement this afternoon recalled that: "Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment."

She noted that even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, Crooks offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts.

"Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue," Grange said.

"Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.

"I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond. He will be sorely missed," the minister continued.





bob-marley-large.jpgReggae legend Bob Marley and the Wailers are the only Jamaican artistes whose compilation made the cut for Billboard's top 200 albums for 2018. The album, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers, came in at number 78 on the charts.

Although the album dropped five places from the number 73 spot it occupied in 2017 end of year charts, the album remained the sole project from a Jamaican act to be included on the coveted chart. It is also the only compilation by a Jamaican act to be included in several other Billboard year-end charts. Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers also makes the cut on the Top Catalogue Albums chart, (coming in at number six, down from its number five spot last year); the Top R&B/Hip Hop chart (placing number 46 out of 100, and moving up one spot from 47 last year) and the top R&B Albums chart (coming in at number nine up from the number 13).

The album was originally released on May 1,1984, and debuted on the Billboard 200 in August of that year at No 54. The album created history back in 2017, when it spent a landmark 500 non- consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. At that point, it was the album with the second most weeks on the list beaten only by Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

Except for three years between 1985 and 1988, the album was a regular feature on the chart





Bartlett praises the late Walt Crooks

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has expressed sadness at the passing of Montego Bay entertainment entrepreneur, Walton "Walt" Crooks who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 69. No official cause of death has been announced.

Bartlett remembered Crooks for his bold undertaking in the establishment of the Disco Inferno club in Montego Bay. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was one of Jamaica's hippest venues, with several high-profile acts performing there.

"Walt Crooks stood out as a giant in the entertainment industry, going beyond the ordinary as he engaged top class international singers to perform at Disco Inferno," said Bartlett.

"Walt was very passionate about his venture and this led him to successfully bring the internationally recognised Hal Jackson's Talented Teens Pageant to Montego Bay, giving many young Jamaicans the opportunity to showcase their talents on stage and earning recognition," the minister continued.

Although Disco Inferno folded, Walt Crooks maintained his devotion to entertainment and tourism as a director of Summerfest Productions, working behind the scenes in the staging of the annual Reggae Sumfest, which launched in Montego Bay in 1993.

In his tribute, Bartlett expressed the view that Walt Crooks was truly ahead of his time and it is regretted that he was not able to fulfil the dream he had in expanding Disco Inferno into a world class entertainment complex.





PM Holness hails Accompong Maroons

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andrew-holness-photo-3.jpgST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) -- Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has hailed the Accompong Town Maroons in St Elizabeth, noting that their togetherness is a shining example of peace for the rest of Jamaica.

According to the prime minister, the Maroons have preserved the culture of their ancestors, using it as a guide to live in peace and harmony with each other, a standard that the rest of the country should strive to emulate.

Holness was speaking at the Accompong Maroons' 281st celebration of the signing of the peace treaty with the British and to commemorate the birthday of their past leader, Cudjoe, yesterday, in the Maroon village.

"Within this town, you may have about two to three thousand people, but I looked at the murder statistics and I don't see one murder in this town or in this area. In fact, the crime rate here is very low and it is not just today or last year or the year before. This has been the case from ever since, and there is a reason for that. You hold on to a heritage [because] you know that your ancestors, your forefathers fought for your freedom," the prime minister said.

The festival marks the victory of the Maroons in their first war against the British in 1738, in which they fought for their freedom, led by Cudjoe. This year's staging was held under the theme 'Advancing to the Future while Standing True to our Culture'.

The prime minister underscored that the unique and distinct Maroon culture has kept them apart from what he said is the "chaos and violence that may exist in other parts of the country".

"Your forefathers fought and earned the respect of their enemies... to the point where your tenacity, your relentless pursuit of your freedom led to the signing of a peace treaty 281 years ago. It means something to each and every one of you who claim the Maroon heritage. So, you are not about to allow that heritage to be disrespected by violence, killing each other. You have used that heritage to live together under a particular system of governance which demonstrates respect for your chief, respect for your elders and respect for the culture," Holness said.

In the meantime, the prime minister gave a commitment to the Maroons that the government will improve the infrastructure of Accompong Town to make it easier for visitors to travel to the historic village to experience the rich culture of the people.

"People travel when it is easier and seamless, so if you fix the road, more people will come, and if we support you with a little museum, so that the artefacts that you have can be properly displayed, more people will come," Holness said.

He further informed that plans are afoot to improve the water supply system in the community. The day's festivities included performances by Maroon cultural and folk groups and the Beeston Spring Mento Band.





Barbados recalls hypertension medication

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Health authorities in Barbados have announced the withdrawal of the Citron branded Valsartan after tests conducted by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that the recall of the Citron branded Valsartan, along with Indapamide, was due to the "failure of both tablets to dissolve.

"This decision was made after testing was carried out by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and is not related to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) recall," the Ministry of Health and Wellness said.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George said the authorities "will continue to monitor the FDA drug recalls for all categories of drugs and will make all necessary decisions to protect the health of the Barbadian public".

Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said it wanted to assure the public that none of the drugs identified in the December 31 recall of the hypertensive drug, Valsartan, by the FDA is approved by the Barbados Drug Service for sale in Barbados.

It said that the FDA recall is related to the discovery of an impurity believed to increase cancer risk. The branded products recalled are from a specific company and have been identified as Valsartan, Amlodipine-Valsartan and Valsartan hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

"The ministry has made it clear that all brands approved for dispensing in Barbados are FDA-approved and also meet local standards," the statement said.





Schools on high alert after dengue outbreak

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dengue.jpgThe education ministry has put school administrators on high alert in light of the dengue outbreak which the island is now experiencing, urging them to take necessary measures to protect the school population.

In a bulletin ahead of the reopening of school today the ministry has advised administrators to "free the school environment of mosquito breeding sites such as old tyres and containers in which water can settle, tins are punched with holes before disposing, and large drums, barrels and tanks holding water are securely covered".

The ministry has also advised that public health teams from the Ministry of Health will be visiting schools to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented.

Last week the health ministry told the country that the mosquito-borne virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for the month of December, with 123 case reports.

At an emergency press conference Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton stressed that: "This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December - the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold. As at today, 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed".

The ministry says it has implemented a number of response measures, including the extension of the enhanced vector control programme up to March 2019 to include the employment of an additional 500 temporary workers to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites.

Opening hours for a number of health facilities have been extended to 8:00 pm, and an extended public education campaign is also being rolled out, with public service announcements regarding mosquito breeding sites, symptoms of dengue and personal protection tips being shared across media platforms, the ministry said.





Rihanna's Reggae album 'R9' on the horizon

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rihanna-photo-2.jpgRihanna's dancehall-inspired album is reportedly close to being released.

The 9th studio album will reportedly be titled R9.

Rihanna's vocal producer Kuk Harrell has teased fans that the album sounds "amazing."

R9 will be RiRi's follow up to her critically acclaimed album, ANTI.

Last month, the Grammy-winning mogul shared a silent video of herself dancing in the studio to her new music.





Grammy voting session to close soon

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grammy.jpgThe final round of voting in the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will close in a few days time .

In the running for the Grammy for best Reggae Album are Etana, Protoge, Shaggy and Sting, Black Uhuru, and Ziggy Marley.

Etana created history being the fourth female to be nominated since 1997. Etana is nominated for the album Reggae Forever distributed by Tads Records. If she wins she will be the first female ever to cop a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

Judy Mowatt scored the first nomination in 1986, Rita Marley in 1992 and Sister Carol in 1997. The were all nominated, but didn't win.

Meanwhile Protoje has secured his first Grammy nomination with A Matter Of Time!

Black Uhuru who won the first ever Reggae Grammy in 1985, is nominated for As The World Turns.

Shaggy and Sting who currently sit in the number one position on the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart, is nominated for their collaborative album, 44/876.

And Ziggy Marley who holds the record for the most Best Reggae Album wins with a total of 7, is nominated for Rebellion Rises.

The 2019 Grammys will be held on February 10 in Los Angeles.





michelle-downer-on-instagram-dangel-clears-the-air-full-video.jpgFans of D'Angel are feeling her recent video in which she cuts and clear the air as it relates to insults hurled at her by Spice, who labelled the First Lady of Dancehall a hypocrite, among other things.

Spice, in a recent Live, told fans that D'Angel had "begged" her to do their collab hit song, "No Worries" and had called her everyday, before she finally decided to do it. "Memba say nutten did a gwaan fi Angel before me do the song with her her. And after me and she do the song, she don't call back mi phone," Spice bawled out.

D'Angel, in her video basically called Spice a liar as she explained how the song really came about.

Michelle Downer on Instagram: "D'Angel Clears The Air Full Video Link In Bio👆👆👆👆 #cutanclear"





August Town under curfew

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curfew-in-areas-of-west-kingston.jpgThe police have imposed a two-day curfew in August Town, eastern St Andrew, which has been the scene of multiple killings since start of the new year.

The curfew began Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and will end Monday at 6:00 p.m.

The boundaries of the curfew are as follows:

NORTH: Along an imaginary line about 500 metres from the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa in the vicinity of a large upstairs building to the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road.

EAST: Along an imaginary line about 2,000 metres from the intersection with Payton Place and Mona Road to the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road.

SOUTH: Along an imaginary line about 200 metres from the intersection of Silvera Drive and Bryce Hill Road to Top Road.

WEST: Along an imaginary line about 1,500 metres from Top Road to the large upstairs building along the hill ridge at Goldsmith Villa.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries of the curfew are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised in writing by the ground commander.





The international consultant recruited to lead a security audit of Jamaica's hotels and attractions is set to arrive in the island today. A release from the Ministry of Tourism today said Dr Peter Tarlow will arrive to join the team carrying out an intensive security audit of the tourism sector. The tourism ministry said eight properties have already been audited.

The arrival of Tarlow to lead the security audit comes in the wake of multiple claims of sexual harassment by female visitors to the island.

The audit of all hotels and attractions is being led by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), as part of what the tourism ministry said are "efforts to ramp up the island's destination assurance programme".

"I look forward to welcoming Dr Tarlow to the island, as his visit comes at a crucial point in the development of our product. We must safeguard the key aspects of destination assurance such as security, safety and seamlessness of our tourism product," Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett was quoted in the release to the media.

"Dr Tarlow and the team will help us take a step in the right direction and provide insight in legislation that may be implemented to make the industry safer, as well as help us develop a new programme on how to better relate and interact with international guests," Bartlett added.

The security audit, which is to be completed by the first half of 2019, will identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike. Tarlow and the audit team are also expected to assist with constructing a new architecture for tourism ethics and visitor safety.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner Wilfred Baghaloo, who heads the Tourism Working Group, which was recently established by Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, will also be a part of the audit team.





earthquake.jpgThe Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Friday said an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled three Caribbean islands, as the region recorded three earth tremors within a 24-hour period.

It said that latest quake, which occurred at 6:52 pm (local time) was felt in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the French island of Guadeloupe.

According to the SRC the quake was located Latitude: 16.88N, Longitude: 61.15W and at a depth of 10 kilometres (km).

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but it was felt 81 km east-south-east of St John's, Antigua and Barbuda, 82 km north east of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and 177 km north of the Dominican capital, Roseau.

Earlier on Friday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 rattled Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, after one with a magnitude of 3.9 shook St Lucia, Martinique and St Vincent and the Grenadines just after midnight.





Baby stolen from hospital car park

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shocked.jpgThe police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing baby girl and a woman suspected of taking her from the parking lot of the Cornwall Regional Hospital on Friday.

The baby is three weeks old, of brown complexion and was wearing a pink outfit with pink and black socks when she was taken.

Meanwhile, the suspect is said to be of brown complexion, medium build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. The police said she was wearing a wig and a multi-coloured dress at the time of the incident.

Reports are that the mother of the child was at the facility for an appointment when she was allegedly befriended by the suspect.

"About 1:50 pm, they both left the pharmacy at the hospital and ventured into the parking lot. The child's mother reportedly left the baby in the care of the suspect to use the restroom and upon her return, neither her child nor the woman was seen," the police reported this afternoon.

The police were summoned and an investigation commenced.

Anyone with information about the child and the suspect is being asked to contact the Montego Bay police at (876) 979-8452, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





A Jamaican boat captain died after spending 22 days adrift in waters off the coast of Nicaragua, while two other men who were on the vessel were rescued and remain in the Central American country.

Nicaragua media has named the dead captain as Joshua Strekley, 44 and said he has been buried there.

According to the report, the two survivors Clifton C Edwards, 43, and Reid Derreique Anthonio, 45 said they set sail from St Thomas in Jamaica on December 10, 2018 to the fishing bank known as Murrant Cay Saumont Bank.

The two explained that after travelling 30 miles out to sea, they were surprised by a strong storm that damaged the left side of their boat.

The fishermen said they were left without fuel and food until they ran aground on the Halouver coast, 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua, where they received help from community members.

The residents reportedly took Strekly to the health post in the town, where he died and they decided to bury him.

The surviving fishermen were subsequently sent to immigration authorities for their return to Jamaica.





dengue.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Ministry of Health is allocating an additional $250 million to support enhanced measures to contain the spread of the dengue fever virus.

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a press conference held at the ministry's corporate offices in New Kingston today, where he confirmed that the virus surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.

Tufton said the latest figures from the Epidemiological Unit indicate that 123 dengue case reports (suspected, presumed and confirmed) were received for the month.

"This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December, and is the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold," he said.

"This has been a more active season than last year, and we have been observing and monitoring the numbers and increases with each month, but by the clinical standards could only claim an epidemic once the threshold is surpassed," Tufton noted.

He said that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018.

A total of 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed since January 2018.





Dengue Fever Outbreak In Jamaica

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dengue.jpgHealth Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has declared that the island is now experiencing an outbreak of dengue fever.

Tufton made the disclosure at an emergency press conference at his offices in New Kingston.

He revealed that 123 cases were recorded in December 2018.

The figure includes suspected, presumed and confirmed cases.

He said that the number surpasses the outbreak threshold, which is 96.

Tufton pointed out that December was the first time that dengue cases climbed beyond that mark.

Additionally, the health minister disclosed that in 2018 the country recorded seven suspected cases of dengue-related deaths.

Tufton said two of the cases have since been confirmed.





buju-banton-on-instagram-do-you-know-what-this-means.jpgNo doubt about ti, Buju Banton ius HOT!!! And when he posts a picture of himself, the reaction is swift.

On Thursday he posted a pic to IG with the caption: bujuofficialDo you know what this means?

His adoring fans were only too willing to tell him:

Check out a few of the comments below

zosa_naturalCleansing and sanctification

mcraepinnockYou a get the mind ,soul and body right fi di road mi general. Dem can't hold the god bless yute. Uptop!!

sexygaljayCleansing the spirit

chillibibbiWashing off that American blight!

guntego_Gargamel in person calm am easy bless 🙏 up mi bruh inna real life wash all crossess, start fresh 🍃💦mi General hill 🗻 n valley.

llinks45Freedom to do whatever you want @bujuofficial more life Mi elder you are the real role model, you held the faith and it shows, much respect ✊🏿 🇯🇲🇯🇲

iammenot_herCleansing the mind body and soul..washing away all the evil.

Buju Banton on Instagram: "Do you know what this means?"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

Do you know what this means?

O postare distribuită de Buju Banton (@bujuofficial) pe





crime-scene-gun.jpgIt was not a happy sight in Payton Place in August Town, St Andrew, as news spread of the death of Omar Johnson, the country's first murder victim for the year.

It was only eight hours into 2019 when reports surfaced that Johnson was killed by unknown assailants in the community about 8 a.m. yesterday.

And just as persons were coming to terms with Johnson's death, two persons were shot and killed in the August Town Tuesday evening.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit confirmed the incident, but could not say when or where the shootings occurred.

One resident said that they were simply hanging out in the community when Johnson was killed.

"Wi a hold a vibes right yah so, and wi see two man a drag him dung the lane. Dem did a try hide the gun, but wi see it and tek weh wiself. After that mi just hear a shot and then mi hear dem a tear dung the bush and a go weh," the resident said.

Although saddened by Johnson's death, the residents are also convinced that Johnson's death may have been a warning for someone else.

"It's not like him is a yute weh involve in anything or have anyone weh involve in anything. Him is a handyman. If you have a fan to fix and him can do it, it a fix. Anything you want help wid, him a dweet," the resident said.

Johnson is not originally from the community, but he was welcomed by many because of how friendly he was.

Another resident said that they are now fearful because Johnson was killed innocently.

"Dis mek wi start pree di thing different yah now because a nuh yah him come from, and a nuh bad man thing mek him come yah neither. Him a look a betta life, and him have a place of his own yah now and him a do him thing. Him do him job and talk wid everybody. To mi, this is like a warning killing, and it just mean seh no one is safe now," the resident said.





Five Jamaicans are among several Caribbean nationals who have been pardoned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The others given pardon include: one Trinidadian, one Haitian and six nationals from the Dominican Republic.

Convicted of minor drug and other offences, the pardon has saved them from possible deportation under the Donald Trump administration's tough policy on immigrants. Cuomo said he was granting clemency to 29 immigrants "who have demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to community crime reduction.

"While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities," said Cuomo, adding "these actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York".

The NY governor said the pardons are in recognition of the immigrants' "rehabilitative efforts and to remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status.

"Some are facing deportation, while others wish to be able to participate in their communities as citizens of the country they call home. In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic," he said.

Cuomo said Jamaican Olive Ferguson, 75, was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1991 and that "she has been crime-free ever since".

He said Ferguson is "an active member of her church. She has remained crime-free for 27 years. A pardon will minimise her risk of deportation."

Jamaican Rohan Hylton, 47, was convicted of a similar offence in 1992 as well as criminal possession of marijuana in in 2001 and 2003.

Cuomo said Hylton came to the United States over 30 years ago with his family "to escape political persecution.

"As a father and dedicated family man, he now lives and works in Queens. A pardon will allow him to apply for discretionary relief from his deportation order. He has not been convicted of any misdemeanours or felonies for 12 years."

Cuomo said another Jamaican, Kerrone Kay-Marie Parks, 33, was convicted in 2013 on drug related charges.

"She is a domestic violence survivor, a mother of three children on the honour roll, and currently volunteers full-time at a nursing home. She has remained crime-free for five years."

Jamaican Jeremy Grant, 58, was also convicted of drug related charges in 2005 "when an individual in a group he was a member of sold drugs to an undercover cop and the entire group was convicted in Manhattan," the New York governor said.

He said Grant "has been in prolonged removal proceedings since 2006," and "has remained crime-free for 13 years.

"A pardon would remove the barriers to apply for a green card renewal, and prevent him from being deported and losing his access to necessary medical treatment," Cuomo said.

He said Grant's compatriot, Trevor Elliot, 67, was convicted of drugs in the early 1990s and has worked at a non-profit that provides social services for the youth and as an elder care provider.

"A pardon would allow Mr. Elliot to apply for citizenship. He has maintained a crime-free lifestyle for 10 years."

Trinidadian Anthony Khan, 66, was convicted of a drug offence in 1980 when he accompanied an acquaintance to sell a controlled substance and was arrested as part of a sting operation in the Bronx.

Cuomo said Khan, who migrated to the United States in 1971, is "an active church goer and a husband and father, who has worked with the Taxi and Limousine Commission for 35 years."

He has remained crime-free for 37 years, the governor said.

Haitian Reginald Castel, 45, was convicted of assault in 1999 and Cuomo said Castel, who came to the United States at the age of eight, is married with four children and was deported without notice in September 2017.

"A pardon will allow Mr. Castel to apply for re-entry to the United States and re-unite with his family. He has remained crime free for 19 years."

Alisa Wellek, executive director of New York's Immigrant Defence Project, said that in pardoning immigrant New Yorkers who face deportation, despite years of contributing to the community, Cuomo "has used a powerful tool to restore dignity to people for whom punishment will otherwise never end, simply because they were not born here.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor's office and our Immigrant Clemency Project to provide immigrant New Yorkers with a fighting chance to remain with their families in the face of Trump's hateful agenda," she said.

Cuomo had last year announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's policy of forced family separation on the US southern border.

To protect Caribbean and other immigrants from overly aggressive deportation tactics increasingly utilised by the US Immigration and Customs.





arrested.jpgA St Ann based Chinese businessman has been arrested by the police after he reportedly stabbed one of his customers with a knife during an altercation last week.

Investigators reported that about 1pm, the cumer had an argument with another Chinese national in the store operated by the businessman.

The situation was brought under control by security personnel, but tempers flared again between both men.

It is alleged that the businessman used a knife to inflict a wound to the customer resulting in serious intestinal injuries.

He was rushed to the St Ann's Bay regional hospital for treatment where an angry crowd gathered outside the store to express outrage at the incident.





Man murdered in Dallas Castle

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police are probing the shooting death of a man whose bullet-riddled body was found in a house in Dallas Castle on Thursday.

Investigators say the unidentified male is of brown complexion, slim build, about 6ft tall and has a tattoo on his right arm marked "Mickella".

It's reported that during a power outage in the area, shortly after 7 o'clock Thursday evening, residents saw a man being chased by three men armed with guns.

He ran into a house where he was attacked and shot several times by the men.The cops who were called to the scene found his body under a bed.

Several spent shells and bullet fragments were recovered from the scene.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe St Andrew Central Police have arrested a 17 year old boy for the Boxing Day murder of a 15 year old in the Springs Plaza off Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.

Maleek Brown,15, of Blackwood Terrace, Stony Hill, St Andrew, died from a stab wound to the chest.

It's reported that Brown was with his friends on the plaza when they got into a dispute with another group of boys. During the dispute, the teenager was stabbed. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 17 year old was arrested in connection with the killing, following an investigation by the Half-Way-Tree police.





64-year-old attorney on fraud charge

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charged.jpgAnother attorney - Anthony Pearson, was arrested and charged yesterday by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) following allegations that he defrauded one of his clients of more than $3-million.

It's reported that Pearson sold a property on behalf of his client for $6.5 million and reportedly paid half of the money to the client, but failed to hand over the balance.

The 64 year old attorney, who has been charged with fraudulent conversion, is scheduled to appear in court on February 28.

He was released on bail amounting to $400-thousand.





No exemptions as plastic bag ban takes effect

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plastic-bags.jpgThe Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is expressing concern about the Government's decision not to allow exemptions to the ban on certain plastics, which comes into effect on Tuesday

The ban means that importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and imported styrofoam products will no longer be allowed

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, is reported as saying that the government will compensate business operators instead of granting an exemption to allow them to use up their existing stock.

However, the government says compensation will only be allowed to business operators who have not completed stocks purchased before announcement of the ban in September.

Programme Director at the JET Tamoy Singh-Clarke says she understands the rationale for the decision not to allow exemptions.

However, she says there are some instances in which an exemption may be necessary.

Some Municipal Corporations are working on a plan to distribute thousands of reuseable bags in the markets.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda told the Gleaner that 30,000 environmentally friendly bags are to be distributed in the coming days by mayors.

This is part of the government's efforts to equip Jamaicans with alternatives to plastic bags.