February 2019 Archives

crime-scene-gun.jpgDetectives are searching for clues in Wednesday morning's murder of businessman and fitness instructor Christopher Brown.

Mr. Brown was shot at a gym on Braemer Avenue in St Andrew.

Shortly after 6 o'clock, Mr Brown was about to enter the gym when he was attacked by two armed men.

He was the manager of several fighters in the Contender Series on TVJ.





It would seem that the government had intended to keep secret the fact that it had worked out a settlement with Yolande Ramharrack, the former Human Resource Manager at the state owned oil refinery Petrojam.

It had already been revealed that a confidentiality clause in the separation agreement required that the parties not disclose the terms of the agreement.

With the documents now tabled in the House of Representatives, however, it has emerged that the parties were barred from even disclosing the very existence of the agreement.

The confidentiality clause also stated that the parties to the agreement should not disclose the negotiations leading to the agreement or the subject of the agreement, except if required by the Supreme Court.

The decision to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with Miss Ramharrack and the details of the financial payments to her on separation from her job have been shrouded in controversy.

The issue will again be the subject of Wednesday's sitting of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee.





Person of interest held in Bloomfield's murder

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held.jpgThe police have have accosted a person of interest in relation to the murder of Opposition People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield.

The constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said the individual is to be questioned and is not being treated as a suspect as the investigation is still in the early stages.

Bloomfield, whose death sent shockwaves across the country, was stabbed to death at his Passley Gardens home in Portland on February 2.

He is to be laid to rest on February 23, following a thanksgiving service at the Church of the Open Bible in Port Antonio.





Six confirmed dengue deaths

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health says there have been six confirmed deaths from dengue fever as at February 8.

Five of those deaths occurred in Kingston & St Andrew and one in Portland. All the victims are children under the age of 14 years old.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Dr Christopher Tufton in an update to Parliament this afternoon.

Tufton said his ministry has since February 8, classified 1,166 suspected, presumed, or confirmed dengue cases with dates of onset in 2019, while there were 1,023 suspected and confirmed cases in 2018.

"The weekly number of cases appears to be plateauing, while we need to wait for another two to three weeks to be sure, this is an encouraging sign," he told the House.

The minister said that the largest number of suspected/presumed/confirmed dengue cases for 2019 to date was notified from St Catherine, with 313 people.

This is followed by Kingston and St Andrew, with 177; St Ann 121; St Mary 75; St Thomas six; St James 54 and Clarendon 49.





sangster-international-airport.jpgSangster International Airport (SIA), Jamaica's leading gateway to the world, was named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh year in a row at the World Travel Awards (WTA) hosted at Sandals Montego Bay on 28 January. Operated by MBJ Airports Limited, SIA emerged as the winner from a pool of 13 Caribbean competitors nominated for the prestigious award. The accolade was first bestowed on SIA in 2005. It won again in 2009 and has won the title again every year since.

"We are honored to be named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh consecutive year. This prestigious award validates our ongoing efforts to deliver world-class service and showcase Jamaica's rich culture at Sangster International Airport," commented MBJ CEO Rafael Echevarne.

"The fact that our dedication to improving the infrastructure of the airport and providing outstanding service has been noticed by the global travel industry and travelers using SIA is gratifying and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for voting us number one in the region year after year for more than a decade. Our entire staff, our airport partners and every citizen of Jamaica can be proud of this tremendous achievement," Echevarne added.

MBJ has led a number of initiatives over the past four years to improve the passenger experience within the arrivals and departures terminals while upgrading the taxiways and aprons on the airside. Several transformational projects are now underway to bring further upgrades to the airport, including a redesign of the ticketing hall, an expansion of the commercial concourse and automated parking facilities.





Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2018, Ackera Gowie has shown that she is not just Most Culturally Aware, but also environmentally aware with the launch of her national project EcoMoney at the St. Mary High School on Thursday, February 7. Aimed at pulling communities together across Jamaica in an effort to both preserve the environment while increasing youth-based economic development, EcoMoney is designed to turn non-biodegradable waste into profit through up-cycling, also known as creative reuse. In this process, useless or otherwise unwanted products are transformed into new products of better environmental value.

"We are now transitioning from a linear economy to a circular economy, circular meaning we reduce waste and make the most of resources," Gowie said while giving the project overview at the EcoMoney launch.

"The overall mission of EcoMoney is to create partnerships between the private and public sector to engage communities and allow each citizen to play their part in the welfare of the whole human race," she continued.

Gowie also highlighted the importance of launching her national project out of her home parish of St. Mary, stating:

"A St. Mary Mi Come from is one my favourite phrases! I am so proud of my parish and my roots so it was important to launch EcoMoney here to show all the talent and potential St. Mary's youth have to offer as we lead the rest of the island on this eco-journey."

Hosted at the auditorium of Gowie's alma mater, the St. Mary High School, the launch of EcoMoney saw support from Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, as well as the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), the St. Mary chapter of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and upcoming Jamaican recycling company, 360 Recycle.

The EcoMoney national project is sponsored by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Lasco Money, Excelsior, Digicel Foundation and Popeyes.





etana-vprecords.jpgEtana dogged out a fan and even called him a cockroach and dropped a couple 'F' bombs on Twitter because he dared to criticise her consciousness, or lack thereof, at the recent Grammy awards. It was a strong and savage display from the Strong One, who played right into the fan's hands by cussing him out, a behaviour which is not in sync with her password of conscious queen.

Now critics are saying that Etana has damaged her brand with this emotional behaviour.

Some persons suggested that Etana was upset that she did not win the Grammy for Best Reggae album, and so the criticism of her AND her dress was just too much, the poor dear just had to unload/





More dates for Buju's Caribbean tour unveiled

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgThe confirmed Caribbean dates for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom Tour have been revealed.

Between March 30 and June 29, the artiste has seven dates across the Caribbean, and in an Instagram post, he stated that more dates are to be added.

Exactly two weeks after his first post-prison performance at the National Stadium in Jamaica, Buju Banton will head to Nassau, Bahamas, after which the red carpet will be rolled out on April 21 for his highly anticipated Trinidad engagement at the Queen's Park Savannah.

April 27 will see the Gargamel in Barbados, then one week later, on May 4, Buju will be off to Paramaribo, Suriname for a performance at the Andre Kamperveen Stadion.

There are two dates for June confirmed so far - June 15 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and June 29 in St Kitts at the Kim Collins Athleteic Club.

The Grenada show, for which tickets have reportedly been selling quickly, is scheduled for May 11 and online news outlets report that "the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is the only OECS island thus far to confirm a staging of the world-renowned tour".

The highly anticipated event is being staged in conjunction with Sunshine Promotions' annual Mother's Day event brand - Night of Love - which featured in 2018 another reggae legend, Beres Hammond.

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Govana Embarks On 13-City European Tour

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govana.jpgRecording artiste Govana, currently riding high with 'The Light' featuring Dre Island, the second single from his upcoming anthology titled 'Humans and Monsters Are Not The Same', departed the island earlier this week for Europe.

The trip, a month-long solo sojourn which also signifies another career milestone for the 4th Genna deejay, will see him embarking on a thirteen-city tour of that continent with stops in major cities such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Zurich, Hamburg, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Lecce and Dortmund among others. The first concert will commence on February 14 (Valentine's Day) in Berlin, Germany.

Despite this being his first solo run, Govana is no stranger to the continent. He previously accompanied labelmate Aidonia on several exploits while under his tutelage. Speaking with members of the international press Govana intimated that he intends to leave a memorable mark upon completion of the tour.

"Europe has always been a place that showed Govana a lot of love even though at the time they knew me as Deablo. Fast-forward to 2019, me returning with a new name and a catalogue of hits, I am very happy because it will be an entirely new experience for both me and the fans. Aside from introducing myself to new fans, it will also present the opportunity to reconnect with my the originals from the days of touring with Aidonia and I intend to make the tour memorable."

The sanguine entertainer is expected to return to the island mid-March to continue work on his upcoming anthology slated for release later this year.





A man who attacked his child's mother and cut her in the face with a pair of scissors after she ignored him when he asked her whether or not she loved him, narrowly missed being remanded for psychiatric evaluation in the St Andrew Parish Court last week.

Acting Parish Judge Chester Crooks after hearing the allegations told Domencia Campbell that he was going to revoke his bail and have him examined by a psychiatrist, but later extended his bail and warned him to stay away from the complainant.

But prior to extending his bail, the judge said that he found it unbelievable that the accused was now before the court for injuring his companion who had supported him unwaveringly when he was before the court recently and who had influenced his decision to give the accused a chance.

"You baby mother came to court and sat here religiously with you and it was because of her why I gave you a chance and that is how you repay her," Judge Crooks said.

On Wednesday when the case was mentioned, the court heard that on the day of the incident, the complainant was outside her house washing when Campbell said to her, "Yuh nuh love me," and she did not answer.

It was further reported that Campbell then told the complainant: "Mi wi stab yuh up seven times enuh," and she smiled.

Campbell, who was armed with the scissors then approached the complainant and stabbed her in the face and on her hand.

The man's lawyer told the court that the complainant had bitten his client on the chest prior to the stabbing.





pnp-headquarters.jpgThe PNP has hit out against the brutal gun murder of former councillor, Marjorie 'Madge' Morris, This comes hard on the heels of the violent stabbing death of East Portland Member of Parliament (MP), Lynvale Bloomfield, at his home in the parish.

The former PNP Councillor in St Thomas, was found murdered at her home on Albion Boulevard in Albion in the Yallahs area of the parish on Sunday morning.

Morris, 67, represented the White Horses Division of Western St Thomas on the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), residents heard explosions in the area and called the police.

"When the police arrived, her body was discovered on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood. That was at about 6:30 this (Sunday) morning," said a representative of the CCU.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe woman arrested in connection with the abduction of the day-old baby from Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month will be placed on an identification parade on today.

Inspector Phillip Dodd, crime chief for the Kingston Western Police, said the woman was questioned over the weekend by detectives. She reportedly told the cops that the baby was given to her by someone in Spanish Town.

Charges are expected to be laid in the case later this week.

The woman was arrested last week when she visited the Registrar General'sI Department (RGD) in St Catherine to register the birth of the stolen baby. Officials of the RGD became suspicious when the woman gave conflicting information about the child and when she gave birth.

DNA tests were later conducted and these confirmed that the baby boy was the one stolen from Victoria Jubilee.

The child was handed over to his parents on Friday.





Parents of stolen baby hire lawyer Peter a

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Peter Champagne, the lawyer representing the family of a baby who was stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston last month is to begin discussions with the management of the facility in relation to redress for the events which led to the abduction.

The police confirmed that the baby who was found in the care of a woman at the Registrar General's Department, RGD, in St Catherine is the missing child and the baby has been returned to the parents.

Champagnie has a mandate to officially contact the hospital "because they have a duty of care in relation to providing a safe place in terms of their patients and clearly, some went awry there."

He will also be paying close attention to the criminal proceedings against the woman who had the baby.

"My instructions are to watch proceedings in the criminal court in relation to the person that has been arrested in connection with the child who was abducted and to ensure that there is a smooth process and that justice is served," he said. The baby was taken from the hospital by a woman on the morning of January 9.

The management of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital has revealed that all the security personnel who were assigned to the facility during last month's abduction of a newborn have been removed.

CEO of the hospital, Colleen Wright, says new security protocols were implemented and are working smoothly.

The hospital and its security system came under the spotlight after the baby was kidnapped from a ward without a trace.

Immediately after the incident, the hospital's CEO announced that changes would be made to security arrangements.





shaggy-wins-grammy-award-2019.jpg"This is a great honor," Shaggy said, after receiving the best reggae album Grammy for his collaboration with Sting, "44/876." "They always say about Grammys that it's nice to be nominated. I can tell you right now it's better to win."

Shaggy also thanked Sting, saying, "He made this project feel like the greatest project I've ever been involved with. It was so easy and full of love and joy."

In his Grammy acceptance speech, Shaggy expressed his gratitude and thanked his family, especially his wife Rebecca and daughter, who were both at the ceremony with him, as well as his Jamaican crew. "Thank you to all of the nominees in the reggae category," he said, and he gave a shout-out to each of their names.

Other nominated albums in the Reggae category were albums as As the World Turns by Black Uhuru, Reggae Forever by Etana, Rebellion Rises by Ziggy Marley and A Matter of Time by Protoje.

Shaggy also took to social media to say thanks.

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Media exec Ossie Mills has passed away

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Jamaican media executive, Ossie Mills passed away suddenly at his home in Oklahoma, USA on Tuesday evening.

He was 58.

Mills apparently suffered a heart attack and passed away while being transported to hospital. He is survived by his wife and three children.

At the time of his death, he was reportedly president and CEO of tvChaz, a faith-based streaming entity.

The son of Salvation Army Officers, Mills was the last of six siblings. He attended the Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and was an accomplished Manning Cup goalkeeper between 1976 and 1978. He played an integral role in that school's 1976 Walker Cup victory.

Upon leaving sixth form at Wolmer's, Mills migrated to the United States and worked in media, management, marketing communications, content creation and distribution both for profit and nonprofit organizations in the Christian community. He was appointed to leadership roles in television, production, marketing, interactive communications and commerce development.

Mills served as an executive vice president at ORU from 2011-2018, where he took on the duties of executive director of Empowered 21, CEO of GEB America TV Network and vice president of marketing and communications.

Mills previously served as executive vice president of Inspiration Networks & Ministries.

Mills was also president/CEO of Belmont Mills Entertainment, which provided family content for networks like ESPN, A&E, Discovery, Fox Family Channel, Hallmark, TBN, FamNet, INSP and ION.

He was also a board member of Convoy of Hope and Next Generation Institute and served on the Forest Hill Council of Elders and the board of advisers for Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

He was a member of the National Religious Broadcasters, Direct Marketing Association and Empowered 21 Global Council.

Mills was reportedly awarded 3 Emmy Regional awards, 10 Telly Awards, 2 Cable Aces, 15 Angel Awards, 3 International Communicator Awards, a CBA Impact and Dove Award for his work in media.





Cops probe baby-stealing ring

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police-hat.jpgPolice investigations into the theft of a baby have widened to determine if there is a baby stealing ring in operation.Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devon Watkis says police want to find out if other babies are involved.

This, after the baby stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month was found on Tuesday. The woman in whose custody the stolen baby was found remains in police custody.

Police say she is to face an identification parade as soon as arrangements are finalized.

The return of the baby follows nearly a month of intense investigations that spanned multiple agencies and parishes.

Police announced Thursday, January 7, that DNA tests conducted on the baby found in the custody of the woman in St. Catherine on Tuesday as well as the parents, confirmed with certainty that the baby is the one that was stolen in January.

The tests were done at the government forensic lab.

The baby remains in state care whilst the relevant procedures are completed.

The case came to light on January 9 about 5 AM when the mother who was a patient at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital returned from the bathroom to discover her baby who was born the evening before missing

An alarm was raised and it was borne out that the baby had been stolen.

The Kingston Western Police commenced their investigation and called on the public to remain alert.

A tip came on Tuesday, February 5 when officials at the Registrar's General Department notified police of a suspicious woman trying to register a baby. She was arrested and the baby placed in protective custody.





When a patty makes you go 'batty'

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NEW YORK, United States (AP) -- A woman who couldn't get a beef patty at a favourite New York eatery used a baseball bat in protest.

On Saturday, police released surveillance video of the woman in action in the Bronx -- smashing a restaurant's windows after learning the eatery had run out of her favourite food.

Police say the woman at the Back Home restaurant in the Morrisania neighbourhood came in on January 15 and ordered a patty. She was told they'd run out, and she got upset.

Authorities say she left and came back to the Jamaican restaurant with the bat. The video shows a woman bashing in two windows.





Red Fox shows love for Reggae in new single

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deejay-red-fox.jpgThe latest single from artiste, Red Fox, 'If You Love Reggae', was aptly released in recognition of February as Reggae Month.

'If You Love Reggae' was produced by Musical Masquerade, and according to Fox, reggae music has had a major impact on his life throughout the years.

'I give all glory to God who created this music which I believe saved me from all the trauma and dysfunctions I've experienced as a child," Fox explained in a press release.

He added: "During a time of brainwash education, I was able to learn from the conscious artistes. They taught me about my black heritage, which has empowered me to move forward knowing the true value of myself."

Noting the worldwide impact of reggae music, Fox recalled a conversation he had recently with an Ethiopian girl.

"She came to a show I was doing in Minnesota. She told me when she was in the refugee camp, it was my music that helped her," he said.

"I also remember having another conversation with a fan from Chicago. He told me he remembered going through a tough time in his life which he listened to my first album 'As a matter of Fox' to help keep him going. Instances like these give meaning to my life," Fox said.

Fox shared the inspiration behind 'If You Love Reggae'.

"The idea was brought to me by Musical Masquerade. Even though what I do is called dancehall, I would like to identify myself as a reggae artist. I think we should market the word reggae more than the term dancehall, as dancehall is a place where people listen to reggae music," he said, adding "I also believe we should focus more on our culture which is what attracted people to the music in the first place. We must be able to stand out whereever we go'."

He continued, "On the song If You Love Reggae, the producer and myself wanted to show how much the world loves our music and culture. I have toured many countries throughout my career and reggae is the only music that I see bring together all people regardless of race, class or creed. We mostly sing about unity and love. Bob Marley's One Love and Stand Up For You Right are songs, which have affected people's lives in a major way. I pray that we'll keep the positive vibes going as this music is about life'.

This is the third time that Red Fox has worked with New York-based Musical Masquerade. They previously worked on 'No Other like You' (featuring Rayvon) and 'Muscle'.

Born Gareth Shelton in St Andrew, Red Fox was raised in St Catherine before migrating to New York City as a teenager. He has won the DJ of the Year title in New York on multiple occasions.

Among his better-known songs are 'Pose Off', 'Bashment Party', 'Down in Jamaica', 'Brooklyn Swing' and 'Born Again Black Man'.





New album from Shaggy to be released in May

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgReggae and dancehall artiste, Shaggy will release his first solo album in six years, Wah Gwaan?!, May 10th. Per a statement, the new record will embody Shaggy's "Jamaican roots, global reach, contagious joy and introspective side." Shaggy first teased the record last November with the release of his new single, "Use Me" (an official music video is set to arrive soon).

An article in Rollingstones Magazine states that Wah Gwaan?! will feature a slew of collaborations, including tracks with 19-year-old Canadian singer Alexander Stewart ("You"), dancehall star Shenseea and singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe ("Supernatural"), Brooklyn dancehall artist Noah Powa ("Money Up") and reggaeton hit-maker Nicky Jam and singer Jason Derulo ("Tic Toc"). The album's producers include Tony CD Kelly, Dave Kelly, Martin Kierszenbaum, iLLWayno, Kizzo and Costi Official.

Wah Gwaan?! marks Shaggy's first solo effort since 2013's Out of Many, One Music. The singer made a surprise return last year with his unexpected collaborative project with Sting, 44/876, which has since been nominated for Best Reggae Album at the Grammys

Prior to the Grammys, Shaggy will host the show's premiere ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles February 10th. The event will be available to stream live via the Grammy's website starting at 3:30 ET.

Shaggy Wah Gwaan?! Track List

1. "Ketch Mi Up"

2. "Friends" (feat. Gene Noble)

3. "You" (feat. Alexander Stewart)

4. "Praise"

5. "Tic Toc" (feat. Jason Derulo, Nicky Jam)

6. "Wrong Room"

7. "Money Up" (feat. Noah Powa)

8. "Supernatural" (feat. Stacy Barthe, Shenseea)

9. "Make-Up Sex" (feat. Nyanda)

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Canadian diplomats to sue Ottawa

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Canadian diplomats who suffered from mysterious health complaints while they were posted to Cuba in 2017 are suing Ottawa for taking too long to evacuate them and provide them treatment, reports said Wednesday.

Fourteen people, including current and former diplomats and their families, are seeking Can$28 million (US$21 million) in damages from the federal government.

All of them have been back in Canada for a year but still suffer from what has become known as "Havana syndrome," a mystery illness with symptoms including strong migraines as well as visual and auditory disorders.

According to CBC, which interviewed five of those affected, the first symptoms appeared in the spring of 2017 -- but they say that Ottawa waited more than a year before helping everyone.

Questioned on the subject on Wednesday while she was in Washington, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said the safety of diplomats remained a top priority.

"I am not going to comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be our priority and they have my true sympathy and concern," she said.

On January 30, Canada announced it had reduced its staffing at the embassy to about half as a result of the unexplained symptoms.





Stolen baby found - DNA test proves positive

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A DNA test has confirmed that the baby boy who was taken from a woman at the Registrar General Department (RGD) in Twickenham Park, St Catherine two days ago, is the same child who was snatched from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month.

The result of the test was revealed by police sources a short while ago.

The baby's parents -- Sinclair Hutton and his common-law wife Suzzett Whyte -- were asked to have the DNA test done after the police arrested the woman who attempted to register the child Tuesday afternoon.

The woman and the baby were taken into custody after she was unable to provide officials at the RGD with the relevant information required for registration.

Hutton and Whyte both told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that despite not seeing the child, they were optimistic that he was their son.

The baby was taken from the hospital on January 8.





Marleys absent again from Bob's Bash at the museum

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bob-marley-photo-5.jpgJust like the did last year, the Marley clan again took a leave of absence from the annual birthday bash for their father, Bob at the Museum in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and instead used carious social media platforms to hail up their father on his big day.

However, the other artistes who turned in person up to salute the Reggae legend on his 74th birthday, which was held under the theme Catch A Fire, did a splendid job of paying tribute to the Reggae King.

It was road block all day as hundreds of fans from all over clamoured to get inside the venue where there were symposiums from 11 AM, followed by a concert which started at 3PM and continued until after midnight. A host of entertainers, both upcoming and established acts performed at the event, which saw the Fireman Capleton in full flight as he had the hungry massive hanging on to his fiery chants. Newcomer Koffee was a breath of fresh air and the diminutive singer stood 10 feet tall on stage as she delivered an exciting 20 minute performance. Of course, the toast of her performance was her huge hit single Toast, which the audience sang word for word.

Others on the line-up included Naomi Cowan, Sevana, Lila Ike, Bescenta, Richie Spice, Bongo Herman and a host of others.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Toronto John Tory on Wednesday again proclaimed February 6 as 'Bob Marley Day' in the Canadian city.

The mayor said the "Toronto tradition" pays tribute to the Reggae icon's legacy of peace, harmony and the unity of humankind.

Tory shared a statement from his office via Twitter, noting that today, Robert Nesta Marley's "music lives on and appeals to people of all cultures and guides them towards a world united -- one people -- one love".

The mayor noted that Marley began his career with the Wailers and became known for his distinctive writing and vocal style.

"Marley sang of tolerance and love. He became one of the greatest ambassadors of peace the world has ever seen. He encouraged us to live in harmony, chronicle our own destiny and stand up for what is right," Tory continued.

The mayor also announced that the Toronto sign will be lit in green, black and yellow today to celebrate Bob Marley Day.

Marley was born February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, St Ann, Jamaica and died of cancer on May 11, 1981. He was voted the third-greatest songwriter of all time in a 2001 BBC poll behind Bob Dylan and John Lennon.





edmund-bartlett-and-winston-harrison-and-clement-jimmy-lawrence.jpg

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) shares a light moment with the CEO of the National rums of Jamaica Ltd Winston Harrison, (left) and J Wray and Nephew's Chairman Clement "Jimmy" Lawrence at the launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival on February 05 at the Banquet Hall of the Office of the Prime Minister. The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the Jamaica Rum Festival will broaden the country's market by adding value to the Gastronomy Tourism product offerings.

Speaking at the Launch, which took place on February 05 at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Bartlett stated that "The logic behind celebrating our indigenous foods is very clear and the implications on tourism arrivals and growth is equally big...This rum festival is a great opportunity for us to broaden the market by bringing more people to the destination to indulge and then after they leave Jamaica, they will return. We already have a 42% repeat business, but that can multiply if we have events that are products that become annual events for tourism."

The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). It aims to promote brand Jamaica, boost tourism in Kingston and showcase Jamaica's cultural excellence in rum, food and music.

According to the organizers, patrons will be exposed to the rum-making process, learn about the unique provenance of Jamaican rums and sample a variety of blends. They will also learn about ideal rum & food pairings, while enjoying entertainment from some of Jamaica's finest musicians.

TEF's Executive Director, Dr. Carey Wallace, shared that approximately $10 million has been invested in the Jamaica Rum Festival to assist with marketing and the build out of Artisan Villages, which will be a key feature of the event. The artisan villages will allow patrons to purchase authentic and personalised Jamaican craft items.

Patrons will also be encouraged to explore the Jamaican competitive spirits through their participation in rum-based culinary and mixology competitions, domino contests and other games.

"Gastronomy is an important part of tourism and our exceptional culinary delights such as our coffee and rum are among the top-three reasons why persons visit Jamaica. Every day, many tourists are driven to travel to Jamaica to taste our rich cultural dishes. This is the primary reason we have invested in building out this very important passion point of our visitors," said the Minister.

The Jamaica Rum Festival will take place a week after the Blue Mountain Coffee Festival - a major food festival being organized by the Tourism Linkages Network, a division of the Tourism enhancement Fund. It will feature Blue Mountain coffee and coffee related products, food stalls, entertainment, cultural presentations, tastings and demonstrations, and workshops.

"This rum festival is a product that will join the coffee festival and the cocoa festival which is coming and we are going to be looking at other commodities of which Jamaica has some level of comparative in terms of the quality of our product and to use those to leverage the experiential tourism that we are marketing," said Minister Bartlett.





Singer Bunny Brown has died

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bunny-brown.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the death of the Reggae singer Joel 'Bunny' Brown who passed away yesterday.

Over the span of his career, which began in 1968, Brown was a member of several groups including The Wildcats, Mighty Mystics, Dynamic Vision, The Falcons and Chosen Few -- with whom he recorded the hit 'Queen Majesty'.

He also backed Luther Vandross, The Blow and Lisa Fisher.

"It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of Bunny Brown's passing. He was an ambassador for our music for 50 years. At this time when we celebrate Reggae Month and the pioneers of our music, we must remember and honour Bunny Brown's contribution," Grange said in a release from her ministry.

"I convey deepest condolences to his family and friends."





Sean Paul teams up with Rita Ora for new single

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sean-paul-photo-8.jpgHaving released 'Shot And Wine' with Stefflon Don, dancehall act Sean Paul is looking to place on the market another collaboration with an international artiste, this time with British singer Rita Ora.

The collab is titled 'Call On Me'.

According to Sean Paul, in an interview with Loop News reporter Job Nelson, while 'Shot And Wine', which was released on January 18, is a party song, 'Call On Me' will be of more substance.

"'Shot And Wine' is a party vibes song as we want people to party. 'Call On Me' is a meaningful song. It is about family and calling on the people who you can depend on," he said, adding "Those will be my new releases for 2019 and then I will drop the album afterward, in the summer."

It is the second collaboration between Sean Paul and Rita Ora, following their project with Wizkid for 'Freaky Girls', which was released early last year.

According to Sean Paul, things are still being fine-tuned for the release of his album, which is still without a title.

Sean Paul, the winner of the 2004 Grammy Awards for Dutty Rock, said, "we are still working on the album and sometimes it switches up and sometimes certain tunes get old and we drop them off or release them on single and go again.

"So we are putting together a thing same way, and we have hundreds of work put together," he said.





Culture Ministry sponsors Reggae Films In The Park

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babsy-grange-minister.jpgThe Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, will be screening 'Reggae Films in the Park' over three nights at Emancipation Park, St Andrew during as part of February's Reggae Month activities

More than 150 Reggae festivals are held annually in countries around the world, and the fans of artistes who perform on them want to know more about them and about how they make their music.

Accordingly, film makers have been producing hundreds of documentaries that introduce the artistes, tell their stories and share their music, creating a new genre of films now labelled "Reggae Films".

The Emancipation Park screenings will take place on February 8, 15 and 22 and will add to the variety of activities that fill the Reggae Month calendar.

The Culture Ministry said the films will include the premiere of "Rude Boy: The Trojan Story" that shares the history of the record label that introduced Jamaican music to Britain; "Reggae In Goa" about the city in India that hosts the newest of the global Reggae festivals; "Legends of Ska" - one of the many films about the famous artistes of this genre and "Coelcuirt Jamaica" - a musical travel documentary by an Irish TV company featuring Freddie McGregor, Alpha Boys Band, the Jolly Boys mento band, Maroon Chieftainess Sister Gloria and poet Mutabaruka.

The ministry added that Reggae Films take viewers into the communities where the music was born and nurtured, and onstage to see and hear performances by artistes of all sectors -- ska, rockers, Rasta roots, blue beat, rocksteady, lovers' rock, dancehall and the branches of hip-hop and dub poetry that are all parts of the vibrant Reggae culture. These films all share stories of Jamaica's past and present history to tell the roots from which the culture has arisen.

A special feature of Reggae Films In The Park will be the screening of Jamaica's first music video, Desmond Dekker's "007 Shanty Town" made in 1967 by Perry Henzell, who went on to make "The Harder They Come". Other special features include award-winning Reggae Film Festival short films by Jamaican film makers

The acclaimed documentary "Marley" by Kevin McDonald will also be shown at the screenings.

Reggae Films in the Park will inform a deeper enjoyment of Jamaica's unique cultural creation and gift to the world, the ministry added.

The event is produced by the Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.





5 confirmed cases of swine flu in Trinidad

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swine-flu.jpg(CMC) -- Trinidad and Tobago health authorities have confirmed a fifth death as a result of the HINI virus and urged people, particularly those considered to be within the "key at risk groups" to get vaccinated.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said that the woman, who was pregnant, died from the virus, also known as swine flu and hinted that the authorities were awaiting the results of blood tests from other fatalities.

Deyalsingh did not provide details regarding the pregnant woman but expressed concern that there had been a drop in people seeking the vaccine over the past few weeks after a media house ran a segment on the effects of the vac¬cine on pregnant women.

The Ministry of Health said that it has since received 20,300 doses of the influenza vaccine through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for distribution across the country.

The ministry said it was urging those persons at risk, namely children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, adults over 65 and persons with chronic medical conditions, to ensure they are vaccinated.

"The ministry will continue to closely monitor the supply and distribution of influenza vaccines to ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demands," the statement said.

The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of infections caused by other flu strains and can include fever, but not always chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery, red eyes, body aches and headach





The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament suspended its meeting to hold an in-camera session with Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Sancia Bennett Templer in regards to the compensation package, which it has been speculated that the Government paid to former Human Resource Manager for Petrojam, Yolande Ramharrack.

Bennett Templer came under fire during the sitting from State Minister in the OPM Everald Warmington, after she told the committee that she could not disclose whether Ramharrack had received a compensation package

The permanent secretary said she had been advised by the Attorney General's chambers that there could be legal ramifications to disclosing the information openly

But Warmington accused Bennett Templer of being disrespectful to the committee, charging that she had been incorrectly advised. He insisted that there should be no in camera meeting, as the Government has nothing to hide in the Petrojam matter.

Committee chairman Mark Golding argued that the committee had a right to the information and that no confidentiality clause could trump the authority of the committee and the right to answers for the benefit of the public.

Warmington and Opposition Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips both shunned the in camera meeting and remained in the chamber as other members, led by the chairman, eventually agreed to meet with the permanent secretary privately.





A Jamaican man is now over $100 million richer after being presented with the latest Super Lotto jackpot cheque at Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday morning.He was the 17th winner of the Super Lotto from Jamaica.

Disguised in a grim reaper mask, with a light-brown overhaul and black leather gloves, the man, referred to as "A. Campbell" finally collected his cheque valued at $158.4 million.

Campbell took 54 days to present his winning ticket, but not before Supreme Ventures Limited, the owners of the Super Lotto put out advertisements in the media, urging the winner to claim the prize before the 90-day deadline elapsed.

According to Campbell, he fell ill after learning he won the Super Lotto.

He said, "I looked at my ticket and ran into my bathroom and said, 'I won! I won!' From the day I found out that I won, I've been sick."

"My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much. [Wondering] if what I've been longing for really come true. I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won," he chuckled.

Campbell described his life as a struggle but said this will change with the winnings, with his first goal being to acquire a home

He said, "I want to get a house, I want to get a nice house. I haven't foundit yet, but I'll be looking for one soon."

Campbell, who purchased the ticket on Omara Road in Kingston, said he found winning numbers, of 10, 14, 16, 25, 27 and the super ball 5, from a dream and purchased the ticket for $200.





Elephant Man's house searched by cops

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elephant-man-photos-3-large.jpgElephant Man's premise was searched by police following investigations into a recent video being circulated on social media.

Ele and his lawyer Christopher Townsend reported to the police station Friday (01/02/19), where the deejay was interrogated and his home searched before he was released.

Townsend said that nothing was found during the quest by the police.

All this stems from a viral video that sparked an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

In the video, a woman is seen with what appears to be a firearm, which she allegedly hands over to Elephant Man.

Interestingly, another video of the same incident has since emerged with the woman handing to gun to a different man.





Mechanic commits suicide on hospital compound

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shocked.jpgThe police are probing a suspected suicide involving a mechanic on the compound of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital on Friday.

The mechanic's death has brought the number of reported suicides across the island to approximately seven since the start of the year.

The deceased has been identified as 53-year-old Lenworth Smith of Retreat district in Claremont, St Ann.

According to police reports, passers-by stumbled on his body at about 2:30 p.m. and alerted them.

Upon the arrival of police personnel, Smith's body was seen lying on the ground under a tree with marks around his neck on the hospital compound.

A belt was also seen hanging from one of the branches of the tree.

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





Jamaican entertainment attorney, Lloyd Stanbury, has complained of unfair treatment at the hands of officials at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago.

He posted on social media site Facebook that he was unfairly singled out on his way out of the twin-island republic after attending a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) conference there recently.

Stanbury had given two presentations at the WIPO sub-regional meeting on copyright for Caribbean heads of Offices held in Port of Spain on January 28-29, hosted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Stanbury said he attempt to leave the country was marred by the crass and condescending attitude of an airline's representatives at the airport.

"What I experienced at the Piarco International Airport as I tried to board my flight back to Miami was nothing short of profiling, harassment and discrimination at the hands of Trinidadian representatives of American Airlines," Stanbury posted.

He claimed that having checked through security and outbound immigration he attempted to board a flight at the designated departure gate.

'As I am accustomed to doing, I tendered my boarding pass to the airline representative when my group number was called in an effort to enter the plane and take my seat. The airline representative stepped out and told me I needed to step out of the line and pointed out another representative so that I could be checked," he stated.

According to Stanbury, the representative questioned him as to the purpose of his trip, his occupation and what his job entailed. After answering the first two questions, Stanbury said he refused to answer anything further, and presented his resident alien card as proof of his legitimacy to enter the US.

However, the representative refused to look at the card and told Stanbury he was going to miss his flight if he refused to answer anymore questions. Stanbury claimed he was then taken into a side room where he was frisked and his carry-on luggage searched.

"While being searched I took out my mobile phone and made a call to the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, as this was the entity responsible for hosting the meeting participants. I expressed my anger and disappointment that I was being detained, harassed by airline representatives and prevented from boarding my flight," he stated.

He said it was at this point when the officials overheard his telephone conversation that they relented and allowed him to depart the country.

"This was a most humiliating and embarrassing experience. I have since made a formal report to American Airlines to which I have so far received no response," he stated.

He said his hosts have promised to investigate the incident.





Shock as PNP MP Lynvale Bloomfield murdered

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crime-scene-tape.jpgThere was a trail of dried blood from the bathroom to the bedroom of murdered Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, his gardener has reported.

The gardener, who did not want to be identified, turned up at Bloomfield's Passley Gardens, Portland home about 8 o'clock this morning to cut the yard as usual.

He said on arrival, he noticed that the grille and front door were opened but he never found it suspicious.

According to the gardener, some time later, the helper arrived and after a brief greeting headed inside the two-storey house.

He said before long, he heard her screaming and he immediately dashed inside to find a bloodied Bloomfield lying naked in the bedroom.

The gardener also said the shower in the bathroom was running.

Senior police investigators from Kingston's Major Investigation Division have been in Passley Gardens since Saturday morning searching for clues into the murder. It is understood that the police have not identified any sign of forced entry. They have also reportedly discovered a black vest in a bushy pathway leading to Bloomfield's house.

In the meantime, as news of Bloomfield's murder spread, a massive crowd of People's National Party and Jamaica Labour Party supporters converged near his home hoping to get a glimpse of the body.

However, the entire area was cordoned off by the police.

"It came as a shock to me," said Dexter Rowland, councillor for the Port Antonio division and Bloomfield loyalist. "When I first heard about the incident I was numb."

He described Bloomfield as one of the kindest, happiest most loving and caring human beings he knew.

"I spoke to him on Friday round at 3 p.m. I tried calling him Friday night, but his phone rang without any answer. I also tried to contact him again by phone this morning, but the phone rang unanswered, which was quite unusual," Rowland said.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe body of missing attorney William Hines has been found in a hole in the community of Orange Hill, located on the border between Trelawny and St James, law enforcement sources have confirmed.

According to reports, police investigators are still at the scene trying to remove the body from the hole.

Sources say investigators have not yet determined how he died.

His family members reportedly identified items of clothing belonging to the attorney.

His burnt out briefcase was also found beside a farm house near the sink hole where the body was discovered, a source close to the family has reported.

Hines, 65, had been missing since January.





Shaggy to host Grammy Premiere Ceremony

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgThe GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. PT, and will be streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com. Preceding the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast, the Premiere Ceremony will be hosted by GRAMMY® winner and current nominee (for Best Reggae Album) Shaggy and will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees. Currently slated to perform are singer/songwriter Snatam Kaur, trumpeter Craig Morris, and dance/electronic duo Sofi Tukker. Nigerian Afrobeat artist Seun Kuti and Malian singer/songwriter Fatoumata Diawara will take the stage together to perform. Additionally, for the first time ever, Ángela Aguilar, Aida Cuevas, and Natalia Lafourcade will unite to perform the Mexican folkloric classic "La Llorona," which all three have recorded during their careers.

Presenting the first GRAMMY Awards of the day will be current nominees Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Kalani Pe'a, Questlove, Cécile McLorin Salvant, TOKiMONSTA, and former Recording Academy™ Chair Jimmy Jam. Cheche Alara will serve as musical director.

The live stream of the Premiere Ceremony will remain on GRAMMY.com as video on demand for 90 days following the event. The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live following the Premiere Ceremony on the CBS Television Network from 8:00-11 p.m. ET/5:00-8 p.m. PT. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter.

All of the Premiere Ceremony performers and the host are nominated this year, as are most of the presenters. Aguilar for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Primero Soy Mexicana); Cuevas for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Totalmente Juan Gabriel Vol. II); Diawara for Best World Music Album (Fenfo); Hale with Halestorm for Best Rock Performance ("Uncomfortable"); Lafourcade for Best Latin Pop Album (Musas [Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos], Vol. 2); Kaur for Best New Age Album (Beloved); Kuti & Egypt 80 for Best World Music Album (Black Times); Morris for Best Classical Instrument Solo (Glass: Three Pieces In The Shape Of A Square); Pe'a for Best Regional Roots Music Album (No'Ane'i); Questlove for Best Spoken Work Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) (Creative Quest); Salvant for Best Jazz Vocal Album (The Window); Shaggy (with Sting) for Best Reggae Album (44/876); Sofi Tukker for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Treehouse); and TOKiMONSTA for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Lune Rouge).





Buju to perform at Summerjam in Germany

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgBuju Banton has been confirmed for this year's Summerjam Festival, held annually in Cologne, Germany. Buju will headline the Red Stage on Saturday, July 6. This is the first European show announced for Buju's highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom Tour.

Hailed as one of the biggest reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop festivals in Europe, Summerjam has been held for over 34 years, showcasing appearances from international music stars from all over the world. Past Summerjam stages have carried some local legends, including Buju. It was one decade ago that the Gargamel appeared there, alongside reggae acts Bunny Wailer, UB40, Anthony B, Sly & Robbie, Junior Kelly, Bitty McLean, U-Roy, Glen Washington, Pablo Moses, Horace Andy, and Freddie McGregor.

Still, the musical torch continues to blaze, and this year, Jimmy Cliff, Popcaan, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Agent Sasco, Samory I, Richie Spice and sensational newcomer Koffee are the Jamaican acts advertised for Summerjam 2019.

According to the organisers, this year will be very special in light of UNESCO's official declaration of reggae music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Although this announcement marks the first of Buju's European dates, the reggae star will have already been on the road for some time. Following his official re-entry to the stage on March 16 at the National Stadium in Kingston, Buju will perform in Nassau, The Bahamas, on March 30.

That show is set for the Thomas A. Robinson National Sports Stadium and is being promoted by Bahamian firm Paradise Productions.

He is also set to perform in Trinidad on April 21 at the Queen's Park Savannah in a concert dubbed 'I Am Legend'. Buju will then travel to Barbados for the Barbados Reggae Festival at Kensington Oval on April 27.

Before heading off to Europe, he will perform at the St Kitts Music Festival, which will take place from June 26 to 30. There, the deejay joins a strong line-up that includes Smokey Robinson, Popcaan, French Montana, and Davido.





Busy Signal Sunshine Snacks first brand ambassador

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busy-signal-photo-13.jpgBusy Signal is the first brand ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago's Sunshine Snacks. The company announced their partnership during a press conference at R Hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

Sunshine Snacks products are manufactured by Associated Brands Industries Limited. They are distributed in Jamaica by Confectionery Snacks, which has offices in Portmore and Montego Bay.

Nicholas Lok-Jack, CEO and Deputy Chairman of Associated Brands, disclosed the reason for signing Busy Signal.

"Our peanuts have been positioned as power peanuts and have always been a part of the Jamaican culture. We find that Busy has such a versatile style and full of energy. What greater collaboration between Sunshine Power Peanuts and Busy. It was a natural fit," he said.

The dancehall artiste is equally excited about the venture.





dennis-brown-photo-4.jpgThe Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be hosting "A Gathering at the Resting Place of Dennis E. Brown", in celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the "Crown Prince of Reggae", Dennis Brown at the National Heroes Park, on Friday, February 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The recognition of Brown's birthday anniversary is a highlight of Reggae Month 2019, which is being held under the theme "Celebrating Reggae's Legacy".

"This year we will be celebrating Reggae Month with a series of events that will highlight reggae's legacy all February long. It is only right that in doing so, we take the time to officially recognize the birthday of the Crown Prince of Reggae himself, Dennis Brown." Said Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport.

She continued, "Reggae is more than a national treasure, it is something cherished across the globe, and Dennis Brown is one of its most iconic contributors. By honouring him as a part of Reggae Month 2019, we are taking steps to preserve these invaluable aspects of Jamaican culture, and the people who help to uplift our culture. The gathering is open to all lovers of Dennis Brown and Reggae music, and anyone who is looking to help us commemorate our culture and its champions.

Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown, the late singer spent decades spreading a message of love and kindness to the masses. With classics like "Here I Come", "The Promised Land", and "Money in my Pocket", he has influenced hundreds of artistes and millions of reggae lovers across the world. A revered figure within the Rastafari community, as well as the music fraternity, Dennis Brown's music continues to be a source of upliftment to all who listen.





bob-marley-large.jpgThe Bob Marley Foundation in partnership with Digicel and Alacran Foundation will be celebrating the 74th'earth strong' of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley OM, under the theme 'CATCH A FIRE'. Inspired by UNECSO's recognition of Reggae as a genre of music worthy of protection and preservation, this year's theme pays tribute to the 1973 critically acclaimed album which propelled Bob Marley and the Wailers to international stardom and arguably ignited the world's love for Reggae.

"There is no doubt that my father's music played an important role in placing Reggae and Jamaica on the world stage. Championing love while fighting against oppression and injustice through music was my father's passion" says Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies. "The potent lyrics in my father's message, even today, still reverberates throughout the world. Our 2019 theme, Catch a Fire, encourages everyone to find their passion and fearlessly pursue it with such intensity that it positively impacts the world.

The annual Bob Marley 'earth strong' celebrations will take place on Tuesday, February 6 at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. The activities will commence at 7:00 a.m. with specially invited guests and will include the blowing of the Abeng, cultural drumming and the cutting of the birthday cake, accompanied by the traditional welcome from the Marley family and highlights of the Bob Marley Foundation's 2018 projects. This segment will also feature special performances from various schools within the corporate area including Charlie Smith High, St. Andrew Preparatory, Mona High School, Merl Grove High, Papine High, Haile Selassie High, King's Gate Preparatory, Liguanea Preparatory School, Holy Trinity High and the University Chorale.

At 10:00 a.m., the Bob Marley Museum will open to the general public for a full day of activities. Through partnerships with the Alacran Foundation and Hope Zoo the Kiddies Village will feature a mobile zoo and a wide array of activities for children including book making, ceramic and balloon art, storytelling and hand painting.

CEO of the Alacran Foundation, Hopi Noel Morton, states, "As Reggae is a fundamental part of Jamaica's rich culture, Alacran is thrilled about UNESCO's acknowledgement of reggae music and will be celebrating such an achievement on Bob Marley's 74th Birthday. Jamaica and its music have become the heartbeat of the Alacran Foundation and we stand firm in our commitment to support Jamaica's pioneers and

ambassadors - this is the driving force behind our partnerships with initiatives and ventures such as the Bob Marley Foundation and the Reggae Girlz."

The Bob Marley Foundation continues to promote the development of the Jamaican culture through our exhibition village which features beautifully crafted products from local entrepreneurs. We encourage the public to support the Jamaican-made industry with us.

The Marley celebration is also geared toward public education on topical issues through its symposium series.





audley-shaw-photo-1.jpgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw is in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to discuss issues related to the burgeoning medical cannabis industry.

Before departing the island, Shaw announced that, among the issues, he intends to put on the table is the need to grow marijuana high in cannabidiol (CBD), which meets the standard of the US to avoid banking challenges.

Speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth for the Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises in Montego Bay, Shaw said a renowned local scientist had his [US] account closed down after his medical marijuana product was deemed to be in violation of US law.

Shaw noted that there is some light at the end of the tunnel following the passage of new legislation by the US which approves of marijuana products which are high in CBD and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD and THC are two natural components found in the cannabis plant. CBD, however, contains a nonpsychoactive compound and doesn't produce the "high" associated with THC.

"Let's start making medicinal marijuana that is low in THC and high in CBD which has the medicinal value and conforms to the law in the United States that will open up our banking arrangements. So, for me, that is a live one. And, I will be perusing it among other things when I go to this conference," Shaw said.





ikon-d-link.jpgDancehall artiste Ikon D Link is involved in a simmering music feud with West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels over the 'Icon' stagename.

Over the weekend, Marlon Samuels did an interview with Winford Williams on CVM's Onstage where he slighted Ikon, suggesting that he could write songs to help Ikon D Link, and then staked his claim to the 'Icon' name.

"Jamaica people, a wah this? You nuh see say is a man go go this, big pooty cat this, Sylvester. Jamaican people, ah joke this. Yu a gwaan like yu a Chris Gayle, yu a gwaan like yu a Bounty bout yu a Icon? Yu a icey mint, yute!" Ikon said in a video making the rounds on social media

"Look how far mi climb fi mi name, and some bwoy ah try offa me, memba oonu done fight me, and yu want my yute dem fi suffer youth? Bout Icon? Ah me the people dem love, A who yu? Yu nuh waan live inna mad man shadow? A who yu? Lift up offa mi name yute! Bout Icon? Gal clown! Gal eediat! Yu nuh fake breast ah mad yu. Bout yu can write song fi me? People, look pon him good, big Thunder Cat inna him Spiderman brief, wah happen to yu Marlon Samuels, ah cricket yu play, yu know nothing bout music?"

Ikon D Link, formerly the Tower Man, shot to fame when he 'monkeyed' up the radio tower located at ZIP FM in Half-Way Tree and threatened to jump if his single was not played on air. He has since said he regretted the incident and had apologised to the industry and disc jock ZJ Liquid for his actions.

Marlon Samuels, the man who goes by the name Icon, has made songs such as 'Spoon Head', dissing selector Foota Hype. Last year, he threatened to sue Yanique 'Curvy Diva' Barrett for damage to his reputation.

In 2017, Samuels successfully sued former Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson and broadcaster 2KY for defamation. Lawson had made erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable when he suggested that Samuels is connected to shady persons in Jamaica.





beres-hammond.jpgCocoa Tea, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Etana, LUST, Delly Ranx Agent Sasco, Ghost and Banton's son Jahzeil have been included in named as the performers on the official line up for the highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom concert set for the National stadium in Kingston on March 16.

But persons are asking where is Beres and what about Wayne Wonder.

Beres Hammond has collaborated with Buju Banton to produce several chart toppers including 'Can You Play Some More' and 'My Woman Now'. Wayne Wonder has also combined with Banton for a number of chart toppers and it is left to be seen if he will be in attendance.

The concert will be the first appearance on stage by former US inmate Buju Banton who served eight years on conspiracy charges related to drug trafficking. Also slated to appear are

Tickets for the concert have been selling faster than hot bread online and, with more than a month to go, advance tickets for the VIP, Field Access and Grandstand sections have already been sold out. Tickets are still available online for the bleachers section.

After the concert, Banton is expected to embark on a tour to get his career back on track and stops include Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.





meek-mill.jpgUS rapper Meek Mill was pulled over by three officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force early Thursday morning, shortly after leaving a strip club in Kingston and Meek Milly got a scare.

The Maybach Music Group rapper is on probation in the US for his decade-old drug and gun convictions and he thought he was going to be arrested on the island however quickly found out the cops only wanted a photo.

"Yo trying to take a picture man," Meek Mill said while trying to imitate a Jamaican accent, "I'm f**ked up y'all pulled us over and y'all said you wanted a picture of man? Y'all scared us, we scared of police, y'all pulled us over we thought we were gonna get locked up.

Officers assured the "Ima Boss" rapper that he was safe, "Nothing like that man," before he asked for a police escort out of Kingston. Meek Mill shared the video to his followers via Instagram story, the clip has since gone viral.

Meek Mill arrived in Jamaica on Monday, according to sources, he is expected to visit incarcerated Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel during his stay.

There is no word as to whether or not the cops will be disciplined.

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Person of interest held in Bloomfield's murder

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held.jpgThe police have have accosted a person of interest in relation to the murder of Opposition People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield.

The constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said the individual is to be questioned and is not being treated as a suspect as the investigation is still in the early stages.

Bloomfield, whose death sent shockwaves across the country, was stabbed to death at his Passley Gardens home in Portland on February 2.

He is to be laid to rest on February 23, following a thanksgiving service at the Church of the Open Bible in Port Antonio.





Six confirmed dengue deaths

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health says there have been six confirmed deaths from dengue fever as at February 8.

Five of those deaths occurred in Kingston & St Andrew and one in Portland. All the victims are children under the age of 14 years old.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Dr Christopher Tufton in an update to Parliament this afternoon.

Tufton said his ministry has since February 8, classified 1,166 suspected, presumed, or confirmed dengue cases with dates of onset in 2019, while there were 1,023 suspected and confirmed cases in 2018.

"The weekly number of cases appears to be plateauing, while we need to wait for another two to three weeks to be sure, this is an encouraging sign," he told the House.

The minister said that the largest number of suspected/presumed/confirmed dengue cases for 2019 to date was notified from St Catherine, with 313 people.

This is followed by Kingston and St Andrew, with 177; St Ann 121; St Mary 75; St Thomas six; St James 54 and Clarendon 49.





sangster-international-airport.jpgSangster International Airport (SIA), Jamaica's leading gateway to the world, was named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh year in a row at the World Travel Awards (WTA) hosted at Sandals Montego Bay on 28 January. Operated by MBJ Airports Limited, SIA emerged as the winner from a pool of 13 Caribbean competitors nominated for the prestigious award. The accolade was first bestowed on SIA in 2005. It won again in 2009 and has won the title again every year since.

"We are honored to be named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh consecutive year. This prestigious award validates our ongoing efforts to deliver world-class service and showcase Jamaica's rich culture at Sangster International Airport," commented MBJ CEO Rafael Echevarne.

"The fact that our dedication to improving the infrastructure of the airport and providing outstanding service has been noticed by the global travel industry and travelers using SIA is gratifying and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for voting us number one in the region year after year for more than a decade. Our entire staff, our airport partners and every citizen of Jamaica can be proud of this tremendous achievement," Echevarne added.

MBJ has led a number of initiatives over the past four years to improve the passenger experience within the arrivals and departures terminals while upgrading the taxiways and aprons on the airside. Several transformational projects are now underway to bring further upgrades to the airport, including a redesign of the ticketing hall, an expansion of the commercial concourse and automated parking facilities.





Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2018, Ackera Gowie has shown that she is not just Most Culturally Aware, but also environmentally aware with the launch of her national project EcoMoney at the St. Mary High School on Thursday, February 7. Aimed at pulling communities together across Jamaica in an effort to both preserve the environment while increasing youth-based economic development, EcoMoney is designed to turn non-biodegradable waste into profit through up-cycling, also known as creative reuse. In this process, useless or otherwise unwanted products are transformed into new products of better environmental value.

"We are now transitioning from a linear economy to a circular economy, circular meaning we reduce waste and make the most of resources," Gowie said while giving the project overview at the EcoMoney launch.

"The overall mission of EcoMoney is to create partnerships between the private and public sector to engage communities and allow each citizen to play their part in the welfare of the whole human race," she continued.

Gowie also highlighted the importance of launching her national project out of her home parish of St. Mary, stating:

"A St. Mary Mi Come from is one my favourite phrases! I am so proud of my parish and my roots so it was important to launch EcoMoney here to show all the talent and potential St. Mary's youth have to offer as we lead the rest of the island on this eco-journey."

Hosted at the auditorium of Gowie's alma mater, the St. Mary High School, the launch of EcoMoney saw support from Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, as well as the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), the St. Mary chapter of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and upcoming Jamaican recycling company, 360 Recycle.

The EcoMoney national project is sponsored by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Lasco Money, Excelsior, Digicel Foundation and Popeyes.





etana-vprecords.jpgEtana dogged out a fan and even called him a cockroach and dropped a couple 'F' bombs on Twitter because he dared to criticise her consciousness, or lack thereof, at the recent Grammy awards. It was a strong and savage display from the Strong One, who played right into the fan's hands by cussing him out, a behaviour which is not in sync with her password of conscious queen.

Now critics are saying that Etana has damaged her brand with this emotional behaviour.

Some persons suggested that Etana was upset that she did not win the Grammy for Best Reggae album, and so the criticism of her AND her dress was just too much, the poor dear just had to unload/





More dates for Buju's Caribbean tour unveiled

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgThe confirmed Caribbean dates for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom Tour have been revealed.

Between March 30 and June 29, the artiste has seven dates across the Caribbean, and in an Instagram post, he stated that more dates are to be added.

Exactly two weeks after his first post-prison performance at the National Stadium in Jamaica, Buju Banton will head to Nassau, Bahamas, after which the red carpet will be rolled out on April 21 for his highly anticipated Trinidad engagement at the Queen's Park Savannah.

April 27 will see the Gargamel in Barbados, then one week later, on May 4, Buju will be off to Paramaribo, Suriname for a performance at the Andre Kamperveen Stadion.

There are two dates for June confirmed so far - June 15 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and June 29 in St Kitts at the Kim Collins Athleteic Club.

The Grenada show, for which tickets have reportedly been selling quickly, is scheduled for May 11 and online news outlets report that "the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is the only OECS island thus far to confirm a staging of the world-renowned tour".

The highly anticipated event is being staged in conjunction with Sunshine Promotions' annual Mother's Day event brand - Night of Love - which featured in 2018 another reggae legend, Beres Hammond.

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Govana Embarks On 13-City European Tour

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govana.jpgRecording artiste Govana, currently riding high with 'The Light' featuring Dre Island, the second single from his upcoming anthology titled 'Humans and Monsters Are Not The Same', departed the island earlier this week for Europe.

The trip, a month-long solo sojourn which also signifies another career milestone for the 4th Genna deejay, will see him embarking on a thirteen-city tour of that continent with stops in major cities such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Zurich, Hamburg, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Lecce and Dortmund among others. The first concert will commence on February 14 (Valentine's Day) in Berlin, Germany.

Despite this being his first solo run, Govana is no stranger to the continent. He previously accompanied labelmate Aidonia on several exploits while under his tutelage. Speaking with members of the international press Govana intimated that he intends to leave a memorable mark upon completion of the tour.

"Europe has always been a place that showed Govana a lot of love even though at the time they knew me as Deablo. Fast-forward to 2019, me returning with a new name and a catalogue of hits, I am very happy because it will be an entirely new experience for both me and the fans. Aside from introducing myself to new fans, it will also present the opportunity to reconnect with my the originals from the days of touring with Aidonia and I intend to make the tour memorable."

The sanguine entertainer is expected to return to the island mid-March to continue work on his upcoming anthology slated for release later this year.





A man who attacked his child's mother and cut her in the face with a pair of scissors after she ignored him when he asked her whether or not she loved him, narrowly missed being remanded for psychiatric evaluation in the St Andrew Parish Court last week.

Acting Parish Judge Chester Crooks after hearing the allegations told Domencia Campbell that he was going to revoke his bail and have him examined by a psychiatrist, but later extended his bail and warned him to stay away from the complainant.

But prior to extending his bail, the judge said that he found it unbelievable that the accused was now before the court for injuring his companion who had supported him unwaveringly when he was before the court recently and who had influenced his decision to give the accused a chance.

"You baby mother came to court and sat here religiously with you and it was because of her why I gave you a chance and that is how you repay her," Judge Crooks said.

On Wednesday when the case was mentioned, the court heard that on the day of the incident, the complainant was outside her house washing when Campbell said to her, "Yuh nuh love me," and she did not answer.

It was further reported that Campbell then told the complainant: "Mi wi stab yuh up seven times enuh," and she smiled.

Campbell, who was armed with the scissors then approached the complainant and stabbed her in the face and on her hand.

The man's lawyer told the court that the complainant had bitten his client on the chest prior to the stabbing.





pnp-headquarters.jpgThe PNP has hit out against the brutal gun murder of former councillor, Marjorie 'Madge' Morris, This comes hard on the heels of the violent stabbing death of East Portland Member of Parliament (MP), Lynvale Bloomfield, at his home in the parish.

The former PNP Councillor in St Thomas, was found murdered at her home on Albion Boulevard in Albion in the Yallahs area of the parish on Sunday morning.

Morris, 67, represented the White Horses Division of Western St Thomas on the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), residents heard explosions in the area and called the police.

"When the police arrived, her body was discovered on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood. That was at about 6:30 this (Sunday) morning," said a representative of the CCU.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe woman arrested in connection with the abduction of the day-old baby from Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month will be placed on an identification parade on today.

Inspector Phillip Dodd, crime chief for the Kingston Western Police, said the woman was questioned over the weekend by detectives. She reportedly told the cops that the baby was given to her by someone in Spanish Town.

Charges are expected to be laid in the case later this week.

The woman was arrested last week when she visited the Registrar General'sI Department (RGD) in St Catherine to register the birth of the stolen baby. Officials of the RGD became suspicious when the woman gave conflicting information about the child and when she gave birth.

DNA tests were later conducted and these confirmed that the baby boy was the one stolen from Victoria Jubilee.

The child was handed over to his parents on Friday.





Parents of stolen baby hire lawyer Peter a

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Peter Champagne, the lawyer representing the family of a baby who was stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston last month is to begin discussions with the management of the facility in relation to redress for the events which led to the abduction.

The police confirmed that the baby who was found in the care of a woman at the Registrar General's Department, RGD, in St Catherine is the missing child and the baby has been returned to the parents.

Champagnie has a mandate to officially contact the hospital "because they have a duty of care in relation to providing a safe place in terms of their patients and clearly, some went awry there."

He will also be paying close attention to the criminal proceedings against the woman who had the baby.

"My instructions are to watch proceedings in the criminal court in relation to the person that has been arrested in connection with the child who was abducted and to ensure that there is a smooth process and that justice is served," he said. The baby was taken from the hospital by a woman on the morning of January 9.

The management of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital has revealed that all the security personnel who were assigned to the facility during last month's abduction of a newborn have been removed.

CEO of the hospital, Colleen Wright, says new security protocols were implemented and are working smoothly.

The hospital and its security system came under the spotlight after the baby was kidnapped from a ward without a trace.

Immediately after the incident, the hospital's CEO announced that changes would be made to security arrangements.





shaggy-wins-grammy-award-2019.jpg"This is a great honor," Shaggy said, after receiving the best reggae album Grammy for his collaboration with Sting, "44/876." "They always say about Grammys that it's nice to be nominated. I can tell you right now it's better to win."

Shaggy also thanked Sting, saying, "He made this project feel like the greatest project I've ever been involved with. It was so easy and full of love and joy."

In his Grammy acceptance speech, Shaggy expressed his gratitude and thanked his family, especially his wife Rebecca and daughter, who were both at the ceremony with him, as well as his Jamaican crew. "Thank you to all of the nominees in the reggae category," he said, and he gave a shout-out to each of their names.

Other nominated albums in the Reggae category were albums as As the World Turns by Black Uhuru, Reggae Forever by Etana, Rebellion Rises by Ziggy Marley and A Matter of Time by Protoje.

Shaggy also took to social media to say thanks.

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Media exec Ossie Mills has passed away

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Jamaican media executive, Ossie Mills passed away suddenly at his home in Oklahoma, USA on Tuesday evening.

He was 58.

Mills apparently suffered a heart attack and passed away while being transported to hospital. He is survived by his wife and three children.

At the time of his death, he was reportedly president and CEO of tvChaz, a faith-based streaming entity.

The son of Salvation Army Officers, Mills was the last of six siblings. He attended the Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and was an accomplished Manning Cup goalkeeper between 1976 and 1978. He played an integral role in that school's 1976 Walker Cup victory.

Upon leaving sixth form at Wolmer's, Mills migrated to the United States and worked in media, management, marketing communications, content creation and distribution both for profit and nonprofit organizations in the Christian community. He was appointed to leadership roles in television, production, marketing, interactive communications and commerce development.

Mills served as an executive vice president at ORU from 2011-2018, where he took on the duties of executive director of Empowered 21, CEO of GEB America TV Network and vice president of marketing and communications.

Mills previously served as executive vice president of Inspiration Networks & Ministries.

Mills was also president/CEO of Belmont Mills Entertainment, which provided family content for networks like ESPN, A&E, Discovery, Fox Family Channel, Hallmark, TBN, FamNet, INSP and ION.

He was also a board member of Convoy of Hope and Next Generation Institute and served on the Forest Hill Council of Elders and the board of advisers for Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

He was a member of the National Religious Broadcasters, Direct Marketing Association and Empowered 21 Global Council.

Mills was reportedly awarded 3 Emmy Regional awards, 10 Telly Awards, 2 Cable Aces, 15 Angel Awards, 3 International Communicator Awards, a CBA Impact and Dove Award for his work in media.





Cops probe baby-stealing ring

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police-hat.jpgPolice investigations into the theft of a baby have widened to determine if there is a baby stealing ring in operation.Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devon Watkis says police want to find out if other babies are involved.

This, after the baby stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month was found on Tuesday. The woman in whose custody the stolen baby was found remains in police custody.

Police say she is to face an identification parade as soon as arrangements are finalized.

The return of the baby follows nearly a month of intense investigations that spanned multiple agencies and parishes.

Police announced Thursday, January 7, that DNA tests conducted on the baby found in the custody of the woman in St. Catherine on Tuesday as well as the parents, confirmed with certainty that the baby is the one that was stolen in January.

The tests were done at the government forensic lab.

The baby remains in state care whilst the relevant procedures are completed.

The case came to light on January 9 about 5 AM when the mother who was a patient at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital returned from the bathroom to discover her baby who was born the evening before missing

An alarm was raised and it was borne out that the baby had been stolen.

The Kingston Western Police commenced their investigation and called on the public to remain alert.

A tip came on Tuesday, February 5 when officials at the Registrar's General Department notified police of a suspicious woman trying to register a baby. She was arrested and the baby placed in protective custody.





When a patty makes you go 'batty'

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NEW YORK, United States (AP) -- A woman who couldn't get a beef patty at a favourite New York eatery used a baseball bat in protest.

On Saturday, police released surveillance video of the woman in action in the Bronx -- smashing a restaurant's windows after learning the eatery had run out of her favourite food.

Police say the woman at the Back Home restaurant in the Morrisania neighbourhood came in on January 15 and ordered a patty. She was told they'd run out, and she got upset.

Authorities say she left and came back to the Jamaican restaurant with the bat. The video shows a woman bashing in two windows.





Red Fox shows love for Reggae in new single

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deejay-red-fox.jpgThe latest single from artiste, Red Fox, 'If You Love Reggae', was aptly released in recognition of February as Reggae Month.

'If You Love Reggae' was produced by Musical Masquerade, and according to Fox, reggae music has had a major impact on his life throughout the years.

'I give all glory to God who created this music which I believe saved me from all the trauma and dysfunctions I've experienced as a child," Fox explained in a press release.

He added: "During a time of brainwash education, I was able to learn from the conscious artistes. They taught me about my black heritage, which has empowered me to move forward knowing the true value of myself."

Noting the worldwide impact of reggae music, Fox recalled a conversation he had recently with an Ethiopian girl.

"She came to a show I was doing in Minnesota. She told me when she was in the refugee camp, it was my music that helped her," he said.

"I also remember having another conversation with a fan from Chicago. He told me he remembered going through a tough time in his life which he listened to my first album 'As a matter of Fox' to help keep him going. Instances like these give meaning to my life," Fox said.

Fox shared the inspiration behind 'If You Love Reggae'.

"The idea was brought to me by Musical Masquerade. Even though what I do is called dancehall, I would like to identify myself as a reggae artist. I think we should market the word reggae more than the term dancehall, as dancehall is a place where people listen to reggae music," he said, adding "I also believe we should focus more on our culture which is what attracted people to the music in the first place. We must be able to stand out whereever we go'."

He continued, "On the song If You Love Reggae, the producer and myself wanted to show how much the world loves our music and culture. I have toured many countries throughout my career and reggae is the only music that I see bring together all people regardless of race, class or creed. We mostly sing about unity and love. Bob Marley's One Love and Stand Up For You Right are songs, which have affected people's lives in a major way. I pray that we'll keep the positive vibes going as this music is about life'.

This is the third time that Red Fox has worked with New York-based Musical Masquerade. They previously worked on 'No Other like You' (featuring Rayvon) and 'Muscle'.

Born Gareth Shelton in St Andrew, Red Fox was raised in St Catherine before migrating to New York City as a teenager. He has won the DJ of the Year title in New York on multiple occasions.

Among his better-known songs are 'Pose Off', 'Bashment Party', 'Down in Jamaica', 'Brooklyn Swing' and 'Born Again Black Man'.





New album from Shaggy to be released in May

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgReggae and dancehall artiste, Shaggy will release his first solo album in six years, Wah Gwaan?!, May 10th. Per a statement, the new record will embody Shaggy's "Jamaican roots, global reach, contagious joy and introspective side." Shaggy first teased the record last November with the release of his new single, "Use Me" (an official music video is set to arrive soon).

An article in Rollingstones Magazine states that Wah Gwaan?! will feature a slew of collaborations, including tracks with 19-year-old Canadian singer Alexander Stewart ("You"), dancehall star Shenseea and singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe ("Supernatural"), Brooklyn dancehall artist Noah Powa ("Money Up") and reggaeton hit-maker Nicky Jam and singer Jason Derulo ("Tic Toc"). The album's producers include Tony CD Kelly, Dave Kelly, Martin Kierszenbaum, iLLWayno, Kizzo and Costi Official.

Wah Gwaan?! marks Shaggy's first solo effort since 2013's Out of Many, One Music. The singer made a surprise return last year with his unexpected collaborative project with Sting, 44/876, which has since been nominated for Best Reggae Album at the Grammys

Prior to the Grammys, Shaggy will host the show's premiere ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles February 10th. The event will be available to stream live via the Grammy's website starting at 3:30 ET.

Shaggy Wah Gwaan?! Track List

1. "Ketch Mi Up"

2. "Friends" (feat. Gene Noble)

3. "You" (feat. Alexander Stewart)

4. "Praise"

5. "Tic Toc" (feat. Jason Derulo, Nicky Jam)

6. "Wrong Room"

7. "Money Up" (feat. Noah Powa)

8. "Supernatural" (feat. Stacy Barthe, Shenseea)

9. "Make-Up Sex" (feat. Nyanda)

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Canadian diplomats to sue Ottawa

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Canadian diplomats who suffered from mysterious health complaints while they were posted to Cuba in 2017 are suing Ottawa for taking too long to evacuate them and provide them treatment, reports said Wednesday.

Fourteen people, including current and former diplomats and their families, are seeking Can$28 million (US$21 million) in damages from the federal government.

All of them have been back in Canada for a year but still suffer from what has become known as "Havana syndrome," a mystery illness with symptoms including strong migraines as well as visual and auditory disorders.

According to CBC, which interviewed five of those affected, the first symptoms appeared in the spring of 2017 -- but they say that Ottawa waited more than a year before helping everyone.

Questioned on the subject on Wednesday while she was in Washington, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said the safety of diplomats remained a top priority.

"I am not going to comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be our priority and they have my true sympathy and concern," she said.

On January 30, Canada announced it had reduced its staffing at the embassy to about half as a result of the unexplained symptoms.





Stolen baby found - DNA test proves positive

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A DNA test has confirmed that the baby boy who was taken from a woman at the Registrar General Department (RGD) in Twickenham Park, St Catherine two days ago, is the same child who was snatched from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month.

The result of the test was revealed by police sources a short while ago.

The baby's parents -- Sinclair Hutton and his common-law wife Suzzett Whyte -- were asked to have the DNA test done after the police arrested the woman who attempted to register the child Tuesday afternoon.

The woman and the baby were taken into custody after she was unable to provide officials at the RGD with the relevant information required for registration.

Hutton and Whyte both told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that despite not seeing the child, they were optimistic that he was their son.

The baby was taken from the hospital on January 8.





Marleys absent again from Bob's Bash at the museum

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bob-marley-photo-5.jpgJust like the did last year, the Marley clan again took a leave of absence from the annual birthday bash for their father, Bob at the Museum in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and instead used carious social media platforms to hail up their father on his big day.

However, the other artistes who turned in person up to salute the Reggae legend on his 74th birthday, which was held under the theme Catch A Fire, did a splendid job of paying tribute to the Reggae King.

It was road block all day as hundreds of fans from all over clamoured to get inside the venue where there were symposiums from 11 AM, followed by a concert which started at 3PM and continued until after midnight. A host of entertainers, both upcoming and established acts performed at the event, which saw the Fireman Capleton in full flight as he had the hungry massive hanging on to his fiery chants. Newcomer Koffee was a breath of fresh air and the diminutive singer stood 10 feet tall on stage as she delivered an exciting 20 minute performance. Of course, the toast of her performance was her huge hit single Toast, which the audience sang word for word.

Others on the line-up included Naomi Cowan, Sevana, Lila Ike, Bescenta, Richie Spice, Bongo Herman and a host of others.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Toronto John Tory on Wednesday again proclaimed February 6 as 'Bob Marley Day' in the Canadian city.

The mayor said the "Toronto tradition" pays tribute to the Reggae icon's legacy of peace, harmony and the unity of humankind.

Tory shared a statement from his office via Twitter, noting that today, Robert Nesta Marley's "music lives on and appeals to people of all cultures and guides them towards a world united -- one people -- one love".

The mayor noted that Marley began his career with the Wailers and became known for his distinctive writing and vocal style.

"Marley sang of tolerance and love. He became one of the greatest ambassadors of peace the world has ever seen. He encouraged us to live in harmony, chronicle our own destiny and stand up for what is right," Tory continued.

The mayor also announced that the Toronto sign will be lit in green, black and yellow today to celebrate Bob Marley Day.

Marley was born February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, St Ann, Jamaica and died of cancer on May 11, 1981. He was voted the third-greatest songwriter of all time in a 2001 BBC poll behind Bob Dylan and John Lennon.





edmund-bartlett-and-winston-harrison-and-clement-jimmy-lawrence.jpg

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) shares a light moment with the CEO of the National rums of Jamaica Ltd Winston Harrison, (left) and J Wray and Nephew's Chairman Clement "Jimmy" Lawrence at the launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival on February 05 at the Banquet Hall of the Office of the Prime Minister. The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the Jamaica Rum Festival will broaden the country's market by adding value to the Gastronomy Tourism product offerings.

Speaking at the Launch, which took place on February 05 at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Bartlett stated that "The logic behind celebrating our indigenous foods is very clear and the implications on tourism arrivals and growth is equally big...This rum festival is a great opportunity for us to broaden the market by bringing more people to the destination to indulge and then after they leave Jamaica, they will return. We already have a 42% repeat business, but that can multiply if we have events that are products that become annual events for tourism."

The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). It aims to promote brand Jamaica, boost tourism in Kingston and showcase Jamaica's cultural excellence in rum, food and music.

According to the organizers, patrons will be exposed to the rum-making process, learn about the unique provenance of Jamaican rums and sample a variety of blends. They will also learn about ideal rum & food pairings, while enjoying entertainment from some of Jamaica's finest musicians.

TEF's Executive Director, Dr. Carey Wallace, shared that approximately $10 million has been invested in the Jamaica Rum Festival to assist with marketing and the build out of Artisan Villages, which will be a key feature of the event. The artisan villages will allow patrons to purchase authentic and personalised Jamaican craft items.

Patrons will also be encouraged to explore the Jamaican competitive spirits through their participation in rum-based culinary and mixology competitions, domino contests and other games.

"Gastronomy is an important part of tourism and our exceptional culinary delights such as our coffee and rum are among the top-three reasons why persons visit Jamaica. Every day, many tourists are driven to travel to Jamaica to taste our rich cultural dishes. This is the primary reason we have invested in building out this very important passion point of our visitors," said the Minister.

The Jamaica Rum Festival will take place a week after the Blue Mountain Coffee Festival - a major food festival being organized by the Tourism Linkages Network, a division of the Tourism enhancement Fund. It will feature Blue Mountain coffee and coffee related products, food stalls, entertainment, cultural presentations, tastings and demonstrations, and workshops.

"This rum festival is a product that will join the coffee festival and the cocoa festival which is coming and we are going to be looking at other commodities of which Jamaica has some level of comparative in terms of the quality of our product and to use those to leverage the experiential tourism that we are marketing," said Minister Bartlett.





Singer Bunny Brown has died

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bunny-brown.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the death of the Reggae singer Joel 'Bunny' Brown who passed away yesterday.

Over the span of his career, which began in 1968, Brown was a member of several groups including The Wildcats, Mighty Mystics, Dynamic Vision, The Falcons and Chosen Few -- with whom he recorded the hit 'Queen Majesty'.

He also backed Luther Vandross, The Blow and Lisa Fisher.

"It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of Bunny Brown's passing. He was an ambassador for our music for 50 years. At this time when we celebrate Reggae Month and the pioneers of our music, we must remember and honour Bunny Brown's contribution," Grange said in a release from her ministry.

"I convey deepest condolences to his family and friends."





Sean Paul teams up with Rita Ora for new single

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sean-paul-photo-8.jpgHaving released 'Shot And Wine' with Stefflon Don, dancehall act Sean Paul is looking to place on the market another collaboration with an international artiste, this time with British singer Rita Ora.

The collab is titled 'Call On Me'.

According to Sean Paul, in an interview with Loop News reporter Job Nelson, while 'Shot And Wine', which was released on January 18, is a party song, 'Call On Me' will be of more substance.

"'Shot And Wine' is a party vibes song as we want people to party. 'Call On Me' is a meaningful song. It is about family and calling on the people who you can depend on," he said, adding "Those will be my new releases for 2019 and then I will drop the album afterward, in the summer."

It is the second collaboration between Sean Paul and Rita Ora, following their project with Wizkid for 'Freaky Girls', which was released early last year.

According to Sean Paul, things are still being fine-tuned for the release of his album, which is still without a title.

Sean Paul, the winner of the 2004 Grammy Awards for Dutty Rock, said, "we are still working on the album and sometimes it switches up and sometimes certain tunes get old and we drop them off or release them on single and go again.

"So we are putting together a thing same way, and we have hundreds of work put together," he said.





Culture Ministry sponsors Reggae Films In The Park

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babsy-grange-minister.jpgThe Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, will be screening 'Reggae Films in the Park' over three nights at Emancipation Park, St Andrew during as part of February's Reggae Month activities

More than 150 Reggae festivals are held annually in countries around the world, and the fans of artistes who perform on them want to know more about them and about how they make their music.

Accordingly, film makers have been producing hundreds of documentaries that introduce the artistes, tell their stories and share their music, creating a new genre of films now labelled "Reggae Films".

The Emancipation Park screenings will take place on February 8, 15 and 22 and will add to the variety of activities that fill the Reggae Month calendar.

The Culture Ministry said the films will include the premiere of "Rude Boy: The Trojan Story" that shares the history of the record label that introduced Jamaican music to Britain; "Reggae In Goa" about the city in India that hosts the newest of the global Reggae festivals; "Legends of Ska" - one of the many films about the famous artistes of this genre and "Coelcuirt Jamaica" - a musical travel documentary by an Irish TV company featuring Freddie McGregor, Alpha Boys Band, the Jolly Boys mento band, Maroon Chieftainess Sister Gloria and poet Mutabaruka.

The ministry added that Reggae Films take viewers into the communities where the music was born and nurtured, and onstage to see and hear performances by artistes of all sectors -- ska, rockers, Rasta roots, blue beat, rocksteady, lovers' rock, dancehall and the branches of hip-hop and dub poetry that are all parts of the vibrant Reggae culture. These films all share stories of Jamaica's past and present history to tell the roots from which the culture has arisen.

A special feature of Reggae Films In The Park will be the screening of Jamaica's first music video, Desmond Dekker's "007 Shanty Town" made in 1967 by Perry Henzell, who went on to make "The Harder They Come". Other special features include award-winning Reggae Film Festival short films by Jamaican film makers

The acclaimed documentary "Marley" by Kevin McDonald will also be shown at the screenings.

Reggae Films in the Park will inform a deeper enjoyment of Jamaica's unique cultural creation and gift to the world, the ministry added.

The event is produced by the Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.





5 confirmed cases of swine flu in Trinidad

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swine-flu.jpg(CMC) -- Trinidad and Tobago health authorities have confirmed a fifth death as a result of the HINI virus and urged people, particularly those considered to be within the "key at risk groups" to get vaccinated.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said that the woman, who was pregnant, died from the virus, also known as swine flu and hinted that the authorities were awaiting the results of blood tests from other fatalities.

Deyalsingh did not provide details regarding the pregnant woman but expressed concern that there had been a drop in people seeking the vaccine over the past few weeks after a media house ran a segment on the effects of the vac¬cine on pregnant women.

The Ministry of Health said that it has since received 20,300 doses of the influenza vaccine through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for distribution across the country.

The ministry said it was urging those persons at risk, namely children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, adults over 65 and persons with chronic medical conditions, to ensure they are vaccinated.

"The ministry will continue to closely monitor the supply and distribution of influenza vaccines to ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demands," the statement said.

The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of infections caused by other flu strains and can include fever, but not always chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery, red eyes, body aches and headach





The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament suspended its meeting to hold an in-camera session with Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Sancia Bennett Templer in regards to the compensation package, which it has been speculated that the Government paid to former Human Resource Manager for Petrojam, Yolande Ramharrack.

Bennett Templer came under fire during the sitting from State Minister in the OPM Everald Warmington, after she told the committee that she could not disclose whether Ramharrack had received a compensation package

The permanent secretary said she had been advised by the Attorney General's chambers that there could be legal ramifications to disclosing the information openly

But Warmington accused Bennett Templer of being disrespectful to the committee, charging that she had been incorrectly advised. He insisted that there should be no in camera meeting, as the Government has nothing to hide in the Petrojam matter.

Committee chairman Mark Golding argued that the committee had a right to the information and that no confidentiality clause could trump the authority of the committee and the right to answers for the benefit of the public.

Warmington and Opposition Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips both shunned the in camera meeting and remained in the chamber as other members, led by the chairman, eventually agreed to meet with the permanent secretary privately.





A Jamaican man is now over $100 million richer after being presented with the latest Super Lotto jackpot cheque at Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday morning.He was the 17th winner of the Super Lotto from Jamaica.

Disguised in a grim reaper mask, with a light-brown overhaul and black leather gloves, the man, referred to as "A. Campbell" finally collected his cheque valued at $158.4 million.

Campbell took 54 days to present his winning ticket, but not before Supreme Ventures Limited, the owners of the Super Lotto put out advertisements in the media, urging the winner to claim the prize before the 90-day deadline elapsed.

According to Campbell, he fell ill after learning he won the Super Lotto.

He said, "I looked at my ticket and ran into my bathroom and said, 'I won! I won!' From the day I found out that I won, I've been sick."

"My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much. [Wondering] if what I've been longing for really come true. I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won," he chuckled.

Campbell described his life as a struggle but said this will change with the winnings, with his first goal being to acquire a home

He said, "I want to get a house, I want to get a nice house. I haven't foundit yet, but I'll be looking for one soon."

Campbell, who purchased the ticket on Omara Road in Kingston, said he found winning numbers, of 10, 14, 16, 25, 27 and the super ball 5, from a dream and purchased the ticket for $200.





Elephant Man's house searched by cops

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elephant-man-photos-3-large.jpgElephant Man's premise was searched by police following investigations into a recent video being circulated on social media.

Ele and his lawyer Christopher Townsend reported to the police station Friday (01/02/19), where the deejay was interrogated and his home searched before he was released.

Townsend said that nothing was found during the quest by the police.

All this stems from a viral video that sparked an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

In the video, a woman is seen with what appears to be a firearm, which she allegedly hands over to Elephant Man.

Interestingly, another video of the same incident has since emerged with the woman handing to gun to a different man.





Mechanic commits suicide on hospital compound

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shocked.jpgThe police are probing a suspected suicide involving a mechanic on the compound of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital on Friday.

The mechanic's death has brought the number of reported suicides across the island to approximately seven since the start of the year.

The deceased has been identified as 53-year-old Lenworth Smith of Retreat district in Claremont, St Ann.

According to police reports, passers-by stumbled on his body at about 2:30 p.m. and alerted them.

Upon the arrival of police personnel, Smith's body was seen lying on the ground under a tree with marks around his neck on the hospital compound.

A belt was also seen hanging from one of the branches of the tree.

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





Jamaican entertainment attorney, Lloyd Stanbury, has complained of unfair treatment at the hands of officials at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago.

He posted on social media site Facebook that he was unfairly singled out on his way out of the twin-island republic after attending a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) conference there recently.

Stanbury had given two presentations at the WIPO sub-regional meeting on copyright for Caribbean heads of Offices held in Port of Spain on January 28-29, hosted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Stanbury said he attempt to leave the country was marred by the crass and condescending attitude of an airline's representatives at the airport.

"What I experienced at the Piarco International Airport as I tried to board my flight back to Miami was nothing short of profiling, harassment and discrimination at the hands of Trinidadian representatives of American Airlines," Stanbury posted.

He claimed that having checked through security and outbound immigration he attempted to board a flight at the designated departure gate.

'As I am accustomed to doing, I tendered my boarding pass to the airline representative when my group number was called in an effort to enter the plane and take my seat. The airline representative stepped out and told me I needed to step out of the line and pointed out another representative so that I could be checked," he stated.

According to Stanbury, the representative questioned him as to the purpose of his trip, his occupation and what his job entailed. After answering the first two questions, Stanbury said he refused to answer anything further, and presented his resident alien card as proof of his legitimacy to enter the US.

However, the representative refused to look at the card and told Stanbury he was going to miss his flight if he refused to answer anymore questions. Stanbury claimed he was then taken into a side room where he was frisked and his carry-on luggage searched.

"While being searched I took out my mobile phone and made a call to the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, as this was the entity responsible for hosting the meeting participants. I expressed my anger and disappointment that I was being detained, harassed by airline representatives and prevented from boarding my flight," he stated.

He said it was at this point when the officials overheard his telephone conversation that they relented and allowed him to depart the country.

"This was a most humiliating and embarrassing experience. I have since made a formal report to American Airlines to which I have so far received no response," he stated.

He said his hosts have promised to investigate the incident.





Shock as PNP MP Lynvale Bloomfield murdered

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crime-scene-tape.jpgThere was a trail of dried blood from the bathroom to the bedroom of murdered Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, his gardener has reported.

The gardener, who did not want to be identified, turned up at Bloomfield's Passley Gardens, Portland home about 8 o'clock this morning to cut the yard as usual.

He said on arrival, he noticed that the grille and front door were opened but he never found it suspicious.

According to the gardener, some time later, the helper arrived and after a brief greeting headed inside the two-storey house.

He said before long, he heard her screaming and he immediately dashed inside to find a bloodied Bloomfield lying naked in the bedroom.

The gardener also said the shower in the bathroom was running.

Senior police investigators from Kingston's Major Investigation Division have been in Passley Gardens since Saturday morning searching for clues into the murder. It is understood that the police have not identified any sign of forced entry. They have also reportedly discovered a black vest in a bushy pathway leading to Bloomfield's house.

In the meantime, as news of Bloomfield's murder spread, a massive crowd of People's National Party and Jamaica Labour Party supporters converged near his home hoping to get a glimpse of the body.

However, the entire area was cordoned off by the police.

"It came as a shock to me," said Dexter Rowland, councillor for the Port Antonio division and Bloomfield loyalist. "When I first heard about the incident I was numb."

He described Bloomfield as one of the kindest, happiest most loving and caring human beings he knew.

"I spoke to him on Friday round at 3 p.m. I tried calling him Friday night, but his phone rang without any answer. I also tried to contact him again by phone this morning, but the phone rang unanswered, which was quite unusual," Rowland said.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe body of missing attorney William Hines has been found in a hole in the community of Orange Hill, located on the border between Trelawny and St James, law enforcement sources have confirmed.

According to reports, police investigators are still at the scene trying to remove the body from the hole.

Sources say investigators have not yet determined how he died.

His family members reportedly identified items of clothing belonging to the attorney.

His burnt out briefcase was also found beside a farm house near the sink hole where the body was discovered, a source close to the family has reported.

Hines, 65, had been missing since January.





Shaggy to host Grammy Premiere Ceremony

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgThe GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. PT, and will be streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com. Preceding the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast, the Premiere Ceremony will be hosted by GRAMMY® winner and current nominee (for Best Reggae Album) Shaggy and will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees. Currently slated to perform are singer/songwriter Snatam Kaur, trumpeter Craig Morris, and dance/electronic duo Sofi Tukker. Nigerian Afrobeat artist Seun Kuti and Malian singer/songwriter Fatoumata Diawara will take the stage together to perform. Additionally, for the first time ever, Ángela Aguilar, Aida Cuevas, and Natalia Lafourcade will unite to perform the Mexican folkloric classic "La Llorona," which all three have recorded during their careers.

Presenting the first GRAMMY Awards of the day will be current nominees Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Kalani Pe'a, Questlove, Cécile McLorin Salvant, TOKiMONSTA, and former Recording Academy™ Chair Jimmy Jam. Cheche Alara will serve as musical director.

The live stream of the Premiere Ceremony will remain on GRAMMY.com as video on demand for 90 days following the event. The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live following the Premiere Ceremony on the CBS Television Network from 8:00-11 p.m. ET/5:00-8 p.m. PT. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter.

All of the Premiere Ceremony performers and the host are nominated this year, as are most of the presenters. Aguilar for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Primero Soy Mexicana); Cuevas for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Totalmente Juan Gabriel Vol. II); Diawara for Best World Music Album (Fenfo); Hale with Halestorm for Best Rock Performance ("Uncomfortable"); Lafourcade for Best Latin Pop Album (Musas [Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos], Vol. 2); Kaur for Best New Age Album (Beloved); Kuti & Egypt 80 for Best World Music Album (Black Times); Morris for Best Classical Instrument Solo (Glass: Three Pieces In The Shape Of A Square); Pe'a for Best Regional Roots Music Album (No'Ane'i); Questlove for Best Spoken Work Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) (Creative Quest); Salvant for Best Jazz Vocal Album (The Window); Shaggy (with Sting) for Best Reggae Album (44/876); Sofi Tukker for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Treehouse); and TOKiMONSTA for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Lune Rouge).





Buju to perform at Summerjam in Germany

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgBuju Banton has been confirmed for this year's Summerjam Festival, held annually in Cologne, Germany. Buju will headline the Red Stage on Saturday, July 6. This is the first European show announced for Buju's highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom Tour.

Hailed as one of the biggest reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop festivals in Europe, Summerjam has been held for over 34 years, showcasing appearances from international music stars from all over the world. Past Summerjam stages have carried some local legends, including Buju. It was one decade ago that the Gargamel appeared there, alongside reggae acts Bunny Wailer, UB40, Anthony B, Sly & Robbie, Junior Kelly, Bitty McLean, U-Roy, Glen Washington, Pablo Moses, Horace Andy, and Freddie McGregor.

Still, the musical torch continues to blaze, and this year, Jimmy Cliff, Popcaan, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Agent Sasco, Samory I, Richie Spice and sensational newcomer Koffee are the Jamaican acts advertised for Summerjam 2019.

According to the organisers, this year will be very special in light of UNESCO's official declaration of reggae music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Although this announcement marks the first of Buju's European dates, the reggae star will have already been on the road for some time. Following his official re-entry to the stage on March 16 at the National Stadium in Kingston, Buju will perform in Nassau, The Bahamas, on March 30.

That show is set for the Thomas A. Robinson National Sports Stadium and is being promoted by Bahamian firm Paradise Productions.

He is also set to perform in Trinidad on April 21 at the Queen's Park Savannah in a concert dubbed 'I Am Legend'. Buju will then travel to Barbados for the Barbados Reggae Festival at Kensington Oval on April 27.

Before heading off to Europe, he will perform at the St Kitts Music Festival, which will take place from June 26 to 30. There, the deejay joins a strong line-up that includes Smokey Robinson, Popcaan, French Montana, and Davido.





Busy Signal Sunshine Snacks first brand ambassador

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busy-signal-photo-13.jpgBusy Signal is the first brand ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago's Sunshine Snacks. The company announced their partnership during a press conference at R Hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

Sunshine Snacks products are manufactured by Associated Brands Industries Limited. They are distributed in Jamaica by Confectionery Snacks, which has offices in Portmore and Montego Bay.

Nicholas Lok-Jack, CEO and Deputy Chairman of Associated Brands, disclosed the reason for signing Busy Signal.

"Our peanuts have been positioned as power peanuts and have always been a part of the Jamaican culture. We find that Busy has such a versatile style and full of energy. What greater collaboration between Sunshine Power Peanuts and Busy. It was a natural fit," he said.

The dancehall artiste is equally excited about the venture.





dennis-brown-photo-4.jpgThe Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be hosting "A Gathering at the Resting Place of Dennis E. Brown", in celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the "Crown Prince of Reggae", Dennis Brown at the National Heroes Park, on Friday, February 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The recognition of Brown's birthday anniversary is a highlight of Reggae Month 2019, which is being held under the theme "Celebrating Reggae's Legacy".

"This year we will be celebrating Reggae Month with a series of events that will highlight reggae's legacy all February long. It is only right that in doing so, we take the time to officially recognize the birthday of the Crown Prince of Reggae himself, Dennis Brown." Said Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport.

She continued, "Reggae is more than a national treasure, it is something cherished across the globe, and Dennis Brown is one of its most iconic contributors. By honouring him as a part of Reggae Month 2019, we are taking steps to preserve these invaluable aspects of Jamaican culture, and the people who help to uplift our culture. The gathering is open to all lovers of Dennis Brown and Reggae music, and anyone who is looking to help us commemorate our culture and its champions.

Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown, the late singer spent decades spreading a message of love and kindness to the masses. With classics like "Here I Come", "The Promised Land", and "Money in my Pocket", he has influenced hundreds of artistes and millions of reggae lovers across the world. A revered figure within the Rastafari community, as well as the music fraternity, Dennis Brown's music continues to be a source of upliftment to all who listen.





bob-marley-large.jpgThe Bob Marley Foundation in partnership with Digicel and Alacran Foundation will be celebrating the 74th'earth strong' of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley OM, under the theme 'CATCH A FIRE'. Inspired by UNECSO's recognition of Reggae as a genre of music worthy of protection and preservation, this year's theme pays tribute to the 1973 critically acclaimed album which propelled Bob Marley and the Wailers to international stardom and arguably ignited the world's love for Reggae.

"There is no doubt that my father's music played an important role in placing Reggae and Jamaica on the world stage. Championing love while fighting against oppression and injustice through music was my father's passion" says Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies. "The potent lyrics in my father's message, even today, still reverberates throughout the world. Our 2019 theme, Catch a Fire, encourages everyone to find their passion and fearlessly pursue it with such intensity that it positively impacts the world.

The annual Bob Marley 'earth strong' celebrations will take place on Tuesday, February 6 at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. The activities will commence at 7:00 a.m. with specially invited guests and will include the blowing of the Abeng, cultural drumming and the cutting of the birthday cake, accompanied by the traditional welcome from the Marley family and highlights of the Bob Marley Foundation's 2018 projects. This segment will also feature special performances from various schools within the corporate area including Charlie Smith High, St. Andrew Preparatory, Mona High School, Merl Grove High, Papine High, Haile Selassie High, King's Gate Preparatory, Liguanea Preparatory School, Holy Trinity High and the University Chorale.

At 10:00 a.m., the Bob Marley Museum will open to the general public for a full day of activities. Through partnerships with the Alacran Foundation and Hope Zoo the Kiddies Village will feature a mobile zoo and a wide array of activities for children including book making, ceramic and balloon art, storytelling and hand painting.

CEO of the Alacran Foundation, Hopi Noel Morton, states, "As Reggae is a fundamental part of Jamaica's rich culture, Alacran is thrilled about UNESCO's acknowledgement of reggae music and will be celebrating such an achievement on Bob Marley's 74th Birthday. Jamaica and its music have become the heartbeat of the Alacran Foundation and we stand firm in our commitment to support Jamaica's pioneers and

ambassadors - this is the driving force behind our partnerships with initiatives and ventures such as the Bob Marley Foundation and the Reggae Girlz."

The Bob Marley Foundation continues to promote the development of the Jamaican culture through our exhibition village which features beautifully crafted products from local entrepreneurs. We encourage the public to support the Jamaican-made industry with us.

The Marley celebration is also geared toward public education on topical issues through its symposium series.





audley-shaw-photo-1.jpgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw is in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to discuss issues related to the burgeoning medical cannabis industry.

Before departing the island, Shaw announced that, among the issues, he intends to put on the table is the need to grow marijuana high in cannabidiol (CBD), which meets the standard of the US to avoid banking challenges.

Speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth for the Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises in Montego Bay, Shaw said a renowned local scientist had his [US] account closed down after his medical marijuana product was deemed to be in violation of US law.

Shaw noted that there is some light at the end of the tunnel following the passage of new legislation by the US which approves of marijuana products which are high in CBD and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD and THC are two natural components found in the cannabis plant. CBD, however, contains a nonpsychoactive compound and doesn't produce the "high" associated with THC.

"Let's start making medicinal marijuana that is low in THC and high in CBD which has the medicinal value and conforms to the law in the United States that will open up our banking arrangements. So, for me, that is a live one. And, I will be perusing it among other things when I go to this conference," Shaw said.





ikon-d-link.jpgDancehall artiste Ikon D Link is involved in a simmering music feud with West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels over the 'Icon' stagename.

Over the weekend, Marlon Samuels did an interview with Winford Williams on CVM's Onstage where he slighted Ikon, suggesting that he could write songs to help Ikon D Link, and then staked his claim to the 'Icon' name.

"Jamaica people, a wah this? You nuh see say is a man go go this, big pooty cat this, Sylvester. Jamaican people, ah joke this. Yu a gwaan like yu a Chris Gayle, yu a gwaan like yu a Bounty bout yu a Icon? Yu a icey mint, yute!" Ikon said in a video making the rounds on social media

"Look how far mi climb fi mi name, and some bwoy ah try offa me, memba oonu done fight me, and yu want my yute dem fi suffer youth? Bout Icon? Ah me the people dem love, A who yu? Yu nuh waan live inna mad man shadow? A who yu? Lift up offa mi name yute! Bout Icon? Gal clown! Gal eediat! Yu nuh fake breast ah mad yu. Bout yu can write song fi me? People, look pon him good, big Thunder Cat inna him Spiderman brief, wah happen to yu Marlon Samuels, ah cricket yu play, yu know nothing bout music?"

Ikon D Link, formerly the Tower Man, shot to fame when he 'monkeyed' up the radio tower located at ZIP FM in Half-Way Tree and threatened to jump if his single was not played on air. He has since said he regretted the incident and had apologised to the industry and disc jock ZJ Liquid for his actions.

Marlon Samuels, the man who goes by the name Icon, has made songs such as 'Spoon Head', dissing selector Foota Hype. Last year, he threatened to sue Yanique 'Curvy Diva' Barrett for damage to his reputation.

In 2017, Samuels successfully sued former Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson and broadcaster 2KY for defamation. Lawson had made erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable when he suggested that Samuels is connected to shady persons in Jamaica.





beres-hammond.jpgCocoa Tea, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Etana, LUST, Delly Ranx Agent Sasco, Ghost and Banton's son Jahzeil have been included in named as the performers on the official line up for the highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom concert set for the National stadium in Kingston on March 16.

But persons are asking where is Beres and what about Wayne Wonder.

Beres Hammond has collaborated with Buju Banton to produce several chart toppers including 'Can You Play Some More' and 'My Woman Now'. Wayne Wonder has also combined with Banton for a number of chart toppers and it is left to be seen if he will be in attendance.

The concert will be the first appearance on stage by former US inmate Buju Banton who served eight years on conspiracy charges related to drug trafficking. Also slated to appear are

Tickets for the concert have been selling faster than hot bread online and, with more than a month to go, advance tickets for the VIP, Field Access and Grandstand sections have already been sold out. Tickets are still available online for the bleachers section.

After the concert, Banton is expected to embark on a tour to get his career back on track and stops include Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.





meek-mill.jpgUS rapper Meek Mill was pulled over by three officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force early Thursday morning, shortly after leaving a strip club in Kingston and Meek Milly got a scare.

The Maybach Music Group rapper is on probation in the US for his decade-old drug and gun convictions and he thought he was going to be arrested on the island however quickly found out the cops only wanted a photo.

"Yo trying to take a picture man," Meek Mill said while trying to imitate a Jamaican accent, "I'm f**ked up y'all pulled us over and y'all said you wanted a picture of man? Y'all scared us, we scared of police, y'all pulled us over we thought we were gonna get locked up.

Officers assured the "Ima Boss" rapper that he was safe, "Nothing like that man," before he asked for a police escort out of Kingston. Meek Mill shared the video to his followers via Instagram story, the clip has since gone viral.

Meek Mill arrived in Jamaica on Monday, according to sources, he is expected to visit incarcerated Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel during his stay.

There is no word as to whether or not the cops will be disciplined.

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Six confirmed dengue deaths

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dengue.jpgThe Ministry of Health says there have been six confirmed deaths from dengue fever as at February 8.

Five of those deaths occurred in Kingston & St Andrew and one in Portland. All the victims are children under the age of 14 years old.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Dr Christopher Tufton in an update to Parliament this afternoon.

Tufton said his ministry has since February 8, classified 1,166 suspected, presumed, or confirmed dengue cases with dates of onset in 2019, while there were 1,023 suspected and confirmed cases in 2018.

"The weekly number of cases appears to be plateauing, while we need to wait for another two to three weeks to be sure, this is an encouraging sign," he told the House.

The minister said that the largest number of suspected/presumed/confirmed dengue cases for 2019 to date was notified from St Catherine, with 313 people.

This is followed by Kingston and St Andrew, with 177; St Ann 121; St Mary 75; St Thomas six; St James 54 and Clarendon 49.





sangster-international-airport.jpgSangster International Airport (SIA), Jamaica's leading gateway to the world, was named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh year in a row at the World Travel Awards (WTA) hosted at Sandals Montego Bay on 28 January. Operated by MBJ Airports Limited, SIA emerged as the winner from a pool of 13 Caribbean competitors nominated for the prestigious award. The accolade was first bestowed on SIA in 2005. It won again in 2009 and has won the title again every year since.

"We are honored to be named the Caribbean's Leading Airport for the eleventh consecutive year. This prestigious award validates our ongoing efforts to deliver world-class service and showcase Jamaica's rich culture at Sangster International Airport," commented MBJ CEO Rafael Echevarne.

"The fact that our dedication to improving the infrastructure of the airport and providing outstanding service has been noticed by the global travel industry and travelers using SIA is gratifying and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for voting us number one in the region year after year for more than a decade. Our entire staff, our airport partners and every citizen of Jamaica can be proud of this tremendous achievement," Echevarne added.

MBJ has led a number of initiatives over the past four years to improve the passenger experience within the arrivals and departures terminals while upgrading the taxiways and aprons on the airside. Several transformational projects are now underway to bring further upgrades to the airport, including a redesign of the ticketing hall, an expansion of the commercial concourse and automated parking facilities.





Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2018, Ackera Gowie has shown that she is not just Most Culturally Aware, but also environmentally aware with the launch of her national project EcoMoney at the St. Mary High School on Thursday, February 7. Aimed at pulling communities together across Jamaica in an effort to both preserve the environment while increasing youth-based economic development, EcoMoney is designed to turn non-biodegradable waste into profit through up-cycling, also known as creative reuse. In this process, useless or otherwise unwanted products are transformed into new products of better environmental value.

"We are now transitioning from a linear economy to a circular economy, circular meaning we reduce waste and make the most of resources," Gowie said while giving the project overview at the EcoMoney launch.

"The overall mission of EcoMoney is to create partnerships between the private and public sector to engage communities and allow each citizen to play their part in the welfare of the whole human race," she continued.

Gowie also highlighted the importance of launching her national project out of her home parish of St. Mary, stating:

"A St. Mary Mi Come from is one my favourite phrases! I am so proud of my parish and my roots so it was important to launch EcoMoney here to show all the talent and potential St. Mary's youth have to offer as we lead the rest of the island on this eco-journey."

Hosted at the auditorium of Gowie's alma mater, the St. Mary High School, the launch of EcoMoney saw support from Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, as well as the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), the St. Mary chapter of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and upcoming Jamaican recycling company, 360 Recycle.

The EcoMoney national project is sponsored by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Lasco Money, Excelsior, Digicel Foundation and Popeyes.





etana-vprecords.jpgEtana dogged out a fan and even called him a cockroach and dropped a couple 'F' bombs on Twitter because he dared to criticise her consciousness, or lack thereof, at the recent Grammy awards. It was a strong and savage display from the Strong One, who played right into the fan's hands by cussing him out, a behaviour which is not in sync with her password of conscious queen.

Now critics are saying that Etana has damaged her brand with this emotional behaviour.

Some persons suggested that Etana was upset that she did not win the Grammy for Best Reggae album, and so the criticism of her AND her dress was just too much, the poor dear just had to unload/





More dates for Buju's Caribbean tour unveiled

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgThe confirmed Caribbean dates for Buju Banton's Long Walk To Freedom Tour have been revealed.

Between March 30 and June 29, the artiste has seven dates across the Caribbean, and in an Instagram post, he stated that more dates are to be added.

Exactly two weeks after his first post-prison performance at the National Stadium in Jamaica, Buju Banton will head to Nassau, Bahamas, after which the red carpet will be rolled out on April 21 for his highly anticipated Trinidad engagement at the Queen's Park Savannah.

April 27 will see the Gargamel in Barbados, then one week later, on May 4, Buju will be off to Paramaribo, Suriname for a performance at the Andre Kamperveen Stadion.

There are two dates for June confirmed so far - June 15 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and June 29 in St Kitts at the Kim Collins Athleteic Club.

The Grenada show, for which tickets have reportedly been selling quickly, is scheduled for May 11 and online news outlets report that "the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is the only OECS island thus far to confirm a staging of the world-renowned tour".

The highly anticipated event is being staged in conjunction with Sunshine Promotions' annual Mother's Day event brand - Night of Love - which featured in 2018 another reggae legend, Beres Hammond.

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Govana Embarks On 13-City European Tour

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govana.jpgRecording artiste Govana, currently riding high with 'The Light' featuring Dre Island, the second single from his upcoming anthology titled 'Humans and Monsters Are Not The Same', departed the island earlier this week for Europe.

The trip, a month-long solo sojourn which also signifies another career milestone for the 4th Genna deejay, will see him embarking on a thirteen-city tour of that continent with stops in major cities such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Zurich, Hamburg, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Lecce and Dortmund among others. The first concert will commence on February 14 (Valentine's Day) in Berlin, Germany.

Despite this being his first solo run, Govana is no stranger to the continent. He previously accompanied labelmate Aidonia on several exploits while under his tutelage. Speaking with members of the international press Govana intimated that he intends to leave a memorable mark upon completion of the tour.

"Europe has always been a place that showed Govana a lot of love even though at the time they knew me as Deablo. Fast-forward to 2019, me returning with a new name and a catalogue of hits, I am very happy because it will be an entirely new experience for both me and the fans. Aside from introducing myself to new fans, it will also present the opportunity to reconnect with my the originals from the days of touring with Aidonia and I intend to make the tour memorable."

The sanguine entertainer is expected to return to the island mid-March to continue work on his upcoming anthology slated for release later this year.





A man who attacked his child's mother and cut her in the face with a pair of scissors after she ignored him when he asked her whether or not she loved him, narrowly missed being remanded for psychiatric evaluation in the St Andrew Parish Court last week.

Acting Parish Judge Chester Crooks after hearing the allegations told Domencia Campbell that he was going to revoke his bail and have him examined by a psychiatrist, but later extended his bail and warned him to stay away from the complainant.

But prior to extending his bail, the judge said that he found it unbelievable that the accused was now before the court for injuring his companion who had supported him unwaveringly when he was before the court recently and who had influenced his decision to give the accused a chance.

"You baby mother came to court and sat here religiously with you and it was because of her why I gave you a chance and that is how you repay her," Judge Crooks said.

On Wednesday when the case was mentioned, the court heard that on the day of the incident, the complainant was outside her house washing when Campbell said to her, "Yuh nuh love me," and she did not answer.

It was further reported that Campbell then told the complainant: "Mi wi stab yuh up seven times enuh," and she smiled.

Campbell, who was armed with the scissors then approached the complainant and stabbed her in the face and on her hand.

The man's lawyer told the court that the complainant had bitten his client on the chest prior to the stabbing.





pnp-headquarters.jpgThe PNP has hit out against the brutal gun murder of former councillor, Marjorie 'Madge' Morris, This comes hard on the heels of the violent stabbing death of East Portland Member of Parliament (MP), Lynvale Bloomfield, at his home in the parish.

The former PNP Councillor in St Thomas, was found murdered at her home on Albion Boulevard in Albion in the Yallahs area of the parish on Sunday morning.

Morris, 67, represented the White Horses Division of Western St Thomas on the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), residents heard explosions in the area and called the police.

"When the police arrived, her body was discovered on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood. That was at about 6:30 this (Sunday) morning," said a representative of the CCU.





arrested -photo-1.jpgThe woman arrested in connection with the abduction of the day-old baby from Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month will be placed on an identification parade on today.

Inspector Phillip Dodd, crime chief for the Kingston Western Police, said the woman was questioned over the weekend by detectives. She reportedly told the cops that the baby was given to her by someone in Spanish Town.

Charges are expected to be laid in the case later this week.

The woman was arrested last week when she visited the Registrar General'sI Department (RGD) in St Catherine to register the birth of the stolen baby. Officials of the RGD became suspicious when the woman gave conflicting information about the child and when she gave birth.

DNA tests were later conducted and these confirmed that the baby boy was the one stolen from Victoria Jubilee.

The child was handed over to his parents on Friday.





Parents of stolen baby hire lawyer Peter a

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Peter Champagne, the lawyer representing the family of a baby who was stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston last month is to begin discussions with the management of the facility in relation to redress for the events which led to the abduction.

The police confirmed that the baby who was found in the care of a woman at the Registrar General's Department, RGD, in St Catherine is the missing child and the baby has been returned to the parents.

Champagnie has a mandate to officially contact the hospital "because they have a duty of care in relation to providing a safe place in terms of their patients and clearly, some went awry there."

He will also be paying close attention to the criminal proceedings against the woman who had the baby.

"My instructions are to watch proceedings in the criminal court in relation to the person that has been arrested in connection with the child who was abducted and to ensure that there is a smooth process and that justice is served," he said. The baby was taken from the hospital by a woman on the morning of January 9.

The management of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital has revealed that all the security personnel who were assigned to the facility during last month's abduction of a newborn have been removed.

CEO of the hospital, Colleen Wright, says new security protocols were implemented and are working smoothly.

The hospital and its security system came under the spotlight after the baby was kidnapped from a ward without a trace.

Immediately after the incident, the hospital's CEO announced that changes would be made to security arrangements.





shaggy-wins-grammy-award-2019.jpg"This is a great honor," Shaggy said, after receiving the best reggae album Grammy for his collaboration with Sting, "44/876." "They always say about Grammys that it's nice to be nominated. I can tell you right now it's better to win."

Shaggy also thanked Sting, saying, "He made this project feel like the greatest project I've ever been involved with. It was so easy and full of love and joy."

In his Grammy acceptance speech, Shaggy expressed his gratitude and thanked his family, especially his wife Rebecca and daughter, who were both at the ceremony with him, as well as his Jamaican crew. "Thank you to all of the nominees in the reggae category," he said, and he gave a shout-out to each of their names.

Other nominated albums in the Reggae category were albums as As the World Turns by Black Uhuru, Reggae Forever by Etana, Rebellion Rises by Ziggy Marley and A Matter of Time by Protoje.

Shaggy also took to social media to say thanks.

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Media exec Ossie Mills has passed away

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Jamaican media executive, Ossie Mills passed away suddenly at his home in Oklahoma, USA on Tuesday evening.

He was 58.

Mills apparently suffered a heart attack and passed away while being transported to hospital. He is survived by his wife and three children.

At the time of his death, he was reportedly president and CEO of tvChaz, a faith-based streaming entity.

The son of Salvation Army Officers, Mills was the last of six siblings. He attended the Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and was an accomplished Manning Cup goalkeeper between 1976 and 1978. He played an integral role in that school's 1976 Walker Cup victory.

Upon leaving sixth form at Wolmer's, Mills migrated to the United States and worked in media, management, marketing communications, content creation and distribution both for profit and nonprofit organizations in the Christian community. He was appointed to leadership roles in television, production, marketing, interactive communications and commerce development.

Mills served as an executive vice president at ORU from 2011-2018, where he took on the duties of executive director of Empowered 21, CEO of GEB America TV Network and vice president of marketing and communications.

Mills previously served as executive vice president of Inspiration Networks & Ministries.

Mills was also president/CEO of Belmont Mills Entertainment, which provided family content for networks like ESPN, A&E, Discovery, Fox Family Channel, Hallmark, TBN, FamNet, INSP and ION.

He was also a board member of Convoy of Hope and Next Generation Institute and served on the Forest Hill Council of Elders and the board of advisers for Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

He was a member of the National Religious Broadcasters, Direct Marketing Association and Empowered 21 Global Council.

Mills was reportedly awarded 3 Emmy Regional awards, 10 Telly Awards, 2 Cable Aces, 15 Angel Awards, 3 International Communicator Awards, a CBA Impact and Dove Award for his work in media.





Cops probe baby-stealing ring

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police-hat.jpgPolice investigations into the theft of a baby have widened to determine if there is a baby stealing ring in operation.Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devon Watkis says police want to find out if other babies are involved.

This, after the baby stolen from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month was found on Tuesday. The woman in whose custody the stolen baby was found remains in police custody.

Police say she is to face an identification parade as soon as arrangements are finalized.

The return of the baby follows nearly a month of intense investigations that spanned multiple agencies and parishes.

Police announced Thursday, January 7, that DNA tests conducted on the baby found in the custody of the woman in St. Catherine on Tuesday as well as the parents, confirmed with certainty that the baby is the one that was stolen in January.

The tests were done at the government forensic lab.

The baby remains in state care whilst the relevant procedures are completed.

The case came to light on January 9 about 5 AM when the mother who was a patient at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital returned from the bathroom to discover her baby who was born the evening before missing

An alarm was raised and it was borne out that the baby had been stolen.

The Kingston Western Police commenced their investigation and called on the public to remain alert.

A tip came on Tuesday, February 5 when officials at the Registrar's General Department notified police of a suspicious woman trying to register a baby. She was arrested and the baby placed in protective custody.





When a patty makes you go 'batty'

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NEW YORK, United States (AP) -- A woman who couldn't get a beef patty at a favourite New York eatery used a baseball bat in protest.

On Saturday, police released surveillance video of the woman in action in the Bronx -- smashing a restaurant's windows after learning the eatery had run out of her favourite food.

Police say the woman at the Back Home restaurant in the Morrisania neighbourhood came in on January 15 and ordered a patty. She was told they'd run out, and she got upset.

Authorities say she left and came back to the Jamaican restaurant with the bat. The video shows a woman bashing in two windows.





Red Fox shows love for Reggae in new single

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deejay-red-fox.jpgThe latest single from artiste, Red Fox, 'If You Love Reggae', was aptly released in recognition of February as Reggae Month.

'If You Love Reggae' was produced by Musical Masquerade, and according to Fox, reggae music has had a major impact on his life throughout the years.

'I give all glory to God who created this music which I believe saved me from all the trauma and dysfunctions I've experienced as a child," Fox explained in a press release.

He added: "During a time of brainwash education, I was able to learn from the conscious artistes. They taught me about my black heritage, which has empowered me to move forward knowing the true value of myself."

Noting the worldwide impact of reggae music, Fox recalled a conversation he had recently with an Ethiopian girl.

"She came to a show I was doing in Minnesota. She told me when she was in the refugee camp, it was my music that helped her," he said.

"I also remember having another conversation with a fan from Chicago. He told me he remembered going through a tough time in his life which he listened to my first album 'As a matter of Fox' to help keep him going. Instances like these give meaning to my life," Fox said.

Fox shared the inspiration behind 'If You Love Reggae'.

"The idea was brought to me by Musical Masquerade. Even though what I do is called dancehall, I would like to identify myself as a reggae artist. I think we should market the word reggae more than the term dancehall, as dancehall is a place where people listen to reggae music," he said, adding "I also believe we should focus more on our culture which is what attracted people to the music in the first place. We must be able to stand out whereever we go'."

He continued, "On the song If You Love Reggae, the producer and myself wanted to show how much the world loves our music and culture. I have toured many countries throughout my career and reggae is the only music that I see bring together all people regardless of race, class or creed. We mostly sing about unity and love. Bob Marley's One Love and Stand Up For You Right are songs, which have affected people's lives in a major way. I pray that we'll keep the positive vibes going as this music is about life'.

This is the third time that Red Fox has worked with New York-based Musical Masquerade. They previously worked on 'No Other like You' (featuring Rayvon) and 'Muscle'.

Born Gareth Shelton in St Andrew, Red Fox was raised in St Catherine before migrating to New York City as a teenager. He has won the DJ of the Year title in New York on multiple occasions.

Among his better-known songs are 'Pose Off', 'Bashment Party', 'Down in Jamaica', 'Brooklyn Swing' and 'Born Again Black Man'.





New album from Shaggy to be released in May

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgReggae and dancehall artiste, Shaggy will release his first solo album in six years, Wah Gwaan?!, May 10th. Per a statement, the new record will embody Shaggy's "Jamaican roots, global reach, contagious joy and introspective side." Shaggy first teased the record last November with the release of his new single, "Use Me" (an official music video is set to arrive soon).

An article in Rollingstones Magazine states that Wah Gwaan?! will feature a slew of collaborations, including tracks with 19-year-old Canadian singer Alexander Stewart ("You"), dancehall star Shenseea and singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe ("Supernatural"), Brooklyn dancehall artist Noah Powa ("Money Up") and reggaeton hit-maker Nicky Jam and singer Jason Derulo ("Tic Toc"). The album's producers include Tony CD Kelly, Dave Kelly, Martin Kierszenbaum, iLLWayno, Kizzo and Costi Official.

Wah Gwaan?! marks Shaggy's first solo effort since 2013's Out of Many, One Music. The singer made a surprise return last year with his unexpected collaborative project with Sting, 44/876, which has since been nominated for Best Reggae Album at the Grammys

Prior to the Grammys, Shaggy will host the show's premiere ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles February 10th. The event will be available to stream live via the Grammy's website starting at 3:30 ET.

Shaggy Wah Gwaan?! Track List

1. "Ketch Mi Up"

2. "Friends" (feat. Gene Noble)

3. "You" (feat. Alexander Stewart)

4. "Praise"

5. "Tic Toc" (feat. Jason Derulo, Nicky Jam)

6. "Wrong Room"

7. "Money Up" (feat. Noah Powa)

8. "Supernatural" (feat. Stacy Barthe, Shenseea)

9. "Make-Up Sex" (feat. Nyanda)

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Canadian diplomats to sue Ottawa

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Canadian diplomats who suffered from mysterious health complaints while they were posted to Cuba in 2017 are suing Ottawa for taking too long to evacuate them and provide them treatment, reports said Wednesday.

Fourteen people, including current and former diplomats and their families, are seeking Can$28 million (US$21 million) in damages from the federal government.

All of them have been back in Canada for a year but still suffer from what has become known as "Havana syndrome," a mystery illness with symptoms including strong migraines as well as visual and auditory disorders.

According to CBC, which interviewed five of those affected, the first symptoms appeared in the spring of 2017 -- but they say that Ottawa waited more than a year before helping everyone.

Questioned on the subject on Wednesday while she was in Washington, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said the safety of diplomats remained a top priority.

"I am not going to comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be our priority and they have my true sympathy and concern," she said.

On January 30, Canada announced it had reduced its staffing at the embassy to about half as a result of the unexplained symptoms.





Stolen baby found - DNA test proves positive

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A DNA test has confirmed that the baby boy who was taken from a woman at the Registrar General Department (RGD) in Twickenham Park, St Catherine two days ago, is the same child who was snatched from the Victoria Jubilee Hospital last month.

The result of the test was revealed by police sources a short while ago.

The baby's parents -- Sinclair Hutton and his common-law wife Suzzett Whyte -- were asked to have the DNA test done after the police arrested the woman who attempted to register the child Tuesday afternoon.

The woman and the baby were taken into custody after she was unable to provide officials at the RGD with the relevant information required for registration.

Hutton and Whyte both told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that despite not seeing the child, they were optimistic that he was their son.

The baby was taken from the hospital on January 8.





Marleys absent again from Bob's Bash at the museum

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bob-marley-photo-5.jpgJust like the did last year, the Marley clan again took a leave of absence from the annual birthday bash for their father, Bob at the Museum in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and instead used carious social media platforms to hail up their father on his big day.

However, the other artistes who turned in person up to salute the Reggae legend on his 74th birthday, which was held under the theme Catch A Fire, did a splendid job of paying tribute to the Reggae King.

It was road block all day as hundreds of fans from all over clamoured to get inside the venue where there were symposiums from 11 AM, followed by a concert which started at 3PM and continued until after midnight. A host of entertainers, both upcoming and established acts performed at the event, which saw the Fireman Capleton in full flight as he had the hungry massive hanging on to his fiery chants. Newcomer Koffee was a breath of fresh air and the diminutive singer stood 10 feet tall on stage as she delivered an exciting 20 minute performance. Of course, the toast of her performance was her huge hit single Toast, which the audience sang word for word.

Others on the line-up included Naomi Cowan, Sevana, Lila Ike, Bescenta, Richie Spice, Bongo Herman and a host of others.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Toronto John Tory on Wednesday again proclaimed February 6 as 'Bob Marley Day' in the Canadian city.

The mayor said the "Toronto tradition" pays tribute to the Reggae icon's legacy of peace, harmony and the unity of humankind.

Tory shared a statement from his office via Twitter, noting that today, Robert Nesta Marley's "music lives on and appeals to people of all cultures and guides them towards a world united -- one people -- one love".

The mayor noted that Marley began his career with the Wailers and became known for his distinctive writing and vocal style.

"Marley sang of tolerance and love. He became one of the greatest ambassadors of peace the world has ever seen. He encouraged us to live in harmony, chronicle our own destiny and stand up for what is right," Tory continued.

The mayor also announced that the Toronto sign will be lit in green, black and yellow today to celebrate Bob Marley Day.

Marley was born February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, St Ann, Jamaica and died of cancer on May 11, 1981. He was voted the third-greatest songwriter of all time in a 2001 BBC poll behind Bob Dylan and John Lennon.





edmund-bartlett-and-winston-harrison-and-clement-jimmy-lawrence.jpg

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) shares a light moment with the CEO of the National rums of Jamaica Ltd Winston Harrison, (left) and J Wray and Nephew's Chairman Clement "Jimmy" Lawrence at the launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival on February 05 at the Banquet Hall of the Office of the Prime Minister. The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the Jamaica Rum Festival will broaden the country's market by adding value to the Gastronomy Tourism product offerings.

Speaking at the Launch, which took place on February 05 at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Bartlett stated that "The logic behind celebrating our indigenous foods is very clear and the implications on tourism arrivals and growth is equally big...This rum festival is a great opportunity for us to broaden the market by bringing more people to the destination to indulge and then after they leave Jamaica, they will return. We already have a 42% repeat business, but that can multiply if we have events that are products that become annual events for tourism."

The Festival, which will take place at place at Hope Gardens on March 9 and 10, is being presented by J. Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). It aims to promote brand Jamaica, boost tourism in Kingston and showcase Jamaica's cultural excellence in rum, food and music.

According to the organizers, patrons will be exposed to the rum-making process, learn about the unique provenance of Jamaican rums and sample a variety of blends. They will also learn about ideal rum & food pairings, while enjoying entertainment from some of Jamaica's finest musicians.

TEF's Executive Director, Dr. Carey Wallace, shared that approximately $10 million has been invested in the Jamaica Rum Festival to assist with marketing and the build out of Artisan Villages, which will be a key feature of the event. The artisan villages will allow patrons to purchase authentic and personalised Jamaican craft items.

Patrons will also be encouraged to explore the Jamaican competitive spirits through their participation in rum-based culinary and mixology competitions, domino contests and other games.

"Gastronomy is an important part of tourism and our exceptional culinary delights such as our coffee and rum are among the top-three reasons why persons visit Jamaica. Every day, many tourists are driven to travel to Jamaica to taste our rich cultural dishes. This is the primary reason we have invested in building out this very important passion point of our visitors," said the Minister.

The Jamaica Rum Festival will take place a week after the Blue Mountain Coffee Festival - a major food festival being organized by the Tourism Linkages Network, a division of the Tourism enhancement Fund. It will feature Blue Mountain coffee and coffee related products, food stalls, entertainment, cultural presentations, tastings and demonstrations, and workshops.

"This rum festival is a product that will join the coffee festival and the cocoa festival which is coming and we are going to be looking at other commodities of which Jamaica has some level of comparative in terms of the quality of our product and to use those to leverage the experiential tourism that we are marketing," said Minister Bartlett.





Singer Bunny Brown has died

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bunny-brown.jpgMinister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has expressed sadness at the death of the Reggae singer Joel 'Bunny' Brown who passed away yesterday.

Over the span of his career, which began in 1968, Brown was a member of several groups including The Wildcats, Mighty Mystics, Dynamic Vision, The Falcons and Chosen Few -- with whom he recorded the hit 'Queen Majesty'.

He also backed Luther Vandross, The Blow and Lisa Fisher.

"It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of Bunny Brown's passing. He was an ambassador for our music for 50 years. At this time when we celebrate Reggae Month and the pioneers of our music, we must remember and honour Bunny Brown's contribution," Grange said in a release from her ministry.

"I convey deepest condolences to his family and friends."





Sean Paul teams up with Rita Ora for new single

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sean-paul-photo-8.jpgHaving released 'Shot And Wine' with Stefflon Don, dancehall act Sean Paul is looking to place on the market another collaboration with an international artiste, this time with British singer Rita Ora.

The collab is titled 'Call On Me'.

According to Sean Paul, in an interview with Loop News reporter Job Nelson, while 'Shot And Wine', which was released on January 18, is a party song, 'Call On Me' will be of more substance.

"'Shot And Wine' is a party vibes song as we want people to party. 'Call On Me' is a meaningful song. It is about family and calling on the people who you can depend on," he said, adding "Those will be my new releases for 2019 and then I will drop the album afterward, in the summer."

It is the second collaboration between Sean Paul and Rita Ora, following their project with Wizkid for 'Freaky Girls', which was released early last year.

According to Sean Paul, things are still being fine-tuned for the release of his album, which is still without a title.

Sean Paul, the winner of the 2004 Grammy Awards for Dutty Rock, said, "we are still working on the album and sometimes it switches up and sometimes certain tunes get old and we drop them off or release them on single and go again.

"So we are putting together a thing same way, and we have hundreds of work put together," he said.





Culture Ministry sponsors Reggae Films In The Park

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babsy-grange-minister.jpgThe Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, will be screening 'Reggae Films in the Park' over three nights at Emancipation Park, St Andrew during as part of February's Reggae Month activities

More than 150 Reggae festivals are held annually in countries around the world, and the fans of artistes who perform on them want to know more about them and about how they make their music.

Accordingly, film makers have been producing hundreds of documentaries that introduce the artistes, tell their stories and share their music, creating a new genre of films now labelled "Reggae Films".

The Emancipation Park screenings will take place on February 8, 15 and 22 and will add to the variety of activities that fill the Reggae Month calendar.

The Culture Ministry said the films will include the premiere of "Rude Boy: The Trojan Story" that shares the history of the record label that introduced Jamaican music to Britain; "Reggae In Goa" about the city in India that hosts the newest of the global Reggae festivals; "Legends of Ska" - one of the many films about the famous artistes of this genre and "Coelcuirt Jamaica" - a musical travel documentary by an Irish TV company featuring Freddie McGregor, Alpha Boys Band, the Jolly Boys mento band, Maroon Chieftainess Sister Gloria and poet Mutabaruka.

The ministry added that Reggae Films take viewers into the communities where the music was born and nurtured, and onstage to see and hear performances by artistes of all sectors -- ska, rockers, Rasta roots, blue beat, rocksteady, lovers' rock, dancehall and the branches of hip-hop and dub poetry that are all parts of the vibrant Reggae culture. These films all share stories of Jamaica's past and present history to tell the roots from which the culture has arisen.

A special feature of Reggae Films In The Park will be the screening of Jamaica's first music video, Desmond Dekker's "007 Shanty Town" made in 1967 by Perry Henzell, who went on to make "The Harder They Come". Other special features include award-winning Reggae Film Festival short films by Jamaican film makers

The acclaimed documentary "Marley" by Kevin McDonald will also be shown at the screenings.

Reggae Films in the Park will inform a deeper enjoyment of Jamaica's unique cultural creation and gift to the world, the ministry added.

The event is produced by the Ministry of Culture, Gender and Entertainment & Sport in collaboration with the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.





5 confirmed cases of swine flu in Trinidad

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swine-flu.jpg(CMC) -- Trinidad and Tobago health authorities have confirmed a fifth death as a result of the HINI virus and urged people, particularly those considered to be within the "key at risk groups" to get vaccinated.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said that the woman, who was pregnant, died from the virus, also known as swine flu and hinted that the authorities were awaiting the results of blood tests from other fatalities.

Deyalsingh did not provide details regarding the pregnant woman but expressed concern that there had been a drop in people seeking the vaccine over the past few weeks after a media house ran a segment on the effects of the vac¬cine on pregnant women.

The Ministry of Health said that it has since received 20,300 doses of the influenza vaccine through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for distribution across the country.

The ministry said it was urging those persons at risk, namely children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, adults over 65 and persons with chronic medical conditions, to ensure they are vaccinated.

"The ministry will continue to closely monitor the supply and distribution of influenza vaccines to ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demands," the statement said.

The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of infections caused by other flu strains and can include fever, but not always chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery, red eyes, body aches and headach





The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament suspended its meeting to hold an in-camera session with Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Sancia Bennett Templer in regards to the compensation package, which it has been speculated that the Government paid to former Human Resource Manager for Petrojam, Yolande Ramharrack.

Bennett Templer came under fire during the sitting from State Minister in the OPM Everald Warmington, after she told the committee that she could not disclose whether Ramharrack had received a compensation package

The permanent secretary said she had been advised by the Attorney General's chambers that there could be legal ramifications to disclosing the information openly

But Warmington accused Bennett Templer of being disrespectful to the committee, charging that she had been incorrectly advised. He insisted that there should be no in camera meeting, as the Government has nothing to hide in the Petrojam matter.

Committee chairman Mark Golding argued that the committee had a right to the information and that no confidentiality clause could trump the authority of the committee and the right to answers for the benefit of the public.

Warmington and Opposition Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips both shunned the in camera meeting and remained in the chamber as other members, led by the chairman, eventually agreed to meet with the permanent secretary privately.





A Jamaican man is now over $100 million richer after being presented with the latest Super Lotto jackpot cheque at Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday morning.He was the 17th winner of the Super Lotto from Jamaica.

Disguised in a grim reaper mask, with a light-brown overhaul and black leather gloves, the man, referred to as "A. Campbell" finally collected his cheque valued at $158.4 million.

Campbell took 54 days to present his winning ticket, but not before Supreme Ventures Limited, the owners of the Super Lotto put out advertisements in the media, urging the winner to claim the prize before the 90-day deadline elapsed.

According to Campbell, he fell ill after learning he won the Super Lotto.

He said, "I looked at my ticket and ran into my bathroom and said, 'I won! I won!' From the day I found out that I won, I've been sick."

"My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much. [Wondering] if what I've been longing for really come true. I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won," he chuckled.

Campbell described his life as a struggle but said this will change with the winnings, with his first goal being to acquire a home

He said, "I want to get a house, I want to get a nice house. I haven't foundit yet, but I'll be looking for one soon."

Campbell, who purchased the ticket on Omara Road in Kingston, said he found winning numbers, of 10, 14, 16, 25, 27 and the super ball 5, from a dream and purchased the ticket for $200.





Elephant Man's house searched by cops

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elephant-man-photos-3-large.jpgElephant Man's premise was searched by police following investigations into a recent video being circulated on social media.

Ele and his lawyer Christopher Townsend reported to the police station Friday (01/02/19), where the deejay was interrogated and his home searched before he was released.

Townsend said that nothing was found during the quest by the police.

All this stems from a viral video that sparked an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

In the video, a woman is seen with what appears to be a firearm, which she allegedly hands over to Elephant Man.

Interestingly, another video of the same incident has since emerged with the woman handing to gun to a different man.





Mechanic commits suicide on hospital compound

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shocked.jpgThe police are probing a suspected suicide involving a mechanic on the compound of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital on Friday.

The mechanic's death has brought the number of reported suicides across the island to approximately seven since the start of the year.

The deceased has been identified as 53-year-old Lenworth Smith of Retreat district in Claremont, St Ann.

According to police reports, passers-by stumbled on his body at about 2:30 p.m. and alerted them.

Upon the arrival of police personnel, Smith's body was seen lying on the ground under a tree with marks around his neck on the hospital compound.

A belt was also seen hanging from one of the branches of the tree.

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





Jamaican entertainment attorney, Lloyd Stanbury, has complained of unfair treatment at the hands of officials at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago.

He posted on social media site Facebook that he was unfairly singled out on his way out of the twin-island republic after attending a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) conference there recently.

Stanbury had given two presentations at the WIPO sub-regional meeting on copyright for Caribbean heads of Offices held in Port of Spain on January 28-29, hosted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Stanbury said he attempt to leave the country was marred by the crass and condescending attitude of an airline's representatives at the airport.

"What I experienced at the Piarco International Airport as I tried to board my flight back to Miami was nothing short of profiling, harassment and discrimination at the hands of Trinidadian representatives of American Airlines," Stanbury posted.

He claimed that having checked through security and outbound immigration he attempted to board a flight at the designated departure gate.

'As I am accustomed to doing, I tendered my boarding pass to the airline representative when my group number was called in an effort to enter the plane and take my seat. The airline representative stepped out and told me I needed to step out of the line and pointed out another representative so that I could be checked," he stated.

According to Stanbury, the representative questioned him as to the purpose of his trip, his occupation and what his job entailed. After answering the first two questions, Stanbury said he refused to answer anything further, and presented his resident alien card as proof of his legitimacy to enter the US.

However, the representative refused to look at the card and told Stanbury he was going to miss his flight if he refused to answer anymore questions. Stanbury claimed he was then taken into a side room where he was frisked and his carry-on luggage searched.

"While being searched I took out my mobile phone and made a call to the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, as this was the entity responsible for hosting the meeting participants. I expressed my anger and disappointment that I was being detained, harassed by airline representatives and prevented from boarding my flight," he stated.

He said it was at this point when the officials overheard his telephone conversation that they relented and allowed him to depart the country.

"This was a most humiliating and embarrassing experience. I have since made a formal report to American Airlines to which I have so far received no response," he stated.

He said his hosts have promised to investigate the incident.





Shock as PNP MP Lynvale Bloomfield murdered

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crime-scene-tape.jpgThere was a trail of dried blood from the bathroom to the bedroom of murdered Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, his gardener has reported.

The gardener, who did not want to be identified, turned up at Bloomfield's Passley Gardens, Portland home about 8 o'clock this morning to cut the yard as usual.

He said on arrival, he noticed that the grille and front door were opened but he never found it suspicious.

According to the gardener, some time later, the helper arrived and after a brief greeting headed inside the two-storey house.

He said before long, he heard her screaming and he immediately dashed inside to find a bloodied Bloomfield lying naked in the bedroom.

The gardener also said the shower in the bathroom was running.

Senior police investigators from Kingston's Major Investigation Division have been in Passley Gardens since Saturday morning searching for clues into the murder. It is understood that the police have not identified any sign of forced entry. They have also reportedly discovered a black vest in a bushy pathway leading to Bloomfield's house.

In the meantime, as news of Bloomfield's murder spread, a massive crowd of People's National Party and Jamaica Labour Party supporters converged near his home hoping to get a glimpse of the body.

However, the entire area was cordoned off by the police.

"It came as a shock to me," said Dexter Rowland, councillor for the Port Antonio division and Bloomfield loyalist. "When I first heard about the incident I was numb."

He described Bloomfield as one of the kindest, happiest most loving and caring human beings he knew.

"I spoke to him on Friday round at 3 p.m. I tried calling him Friday night, but his phone rang without any answer. I also tried to contact him again by phone this morning, but the phone rang unanswered, which was quite unusual," Rowland said.





crime-scene-tape-gloves.jpgThe body of missing attorney William Hines has been found in a hole in the community of Orange Hill, located on the border between Trelawny and St James, law enforcement sources have confirmed.

According to reports, police investigators are still at the scene trying to remove the body from the hole.

Sources say investigators have not yet determined how he died.

His family members reportedly identified items of clothing belonging to the attorney.

His burnt out briefcase was also found beside a farm house near the sink hole where the body was discovered, a source close to the family has reported.

Hines, 65, had been missing since January.





Shaggy to host Grammy Premiere Ceremony

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shaggy-photo-1-focused.jpgThe GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. PT, and will be streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com. Preceding the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast, the Premiere Ceremony will be hosted by GRAMMY® winner and current nominee (for Best Reggae Album) Shaggy and will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees. Currently slated to perform are singer/songwriter Snatam Kaur, trumpeter Craig Morris, and dance/electronic duo Sofi Tukker. Nigerian Afrobeat artist Seun Kuti and Malian singer/songwriter Fatoumata Diawara will take the stage together to perform. Additionally, for the first time ever, Ángela Aguilar, Aida Cuevas, and Natalia Lafourcade will unite to perform the Mexican folkloric classic "La Llorona," which all three have recorded during their careers.

Presenting the first GRAMMY Awards of the day will be current nominees Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Kalani Pe'a, Questlove, Cécile McLorin Salvant, TOKiMONSTA, and former Recording Academy™ Chair Jimmy Jam. Cheche Alara will serve as musical director.

The live stream of the Premiere Ceremony will remain on GRAMMY.com as video on demand for 90 days following the event. The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live following the Premiere Ceremony on the CBS Television Network from 8:00-11 p.m. ET/5:00-8 p.m. PT. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter.

All of the Premiere Ceremony performers and the host are nominated this year, as are most of the presenters. Aguilar for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Primero Soy Mexicana); Cuevas for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) (Totalmente Juan Gabriel Vol. II); Diawara for Best World Music Album (Fenfo); Hale with Halestorm for Best Rock Performance ("Uncomfortable"); Lafourcade for Best Latin Pop Album (Musas [Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos], Vol. 2); Kaur for Best New Age Album (Beloved); Kuti & Egypt 80 for Best World Music Album (Black Times); Morris for Best Classical Instrument Solo (Glass: Three Pieces In The Shape Of A Square); Pe'a for Best Regional Roots Music Album (No'Ane'i); Questlove for Best Spoken Work Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) (Creative Quest); Salvant for Best Jazz Vocal Album (The Window); Shaggy (with Sting) for Best Reggae Album (44/876); Sofi Tukker for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Treehouse); and TOKiMONSTA for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Lune Rouge).





Buju to perform at Summerjam in Germany

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buju-banton-photo-10.jpgBuju Banton has been confirmed for this year's Summerjam Festival, held annually in Cologne, Germany. Buju will headline the Red Stage on Saturday, July 6. This is the first European show announced for Buju's highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom Tour.

Hailed as one of the biggest reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop festivals in Europe, Summerjam has been held for over 34 years, showcasing appearances from international music stars from all over the world. Past Summerjam stages have carried some local legends, including Buju. It was one decade ago that the Gargamel appeared there, alongside reggae acts Bunny Wailer, UB40, Anthony B, Sly & Robbie, Junior Kelly, Bitty McLean, U-Roy, Glen Washington, Pablo Moses, Horace Andy, and Freddie McGregor.

Still, the musical torch continues to blaze, and this year, Jimmy Cliff, Popcaan, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Agent Sasco, Samory I, Richie Spice and sensational newcomer Koffee are the Jamaican acts advertised for Summerjam 2019.

According to the organisers, this year will be very special in light of UNESCO's official declaration of reggae music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Although this announcement marks the first of Buju's European dates, the reggae star will have already been on the road for some time. Following his official re-entry to the stage on March 16 at the National Stadium in Kingston, Buju will perform in Nassau, The Bahamas, on March 30.

That show is set for the Thomas A. Robinson National Sports Stadium and is being promoted by Bahamian firm Paradise Productions.

He is also set to perform in Trinidad on April 21 at the Queen's Park Savannah in a concert dubbed 'I Am Legend'. Buju will then travel to Barbados for the Barbados Reggae Festival at Kensington Oval on April 27.

Before heading off to Europe, he will perform at the St Kitts Music Festival, which will take place from June 26 to 30. There, the deejay joins a strong line-up that includes Smokey Robinson, Popcaan, French Montana, and Davido.





Busy Signal Sunshine Snacks first brand ambassador

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busy-signal-photo-13.jpgBusy Signal is the first brand ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago's Sunshine Snacks. The company announced their partnership during a press conference at R Hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

Sunshine Snacks products are manufactured by Associated Brands Industries Limited. They are distributed in Jamaica by Confectionery Snacks, which has offices in Portmore and Montego Bay.

Nicholas Lok-Jack, CEO and Deputy Chairman of Associated Brands, disclosed the reason for signing Busy Signal.

"Our peanuts have been positioned as power peanuts and have always been a part of the Jamaican culture. We find that Busy has such a versatile style and full of energy. What greater collaboration between Sunshine Power Peanuts and Busy. It was a natural fit," he said.

The dancehall artiste is equally excited about the venture.





dennis-brown-photo-4.jpgThe Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be hosting "A Gathering at the Resting Place of Dennis E. Brown", in celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the "Crown Prince of Reggae", Dennis Brown at the National Heroes Park, on Friday, February 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The recognition of Brown's birthday anniversary is a highlight of Reggae Month 2019, which is being held under the theme "Celebrating Reggae's Legacy".

"This year we will be celebrating Reggae Month with a series of events that will highlight reggae's legacy all February long. It is only right that in doing so, we take the time to officially recognize the birthday of the Crown Prince of Reggae himself, Dennis Brown." Said Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport.

She continued, "Reggae is more than a national treasure, it is something cherished across the globe, and Dennis Brown is one of its most iconic contributors. By honouring him as a part of Reggae Month 2019, we are taking steps to preserve these invaluable aspects of Jamaican culture, and the people who help to uplift our culture. The gathering is open to all lovers of Dennis Brown and Reggae music, and anyone who is looking to help us commemorate our culture and its champions.

Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown, the late singer spent decades spreading a message of love and kindness to the masses. With classics like "Here I Come", "The Promised Land", and "Money in my Pocket", he has influenced hundreds of artistes and millions of reggae lovers across the world. A revered figure within the Rastafari community, as well as the music fraternity, Dennis Brown's music continues to be a source of upliftment to all who listen.





bob-marley-large.jpgThe Bob Marley Foundation in partnership with Digicel and Alacran Foundation will be celebrating the 74th'earth strong' of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley OM, under the theme 'CATCH A FIRE'. Inspired by UNECSO's recognition of Reggae as a genre of music worthy of protection and preservation, this year's theme pays tribute to the 1973 critically acclaimed album which propelled Bob Marley and the Wailers to international stardom and arguably ignited the world's love for Reggae.

"There is no doubt that my father's music played an important role in placing Reggae and Jamaica on the world stage. Championing love while fighting against oppression and injustice through music was my father's passion" says Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies. "The potent lyrics in my father's message, even today, still reverberates throughout the world. Our 2019 theme, Catch a Fire, encourages everyone to find their passion and fearlessly pursue it with such intensity that it positively impacts the world.

The annual Bob Marley 'earth strong' celebrations will take place on Tuesday, February 6 at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. The activities will commence at 7:00 a.m. with specially invited guests and will include the blowing of the Abeng, cultural drumming and the cutting of the birthday cake, accompanied by the traditional welcome from the Marley family and highlights of the Bob Marley Foundation's 2018 projects. This segment will also feature special performances from various schools within the corporate area including Charlie Smith High, St. Andrew Preparatory, Mona High School, Merl Grove High, Papine High, Haile Selassie High, King's Gate Preparatory, Liguanea Preparatory School, Holy Trinity High and the University Chorale.

At 10:00 a.m., the Bob Marley Museum will open to the general public for a full day of activities. Through partnerships with the Alacran Foundation and Hope Zoo the Kiddies Village will feature a mobile zoo and a wide array of activities for children including book making, ceramic and balloon art, storytelling and hand painting.

CEO of the Alacran Foundation, Hopi Noel Morton, states, "As Reggae is a fundamental part of Jamaica's rich culture, Alacran is thrilled about UNESCO's acknowledgement of reggae music and will be celebrating such an achievement on Bob Marley's 74th Birthday. Jamaica and its music have become the heartbeat of the Alacran Foundation and we stand firm in our commitment to support Jamaica's pioneers and

ambassadors - this is the driving force behind our partnerships with initiatives and ventures such as the Bob Marley Foundation and the Reggae Girlz."

The Bob Marley Foundation continues to promote the development of the Jamaican culture through our exhibition village which features beautifully crafted products from local entrepreneurs. We encourage the public to support the Jamaican-made industry with us.

The Marley celebration is also geared toward public education on topical issues through its symposium series.





audley-shaw-photo-1.jpgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw is in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to discuss issues related to the burgeoning medical cannabis industry.

Before departing the island, Shaw announced that, among the issues, he intends to put on the table is the need to grow marijuana high in cannabidiol (CBD), which meets the standard of the US to avoid banking challenges.

Speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth for the Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises in Montego Bay, Shaw said a renowned local scientist had his [US] account closed down after his medical marijuana product was deemed to be in violation of US law.

Shaw noted that there is some light at the end of the tunnel following the passage of new legislation by the US which approves of marijuana products which are high in CBD and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD and THC are two natural components found in the cannabis plant. CBD, however, contains a nonpsychoactive compound and doesn't produce the "high" associated with THC.

"Let's start making medicinal marijuana that is low in THC and high in CBD which has the medicinal value and conforms to the law in the United States that will open up our banking arrangements. So, for me, that is a live one. And, I will be perusing it among other things when I go to this conference," Shaw said.





ikon-d-link.jpgDancehall artiste Ikon D Link is involved in a simmering music feud with West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels over the 'Icon' stagename.

Over the weekend, Marlon Samuels did an interview with Winford Williams on CVM's Onstage where he slighted Ikon, suggesting that he could write songs to help Ikon D Link, and then staked his claim to the 'Icon' name.

"Jamaica people, a wah this? You nuh see say is a man go go this, big pooty cat this, Sylvester. Jamaican people, ah joke this. Yu a gwaan like yu a Chris Gayle, yu a gwaan like yu a Bounty bout yu a Icon? Yu a icey mint, yute!" Ikon said in a video making the rounds on social media

"Look how far mi climb fi mi name, and some bwoy ah try offa me, memba oonu done fight me, and yu want my yute dem fi suffer youth? Bout Icon? Ah me the people dem love, A who yu? Yu nuh waan live inna mad man shadow? A who yu? Lift up offa mi name yute! Bout Icon? Gal clown! Gal eediat! Yu nuh fake breast ah mad yu. Bout yu can write song fi me? People, look pon him good, big Thunder Cat inna him Spiderman brief, wah happen to yu Marlon Samuels, ah cricket yu play, yu know nothing bout music?"

Ikon D Link, formerly the Tower Man, shot to fame when he 'monkeyed' up the radio tower located at ZIP FM in Half-Way Tree and threatened to jump if his single was not played on air. He has since said he regretted the incident and had apologised to the industry and disc jock ZJ Liquid for his actions.

Marlon Samuels, the man who goes by the name Icon, has made songs such as 'Spoon Head', dissing selector Foota Hype. Last year, he threatened to sue Yanique 'Curvy Diva' Barrett for damage to his reputation.

In 2017, Samuels successfully sued former Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson and broadcaster 2KY for defamation. Lawson had made erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable when he suggested that Samuels is connected to shady persons in Jamaica.





beres-hammond.jpgCocoa Tea, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Etana, LUST, Delly Ranx Agent Sasco, Ghost and Banton's son Jahzeil have been included in named as the performers on the official line up for the highly anticipated Long Walk to Freedom concert set for the National stadium in Kingston on March 16.

But persons are asking where is Beres and what about Wayne Wonder.

Beres Hammond has collaborated with Buju Banton to produce several chart toppers including 'Can You Play Some More' and 'My Woman Now'. Wayne Wonder has also combined with Banton for a number of chart toppers and it is left to be seen if he will be in attendance.

The concert will be the first appearance on stage by former US inmate Buju Banton who served eight years on conspiracy charges related to drug trafficking. Also slated to appear are

Tickets for the concert have been selling faster than hot bread online and, with more than a month to go, advance tickets for the VIP, Field Access and Grandstand sections have already been sold out. Tickets are still available online for the bleachers section.

After the concert, Banton is expected to embark on a tour to get his career back on track and stops include Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas.





meek-mill.jpgUS rapper Meek Mill was pulled over by three officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force early Thursday morning, shortly after leaving a strip club in Kingston and Meek Milly got a scare.

The Maybach Music Group rapper is on probation in the US for his decade-old drug and gun convictions and he thought he was going to be arrested on the island however quickly found out the cops only wanted a photo.

"Yo trying to take a picture man," Meek Mill said while trying to imitate a Jamaican accent, "I'm f**ked up y'all pulled us over and y'all said you wanted a picture of man? Y'all scared us, we scared of police, y'all pulled us over we thought we were gonna get locked up.

Officers assured the "Ima Boss" rapper that he was safe, "Nothing like that man," before he asked for a police escort out of Kingston. Meek Mill shared the video to his followers via Instagram story, the clip has since gone viral.

Meek Mill arrived in Jamaica on Monday, according to sources, he is expected to visit incarcerated Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel during his stay.

There is no word as to whether or not the cops will be disciplined.

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