June 2019 Archives

High alert for missing boy

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missing-boy-11-years-old-tyreek-king.jpgA High Alert has been activated for 11-year-old Tyreek King of Bishop Avenue, Kingston 11 who has been reported missing since Thursday, June 13.

He is of brown complexion, medium build and is about 152 centimetres (5 feet) tall.

According to police reports, Tyreek was last seen at school about 3:30 pm wearing his uniform -- a purple shirt and a khaki pants.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tyreek King is being asked to contact the Olympic Gardens police at 876-923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





May Pen police list 12 persons of interest

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police-station.jpgThe police in May Pen, Clarendon have listed 12 people as persons of interest in connection with a range of criminal activities affecting the parish and surrounding areas. The named individuals are being urged to report to the police immediately or by midday on tomorrow.

They are:

1. Thirty-two-year-old Jenard Maxam, otherwise called 'Wheatly', who the police said frequents Sandy Bay, Old Rosewell, Palmers Cross/Red Road, Longville Park areas in Clarendon and Old Harbour, St Catherine.

2. Sheldon Glashan of Old Harbour in St Catherine. The police said he frequents that area.

3. Thirty-three-year-old Jessie Sewell, otherwise called 'Jessy', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, who reportedly frequents Sandy Bay, Old Rosewell, Palmers Cross/Red Road, Longville Park areas in Clarendon and Old Harbour in St Catherine.

4. Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Prince, otherwise called 'Joey', of Old Rosewell/Palmers Cross, Clarendon. He is said to frequent Longville Park in Clarendon and Old Harbour, St Catherine.

5. Nicholas Johnson, otherwise called 'Bougseye' of Freetown, Clarendon. According to the police, he frequents Bucks Town, Sandy Bay, Rasta Corner areas in Clarendon and Old Harbour, St Catherine.

6. A man only known as 'Kiki', of an Old Harbour, St Catherine and is said to frequent Beckford Crescent and Hungry Town in the parish.

7. Thirty-four--year-old Andrew Smith, otherwise called 'Racka', of Freetown, Clarendon and Rosehall district in Manchester. He reportedly frequents Salt River, Beckford Crescent and Hungry Town in Clarendon.

8. Nashawn Guest, otherwise called 'Bridge', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, who the police said frequents Beckford Crescent, Hungry Town in Clarendon; Old Harbour and Dela Vega City, Spanish Town in St Catherine and Warrick Mount in St Ann.

9. Jameal Mendez, otherwise called 'Sweety Man', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, who is said to frequents Freetown, Bucks Town and Rosehall in the parish.

10. A man only known as 'Rags', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon. The police said he frequents Freetown, Bucks Town and Rosehall in the parish.

11. A man only known as 'Cardo', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, who reportedly frequents Rasta Corner, Freetown, and Bucks Town in the parish.

12. A man only known as 'Fabulous', of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, who is said to frequents the areas of Freetown and Rose Hall in the parish.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these individuals is being asked to contact the May Pen Criminal Investigation Branch at (876) 986-2208, Crime Stop at 311, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe security forces are keeping a close watch on Rivoli and other communities in Spanish Town, St. Catherine following a double murder Friday afternoon.

About 12:45 a taxi driver and a passenger where in a vehicle when men opened gunfire.

The two men were hit.

They died at the scene.

A police officer challenged the gunmen, however, they escaped.

Investigators say the attack is linked to the ongoing feud involving members of the Clansman gang

They say the passenger who was killed - a man known only by the alias "Gwualla" - is a member of the gang.

He was recently released on bail for the murder of a policeman.

The taxi operator is said to be his relative.

The police say the men were returning from court in Kingston when they were attacked.

The police are also probing reports that men removed a gun and a loaded magazine from the scene of the shooting.





imf-christine-lagarde.jpgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF), is urging greater central bank supervision of lending institutions as the government moves to support private credit expansion.

Following it's staff visit this week, the IMF mission team said the reduction in the Cash Reserve Requirement this year and the successive policy rate cuts to 0.75 per cent should support private credit expansion.

However, it said enhanced central bank supervision and risk management practices at lending institutions will be critical to ensure careful assessment of risks to maintain financial stability.

Credit extended to private-sector businesses and households grew by 15.2 per cent over the 12 months to March this year, higher than the 13.4 per cent observed at December 2018 and the 13.8 per cent at March 2018.

The Central Bank has been making policy-rate cuts to increase the pace of expansion in private-sector credit.





Another US celeb touches down in Jamaica

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Omarion is the latest American celebrity to travel to Jamaica for vacation.

The singer/actor touched down on the island with his friends and Family on Friday. He announced his arrival with a photo at Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, a favourite spot for A-list celebs. "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily," O captioned a photo.

"Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲 ," he added before sharing videos of himself drinking coconut water and eating a mango, "Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤."

Jamaica is now being dubbed the ultimate playground for American celebrities and we can not count the amount of arrivals we've had in the last few months.

Just last week American singer Queen Naija and her boyfriend Clarence were on the island for their vacation after visits from DJ Khaled, Drake, Tory Lanez, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Meek Mill, Yung Miami and many more.

omarion-on-instagram-giving-thanks-to-the-ancestors-predecessor.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019 TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily"


omarion-on-instagram-wagwaaan-jamaica.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲"


omarion-on-instagram-nothing-more-healing-than-mot.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "🥥🥥🥭🥭🥭🥭. Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤"





Fans not feeling Gyptian's tight pants at all

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gyptian-photo-2.jpgGyptian is being dragged on social media.

The entertainer went viral earlier this week after he uploaded a photo via his Instagram account. Shortly after the post, several fans of the "Hold You" hit maker went HAM in the comment section of Gyptian's fitted jeans.

"No mans pants must be too tight," one fan wrote. "Wah kinda style that you have up as a Reggae man yah move fruity Gypy mi nah lie yuh," another one added.

"This dude is looking crazier and crazier by the day," the comments continued. "That's what happen when you can't leave those European women alone, you starting to look like one yourself. Those tight pants makes you look like the Damn CLOWN that you are. Don't listen to your music anymore."





Fans of Koffee will have to wait until July before getting a taste of the singjay on American network television. She was slated to perform on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night.

"Hey Everyone, I know you were all anxiously anticipating my debut American TV performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, my performance won't be aired until July. Thank you to all who stayed up to tune in -- look out for the new date and once again, thank you so much for your continuous support," she tweeted yesterday.

Koffee, whose given name is Mickayla Simpson, has been making strides in the music industry since her debut in 2017 with the single Burning.

She subsequently released hit songs including Raggamuffin, Toast, and a five-song EP in March titled Rapture.

The 19-year-old currently holds the number two and three positions with the Rapture and Toast, respectively, on Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

Koffee's appearance on the American network television is a result of the singjay's recent designation as the latest Up Next Artist, by global streaming service Apple Music. Previous Apple Up Next artistes included Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Billie Eilish, Sigrid, and Jax Jones.





reggae-sumfest-2019-07-14-20-4x6.jpg"It's called demand," Reggae Sumfest CEO, Joe Bogdanovich says of the US$600 per night ultra luxe section introduced at the festival.

The tix include meal and bar service and the best view in the 'house', plus all eyes will be on you, wishing that they were right where you are.

Reggae Sumfest keeps improving on its offerings to the public, and this new, hot-selling ticket line comes hard on the heels of the exclusive weekend cabanas, which are all scooped up. A cabana that seats 10 persons went on sale for US$9,500, and they sold out in no time.

The $600 tickets are still available, and are going quickly, so all who want to enjoy this ultra luxe experience, should grab them fast.

Reggae Sumfest takes place July 14 - 20 in Montego Bay, St James, Jamaica and will see headliners Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and chronixx, along with Beenie, Bounty, Chris Martin, Etana, Spragga Benz, Jah9, Spice, Shauna Controlla, The 6ix and others taking the stage on Friday and Saturday, of the week-long festival, which has come of age.





Mackerel enjoying her new man, RT Boss

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We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial. That's the latest post from Mackerel about her new man, who was a spiritualist, but is now a real artiste.

Last week, Mackerel caused quite a stir when she posted a kissing picture with her new beau. We don't know who was the original owner of the man, but, we all know that Mackerel's password is: "People man nice and comfortable."

mackerel official on Instagram: "We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial

O postare distribuită de mackerel official (@mackerelofficial1) pe





Internet sensation, Kemoy Lindsay has entered the realms of online stardom after one of his tweets went viral last Sunday and created an international buzz. Lindsay, whose Twitter handle is @KemziiLinzii, posted four pictures of actor Keanu Reeves with women including American country singer Dolly Parton. His arms are either behind them or hover above their arms and waists.

The tweet read, "Keanu ain't talking no chances." It has attracted 395,000 likes and over 80,000 retweets on last count with major foreign media such as CNN, MSN, Yahoo News, Metro UK, People Magazine and Fox News featuring the tweet in newscasts.

Thirty-one year-old Kemoy Lindsay is from humble beginnings. Born in Spanish Town, he also lived in Trench Town and says his youth was dominated by hardship. He completed his studies at The University of the West Indies where he earned a bachelors degree in International Relations and a masters in international public and development management. He was a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth for Excellence in 2017. Currently, he is technical advisor to minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Pearnel Charles Jr, whom he regards as a mentor.

Lindsay is also co-founder of non-profit organisation, Educate For Peace, and works with other entities such as UNESCO, Jamaica Youth Community and One Young World.

Aware of social media's impact, he warns users about its dangers.

He says he never expected the tweet to become so amplified.

"When I made the post, it was a very quiet tweet. And then on Sunday, I was at a church and I had to put the phone on airplane mode (silent). Within three or four hours, it jumped from 134,000 likes. I thought to myself, 'this is it, the tweet has reached the stratosphere'," he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

He added that, "Some of my friends from South Africa and Philippines have reached out to say the tweet has made it to their local news programmes. Even people in the Solomon Islands said the tweet made their news and that's on the other side of the world."

Keanu Reeves is well-known in Hollywood for his roles in hit films like The Matrix, Point Break, Speed, and John Wick.





The police are reporting that they have issued 250,000 traffic tickets for breaches of the Road Traffic Act since the start of this year.

Assistant Commissioner Calvin Allen, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), said this represents a 12 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2018.

ACP Allen said the police have arrested and prosecuted 45 people who had a combined 20,000 outstanding tickets. 

The individuals, who are all from the Corporate Area, have appeared in court.

ACP Allen says more than 4,000 vehicles were also seized for being operated without a road licence or operating contrary to the terms of the licence.





Windscreen wiper, gunman shot in Dunrobin

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Investigators are reporting that Thursday morning's shootout along Dunrobin Avenue in St. Andrew in which three persons were shot, stemmed from the gang feud in Payne Land in the St. Andrew South Police Division.

The shooting involved gunmen and a licensed firearm holder. One of the gunmen, a windscreen wiper and a pump attendant were shot in the incident.

Superintendent Derrick Champagnie, Crime Chief for the Area Five headquarters, told RJR News that the injured gunman is under police guard in hospital, while the windscreen wiper, who was the intended target of the gunmen, is undergoing surgery.

The pump attendant, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated and released. It is reported that shortly after 5 o'clock Thursday morning, the windscreen wiper was on Dunrobin Avenue when he was attacked by gunmen travelling on a motorcycle. He was shot several times.

A licensed firearm holder challenged the gunmen and this led to a shootout.

One of the gunmen was shot and a semi-automatic pistol taken from him.

Following the shooting, it was discovered that the pump attendant at a nearby service station was also injured.

Superintendent Champagnie told RJR News the gunmen and the windscreen wiper are from Payne Land. A 12 year old boy was shot dead last weekend when gunmen opened fire on a group of persons in the community. Three other persons were injured in that attack.





President of Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, was treated to a surprise birthday party at a St Andrew hotel last August by a "group of persons" at the Education Ministry. However, the cost of the soirée has not been disclosed.

"I am not armed with that information today so I would have to do some further research and provide you with that information," Dr Grace McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, told members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament.

The disclosure came after McLean was questioned by opposition member of the committee Mikael Phillips about an email she circulated to staff at the ministry.

"Dear All, on behalf of Dr Grace McLean and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, you (sic) being invited to a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY party for Professor Fritz Pinnock," read the email, dated August 14, 2018. Pinnock's birthday is August 16. The email indicated that the party would be held at the Courtleigh Hotel.

"This surprise birthday party that was held on Thursday, August 16, 2018, for Professor Pinnock is one such that the ministry hosted?" Phillips questioned.

"I'm not going to say it was the ministry that hosted it. We actually were asked, a group of us at the ministry, to organise a party for Professor Pinnock," McLean responded.

"It was actually key persons within the ministry, as well as Caribbean Maritime University, that was invited to that celebration," she added.

It marked the latest in a string of birthday parties organised by state entities for public officials.

In January last year, Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery, hosted a US$11,260 "surprise" birthday party at a St James hotel for then energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley, complete with a US$1,000 "four-tiered topsy turvy chocolate cake."

Wheatley has since repaid the cost of the party.

Two months before that, in November 2017 Petrojam also hosted a surprise birthday party for then chairman Perceval Badaho-Singh. Sacked education minister Ruel Reid was feted at two parties, one on board the yacht, Caribbean Queen, docked in the Kingston Harbour and the other at a Jewel resort in St Ann.

CMU has admitted that it made payments towards the yacht party, but insisted it had nothing to do with the hotel soirée.





In true Jamaican fashion, local brands JP St. Mary's, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes and Jablum, came together to extend a heartfelt thank you to the James Bond franchise for choosing to include Jamaica in the production of Bond 25.

Representatives of the brands, Tara Goulbourne, commercial manager JP Tropical Foods; Jermaine Robinson, regional commercial manager of Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes Ltd; and former Senator Norman Grant, CEO of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited made a courtesy call to the President of JAMPRO Diane Edwards and Film Commissioner at JAMPRO Renee Robinson on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, to present 28 gift baskets filled with products from the three entities. The international cast and crew were presented with the packages before the last day of filming, Friday, June 7, 2019.

With over 500 Jamaicans being employed through the production and the expected economic boost from the film, Robinson expressed delight at the Bond 25 experience and support of Corporate Jamaica.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be representing the Jamaican industries, the Jamaican film industry and in particular the work we are doing with James Bond film, the 25th anniversary. And, of course, it's such a pleasure to see our local brands demonstrating an interest in partnerships and building relationships with these international productions, said Renee Robinson, Film Commissioner at JAMPRO. "I'm sure the producers are going to be in for quite a treat as they will be leaving the island with gifts and tokens from some our premiere Jamaican brands, JP St. Mary's, Tortuga and Jablum. So, this the beginning of deeper relationships and looking forward to greater commercial partnerships between our local brands and the international production space."

According to JP St. Mary's Goulbourne, private and public partnerships fuel and shape the Jamaican brand story while providing opportunities for the country and the company.

"We are Jamaican owned, company but certainly view the global economy as fair game. Having a huge franchise choose Jamaica speaks volumes about the value of Brand Jamaica. We welcome the production and the opportunity to introduce more of what makes Jamaica special to the valued team, so that they in turn will recommend our brands to friends and colleagues in other markets," stated Goulbourne.

Tortuga's Jermaine Robinson lauded the strategic groundwork done by JAMPRO and further expressed appreciation for the Bond-Jamaica partnership.

"We are elated to have partnered with JAMPRO in welcoming the cast and crew of the James Bond 25 movie to the shores of Jamaica. The James Bond franchise is known for the quality entertainment it provides and the partnership with Tortuga is a match made in heaven, as we pride ourselves with producing a rum cake par excellence using the finest ingredients. We trust that the cast and crew will relive the memories made in Jamaica with every bite of our delicious cakes," said Robinson.

Similar sentiments were shared by former Senator Grant.

"We are delighted to offer our excellent Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to the cast of James Bond. Our product reflects the commitment of our over 7,000 farmers and 102,000 farm families in the Jamaican coffee industry and further reflect a part of the Jamaican experience that is a bundle of love in a cup and an awesome coffee experience beyond compare. We sincerely hope that the rich experience in filming this movie in Jamaica will be further enriched beyond our borders with the splendid Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Experience from Jablum," concluded Grant.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer will release the 25th James Bond feature film domestically through their United Artists Releasing banner on April 8, 2020; through Universal Pictures International and Metro Goldwyn Mayer in the UK and internationally from April 3, 2020.





Seaga's body lies in state in Tivoli

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgHundreds of people gathered at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre in West Kingston on Monday where the body of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga was lying in state.

Students and teachers from Denham Town and Tivoli High schools were among those who turned out to pay their respects.

The casket, which was placed in an open area at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre, was draped in the Jamaican flag and guarded by members of the security forces.

Mr. Seaga's body will again lie in state at the Denham Town Community Centre Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock.





Peter Phillips confident of victory

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peter-phillips-photo-3.jpgPeople's National Party President Dr. Peter Phillips has said he is confident he will victorious as Mr. Bunting prepares to challenge him for the leadership position.He told RJR News he is ready for the challenge, which "is in keeping with our democratic traditions in the party" and is "confident that we have the support of the party at all levels."

"It is clear that we will continue with our traditions and continue the process under my leadership to prepare the party to be a successful government of Jamaica following the next elections," he added.

He met with key party functionaries at the Versailles Hotel in May Pen, Clarendon on Sunday to canvas support ahead of the presidential race.Dr. Phillips has urged the PNP Secretariat to urgently settle the leadership challenge in a timely manner.

In a statement Sunday, Dr. Phillips said this is important so that the PNP can refocus its efforts on critical national issues.

Since Mr. Bunting announced his challenge for leadership of the PNP, several members of the party have made public their support for Dr. Phillips. Lisa Hanna, Member of Parliament for St. Ann South Eastern, on Sunday endorsed Dr. Phillips, noting that "most people knew that Bunting was planning for this for some time now, so it didn't come really as a shock to those of us who are seasoned politicians."

Damion Crawford, PNP caretaker for Portland Eastern, is another of Dr. Phillips's supporters.

Phillip Paulwell, Member of Parliament for Kingston East and Port Royal, who will be also be supporting Dr. Peter Phillips, has described Peter Bunting's challenge for the PNP presidency as unfortunate. He argued that the leadership challenge will be a distraction for the PNP while the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will seize the opportunity to call an early election. The PNP, he contended, would be better off working to organise its machinery to ensure the party wins the next election.





Retired cop Altemorth "Parro" Campbell will be taking legal action against the state following last week's incident in which he was pepper sprayed by a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.The retired Deputy Superintendent of Police has hired law firm Knight, Junor and Samuels to pursue the matter.

Attorney Bert Samuels said he met with Mr. Campbell on Monday. He plans to file a claim before the end of the month against the Attorney General since "the police is acting as the servant of the Crown."

Mr. Samuels said he will be seeking to recover the cost of Mr. Campbell's medical care as well as general damages. He said Mr. Campbell's son is also receiving medical treatment following the incident. The boy is also reportedly very distraught and has had to undergo counselling.

The attorney intends to report the incident to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency.

Mr. Campbell was pepper sprayed after he disobeyed a constable's directive to exit his vehicle to be arrested during a traffic stop on Molynes Road in St. Andrew last Wednesday.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary is investigating the incident.





Attorney-at-law Able Don Foote wants the U.S. embassy to provide more information to Jamaicans on the recently approved requirement for nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.

The US State Department in announcing the changes said it updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information.

Mr. Foote said the policy is not a new concept as the US does research applicants before granting a visa, including a social media background check. He said the rationale for the policy is for security reasons.

"They want to look to see the jurisdictions you travel to; if you go frequently to jurisdictions where terrorism is prominent and that is the main reason why they want it," he said.

"I don't know per se, if you go on your Twitter, for example, and say something that you don't agree with that they would use that adversely against you," he added.

However, he said with Jamaicans still apprehensive about what the US will be looking for in their social media posts, more details are needed about the policy, such as the criteria for refusal or denial. He was speaking Monday morning on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme. The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide account names they may have had over the previous five years.

They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.





Jamaica-born rapper Bushwick Bill, a member of the veteran Houston rap trio Geto Boys, has died at the age of 52. The rapper, born Richard Shaw, revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February.

Shaw, who was born with dwarfism, first performed under the moniker Little Billy.

He joined the Geto Boys in 1986, after performing as the group's dancer. Geto Boys had their biggest chart success in 1996 with the album The Resurrection, which reached number 6 in the US charts, while in 1999, they earned a new audience through prominent use of their songs in the cult film comedy Office Space.

Bill was said to be working on three albums, which he hoped would generate residual income for survivors of and create awareness about pancreatic cancer.





mackerel-official-on-instagram-my-love-rtbossofficial.jpgA coulda wah dis Faada? Mackerel get bolder in the tekking people man business and seems to have fallen in love after one date. But she is being warned.

Ladasha 'Mackerel' Francis has taken yet another man, is how one website stated it, in full English and all these tings.

As it turns out, Mackerel uploaded a photo locking lips with psychic reader-turned-Dancehall artiste Nardo 'RT Boss' Smith after going on a date Friday night.

"People man bring me out for dinner who vex @rtbossofficial," Mackerel wrote under the photo of the two kissing.

Then she posted another video, with the caption: "Bae video coming out soon global boom @rtbossofficial 🔥🔥"

And yet another picture, this time she was the one doing the kissing and her 'Bae's' face was showing.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕💕my love @rtbossofficial

But fans are warning Mackerel: "Him a look a buss mackerel, nuh buss him."

"Him wata dung n a look a hype! Tru him c all eyes on d gurl....you girl stop put up so much ❤ yuh fi knw when ppl real be careful doll,hope them ❤💕 firm...no man,unu nuh c r expression like she drop ina love n him just look like him a pose for a pic,tpc,leave d child alone man!"

"Yup. Gully Bop and Chyn plot."

https://www.instagram.com/p/BybxiFPgl99/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BydYp7vgotS/

mackerel official on Instagram: "❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕💕my love @rtbossofficial"





marion-hall-photo-2.jpgThe Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza, a highlight of the three-day Denbigh Agricultural Show, will field another strong line-up this year. Marion Hall, Jermaine Edwards, Carlene Davis, Ryan Mark, Lubert Levy, Jabez and Sister Marie have been confirmed for the August 4 event.

Glory Music's Tommy Cowan, who has been producing the show since it was first staged in 2004, said patrons attend for various reasons.

"If you are low, you are going to come out high. What we do and expect, for whatever reason, is that people come there for different reasons. They come for healing, words of encouragement and to find hope through the word of Christ," said Cowan.

He spoke at Wednesday's launch of the Denbigh Agricultural Show at Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre in St Catherine. Gospel Extravaganza takes place on opening day.

The gospel show has become an integral part of Denbigh, which has been a calendar piece in Jamaican agriculture for over 60 years. According to Cowan, it adds diversity to an event that showcases the finest the country has to offer in food and livestock.

"When we started, Denbigh was on a low. That is why we came on board, and now the Gospel Extravaganza is the biggest day. It has been quite good because we start on time and we end on time," he said.

Cowan estimates that at its peak, Gospel Extravaganza attracts as many as 30,000 patrons.





vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgEleven months ago, Vybz Kartel's appeal hearing ended and he, his fellow co-accused, along with his Gaza Nation fans, continue to wait with bated breath for the verdict. His legal team, however, has no idea when the wait will be over.

"We have to wait for the Court of Appeal to hand down their judgement. We have not been told by them that it is ready, so we continue to wait," Vybz Kartel's attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, reportedly told a local newspaper.

"I plan to go and enquire next week," she added.

When asked about Kartel's health, she revealed that her client "is receiving adequate medical attention."

"They take him out of the prison from time to time to receive medical treatment, and he is under ongoing medical care," she said.

Kartel, the self-proclaimed 'World Boss', has had a number of medical episodes since being imprisoned. These incidents have seen him being hospitalised, and they have also sent his Gaza fans into a panic. The most recent episode was in March, when reports emerged that he had been taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment.

At that time, Neita-Robertson said that he had not been feeling well for a few days and had been treated at the hospital. He was discharged soon after.





Seaga exhibition at National Gallery

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgThe National Gallery of Jamaica will be paying tribute to former Prime m inister Edward Seaga with an exhibition which opens to the public this Tuesday.

Dr Jonathan Greenland noted that it will be a small exhibition since the gallery is part of the Institute of Jamaica and each arm of the institute will take a different kind of approach to remembering Seaga's contribution to culture and the arts.

"Over at the National Museum, they are doing something about his life with artefacts and exploring his relationship with the Jamaica Journal. Over at the Natural History Museum they are looking at his contribution to the organic practices. We are not doing a biographical tribute; we are examining his interest in the art world. We are focusing on the Larry Worth Collection and the John Pringle Collection, because of Seaga's relationship with revivalism and the artist Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds. That is our little focus."

The local art scene is deeply indebted to Seaga. It was he who saved Devon House from destruction. The colonial mansion, located on the corner of Hope and Waterloo roads in the Corporate Area, would in 1974 become home to the National Gallery.

Meanwhile, The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica will be hosting a 'Revival Tribute' in Seaga's honour come tomorrow. This will take place between 12 noon and 1:00 pm at Orange Park, in downtown Kingston.

The hour of celebration will be centred on revivalism. The Mount Salem Revival Mission Church located in Denham Town will perform by showing some of the rituals of their religious practice, and there will also be a revival table set up as a showpiece for those who are curious and want to learn more about the revivalist culture and faith.

Seaga, who was an anthropologist by training, did extensive research on revivalism, publishing several articles on his work. The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, which has the responsibility of preserving our African and Caribbean culture, wants to focus on this contribution from Seaga with the goal of continuing to transmit knowledge of this part of our heritage, as well as to honour his legacy.





Two teenage girls who were reported missing from their homes in St Mary have been found.

Police said the teenagers were found working at a bar in St Elizabeth and have been taken to a place of safety.

Police said this decision was made when the teenagers were brought before the St Elizabeth Children's Court last week.

The girls, aged 14 and 16, cannot be identified because they are juveniles.

Reports are that on Thursday, May 27, the teenagers travelled to St Elizabeth on the invitation of a female relative.

The girls then began working at a bar in the Goshen area of the parish.

Acting on intelligence received, the Santa Cruz police picked up the teenagers at the bar and took them into custody.

The girls, according to police sources, told the court that they had been having difficulties at home with their respective parents.

The presiding judge subsequently ordered the teens to be placed in the care of the state.

They are to return to court on June 13, for the case to again be heard.





13 year old girl missing

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missing-13-year-old-girl-tishana-baker.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Tishana Baker of Love Lane, Montego Bay, St James, who has been missing since Friday, June 7.

She is of dark complexion, medium built and about 165 centimetres (five feet five inches) tall.

Reports are that Tishana was last seen at her home at about 12:40 p.m. wearing a red and white plaid dress.

She has not been heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tishana Baker is being asked to contact the Barnett Street police at (876) 952-2333, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Woman's murder heats up Park, 100 Lane 'war'

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWar between rival gangs from the adjoining communities of 100 Lane and Park Lane off Red Hills Road in St Andrew appears to be on the verge of erupting again. Over recent weeks, tensions have been at a high level in the area, and there have been reports of daily skirmishes between the rival gangs, whose members are said to have largely attended the same schools, and essentially grew up together.

The latest casualty in the gang feud is 44-year-old bar operator, Ann-Marie Brown, also called 'Dawn'.

The police reported that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Brown was at home when armed thugs invaded the premises and kicked in her door. The gunmen shot the woman several times in her upper body, resulting in her dying on the spot.

On Wednesday the police raided a premises at 100 Lane and arrested six persons after the seizure of six 9mm rounds of ammunition and the barrel of an AK-47 assault rifle. Four of the persons who were arrested were questioned and released, but the cops slapped charges on the other two -Michael Brown and Tyreke Nelson. Brown was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, while Nelson was charged with being armed with an offensive weapon.

Brown is scheduled to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on June 13, while Nelson is scheduled to appear there on June 12.





peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeople's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Peter Murcott Bunting will challenge Dr Peter David Phillips for the top post in the Opposition political movement.

"Since our party's East Portland by-election loss, there has been increasing speculation about both the desirability and the likelihood of a leadership of the PNP," Bunting said in the statement.

"Uncertainty can be debilitating for a political movement, and an undeclared campaign is already starting to develop in social media and amongst party members. For good order and transparency, it is best that this speculation be put to rest as soon as possible. Therefore, I confirm that I am offering myself for president of the People's National Party at the annual conference in September. This is a carefully considered decision which I believe to be in the best interest of the party and the country," Bunting related in the statement which can be viewed in its entirety on pages 4 and 5 of this publication.

Bunting, who is said to be overseas, could not be contacted directly for clarification on certain points raised in the statement when the Sunday Observer tried.

And already, it appears that Bunting is putting his apparatus in place to seek the post of president, in a move which is being both welcomed and criticised by supporters of Jamaica's longest-serving political party.

He will not be among those summoned to meet with Dr Phillips in Clarendon today, after the party president called a meeting of MPs, caretakers, and councillors for 10 o'clock -- a move party officials believe was made by Dr Phillips to test his strength in the event of a possible challenge to his leadership at the 81-year-old party's annual conference scheduled for September.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police have released details about the incident that sent scores of persons scampering for cover in Half Way Tree last evening, saying it was a "running gun-battle" between two men.

When the dust cleared, according to police reports, one person was killed and four others injured.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

A firearm was also seized in the incident, the police said.

The police Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) said, in a statement today, that a man suspected of being involved in the gunfight is in custody while the other remains at large.

According to CCU, the shooting started around 5p.m. at a plaza on Constant Spring Road and continued onto Courtney Walsh Drive.

Police sources reported that the attack appeared to have emanated from a contract killing.

Amid frantic scampering for cover by members of the public, police personnel in the area reportedly intervened and one of the alleged attackers was shot and wounded and held by the police. He is now hospitalised under police guard. A firearm was reportedly taken from him.

A video circulating on social media captured some of the action.

The injured persons are being treated at hospital.

The police are asking persons with information on the whereabouts of the other gunman to contact the Half Way Tree Police at 876-926-8185 or 876-926-2551, police emergency number 119, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe security forces are keeping a close watch on Rivoli and other communities in Spanish Town, St. Catherine following a double murder Friday afternoon.

About 12:45 a taxi driver and a passenger where in a vehicle when men opened gunfire.

The two men were hit.

They died at the scene.

A police officer challenged the gunmen, however, they escaped.

Investigators say the attack is linked to the ongoing feud involving members of the Clansman gang

They say the passenger who was killed - a man known only by the alias "Gwualla" - is a member of the gang.

He was recently released on bail for the murder of a policeman.

The taxi operator is said to be his relative.

The police say the men were returning from court in Kingston when they were attacked.

The police are also probing reports that men removed a gun and a loaded magazine from the scene of the shooting.





imf-christine-lagarde.jpgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF), is urging greater central bank supervision of lending institutions as the government moves to support private credit expansion.

Following it's staff visit this week, the IMF mission team said the reduction in the Cash Reserve Requirement this year and the successive policy rate cuts to 0.75 per cent should support private credit expansion.

However, it said enhanced central bank supervision and risk management practices at lending institutions will be critical to ensure careful assessment of risks to maintain financial stability.

Credit extended to private-sector businesses and households grew by 15.2 per cent over the 12 months to March this year, higher than the 13.4 per cent observed at December 2018 and the 13.8 per cent at March 2018.

The Central Bank has been making policy-rate cuts to increase the pace of expansion in private-sector credit.





Another US celeb touches down in Jamaica

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Omarion is the latest American celebrity to travel to Jamaica for vacation.

The singer/actor touched down on the island with his friends and Family on Friday. He announced his arrival with a photo at Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, a favourite spot for A-list celebs. "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily," O captioned a photo.

"Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲 ," he added before sharing videos of himself drinking coconut water and eating a mango, "Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤."

Jamaica is now being dubbed the ultimate playground for American celebrities and we can not count the amount of arrivals we've had in the last few months.

Just last week American singer Queen Naija and her boyfriend Clarence were on the island for their vacation after visits from DJ Khaled, Drake, Tory Lanez, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Meek Mill, Yung Miami and many more.

omarion-on-instagram-giving-thanks-to-the-ancestors-predecessor.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019 TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily"


omarion-on-instagram-wagwaaan-jamaica.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲"


omarion-on-instagram-nothing-more-healing-than-mot.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "🥥🥥🥭🥭🥭🥭. Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤"





Fans not feeling Gyptian's tight pants at all

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gyptian-photo-2.jpgGyptian is being dragged on social media.

The entertainer went viral earlier this week after he uploaded a photo via his Instagram account. Shortly after the post, several fans of the "Hold You" hit maker went HAM in the comment section of Gyptian's fitted jeans.

"No mans pants must be too tight," one fan wrote. "Wah kinda style that you have up as a Reggae man yah move fruity Gypy mi nah lie yuh," another one added.

"This dude is looking crazier and crazier by the day," the comments continued. "That's what happen when you can't leave those European women alone, you starting to look like one yourself. Those tight pants makes you look like the Damn CLOWN that you are. Don't listen to your music anymore."





Fans of Koffee will have to wait until July before getting a taste of the singjay on American network television. She was slated to perform on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night.

"Hey Everyone, I know you were all anxiously anticipating my debut American TV performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, my performance won't be aired until July. Thank you to all who stayed up to tune in -- look out for the new date and once again, thank you so much for your continuous support," she tweeted yesterday.

Koffee, whose given name is Mickayla Simpson, has been making strides in the music industry since her debut in 2017 with the single Burning.

She subsequently released hit songs including Raggamuffin, Toast, and a five-song EP in March titled Rapture.

The 19-year-old currently holds the number two and three positions with the Rapture and Toast, respectively, on Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

Koffee's appearance on the American network television is a result of the singjay's recent designation as the latest Up Next Artist, by global streaming service Apple Music. Previous Apple Up Next artistes included Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Billie Eilish, Sigrid, and Jax Jones.





reggae-sumfest-2019-07-14-20-4x6.jpg"It's called demand," Reggae Sumfest CEO, Joe Bogdanovich says of the US$600 per night ultra luxe section introduced at the festival.

The tix include meal and bar service and the best view in the 'house', plus all eyes will be on you, wishing that they were right where you are.

Reggae Sumfest keeps improving on its offerings to the public, and this new, hot-selling ticket line comes hard on the heels of the exclusive weekend cabanas, which are all scooped up. A cabana that seats 10 persons went on sale for US$9,500, and they sold out in no time.

The $600 tickets are still available, and are going quickly, so all who want to enjoy this ultra luxe experience, should grab them fast.

Reggae Sumfest takes place July 14 - 20 in Montego Bay, St James, Jamaica and will see headliners Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and chronixx, along with Beenie, Bounty, Chris Martin, Etana, Spragga Benz, Jah9, Spice, Shauna Controlla, The 6ix and others taking the stage on Friday and Saturday, of the week-long festival, which has come of age.





Mackerel enjoying her new man, RT Boss

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We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial. That's the latest post from Mackerel about her new man, who was a spiritualist, but is now a real artiste.

Last week, Mackerel caused quite a stir when she posted a kissing picture with her new beau. We don't know who was the original owner of the man, but, we all know that Mackerel's password is: "People man nice and comfortable."

mackerel official on Instagram: "We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial

O postare distribuită de mackerel official (@mackerelofficial1) pe





Internet sensation, Kemoy Lindsay has entered the realms of online stardom after one of his tweets went viral last Sunday and created an international buzz. Lindsay, whose Twitter handle is @KemziiLinzii, posted four pictures of actor Keanu Reeves with women including American country singer Dolly Parton. His arms are either behind them or hover above their arms and waists.

The tweet read, "Keanu ain't talking no chances." It has attracted 395,000 likes and over 80,000 retweets on last count with major foreign media such as CNN, MSN, Yahoo News, Metro UK, People Magazine and Fox News featuring the tweet in newscasts.

Thirty-one year-old Kemoy Lindsay is from humble beginnings. Born in Spanish Town, he also lived in Trench Town and says his youth was dominated by hardship. He completed his studies at The University of the West Indies where he earned a bachelors degree in International Relations and a masters in international public and development management. He was a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth for Excellence in 2017. Currently, he is technical advisor to minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Pearnel Charles Jr, whom he regards as a mentor.

Lindsay is also co-founder of non-profit organisation, Educate For Peace, and works with other entities such as UNESCO, Jamaica Youth Community and One Young World.

Aware of social media's impact, he warns users about its dangers.

He says he never expected the tweet to become so amplified.

"When I made the post, it was a very quiet tweet. And then on Sunday, I was at a church and I had to put the phone on airplane mode (silent). Within three or four hours, it jumped from 134,000 likes. I thought to myself, 'this is it, the tweet has reached the stratosphere'," he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

He added that, "Some of my friends from South Africa and Philippines have reached out to say the tweet has made it to their local news programmes. Even people in the Solomon Islands said the tweet made their news and that's on the other side of the world."

Keanu Reeves is well-known in Hollywood for his roles in hit films like The Matrix, Point Break, Speed, and John Wick.





The police are reporting that they have issued 250,000 traffic tickets for breaches of the Road Traffic Act since the start of this year.

Assistant Commissioner Calvin Allen, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), said this represents a 12 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2018.

ACP Allen said the police have arrested and prosecuted 45 people who had a combined 20,000 outstanding tickets. 

The individuals, who are all from the Corporate Area, have appeared in court.

ACP Allen says more than 4,000 vehicles were also seized for being operated without a road licence or operating contrary to the terms of the licence.





Windscreen wiper, gunman shot in Dunrobin

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Investigators are reporting that Thursday morning's shootout along Dunrobin Avenue in St. Andrew in which three persons were shot, stemmed from the gang feud in Payne Land in the St. Andrew South Police Division.

The shooting involved gunmen and a licensed firearm holder. One of the gunmen, a windscreen wiper and a pump attendant were shot in the incident.

Superintendent Derrick Champagnie, Crime Chief for the Area Five headquarters, told RJR News that the injured gunman is under police guard in hospital, while the windscreen wiper, who was the intended target of the gunmen, is undergoing surgery.

The pump attendant, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated and released. It is reported that shortly after 5 o'clock Thursday morning, the windscreen wiper was on Dunrobin Avenue when he was attacked by gunmen travelling on a motorcycle. He was shot several times.

A licensed firearm holder challenged the gunmen and this led to a shootout.

One of the gunmen was shot and a semi-automatic pistol taken from him.

Following the shooting, it was discovered that the pump attendant at a nearby service station was also injured.

Superintendent Champagnie told RJR News the gunmen and the windscreen wiper are from Payne Land. A 12 year old boy was shot dead last weekend when gunmen opened fire on a group of persons in the community. Three other persons were injured in that attack.





President of Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, was treated to a surprise birthday party at a St Andrew hotel last August by a "group of persons" at the Education Ministry. However, the cost of the soirée has not been disclosed.

"I am not armed with that information today so I would have to do some further research and provide you with that information," Dr Grace McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, told members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament.

The disclosure came after McLean was questioned by opposition member of the committee Mikael Phillips about an email she circulated to staff at the ministry.

"Dear All, on behalf of Dr Grace McLean and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, you (sic) being invited to a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY party for Professor Fritz Pinnock," read the email, dated August 14, 2018. Pinnock's birthday is August 16. The email indicated that the party would be held at the Courtleigh Hotel.

"This surprise birthday party that was held on Thursday, August 16, 2018, for Professor Pinnock is one such that the ministry hosted?" Phillips questioned.

"I'm not going to say it was the ministry that hosted it. We actually were asked, a group of us at the ministry, to organise a party for Professor Pinnock," McLean responded.

"It was actually key persons within the ministry, as well as Caribbean Maritime University, that was invited to that celebration," she added.

It marked the latest in a string of birthday parties organised by state entities for public officials.

In January last year, Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery, hosted a US$11,260 "surprise" birthday party at a St James hotel for then energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley, complete with a US$1,000 "four-tiered topsy turvy chocolate cake."

Wheatley has since repaid the cost of the party.

Two months before that, in November 2017 Petrojam also hosted a surprise birthday party for then chairman Perceval Badaho-Singh. Sacked education minister Ruel Reid was feted at two parties, one on board the yacht, Caribbean Queen, docked in the Kingston Harbour and the other at a Jewel resort in St Ann.

CMU has admitted that it made payments towards the yacht party, but insisted it had nothing to do with the hotel soirée.





In true Jamaican fashion, local brands JP St. Mary's, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes and Jablum, came together to extend a heartfelt thank you to the James Bond franchise for choosing to include Jamaica in the production of Bond 25.

Representatives of the brands, Tara Goulbourne, commercial manager JP Tropical Foods; Jermaine Robinson, regional commercial manager of Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes Ltd; and former Senator Norman Grant, CEO of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited made a courtesy call to the President of JAMPRO Diane Edwards and Film Commissioner at JAMPRO Renee Robinson on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, to present 28 gift baskets filled with products from the three entities. The international cast and crew were presented with the packages before the last day of filming, Friday, June 7, 2019.

With over 500 Jamaicans being employed through the production and the expected economic boost from the film, Robinson expressed delight at the Bond 25 experience and support of Corporate Jamaica.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be representing the Jamaican industries, the Jamaican film industry and in particular the work we are doing with James Bond film, the 25th anniversary. And, of course, it's such a pleasure to see our local brands demonstrating an interest in partnerships and building relationships with these international productions, said Renee Robinson, Film Commissioner at JAMPRO. "I'm sure the producers are going to be in for quite a treat as they will be leaving the island with gifts and tokens from some our premiere Jamaican brands, JP St. Mary's, Tortuga and Jablum. So, this the beginning of deeper relationships and looking forward to greater commercial partnerships between our local brands and the international production space."

According to JP St. Mary's Goulbourne, private and public partnerships fuel and shape the Jamaican brand story while providing opportunities for the country and the company.

"We are Jamaican owned, company but certainly view the global economy as fair game. Having a huge franchise choose Jamaica speaks volumes about the value of Brand Jamaica. We welcome the production and the opportunity to introduce more of what makes Jamaica special to the valued team, so that they in turn will recommend our brands to friends and colleagues in other markets," stated Goulbourne.

Tortuga's Jermaine Robinson lauded the strategic groundwork done by JAMPRO and further expressed appreciation for the Bond-Jamaica partnership.

"We are elated to have partnered with JAMPRO in welcoming the cast and crew of the James Bond 25 movie to the shores of Jamaica. The James Bond franchise is known for the quality entertainment it provides and the partnership with Tortuga is a match made in heaven, as we pride ourselves with producing a rum cake par excellence using the finest ingredients. We trust that the cast and crew will relive the memories made in Jamaica with every bite of our delicious cakes," said Robinson.

Similar sentiments were shared by former Senator Grant.

"We are delighted to offer our excellent Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to the cast of James Bond. Our product reflects the commitment of our over 7,000 farmers and 102,000 farm families in the Jamaican coffee industry and further reflect a part of the Jamaican experience that is a bundle of love in a cup and an awesome coffee experience beyond compare. We sincerely hope that the rich experience in filming this movie in Jamaica will be further enriched beyond our borders with the splendid Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Experience from Jablum," concluded Grant.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer will release the 25th James Bond feature film domestically through their United Artists Releasing banner on April 8, 2020; through Universal Pictures International and Metro Goldwyn Mayer in the UK and internationally from April 3, 2020.





Seaga's body lies in state in Tivoli

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgHundreds of people gathered at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre in West Kingston on Monday where the body of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga was lying in state.

Students and teachers from Denham Town and Tivoli High schools were among those who turned out to pay their respects.

The casket, which was placed in an open area at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre, was draped in the Jamaican flag and guarded by members of the security forces.

Mr. Seaga's body will again lie in state at the Denham Town Community Centre Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock.





Peter Phillips confident of victory

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peter-phillips-photo-3.jpgPeople's National Party President Dr. Peter Phillips has said he is confident he will victorious as Mr. Bunting prepares to challenge him for the leadership position.He told RJR News he is ready for the challenge, which "is in keeping with our democratic traditions in the party" and is "confident that we have the support of the party at all levels."

"It is clear that we will continue with our traditions and continue the process under my leadership to prepare the party to be a successful government of Jamaica following the next elections," he added.

He met with key party functionaries at the Versailles Hotel in May Pen, Clarendon on Sunday to canvas support ahead of the presidential race.Dr. Phillips has urged the PNP Secretariat to urgently settle the leadership challenge in a timely manner.

In a statement Sunday, Dr. Phillips said this is important so that the PNP can refocus its efforts on critical national issues.

Since Mr. Bunting announced his challenge for leadership of the PNP, several members of the party have made public their support for Dr. Phillips. Lisa Hanna, Member of Parliament for St. Ann South Eastern, on Sunday endorsed Dr. Phillips, noting that "most people knew that Bunting was planning for this for some time now, so it didn't come really as a shock to those of us who are seasoned politicians."

Damion Crawford, PNP caretaker for Portland Eastern, is another of Dr. Phillips's supporters.

Phillip Paulwell, Member of Parliament for Kingston East and Port Royal, who will be also be supporting Dr. Peter Phillips, has described Peter Bunting's challenge for the PNP presidency as unfortunate. He argued that the leadership challenge will be a distraction for the PNP while the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will seize the opportunity to call an early election. The PNP, he contended, would be better off working to organise its machinery to ensure the party wins the next election.





Retired cop Altemorth "Parro" Campbell will be taking legal action against the state following last week's incident in which he was pepper sprayed by a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.The retired Deputy Superintendent of Police has hired law firm Knight, Junor and Samuels to pursue the matter.

Attorney Bert Samuels said he met with Mr. Campbell on Monday. He plans to file a claim before the end of the month against the Attorney General since "the police is acting as the servant of the Crown."

Mr. Samuels said he will be seeking to recover the cost of Mr. Campbell's medical care as well as general damages. He said Mr. Campbell's son is also receiving medical treatment following the incident. The boy is also reportedly very distraught and has had to undergo counselling.

The attorney intends to report the incident to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency.

Mr. Campbell was pepper sprayed after he disobeyed a constable's directive to exit his vehicle to be arrested during a traffic stop on Molynes Road in St. Andrew last Wednesday.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary is investigating the incident.





Attorney-at-law Able Don Foote wants the U.S. embassy to provide more information to Jamaicans on the recently approved requirement for nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.

The US State Department in announcing the changes said it updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information.

Mr. Foote said the policy is not a new concept as the US does research applicants before granting a visa, including a social media background check. He said the rationale for the policy is for security reasons.

"They want to look to see the jurisdictions you travel to; if you go frequently to jurisdictions where terrorism is prominent and that is the main reason why they want it," he said.

"I don't know per se, if you go on your Twitter, for example, and say something that you don't agree with that they would use that adversely against you," he added.

However, he said with Jamaicans still apprehensive about what the US will be looking for in their social media posts, more details are needed about the policy, such as the criteria for refusal or denial. He was speaking Monday morning on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme. The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide account names they may have had over the previous five years.

They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.





Jamaica-born rapper Bushwick Bill, a member of the veteran Houston rap trio Geto Boys, has died at the age of 52. The rapper, born Richard Shaw, revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February.

Shaw, who was born with dwarfism, first performed under the moniker Little Billy.

He joined the Geto Boys in 1986, after performing as the group's dancer. Geto Boys had their biggest chart success in 1996 with the album The Resurrection, which reached number 6 in the US charts, while in 1999, they earned a new audience through prominent use of their songs in the cult film comedy Office Space.

Bill was said to be working on three albums, which he hoped would generate residual income for survivors of and create awareness about pancreatic cancer.





mackerel-official-on-instagram-my-love-rtbossofficial.jpgA coulda wah dis Faada? Mackerel get bolder in the tekking people man business and seems to have fallen in love after one date. But she is being warned.

Ladasha 'Mackerel' Francis has taken yet another man, is how one website stated it, in full English and all these tings.

As it turns out, Mackerel uploaded a photo locking lips with psychic reader-turned-Dancehall artiste Nardo 'RT Boss' Smith after going on a date Friday night.

"People man bring me out for dinner who vex @rtbossofficial," Mackerel wrote under the photo of the two kissing.

Then she posted another video, with the caption: "Bae video coming out soon global boom @rtbossofficial 🔥🔥"

And yet another picture, this time she was the one doing the kissing and her 'Bae's' face was showing.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕💕my love @rtbossofficial

But fans are warning Mackerel: "Him a look a buss mackerel, nuh buss him."

"Him wata dung n a look a hype! Tru him c all eyes on d gurl....you girl stop put up so much ❤ yuh fi knw when ppl real be careful doll,hope them ❤💕 firm...no man,unu nuh c r expression like she drop ina love n him just look like him a pose for a pic,tpc,leave d child alone man!"

"Yup. Gully Bop and Chyn plot."

https://www.instagram.com/p/BybxiFPgl99/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BydYp7vgotS/

mackerel official on Instagram: "❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕💕my love @rtbossofficial"





marion-hall-photo-2.jpgThe Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza, a highlight of the three-day Denbigh Agricultural Show, will field another strong line-up this year. Marion Hall, Jermaine Edwards, Carlene Davis, Ryan Mark, Lubert Levy, Jabez and Sister Marie have been confirmed for the August 4 event.

Glory Music's Tommy Cowan, who has been producing the show since it was first staged in 2004, said patrons attend for various reasons.

"If you are low, you are going to come out high. What we do and expect, for whatever reason, is that people come there for different reasons. They come for healing, words of encouragement and to find hope through the word of Christ," said Cowan.

He spoke at Wednesday's launch of the Denbigh Agricultural Show at Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre in St Catherine. Gospel Extravaganza takes place on opening day.

The gospel show has become an integral part of Denbigh, which has been a calendar piece in Jamaican agriculture for over 60 years. According to Cowan, it adds diversity to an event that showcases the finest the country has to offer in food and livestock.

"When we started, Denbigh was on a low. That is why we came on board, and now the Gospel Extravaganza is the biggest day. It has been quite good because we start on time and we end on time," he said.

Cowan estimates that at its peak, Gospel Extravaganza attracts as many as 30,000 patrons.





vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgEleven months ago, Vybz Kartel's appeal hearing ended and he, his fellow co-accused, along with his Gaza Nation fans, continue to wait with bated breath for the verdict. His legal team, however, has no idea when the wait will be over.

"We have to wait for the Court of Appeal to hand down their judgement. We have not been told by them that it is ready, so we continue to wait," Vybz Kartel's attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, reportedly told a local newspaper.

"I plan to go and enquire next week," she added.

When asked about Kartel's health, she revealed that her client "is receiving adequate medical attention."

"They take him out of the prison from time to time to receive medical treatment, and he is under ongoing medical care," she said.

Kartel, the self-proclaimed 'World Boss', has had a number of medical episodes since being imprisoned. These incidents have seen him being hospitalised, and they have also sent his Gaza fans into a panic. The most recent episode was in March, when reports emerged that he had been taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment.

At that time, Neita-Robertson said that he had not been feeling well for a few days and had been treated at the hospital. He was discharged soon after.





Seaga exhibition at National Gallery

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgThe National Gallery of Jamaica will be paying tribute to former Prime m inister Edward Seaga with an exhibition which opens to the public this Tuesday.

Dr Jonathan Greenland noted that it will be a small exhibition since the gallery is part of the Institute of Jamaica and each arm of the institute will take a different kind of approach to remembering Seaga's contribution to culture and the arts.

"Over at the National Museum, they are doing something about his life with artefacts and exploring his relationship with the Jamaica Journal. Over at the Natural History Museum they are looking at his contribution to the organic practices. We are not doing a biographical tribute; we are examining his interest in the art world. We are focusing on the Larry Worth Collection and the John Pringle Collection, because of Seaga's relationship with revivalism and the artist Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds. That is our little focus."

The local art scene is deeply indebted to Seaga. It was he who saved Devon House from destruction. The colonial mansion, located on the corner of Hope and Waterloo roads in the Corporate Area, would in 1974 become home to the National Gallery.

Meanwhile, The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica will be hosting a 'Revival Tribute' in Seaga's honour come tomorrow. This will take place between 12 noon and 1:00 pm at Orange Park, in downtown Kingston.

The hour of celebration will be centred on revivalism. The Mount Salem Revival Mission Church located in Denham Town will perform by showing some of the rituals of their religious practice, and there will also be a revival table set up as a showpiece for those who are curious and want to learn more about the revivalist culture and faith.

Seaga, who was an anthropologist by training, did extensive research on revivalism, publishing several articles on his work. The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, which has the responsibility of preserving our African and Caribbean culture, wants to focus on this contribution from Seaga with the goal of continuing to transmit knowledge of this part of our heritage, as well as to honour his legacy.





Two teenage girls who were reported missing from their homes in St Mary have been found.

Police said the teenagers were found working at a bar in St Elizabeth and have been taken to a place of safety.

Police said this decision was made when the teenagers were brought before the St Elizabeth Children's Court last week.

The girls, aged 14 and 16, cannot be identified because they are juveniles.

Reports are that on Thursday, May 27, the teenagers travelled to St Elizabeth on the invitation of a female relative.

The girls then began working at a bar in the Goshen area of the parish.

Acting on intelligence received, the Santa Cruz police picked up the teenagers at the bar and took them into custody.

The girls, according to police sources, told the court that they had been having difficulties at home with their respective parents.

The presiding judge subsequently ordered the teens to be placed in the care of the state.

They are to return to court on June 13, for the case to again be heard.





13 year old girl missing

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missing-13-year-old-girl-tishana-baker.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Tishana Baker of Love Lane, Montego Bay, St James, who has been missing since Friday, June 7.

She is of dark complexion, medium built and about 165 centimetres (five feet five inches) tall.

Reports are that Tishana was last seen at her home at about 12:40 p.m. wearing a red and white plaid dress.

She has not been heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tishana Baker is being asked to contact the Barnett Street police at (876) 952-2333, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Woman's murder heats up Park, 100 Lane 'war'

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWar between rival gangs from the adjoining communities of 100 Lane and Park Lane off Red Hills Road in St Andrew appears to be on the verge of erupting again. Over recent weeks, tensions have been at a high level in the area, and there have been reports of daily skirmishes between the rival gangs, whose members are said to have largely attended the same schools, and essentially grew up together.

The latest casualty in the gang feud is 44-year-old bar operator, Ann-Marie Brown, also called 'Dawn'.

The police reported that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Brown was at home when armed thugs invaded the premises and kicked in her door. The gunmen shot the woman several times in her upper body, resulting in her dying on the spot.

On Wednesday the police raided a premises at 100 Lane and arrested six persons after the seizure of six 9mm rounds of ammunition and the barrel of an AK-47 assault rifle. Four of the persons who were arrested were questioned and released, but the cops slapped charges on the other two -Michael Brown and Tyreke Nelson. Brown was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, while Nelson was charged with being armed with an offensive weapon.

Brown is scheduled to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on June 13, while Nelson is scheduled to appear there on June 12.





peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeople's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Peter Murcott Bunting will challenge Dr Peter David Phillips for the top post in the Opposition political movement.

"Since our party's East Portland by-election loss, there has been increasing speculation about both the desirability and the likelihood of a leadership of the PNP," Bunting said in the statement.

"Uncertainty can be debilitating for a political movement, and an undeclared campaign is already starting to develop in social media and amongst party members. For good order and transparency, it is best that this speculation be put to rest as soon as possible. Therefore, I confirm that I am offering myself for president of the People's National Party at the annual conference in September. This is a carefully considered decision which I believe to be in the best interest of the party and the country," Bunting related in the statement which can be viewed in its entirety on pages 4 and 5 of this publication.

Bunting, who is said to be overseas, could not be contacted directly for clarification on certain points raised in the statement when the Sunday Observer tried.

And already, it appears that Bunting is putting his apparatus in place to seek the post of president, in a move which is being both welcomed and criticised by supporters of Jamaica's longest-serving political party.

He will not be among those summoned to meet with Dr Phillips in Clarendon today, after the party president called a meeting of MPs, caretakers, and councillors for 10 o'clock -- a move party officials believe was made by Dr Phillips to test his strength in the event of a possible challenge to his leadership at the 81-year-old party's annual conference scheduled for September.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police have released details about the incident that sent scores of persons scampering for cover in Half Way Tree last evening, saying it was a "running gun-battle" between two men.

When the dust cleared, according to police reports, one person was killed and four others injured.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

A firearm was also seized in the incident, the police said.

The police Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) said, in a statement today, that a man suspected of being involved in the gunfight is in custody while the other remains at large.

According to CCU, the shooting started around 5p.m. at a plaza on Constant Spring Road and continued onto Courtney Walsh Drive.

Police sources reported that the attack appeared to have emanated from a contract killing.

Amid frantic scampering for cover by members of the public, police personnel in the area reportedly intervened and one of the alleged attackers was shot and wounded and held by the police. He is now hospitalised under police guard. A firearm was reportedly taken from him.

A video circulating on social media captured some of the action.

The injured persons are being treated at hospital.

The police are asking persons with information on the whereabouts of the other gunman to contact the Half Way Tree Police at 876-926-8185 or 876-926-2551, police emergency number 119, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station.





imf-christine-lagarde.jpgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF), is urging greater central bank supervision of lending institutions as the government moves to support private credit expansion.

Following it's staff visit this week, the IMF mission team said the reduction in the Cash Reserve Requirement this year and the successive policy rate cuts to 0.75 per cent should support private credit expansion.

However, it said enhanced central bank supervision and risk management practices at lending institutions will be critical to ensure careful assessment of risks to maintain financial stability.

Credit extended to private-sector businesses and households grew by 15.2 per cent over the 12 months to March this year, higher than the 13.4 per cent observed at December 2018 and the 13.8 per cent at March 2018.

The Central Bank has been making policy-rate cuts to increase the pace of expansion in private-sector credit.





Another US celeb touches down in Jamaica

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Omarion is the latest American celebrity to travel to Jamaica for vacation.

The singer/actor touched down on the island with his friends and Family on Friday. He announced his arrival with a photo at Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, a favourite spot for A-list celebs. "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily," O captioned a photo.

"Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲 ," he added before sharing videos of himself drinking coconut water and eating a mango, "Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤."

Jamaica is now being dubbed the ultimate playground for American celebrities and we can not count the amount of arrivals we've had in the last few months.

Just last week American singer Queen Naija and her boyfriend Clarence were on the island for their vacation after visits from DJ Khaled, Drake, Tory Lanez, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Meek Mill, Yung Miami and many more.

omarion-on-instagram-giving-thanks-to-the-ancestors-predecessor.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Giving thanks to the ancestors & predecessors that paved the way. This is #Jamaica 🇯🇲. #2019 TRIBE UP!! #THEHandsomeFamily"


omarion-on-instagram-wagwaaan-jamaica.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "Wagwaaan!! 🇯🇲🙌🏾🏆. #jamaica🇯🇲"


omarion-on-instagram-nothing-more-healing-than-mot.jpg

⚡️Omarion ⚡️ on Instagram: "🥥🥥🥭🥭🥭🥭. Nothing more healing than "Mother's nature" #jamaica🇯🇲 🙏🏾🧡 I'm killing that mango tho!! 🥰🥭🤤"





Fans not feeling Gyptian's tight pants at all

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gyptian-photo-2.jpgGyptian is being dragged on social media.

The entertainer went viral earlier this week after he uploaded a photo via his Instagram account. Shortly after the post, several fans of the "Hold You" hit maker went HAM in the comment section of Gyptian's fitted jeans.

"No mans pants must be too tight," one fan wrote. "Wah kinda style that you have up as a Reggae man yah move fruity Gypy mi nah lie yuh," another one added.

"This dude is looking crazier and crazier by the day," the comments continued. "That's what happen when you can't leave those European women alone, you starting to look like one yourself. Those tight pants makes you look like the Damn CLOWN that you are. Don't listen to your music anymore."





Fans of Koffee will have to wait until July before getting a taste of the singjay on American network television. She was slated to perform on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night.

"Hey Everyone, I know you were all anxiously anticipating my debut American TV performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, my performance won't be aired until July. Thank you to all who stayed up to tune in -- look out for the new date and once again, thank you so much for your continuous support," she tweeted yesterday.

Koffee, whose given name is Mickayla Simpson, has been making strides in the music industry since her debut in 2017 with the single Burning.

She subsequently released hit songs including Raggamuffin, Toast, and a five-song EP in March titled Rapture.

The 19-year-old currently holds the number two and three positions with the Rapture and Toast, respectively, on Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

Koffee's appearance on the American network television is a result of the singjay's recent designation as the latest Up Next Artist, by global streaming service Apple Music. Previous Apple Up Next artistes included Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Billie Eilish, Sigrid, and Jax Jones.





reggae-sumfest-2019-07-14-20-4x6.jpg"It's called demand," Reggae Sumfest CEO, Joe Bogdanovich says of the US$600 per night ultra luxe section introduced at the festival.

The tix include meal and bar service and the best view in the 'house', plus all eyes will be on you, wishing that they were right where you are.

Reggae Sumfest keeps improving on its offerings to the public, and this new, hot-selling ticket line comes hard on the heels of the exclusive weekend cabanas, which are all scooped up. A cabana that seats 10 persons went on sale for US$9,500, and they sold out in no time.

The $600 tickets are still available, and are going quickly, so all who want to enjoy this ultra luxe experience, should grab them fast.

Reggae Sumfest takes place July 14 - 20 in Montego Bay, St James, Jamaica and will see headliners Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and chronixx, along with Beenie, Bounty, Chris Martin, Etana, Spragga Benz, Jah9, Spice, Shauna Controlla, The 6ix and others taking the stage on Friday and Saturday, of the week-long festival, which has come of age.





Mackerel enjoying her new man, RT Boss

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We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial. That's the latest post from Mackerel about her new man, who was a spiritualist, but is now a real artiste.

Last week, Mackerel caused quite a stir when she posted a kissing picture with her new beau. We don't know who was the original owner of the man, but, we all know that Mackerel's password is: "People man nice and comfortable."

mackerel official on Instagram: "We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial"

Vezi această postare pe Instagram

We are happy together 💞💞 @rtbossofficial

O postare distribuită de mackerel official (@mackerelofficial1) pe





Internet sensation, Kemoy Lindsay has entered the realms of online stardom after one of his tweets went viral last Sunday and created an international buzz. Lindsay, whose Twitter handle is @KemziiLinzii, posted four pictures of actor Keanu Reeves with women including American country singer Dolly Parton. His arms are either behind them or hover above their arms and waists.

The tweet read, "Keanu ain't talking no chances." It has attracted 395,000 likes and over 80,000 retweets on last count with major foreign media such as CNN, MSN, Yahoo News, Metro UK, People Magazine and Fox News featuring the tweet in newscasts.

Thirty-one year-old Kemoy Lindsay is from humble beginnings. Born in Spanish Town, he also lived in Trench Town and says his youth was dominated by hardship. He completed his studies at The University of the West Indies where he earned a bachelors degree in International Relations and a masters in international public and development management. He was a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth for Excellence in 2017. Currently, he is technical advisor to minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Pearnel Charles Jr, whom he regards as a mentor.

Lindsay is also co-founder of non-profit organisation, Educate For Peace, and works with other entities such as UNESCO, Jamaica Youth Community and One Young World.

Aware of social media's impact, he warns users about its dangers.

He says he never expected the tweet to become so amplified.

"When I made the post, it was a very quiet tweet. And then on Sunday, I was at a church and I had to put the phone on airplane mode (silent). Within three or four hours, it jumped from 134,000 likes. I thought to myself, 'this is it, the tweet has reached the stratosphere'," he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

He added that, "Some of my friends from South Africa and Philippines have reached out to say the tweet has made it to their local news programmes. Even people in the Solomon Islands said the tweet made their news and that's on the other side of the world."

Keanu Reeves is well-known in Hollywood for his roles in hit films like The Matrix, Point Break, Speed, and John Wick.





The police are reporting that they have issued 250,000 traffic tickets for breaches of the Road Traffic Act since the start of this year.

Assistant Commissioner Calvin Allen, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), said this represents a 12 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2018.

ACP Allen said the police have arrested and prosecuted 45 people who had a combined 20,000 outstanding tickets. 

The individuals, who are all from the Corporate Area, have appeared in court.

ACP Allen says more than 4,000 vehicles were also seized for being operated without a road licence or operating contrary to the terms of the licence.





Windscreen wiper, gunman shot in Dunrobin

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Investigators are reporting that Thursday morning's shootout along Dunrobin Avenue in St. Andrew in which three persons were shot, stemmed from the gang feud in Payne Land in the St. Andrew South Police Division.

The shooting involved gunmen and a licensed firearm holder. One of the gunmen, a windscreen wiper and a pump attendant were shot in the incident.

Superintendent Derrick Champagnie, Crime Chief for the Area Five headquarters, told RJR News that the injured gunman is under police guard in hospital, while the windscreen wiper, who was the intended target of the gunmen, is undergoing surgery.

The pump attendant, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated and released. It is reported that shortly after 5 o'clock Thursday morning, the windscreen wiper was on Dunrobin Avenue when he was attacked by gunmen travelling on a motorcycle. He was shot several times.

A licensed firearm holder challenged the gunmen and this led to a shootout.

One of the gunmen was shot and a semi-automatic pistol taken from him.

Following the shooting, it was discovered that the pump attendant at a nearby service station was also injured.

Superintendent Champagnie told RJR News the gunmen and the windscreen wiper are from Payne Land. A 12 year old boy was shot dead last weekend when gunmen opened fire on a group of persons in the community. Three other persons were injured in that attack.





President of Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, was treated to a surprise birthday party at a St Andrew hotel last August by a "group of persons" at the Education Ministry. However, the cost of the soirée has not been disclosed.

"I am not armed with that information today so I would have to do some further research and provide you with that information," Dr Grace McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, told members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament.

The disclosure came after McLean was questioned by opposition member of the committee Mikael Phillips about an email she circulated to staff at the ministry.

"Dear All, on behalf of Dr Grace McLean and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, you (sic) being invited to a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY party for Professor Fritz Pinnock," read the email, dated August 14, 2018. Pinnock's birthday is August 16. The email indicated that the party would be held at the Courtleigh Hotel.

"This surprise birthday party that was held on Thursday, August 16, 2018, for Professor Pinnock is one such that the ministry hosted?" Phillips questioned.

"I'm not going to say it was the ministry that hosted it. We actually were asked, a group of us at the ministry, to organise a party for Professor Pinnock," McLean responded.

"It was actually key persons within the ministry, as well as Caribbean Maritime University, that was invited to that celebration," she added.

It marked the latest in a string of birthday parties organised by state entities for public officials.

In January last year, Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery, hosted a US$11,260 "surprise" birthday party at a St James hotel for then energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley, complete with a US$1,000 "four-tiered topsy turvy chocolate cake."

Wheatley has since repaid the cost of the party.

Two months before that, in November 2017 Petrojam also hosted a surprise birthday party for then chairman Perceval Badaho-Singh. Sacked education minister Ruel Reid was feted at two parties, one on board the yacht, Caribbean Queen, docked in the Kingston Harbour and the other at a Jewel resort in St Ann.

CMU has admitted that it made payments towards the yacht party, but insisted it had nothing to do with the hotel soirée.





In true Jamaican fashion, local brands JP St. Mary's, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes and Jablum, came together to extend a heartfelt thank you to the James Bond franchise for choosing to include Jamaica in the production of Bond 25.

Representatives of the brands, Tara Goulbourne, commercial manager JP Tropical Foods; Jermaine Robinson, regional commercial manager of Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes Ltd; and former Senator Norman Grant, CEO of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited made a courtesy call to the President of JAMPRO Diane Edwards and Film Commissioner at JAMPRO Renee Robinson on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, to present 28 gift baskets filled with products from the three entities. The international cast and crew were presented with the packages before the last day of filming, Friday, June 7, 2019.

With over 500 Jamaicans being employed through the production and the expected economic boost from the film, Robinson expressed delight at the Bond 25 experience and support of Corporate Jamaica.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be representing the Jamaican industries, the Jamaican film industry and in particular the work we are doing with James Bond film, the 25th anniversary. And, of course, it's such a pleasure to see our local brands demonstrating an interest in partnerships and building relationships with these international productions, said Renee Robinson, Film Commissioner at JAMPRO. "I'm sure the producers are going to be in for quite a treat as they will be leaving the island with gifts and tokens from some our premiere Jamaican brands, JP St. Mary's, Tortuga and Jablum. So, this the beginning of deeper relationships and looking forward to greater commercial partnerships between our local brands and the international production space."

According to JP St. Mary's Goulbourne, private and public partnerships fuel and shape the Jamaican brand story while providing opportunities for the country and the company.

"We are Jamaican owned, company but certainly view the global economy as fair game. Having a huge franchise choose Jamaica speaks volumes about the value of Brand Jamaica. We welcome the production and the opportunity to introduce more of what makes Jamaica special to the valued team, so that they in turn will recommend our brands to friends and colleagues in other markets," stated Goulbourne.

Tortuga's Jermaine Robinson lauded the strategic groundwork done by JAMPRO and further expressed appreciation for the Bond-Jamaica partnership.

"We are elated to have partnered with JAMPRO in welcoming the cast and crew of the James Bond 25 movie to the shores of Jamaica. The James Bond franchise is known for the quality entertainment it provides and the partnership with Tortuga is a match made in heaven, as we pride ourselves with producing a rum cake par excellence using the finest ingredients. We trust that the cast and crew will relive the memories made in Jamaica with every bite of our delicious cakes," said Robinson.

Similar sentiments were shared by former Senator Grant.

"We are delighted to offer our excellent Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to the cast of James Bond. Our product reflects the commitment of our over 7,000 farmers and 102,000 farm families in the Jamaican coffee industry and further reflect a part of the Jamaican experience that is a bundle of love in a cup and an awesome coffee experience beyond compare. We sincerely hope that the rich experience in filming this movie in Jamaica will be further enriched beyond our borders with the splendid Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Experience from Jablum," concluded Grant.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer will release the 25th James Bond feature film domestically through their United Artists Releasing banner on April 8, 2020; through Universal Pictures International and Metro Goldwyn Mayer in the UK and internationally from April 3, 2020.





Seaga's body lies in state in Tivoli

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgHundreds of people gathered at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre in West Kingston on Monday where the body of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga was lying in state.

Students and teachers from Denham Town and Tivoli High schools were among those who turned out to pay their respects.

The casket, which was placed in an open area at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre, was draped in the Jamaican flag and guarded by members of the security forces.

Mr. Seaga's body will again lie in state at the Denham Town Community Centre Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock.





Peter Phillips confident of victory

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peter-phillips-photo-3.jpgPeople's National Party President Dr. Peter Phillips has said he is confident he will victorious as Mr. Bunting prepares to challenge him for the leadership position.He told RJR News he is ready for the challenge, which "is in keeping with our democratic traditions in the party" and is "confident that we have the support of the party at all levels."

"It is clear that we will continue with our traditions and continue the process under my leadership to prepare the party to be a successful government of Jamaica following the next elections," he added.

He met with key party functionaries at the Versailles Hotel in May Pen, Clarendon on Sunday to canvas support ahead of the presidential race.Dr. Phillips has urged the PNP Secretariat to urgently settle the leadership challenge in a timely manner.

In a statement Sunday, Dr. Phillips said this is important so that the PNP can refocus its efforts on critical national issues.

Since Mr. Bunting announced his challenge for leadership of the PNP, several members of the party have made public their support for Dr. Phillips. Lisa Hanna, Member of Parliament for St. Ann South Eastern, on Sunday endorsed Dr. Phillips, noting that "most people knew that Bunting was planning for this for some time now, so it didn't come really as a shock to those of us who are seasoned politicians."

Damion Crawford, PNP caretaker for Portland Eastern, is another of Dr. Phillips's supporters.

Phillip Paulwell, Member of Parliament for Kingston East and Port Royal, who will be also be supporting Dr. Peter Phillips, has described Peter Bunting's challenge for the PNP presidency as unfortunate. He argued that the leadership challenge will be a distraction for the PNP while the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will seize the opportunity to call an early election. The PNP, he contended, would be better off working to organise its machinery to ensure the party wins the next election.





Retired cop Altemorth "Parro" Campbell will be taking legal action against the state following last week's incident in which he was pepper sprayed by a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.The retired Deputy Superintendent of Police has hired law firm Knight, Junor and Samuels to pursue the matter.

Attorney Bert Samuels said he met with Mr. Campbell on Monday. He plans to file a claim before the end of the month against the Attorney General since "the police is acting as the servant of the Crown."

Mr. Samuels said he will be seeking to recover the cost of Mr. Campbell's medical care as well as general damages. He said Mr. Campbell's son is also receiving medical treatment following the incident. The boy is also reportedly very distraught and has had to undergo counselling.

The attorney intends to report the incident to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency.

Mr. Campbell was pepper sprayed after he disobeyed a constable's directive to exit his vehicle to be arrested during a traffic stop on Molynes Road in St. Andrew last Wednesday.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary is investigating the incident.





Attorney-at-law Able Don Foote wants the U.S. embassy to provide more information to Jamaicans on the recently approved requirement for nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.

The US State Department in announcing the changes said it updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information.

Mr. Foote said the policy is not a new concept as the US does research applicants before granting a visa, including a social media background check. He said the rationale for the policy is for security reasons.

"They want to look to see the jurisdictions you travel to; if you go frequently to jurisdictions where terrorism is prominent and that is the main reason why they want it," he said.

"I don't know per se, if you go on your Twitter, for example, and say something that you don't agree with that they would use that adversely against you," he added.

However, he said with Jamaicans still apprehensive about what the US will be looking for in their social media posts, more details are needed about the policy, such as the criteria for refusal or denial. He was speaking Monday morning on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme. The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide account names they may have had over the previous five years.

They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.





Jamaica-born rapper Bushwick Bill, a member of the veteran Houston rap trio Geto Boys, has died at the age of 52. The rapper, born Richard Shaw, revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February.

Shaw, who was born with dwarfism, first performed under the moniker Little Billy.

He joined the Geto Boys in 1986, after performing as the group's dancer. Geto Boys had their biggest chart success in 1996 with the album The Resurrection, which reached number 6 in the US charts, while in 1999, they earned a new audience through prominent use of their songs in the cult film comedy Office Space.

Bill was said to be working on three albums, which he hoped would generate residual income for survivors of and create awareness about pancreatic cancer.





mackerel-official-on-instagram-my-love-rtbossofficial.jpgA coulda wah dis Faada? Mackerel get bolder in the tekking people man business and seems to have fallen in love after one date. But she is being warned.

Ladasha 'Mackerel' Francis has taken yet another man, is how one website stated it, in full English and all these tings.

As it turns out, Mackerel uploaded a photo locking lips with psychic reader-turned-Dancehall artiste Nardo 'RT Boss' Smith after going on a date Friday night.

"People man bring me out for dinner who vex @rtbossofficial," Mackerel wrote under the photo of the two kissing.

Then she posted another video, with the caption: "Bae video coming out soon global boom @rtbossofficial 🔥🔥"

And yet another picture, this time she was the one doing the kissing and her 'Bae's' face was showing.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💕💕💕💕my love @rtbossofficial

But fans are warning Mackerel: "Him a look a buss mackerel, nuh buss him."

"Him wata dung n a look a hype! Tru him c all eyes on d gurl....you girl stop put up so much ❤ yuh fi knw when ppl real be careful doll,hope them ❤💕 firm...no man,unu nuh c r expression like she drop ina love n him just look like him a pose for a pic,tpc,leave d child alone man!"

"Yup. Gully Bop and Chyn plot."

https://www.instagram.com/p/BybxiFPgl99/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BydYp7vgotS/

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marion-hall-photo-2.jpgThe Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza, a highlight of the three-day Denbigh Agricultural Show, will field another strong line-up this year. Marion Hall, Jermaine Edwards, Carlene Davis, Ryan Mark, Lubert Levy, Jabez and Sister Marie have been confirmed for the August 4 event.

Glory Music's Tommy Cowan, who has been producing the show since it was first staged in 2004, said patrons attend for various reasons.

"If you are low, you are going to come out high. What we do and expect, for whatever reason, is that people come there for different reasons. They come for healing, words of encouragement and to find hope through the word of Christ," said Cowan.

He spoke at Wednesday's launch of the Denbigh Agricultural Show at Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre in St Catherine. Gospel Extravaganza takes place on opening day.

The gospel show has become an integral part of Denbigh, which has been a calendar piece in Jamaican agriculture for over 60 years. According to Cowan, it adds diversity to an event that showcases the finest the country has to offer in food and livestock.

"When we started, Denbigh was on a low. That is why we came on board, and now the Gospel Extravaganza is the biggest day. It has been quite good because we start on time and we end on time," he said.

Cowan estimates that at its peak, Gospel Extravaganza attracts as many as 30,000 patrons.





vybz-kartel-photo-11-larger.jpgEleven months ago, Vybz Kartel's appeal hearing ended and he, his fellow co-accused, along with his Gaza Nation fans, continue to wait with bated breath for the verdict. His legal team, however, has no idea when the wait will be over.

"We have to wait for the Court of Appeal to hand down their judgement. We have not been told by them that it is ready, so we continue to wait," Vybz Kartel's attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, reportedly told a local newspaper.

"I plan to go and enquire next week," she added.

When asked about Kartel's health, she revealed that her client "is receiving adequate medical attention."

"They take him out of the prison from time to time to receive medical treatment, and he is under ongoing medical care," she said.

Kartel, the self-proclaimed 'World Boss', has had a number of medical episodes since being imprisoned. These incidents have seen him being hospitalised, and they have also sent his Gaza fans into a panic. The most recent episode was in March, when reports emerged that he had been taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment.

At that time, Neita-Robertson said that he had not been feeling well for a few days and had been treated at the hospital. He was discharged soon after.





Seaga exhibition at National Gallery

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marlon-standing-next-to-edward-seaga.jpgThe National Gallery of Jamaica will be paying tribute to former Prime m inister Edward Seaga with an exhibition which opens to the public this Tuesday.

Dr Jonathan Greenland noted that it will be a small exhibition since the gallery is part of the Institute of Jamaica and each arm of the institute will take a different kind of approach to remembering Seaga's contribution to culture and the arts.

"Over at the National Museum, they are doing something about his life with artefacts and exploring his relationship with the Jamaica Journal. Over at the Natural History Museum they are looking at his contribution to the organic practices. We are not doing a biographical tribute; we are examining his interest in the art world. We are focusing on the Larry Worth Collection and the John Pringle Collection, because of Seaga's relationship with revivalism and the artist Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds. That is our little focus."

The local art scene is deeply indebted to Seaga. It was he who saved Devon House from destruction. The colonial mansion, located on the corner of Hope and Waterloo roads in the Corporate Area, would in 1974 become home to the National Gallery.

Meanwhile, The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica will be hosting a 'Revival Tribute' in Seaga's honour come tomorrow. This will take place between 12 noon and 1:00 pm at Orange Park, in downtown Kingston.

The hour of celebration will be centred on revivalism. The Mount Salem Revival Mission Church located in Denham Town will perform by showing some of the rituals of their religious practice, and there will also be a revival table set up as a showpiece for those who are curious and want to learn more about the revivalist culture and faith.

Seaga, who was an anthropologist by training, did extensive research on revivalism, publishing several articles on his work. The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, which has the responsibility of preserving our African and Caribbean culture, wants to focus on this contribution from Seaga with the goal of continuing to transmit knowledge of this part of our heritage, as well as to honour his legacy.





Two teenage girls who were reported missing from their homes in St Mary have been found.

Police said the teenagers were found working at a bar in St Elizabeth and have been taken to a place of safety.

Police said this decision was made when the teenagers were brought before the St Elizabeth Children's Court last week.

The girls, aged 14 and 16, cannot be identified because they are juveniles.

Reports are that on Thursday, May 27, the teenagers travelled to St Elizabeth on the invitation of a female relative.

The girls then began working at a bar in the Goshen area of the parish.

Acting on intelligence received, the Santa Cruz police picked up the teenagers at the bar and took them into custody.

The girls, according to police sources, told the court that they had been having difficulties at home with their respective parents.

The presiding judge subsequently ordered the teens to be placed in the care of the state.

They are to return to court on June 13, for the case to again be heard.





13 year old girl missing

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missing-13-year-old-girl-tishana-baker.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Tishana Baker of Love Lane, Montego Bay, St James, who has been missing since Friday, June 7.

She is of dark complexion, medium built and about 165 centimetres (five feet five inches) tall.

Reports are that Tishana was last seen at her home at about 12:40 p.m. wearing a red and white plaid dress.

She has not been heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tishana Baker is being asked to contact the Barnett Street police at (876) 952-2333, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Woman's murder heats up Park, 100 Lane 'war'

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crime-scene-gun.jpgWar between rival gangs from the adjoining communities of 100 Lane and Park Lane off Red Hills Road in St Andrew appears to be on the verge of erupting again. Over recent weeks, tensions have been at a high level in the area, and there have been reports of daily skirmishes between the rival gangs, whose members are said to have largely attended the same schools, and essentially grew up together.

The latest casualty in the gang feud is 44-year-old bar operator, Ann-Marie Brown, also called 'Dawn'.

The police reported that about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Brown was at home when armed thugs invaded the premises and kicked in her door. The gunmen shot the woman several times in her upper body, resulting in her dying on the spot.

On Wednesday the police raided a premises at 100 Lane and arrested six persons after the seizure of six 9mm rounds of ammunition and the barrel of an AK-47 assault rifle. Four of the persons who were arrested were questioned and released, but the cops slapped charges on the other two -Michael Brown and Tyreke Nelson. Brown was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, while Nelson was charged with being armed with an offensive weapon.

Brown is scheduled to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on June 13, while Nelson is scheduled to appear there on June 12.





peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgPeople's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Peter Murcott Bunting will challenge Dr Peter David Phillips for the top post in the Opposition political movement.

"Since our party's East Portland by-election loss, there has been increasing speculation about both the desirability and the likelihood of a leadership of the PNP," Bunting said in the statement.

"Uncertainty can be debilitating for a political movement, and an undeclared campaign is already starting to develop in social media and amongst party members. For good order and transparency, it is best that this speculation be put to rest as soon as possible. Therefore, I confirm that I am offering myself for president of the People's National Party at the annual conference in September. This is a carefully considered decision which I believe to be in the best interest of the party and the country," Bunting related in the statement which can be viewed in its entirety on pages 4 and 5 of this publication.

Bunting, who is said to be overseas, could not be contacted directly for clarification on certain points raised in the statement when the Sunday Observer tried.

And already, it appears that Bunting is putting his apparatus in place to seek the post of president, in a move which is being both welcomed and criticised by supporters of Jamaica's longest-serving political party.

He will not be among those summoned to meet with Dr Phillips in Clarendon today, after the party president called a meeting of MPs, caretakers, and councillors for 10 o'clock -- a move party officials believe was made by Dr Phillips to test his strength in the event of a possible challenge to his leadership at the 81-year-old party's annual conference scheduled for September.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police have released details about the incident that sent scores of persons scampering for cover in Half Way Tree last evening, saying it was a "running gun-battle" between two men.

When the dust cleared, according to police reports, one person was killed and four others injured.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

A firearm was also seized in the incident, the police said.

The police Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) said, in a statement today, that a man suspected of being involved in the gunfight is in custody while the other remains at large.

According to CCU, the shooting started around 5p.m. at a plaza on Constant Spring Road and continued onto Courtney Walsh Drive.

Police sources reported that the attack appeared to have emanated from a contract killing.

Amid frantic scampering for cover by members of the public, police personnel in the area reportedly intervened and one of the alleged attackers was shot and wounded and held by the police. He is now hospitalised under police guard. A firearm was reportedly taken from him.

A video circulating on social media captured some of the action.

The injured persons are being treated at hospital.

The police are asking persons with information on the whereabouts of the other gunman to contact the Half Way Tree Police at 876-926-8185 or 876-926-2551, police emergency number 119, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station.





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