Recently in Jamaica Category

Election Pushes Back New School Term

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The reopening of school for the Easter term has been pushed back by almost a week, due to the general election. The date for the resumption, which was originally scheduled for January 3, is now set for January 9. Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Grace McLean said the delay would not affect students, as plans have been put in place to accommodate them for the stipulated time for the school year. The Education Regulation mandates that students should be given 190 days for the school year. "The election will be the 29th and most of the schools are going to be used and we can't say if everything is going to be restored for school to begin on the 3rd, so we tried to identify within the school year, those four days that we had for the Easter term so we have actually placed them elsewhere on the school calendar so that we will still maintain the 190 days," McLean said.
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Jamaica 50 Celebrations Blast Off On New Year's Day

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Plans for the country's 50th anniversary celebrations next year are well advanced, with the activities set to begin on January 1, with fireworks on the waterfront, downtown Kingston, and at various locations across the island. The celebrations, with the slogan 'Jamaica 50: Feel the heart and soul of a nation', will culminate in a similar manner on December 31, 2012. Jamaica 50 is being led by a National Planning Committee, chaired by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, with membership from various sectors, including culture, tourism and other government groups; the Opposition, the private sector, youth organisations; religious and civic groups and other sectors. The committee is supported by the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, which is co-ordinating and implementing the programme of activities. Salmon said a series of entertainment activities would take place at the waterfront event, including a praise and worship session at midnight. He pointed out that the main highlights of the year-long celebrations will be in August 2012, the month Jamaica gained independence from Great Britain in 1962.
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Sorreal Recipe

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Ingredients: dried sorrel, dried ginger, sugar, allspice

1/8 tea spoon ground allspice (pimento) or about 12 whole allspice (optional)
6 oz dried sorrel
2 rounded table spoon dry ginger
8 cups water
2.5 cups water for re-draft
1.5 cups white sugar

Yields 8.5 cups of drink

1. Spread the sorrel out on aluminum foil or a white cloth which will make it easy to spot and remove any debris or unfit sorrel pieces.

2. After you have cleaned the sorrel pour it into a large cooking pot with 8 cups of water. Add the the two rounded tablespoons of ginger.

3. Boil the mixture for10 minutes after it begins to boil. Remove immediately and pour through a strainer into a suitable container.

4. Return the remains from the straner and return to the cooking pot and add 2.5 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil again and remove after 10 minutes.

5. Strain the mixture and discard the residue.

6. Sweeten with 1.5 cups of white sugar or to taste.

7. Cool then serve over ice. Refrigerate the remainder. 

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Order Your Exotic Christmas Fruit Cake Today

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JM $950/ lbs 

Christmas Cake With Exotic Fruits 

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Has Gaza Slim reported to the police as yet?

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The police had sent out an advisory for Portmore Empire artiste, Gaza Slim to report to them last week, but the date has gone and we have not heard any word about it. Gaza Slim had reported to the Star that Lizard, one of the men whose murder her boss Kartel is charged, had robbed her. The cops say they have the phone with the text sent to Gaza Slim telling her to make the report to the police. We await the outcome of this one eagerly.
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Audley Shaw gets bold on the campaign trail

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Sunday night in Manchester was the night for bold, peppery statements from Audley Shaw. According to Shaw's predictions, "Collin Virgo will retire Michael Peart in South Manchester because him tired and needs a little rest. Timothy Scarlet in North West Manchester is going to take care of little Peter Phillips (Mikael Phillips, son of PNP campaign director, Dr Peter Phillips). We gwine send him back to town to him daddy. "And when it comes to the little one from Central Manchester, you know who mi a talk, im so brite, him say him going to sue Man-A-Yard, and him call upon Man-A-Yard to resign. An a seh to him, a gwine to make Danville Walker pepper him," Shaw said. He continued, "And a seh to him tonight, him retired one time from South East Clarendon. And when Danville Walker done wid him, him going to retire permanently from politics. Because Danville Walker is going to give him a political castration that he will never, ever forget," Shaw told the labourites. Shaw also vowed to demolish Dr Peter Phillips in the upcoming national debates. "An Peter Phillips seh him want to debate mi, a caan wait to debate Peter Phillips. A gwine to fix him business. When I catch him, when de day come when you hear that Man-A-Yard to debate Peter Phillips, go home early. Get out yuh hot beer, get out yuh white rum an Pepsi, get out yuh cranberry juice, and watch Man-A-Yard tek out Peter Phillips," he said.
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The long wait to hear the date of the next general elections is finally over. Jamaicans are to go to the polls on December 29, 2011. Nomination Day is Monday December 12, 2011. Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader, Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement at a mass meeting in Mandeville, Manchester Sunday evening. The announcement comes two weeks after the Prime Minister indicated at the JLP's Annual Conference that general elections would be held before yearend. Many persons have voiced the opinion that the month of December is not a good time to hold general elections as it will interfere with traditional Christmas celebrations.
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English: This is an example of the angst cause...

The US media is reporting another case of Jamaican lottery scammers targeting an unsuspecting elderly victim. A resident of Renton in Washington has been swindled out of more than US$16,000 after receiving a telephone call from Jamaica informing her that she had won the lottery. The woman paid over the money during a four month period. She said a man first called in July claiming that he was from an organization known as "Winners International" and that the widow had won a US$2.5 million lottery. After dozens of phone calls and at least 31 wire transfers, the woman sent more than US$16,000 from her bank accounts and her late husband's retirement plan. She even sold jewelry in order to meet the demands of the Jamaican scammers. The woman is now broke.
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Police identify KPH suicidal patient

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The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the police have confirmed reports that a 44-year-old man is suspected to have committed suicide on the compound of the Kingston Public Hospital on Thursday night. The man has been identified as Christopher Adams of Moore Street, Kingston 13. Mr. Adams, who was patient at the hospital, is believed to have jumped from the balcony of a ward. According to reports, about 9:25, he was seen wandering around the compound. Shortly after, he was found by hospital staff lying on the ground. He was later pronounced dead. SERHA says it has since launched an investigation into the incident.
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JLP councillor/caretaker murdered

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A top level probe has been launched into the killing of the Jamaica Labour Party Councillor/Caretaker for the Claremont Division in St. Ann, Ryan Beatle. Mr. Beatle was stabbed to death on Wednesday night in the community of Crescent Park in Golden Grove, Claremont. About 11 o'clock the Councillor/Caretaker's body was found lying face down outside his Toyota Corolla motorcar which had the engine running. The body had several stab wounds and the throat was slashed. Details were not available as up to early Thursday morning detectives were still processing the scene. It could not be ascertained whether a motive has been established for the killing of the JLP representative. And JLP candidate for South East St. Ann, Oneil Esteen, has condemned the deadly attack on the Councillor/Caretaker. He called for Mr. Beatle's killer to be brought to justice. "I really regret this cruel act and I condemn this act and I pray that the Lord will find the culprit and bring the person to justice. We need to promote peace and love at this time. I am against what took place tonight. He was a strong, vibrant, industrious man, decent, honest, not a man with any criminal background," Mr. Esteen said.
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Transport Minister Mike Henry resigns

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Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry last night submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Andrew Holness as the flood of concerns over the management of projects by the National Works Agency (NWA) continued. Henry's decision came on the heels of yesterday's revelation during Parliament's Public Accounts Committee that more than $60 million was spent on furniture for the NWA's offices, in addition to the $102 million refurbishing that sparked controversy after it was revealed in the auditor general's special report on the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). "In light of the ongoing attacks on the JDIP, which continue despite the prime minister and I having acted to address the issue, as the line minister, I take full responsibility for the issues which have arisen, and today tendered my resignation as minister of transport and works with immediate effect," Henry said in a late night release. He becomes the second casualty of what is a deepening JDIP scandal, after former NWA CEO Patrick Wong was forced to resign. "There is nothing to hide about my stewardship of the JDIP, which is very important to the country, and I look forward to the conclusion of the ongoing investigations." Henry added: "I thank all concerned for their support over the years I occupied the position as a member of the Cabinet, especially Central Clarendon which I represent in Parliament, and from where I will be focusing more of my energy at this time."
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Election date will be announced on Sunday

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Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) campaign director Karl Samuda has declared that Prime Minister Andrew Holness will this weekend in Mandeville, Manchester, definitely announce the date for the much-anticipated general election. "Make no mistake about it, the election date will be announced on Sunday in Mandeville by the prime minister," Samuda reportedly told Jamaica's daily newspaper, The Gleaner, yesterday. Scoffing at speculation that the party machinery was disorganised, the JLP campaign director suggested that the media had misread the signs and stressed that this was the first time the leadership of the JLP had unambiguously signalled the date would be announced. Asked whether he could definitively state that Holness was ready, Samuda seemed confident. "Yes, of course, the meeting is Sunday night, we certainly wouldn't be convening a meeting in Mandeville Square for just mere merriment." When pressed about lingering doubts in the public domain, Samuda said: "I just know that the prime minister, when he speaks, he is to be taken seriously and he has indicated to the nation that the next time he speaks on a platform at a mass meeting or public rally he will be indicating the date of the next election."
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Conditional visa waiver for Colombians

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Cabinet has approved a conditional waiver of visas for persons traveling from Colombia to Jamaica. Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett says the move is in a bid to boost tourist arrivals from the South American country. Mr. Bartlett explained that the visa waiver will only apply to Colombians on a visit to Jamaica for thirty days or less and for tourism purposes. Jamaicans travelling to Colombia currently do not need a visa. And the Tourism Minister says the initiative will facilitate reciprocity and easier passage for Colombian visitors. Mr. Bartlett further noted that the move is part of his Ministry's ongoing marketing thrust to attract tourists from South America and other emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.

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PNP to submit vote buying evidence to Ombudsman

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The Opposition is turning up the heat on the Jamaica Labour Party following allegations on the weekend of vote buying. The People's National Party (PNP) has announced that it will be submitting evidence of the practice to Political Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair to facilitate a probe. Addressing a PNP rally on Sunday night in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, General Secretary Peter Bunting declared that unnamed JLP members were issuing money vouchers to constituents. He likened the activity to vote buying. On Monday Bishop Blair said he was prepared to investigate Mr. Bunting's claim as soon as a complaint is forwarded to him. Dr. Peter Phillips, PNP Campaign Director, told RJR News on Monday night the Opposition has evidence that efforts are being made to influence voters and will present it to the Ombudsman. Additionally, Dr. Phillips says the Opposition will be keeping the spotlight on the JLP in the event that the practice continues. "We will send it forward to the Ombudsman so he can be alerted to it in case it rears its ugly head again elsewhere," Dr. Phillips said. When our news centre contacted senior officials of the JLP on Monday night they declined to comment on the vote buying allegations. Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips has criticised Member of Parliament for Northern Clarendon, Laurence Broderick, for putting his photograph on vouchers issued under the Human and Social Development Constituency Development Fund. Mr. Broderick is insisting that he has done nothing wrong. But according to Dr. Phillips, the practice is offensive. "It is not that people benefited from the taxpayers' money, it is that the Jamaica Labour Party was using the taxpayers' money in an effort to secure political advantage from the taxpayers' money in a crass and crude way in putting their pictures on the vouchers and suggesting that this was a JLP benefit rather than a benefit to which people are entitled from the Government of Jamaica," Dr. Phillips said.
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A December to remember at Hedonism II in Negril

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Hedonism II promises a December to remember this Christmas with something for one and all, over the age of eighteen that is. The 2011 Men of Dream competition promises to be a buffet of unrestrained treats showcasing a combination of awesome talent, magnetic charming personalities and characters as solid as a rock. In short, a variety of men with one aim, to sweep all woman off their feet. The twelve hot hunks will compete in a week-long series of contests that will culminate on Saturday December 10 when a winner will be chosen. Sectional competitions will run throughout the week and scores for events such as the sports challenge, the magic hands massage contest and the provocative pillow talk test will go towards final night totals. The guys are mostly from across the United States and Canada but this year there are two entrants from Australia. One American entrant is a US Air Force veteran and a licensed pilot. Jamaica has three entrants competing as well, Apolo, Kenroy Larman and Andre Brown from Kingston and Romeo Mitchell from Portmore, St. Catherine. The Friday before will see the staging of the international baby got back top model event to follow a week of erotic model shoots for the WET Calendar series and fashion showcase with the twelve sexy got ass girls wearing the new bikini line from Miss Pam Rodriguez of Los Angeles called pure Rodri swimwear. To top off the already 24 hot sexy guys and gals will be an additional 12 of the most gorgeous live body canvases eyes have ever behold for the Hedonism exotic body art exhibition body painting week with the Jamaican Me Crazy Bikini team. This includes nightly presentations of the girls body-painted by some of the world's most famous body painters to the resorts theme of that evening. At Hedonism II no two nights are the same hence there is a different theme night Monday through Sunday such as Naughty School Reunion, Pirates, Fetish, Rock Star, Mask Parade to list a few. Hedonism 11 is an adult all-inclusive playground for pleasure that nourishes the body, the mind, the spirit and the soul.

New board in place for JaRIA

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With a new board of directors in place, chairman and executive director of the Jamaica Reggae Industry association (JaRIA), Charles Campbell, says the organisation is now an umbrella entity that is representative of Jamaica's music industry. Campbell said the three-year-old organisation chose its new directors less than two weeks ago; increasing the number from 11 to 15. On this new board, he says there will be representatives from different groups such as the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers' Vernal 'Junior' Weir; a representative of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes & Affiliates', Frankie Campbell O.D.; a representative of the Sound Systems Association, Winston 'Wee Pow' Powell; and a representative of Manifesto Jamaica, Rupert Abishai Hoilett. The other directors on the board are K. Michael 'Ibo' Cooper O.D., J.P. (chairman), Charles H.E. Campbell (vice-chairman/executive director), Junior Lincoln, Mary Isaacs Black, Stephen Stewart J.P., L. Nichole Brown, Coleen Douglas, Paul Love, Shani Nembhard, Deleon 'Jubba' White, and Carol Lawrence.

Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller has threatened to stay away from official Government functions. The threat follows what Simpson Miller said was the instruction of a state minister to cancel a function of the National Youth Council, purely because she was slated to be the guest speaker. Last night, the state minister for youth Senator Warren Newby was unavailable for response to the claims by the Opposition Leader.

Heptones member Barry Llewelyn is dead

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Barry Llewellyn, from Jamaican rocksteady and reggae vocal trio, The Heptones has died. Llewelyn fell ill and was taken to the Kingston Public hospital where he died in the wee hours this morning. The Heptones founding member Earl Morgan spoke to Music News this morning. Earl remembers his fondest moment with Barry. Leroy Sibbles who was the lead singer of The Heptones before he started his solo career, remembers working with Barry. The Heptones are a Jamaican rocksteady and reggae vocal trio most active in the 1960s and early 1970s. They were one of the more significant trios of that era, and played a major role in the gradual transition between ska and rocksteady with their three-part harmonies. Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn first came together as "The Hep Ones" in 1965 but later changed their name to "The Heptones". The name was chosen by Earl Morgan.
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Professor Aggrey Brown is dead

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Former Dean of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Aggrey Brown has died. Professor Brown was also a former director of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the UWI. Professor Brown, who had been ailing for some time, died this morning at the Tony Thwaites Wing at the University Hospital of the West Indies. In 2002, after spending 22 years as head of the CARIMAC, Pofessor Brown left to become the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Education at the time. A past headboy of Cornwall College, Montego Bay, St James, Professor Brown is the author of several books and numerous articles, and has presented several papers at local and international conferences. Before joining CARIMAC in 1974, he taught in various capacities at such American universities as Howard, Rutgers, and Princeton. He is a former newspaper columnist, TV cameraman, radio announcer, news analyst, and moderator of the call-in programme 'The Public Eye'.
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Lots of paparazzi at Marco Dean's party

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It's time of the year again. Marco Dean's birthday party. This time at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The media was invited and was out in full force. Marco Dean and his mom were caught up in the videolight and this time the little boy seemed more relaxed than in previous years. So this begs the question: Is Marco Dean overexposed?
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JLP, PNP finalise candidate lists

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There are more signs on Monday morning that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is finalising preparations for the General Election. RJR News has been informed that the party's Secretariat will on Monday unveil the list of 63 candidates.....READ MORE...
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Céline Dion

The Art of Music Productions (AMP) is the new company that will produce the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2012.Making the announcement at the launch of the event yesterday at the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay, AMP's CEO, Stephen Dear, said TurnKey Productions, under whom the event has been produced for the last 16 years, have been relinquished.Walter Elmore remains chairman and executive producer of the festival, but has added a fresh team from the business community that includes marketer Oliver Mair and accountant Winsome Minott. Financial guru Leo Williams complements an older group of directors which includes artiste management agent Jerome Hamilton, hotelier Carol Bourke and engineer Martin Elmore. Future revenue streams for the AMP will include large-scale music festivals; ticketing/box-office services; talent booking and artiste management; theatrical productions; equipment rentals and multimedia services. "Turnkey was quite a popular name worldwide and, therefore, difficult to do international business, and so the name-change process started five years ago," revealed Dear. With AMP's first major event being Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012, the group announced a mega line-up of artistes who will perform come January 26, closing with headline act Celine Dion on the 28th. "Bringing an act the magnitude of a Celine Dion is something I have dreamt of since the day I started the Jazz festival 16 years ago," Walter Elmore admitted, adding that he never thought he would be able to do it. With admiration, the AMP chairman spoke of the multi-million-dollar album seller, Dion, "A factor in the entertainment, when you see a Celine Dion performance, it is etched in your mind," he asserted. "We wanted a name that was versatile and spoke to the product we currently offer," he concluded. Dion, who really does not share the limelight with other artistes because of her reputation, will play alongside Kelly Rowland, Jamaican-Canadian Jully Black and jazz great Nicole Henry, an amazing performer who graced the stage in 2004. In celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of Independence, AMP has announced a stellar mix of musicians who will showcase the evolution of the country's music. They include Toots Hibbert, Marcia Griffiths, Yellow Man, #Shaggy, John Holt and Half Pint. Celebrating its 17th year in 2012, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival will operate with one of the largest budgets ever, said the new CEO. He estimates that the event will cost approximately US$3 million.
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Cayman Islands ease visa restrictions for Jamaicans

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There has been a slight ease in the visa requirements for Jamaicans entering the Cayman Islands. Under regulations approved by Cabinet, Jamaicans younger than 15 and older than 70 will no longer require a visa to enter. According to Caymanian officials, the change was requested as part of an easing of visa requirements sought by the country's government. Immigration law regulations state that all countries within the British Commonwealth can have their nationals land within the Cayman Islands without producing a visa, with the exception of eleven countries, including Jamaica. The change to visa requirements follows the refusal of Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor in September to endorse a Cabinet proposal to ease visa requirements for Jamaican nationals. Governor Taylor cited concerns over national security in doing so.
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US investigates Sandals hotel

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The Sunday Herald cover story proclaims, 'US probes Sandals; Hotel chain allegedly paid US$1.6 million to ex Turks and Caicos premier (Michael Missick). According to the report, the United States Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether Sandals Resorts International or its chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart made political contributions to the seeming benefit of disgraced former Turks and Caicos premier, Michael Missick. The Sunday Herald interviewed investigator Brian McCormick, who was in Jamaica recently collecting statements and questioning persons, including former top Sandals executive, Dr Jeffrey Pine. Pyne is said to be the defendant in a multimillion dollar lawsuit in the Bahamian Supreme Court. According to the newspaper, the US is probing Sandals' operation in the Turks and Caicos islands, where it is alleged that US$1.65 million of the resort chain's funds was improperly transferred through the Bahamas to Missick. Details of the US probe are revealed in a legal action filed in the Bahamas Supreme Court on behalf of Bahamas-domiciled Sandals Resorts International 2000, a company that acts as the parent for numerous entities that own Sandals hotels throughout the Caribbean. Several telephone calls to Sandals' legal officer Dmitri Singh's office in Montego Bay were reportedly not returned. The action, filed on June 30, 2011, alleges that Dr Jeffrey Pyne, a former director of Sandals Resorts International 2000, and the group's former treasurer and governmental liaison officer, breached his fiduciary duty and employment contract by causing the Bahamian company and other Sandals entity to make a series of seven purportedly unauthorised wired transfers to three Turks and Caicos-based companies between March 3 2005 and October 26, 2006. The three entities that received the wire transfers included two law firms, Chalmers & Coe and Missick a& Stanbrook, both of which were headed by two of Michael Missick's brothers, Chal and Ariel. The other firm, Prestigious Propertities, is a real estate company run by another of Missick's brothers, Washington. Sandals Resorts Interntional 2000, in its statement of Claim, is alleging that the seven wire transfers totalling US$1.65 million, "were not made for any legitimate, commercial or other purpose of the plaintiff's business or interest". In further claims that "the purpose of most of the transfers" was to equip the three Turks and Caicos companies with funds "to pay the debts of certain third parties in Turks and Caicos", a cryptic reference to Michael Missick. Sandals is seeking the return of its allegedly missing US$1.65 million, either through the recovery of the original funds, or compensation from Dr Pyne. In his defence, Pyne has charged that the Bahamian action initiated against him, stems "from an investigation being carried out by the United States authorities in respect of whether Sandals or Gordon 'Butch' Stewart made political contributions to Michael Missick". "Based on the same, Mr Stewart has wrongfully sought to allege that I, in my capacity as managing director of Gorstew, forwarded the funds to Michael Missick without Mr Stewart's approval or instructions," Dr Pyne explained. "This is a fabrication which I have strenuously denied,and have taken steps to explain my involvement", In a September 22, 2011 affidavit, Dr Pyne alleged that the Bahamian Supreme Court action had been filed to avoid litigation in either the Turks & Caicos or Jamaica, and that Sandals was merely forum shopping. "The flow of all funds through the resort chain Dr Pyne alleged was controlled by Mr Stewart through Unique Vacations, Sandals' worldwide marketing and reservations agent, and Phyllis Thompson in Barbados. All payments of special requests or unusual bills had to be approved by Mr Stewart, Dr Pyne claimed. The Sunday Herald story noted that in response, via an October 21, 2011 affidavit, Dmitri Singh alleged that Dr Pyne was merely seeking to besmirch Sandals' and Mr Stewart's reputation by revealing the US investigations. Singh also admitted that there was an ongoing investigation by the US authorities into Sandals affairs in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
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THE RECENTLY published National Geographic: Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe has listed Devon House as the fourth-best place in the world to eat ice cream. The book noted the following: "Devon House is a masterpiece of Caribbean Victorian architecture and home to the island's most celebrated ice-cream stand. "The 27 flavours run a broad gamut, from traditional cherry and pistachio to exotic island treats like mango, coconut, and soursop. There is even an offbeat, beer-based ice cream called Devon Stout. Grab a cone and recline in the sprawling gardens," the rave review of the Jamaican-based ice-cream parlour continued.
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TOP 10 Places to eat Ice Cream

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According to Nat. Geo. 

1. Capogiro Gelato, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, St Louis, Missouri
3. Bombay Ice Creamery, San Francisco, California 

4. Devon House, Kingston, Jamaica 

5. Helados Scannapieco, Buenos Aires, Argentina 

6. Ice Cream City, Tokyo, Japan 

7. Glacé, Sydney, Australia 

8. A'jia Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey 

9 Vaffelbageriet, Copenhagen, Denmark 

10. Perchè No!, Florence, Italy
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Seh Sup'm Poetry
This month's installment of  Seh Sup'm Poetry and Live Music on October 30th  will be a benefit performance for Ayala Bennett, a grade 13 student of Ardenne High School who has been diagnosed with cancer. Ayala is brilliant student and an ardent lover of poetry who herself shows much promise as a poet.  She has always supported poetry events such as Seh Sup'm Poetry as much as her schedule as a student allows and is known in the poetry circles as a "Friend of Poetry".
On receiving the news of her illness the decision was taken to have a benefit show of Seh Sup'm Poetry to help with her medical expenses with her parents' consent.
The event at the Village Blues Bar at the Orchid Plaza, 20 Barbican Road, will also feature rare performances from Professor Mervin Morris, renowned poet and university lecture and Dingo, a favourite of the poetry faithful. The "Friends of Ayala" which includes Ayala school mates at Ardenne will also feature on the program performing her favourite pieces as well as her own poetry.
Jamel Hall a recent UWI graduate and former president of the UWI based "Creative Writers Circle" features along with rising Dub Poet Iyunda who has recently released his debut album in Europe and Stevie "Lighting" Newland of the internationally acclaimed roots reggae group Rootz Underground doing an acoustic set.
African and World Beat maestro DJ Iset will provide the musical eclectic sounds which have become the signature sounds of Seh Sup'm poetry.
The show begins at 7pm at the Village Blues Bar until 11pm with admission for the benefit being $700 which will be hosted by Izemi-Clem.
Tickets are available at Bookophilia bookstore located at 92 Hope Rd
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Now Jamaica's youngest prime minister, Andrew Holness accepted the appointment with a promise to work diligently in charting the way forward for a better Jamaica.
On the lawns of King's House in front of hundreds including Members of Parliament, Government officials and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, Prime Minister Holness gave a commitment to tackle corruption, crime and injustice, as well as, to dismantle garrisons. The new prime minister promised to create a new political culture.
He paid tribute to his predecessor Bruce Golding, praising him for the leadership he provided during his tenure.
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What is the retirement age for politicians?

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A new prime minister will be sworn in today. At 39, Andrew Holness will be one of the youngest heads of state in the world. That brings us to the question of the retirement age for politicians. Some leaders in their 80 refuse to step down and when they do hand over to "someone younger" that person is usually in their late seventies.
Here in Jamaica, there are loads of veteran politicians who think they can go on forever.
No disrespect, but it's time for them to pack their bags and go and make way for younger, fresher faces in the Cabinet.
Best of luck, Mr Holness, you will need it.
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ECJ steps up election preparations

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The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) is now in a position to intensify preparations for the General Elections as it has received the first tranche of the $350 million it requested from the Ministry of Finance
Some $200 million was released by the Ministry on Wednesday afternoon following a meeting of the ECJ.
The remaining $150 million is expected next month.
This was confirmed by Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Professor Errol Miller.
He told our news centre with the funds now in place the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) will move into high gear in preparing for the elections.
 "We will immediately move into gear and hope that we get the remainder as soon as possible because our job is to get the system ready for an election," Professor Miller said.
The People's National Party had warned the Government against calling the elections without first providing the EoJ with the funds it requested.
Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher, wrote to Financial Secretary Dr. Wesley Hughes last month stating that the ECJ needed the funds urgently as General Elections could be called at any time.
The bulk of the money will be used to recruit and train Election Day workers as well as purchase equipment.
In the meantime, with the electoral system going into full preparation mode the ECJ will again meet next week.
Professor Miller says it is likely that the Commission will meet weekly until the preparations are completed.
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Wednesday, October 19th 2011 - Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel today announced the lucky winners of its latest online top-up competition in which four customers have won a trip for two to Jamaica to meet the World's Fastest Man and Digicel Brand Ambassador, Usain Bolt.
The winners - Venn Antonio Eustuce Gilkes from Barbados; Costin Tarsoaga from Bermuda; Stanford Brown from Jamaica and Stanley Harold Williams from Turks and Caicos - will each take a guest for this trip to meet Usain Bolt.
On Friday, October 21, the winners will be flown to Kingston's Norman Manley airport (or collected from their home in the case of the Jamaican winner) where they will be met and transported to their luxury hotel. On Saturday, they will be taken on an excursion which includes a visit to the Bob Marley museum and Trenchtown - the place where Bob Marley grew up.
On Saturday night, Usain will host the winners at his very own Kingston hot spot restaurant, Tracks and Records, where the winners will enjoy dinner and chat with the man himself.
Jamaican winner, Stanford Brown, said; "I was so excited when I got the call from Digicel to say I had won as it's the first time I've ever won anything. I'm really looking forward to meeting Usain Bolt and to talking to him all about his world record breaking wins - my friend and I are hugely excited about this whole trip."
The promotion - which ran from September 1 through September 30 - was open to Digicel customers who sent or received online top-up in the Diaspora as well as those in Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.
Digicel's General Manager for the Diaspora, Valérie Estimé, said; "At Digicel, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to keep those customers connected with their loved ones and this latest online top-up promotion - offering customers a chance of a lifetime to meet Usain Bolt - has done just that.
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New board for PBCJ

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After several months without an active board, a new 19-member  board has been appointed for a three-year period to the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) .
Prominent Attorney, George Soutar, has been appointed Chairman, effective September 13.
His deputy is Attorney-at-Law, Arlene-Harrison Henry.
Information Minister, Daryl Vaz says the delay was necessary as the government moved to introduce new legislation governing the PBCJ's  operations.
 "Well it  has been long in coming. We hadserious issues in terms of amending legislation so we could appoint a board. It took longer than expected and I'm very happy that it has been approved by Cabinet" said Mr. Vaz.
The Board includes Merris Murray; Delroy A. Gordon; Journalist,Jennifer Grant; and Sandra Bennett.
Noted educator, Ray Howell; Afika Thompson; Adrienne Pinnock and Princess Lawes are also among the appointees.
Other members of the new board are former Sportscaster, Ian Andrews; Whitney Givans; Glenford Smith; and Businessman, Arnold J.J. Foote.
Rounding off the list of PBCJ board appointees are Reverend Lenworth Anglin and Dr. Alma Blair.
The Financial Secretary and the PBCJ's Chief Executive Officer or their nominees, as well as employee nominee, Kimberly Clarke, will also serve as board members.
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Finance and Planning Minister, Audley Shaw has been diagnosed with a middle ear infection and sinusitis, according to the latest statement from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Mr. Shaw remained under medical observation late Monday afternoon, after falling ill during the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The mid-morning Cabinet meeting was brought to a halt when Cabinet colleagues reportedly noticed that Mr. Shaw was not looking his usual perky self and rushed him to the Tony Thwaites Wing at the University Hospital.
 Daryl Vaz, the Minister with responsibility for Information said Mr. Shaw should be released shortly and would resume full ministerial duties.
Asked what impact Mr. Shaw's illness would have on the ongoing International Monetary Fund talks, Mr. Vaz said there was no need for panic.
 "Things are proceeding with the IMF team, he met with them this morning. The Prime Minister is carrying the ball in Cabinet.... I don't expect that Minister Shaw will be out for any extended period. I expect a day or two from the laymans point of view and even if he is not in office he will continue to give instructions" said the Information Minister
In October 2008, Mr.  Shaw fell ill during a special meeting with Prime Minister Bruce Golding .
He  had to be rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies, where he was admitted for a few days.
Just days ago Mr. Shaw and his wife hurriedly left the island  on an emergency air ambulance, accompanying his two year old daughter Christiana to Florida, to seek urgent medical attention. Reports are that his daughter who was born with complications of the heart has been suffering recently from respiratory distress.
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Calls for general elections intensify

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Calls are growing louder for general elections to be called as soon as a new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader is installed.
Attorney-at-law Arnaldo Brown says outgoing Prime Minister Bruce Golding should bring forward the date for his departure from Jamaica House and clear the way for his successor to seek a mandate from electors.
 "The constitutional formula that is very clear and since they have taken this bold step, I believe that Mr. Golding should really revise his timetable for resignation and get out of the pen and allow Mr. Holness in there and allow Jamaican people to go to the polls sooner rather than later so they can give whoever they feel like the mandate to run this country," Mr. Brown said.
Some political analysts have expressed the view that the JLP should capitalize on the euphoria surrounding Mr. Holness' impending elevation to Party Leader and call the elections earlier than they are constitutionally due.
In the meantime, JLP Chairman Mike Henry says he is not aware that Mr. Golding has any intention of fast tracking his resignation ahead of the party's annual conference.
 "No I have not had any such discussion as chairman nor has the party, as far as I know, had any. The General Secretary is not here so that would be an issue, if it were ever to be discussed, it would have to be raised at Standing Committee and that won't happen until Monday," Mr. Henry said.
On Wednesday [October 5] political analyst, Dr. Paul Ashley, said the government being led by Mr. Golding has become untenable in light of fast-moving political developments.   
According to Dr. Ashley, Prime Minister Golding should fast forward his move from the front line of government and allow Mr. Holness to pick his Cabinet Ministers and get on with the country's business.
However a subsequent statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said Mr. Golding will remain as head of the Government until an official transition and swearing-in takes place at a time and date to be determined.   
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Kartel charged with murder

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Popular dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel has been charged with murder by investigators from the Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT).
The entertainer, whose given name is Adidjah Palmer, has been charged with murder, illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy to murder.
Kartel was charged Monday evening after detectives from the MIT questioned the artiste in the presence of his attorneys Monday afternoon.
The allegation is that on Monday, July 11, Kartel along with other men conspired to murder Barrington Burton, who is otherwise called 'Bossie', a 27 year- old businessman/promoter of a Gregory Park address in St. Catherine.
Mr. Burton was murdered while he was standing with friends along Walkers Avenue in Gregory Park.
A preliminary hearing will take place on Tuesday, October 3 at the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court.
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Commentators rip into Prime Minister's speech

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Prime Minister Bruce Golding is facing criticism for his address to the nation on Sunday night [October 2] with some commentators stating that it did not go far enough in shedding light on his decision to step down as head of the government.       
During the eight minute speech Mr. Golding cited lingering public perceptions about his handling of the Manatt/Coke Affair as one of the reasons which led to his decision to step down.
He said the entire episode had affected him deeply.
Mr. Golding also said it was also time to make way for a younger generation to take up leadership.
But trade unionist and commentator, Helene Davis-White, says the Prime Minister's speech contained nothing new. Mrs. Davis-White said she expected Mr. Golding would have provided a more detailed explanation for his impending departure.
And Reverend Karl Johnson, General Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union, said he expected more substance from the Prime Minister's address. He pointed to the manner in which Mr. Golding treated the Manatt/Coke Affair in his speech.
 "How I heard the Prime Minister is almost to say I have been the sacrificial lamb for standing up for principles which suggest to me that even the apology he made is now again brought into question. I think he hasn't gotten it, he hasn't gotten it that it would have had to taken somebody who would have been a political neophyte to have not known that to impose yourself in matter of that nature would have justly left a scar," Reverend Johnson said.
Meanwhile, the People's National Party has also been critical of Mr. Golding's speech.
According to Peter Bunting, General Secretary of the PNP, the Prime Minister did not show much remorse for the Manatt/Coke Affair.
 "The truth is that the Prime Minister had to resign because of a complete loss of credibility and in those circumstances you would have expected him to be more penitent and remorseful. He seemed instead to be attempting to use the occasion of resignation to give a fresh start to the over four year old JLP administration," Mr. Bunting said.
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JLP members in shock - Holness

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Despite being viewed as a top contender to replace Prime Minister Golding as Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness says it is too early to speak about the future leadership of the party.
According to Mr. Holness, there are processes for the JLP to decide on the way forward.
He disclosed that the JLP is still absorbing Mr. Golding's announcement not to seek re-election as Party Leader and to step down as Prime Minister.
"I think most persons are in shock by the announcement ... there is a process that the party will have to go through to ensure that it remains strong, that the delegates are informed about what has happened and that they understand what it means. It's very important to keep the delegates and the party support and to find mechanisms for their impressions to be heard," Mr. Holness said.
He added that the public will be kept in the loop on developments in the JLP.
"It is also important for the party to communicate with the public so that there's no uncertainty during this period of time. It is going to be a very involved process of managing a transition, if a transition is to occur," Mr. Holness stated.
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JLP Officers To Meet Golding

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The resignation of Bruce Golding as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), and Prime Minister is expected to feature highly at today's meeting of the party's officer corp.
Minister with responsibility for information, Daryl Vaz, said the officer core has requested to meet with Golding to discuss the development.
In a statement yesterday, Golding said the challenges of the last four years have taken a toll on him and it is now appropriate to make way for new leadership.
Hours later, the JLP's Central Executive unanimously rejected the resignation for the second time in just over a year.
However, Daryl Vaz said while Golding is open to dialogue, he is maintaining that his decision to step down is final.
According to him, Golding's decision to step down is one that has been under consideration for sometime now.
Vaz described Golding as a good leader who will be sadly missed.
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New Leader To Be Selected On Nov 19

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Just under 5,000 delegates will elect the new leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) when the party stages the voting session of its annual conference on November 19 at the National Arena.
The candidates to replace Prime Minister Bruce Golding as party leader will be known by midnight on October 20 when nominations close.
JLP Chairman Mike Henry had originally announced that nominations would close on October 21 but this was corrected yesterday by the party's general secretary, Aundré Franklin, during a media briefing called to provide details on how the new leader would be chosen.
According to Franklin, the Electoral Office of Jamaica has been contracted to conduct the voting exercise and the country should know Golding's replacement before 6 p.m. on election day.
"We intend to start at 9:30 a.m. Voting is scheduled to commence at 11:30 a.m. and to be completed by 4:30 p.m. Between the hours of 4:30 and 5:30, we expect to have the results for a new leader of the Jamaica Labour Party."
Most of the nearly 5,000 delegates will come from the 63 constituencies islandwide with the JLP affiliates also providing delegates.
At least 500 delegates will have to be registered at the National Arena for the election to take place.
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PM to address the nation on Sunday

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Daryl Vaz, the Minister with responsibility for Information, says Prime Minister Bruce Golding will be addressing a range of issues in his national broadcast to the nation at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2.
"We can look forward to the Prime Minister addressing the nation on Sunday (when) he will speak about the issue of the transition and the critical issues facing the country that we're all aware of," Mr. Vaz said.
The Information Minister also disclosed that the Prime Minister has been receiving commendations from international partners for his leadership over the four years.
"The Prime Minister has received a number of personal calls to him from high ranking members of governments around the world and also financial and multilateral institutions commending him on the way that he has operated and handled the government's affairs in his four years and looks forward to continued good close working relationships with the Government of Jamaica," Mr. Vaz stated.
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Police on high alert for PNP conference

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The Police High Command says the law will be fully enforced for this weekend's annual conference of the People's National Party, PNP.
The police say delegates and supporters who will be attending the  annual conference will not be allowed to take into the venues firearms, knives, drugs, ice picks, machetes, umbrellas, glass bottles or any other items that can be used to cause serious harm or injury.  
 The conference will be held at  various venues across the corporate area starting Friday, September 16, and culminating in the public session Sunday, September 18 at the National Arena.
Delegates and supporters are further advised that all persons entering the venues will be subject to search.  
The police have warned that that no vending will be allowed outside of the designated areas  and that no provision will be made for the storage of prohibited or restricted items at any of the venues.
 Motorists have been advised that  all provisions of the Road Traffic Act will be strictly enforced.They are also warned not to allow passengers to hang from the doors of motor buses, sit on top of motor vehicles, or have any part of the body protruding from the motor vehicles.
 The police are also imploring drivers to obey the speed limit, and to desist from dangerous and careless driving on the nation's roads this weekend.
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Detectives recovered more than 300 pounds of marijuana Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx.
Jamaican reggae veteran Denroy Morgan was arrested on Wednesday after blowing through a stop sign in the Bronx, New York. But his traffic violation -- he also wasn't wearing a seat belt -- was only the tip of the iceberg, according to police reports.
After police pulled him over, the smell of marijuana in the car led nearby narcotics investigators -- in the area on an unrelated matter -- to drop by. After some questioning, Morgan admitted he had marijuana in the trunk. Two bags weighing 25 pounds were discovered and the singer, the first Reggae artist signed to RCA Records, was arrested and charged with possession and driving without a seat belt.
According to the Daily News, Morgan showed up at the arraignment wearing a "blue camouflage outfit with a white porkpie hat." He was being held in lieu of $8,000 bail and its unclear if he remains behind bars.
Morgan's career peaked in the mid-1980s with reggae-disco hits like "I'll Do Anything for You" and his RCA album, "Make My Day." His latest album, "Link Up to Ethiopia," was released July 14, according to his website.
Morgan's arrest actually set in motion a much larger pot bust in the Bronx.
Investigators who had allegedly seen the singer leave a house with the bags returned to the location, where they arrested a man named Wayne Swavy (officially, for not wearing his seat belt). He had 16 pounds in his car. After obtaining a search warrant, an investigation of the house turned up an enormous 310-pound stack of marijuana bricks, estimated to have been worth between $140,000 to $350,000, depending on its potency.
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Following Jamaica's impressive performance at the just-concluded 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships South Korean, the host city of Daegu has promised assistance for Jamaica's 50th Independence celebrations. 
The commitment comes on the heels of the slashing of $15 million from the $50 million that had been set aside by the Government for next year's milestone Independence festivities.
Kim Yon Chang, the Vice-Mayor of Political Affairs for Daegu Metropolitan City, gave the pledge of assistance, during a meeting with Olivia "Babsy" Grange, the Minister of Sports. 
Ms. Grange says the assistance will be for fireworks and lighting effects.
It will also provide for exchanges in the areas of sports and culture.
The Sports Minister also met with the South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, to explore the sharing of knowledge and expertise by Jamaica and South Korea in sports and culture and, in particular, athlete development, coaching and use of technology.
Ms. Grange says South Korea is strategically important to Jamaica,  offering tremendous possibilities for the promotion of Jamaican sports, music and culture.

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When Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt takes part in next year's Olympic opening ceremony in London, he along with his team-mates will be dressed by Cedella Marley, the daughter of another Jamaican legend, the late reggae singer Bob Marley.  
Cedella told The Times that the strip would be a mix of 'Grace Jones meets her Dad'.
She said "Everything looks fabulous ... I love playing with patterns and playing textures.
Cedella noted that the Catch A Fire album from her father had particularly influenced her design.
She also said she had also been commissioned to design the suits for the opening and closing ceremonies in London.
Cedella ended by saying said that Bolt and his team-mates are simply carrying on a Jamaican tradition in proving they are winners and she is so happy that they have also asked her to design opening ceremony and podium wear.
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VP Records and Warner Music Nashville  will release 'Reggae's Gone Country' on August 30, a seamless musical dialogue between Kingston and Nashville that connects the roots of both genres. The ground-breaking compilation features classic country hits covered by Jamaica's top musicians  (Beres Hammond, Tarrus Riley, Tessanne Chin, Etana, Luciano, Sly & Robbie) as well as supporting vocals provided by original recording artist and country icon Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers.
Country music devotee Cristy Barber, Vice President of Marketing and Promotions at VP Records, the world's largest reggae label, and a Grammy nominated producer for the 2003 dancehall reggae-hip hop compilation album Def Jamaica, envisioned this project two years ago and teamed up on lead production with John Rich of the multi-platinum selling country duo Big & Rich and the winner of this year's Celebrity Apprentice, and the acclaimed Jamaican saxophonist and top reggae producer Dean Fraser.
"Reggae's Gone Country is taking some of Jamaican's favorite classic American country songs and putting their beats and whole instrumentation around it while still having that root of country... It is this crazy cool idea," says John Rich.
The majority of the album was recorded at Kingston's Grafton and the Marley owned Tuff Gong Studios. The tracks were mixed by Errol and Shane Brown, then sent to Nashville where they were embellished with country instrumentation by legendary pedal steel player Mike Johnson and Jonathan Yudkin on fiddle/ banjo with John Rich overseeing the production at Fireside Studios, formerly owned by the late country legend Porter Wagoner.
Barber hopes that the heartfelt renditions of country classics heard on 'Reggae's Gone Country' will introduce and educate music fans everywhere to the talent that exists in Jamaica.
Track Listing:
1. California - Romain Virgo & Larry Gatlin
2. He'll Have To Go - Luciano
3. Wolverton Mountain - Richie Stephens
4. Crazy - Etana
5. The Chair - Tarrus Riley
6. He Stopped Loving Her Today - Beres Hammond
7. Suspicions - Duane Stephenson
8. Don't It Make My Brown Eyes - Tessanne Chin
9. Feel So Right - Gramps Morgan
10. King Of The Road - Freddie McGregor
11. El Paso - Sanchez
12. Flowers On The Wall - L.U.S.T.
13. The Gambler - Busy Signal
14. Straight Tequila Night - Tarrus Riley [iTunes Bonus Track]

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25px| European Union (EU 27)

The European Union (EU) has millions of dollars in grant funds waiting for requests from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dealing with human rights and conflict resolution.

Under its crime-management programme, the EU is willing to provide grants to human-rights groups, conflict-management entities and other NGOs working in related areas, but not many have submitted requests.

"The EU is currently launching another call to organisations in need of support, with a special interest in work against the death penalty, and NGOs which are attentive to this issue," the EU delegation in Jamaica said yesterday.

Entities, including Jamaicans for Justice, the Dispute Resolution Foundation and the Rise Life Management Services, have already benefited from the EU grants.

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The Jamaican Deaf Community erupted in ecstasy last Saturday night as news broke that their queen, Miss Deaf Jamaica - Cassandra Whyte, had won Miss Deaf International 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

It was the first time that a deaf contestant representing Jamaica was competing at an international event. Out of a field of more than 20 young deaf ladies, representing China, The United States of America, Peru, South Africa, Poland, France, Korea, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Sweden, Mongolia and Switzerland, all competing at the 2nd Annual Miss Deaf International, an organisation whose aim is to empower deaf women worldwide, Cassandra walked away, the winner.

First runner-up was Miss Deaf Brazil, while second runner-up went to Miss Deaf France, and third to Miss Deaf Korea.

As the winner, Whyte will be the ambassador for deaf women worldwide.

The competition which lasted two days, from July 14-16, involved a swimsuit section, talent show, national costume section and evening gown.

Whyte, who was the winner of the inaugural Miss Deaf Jamaica last year, is a deaf social worker at the Jamaica Association for the Deaf.

Miss Deaf Jamaica, a new entity formed last year, aims to develop Deaf Jamaican women into role models, advocates ambassadors and spokeswomen.

Whyte's victory is expected to have a huge impact on young Deaf girls in Jamaica.

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Jamaica Festival 2010

Two albums with the compilation of songs of the 20 finalists for the 2011 Jamaica Independence Festival and Gospel Song competitions have been produced by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

Olivia Grange, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, unveiled the albums at a studio launch of the 2011 Jamaica Festival and national Independence celebrations last week.

The Jamaica Independence Festival will be staged during the period July 29 to August 6 under the theme: 'The Journey Continues...' Among the activities being organised by the JCDC are the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation Show, August Fair, World Reggae Dance Championships, Mello Go Roun' and Independence Day Gala.

Winner of the Festival Song competition will receive $1 million, donated by telecommunications company Claro and a new 2011 Nissan Tida, given by Fidelity Motors Limited.

Jamaica Cultural Development Commission

Jamaica Festival 2010
Two albums with the compilation of songs of the 20 finalists for the 2011 Jamaica Independence Festival and Gospel Song competitions have been produced by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

Olivia Grange, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, unveiled the albums at a studio launch of the 2011 Jamaica Festival and national Independence celebrations last week.

The Jamaica Independence Festival will be staged during the period July 29 to August 6 under the theme: 'The Journey Continues...' Among the activities being organised by the JCDC are the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation Show, August Fair, World Reggae Dance Championships, Mello Go Roun' and Independence Day Gala.

Ms Grange said Jamaicans have a lot to celebrate.

"Jamaica, this small dot in the ocean has made such a mark on the big world that we must celebrate... We are a great little country."

The minister added that there is much more to be achieved and called for Jamaicans to re-double their efforts to realise the dreams of the ancestors.

The winner will be selected at the Jamaica Festival Song and Gospel Song Finals scheduled to take place at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Friday, July 29 and Sunday, July 31, respectively.

Winner of the Festival Song competition will receive $1 million, donated by telecommunications company Claro and a new 2011 Nissan Tida, given by Fidelity Motors Limited.

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Jamaica Music 50: Taking control of the music

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 wailer skatalite.jpg

The celebration of Fifty Years of Jamaican Music, incorporating The Wailers and The Skatalites

, will provide the soundtrack for a worldwide movement designed to develop and activate strategies to reclaim and take control of reggae music, while positioning it for the next Fifty Years.

Under the theme "Free Jah People With Music", Bunny Wailer's Solomonic Productions, in association with Talawa IndiGenius, will create the illuminating backdrop designed to inform and empower singers and players of reggae music, producers and its adherents.

 Simply entitled Jamaica Music 50, this movement aims to secure representation with the approval for reclaiming 

this great musical wealth and legacy presently qualified for public domain.  This approaching reality encourages and motivates the purpose, will, reason and challenge for Talawa to transform the past and present experience into a beneficial, progressive and prosperous future going into the next Fifty Years of Jamaica's music.

Talawa IndiGenius, spearheaded 

by Maxine Stowe and incorporating a team of qualified like minded creative professionals, is the qualified management capable of implementing this change.

As Bunny Wailer pointed out, "Jamaica's music 

surviving the first Fifty Years of its 

existence as an industry was only mainly due to the faith, devoted love, respect, hope and expectation that the freedom and liberty agitated for on behalf of the African oppressed people would be possible to achieve due to the constant pounding of Reggae Music,"

He noted that Jamaica Music 50 has been created as a device to correct related abuses inflicted upon the authors, composers, 

artists, musicians and producers. Jamaica Music 50 will be engaging the artist community to create unique 50 track compilations of their respective careers, while unveiling the truth about the creators of reggae music.

It cannot be denied that the impact of The Wailers and their solo careers will benefit from a fresh, true and historically grounded narrative which will give voice to the solidarity of their musical expression.

"It will also properly align this period of their career with the foundation of The Wailers Legacy, which, despite being disturbed by corporate machinations and greed, remained together as a musical family of brothers, peers, cousins, nieces and nephews," Maxine Stowe stated, while noting that living legend, Bunny Wailer, will be the face of this campaign.

To this end, there will be an official launch on July 23 at the Coral Cliff Hotel in Montego Bay. Quite appropriately, July 23 is the birthday of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie.

Jamaica Music 50 Campaign is marketed through Talawa/Street Virus. 

Street Virus is a marketing and branding agency located in Los Angeles that specializes in placing brands in the forefront of people's minds by designing and implementing brand and marketing campaigns that surprise, delight and leave a lasting impression.

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Reggae Sumfest donates to Mo Bay groups

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The organisers of the annual international reggae music festival Reggae Sumfest have donated $400,000 in cash and computer equipment to two groups in St. James.

The beneficiaries are the Montego Bay Boys' and Girls' Club, which has received  $300,000 to assist in procuring musical instruments for its band, while a computer, valued at approximately $100,000, was presented to the Jamaica Fire Brigade's Montego Bay Office.

Johnny Gouzong, Executive Director of Reggae SumFest, made the presentations on Tuesday, July 5, during the official launch of the 19th staging of the Reggae Sumfest at the Iberostar Rosehall Hotel in Montego Bay.

Howard Deers, the director in charge of transportation for Reggae SumFest Promotions, said the donations were the organiser's way of giving back to society "which has given tremendous support to the festival over the past many years."

The Montego Bay Boys' and Girls' Club was the national parish project for St. James for Labour Day activities on May 23, receiving overwhelming support from the business community and citizens of Montego Bay and the parish.

Mr. Gouzong, in the meantime, announced that at this year staging of Reggae SumFest "we will be honouring some of those entertainers, who have contributed to the development of Jamaica's music, such as Beres Hammond, E.T. Webster and the late Gregory Isaacs."

Dubbed the greatest reggae show on earth, Reggae Sumfest will be held from July 17 to 23 at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

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Jamaica Eco - Fest 2011

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Dr. Daniel Fider appointed head of NCU

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Dr. Daniel Fider has been elected interim president of the Northern Caribbean University replacing Dr. Herbert Thompson, who retired suddenly from the post last week.

Dr. Fider was Vice President for Facilities Planning & Information Systems at NCU before being appointed.

Dr. Herbert Thompson retired from NCU after serving the institution for 20 years.

He had told The Gleaner then that the reason for his retirement was to "pursue personal interests."


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Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

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United States (US) Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton will be coming to Jamaica on Wednesday.

Mrs. Clinton will be in Montego Bay to meet with her Caribbean counterparts.

The US Embassy in Kingston says Clinton will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the region following on the June 2010 Caribbean Ministerial Meeting in Barbados.

The embassy says Mrs. Clinton will also underscore joint partnerships in enhancing citizen and regional security; promoting clean energy and combating climate change; promoting economic development; and strengthening democratic institutions.

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A group of parents of grade six students at the Spanish Town Primary School in
St. Catherine is seeking the intervention of the Ministry of Education regarding
the cancellation of their children's graduation.
The students sat this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
The dispute arose after the administration announced on May 2, that a decision
was made not to hold the graduation, following acts of indiscipline among
several of the 400 students.
One parent complained that school officials cancelled the event without
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Machel Montano for Caribbean Fashionweek

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Soca singer Machel Montano performing at the 2...

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Machel Montano, winner of Trinidad's Soca Monarch and Road March titles this
year, headlines Caribbean Fashionweek's (CFW) first ever Caribbean Night,
Saturday June 11.
Montano's performance comes as part of Pulse's latest innovation to CFW, where
full, extended play concert performances become part of the package.
Each of the three show nights will now see superstar performances immediately
following the fashion shows.
The themed show nights are Jamaica Night on Friday June 10, Caribbean Night on
Saturday, June 11 and International Night on Sunday June 12.
In the past, CFW has showcased international star performances and celebrities,
who have performed (or hosted the event), while the fashion shows are being
The performances will take place on the event's sound stage, after the runway
shows are over. After parties follow each night at Studio 38, Fiction and
Generally acclaimed as the King of Soca, Montano continued his dominance of
carnival with his hit song Advantage, which took him to both the Road March and
Soca Monarch titles in Trinidad this February.
After 28 years, the former child star is still commanding the top of the heap
and he brings his charisma, chart-topping hits and unparalleled energy to CFW
this year.
One of the biggest hits of Trinidad and Tobago's (T&T) Carnival 2008 was
Montano's irresistibly upbeat Blazin D Trail. The song's lyrics capture the
effervescence of carnival's climactic street parade, while its title provides an
accurate summation of Montano's exhaustive musical pursuits.
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Jamaica To Host First Green Festival

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On July 2, Earthbound Jamaica, in association with the United Nations
Environmental Programme and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, will be
presenting an event called Green 4 Life Eco-Music Festival, the first of its
kind in the Caribbean region.
Rivfalls, located in Maggotty, St Elizabeth will provide the ideal backdrop for
this first festival. Rivfalls houses natural waterfalls, a spring water stream
and a large, beautiful green landscape.
"Our mission is to raise awareness about Jamaica's environment, using audio and
visual aids. For patrons to see why we need to preserve Jamaica and its beauty;
to discover our country and its important resources; introduce new products and
methods for today's lifestyle, in a surrounding built by nature and filled with
Jamaican music and healthy foods," said Yolande Rattray-Wright, the festival's
Green 4 Life seeks to highlight quality products here in Jamaica, healthy eating
habits, natural medicines, Jamaican fashion, and more. A grand farmers' market
will also be organised to assist local area farmers with cash crops.
Stone Love Movements will lead off the entertainment package for Green 4 Life,
playing roots reggae all day. The live show will feature some of Jamaica's top
entertainers, such as Stevie Face, Jack Radics, Lady G, Professor Nuts, Admiral
Tibet, Lovindeer, The Jays and G-Whizz, with more to be added.
The team of Earthbound Jamaica, the first Jamaican company specialising in 100
per cent biodegradable food containers and packaging, and The Wright Agency,
which has more than 18 years of experience in entertainment, show production,
event planning and promotions at the international and local levels are expected
to produce a world-class event for the entire family.
For more information send emails to
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Birmingham Museum of Arts in Gavin Douglas' latest campaign. Both Gavin and Nell
will be at CFW2011, June 8-13. At CFW 2011, Gavin Douglas will make a
presentation for the 'CFW Gavin Douglas Young Designer' Award. - Contributed
Vogue designer Gavin Douglas will be the judge at the Caribbean Fashion-week
(CFW) Young Designer Award for 2011 at Caribbean Fashionweek in June.
Himself the winner of Britain's Prince's Trust Young Designer Award, Europe's
Fashion Fringe Award, The Avant Garde Designer of the Year Award, as well as the
Smirnoff Originator Award and the CFW Master Designer designation, Douglas has
been a key young talent on the runways of Paris, London and Milan in recent
Interestingly, he first showed a collection at Caribbean Fashionweek in the
mid-2000s and continues to be inspired by the Caribbean. He has decided to give
back to the region through the CFW Young Designer project, selecting a fresh new
talent every year for mentorship and development.
The award is open to designers across the wider Caribbean.
A release from Pulse Inter-national, organisers of Caribbean Fashionweek, said
the organisation was "pleased to facilitate this initiative at CFW and believes
it has the potential to play a key role in talent discovery and development".
Young designers between the ages of 18 and 28 years are encouraged to submit
sketches of their designs to
Designers should have been designing for five years or less and should be able
to produce two to three looks from their sketches. The competition is now open
and the deadline for submission of sketches is June 3, 2011.
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Chino, the Album Launch May 24, 2011

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Not relying on solely older means of marketing his album Chino, singjay Chino McGregor hosted his own social media listening party at the Big Ship studios to get the buzz popping around the album's May 24 release.

Social networking sites and got a sneak peek from social media insiders from the listening party, as persons tweeted their views on the album, track by track. Last Wednesday night, popular twitter persons Toniann Lindo, Wayne Jones Jr, as well as, Skkan Media Entertainment, Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Phillipps, singer Denyque, Laden, Shema, Stephen McGregor and STAR of the Month Chino were all present to share in the excitement.


The listening party was streamed live online as fans logged on to their computers to hear the songs, some of which have never been heard before. Representatives from Guinness were also present at the studio doing give-aways as Chino soon kicked off the night by giving a little introduction to each of the songs.

The album started off with known hits such as From Mawning and Protected as Chino commented, "this song is wid me and Di Genius, di baddest producer in dancehall and reggae music." The recently released I Am followed after which Yeah Yeah from the Pepper rhythm. Then it was on to the new songs such as Badness which Chino explained was recorded live at Tuff Gong Studios, and was a big hit with those present.

Another exclusive was God Nah Sleep as Chino explained, "This is probably one of my favourites if not my favourite from the album. It's a deeply story telling song, two verses, with two different (but) similar stories ... listen keenly to every single lyric." Another song which got a strong forward from persons at the listening party was My Soul which talks about persons selling their souls for fame.

More popular songs followed such as Ruff It Up, Before Dem Gone and another new song Driving Me Insanewhich features Denyque. Driving Me Insane has a Shabba-like sound, which Chino says he wanted to make the first release but was outvoted.

Judging by persons who followed the response on twitter and facebook, the social media listening party was a huge success. A pleased Chino reminded fans online that the album is available for pre-order on iTunes

Want to be a part of the launch of Chino's upcoming album?

The Big Ship artiste will be launching his album on Tuesday, May 24 at Devonshire, Devon House. To win two passes to the launch and a VIP table as the special guest to Chino's album launch, all you have to do is answer the following questions!

1) What is Chino's real name?

2) What are the titles of the two albums he released in Japan?

3) What is the name of his upcoming album?

4) What do you love most about Chino and his music?

Email your answers to:!

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Cocoa Tea to perform at London 2012

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2012 Summer Olympics

Reggae artiste Cocoa Tea is booked to perform at the 2012 Olympics in London,
At present he is the only reggae artist who has been requested to sing for the
Queen of England and millions of viewers worldwide.

When asked if he was prepared to meet Her Majesty, his only response was "I'm
ready and waiting".
Not only is he ready to meet the Queen, but he is also ready to meet the world

Cocoa Tea's new single "A Love Like Yours and Mine" is about to hit the world

His song "Obama" became a hit and a favorite for the Obama's and among Kenyans
during the '08 election campaign.
He says he is ready to go back into the studio to record another song for the
upcoming 2012 election as well.

Cocoa Tea is currently preparing for his Summer Tour that kicks off on June 26th
in Brooklyn, New York and continues on to Boston, Portland and Seattle.
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Four J'cans held for ganja bust at sea

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Four Jamaicans were nabbed and more than 200 pounds of ganja seized in a police
operation off the north coast of Grand Cayman on the weekend.

A Cayman police spokesperson said shortly after ten Saturday officers on
maritime patrol along the north coast of Grand Cayman sighted what was
determined to be a Jamaican canoe.
A helicopter was notified and after a short pursuit the marine vessel
intercepted the canoe which had four Jamaicans aboard.

A task force team was contacted and a search was undertaken of the beach where
the vessel was first sighted.
The search yielded ganja weighing 275 pounds.
All the men were arrested for illegal entry into the Cayman Islands as well as
suspicion of importation of drugs.
Investigations are on-going at this time and all four men remain in custody.
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Bolt to walk for kids

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KINGSTON, JAMAICA - APRIL 04:  Usain Bolt of J...

More accustomed to breaking records at high speed, sprint sensation Usain Bolt
will slow his pace later this year with the staging of the 'Usain Bolt
The event is being planned in partnership with Chain of Hope Jamaica to help
raise funds towards the creation of a paediatric cardiac centre at the
Bustamante Hospital for Children.
"I run really fast but the truth is that I'm a really slow walker," Bolt laughed
during Sunday's launch at the Bustamante Hospital for Children for the event,
which is scheduled for sometime in November this year.
Details of the event are yet to be ironed out, but it was announced at the press
launch that the walkathon will take place later this year in the month of
November and will take place over a 2.3km course, which is expected to start at
Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
Bolt, who pointed out that he will be asking his sponsors to contribute by
paying for at least two surgeries, was excited to be involved with this
initiative and explained why he decided to join the project.
"This partnership is very important and will help to protect the future of this
country," Bolt said. "It's a big step for me. Over the years, I have been saying
that kids are the future so when I was approached to do this, it was a real
honour and I'm looking forward to continue doing my best to do what I can to
help the kids."
Over 150 children are on the waiting list for surgery at the Bustamante Hospital
for Children.
Charmaine Scott, paediatric cardiologist and chairperson of Chain of Hope
Jamaica, said Bolt's support will help to pull even more corporate support
towards the construction of the centre.
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So what's new? The scenario of Jamaican men getting 'jacket' is age-old, and as
many persons observe, "The man dem always end up loving the jacket pickney more
than how them love the real one dem."
So we can't understand why it's 'news' that up to seventy percent of Jamaican
men are wearing 'jackets'. It's just that with the availability of DNA, more and
more men are finding out for sure that the kids aren't theirs.
But, it is interesting that court records also show that many of these fathers,
after the devastation of finding out that the child they have loved and nurtured
for so long is a jacket, simply bounce back and go through the legal system and
legally adopt the children.
So big up to all Jamaican man who love up dem jacket pickney. After all, it's
not the child's fault.
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BingerKarl Binger, actor, tourism executive, who was also the husband of broadcaster,
Dorraine Samuels, has died.
Playwright Basil Dawkins, Binger's friend for over 30 years, told The Gleaner
that he passed away Sunday evening after a long illness.
Binger worked at the Urban Development Corporation and the Tourism Product
Development Company (TPDCo) for several years. He was executive director at the
TPDCo, and served in a similar capacity at the Nature Preservation Foundation (NPF) for the last six years.
At the NPF, he was in charge of maintaining the Hope Botanical Gardens in St
Andrew. Binger was also a former chairman of the Lay Magistrates Association. In 2002,
he was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's fifth-highest civic honour.
Many in the local arts community knew Binger best as an actor who appeared in
several major productions including the 1962 pantomime Busha Bluebeard, and the
classic plays Smile Orange and Old Story Time, which were both written and
directed by Trevor Rhone.
Actress Leonie Forbes worked with Binger in Busha Bluebeard and Old Story Time.
In the latter, he played her son Len, which is widely considered his finest
Karl Binger is survived by his widow, broadcaster Dorraine Samuels.
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A treat for mothers

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This Sunday, Mother's Day, local-based artistes on the upcoming event Gospel in
Harmony, will be at the Emancipation Park signing autographs between the hours
of 4 and 6 pm.
Among the artistes who will be present are Prodigal Son, Thrillers United,
Kencot Youth Choir  and One Voice. Overseas act, Mary Mary is the headliner for
the event, which takes place on Sunday, May 29 at the National Arena in
Come out and rap with the stars on Mother's Day.
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Bob Marley takes the spotlight on NBC

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Reggae legend Bob Marley takes the spotlight next week on American station NBC's
popular 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.'
This year marks 30 years since the reggae legend died on May 11, 1981 of cancer.
Actor, comedian and television host Jimmy Fallon will be honouring the singer on
his late night talk show, starting this Monday.
Marley's eldest son, Ziggy Marley, will make a special appearance on the NBC
show for the first time. Ziggy Marley, rock artiste Chris Cornell, pop idol
Jennifer Hudson, rock singer Jakob Dylan and Lenny Kravitz are all scheduled to
appear. Each night, one of the guests will perform a classic Marley song.
Fallon's house band 'The Roots' will also be present to pay tribute to the
According to reports online, no word has been leaked as to which Marley classics
will be performed. "Big up Jimmy Fallon for honouring the memory of my father,"
said Ziggy Marley in a press release sent to the media. "Much respect." Ziggy
will talk about his father in addition to performing. Ziggy Marley's next album,
Wild and Free, is due out June 14.
In more Marley news, the anticipated documentary on the late reggae star's life,
by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, is expected for release late this
year. Universal Music Enterprise will also be promoting its recent release of
Marley's final concert held at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.,
on September 23, 1980.
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A Jamaican man, who is facing deportation in the United States, has found
himself in more problems.
Kenneth Bailey, 42, is now in custody in Pennsylvania, after he was held last
week chasing a woman with a sword.
Mr. Bailey was charged with simple assault and placed in Franklin County Jail on
a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement order.
According to reports, the police were called to Mr. Bailey's home on April 21.
A woman reported that she and the Jamaican man had got into an argument.
Investigators say Mr. Bailey reportedly chased her from her home threatening her
with a large sword.

During the investigation, the police discovered the outstanding warrant for Mr.
Bailey and he was arrested and charged.
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Chino to release self titled album

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Reggae and dancehall artiste, Chino, will release his self-entitled United
States album Chino in five weeks.
"It won't be just one genre and that's in an effort to cater to not only the US
market, but also the European and Caribbean territories," he said.
The album will be available online and in stores on May 24.
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Finger rape case could head to CCJ

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Jamaica's dispute with Barbados over the alleged ill-treatment of 20-year-old
Shanique Myrie could be headed to the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court
of Justice (CCJ).
Dr Kenneth Baugh, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, has warned that
the CCJ could be asked to rule on the case if the two countries cannot work out
their differences.
This would be the first time that the Jamaican Government would be taking a case
to the CCJ since it was established in 2001.
With the Myrie dispute now at the level of government to government and a probe
under way in Bridgetown, the Jamaican authorities are demanding that the
Barbadian government does all that is necessary to establish the facts.
The dispute stems from claims by Myrie that she was subjected to verbal
harassment and a demeaning cavity search on arrival in Bridgetown.
Myrie said she was subjected to an invasive cavity search by a female
immigration officer when she arrived in Barbados on March 14.
No contraband was found on her during the search and she was denied clearance to
enter the country before being held in immigration detention and sent back to
Jamaica the following day.
The young woman has since retained the services of Hylton, who is the former
minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.
She has also been invited to Barbados to identify the officer who conducted the
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$50M for Independence celebrations

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Members of parliament are engaged in a discussion during yesterday's sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament at Gordon House. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, said yesterday that the
stage is set for a rich 50th anniversary national celebrations with a
$50-million injection from the national budget.
Jamaica won its Independence from Britain on August 6, 1962.
The stated aim of the Independence celebrations are, among other things, to
strengthen and enhance the cultural identity of the Jamaican people, and provide
spaces for reflection and meditation on the achievements, struggles, challenges
and aspiration of Jamaicans.
The ministry is also seeking to create opportunities for economic advancement
through the planning and implementation of trade fairs, market penetration
activities, expositions and festivals.
"You will notice that we have an allocation and that is to get us started, we
are setting up a secretariat within the ministry," Grange said in reference to
the $50 million.
She said a core staff will be employed, but the plan is to rely heavily on
volunteers from the culture movement across the island.
"We haven't officially launched the committee as yet, but that it is broken up
into sector groups dealing with special through to legacy projects," said
Grange said all members of parliament will be encouraged to set aside funds from
their allocations from Constituency Development Fund for the celebrations.
The anniversary celebrations coincide with that of the general election year,
due in 2012.
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Reggae Sumfest gears up

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For the past 18 years, Reggae Sumfest has built a solid reputation for providing
world class entertainment. Last year's show stands out as one of the best in the
entertainment industry as the festival presented international superstars  Usher
and Chris Brown alongside Jamaica's hottest and best performers. This year's
event which runs from Saturday July 16 to Saturday July 23 is anticipated to be
even better.
Stage manager Junior Taylor describes the ambitious new plans for 2011, "We are
bringing our patrons the same top quality service, but with a new twist. Sumfest
is gearing up to produce some new and exciting elements for the crowd."
The festivities will kick off with the annual beach party moving into the always
highly anticipated Dancehall night on Thursday and culminating with
International Nights 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday.  "We are stepping up our
game this year," commented promoter Robert Russell, "fans can expect to see
Sumfest like it has never been seen before, virtually and in person."
The Sumfest team is also working to address some of the physical problems
experienced at last year's event.  "We have listened to our audience and are
making adjustments to the venue to accommodate any possible incidence of rain
have, "  remarked organizer John Gurzong. "Also, in light of the current
economic strains we have begun our campaign earlier than usual, to allow people
the time to prepare for this year's amazing showcase."
So it's time to get in the game and start preparing for "The Greatest Reggae
Show On Earth", between July 16 to 23, when Montego Bay opens its doors to the
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WASHINGTON, USA -- A leading Caribbean newspaper publisher and philanthropist,
who for years arranged for members of the US Congress to attend business
conferences in the Caribbean, has pleaded guilty to misleading congressional
staff about who paid for the travel expenses.
The US Justice Department said Karl B Rodney, who is also the chief executive
officer of the weekly New York Carib News newspaper and its foundation, pleaded
guilty to the charge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Rodney, 73, is the only person to have been charged in the scandal, which
prompted an ethics inquiry of several lawmakers, said Assistant US Attorney
General, Lanny A Breuer.
The Justice Department said that Judge Emmet G Sullivan will now sentence him on
July 22.
Rodney faces a maximum of five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine on the
false statement charge.
Breuer said Rodney, through the Carib News foundation and Carib News, organised
an annual conference for more than a decade in the Caribbean, called the Annual
Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference. Many of the conferences have been
attended by members of Congress, he said.
In 2007, the House of Representatives modified its travel rules to require,
among other things, that all privately-funded travel by members of Congress be
pre-approved by the House of Representatives Committee on Standards of Official
Conduct (Ethics Committee.)
The pre-approval process required the private sponsor to submit a Private
Sponsor Travel Certification Form disclosing, among other things, the source of
funding for the member's trip, including transportation, lodging and meals.

"In pleading guilty, Rodney admitted that he made false statements on the
Private Sponsor Travel Certification Form submitted to the Ethics Committee in
connection with the 12th Annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference
held in Antigua and Barbuda from November 8-11, 2007," the Justice Department
It said Rodney acknowledged several times in court on Thursday that he was
guilty of the crime of false statements.
At the end of the 45-minute hearing, he blamed a "lapse of judgment" and said,
"I regret that deeply," the Justice Department said.
According to court documents, in connection with the 2007 conference, "Rodney
provided round-trip airfare, hotels and meals for the members attending the
conference, using money and in-kind support provided by the foreign host country
and a private corporation.
"Instead of listing the foreign host country and private corporation on the
certification form that he submitted, Rodney falsely stated that Carib News
Foundation was the only entity that paid for the members' travel and that the
foundation had not accepted funds from any other source earmarked for that
purpose," it said.
According to the House Ethics Committee's initial inquiry, money from several
major corporations, including American Airlines, AT&T and Verizon, paid for at
least six lawmakers to go on the Caribbean trips in 2007 and 2008, "but Rodney
failed to disclose their involvement,"
As a result of Rodney's actions, "the public was denied the right to know the
true source of financial support for travel by Members to the Conferences,"
prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
In a letter, dated March 2009 and addressed to the Office of Congressional
Ethics, lawyers for Rodney described him as a "pillar of the Caribbean American
"It is clear that it has always been our clients'; intention to complete all of
the necessary paperwork, including the House's Private Sponsor Certification
Form, accurately and honestly," wrote the lawyers, Joel Cohen and Danielle
Court documents do not show that Faye Rodney or Louis has been charged.
Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus were cleared by the Ethics
Committee because the committee said they "did not knowingly violate the House's
Code of Official Conduct."
But the committee admonished a sixth lawmaker, veteran Harlem Democratic
Congressman Charles Rangel, because it said "Rangel's staff knew corporations
had contributed money for the conferences."
The committee said it did not have sufficient evidence that Rangel was aware of
what his staff knew.

Psychiatrist Discusses Catherine Zeta-Jones' Bipolar Disorder
Catherine Zeta Jones made headlines yesterday with a simple announcement that
she was getting treated for Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder affects about 6 million Americans, and its primary
characteristic is depression. Hollyscoop talked to famed psychiatrist Dr.
Charles Sophy, and he shed some light on how Jones will receive treatment.

"[Bipolar Disorder] is treated with a combination of a good diagnosis and
medication and therapy," Dr. Sophy told Hollyscoop.

He added that the goal of treatment is "getting it into remission, which
translates to mood stability."

Now that her husband has officially beaten cancer, we're hoping achieving that
stability will be easier for Catherine.

Dr. Sophy also explained that Bipolar Disorder is genetic, and that although
she's been under a great deal of stress, stress isn't what caused it.

"Stress brings it out, but it doesn't cause it," Dr. Sophy told us. "Bipolar is
something you are born with."

Catherine was reportedly receiving treatment at Connecticut's Silver City
Hospital, but has since checked out. Her rep says this week she'll be working on
her two upcoming films. Here's hoping Catherine gets all the help she needs so
we can see her shine on the silver screen!

Alleged murderer released before extradition
The Ministry of Justice denied that an alleged fugitive was allowed to go free
because of a dispute between the Ministry and the Office of the Director of
Public Prosecutions.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of Tony Vincent
Ashman, 27, who had been in custody for more than 60 days since he waived his
right to an extradition hearing.

He was not held longer than the time prescribed by the law because the Ministry
did not sign the documents for him to be extradited.

But the justice ministry contends that it did not sign the authority to proceed
because did not receive the documents from the British Government.

The justice ministry said, the British authorities requested the Jamaican
authorities to issue a provisional warrant for Ashman's arrest pending the
submission of authenticated documents for his extradition.

The Ministry noted that Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne is prepared to sign
the authority to proceed as soon as she receives the authenticated documents,
provided that they satisfy the requirements of the Extradition Act.

It is alleged that Ashman fatally shot a man at a nightclub in Brixton in 2009
and later fled to Jamaica.

Ashman was captured in August Town, St. Andrew, in November last year, by
members of the Flying Squad during their manhunt for reputed leader of the Dog
Paw Gang, Christopher Linton.
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Kingston Pon Di River launched

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Saxophonist Fred Robertson of Ardenne High entertains the audience at the launch of Kingston Pon Di River literary, arts and music festival at the Spanish Court Hotel on Tuesday. - Contributed
Saxophonist Fred Robertson of Ardenne High entertains the audience at the launch of Kingston Pon 
Di River literary, arts and music festival at the Spanish Court Hotel on Tuesday.

Kingston Pon Di River was launched at a 'baby' Boone Hall Oasis at the Spanish
Court Hotel on Tuesday. Organisers Dynamic Event Services (DES) say they believe
the event was capable of sending a different view of the hustle-and-bustle city
to others locally and internationally.
This the organisers explained, could be achieved through using a combination of
literature and nature.
The event which is to take place on May 29 at Boone Hall Oasis in Stony Hill, St
Andrew, is a literary arts festival which will include aspects of the visual,
performing and culinary arts - all under one umbrella.
Part of the proceeds from the event is slated to go toward aiding in the
restoration of The Ward Theatre.
Calabash, a similar festival, came to an end after 10 years, out of that
Kingston Pon Di River was born.
The organisers did not seek to replace the event, however, but offer their
version, opting not to go to Calabash's Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth venue, but
to the Boone Hall Oasis where the soothing flow of the river and the
picturesque, natural surroundings will appeal to the senses.
They want to show the rest of the world that Kingston is also a destination for
fun and relaxation.
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Brand Jamaica

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What is Jamaica, the brand? What is the image your mind conjures when you think of Jamaica? Sunny beaches, ganja and guns perhaps? Or, how about laid back work ethic, homophobia or backward banana republic on the brink of civil unrest? Credible words or great misnomers?

An American colleague remarked, "My wife and I have been going to Jamaica now for eight years we just love it."

Then he paused, took a deep breath and said, "But don't you feel as you drive to the compound and see those shanty huts that any minute now they might rise up with machetes!"

This is 'Brand Jamaica"? Is this fear of a black planet or fear of the folklorist bravado that Yaad likes to perpetuate; the bombastic bad bwoy Buccaneer. We know this is the media image of Jamaica, search online and you will be floored by the amount of off-balance reporting and negative reports on gangs and drugs.

During the time of the Dudus drama you would think the whole isle was ablaze with unrest and uncertainty. A time that cost Jamaica dearly. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, street riots took many lives but still Conde Nast placed the city as the Best Place to Visit. Proof that it is perception not reality that reaps the revenue.

Ironically, it's the tourist beach hustlers who understand Brand Jamaica more than anyone. It's a symbiotic relationship; the tourist start with their need for drugs or their yearning for sex and it ends in a toxic trade and an understanding that the more brazen they are the more most tourists will, in intimidation, pay.

They understand that the key factor in revenue for Brand Jamaican spending is entrenched with fear and distrust. They have cleverly capitalized on this with Lotharian tactics that flip on a dime to aggressive hustling and intimidating swagger.

More sluggish to catch on is the Jamaican Tourist Board (JTB). The approach of the JTB is that of a band-aid on a cancer. When your brand image is that of unrest, corruption, danger, drugs and guns, a pretty picture of an exotic beach won't work. More pretty-picture campaigns and a social media push that posts banal "How is your day" messages to the thousands of potential customers.

However, it is clear their strategy is to build up "all inclusive" market (a mainly foreign owned industry). A strategy that shoots the brand in the foot as it fortifies the salient factors that Jamaica is not safe and the locals are not to be trusted.

When there's negative brand connotations the key strategy is to change that perception fast before it spreads. Deflection is a weak tactic when you are up against a media tsunami of negative misinformation.


Key factors

Identify the main issues as fear and distrust in the brand. Knowledge, perspective and exposure to facts will reinvigorate the lost revenue. Steering revenue to the smaller hotels of Jamaica and encouraging tourists to visit Kingston is key towards the transparent drip of trust. The fact that JTB pretty much ignores the smaller hotels and Kingston again strengthen the fear.

JTB needs to stop herding their social media masses to endless banal clips of reggae artists' videos but post human interest stories of real people in real communities doing great initiatives alongside pretty pictures. Show the cosmopolitan aspects of the people and the culture. Applaud the victories in education, industry and the arts. Bombard people with facts and real perspective.

During the Dudus drama not one major media put out that Tivoli was the size of Sandals resort in a small contained area miles from any tourist area. Huddled masses of foreign journalists descend on the island and relish in the scaremongering.

 "A city on the brink of Civil Unrest" I heard last time on CNN. Then there are other media reports like that video report on the Wall Street Journal about returning Jamaicans who come home for retirement but invariably get killed in robberies. Who is managing Brand Jamaica here? Where are the global media watchdogs who protect Brand Jamaica and where are the lobbyist groups who instigate the more truthful real balance in reporting? What litigation surrounds to protect Brand Jamaica when such unbalanced reporting continues?

This re-brand needs to be a cross platform initiative to survive and really reap the potential global revenue. Manufacturers of Jamaica need to protect and promote "Buy Jamaica" to rebuild that trust and knowledge that the country has authority and is worthy of investment. Education should have a component in it to build back the pride the people have in the land and culture and should also tie into the Buy Jamaica ethos.

Politicians need to be mindful of the Brand Jamaica image when they play verbal ping pong throughout each campaign promoting crime stats and the other party's corruption. Jamaica is the only nation in Caricom who prints so grandiosely the crime statistics. Meantime, throughout the rest of the world crime statistics are 're-classified'. What use is this negative branding?

Local media needs too to be held accountable with watchdog monitoring committees. Accountability is key in order to bring back Jamaica the positive brand onto a global stage for revenue potential.

Who is driving this brand and what is their strategy? I think they are asleep at the wheel.

 Jane Nina Buchanan

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AP: Skin bleaching a growing problem in Jamaica

Image representing Associated Press as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Mikeisha Simpson covers her body in greasy white cream
and bundles up in a track suit to avoid the fierce sun of her native Jamaica,
but she's not worried about skin cancer.
The 23-year-old resident of a Kingston ghetto hopes to transform her dark
complexion to a cafe-au-lait-colour common among Jamaica's elite and favoured by
many men in her neighborhood. She believes a fairer skin could be her ticket to
a better life. So she spends her meager savings on cheap black-market
concoctions that promise to lighten her pigment.
Simpson and her friends ultimately shrug off public health campaigns and reggae
hits blasting the reckless practice.
"I hear the people that say bleaching is bad, but I'll still do it. I won't stop
'cause I like it and I know how to do it safe," said Simpson, her young daughter
bouncing on her hip.
People around the world often try to alter their skin color, using tanning
salons or dyes to darken it or other chemicals to lighten it. In the gritty
slums of Jamaica, doctors say the skin lightening phenomenon has reached
dangerous proportions.
"I know of one woman who started to bleach her baby. She got very annoyed with
me when I told her to stop immediately, and she left my office. I often wonder
what became of that baby," said Neil Persadsingh, a leading Jamaican
Most Jamaican bleachers use over-the-counter creams, many of them knockoffs
imported from West Africa. Long-term use of one of the ingredients,
hydroquinone, has long been linked to a disfiguring condition called ochronosis
that causes a splotchy darkening of the skin. Doctors say abuse of bleaching
lotions has also left a web of stretch marks across some Jamaicans' faces.
In Japan, the European Union, and Australia, hydroquinone has been removed from
over-the-counter skin products and substituted with other chemicals due to
concerns about health risks. In the United States, over-the-counter creams
containing up to 2 per cent hydroquinone are recognised as safe and effective by
the US Food and Drug Administration. A proposed ban by the FDA in 2006 fizzled.
Lightening creams are not effectively regulated in Jamaica, where even roadside
vendors sell tubes and plastic bags of powders and ointments from cardboard
boxes stacked along sidewalks in market districts.
"Many of the tubes are unlabelled as to their actual ingredients," said Dr
Richard Desnoes, president of the Dermatology Association of Jamaica.
Hardcore bleachers use illegal ointments smuggled into the Caribbean country
that contain toxins like mercury, a metal that blocks production of melanin,
which give skin its colour, but can also be toxic.
Some impoverished people resort to homemade mixtures of toothpaste or curry
powder, which can stain skin with a yellowish tint.
The Jamaican Ministry of Health does not have data on damage caused by
skin-bleaching agents, though dermatologists and other health officials say they
have been seeing more cases.
Eva Lewis-Fuller, the ministry's director of health promotion and protection, is
redoubling education programs to combat bleaching in this predominantly black
island of 2.8 million people, where images of fair-skinned people predominate in
commercials for high-end products and in the social pages of newspapers.
"Bleaching has gotten far worse and widespread in recent years," she said.
"(Bleachers) want to be accepted within their circle of society. They want to be
attractive to the opposite sex. They want career opportunities. But we are
saying there are side effects and risks. It can disfigure your face."
Health officials are running warnings on local radio stations, putting up
posters in schools, holding talks and handing out literature about the dangers.
But a similar anti-bleaching campaign in 2007 called "Don't Kill the Skin" did
nothing to slow the craze.
The bleaching trend is sparking a growing public debate. Even dancehall reggae
hits celebrate the practice, or condemn it.
The most public proponent of bleaching is singing star Vybz Kartel, whose own
complexion has dramatically lightened in recent years. His 'Look Pon Me'
contains the lines: "Di girl dem love off mi brown cute face, di girl dem love
off mi bleach-out face."
Kartel, whose real name is Adijah Palmer, insists that skin bleaching is simply
a personal choice like tattooing.
Christopher AD Charles, an assistant professor at Monroe College in New York
City who has studied the psychology of bleaching, said many young Jamaicans
perceive it "as a modern thing, like Botox, to fashion their own body in a
unique way."
Others, however, say it raises awkward questions about identity and race.
"If we really want to control the spread of the skin-bleaching virus, we first
have to admit that there's an epidemic of colour prejudice in our society," said
Carolyn Cooper, a professor of literary and cultural studies at the University
of the West Indies, writing in The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.
Felicia James, a 20-year-old resident of the Matthews Lane slum, said skin
bleaching just makes her feel special, like she's walking around in a spotlight.
She was taught to bleach by her older sister and her friends.
"It's just the fashionable thing to do. After I bleach, I'm cris," she said,
using a Jamaican term for cool. "Plus, a lot of the boys are doing it now, too."
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Shaggy arriving

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Orville Burrell, Jamaican reggae singer and rapper who is better known by his
stage name, "Shaggy" is to be honored with the 2011 International Humanitarian
Award on Saturday,  at Jungle Island in Miami, Florida.
The Seventh Annual Peacock Soiree is being hosted by Ambassador Sue Cobb, the
president of the American Friends of Jamaica and the board of directors.
The proceeds of the event which will include entertainment by the Jolly Boys,
are to benefit Jamaican charities in education, healthcare and economic
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Lawyers to fight for Shanique Myrie

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The lawyer representing Shanique Myrie, the woman who reported being abused by
immigration officials at a Barbadian airport, says he will be pursuing her case
vigorously in every national, regional and international fora possible.

Myrie had retained the services of Patrick Hylton after reporting that on March
14, she was subjected to two demeaning cavity searches by a female Barbadian
immigration officer and that she was detained for hours for interrogation.

In a release this afternoon, Hylton said his law firm has conducted its own
preliminary investigation and has found Myrie's report to be credible and

His release follows one sent out yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dr. Ken Baugh, following the return of a delegation which visited Barbados on
March 30.

In that release, the Government indicated that it believed that Myrie's report
was worthy of further investigation, especially in light of widespread
perceptions of negative attitudes towards Jamaicans in Barbados.

Hylton says the posture of the Barbadian government, which has denied that the
incident occurred, is very disturbing to his client.
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The organizers of this year's edition of the "Bob Marley Commemorations", a three-day festival in Zimbabwe, have already started preparations.

More than 30 reggae groups from Jamaica, England, South Africa and Zimbabwe are expected to appear at the festival.

This year's edition of the festivities will be held from May 13 to 15 and promises to be bigger and better than the previous years.

There will be nights dedicated to reggae, dancehall, lovers rock and one dedicated only to female reggae musicians.

The promoter guarantees nonstop music over the festivals three days.

The "Bob Marley Commemorations" event seeks to celebrate the life and times of the legendary Jamaican musician who put the genre on the world map and also popularised the Rastafarian Movement.


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PM Golding faces Manna enquiry again

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Prime Minister Bruce Golding is to face further cross examination by People's National Party attorney KD Knight when the Manatt-Dudus commission of enquiry resumes today.

The enquiry had taken a two-day break because Prime Minister Golding was not available on Monday and yesterday.

Golding, who will take the witness stand for the fifth time is expected to face more intense questioning from Knight.

So far, there have been occasional clashes between the two with the Prime Minister appealing to Commission Chairman Emil George for his intervention.

Golding had sanctioned the hiring of the US law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips to handle matters relating to the extradition request for west Kingston alleged drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

The prime minister has maintained that Manatt, Phelps and Phillips was hired by the Jamaica Labour Party, but the law firm has insisted it was working on behave of the Jamaican Government.

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Reggae group Morgan Heritage recently performed at the United Nations as part of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The group participated in the Living Legacy Concert, at the General Assembly Hall of the UN in New York City on Friday, March 25.

With this concert, the band continues their mission of roots reggae music to all ends of the globe and through music.

"The story of the end of the slave trade deserves to be told here in the United Nations," stated UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The purpose of this day is to honour the memory of those who died as a result of slavery as well as those who have been exposed to the horrors of the middle passage and have fought for freedom from enslavement.

In addition, it is a day to discuss the causes, consequences, and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade in order to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

In addition to Morgan Heritage, the concert featured other prominent artistes from Africa, the Caribbean and North and South America.

The multi-media programme included slave narratives and a reading by Dr. Julius Garvey from the publications of his father, Marcus Garvey.


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Colin Levy prepares for one-month US tour

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The month of April will see reggae singer, Colin Levy, aka Iley Dred,  covering a lot of ground as he makes his way across the United States for a hectic, month-long promotional tour.
The versatile Levy, who wears many caps, including song-writer, producer, promoter and author, recently joined forces with some of reggae music's elite producers for his current album project, Unleashed. Among the producers who have worked on the album are Barry O'Hare, Bobby Digital, Dean Fraser, Stephen Marley and Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor.
As Levy gets ready to hit the road, he confesses to being totally fired up and eager to unleash all the positive and uplifting tracks that represents this album. The debut single from the project, the Barry O'Hare-produced Lover's Holiday, has been embraced by radio and proving quite a booster in reggae circles. It is steadily climbing the chart locally and is now positioned at number 6 on Richie B's Jamaica Countdown, Top 25 Reggae Singles Chart.
"I feel good to know that my work is being appreciated and that this song is having the impact I had  envisioned," says Colin Levy, whose Kings of Kings label, established nearly two decades ago, is recognized the world over.
Levy, who is renowned in music circles as the man who is always ready to lend a helping hand, says he feels particularly blessed at the way this project is unfolding and the many doors that are being opened as he refocuses on his career as a singer. He noted that the release of this single came at a time when he was at one of his lowest points while recovering from a serious motor vehicle accident in Canada.
"Praise be  unto the Most High for his divine intervention," Levy declared. "This song has taken on wheels and wings at a time when I could hardly help myself and unable to work due to injuries sustained from an accident late last year," he explained. 
"I am looking forward to meet and greet all my fans, radio disc jockeys and media personalities in the United States," he stated.
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The media fraternity was yesterday plunged into mourning after journalist Patricia Roxborough-Wright lost her battle with cancer.

The 41-year-old is a past employee of The Gleaner and The Jamaica Observer.

"The fraternity has lost one of its brightest minds," said Janet Silvera, president of the Western Jamaica Media Association.

"Those who were fortunate to have been touched by Pat Roxborough will remember a vibrant, good-humoured and incredibly talented person who was a consummate professional never afraid to ask tough questions. Pat was a true example of what it takes to become a good journalist. She was ambitious, maintaining her competitiveness while ensuring good relations with her colleagues," Silvera said.

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), of which Roxborough-Wright was a member, said, "The fraternity has lost a wonderful human being, one who had the highest regard for standards and values in the profession."

The PAJ added: "Her indelible contribution to journalism will never be forgotten."

Roxborough-Wright was married to fellow journalist Nodley.

She was a first-year student at the Norman Manley Law School when she became ill in 2010.

YardFlex send condolences to the family.

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Kiefa O'Gilvie sentenced

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Kiefa O'Gilvie, the son of a close ally and business partner of former west Kingston strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, was this morning fined $500,000 or two years imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm.

O'Gilvie pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal possession of a firearm on February 15.

He was also put on probation for two years for illegal possession of ammunition.

In handing down the sentence, Supreme Court Judge Martin Gayle noted that too many young men are behind bars and that it was not the best way to deal with them.

He said he also took O'Gilvie's good probation report into consideration.

O'Gilvie was held by the police in December last year during a cordon and search operation on Blake Road in the Kingston Central Police Division.

An illegal weapon was found in his possession.

He was arrested and later charged.

Meanwhile, Keifa O'Gilvie, is also on trial in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

He is facing the charges of assault, using abusive language and making a threat.

O'Gilvie is jointly charged with Tesha Miller, the alleged leader of the Spanish Town-based Clansman gang.

They are accused of assaulting a policeman while in custody during the State of Emergency last year.



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Reggae musician Smiley Culture, who scored two chart hits in the eighties, died on Tuesday following an incident with police in England.

The 'Police Officer' singer, real name David Emmanuel, is believed to have stabbed himself after officers raided his home in Warlingham, Surrey, earlier Tuesday.

He was due to face trial after being charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine in September last year alongside four others.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed they were now investigating a "death following police contact".

The 47-year-old, born and raised in south London, rose to fame as a DJ with the Saxon Studio sound system.

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Miss Jamaica 2007 Yendi Phillips. Photo taken ...

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Air Jamaica has confirmed that Yendi Phillipps is the global ambassador for the airline.

Yendi will take the airline's message of renewal to customers and travel partners around the world as part of her new title and will also become the host of the airline's in-flight video, Island Stylee.

In a release, Air Jamaica stated that Yendi was selected not only for her visibility, but also because of her personal demonstration of Air Jamaica's new brand statement of redefinition.

The company said that Yendi's personal story is perfectly aligned with Air Jamaica, as like the airline, Yendi has reinvented herself in ways that delight her fans and prove that innovation is the first call of any brand - personal or corporate.

Kingsley Cooper, who manages Yendi, believes that Air Jamaica and his client make a "perfect fit" and he is confident that the "synergy between the brands will add tremendous value" to both Yendi and Air Jamaica.

Phillips said she is elated to be named Air Jamaica's first global ambassador and is looking forward to a long and successful relationship with the airline.

The new Island Stylee series, which airs on Air Jamaica flights, goes into production later this month, shooting in New York, Kingston and Montego Bay.

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8 more curfews for St Catherine

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THE Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) last night announced eight curfews in the parish of St Catherine in addition to the seven announced on Monday, which will remain in effect until 6:00 pm today. The eight new curfews will last until 6:00 pm tomorrow.

The boundaries of the new curfews are as follows:

Gravel Heights

NORTH along an imaginary line from Tredegar Park mining quarry to Gravel Heights entrance at Sligoville main road;

SOUTH along an imaginary line from Gravel Heights entrance at Tredegar Park to Silgoville main road at Clinton Drive;

EAST along Sligoville main road between Gravel Heights and Clinton Drive; and

WEST along Tredegar Park main road between Gravel Heights entrance and Tredegar Park mining quarry.

Quarry Hill

NORTH along the Canal Bank between the bridge at the train line and Bernard Lodge main road;

SOUTH along a dirt road between Bernard Lodge main road and an imaginary line;

EAST along Bernard Lodge main road between the bridge at the train and the Mount Zion Faith Temple Church; and

WEST along an imaginary line between the canal bank and the dirt road.

Dallas Lane

NORTH along Burke Road between White Church Street and Dallas Lane;

SOUTH along canal bank between White Church Street and Dallas Lane;

EAST along White Church Street between Burke Road and canal bank; and

WEST along Dallas Lain between Burke Road and canal bank.

Manchester Lane

NORTH along Williams Street between Cumberland Road and Prince Avenue;

SOUTH along Manchester Street between Prince Avenue an Cumberland Road;

EAST along Cumberland Road between Manchester Street and Williams Street; and

WEST along Prince Avenue between Williams Street and Manchester Street.

Tredegar Park

NORTH along an imaginary line at the cell tower between Tredegar Park main road and the Rio Cobre River;

SOUTH along Ervin Drive between Tredegar Park Mine Road to Jason Avenue to the banks of the Rio Cobre River;

EAST along Tredegar Park main road between the cell Tower and Carlisle Avenue; and

WEST along the bank of the Rio Cobre River between the cell tower and Carlisle Avenue.


NORTH along Monk Street from St Jago High School to Leach Avenue;

SOUTH along Barrett Street between Red Church Street and Rio Cobre River Bank;

EAST along an imaginary line along the Rio Cobre River Bank between St Jago High School and Barrett Street; and

WEST along Red Church Street between Leach Avenue.

March Pen and Corletts Road

NORTH along Spanish Town Bypass between Dunbeholden Road and Holness Plaza;

SOUTH along the Toll Road between Dun beholden Road Bignal;

EAST along Dunbeholden Road between Spanish Town Bypass and the Toll Road; and

WEST along Corletts Avenue between Holness Plaza and Bignal.

St Johns Road

NORTH along St Johns Road from the intersection with 31 Lane to the intersection with 33 Lane.

SOUTH along an imaginary line from the bottom of 31 Lane to the intersection with 33 Lane.

EAST along 31 Lane from the intersection with St Johns Road to the intersection with the imaginary line at the bottom of the lane; and

WEST along 33 Lane from the intersection with St Johns Road to the intersection with the imaginary line at the bottom of the lane.

During the hours of the curfew all persons within the boundaries are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised in writing by the member of the security forces who is in charge of enforcing the curfew.


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Organizers of the recently concluded Excellence in Music & Entertainment Awards (EME), 

disclosed today that award recipients who were not present at the 7th annual presentation ceremony at Devon House in Kingston on March 12 will not receive the actual trophies this year.

 "The executive committee of the EME Awards made the unanimous decision that award recipients who were in Jamaica at the time of the event and who choose not to attend the event or send a representative to collect the award(s) on their behalf, have forfeited their rights to the trophy. We realize this is an unprecedented decision but after careful consideration, we feel this is the right decision and something that must be done to protect the integrity and longevity of the event" founder and CEO Richard 'Richie B' Burgess said.

 "The EME awards was conceived to honor and recognize the accomplishments of our own local reggae/dancehall stars in categories such as DJ of the Year, Best New Artist, Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year and the new category Artist of the Decade. If those being honored don't see the need to attend or participate in the process, then they do not deserve to receive the award. Respect goes both ways. It is as simple as that" he reiterated.

Burgess said Shaggy and Wayne Wonder's appeal to their peers to support the 'local artistes and local music' points to a bigger problem in the industry.

 "It is sad when international acts like Trina or Eve commit to travel to Jamaica, just so they can be here to collect their awards, while our own reggae stars chose to stay home. This is a symptom of a bigger problem in our industry that has to be addressed sooner than later. The industry is on a downward spiral. If corrective actions are not take immediately, we stand to back pedal on some of the significant strides that were made by those who preceded us in the industry," he noted.

On the positive side, Burgess said the EME Awards had many things to celebrate, including the international coverage the event garnered this year.


Tax administration selling seized assets

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The Tax Administration is moving to dispose of assets seized by its Special Enforcement Team (SET) during operations carried out over the past several months.

The seized assets will be disposed of by way of sealed bids from qualified persons, the proceeds of which will be used to offset liabilities of the delinquent taxpayers.

Persons wishing to participate in the bidding exercise may contact the designated officer named in the advertisement published on the Tax Administration website

A list of the assets available for disposal, along with details of the process and a copy of the bid form are also available on the website.

Interested persons must submit their sealed bids by 3:00 pm on Friday, March 25 addressed to the Inland Revenue Department.

The bidding process is only open to members of the public. Staff of the Tax Administration and their families are not eligible to participate.


The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) has issued a second directive to Nationwide News Network (NNN) in relation to the popular programme Ragashanti Live.

Following an order on Monday to immediately pull the show, the station aired past episodes of the programme on Tuesday, which also drew the ire of the Commission.

It again wrote to the station ordering that the repeat shows cease immediately in that time slot.

The BCJ warned that if this is not done, the non compliance will result in serious sanctions.

The Commission has also declared as false, claims made by the station that it was not given an opportunity to be heard before being ordered to pull the show on Monday.

The BCJ mentioned a meeting with the station's management on March 4, where it was given a deadline of March 11 to reply by letter and explain how the problematic broadcasts went out on air.

The BCJ said NNN replied by that date, but its response to the issue was not satisfactory.              

The Commission has cited close to 20 breaches of the station's user licence.

Oakland Apartment murder trial begins

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The trial of businessman Stephen Causewell who is charged with the 2008 Oakland Apartment murder of his ex girlfriend is set to begin in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court today.

Causewell is alleged to have killed 27-year-old Nardia Mitchell on the evening of July 16, 2008 at her St Andrew apartment.

Mitchell's body was found on the grounds of the apartment complex.

It was initially reported that she died after falling from the building.

However, a post mortem revealed that her injuries were not consistent with a fall.

The police say the post mortem indicated that Mitchell died from injuries caused by a blunt object that was used to hit her on the head.

Jamaica, Japan Help Line set up

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Jamaica's Foreign Affairs ministry has set up a help line for people seeking information on their relatives in the Asian country.

Persons seeking information can call 936- 0942.

The ministry says persons can also call the Foreign National Affairs Division in Japan at 813-5501-8174.


 Ann- Margaret Lim, Head of Public Relations at Jamaica's foreign affairs ministry says so far contact has been made with 35 of the 55 Jamaicans on a teaching programme in Japan.

Flare-up at Manatt-Dudus enquiry

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Personnel had to rush in Thursday to quell a flare-up among rival political party officials and supporters before the Manatt-Dudus commission of enquiry was brought to a screeching halt inside the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, yesterday.

The disruption was sparked by a claim by Justice Minister and Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne that the attorney for the People's National (PNP), K.D. Knight, had more than three decades ago declared that "all Labourites fi dead".

Three disruptions within a 45-minute period marred the afternoon session, with no solution to what threatens to become a major standoff between the two senators.

The last of the premature adjournments brought the day's proceedings to a close.

Knight described Lightbourne's claim as an egregious lie, possibly intended to put him in danger.

Earlier, addressing the commission at the adjournment, Knight had declared: "If tomorrow morning (today) the matter is not resolved in a way satisfactorily to me, then there will be some difficulty in proceeding."

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The Trinidad police are investigating the seizure of more than $18 million worth of compressed marijuana concealed in a 40-foot shipping container which arrived on a vessel from Jamaica.

According to the Trinidad Express, the weed was found at the port of Point Lisas on Wednesday.

The police said the original seal on the container had been replaced with a Trinidad and Tobago Customs and Excise seal.

A total of 10 large luggage bags were found containing 118 packets of the illegal drug, which weighed close to 300 kilogrammes.

Investigators said the original seal of the container was found in a black plastic bag tied to one of the bags containing the drugs.

Officers said they have not been furnished, even though they made repeated requests to Customs officers with any documentation regarding the importer.

Apart from the marijuana, the shipment consisted of power washers and hoses.

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Lee Chin fails to make billionaire list

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Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú.

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Michael Lee-Chin has failed to make the cut on Forbes 2011 list of billionaires published Wednesday.

The magazine said that those who were dropped from the list - numbering some 47 people worldwide - either experienced declines in the value of their assets, or were culled because Forbes had got new information about their holdings.

Lee-Chin, who owns a number of Caribbean assets including National Commercial Bank, narrowly made the list in 2010 when his net worth fell to US$1 billion.

He made his fortune in mutual funds, but sold out his business, AIC Limited, to Manulife in 2009.

The current list of 1,210 billionaires control an estimated US$4.5 trillion of wealth.

Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim, 71, widened his lead over other billionaires on Forbes' list - the same day his flagship company said he is a victim of monopolistic practices.

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...

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Slim's fortune was estimated to have risen to US$74 billion, well ahead of Bill Gates
Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

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US$56 billion and investor Warren Buffett's US$50 billion. French luxury-goods magnate Bernard Arnault was fourth with US$41 billion.

Slim, the owner of Claro, gained the most in the past year.

His wealth increased US$20.5 billion from last year's estimate of US$53.5 billion by Forbes, which attributed the increase to a rise in Mexican stock prices as well as successful mining and real-estate projects carried out through his Grupo Carso conglomerate.

A total of 332 Asians made the list, surpassing Europe's 300 for the first time. Moscow, with 79 billionaires, racked up more berths on the list than any other city in the world.

The United States still has the lead in total number of billionaires, with 413 of the 1,210 on the list.


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In response to Thursday's attack on the Spanish Town police station, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers have been guarding the station.

The old capital has been tense and has required a heavy presence from security forces in recent weeks due an internal feud that has split members of the notorious Klansman gang. The feud has left a reported 10 persons dead in recent weeks.

Yesterday, gunmen said to be from the notorious Klansman gang, launched a brazen attack on the station and patrols in the vicinity, in what police believe to be an act of reprisal.

The police have reportedly killed three alleged Klansman gang members in the past week. Following the deaths the Police High Command raised the threat level against its personnel to 'extreme'.

Thursday night, the police high command described the attacks as "vicious and unprovoked" and said they indicated "the viciousness and the extraordinary lengths to which criminals from the Clansman gang will go in order to perpetuate their criminal way of life".

"The police will not cower in the face of these attacks and will respond appropriately and professionally," the high command said and praised "the bravery and the commitment of members who came under sustained gunfire ... and who were able to repel the criminals".


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VP Records

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Quite frankly, we are getting a bit tired of Flava and his rantings and accusations againt VP Records. He keeps on trying to stir up controversy by making wild accusations against Chris Chin and how VP tief him, but by the time you look around, he takes down the story. And a few weeks later, he jumps up and blasts VP again, only to subsequently erase all history of his accusations.

At one time lava was the main person at Tad's Records, working closely with Tad and doing all his projects. Then he disappeared and linked up back with Chris Chin, pretending that they were BFF's. But it looks as if Flava is kemar McGregor's best  and only friend. Notice how he always sends out a huge picture of himself, regardless of which artiste he claims to be promoting?

Flava, get your act together or everybody will have you as the boy who cried "wolf". Nuff said.

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PM Golding has no Manatt bombshell, says Small

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Bruce Golding

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The Manatt-Dudus commission of enquiry this morning resumed with concerns being raised about Prime Minister, Bruce Golding's reported utterances at a Jamaica Labour Party central executive meeting on Saturday.

Referring to media reports, Attorney Patrick Atkinson who is representing former National Security Minister Dr Peter Phillips, said the Prime Minister has promised to reveal more secrets when he testifies at the Manatt enquiry.

But Atkinson says the Prime Minister would first be required to submit a new statement to the commission with the information he intends to disclose.

However, the Prime Minister's lawyer Hugh Small says it's the media which have claimed that Golding will be making a bombshell announcement.

According to Small, the Prime Minister had given no indication that new issues would be raised..

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Freddie celebrates 50 years in music

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Freddie McGregor

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There were few hotter reggae acts in the 1980s and early 1990s than singer Freddie McGregor. But as he approaches his 50th year in the music business, getting airplay for his new songs is not something he takes for granted.

"I'm so worried right now, because I talk to a lot of artistes from my era and they will tell you that dem have new product, but dem don't know if it going get play,' McGregor told The Gleaner.

McGregor said he always wanted to cover A House is Not a Home which was originally a hit for Dionne Warwick in the 1960s. In addition to the keyboards and drumming of Steely and Clevie, McGregor's longtime guitarist Dalton Browne and saxophonist Dean Fraser played on the track which was first laid three years ago, one year before Steely's (Wycliffe Johnson) death.

"It's a hardcore reggae feel. It's what we would consider a real roots-lovers kind of groove," he explained. "What we have done is create an original melody that gives it that difference, 'cause we didn't want it to sound like the original."

McGregor started his career in the early 1960s at Studio One as a member of The Clarendonians alongside Peter Austin and Ernest Wilson. His big break as a solo act came in the late 1970s with the song Bobby Babylon and album of the same name, for that company.

Freddie McGregor and his Big Ship Crew, which includes sons Chino and Stephen and daughter Shema, perform on Friday's Tunn Up show at Dinthill High School in St Catherine.

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Gyptian and Etana's US tour cancelled

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Gyptian and Etana's tour of selected U.S. cities has been cancelled.

According to a release from their record label, VP Records, the tour "was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the artistes' and label's control".

The release went on to state that both Gyptian and Etana have expressed disappointment about missing their fans for this tour.

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Morning Television Hosts Join Forces

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Television Jamaica's 'Smile Jamaica' and NBC's 'TODAY' show will collaborate to produce a special, unique episode that combines both programmes.

'TODAY' show's Kathie-Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, along with Smile Jamaica's Simon Crosskill, Neville Bell, Simone Cooper-Clarke and Carlette DeLeon will co-host the show which will be broadcast live on TVJ from a picturesque Jamaican location today. Segments of the show will be broadcast on the 'TODAY' show in May and the entire show will be posted on the 'TODAY' show's website.


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HBO Latin America announced that the HBO Film, The Sunset Limited will premiere in the Caribbean this Saturday (March 5).

Starring Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) and Academy Award nominee Samuel L Jackson (the Iron Man series, Pulp Fiction), the film explores and debates the value of existence.

The Sunset Limited is a searing two-character drama that mixes humour and pathos while examining the relationship between strangers who are brought together by desperate circumstances. Locked in a philosophical debate, both passionately defend their personal credos and try to convert the other.

Set in a New York tenement apartment, the story focuses on two very different men - a deeply religious black ex-con (Samuel L Jackson) who thwarts the suicide attempt of an asocial white college professor (Tommy Lee Jones) who tried to throw himself in front of the Sunset Limited, a Harlem subway train. While one attempts to connect on a rational, spiritual and emotional level, the other remains steadfast in his hard-earned despair.

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Man held for bomb threat hoax

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The police have made a breakthrough in their probe into Sunday's bomb threat that led to a ban on air cargo from Jamaica to the United States.

Detectives from the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) have arrested a man in connection with the incident at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

A statement issued by the Jamaica Constabulary Force says he was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon and is to be interviewed by investigators on Thursday.

Wednesday's arrest came a day after the United States lifted its suspension on air cargo from Jamaica.

The ban was imposed after a report was received that an explosive could be in cargo leaving Jamaica to the US.

However, it later discovered to have been a hoax.

In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, Mike Henry, Transport and Works Minister said preliminary investigations suggested that the report was contrived to defame an employee of an airport concessionaire.  

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Detectives attached to the Major Investigations Taskforce are probing the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of one man and the injuring of two others on Ascot Avenue in Kingston Wednesday evening.

The dead man has been identified as Charles Dias, otherwise called 'Macky', of Dobsy Road in Kingston.

The St. Andrew Central Police report that about 6:40 p.m., Mr. Dias was travelling in a motor car along Ascot Avenue with two other men aboard.

On reaching a section of the road, the driver of another motor car, which had several men aboard, approached their vehicle.

The occupants of that motor car reportedly fired several shots at the vehicle being driven by Mr. Dias, before speeding away.

Mr. Dias and his two passengers were shot several times.

They were taken to hospital were Mr. Dias died while being treated and the other two admitted in serious condition.

Desmond McKenzie's daughter in visa scam

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The daughter of Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie was taken into custody by the Duhaney Park police Wednesday after a woman accused her of being involved in a visa scam.

The woman is reported to have claimed that she paid $297,000 in order to obtain visas to access three first-world countries of her choice. She said, however, that after this did not come through, she requested that her money be returned.

It is alleged that after her money wasn't returned in a reasonable time, she reported the matter to the police. The report was said to have been made on February 25 despite assurances that the situation was not a case of fraud.

It was reported that McKenzie's daughter told the woman, in an attempt to reassure her, that her reputable father had created access for visas on numerous occasions and could take care of everything.

Kartel and NotNice split?

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Deejay Vybz Kartel and producer NotNice are remaining quiet as to whether there is a rift between them.

Rumours were circulating that the two had stopped working together musically since mid-February. According to several sources, NotNice was assaulted and his studio equipment removed from his house where he was working. It is alleged that Kartel was behind the removal of the equipment. However, it is unclear as to the reasons behind the move.

When The Star reportedly spoke to Ainsley 'NotNice' Morris yesterday, he was silent on whether there is an existing rift between himself and Kartel. When asked about the musical projects he is currently working on, the producer said, "No comment towards nothing at all."

The normally talkative Kartel was also silent on the matter giving no comment at all except to say that he recently released Empire Universe the Second Chapter on iTunes. The album was released on the Adidjahiem and NotNice Records.

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Stephen Marley to team up with Dead Prez

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Stephen Marley will be teaming up with hip hop duo Dead Prez.

The group's co-founder, M1, has confirmed that while they are at work on their tenth album, Information Age, another higher profile project is in the works, which includes Stephen Marley.

Stephen, who worked on Nas and Damian Marley's Distant Relatives album last year, has recorded with Dead Prez in the past, on the Black & White soundtrac

k for "Dem Crazy".

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Legal pundits say Buju has chance of success

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Legal opinion is indicating that the motion filed in a Florida Court for an acquittal or new trial for reggae artiste, Buju Banton, stands a reasonable chance of being successful.

Buju's defence team filed the motion in court earlier this week.

 The 37-year old Grammy winning entertainer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was found guilty last Tuesday of three of four charges - conspiracy to possess with the intent to possess 5 or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

However, the 12-member jury returned a not guilty verdict on a fourth charge of attempted possession with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

United State-based attorney-at-law Oliver Smith believes the motion for acquittal may cause at least two of the counts to be overturned, and subsequently cut several years from Buju's possible sentence.

"As far as the gun count is concerned phone count, (using wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense) I think is a real likelihood of success on those counts. I think the conspiracy count is doomed. The weapon was found on December 10, the date when Buju was not present, so it's highly unlikely, unless that there is some other evidence, that the jury could reasonably conclude that Buju would have knowledge that the person had the weapon and secondly, that that the weapon would be used in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy. I think he has an excellent chance," said Mr. Smith, who was speaking Wednesday evening on RJR's current affairs discussion programme Beyond the Headlines.

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Fantan Mojah

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Rumours have been circulating that Reggae artiste Fantan Mojah was denied a US visa and his upcoming tour is facing cancellations.

However, Josef Bogdanovich, owner of Downsound Records, is refuting those allegations stating that the artiste's previous work visa has expired and he is in the process of filing for a new one.

He says that the promoters are all aware of this and there are no cancellations of any dates at this time.


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Baby dies after being hit on head with rock

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A 13-month-old baby is dead after being hit in the head by a stone allegedly thrown by a man who the St Elizabeth police believe also attempted to rape the infant's mother.

Police yesterday identified the baby as Shana-Kay Robinson of Armstrong District in Balaclava, north-east St Elizabeth.

The alleged attacker, 25-year-old Donar Angell was caught and beaten by angry residents before being rescued by police who took him to hospital where he was undergoing treatment yesterday afternoon under police guard.

Police reports are that the baby's mother, 29-year-old Stephanie Morris Robinson of Armstrong District, was walking along the Balaclava main road at about 9:30 am when she was attacked by a man who threw stones at her.

A police spokesman told the Observer that one stone -- thrown so hard that it hit the "baby out of the mother's hand" -- connected on the left side of the infant's head, "exposing the brain".

The attacker allegedly chased and held on to the mother and in an apparent attempt to rape her, tore off her clothes. The woman managed to escape and made an alarm.

Residents returned with her to the scene and rushed baby Shana-Kay to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A search party formed by citizens cornered Angell and were in the process of beating him when he was rescued by police. A police spokesman said yesterday that he was likely to be charged with murder.

The temporary suspension placed on cargo operations from Jamaica to Canada and the Bahamas has been lifted.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) says the lifting of the suspension means that cargo and duty free items will now be allowed to leave Jamaica for these two countries.

However, the ban on cargo from Jamaica to the United States remains in effect until further notice.

The United States Transport Security Administration (TSA) imposed the ban Sunday night after it received a threat that an explosive device could be placed on a flight from Jamaica.

The ban was expanded to include the transportation of cargo to Canada and the Bahamas as these flights utilize US airspace.

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Two of the policemen accused of the gang rape of an exotic dancer will have to wait a while longer to hear if they will be released from custody.

The court, which on Monday heard an application seeking their release, gave investigators until the end of the week to complete their probe of the allegations against them.

"What happened is that the Resident Magistrate (RM) heard the application in respect of the policemen being held in St. Andrew and she has given the investigators until Friday to complete their investigation and submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a ruling and then on Friday we'll know exactly what the situation is with them," said Peter Champagnie, attorney-at-law representing the accused policemen.

The other two accused cops are being held in St. Catherine.

Mr. Champagnie believes there is no basis for their continued detention.

"That is in a different jurisdiction so it all depends on what sort of evidence they have, if any, in relation to the other two in St. Catherine RM Court. But my view is that if it is that there is no other evidence linking any of them to any offence that is being alleged then there is no basis for their continued detention," Mr. Champagnie added.

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Easter bun soon disappear

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It looka like Easter buns will soon disappear altogether, because every year dem get 

smaller and lighter.

And now Bakers' Association of Jamaica is looking at ways to make Easter Buns more affordable. So they are now considering making smaller buns so that consumers will not have to cut back on the tradition of eating the product during the Easter holidays.

And for those of you who didn't realize it, the bakers admit that they have been making the loaves of bread a bit smaller.

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$120M in counterfeit cigarettes seized in operation

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The authorities have made a major dent in the illicit cigarette trade.

The Customs Department is reporting that it has seized J$120 million worth of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes.

A statement from the Department said four million sticks of the fake cigarettes were found in a 20 foot container which originated in China.

It was seized at Kingston Container Terminal.

The counterfeit cigarettes were originally declared as plastic and styrofoam cups and plates.

The Customs Department says the trading of counterfeit cigarettes is a breach of the Trade Marks Act as well as the Copyright Act.

It adds that counterfeit cigarettes, although cheaper, pose a serious health risk as the contents are unregulated.

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Jamaica has no concert recordings of Bob Marley and The Wailers during the 1960s.

This has been revealed by Dr. Matthew Smith, Senior 

Lecturer in the Department of History and Archeology at the University of the West Indies, who delivered the recent annual Bob Marley lecture series at the university.

"From 1963 to 1973, in that ten-year span of Bob Marley and the Wailers' performance history there is no video recording or audio recording of the Wailers. And it's not until they go international that they are recorded. This is not just The Wailers alone, there were many other performers in that period. We were not recording and recognising their contribution," Dr. Smith said.

He added that live recordings of Bob Marley's local concerts occurred following the mid 1970s however, there is no documentation of his rise to stardom.

According to Dr. Smith, this is because the tapes were left in the United Kingdom for processing, erasing, theft and decay.



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There has been an outbreak of Chicken Pox at the Constant Spring Police lock up in St. Andrew.

Officials of the Public Health Department ordered a quarantine of the lock up, after five prisoners were diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday.

The lock up has been placed under quarantine for the next two weeks.

The Police High Command has ordered that no new prisoners should be taken to the lock up and those currently there should remain until the quarantine is lifted.

The High Command has ordered that the prisoners with the virus be isolated and that protective gear be provided for police personnel who work in the cells.

Among the 80 prisoners being housed in the lock-up is Garnett Reid, Jamaica Labour Party caretaker.

Chicken Pox is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with the varicella zoster virus.

It usually starts as a vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head, which becomes itchy with raw pock marks that normally heal without scarring for some persons.


Book review: Long Run, Short Catch'.

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This is a wonderful epic story about real life and normalcy at its crusts. It's from the point of view of one of our African sisters with her life stories as the foundation. The events are real, the cross culture is a shock and the lessons learned are priceless. Jamaica gets highlighted in the novel for those who enjoy that feeling and a sense of home 'Long Run, short Catch' does take you to that special spot.

The story is about a Nigerian-American who ventures out to fine happiness on the 'other side' but only comes to find out that the grass really isn't greener on the other side. When the love bug bites it can make you blind which is exactly what

happens when she picks up her Jamaican husband from hell, marries him and starts a roller coaster of unforeseen hurt and disappointment. Immigration is one of the main issues discussed but is so relevant in our westernized society.

This novel has everything from love, romance, scandal, drug cartels and even battles within when you discover how Asama learns to deal. For many of us, our sanity is our only sense of hope yet the easiest thing to lose and how and what we chose to use as coping mechanism can be life altering.

This is a great read for all to take in and honestly, a breath of fresh air! 

Yardflex review says Asama Iwuoha nailed it right on the head.

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Two policemen attached to the West Kingston Police Division have been charged with murder.

Corporal Charles Watkins and Constable Kirk McFarlane were charged Friday morning, following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).They were later taken before the Half Way Tree Criminal Court where Corporal Watkins and Constable McFarlane were offered $1 million and $500,000 bail respectively.

The two are charged for the November 26, 2009, shooting death of Steven McRay, a resident of Lincoln Avenue in St Andrew.

It was reported that policemen from the Denham Town Police Station responded to reports of gunfire in the Lincoln Avenue area.

The police say they were confronted by members of the 'Rat Bat' gang on entering the community.

During a shoot-out, Mr. McRay was shot and a gun reportedly taken from him.

However, residents disputed the police's story.

The arrest of the policemen is causing anger among policemen in the Division.

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Irie FM celebrates Peter Tosh

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Peter Tosh

In celebration of Reggae month IRIE FM will hit the road again to pay homage to the legendary Peter Tosh

On Feb 27 IRIE FM will have a special outside broadcast at the Peter Tosh Museum in Bluefield, Westmorland

The media house will celebrate Peter Tosh life, work and legacy from 6 AM to 2 PM with the Running African show with Andrea Williams and Sunday Sunshine with Big A.

The IRE FM's broadcast will feature nyabinghi drummers, live performances and much more.

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Rat Town & Big Lane under curfew

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Forty eight hour curfews have been imposed on sections of the St. Catherine South Police Division.

The areas under curfew are Rat Town in Waterford, Portmore and Big Lane in Central Village, Spanish Town.

The curfews took effect at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 23 and will remain in effect until 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 25.

The boundaries of the curfew on Rat Town, Waterford are north along a gully from Shenton Avenue to the Western boundary; south along a dirt track from the Western boundary to Shenton Avenue; east along Shenton Avenue from the dirt track to the gully and west along an imaginary line from the gully to the dirt track.

The boundaries of the curfew on Big Lane, Central Village are north along an imaginary line from Big Lane to the New testament Church of God; south along the Rio Cobre bank from Big Lane to an imaginary line leading from the New Testament Church of God to the river; east along Big Lane from the imaginary line leading from the New Testament Church of God to the Rio Cobre bank and west along an imaginary line from the New Testament Church of God to the Rio Cobre.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons within the boundaries are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorized in writing by a member of the security forces, who is in charge of enforcing the curfew.

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$100m worth of cocaine found on cruise ship

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The Customs Department says the cocaine seized during an operation at the Montego Bay Cruise Ship Pier in St. James on Wednesday has been valued at more than $100 million.

A statement from the Department says 50 pounds of cocaine was found following the five hour operation.

It involved personnel from Customs and a team from the Trans-National Crimes and Narcotics Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

According to the statement, 22 pounds of cocaine was found strapped to a man who has been identified as Ricardo Chin.

Mr. Chin was a passenger on a cruise ship that had docked at the pier.

Another 28 pounds of cocaine was found in a suitcase in a cabin occupied by a second passenger on the ship.

The cruise ship had arrived from Colombia.

Mr. Chin has been taken into custody and will answer to charges of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act as well as the Customs Act.       



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Buju's assets safe for now

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Prosecuting attorneys in the United States are yet to say if they will be going after the assets owned by convicted reggae superstar Buju Banton.

According to a report in the Gleaner, they were unable to get a comment from the prosecutors yesterday, more than 24 hours after a 12-member jury found Buju guilty on three of four drug-related charges.

But lawyers in the US disagree about whether the state has any grounds on which to go after Buju's assets.

David Oscar Markus, the lead attorney for the Grammy-winning reggae icon, yesterday told The Gleaner that there was no basis for the state to move to seize his assets.

Markus, who was obviously devastated over his failure to secure an acquittal for Buju, was curt as he declared the state could not take the assets.

However, controversial Florida-based Jamaican attorney, Professor David Rowe, warned that the US government could still institute forfeiture proceedings against Buju based on the conviction.

Pointing to legal precedent, Rowe said: "Among the statutory grounds for forfeiture are that the property was used or intended for use or to facilitate drug trafficking."

In a superseding indictment handed down last November, prosecutors increased the charges against Buju from two to four and indicated that if he was convicted on any count punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, they would be seeking the forfeiture of some of his assets.

"Mark Anthony Myrie, aka Buju Banton, shall forfeit to the United States ... all of (his) right, title and interest in property constituting and derived from any proceeds ... obtained directly or indirectly as a result of such violations.

"And property used and intended to be used in any manner or part to commit or to facilitate the commission of such violations," read the indictment in part.

It added that if Buju was convicted on the firearm charge, he would have to forfeit the firearm and ammunition to the state.

On Tuesday, a jury found Buju guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and aiding and abetting in using a communication facility ... in facilitating the commission of an act constituting a felony.


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Woman found guilty of killing lover's wife

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A jury deliberated for five hours yesterday before convicting 40-year-old fashion designer Janet Douglas of Zaidie Gardens, St Andrew for the murder of her lover's wife.

She is to be sentenced in the Home Circuit Court on March 11 for the murder of 32-year-old dressmaker Isolyn McGill, of Corn Piece district, near Hayes Clarendon.

Supreme Court Judge Marjorie Cole Smith presided at the trial.

The Crown represented by attorney-at-law Kathy Pyke and Crown Counsel Kerri Ann Kemble led evidence at the four-week trial that jealousy was the motive for the murder because Douglas had a love affair with police Sergeant Glen McGill, Isolyn's husband.

The body, with 19 stab wounds, was found in bushes at Hillyfield district, off the Bustamante Highway in Clarendon on the night of November 24, 2000.

Douglas was first convicted of the murder in 2005 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

She was ordered to serve 25 years before parole.

She appealed against her conviction and the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

The policemen accused of last week's rape of an exotic dancer at a nightclub in Dam Head, St. Catherine will be questioned on Wednesday. his follows the filing of a writ of habeas corpus on Tuesday seeking the release of four of the five accused who have been in custody since February 17. It was filed by their attorney, Peter Champagnie. Following the filing of a writ of habeas corpus I have been contacted by the investigator and my understanding is that they would like to do an interview with them so the interviews will commence," Mr. Champagnie said. team from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has been assigned to probe the case.

Information obtained by RJR News revealed that the cops were on patrol in Spanish Town when they stopped at a popular night club near Dam Head.he policemen reportedly solicited sex from the complainant. It is reported that following an encounter between the woman and the policemen, she filed a complaint with the Spanish Town Police.

Buju faces 15 years to life; to appeal conviction

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On Tuesday, Reggae artiste Buju Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence, and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.

However, he was found not guilty of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Shortly after, Banton -- whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie -- met his legal team of David Oscar Markus, Marc David Seitles and Margot Moss. Markus emerged an hour later telling reporters that the conviction would be appealed.

An emotional Markus read a statement prepared by Banton after the guilty verdict.

"Our life and our destiny are sometimes pre-destined and no matter where this journey takes me, remember I fought the good fight," said the statement. "It was a great man that said 'my head is bloody but still unbowed'. I love you all. Thank you for your support. Keep loving God."

Banton is to be sentenced in another three months and faces 15 years to life behind bars, Markus said. The lawyer is expected to apply to have Banton's US$250,000 bail restored during the period leading up to the sentence.

The artiste had been on trial since Monday, February 14. The 12 jurors, three of whom were African-Americans, started deliberating last Friday morning.

Banton's first trial ended in September last year with the jurors being unable to reach a unanimous verdict, setting up the second trial.

He was arrested on December 10, 2009, hours after two men -- Ian Thomas and James Mack -- were busted in an undercover warehouse where they had gone to purchase cocaine. US$135,000 was seized and the gun for which Banton was charged was found in Mack's car. Both men had pleaded guilty and are yet to be sentenced.

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Reactions to Buju's guilty verdict

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Buju Banton

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Jamaicans continue to react to Tuesday's guilty verdict handed down in the drug trial of international reggae star Buju Banton.

Some of Jamaica's most prominent entertainers are among those who have expressed sympathy and support for the embattled entertainer.

Several artistes in the reggae community declared Buju an icon adding that although his immediate confinement has brought sadness, hope remains that his appeal will be successful.

"Is a very sad time, I am a fan of Buju Banton. Buju Banton is like an idol to me in the music [industry]. Really and truly we are still praying for Buju, we never stop praying for Buju," said singer Tarrus Riley.

Meanwhile, promoter and artiste, Tony Rebel, believes the impact has shaken the entire island.

 "It's a sad day for reggae music, it's a sad day for Jamaica, it's a sad day for his family and for Rasta, but like any other thing we'll have to pull through it and go on," he said.

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Buju Banton guilty on 3 cocaine-related counts

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Jamaica's reggae superstar Buju Banton, real name Mark Myrie, has been found guilty of three cocaine related charges.

A 12 member jury a short while ago delivered the verdict in the Sam M Gibbons building in Tampa which houses the United States Middle District Court, Florida Division.

Buju was tried last week on four charges.

Buju throughout the maintained he is innocent of the charges saying he play no part in any conspiracy to possess cocaine.

In denying the claims against him, Buju, though his attorney David Oscar Markus, argued that the artiste never became a willing participant of the cocaine conspiracy charged in the superseding indictment.

The defence said tasting the cocaine, talking about cocaine and simply being present at the warehouse is not sufficient to find Buju guilty of the crimes charged.

This trial, which began on February 14, was the second attempt of the US government to convict the Jamaican artiste. A first trial last year was declared a mistrial after jurors failed to arrive at a unanimous position.
Buju was arrested on December 10, 2009.

His long-time friend Ian Thomas and a James Mack were arrested the same day when they attempted to by cocaine from undercover detectives in a Florida warehouse. Thomas and Mack pleaded guilty but Buju denied the charges. He said he decided to fight in federal court because he knows he is innocent.

Prayers to God for Buju

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About 20 minutes of prayer and Psalms reading were offered up supporters for entertainer Buju Banton in the halls of the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court this morning.
As the Group of about 19 people read from Psalm 21, Banton's name was inserted, replacing the name of King David of Israel and the common noun 'he'.
While walking to court this morning, Buju Banton appeared relaxed and even smiled as he chatted with his attorneys. (Photo: Paul Henry)
During the prayer supporters stood holding hand and chanted, "Victory, victory in Jesus Christ." They also chanted 'Freedom'.
It was a meeting of the faiths as Rastas and Christians prayed together. Before the group prayer, some supporters knelt and prayed.
Jurors at the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa today began their second day of deliberations to determine the fate of reggae star Buju, real name Mark Myrie, who since last week, has been on trial for gun and drug-related offences.

FLORIDA, United States — Prosecution witness in the Buju Banton drug trial Alexander Johnson, testified today that he never made any drug deal with the Reggae artiste on December 8, 2009 when Banton was videotaped tasting cocaine in an undercover warehouse.

Johnson said under under continued cross-examination by defence attorney David Markus that it was Ian Thomas that he brokered a deal with and that it was Thomas who found the buyers for the cocaine for which the men were arrested.
He said Thomas kept changing the buyers and the amount of drugs required. But under re-examination from prosecutor James Preston, Johnson said that Buju was a broker in the deal.
Johnson said Buju never cancelled any deal or never told him that he never wanted to see his drug boat.
He also testified that Banton never told him that he was joking when he said he wanted to finance a illicit cocaine deal.
The trial is now in its third day and is expected to last for one week in the US Sam Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida.

Calling Mrs. Mark Myrie!!!


This one is called lover’s choice!! All you girls out there who are just waiting for the Gargamel to get released so you can show him what he has been missing. Well, hold your brakes, cause there’s a Mrs. Myrie tucked away in a corner of Africa and she has emerged for the trial. And so too has the shiny gold wedding band.

But we a wonder why after all this time, the Gargamel finally a admit sey him married and a wear up the wedding band big and bold. All we can say is that must be part of the trial image.
Anyway, we see it inna di picture of Buju and him lawyer posing up in front a di court house. We all see Gargamel and push stroller like the perfect Babyfada.But where is Mrs. Myrie, aka Mama Africa. And Baby Africa? Cause it looks like the baby in the stroller is his manager, Tracii McGregor’s bundle of joy. (But who’s her baby daddy anyway?)

JAMAICA-28 homosexual Jamaicans were granted political asylum in he U.S.A. for being persecuted due to their sexual orientation. The Jamaican Observer reports:

Immigration Equality, an organisation which works to secure asylum for individuals persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV-status, said it won dozens of cases for clients from the Caribbean in 2010.

Reggae super star Beres Hammond will be the headliner for this week’s One love Reggae Concert which will be held on Tuesday, February 15 at the Negril Escape Resort. This news has created quite a buzz in Western Jamaica where Beres Hammond has thousands of loyal fans.

Beres Hammond started his career in the late 1970’s and has created a very impressive reputation as a top class recording artiste and stage performer.
Throughout his long and successful career he has built a vast repertoire of hits that includes musical gems such as ‘One Step Ahead’, ‘What one Dance Can Do’, ‘Putting Up Resistance’ and ‘Groovy Little Thing’. He is extremely popular especially among female reggae fans because of his penchant for singing soothing lovers rock songs.

Also on the bill for this event are two very promising reggae singers, Timmi Burrell who is currently enjoying much attention with songs such as ‘Make Doh’, ‘Dark Shades and White Tees’ and ‘Fresh and Clean’. The other artiste is former Messenjah lead singer Lazah Current who is known for songs such as ‘Hey Girl’ and ‘Lately’.

Buju Banton wins the Grammy for Before The Dawn


Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton, who is to face a US court tomorrow on drugs and gun charges has won the Grammy for the Best Reggae Album.

This is Buju's first Grammy win.
Buju, who was nominated for his album 'Before The Dawn' beat out five other nominees.

This is the second consecutive year, that Buju was nominated. Last year he was nominated for 'Rasta Got Soul'.

Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie is now in the United States is to face the courts tomorrow.

Yardflex sends hearty congratulations to Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie.

STATISTICS FROM the education ministry have painted a worrying picture of indiscipline in school in Jamaica, and have revealed that some 26,000 students have

been suspended and hundreds expelled over a three-year period.
Responding to a request from The Sunday Gleaner, the education ministry compiled the reports of suspensions and expulsions reported from all regions by public, private, and independent schools during the 2006-2007 to 2008-2009 academic years.
The ministry was careful to point out that the figures "are estimates for suspension and expulsion", which means the figures could be higher, especially after allowing for under-reporting, the ministry conceded.

During the period under review, an average of 8,600 students were suspended in each academic year while no less than 506 of their peers were booted from school.
Permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education (MOE), Audrey Sewell, was staggered by the data. "It is the first time I have sat and looked at it globally. It is significant and nobody would feel comfortable with that level," said a concerned Sewell.
"I hope none of them (those expelled) has slipped through the cracks," she added, while noting that the ministry would launch a campaign to follow up on the progress of the students since their expulsion. "We have a responsibility to all of them," she said.
The education ministry did not have a breakdown of the reasons for the disciplinary measures taken against the students, but the Education Regulations 1980 governs and carefully sets out the grounds on which a child can be suspended or expelled from school. It states that "the principal of a public educational institution may suspend from the institution for a period not exceeding 10 days any student whose conduct in his opinion is of such a nature that his presence in that institution is having or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the discipline of the institution".
A student can also be suspended for committing "any act which causes injury to any member of staff or to any other student in that institution".

The education regulations also state that "except in special cases, a student shall only be suspended or excluded from a public educational institution after other efforts have been made to effect an improvement in the conduct of the student".
While not providing the specific circumstances surrounding each suspension or expulsion, Sewell, who accepted that there were several issues in the education sector that needed to be addressed, suggested that educators were often left with no other option but to suspend or expel students.

"There are many problems in the system. Teachers are overwhelmed. It is not that they really want to suspend, but they have to find a way to send a strong message," she said.
According to the 31-year-old set of laws, when a principal suspends a student, he or she must, with dispatch, give notice of the suspension to the student council and the parent or guardian of that student, as well as make a report to the board, stating the reasons for the suspension.

During the period of the suspension, the board of the public educational institution is required to investigate the matter, after which the student can be reinstated with or without a reprimand, or a warning can be given to the student, and where appropriate, to the parent or guardian.
After the investigations have been completed, the school board is also at liberty to "suspend the student for a further period not exceeding five school days beyond the period of suspension already given", or it can "instruct the principal to exclude permanently the student from attending that institution and shall inform the minister of such action".

According to the regulations, a child may re-enter another school after being expelled from a particular one. "A student who has been permanently excluded for disciplinary reasons from a public educational institution may be admitted to another public educational institution if a confidential report of the circumstances surrounding the exclusion is given to the principal of that other institution," read a section of the regulations.
Sewell told The Sunday Gleaner that it is the ministry's desire to ensure that every student who enters the nation's school system benefits. "It's really not comforting to know that we are losing some of them," she remarked.

The PS feels strongly that the high number of suspensions and expulsions is linked to "dysfunctional homes that make up Jamaica's malfunctioning society. The problem is that we are not getting the support from many of the homes in the administration of proper discipline," she asserted.
Suspensions and expulsions must be a last resort, according to ministry guidelines.

"Emphasis must be placed on prevention and early intervention strategies. The MOE, therefore, asserts that standard procedures be implemented to identify, as early as possible, students at risk and provide the necessary support to those who are presenting behavioural challenges."

MOH continuing ackee sensitization campaign

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The Ministry of Health has indicated that it will be maintaining its campaign to sensitise members of the public on the proper procedures for the preparation of ackee for consumption.

This comes in the wake of an increase in cases of ackee poisoning.
Earlier this week, health officials in St. Catherine reported three deaths from ackee poisoning and 18 cases in which persons fell ill.
According to Sheila Campbell Forrester, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, the sensitisation campaign will be a multi-faceted one.

Late last month, the government confirmed six deaths from ackee poisoning in St. Ann and St. Mary.
It was reported that the deaths were due to the consumption of ackees with high levels of hypoglycin, which is contained in the unripened fruit.

Jah Cure, Etana join Trina at EME Awards

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The Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards kicks into high gear with the announcement that golden-voiced roots singer Jah Cure, the Strong One, Etana and current reggae nominee Andrew Tosh, son of the legendary Peter Tosh will join hip hop's Diamond Princess TRINA as performers at the 7th annual EME Awards. The glitzy awards that traditionally attracts hundreds of A-Listers, taste makers, media executives and VIP's is set to take place on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at The East Lawn of the historical Devon House site, Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica.

Etana, coming off a strong performance at the One Love Reggae Concert Winter Series in Negril last month is expected to enthrall fans with another top notch performance at the EME Awards. The acclaimed Warrior Princess recently released her highly anticipated sophomore album "Free Expressions" for VP Records, so titled because she refused to be constrained by approach or lyrical content.
Etana will join international reggae artiste Jah Cure, known for hits Love Is, True Reflections, Call On Me, and Unconditional Love. He will attend the 2011 EME Awards as a multiple nominee and performer and is expected to deliver a captivating set.

"We are very excited to have Jah Cure and Etana, two of my personal favourite roots and culture singers on this year's show “ EME Founder Richard "Richie B" Burgess said.

In addition to Etana and Cure, the EMEs will feature singer Andrew Tosh, arguably one of the most prolific male vocalists in the reggae genre. He emerged as a force in reggae when he sang at his father's funeral in the National Arena in Kingston in 1987. His version of Peter's "Jah Guide" stunned everyone in attendance.

"I was astonished myself on stage," he recalls. "The other song I did was 'Equal Rights,' because everyone is crying out for peace but none is crying out for justice. When I came down off the stage, I couldn't stop crying."

His current album "Legacy - An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh" is nominated for a Grammy this year along with Buju Banton Gregory Isaacs, Lee Scratch Perry and Sly & Robbie.
Tosh disclosed that he is also finishing up another album titled "Eye To Eye" that will feature an original track with Kymani Marley. The disc will feature an unreleased duet with his dad, plus other surprises including collaborations with a few international acts.

The 2011 Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards will recognize the top performers in approximately 30 award categories including DJ of the Year, Best New Artiste, Song of the Year, Vocalist of the year and Producer of the year among others. Winners will be determined based on their performance on The Weekly Jamaica Music Countdown (Charts), votes via texts and votes at the website

Dancer Ovamarz, who has broken through the ranks and is now gaining recognition as a rising deejay, recently completed the video shoot for his latest single.

The song, Now You See Me Now You Don’t, is on the popular Star Boy riddim, and is gaining traction in the dancehall and on radio. The artiste and his management have great expectations for this single, hence the decision to shoot a video.

“The video shoot went very well,” Ovamarz said. “Although this is not my first single, and as a dancer I have appeared in a lot of videos, this is my first video for myself. It has been challenging, but things have turned out great,” he said enthusiastically.
Ovamarz has already given the dancehall slick dance routines

including the Nuh Linga, Raging Bull – his first official dance – Step Ova and Now You See Me Now You Don’t, which is both a dance and the song.

He also recently appeared alongside Elephant Man in the KFC commercial for its new product, iTwist.
The video for Now You See Me Now You Don’t was directed by Karl Durrant, who has worked with artistes such as Romaine Virgo, D’Angel, One Third and DJ Sunshine. Locations for the video were Cross Roads, Norbrook and Brook Valley.

According to Ovamarz, who is managed by Celebrity Promotions, the video will have its premiere in the next few weeks, and he promises that it will be exciting.

As Black History and Reggae Month celebrations continue throughout the Jamaican Diaspora, New York-based Caribbean Lifestyle TV, will pay tribute to saxophonist Cedric Brooks at the station's fourth anniversary gala and awards ceremony on February 28 in Manhattan.
Regarded as one of Jamaica's foremost saxophonists, Brooks is known for his solo recordings and being a member of the internationally acclaimed Skatalites Band.

He was admitted as a patient at a Bronx Hospital last year in an unconscious state, has had a slow recovery and remains in a semi-comatose state at a Nursing Home in Queens.
He will be honoured for his work and dedication to Jamaica's rich musical history.

Beenie Man defends Kartel

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Despite the tension that is reportedly surrounding these two artistes, Beenie Man has come to the defense of Vybz Kartel.

It was reported in a several articles that a popular radio disc jock in New York will not be playing any of Kartel’s music for black history month, as he believes that Kartel does not respect his heritage.

However, Beenie Man, in a recent interview, spoke out about the disc jocks decision.
"Dancehall is dancehall, when it comes to hardcore dancehall, I don’t support any ban of dancehall music. If Kartel is sending a bleaching message, then he can understand why a man would not play it because we love our black skin, and black is beauty, but for the disc jock to say that he’s not playing dancehall music because Kartel is advocating bleaching is going a bit too far ... not all (of) Kartel songs are about bleaching," Beenie Man said.

Police release Don Topping and Dudus’ relative

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The police have released the man they had linked to last month's fatal shooting of five persons on Milton Close in Portsmouth, St. Catherine.
The suspect, Donovan Topping, was freed Tuesday evening after two failed identification parades.
It is reported that during the first line-up Mr. Topping was not pointed out.

During the second ID parade the witness failed to show up. Topping's attorney, Christopher Townsend, told RJR News his client was released several hours after the expiration of a court order.
“Topping was released late yesterday evening, despite the judge’s order that he be released by 10 o’clock. We are really treading on dangerous grounds when a judge’s order can be flouted just like that,” Townsend said.

And the police Tuesday also released the nephew of former Tivoli Garden’s strongman, Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
Lavaugh Campbell, 20, had been held for one week without being charged.

He had surrendered to the Denham Town Police, in the company of his attorney, after being named as a person of interest
A senior investigator told RJR News Mr. Campbell was a member of a gang known as "Young Generation," which has reportedly been flexing its muscles in the police division, since Mr. Coke's extradition.

Jamaican scores team high for Indiana Pacers

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Jamaica's Roy Hibbert Jr. scored a team high 20 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana Pacers, whose failure to contain LeBron James, saw them lose Tuesday night's NBA contest against Miami Heat, 117-112.
Hibbert's tally was bettered only James' 41 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat.
Both players had three steals and a block.
There were wins for Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies, who defeated Oklahoma City Thunder 105-101 in overtime.

Tifa, Kartel top 2011 Youth View Award winners


Dancehall artistes Tifa and Vybz Kartel were the big winners at the 2011 Youth View Awards Saturday night.
Tifa, who walked away with four awards and Kartel, who took home five, delivered exciting performances at the fourth staging of the event at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

The even which was hosted by ZJ Bambino and Rocsi from BET’s 106 and Park's also saw performances from Denyque who kicked off the night followed by singer Raine Seville, who sand I Wanna Be Loved, backed by a live band, a tribute to Bob Marley.

Khago, Munga Honourable, Ce'Cile, Richie and Ikaya also delivered strong, energetic and exciting performances.

One memorable moments at the awards was the acceptance speech from Voicemail's Craig Jackson, after they won best group.
Jackson dedicated the award to fallen member Oneil Edwards and thanked the fans, promising more for 2011.

Also among the winners were Television Jamaica's entertainment programme Intense, which copped the ward for Best Entertainment show and Yendi Phillips won the award for celebrity role model.

Favourite Music Video : 'Straight Jeans and Fitted' - Vybz Kartel & Russian

Sound of the year: Coppershot

Favourite Dance Group: Card Unit

Chart Topping Song of the Year: 'Clarks' - Vybz Kartel, Popcaan & Gaza Slim

Favourite Selector: ZJ Liquid

Favourite Local Artiste of the Year (female): Tifa

Favourite Local Artiste of the Year (male): Vybz Kartel

Favourite Group/duo: Voicemail

Favourite Producer of the Year: Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor

Favourite Male Dancer of the Year: Ding Dong

Favourite Gospel Artiste: DJ Nicholas

Favourite Media Personality: ZJ Bambino

Favourite New Artiste: Khago

Fashion Icon (Female): Tifa

Fashion Icon (Male): Beenie Man

Favourite Song Collaboration: 'Straight Jeans and Fitted' - Vybz Kartel & Russian

Celebrity Role Model: Yendi Phillipps

Best Entertainment Show: Intense

Favourite Dancehall Female: Tifa

Favourite Dancehall Male: Vybz Kartel

Young, Hot and Hype (Male): Ding Dong

Young Hot and Hype (Female): Tifa

Video Director of the Year: Jay Will

Two suspects in $50-m robbery detained

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Two men have been detained in connection with last week's robbery of approximately $50 million from a courier vehicle in Kingston.
The two were held in a police operation but the constabulary declined last night to give any further information, saying it was "hot on the trail of persons believed to be involved in the heist".
The Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) reported last Thursday that a group of gunmen held up and robbed three guards who were transporting the money in a Suzuki Liana motor car along East Road, off Waltham Park Road.
According to the CCN, the Honda motor car in which the gunmen were travelling collided with the courier vehicle and immediately after the guards alighted to examine the damage the armed men robbed one of the guards of a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver and drove away the car with the money.
The Suzuki Liana was later abandoned on Greenwich Street, Kingston 12.

Grange supports hero status for Bob Marley

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Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia Grange said she will lead the advocacy for Reggae singer Bob Marley to be declared a national hero.

The Order of National Hero is Jamaica’s highest honour.

Grange told a national radio audience and those gathered at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston today to celebrate the late singer’s 66th birthday that Marley was a “great Jamaican” and that she “supported the idea of making him a national hero”.

The minister said people who believe Marley should be made a national hero should formally present their case through letters and petitions and that she would advocate on their behalf.

Satisfy My Soul - Bob Marley and the Wailers

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Bob Marley Day Activities

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· Digicel free concert at Emancipation Park from 4 to 8 p.m.

· Praise and Worship Service at the Swallowfield Chapel in honour of Reggae Month from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

· Bob Marley Museum hosts Bob Marley Day

· Live Band Music - Bob Marley Mausoleum,St Ann 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· The 19th Annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash at MXIII Lawn in Negril

Happy Birthday Bob Marley

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Today, the King of Reggae, the Hon Robert Nesta Marley, would have turned 66. Happy Birthday Bob!

Bob Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley on Feb. 6, 1945 in Saint Ann, Jamaica. His father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a white Englishman and his mother, Cedelia Booker, was a black Jamaican. Bob Marley died of cancer in Miami, FL on May 11, 1981. Marley had 12 children, four by his wife Rita, and was a devout Rastafarian.
Bob Marley's Early Life:

Bob Marley's father died when he was 10 years old, and his mother moved with him to Kingston's Trenchtown neighborhood after his death. As a young teen, he befriended Bunny Wailer, and they learned to play music together. At 14, Marley dropped out of school to learn the welding trade, and spent his spare time jamming with Bunny Wailer and ska musician Joe Higgs.
Bob Marley's Early Recordings and the Beginnings of the Wailers:

Bob Marley recorded his first two singles in 1962, but neither garnered much interest at the time. In 1963, he began a ska band with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh that was originally called "The Teenagers". Later it became "The Wailing Rudeboys", then "The Wailing Wailers", and finally just "The Wailers". Their early Studio One hits, which were recorded in the popular rocksteady style, included "Simmer Down" (1964) and "Soul Rebel" (1965), both penned by Marley.
Bob Marley Converts To Rastafarianism:

Marley married Rita Anderson in 1966, and spent a few months living in Delaware with his mother. When Marley returned to Jamaica, he began practicing the Rastafarian faith, and began growing his signature dreadlocks. As a devout Rasta, Marley partook in the ritual usage of ganja (marijuana).
Worldwide Success:

The Wailers' 1974 album Burnin' contained "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Get Up, Stand Up", both of which gathered cult followings in both the US and Europe. The same year, however, the Wailers broke up to pursue solo careers. At this point, Marley had made the full transition from ska and rocksteady to reggae.
Bob Marley & the Wailers:

Bob Marley continued to tour and record as "Bob Marley & the Wailers", though he was the only original Wailer in the group. In 1975, "No Woman, No Cry" became Bob Marley's true breakthrough hit song, and his subsequent album Rastaman Vibration became a Billboard Top 10 Album.
Bob Marley's Political and Religious Activism:

Bob Marley spent much of the late 1970s trying to promote peace and cultural understanding within Jamaica, despite being shot (along with his wife and manager, who also survived) before a peace concert. He also acted as a willing cultural ambassador for the Jamaican people and the Rastafarian religion. He holds nearly godlike status among many Jamaicans and Rastafarians worldwide.
Bob Marley's Death:

In 1977, Bob Marley found a wound on his foot, which he believed to be a soccer injury, but was later discovered to be malignant melanoma. Doctors recommended an amputation of his toe, but he refused for religious reasons. The cancer eventually spread. When he finally decided to get medical help (in 1980), the cancer had become terminal. He wanted to die in Jamaica, but could not withstand the flight home, and died in Miami.

Learn more about Bob Marley's death.
Bob Marley's Legacy:

Bob Marley is revered the world over, both as the defining figure of Jamaican music and as a spiritual leader. His wife Rita carries on his work as she sees fit, and his sons Damian "Jr. Gong", Julian, Ziggy, Stephen, Ky-Mani, as well as his daughters, Cedelia and Sharon, carry on his musical legacy (the other siblings do not play music professionally).
Honors and Awards Bestowed Upon Bob Marley:

Among the awards and honors that have been given to Bob Marley are a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His songs and albums have also won numerous honors, such as Time Magazine's Album of the Century (for Exodus) and BBC's Song of the Millenium for "One Love".

Bolt, Cedella Marley in Puma deal

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LONDON, England (AP) — Usain Bolt will be competing at the 2012 London Olympics with the legend of Bob Marley on his shoulders. The world-record holder in the 100 and 200 metres and the rest of his Jamaican track and field teammates will be wearing uniforms designed by the reggae great's daughter, Cedella Marley.
"We both break records," Marley told The Associated Press yesterday in a telephone interview. "Marleys. Bolt. Legendary."
Marley, the first-born daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, is a singer, author and fashion designer. She was picked by athletic apparel company Puma, the Jamaican team's sponsor, to create the clothes that the athletes will wear on the track, on the podium and in the ceremonies.
"I can't think of a better person to design our Olympic outfits than Cedella," Bolt said in a statement. "Puma got that right... hooking up with a legendary Jamaican.
"It's going to be inspirational to run in London with that energy surrounding me."
Bolt broke the records in the 100 and 200 at the 2008 Beijing Games, and then did the same at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. With the possible exception of Bob Marley, Bolt is the most famous Jamaican there is.
"Being a Jamaica No 1, being a Marley No 2, and then being able to outfit not only Usain, but the entire team, it's a proud moment for all of us, everyone in my family," Marley said.
Marley said she took her inspiration for the uniforms from music, various cultures and Jamaica from the 1970s and 80s.
"I want to bring the old and the new Jamaica together," she said. "It should be Grace Jones meets Bob Marley on the track, and we're going to have fire on the field."
And when it comes to the uniform Bolt will be wearing next year in London, fans can count on something a little bit different from his teammates.
"We're going to have something special for him. Only for him," said Marley, who has yet to meet Bolt, but said she is expecting to work with him in March in Jamaica. "We're going to work together."
The names of Marley and Bolt are probably the two most recognised from Jamaica in the world, so it only made sense to put them together for the Olympics in London.
But it took a chance phone meeting between Marley and Puma chairman and CEO Jochen Zeitz to get the collaboration up and running.
"I said, 'Yo Mr Puma, how come you've not done anything with the Marleys? Come on, you know, Puma, Marley, Jamaica. It makes sense,"' Marley said.
"And he just said, 'Well, you know, Cedella, everything takes time.' And like two weeks later I got a phone call. I guess it was time," said Marley.
For Puma, the desire to create something that will both aid the team in winning medals and make a splash in the design world was strong. And they'll work together to make sure the fashion end of the deal doesn't interfere with the performance specifications.
"A lot of people are going to be looking at Mr Bolt," Puma chief marketing officer Antonio Bertone said of the 2012 Games.
"It's going to be London. It's going to be an amazing location for the Olympics."
As for the Marley legacy, Bob's daughter said her father is already enjoying the fruits of her labour.
"Oh man, he loves it," Marley said of her late father, who died in 1981 but would have celebrated his 66th birthday this weekend. "This is a nice birthday present for him."

Chicken price to go up again!

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Chicken prices have gone up since the start of the year … they went up by about 2.5% a week and a half ago and now the chicken producers are saying that consumers must brace for yet another increase.
What are poor people going to do?
Mr. Levy from Jamaica Broilers says that at the moment, chicken price increases are almost reflecting hikes in the price of grain, which means prices are now changing as soon as corn shipments are received.
In other words, as soon as the ship arrive with the corn, poor people are going to have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy the meat.

Dudus’ nephew to be interrogated

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Investigators will Thursday begin interrogating the nephew of former Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
Detectives from the West Kingston Police will quiz Lavaugh Campbell, in connection with a number of crimes, including murder, allegedly committed in the Division.

The twenty-year-old Campbell surrendered to the Denham Town Police on Tuesday, in the company of his attorney after he was named as a person of interest, on the weekend.

A senior investigator told RJR News Mr. Campbell was a member of a gang known as "Young Generation," which has reportedly been flexing its muscles in the police division, since Mr. Coke's extradition.

Rapper Trina will be the guest of honor at Jamaica's Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards in March for her work with local stars including Sean Kingston and Lady Saw. The female MC will receive the International Friend of Reggae Honoree accolade to thank her for sharing the spotlight with up-and-coming and more established artists from the Caribbean country.

EME Awards founder, Richard Burgess, says, "Some of the icons of our rich musical heritage as well as the hottest newcomers around will receive the recognition they so rightfully deserve, for providing us with wonderful musical gems throughout their careers."

Trina follows in the footsteps of previous award recipients such as Missy Elliott, John Legend and Akon, reports The Seventh Annual EME Awards take place in Kingston on March 12.

Why dem won’t stop beat Ninja?


From wha day yah Ninjaman a bawl out sey di warder dem a beat him up. Well we hear from good good source sey a true. According to di report, dem sey Ninja too renk and him all a tear out dat part a him body and g idem. And so dem tump him up again. But two wrong doan mek a right. Ninja fi behave and di warder dem fi know sey dem cyan just a go round and a beat up prisoner so.

Bob Marley Birthday Bash for MX III Lawn, Saturday

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The 18th renewal of the annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash, which was not staged last year because of a temporary ban the police placed on the MXIII Lawn in Negril, is set to return with a bang this weekend at the scenic West End Road venue.
The concert segment, which will be staged on Saturday night, will be headlined by international recording star Jah Cure. The line-up also includes the veteran Freddie McGregor, Richie Stephens, Admiral Tibet, Chino, Stephen McGregor, Laden, House of Leeds' recording star Iyahblazze, Soul 4 Soul and Andrew Taylor.
The backing band is the western Jamaica-based SAME band.
The Bob Marley Birthday Bash, which has got the blessing of the Bob Marley Foundation, is one of several global events staged annually to mark the birthday of the late reggae icon, who died in 1981.

Advise for The Office of the Contractor General

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The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) was today advised that Mr. Maurice Barrett, the Chief Investigator of the OCG, is the only Jamaican who has been selected by the Government of Singapore and the Commonwealth Secretariat to participate in a major 2-week Commonwealth Corruption Control Training Programme which will take place in Singapore between February 14 and 25, 2011.

Mr. Barrett, who has led many major Special OCG Investigations, was recently appointed by Contractor General, Greg Christie, to lead a nine (9) person team in the Special Investigation which the OCG will undertake into the circumstances surrounding the Government’s sale of the Sandals Whitehouse Hotel to Gorstew Limited, a company which is owned by local businessman, the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.

The Programme, which will host lead and senior anti-corruption officials from several countries across the Commonwealth, is being jointly sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Assistance (CFTC) and the Singapore Cooperation Programme of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is being organized in pursuit of the Commonwealth’s commitment to institutionalize transparency, accountability, good governance and the rule of law as fundamental political values in Commonwealth countries.

The Programme will share Singapore’s anti-corruption experiences and best practices and will provide an interactive forum for Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Agencies to explore and discuss concepts and issues that are related to managing and fighting corruption and promoting integrity and clean governance in government. Participants will also be provided with a unique learning opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of anti-corruption issues and to design and implement specific strategies to reduce corruption within their own countries.

Mr. Barrett, who was specially recommended by the Contractor General for participation in the programme, is the holder of the B.Sc. Degree in Public Administration and the M.Sc. Degree in Governance and Public Policy from the UWI. He joined the OCG in January 2007 as an Inspector and moved up the ranks to Senior Inspector and Senior Special Investigator before he was appointed to the position of Chief Investigator in April 2009.

Singapore has an enviable and consistent record of being one of the least corrupt countries in the world. In 2010, it was ranked by Transparency International (TI), the International Anti-Corruption Watchdog, as the world’s least corrupt country out of 178 countries. By contrast, Jamaica was ranked 87th.

Kingston, Jamaica: Legendary artist manager Copeland Forbes, Managing Director at Comar Productions LTD recently announced that he has signed talented Canadian female reggae singer Bonnie Casey to a five-year management contract. Forbes, one of the most experienced and knowledgeable artist managers in the industry has worked with reggae icon Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Luciano, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Garnett Silk and the late Gregory Isaacs.
“I see Bonnie as the female version of Bob Marley" Forbes said. "Not only does she have an incredibly vocal range but she has passion, charisma, beauty and a stage presence that is magical."
Casey garnered major attention last year with a stellar performance at the annual Jamaica
Day Celebration in Toronto, Canada where she entertained thousands of screaming fans who cheered as she belted out a heartfelt rendition of the Jimmy Cliff classic 'Many Rivers to Cross.'
She again turned heads with a smashing performance of "Willow Tree" and "Tune In" at the November 20th 2010 tribute concert for the late Gregory Isaacs at The Ronnie Williams Centre in Jamaica. Now that she is signed to Comar Productions, Forbes is predicting an extremely busy 2011 for Bonnie as he coordinates tours and performances for her in Europe, Asia and North America.
Bonnie who was born to an Irish father and a Jamaican mother is described by those around her as vibrant, outspoken, unique, and as having a caring personality. She began singing at the age of 5 years old and benefited from voice and drama lessons at the Beckett School for the Arts in Toronto.
The former Miss World Canada Beauty pageant finalist and fashion model draws her influences from Etta James, Bob Marley, Alton Ellis and Gregory Isaacs. She sings jazz, blues and contemporary songs but is focused on lover’s rock and rock steady rhythms as she seeks to build a long term career in the reggae industry. Her fresh approach to music, her unique song writing ability, along with her versatile vocal range will no doubt give listeners that 'wow factor' that has been missing with many young acts currently in the industry.
Using music as a communication tool, she intents to write and perform songs that music lovers can relate to. Her debut album is set to drop in late 2011 and will feature Sly & Robbie and Dean Frazer, who are short listed as producers for the project.
“I feel excited and very optimistic to be working with Copeland and his team" Bonnie said. "He is one of the best in the business. God has blessed me with a great voice and with Copeland’s guidance, the sky is really the limit.”

photo caption
(l-r) Talented singer Bonnie Casey, artiste manager Copeland Forbes and Bonnie's mom Paulet Casey at
the funeral of the late Gregory Isaacs in Jamaica recently.

Rev. Al Miller's lawyer asks judge to step down

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Lawyers representing head of Fellowship Tabernacle, Reverend Al Miller, yesterday asked the presiding judge in his trial to step down from the case causing it to be further delayed until February 16.
Miller was arrested and charged last June with perverting the course of justice and harbouring a fugitive after he was found in the company of formerly Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke who at the time was on the run from the security forces.
When the matter came up for trial yesterday in the Corporate Area Court before Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser, attorney Wentworth Charles made a submission for the case to be transferred to another court.
Charles said he would be challenging the validity of the warrant signed for Miller's arrest and as such thought it would be appropriate if the matter was heard by another judge, as RM Fraser was the magistrate who had signed the warrant.
But he made it clear that he was not seeking to have the magistrate remove herself from the matter on the basis that his client would not get a fair trial.
The magistrate, in her response, said she did not have an interest in the issue relating to the validity of the warrant but asked Charles to establish the basis on which she was being asked to recuse herself.
As a result, she instructed him to bring evidence to support his case on the next court date.

Curfew imposed in Portmore community

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The police have imposed a curfew on Braeton Phase Three in Portmore, St. Catherine.
The 48-hour curfew will remain in effect until 6 o'clock Thursday evening.
The boundaries are north along Snapper Avenue from Barracuda Avenue to Braeton Boulevard; south along Whale Avenue from Braeton Boulevard to Barracuda Avenue; east along Barracuda Avenue from Whale Avenue to Snapper Avenue and west along Braeton Boulevard from Snapper Avenue to Whale Avenue.
And the curfews, which were imposed in sections of Spanish Town, St. Catherine have again been extended.
They are due to be lifted at 9 o'clock Thursday night.
Some of the areas covered by the curfews are Burke Road, Salt Pond Road and Lower Oxford Road in the Railway/Dallas Lane communities.
Over in March Pen parts of the Spanish Town Bypass between Dunbeholden Road and March Pen Road are covered by the curfew.
The third curfew is in De la Vega City.
It runs along an imaginary line at the De la Vega City playing field from Port Henderson Road to Salt Pond Road and the Spanish Town Bypass.

Buju Banton to face more charge on February 14

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The Gleaner has reported that United States District Judge James Moody Jr has dismissed a motion filed by lawyers representing Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, seeking to throw out a superseding indictment filed by prosecutors.
This means that when Buju faces the court again, starting February 14, he will be answering five charges instead of the two that he faced in his first trial.
Efforts to contact Buju's lawyer, David Markus, were unsuccessful yesterday, but legal officials in the US agreed that while Buju could still beat the charges, he now has a more difficult mountain to climb.
When he was first arrested in December 2009, Buju was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and aiding and abetting his two co-defendants in knowingly and intentionally possessing a firearm during the course of a drug offence.
The jury was unable to agree on a verdict and the case ended in a mistrial.
Last November, US prosecutors obtained a superseding indictment against Buju which added two additional counts and modified the gun charge.
Lawyers representing Buju rushed to court seeking a dismissal of the superseding indictment, alleging vindictiveness on the part of the prosecutors because of the mistrial and the defence's attempts to get the charges dismissed.
"The court should presume that the new charges and modification were added by the government in retaliation for (the defendant) exercising his constitutional rights," Buju's lawyers argued.
But the prosecutors hit back: "As long as the prosecutor has probable cause to believe the accused has committed a crime, the courts have no authority to interfere with a prosecutor's decision to prosecute."

Wha dat fah

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Fi real wi tyaad a di bitchiness inna di entertainment industry. Look deh now i guh pon Flava site yesterday and listen to a conversation whey him tape wid Chris Chin from VP Records. Him a accuse Chris a all manna a evil. Anyway di ongle ting wi hear Chris sey is "Flava mi nuh tell yuh si mi a guh talk to yuh".
Mi affi play back di video and si if wi did miss anyting important, cause wi really a wonda whey dat deh posting fah. But if we wi post everyting whey wi hear it wouldn't stop yah suh. A one ting wi a beg, stop di foolishness inna di industry and meck wi try fi co-exist. it nuh look and sound good at all.

MC be be prepared

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What a way di two youngest Miss Jamaica whey teck on MC role a Jazz festival embarrass harself. When dem a introduce SWV fi teck di stage dem sey who grew up in di 70s woulda know dem music! Di sista dem come and sey no sah, dem nuh so ole! Ouch!

Promised Land - Dennis Brown Live

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Exciting lineup for Spring Break at Long Bay Beach

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The promoters of Spring Break, staged annually at Long Bay Beach in Negril have made it to year 11 and they definitely plan to keep on counting. And for this year’s staging, Chin of New York Link Up says he’s pulling out all the stops to ensure a bigger, better event.
“When we started we had no idea that 11 years later the show would have grown to the level it has reached,” Chin stated.
He added, “We are grateful to the people who have supported us throughout the years – both artistes and patrons – and this year we are saying ‘thank you’. Spring Break has a great line-up and the admission is straight recession style,” the affable New York-based promoter declared.
Big-name acts already confirmed for the Saturday March 12 event include Sizzla, Capleton, Coco Tea, Tarrus Riley, Gyptian, Beenie Man and I-Octane. The intention, the organizers say, is to run a tight production which will allow artistes reasonable time to perform and please their fans.
Also on the lineup are Fantan Mojah, Hero, Junior Cat and Singer J.
In keeping with their promise to stage another high level production, the Link Up say there will be live bands with Ruff Kutt and Firehouse Crew leading the charge.

Rapper Trina will perform at the EME Awards in Jamaica

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EME founder Richie B

Kingston, Jamaica: Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards Founder and Chairman Richard 'Richie B' Burgess announced recently that the 2011 'International Friend of Reggae Honoree' will be popular American Rapper TRINA. This year’s seventh annual EME Awards is set to take place on March 12, 2011 at The East Lawn of the historical Devon House site, Hope Road, Kingston.

TRINA, a successful recording artist, songwriter, model and businesswoman announced herself to the music world in 1998 with the single "Nann Nigga" on Trick Daddy's album, and she has continued to push the envelope of Rap and Hip Hop. Her debut album went gold, and her second album 'Diamond Princess,' solidified her reputation as a new queen of hard-core rap. On her latest album 'Amazin,' she collaborated with Dancehall Queen Lady Saw and hip hop queen Nicki Minaj on the song titled 'Dang A Lang.'

Previous International Friend of Reggae Honorees were John Legend, Missy Elliott, Estelle, Jazmin Sullivan, Akon and multiple Grammy award-winning artiste India.Arie who was in attendance last year and gave a most memorable performance.

The 2011 Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards will also recognize the top performers within the Jamaican Recording Industry.

“Some of the icons of our rich musical heritage as well as the hottest newcomers around will receive the recognition they so rightfully deserve, for providing us with wonderful musical gems throughout their careers”, Burgess noted.

There are approximately 30 award categories including DJ of the Year, Best New Artiste, Song of the Year, Vocalist of the year and Producer of the year among others. Winners will be determined based on their performance on The Weekly Jamaica Music Countdown (Charts), votes via texts and votes at the website

This year’s event will include Road Shows, a Pre-Party, the Awards Ceremony and an After Party. North America's BET Networks was among the international media that covered the spectacular event last year.

The frequent finds of police uniform in the possession of criminals, is just too much and Commissioner Owen Ellington is fighting back. He has ordered an audit of items of kit in respect of members who have been separated from the Jamaica Constabulary Force within the last five years.
"It has been brought to (my) attention that in recent times, items of kit issued to members of the force, some of whom have either been separated from the organisation by way of resignations, dismissals, or who are deceased, have been recovered during police operations targeting members of the criminal underworld," Ellington said in the weekly Force Orders released yesterday.
The commissioner has also instructed commanding officers to conduct quarterly inspections of items of kit issued to each member under their command to ensure accountability.

Bagga Brown was on life support

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UPDATE: Bagga Brown died at 5:00 am at the UHWI
Popular entertainment personality, Bagga Bown, passed away at 5 o’clock this morning at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
In an interview with Yardflex, his wife Sonia, said he had been “low” for the past couple of days.
“Yes … he died this morning. I am just leaving the hospital. He has not been doing well at all,” she said, very distressed.
Bagga Brown was 60 years old.

Women caught with Dawg Paw to be questioned

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The two women, who were taken into custody on Monday, after they were found with reputed head of the Dawg Paw criminal gang Christopher Linton, are to be questioned on Thursday afternoon.

The interview was scheduled for 2 o'clock.

The women who are said to be University students were expected to have been interviewed Wednesday.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell says they will be interviewed in the presence of their attorneys.

No date has been set for Christopher Linton to be interrogated by investigators.

The women were held along with Linton, also known as Dawg Paw, on Monday evening at premises on Goodison Avenue in Elletson Flats during a massive operation by the police and army.

More curfews for St Catherine

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The police have imposed curfews in sections of St. Catherine for the second time this week.

The curfews imposed on sections of Dela Vega City, Dallas Lane and March Pen Road began at 7 p.m. yesterday and will continue until 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The police are advising members of the public that during the hours of the curfews, those within their boundaries are required to remain within their premises.

They say exit or entry in areas under curfew will only be permitted by the ground commander.

A curfew was implemented in the three communities on Monday, following the shooting death of a reportedly senior member of the Spanish Town-based Clansman Gang, Jermaine ‘Speedy’ Morrison.

Meanwhile, the police have also imposed a similar curfew for Mona Commons and Elletson Flats in St. Andrew.

A curfew was also imposed in those communities on Monday, following the capture of Christopher ‘Dog Paw’ Linton, who the police listed among the country’s most wanted.

Gun, ammunition seized in Bedward Gardens

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The Jamaican police have seized an M16 rifle bearing serial number 1415718 and thirty-one 5.56 rounds of ammunition in Bedward Gardens, St Andrew yesterday.

No one was arrested.

The police say between 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m., a team of lawmen was on special operations searched a premises and made the discovery.

Minister Grange regrets passing of Copper Cat

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Kingston, January 25, 2010 - The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honourable Olivia Grange, MP has expressed deep regret at the death of 22-year-old upcoming Reggae artiste, Copper Cat.

Reacting to news of the passing of Copper Cat, whose real name was Demar Graham, Minister Grange said:

“I was shaken when I heard the news. Demar was from all accounts a decent young man who showed such promise as an entertainer. I share the deep sadness of his family – especially Richie Stephens who had taken Demar under his care – his friends and the wider entertainment fraternity.

“As we mourn his passing I call on all Jamaicans to resolve to do what we can to stop the violence that is robbing us of our young people.”

Yendi to host Island Stylee on Air Jamaica

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Miss Jamaica Universe 2010, Yendi Phillipps will be expanding her repertoire in television presenting as the new host of Island Stylee.
Island Stylee is Air Jamaica’s long-running in-flight television programme and since their re-launch, they made a few changes that involved Yendi.
The beauty is also the brand ambassador for the national airline.

Who tief the artwork from the gallery?

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We know bout blue collar thief and white collar thief and real ole tief, so we a wonder a which group tek di art work from di National Gallery. Di woman say four a di pieces dem missing fi over 20 years. A nuh no lickle man tek dat … a some big time official wid sticky fingers. And fi all we know dem know whofa yard di pieces dem deh and whofa wall dem heng up pon, but dem could afraid fi talk. But it look bad. Dem fi carry dem back.

Dog Paw's associate captured by the police

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The Gun that was ceased, that was claimed to be dawg paws gun a feww weeks before, now, Nicholas Nesbeth, otherwise called ‘Nesbeth’ or ‘Fire Key’, was captured by the police early this morning in the Kirkland Heights/Sterling Castle area of Red Hills, St. Andrew.
Nesbeth is said to be a leading member of the ‘Dog Paw’ gang.

The Spanish Town Police are investigating a double murder in an area of St Catherine off March Pen Road known as Africa.
The police say two women were shot and killed shortly before 11 a.m. this morning.
The women are said to be the mother and sister of slain Clansman member Jermaine Morrison o/c ‘Speedy’ a senior member of the Clansman Gang which is based in Spanish Town.
Morrison was killed yesterday after a lone gunman shot him several times in Spanish Town.
The double murder has taken place despite curfews which are now in sections of March Pen Road, Dallas Lane, and Dela Vega City.
A number of persons have been detained in those curfews.
Meanwhile, the police are warning Nevardo Hodges also called Dee Jay and Rowell Jennings also called Jay Jay to turn themselves in by 2 p.m. this afternoon.
The men, who are also said to be members of the Clansman gang, are being sought in connection with yesterday’s killing of their fellow gangmember, Jermaine Morrison.
The police say Nevardo Hodges and Rowell Jennings are armed and dangerous and should be approached with great caution.
Both Hodges and Jennings frequent Hopeful Village, Lakes Pen and Quarry Hill in Spanish Town.

The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) will begin an investigation into reports that several employees of the Ministry of Health's head office in downtown Kingston have been stricken by a mysterious illness on Monday.
In an interview with RJR News last week Health Minister Ruddy Spencer suggested the problem was a result of poor quality air.
However, scientific tests have not proven this.
The JCSA, which is the main trade union for the island's public sector workers, says it is extremely concerned about the matter.
President Wayne Jones says the decision has been made for the Association to carry out its probe.
"(JSCA) Vice President Robert Chung, who is a health and safety specialist, will be conducting his own investigations and review of the situation. We await his report as to any further action that is required on the part of the union … it’s an unfortunate situation."
In the interim, the Health Ministry is looking to accelerate its plan to relocate from its headquarters at the former Oceana Hotel, on the Kingston Waterfront.
However a source has disclosed that this may not happen anytime soon as another Government agency has indicated an interest in the building earmarked for the relocation.

Cops blanket Kencot, men picked up

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Sections of the community of Kencot, near Lyndhurst Road in St. Andrew, were blanketed by a heavy police presence Tuesday morning.
Scores of policemen descended on the area and it is understood that some persons have been taken into custody.
However, the number is not yet clear.
Kencot was in the news late last week after a bus which was commandeered by gunmen came to a stop in the area.
A shoot-out between the gunmen and a passenger, who was a licensed firearm holder and then later the police, resulted in the deaths of five persons.
Two of the gunmen were among the dead.

This Tuesday it will be Etana’s turn to thrill the patrons of the weekly concert series, which is now a Jamaica Tourist Board endorsed event. Etana is no stranger to the One Love Concert series having made numerous appearances on the summer and winter series in the past.
The beautiful Reggae Princess who has made her mark on the world with uplifting reggae songs such as ‘Wrong Address’, ‘Warrior Love’, ‘Roots’, ‘Happy Hearts’ and ‘August Town’ is a very strong stage performer. Her fans in the west will most definitely expect her to deliver another classy performance at the Negril Escape Resort on Tuesday.
The annual weekly One Love Reggae Concert Winter Series which is in its second staging will come to an end on the 19th of April. Since the series commenced on Tuesday the 2nd of November last year it has featured performances from top reggae acts such as Kymani Marley, Tony Rebel, Marcia Griffiths, Queen Ifrica, Jah Cure and Jah Cure.
As the series continues there will be performances from more exciting reggae stars. Over the next few weeks music lovers can look forward to seeing the likes of Luciano (Feb. 8), Beres Hammond (Feb. 15)and Kymani Marley (Feb. 22) on the weekly concert series.


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Deejay I Octane has scored nine nominations in this year's inaugural
Clarendon Music Awards on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 5pm. at the
Bustamante High Way in May Pen, Clarendon. Other major artistes such
as Vybz Kartel, Mavado and Tarrus Riley have also earned multiple

The music awards show will also recognize legendary reggae artist
Derrick Morgan, the first artist to have spots 1-7 on national pop
charts simultaneously as the first
recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. This historic and highly
anticipated event features award presentations, live performances, a
VIP reception and dinner. It is expected to be a star-studded event
and the largest
event of its kind to recognize and honour Clarendon musicians and its
entertainment industry.

The project has been endorsed by members of the political
establishment such as Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon Mike
Henry as well as
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia 'Babsy' Grange.

The first Annual Clarendon Music Awards is the brainchild of David
Anderson of Temperature’s
Entertainment Limited. This organisation is known for the ultra
successful show, “The High School Link-Up Showcase” that links
past students from all high schools in Jamaica.

"This event will feature the biggest names in the entertainment
industry as well as emerging local talent from in and around
Clarendon. The Clarendon
Music Awards will provide an avenue for good clean fun and create an
opportunity to bring friends and family together while allowing for
stress relief, " Mr. Anderson, who is also the chairman of the event,

Anderson contends that Clarendon has produced several musical talents
such as the world famous Clarendonions, Millie Small, Barrington Levy,
Toots Hibbert, Freddie McGregor, Coco Tea, Liz Mitchell,
Denroy Morgan and I Octane to name a few. Along with Mr. Morgan, some
of these individuals will be presented this year with special awards
for their outstanding career achievements and for their cultural and
social contribution to the parish of Clarendon.

"Derrick Morgan remains a true ambassador for Clarendon as well as
artistes such as Glen Washington, Carlene Davis, Everton
Blender, and The Clarendonions Fitzroy "Ernest" Wilson. There will be
many other surprise guest artistes at the event as well," Anderson

This event is also expected to be an economic boon to the economy of
Clarendon, as it is expected to create short and long term employment
for community members and create new revenue for small businesses in Clarendon.

The Clarendon Music awards are about socio- economic and cultural
development of our community," Anderson said.

Anderson said that part of the proceeds from the event will be donated
to the Clarendon Street People Association-CLASP
and the Paediatric Ward at the May Pen Hospital, in Clarendon.

The event will be hosted by radio and TV personalities Lady D and
Sasha Bling, and there will be performances from Professor Nuts,
Merciless, Anthony Cruz,
Assailant, Silver Kat, Kashu-Man, Singer Jah and many other local artistes.

Bob Marley's heirs fight for his image in US court

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Bob Marley's widow and nine of his 11 children are seeking damages from a Nevada corporation they say is improperly making and selling apparel featuring the Reggae legend's image.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Friday that the family is seeking damages from a Nevada corporation called AVELA and its licensees.
An attorney for the family, Jill Pietrini, told a federal jury in Las Vegas that the children don't want to see the Reggae legend portrayed as a bobblehead or a plush toy.
Attorney Byron Ball, who represents the defendants, says Marley's name isn't being improperly used.
Marley's heirs, under the name Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Zion Rootswear, filed the lawsuit in 2008.
(Source: AP)

Nicki Minaj settled a rumor that she and Rihanna are living together when she called into Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS FM show yesterday morning, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an affinity for the singer.
“I don’t know where people got this really insane, hilarious, random rumor that [Rihanna] and I were living together,” she said.
“We just shot a video for a song I have on the album called ‘Fly.’ So when I saw her, the first thing I said was, ‘So did you hear we’re living together?’ And we just started cracking up laughing. She was like, ‘Yo, I can’t believe people are this ridiculous.’”
“So we TwitPiced ourselves and she put it on Twitter and said, ‘Me and Nicki at our new pad or something.’ And the funny thing is, people still didn’t realize we were joking. People were hitting me like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so lucky. You and Rihanna…’ It was like, ‘What?’ But you can’t even be sarcastic anymore. It was hilarious though.”
“We’re not getting cozy—yet. There is a possibility ’cause she’s just a bad bitch. You never know. That’d be like a freakin’ crazy power couple right now in the world of females.”

Manatt/Dudus Commission begins

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The highly anticipated hearings by the Manatt/Dudus Commission of Enquiry are scheduled to get on in earnest at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston starting at 10 o'clock Monday morning.
Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will be the first to be examined.
The Commission of Enquiry was established last year by Prime Minister Bruce Golding to look into the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP's) hiring of the United States-based law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.
The firm was retained to help lobby against the extradition of then West Kingston strongman and alleged drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke to the United States.
For several months, there were calls for a Commission of Enquiry following revelations unearthed from email correspondence that the Golding administration did in fact engage the law firm.
The correspondence involving Solicitor General Douglas Leys, attorney-at-law Harold Brady and officials of the firm confirmed that Manatt was working on behalf of the Government, even if it had been engaged by the JLP.
In October, the Prime Minister announced that a Commission of Enquiry chaired by attorney at law Queens Counsel Emil George had been set up.
The other two Commissioners are retired Permanent Secretary Anthony Irons and Queens Counsel Donald Scharschmidt.
The Commission is slated to sit for three months.
The Government has allocated $40 million to cover the cost of holding the Enquiry $30 million of which will go towards paying the salaries of employees of the Commission while the remainder is for administrative expenses.
The Commission met on December 6 to discuss its terms of reference and to finalise arrangements for Monday's start of hearings.

Schoolers watch out! Police eyes will be on you

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Responding to consistent reports of poor behaviour by school children in public spaces, a special police patrol is being put in place to monitor the conduct of students, Education Minister Andrew Holness has said.
The Safe Schools Patrol will watch activities of students in their regular hang-outs such as public transportation centres and on public buses.
"We have had preliminary discussions with the constabulary force and it is clear that there now needs to be a special police patrol that will conduct surveillance and other operations in public areas that are used heavily by students", Holness said.
The minister noted that while violent incidents and the discovery of weapons were trending down in the schools themselves, there were increasing reports of fights involving students in public areas. These fights were then taken into the schools, he said.
The Observer has reported extensively on lewd behaviour by some students on public buses, involving the drinking of alcohol and energy drinks, and the holding of parties with explicit dancehall music and sexual activity on buses.
Holness said that his ministry would be partnering with ministries of transportation and national security to establish the partol this year.
He was speaking at the launch of the second phase of the Schools Safety and Security programme at the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston. Under this phase, approximately 250 junior high and all-age schools are being added to the programme which is already in high schools.
The launch ironically took place a day after Nicholas Hamilton, a seven-year-old student of Coke's View Primary in Westmoreland was killed after a goal post on the school's premises which was being lifted by his fellow students fell on him.
The minister instructed the principals to carry out safety audits of their school premises each term. He urged them to treat safety and security as an important management function similar to accounting, curriculum development and lesson planning.
Responding to questions from the audience of mostly principals, Holness said that his ministry was looking into the possibility of placing paid security personnel in all the schools but this had serious implications for the budget. The emphasis of the safety and security programme he said was about "keeping record of actions that could compromise safety and security and reporting them to the authorities so that action can be taken."

Kehv, Ky-Mani wrap up Brazil tour

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Reggae soul act Kehv wrapped his tour of Brazil last weekend with Reggae singer Ky-Mani Marley.
The Sunsplash One Life 2011 Brazilian Tour which began in the city of Porto Belo, at the Porto Das Aguas on January 6 and will end at Estancia Alto Da Serra in Sao Paulo on Sunday.
"It is exciting to be a part of the tour with Ky-Mani. He has good work ethics and this has been a wonderful learning experience. It is always a privilege to share the stage with him." said Kehv.
Kehv, who recently released is debut album, Simply Kehv was born in Jamaica, his musical career began at the early age of ten in the church choir. With no formal training, he moved from singing to writing or co-writing almost every song and mastered both the guitar and the piano. After migrating to the United States and settling in Miami Florida, Kehv recorded his first single Half Way There in 1995.
His album contains the singles Distant Lover, Caribbean Soldier, and Conscious Farmer, which are said to be favourites on internet radio from the United States, Canada and the UK.
"Our music represent true, we sing to free the people and to educate them" noted Kehv.

The Ministry of Justice will be seeking legal advice on the seizure of furniture and equipment from the Office of the Hugh Wildman, the Government's Trustee in Bankruptcy on Thursday.
Bailiffs acting on behalf of attorney-at-law Minett Lawrence, armed with court documents invaded the offices of Mr. Wildman, who is also Liquidator of the Cash Plus Group Thursdays afternoon and seized some assets.
They seizure was help pay a $9 million debt owed by the failed Cash Plus Group.
However, questions have been raised about the legality of the exercise.
Mr. Wildman was adamant that the men were acting illegally.
He had outline to them that his office is the Trustee in Bankruptcy, a department of the Justice Ministry and that no asset in the office belonged to Cash Plus so the order could not be executed.
Assets were still taken after long discussions.
With that, the Liquidator said he will be going to court on Friday to bring legal action against the bailiff to recover what was taken.
"We will be filing criminal complaints against the bailiff in seizing the government’s property," said Mr. Wildman.
According to him, that means the possibility of bringing action against Minett Lawrence, the attorney on whose behalf the bailiffs acted and the registrar in the Supreme Court who signed the document for her.
For now, Mr. Wildman wants to find out who signed the document granting the authority for the bailiffs to seize and sell the assets.
A wait is on for the items that were seized to be returned.
Legal advice to be sought from the Solicitor-General
Meanwhile, Robert Rainford, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, told RJR News the Ministry will also be contacting its lawyers on Friday.
"I am aware of the situation and we’re on top of it. We will be moving as expeditiously to deal with the issue. We will be getting the necessary legal advice from the Solicitor-General," said.

Bob Marley Award For Suzanne De Passe

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Nicki Minaj has voiced her multiple frustrations with Black/urban radio via her Twitter.

Taking to her Twitter account, Nicki Minaj openly criticize morning urban radio programs across the US.
“Dear Black Radio , wen u do ur morning show tmrw, let the community know that taylor swift is #1 and nicki minaj is #2…,” she tweeted Tuesday (January 11).
“As opposed to starting your morning show reading the blogs on air…perpetuating bullsh*t. Inspire the community tmrw Black Radio!”
“And let them know that nicki minaj does NOT have a top ten song on billboard’s 100 right now. And NO knew vids out either.”
“Let them know that they can WRITE their OWN raps and STILL go toe-to-toe with Rap’s Heavy Weights.”
“Let them know that NO one can define them! No one makes the rules! U define YOURSELF! Don’t let them BOX u in! Your Game! Your Rules!”
“And if they can’t respect your hustle, tell them GO F*K YOURSELF! Weak a** b*tches COULD neva!!!!!!! Jealous hatin h*es die slow”.

Higglers at the Coronation Market, in downtown Kingston, are worried that they will not be able to make ends meet because of an oversupply of locally-grown vegetables.
The situation has reached worrying levels, with vendors desperate to sell their produce.
Wednesday, our newsteam went to the market, where vendors told us that their supplies are rotting because as cheap as they are, consumers are still not making purchases.
“Cabbage whole heap of pok choy and lettuce selling out for even $5 per pound, $10 per pound, carrot is the same thing. It’s too much and it’s making things slow,” said a vendor.
The Agriculture Ministry has issued an announcement encouraging supermarkets, hoteliers, consumers and agro-processors to buy more local ground produce.
The affected farmers include those from St. Ann, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, Manchester, and St. Catherine.

Bob Marley's image has been used to sell everything for Jamaica tourism to T-shirts, but the official Marley brand has launched a large line of headphones and docks.

There are three different variations, Jammin, Freedom and Destiny.

Rohan Marley speaks to a reporter at the Consumer Electronics Show about the products.

The House of Marley headphones are available now.

“Jammin is geared towards the younger generation, the younger guns as you would say. Freedom is more of a lifestyle, designer influence and then Destiny is what we would consider premium,”

“We have headphones, docking stations, ear buds, things that transmit music generally. What makes us unique is that we want to adhere to the principles of sustainability, being eco-friendly and waste conscious, things that will give back to the earth so we use recycled plastic, leather, canvas and hemp, things that relate to Mother Earth. Recyclable, reusable, that’s our mission,” he said.

Cake soap company denies bleaching claim

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Birthday Cake

Well for all the people dem that use Kartel’s song Cake Soap as an excuse to buy it thinking it can lighten their skin, they should check out the story in today’s Observer.
It can do nothing for them in that regard.

Read the story:
Dr Dhiru Tanna, chairman of Blue Power Group limited, soap manufacturer and building retailer, has rubbished claims that the popular 'blue soap' or 'cake soap' made by his company, has any skin lightening effect, or that the controversy surrounding the product has increased sales.

"Blue soap does not bleach. It has no ingredients in it that damages the skin," Tanna said. "If anybody is saying that it will discolour the skin or take off pigmentation that is absolutely not true," he told the Business Observer.

Tanna also denied claims that as a result of the popularity of the song the price of the soap or the sales of his products have increased.

On the other hand, he told the Business Observer that "one of Vybz Kartel's producers called us to use one of the machines we use to make the soap appear in his video."

He said he agreed to the use of the machine but with the caveat that "they must tell people that the blue soap that we make will have no effect on bleaching the skin". Tanna said he was assured that this would be done. Vybz Kartel has since released a follow up song, 'Cake Soap' for which the video was shot, but in neither of the songs has he explicitly claimed that the soap causes bleaching.

Tanna said his product is a laundry detergent and even though there are varieties, which can be used for personal care, none of the soaps that Blue Power produces has the effect of lightening the skin.

"No, our company would not have the technology. We make laundry and bathing soaps. I don't know how to make anything else," Tanna said, explaining that his company is now focused on extending into the bathing soap market, which he "has not even begun to touch".

Kartel has himself expressed the desire to manufacture his own brand of 'cake soaps', but Tanna said Blue Power, which is the largest manufacturer of laundry detergent in Jamaica, was not approached to make it, and that despite Blue Power's expertise in making soaps, it would not be a business line he would consider going into at this point.

He said he was told by Kartel's camp that the proposed soap would be a medicated soap for acne.

Tanna explained that a medicated soap would most likely be made overseas and imported into Jamaica with a higher cost base than currently obtains for the soaps that Blue Power manufactures.

"If he is importing medicated soap then it would be coming from abroad and with the duty structure it would be in a different market from us," Tanna said. "Making soap is quite a complex business, you need an extensive distribution network and a manufacturing establishment."

Kartel ignited a fire storm of controversy, and multiple musical counteractions, when he claimed in an interview that the reason for his noticeably lighter complexion was as a result of the use of 'cake soap' combined with the effect of air conditioning. The use of 'cake soap' to enhance the complexion was initially referenced in his song 'Straight Jeans and Fitted' in which the most popular line was "cool like mi wash mi face wid the cake soap".

Blue Power Group became the first manufacturing company to be listed on the Junior Stock Exchange in April last year. The soap and hardware conglomerate, founded over a decade ago, currently enjoys a 40 per cent market share in the soap manufacturing and distribution business in Jamaica. With the soap manufacturing operations on Victoria Avenue off Windward Road, the hardware operations is located in Papine and books revenue of over $40 million per month. For the second quarter ended October 31, 2010, Blue Power Limited posted a 77.3 per cent increase in net profit resulting in a gain of $3.7 million over the corresponding second quarter of 2009.

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival heating up

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With the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival two weeks away, the promoters are ‘tying up’ the acts for this year’s festival. Two more names have been added to the lineup. Repeat acts Air Supply and R&B singer Regina Belle are now on the list.

Walter Elmore, president of Turnkey Productions and executive producer of the festival said that he was very happy to have her on the show and said that jazz enthusiasts will certainly be in for a treat when she hits the stage.

"Regina Belle is a very powerful artiste. She is a songwriter, producer and a wonderful singer with compelling lyrics that resonate with many people all across the world. She is a welcomed addition to the line up for the Jazz festival. She is looking forward to her performance in Jamaica and we are pleased to have her," Elmore said.

He went on to say that this event will mark the second staging at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium and as such he wanted to ensure that the line up on all three nights was solid and appeasing to the crowd.

"We have something for everyone at the festival this time around. Maroon 5, Ron Isley and Laura Izibor are just a few of the other names," Elmore said.

Air Supply thrilled the Jamaican audience when they headlined the 2008 staging of the festival and had to be brought back to for a one night only concert later that year. Regina Belle was one of the acts who shined in the early years of the festival, performing at the 1997 staging which was held at the Rose Hall Great House.

Buju’s woes continues with gun charge

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Already dogged by drug-related charges, international reggae artiste, Buju Banton, is to face the courts in the United States, on an additional charge, on February 7.

The United States District Court decided to add possession of a firearm to the list of charges that are already tagged to Buju’s case.

Buju’s first trial in the United States, ended in a mistrial, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, in September 2010.

Buju's charges consist of conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

Popular Westmoreland DJ allegedly beheaded by friend

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The police in Darliston, Westmoreland, on Monday afternoon questioned a man accused of beheading his friend.

The incident has left residents of that community grief stricken.

Popular Disc Jockey 24-year-old Ryan Longley was doing what he does best, selecting music at a family reunion in Darliston Sunday morning.

An argument reportedly developed between him and a friend over a hat.

It is reported that the friend went away and returned with a machete, then attacked Longley from behind.

Longley was chopped twice in the neck from behind, severing it.

The machete wielder fled while Longley was pronounced dead at hospital.

The 17 year reunion celebration was brought to a premature end and residents say it will never be the same again.

“After 17 years…I didn’t expect this to happen. I am really disappointed…I am really sad about it,” said a resident of Darliston.

Longley's mother is devastated.

“Just the hat, my son bought a hat on Christmas Eve Night and…asked him to lend him the hat and he said he cannot lend him the hat because he has a party to attend and that hat has to go with the suit that he’s wearing…that’s all,” she said, dazed.

With help from family members, the accused man was held in an adjoining community.

Danny Buck succumbs to colon cancer

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Former Government Minister and Parliamentarian Donald Buchanan is dead.

Mr. Buchanan died at the University Hospital of the West Indies late Monday night after a battle with colon cancer.

Donald Barrington Buchanan began his political career in the 1970's when he represented the Pedro Plains Division in the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.

He contested the 1980 General Election for the People's National Party (PNP) in South West St. Elizabeth but lost to the Jamaica Labour Party's Derrick Sangster.

He ran again in the 1989 General Election and won.

He served four consecutive terms in Parliament before retiring in September 2007.

Mr. Buchanan served in government first as Minister of State in three Ministries: Labour, Welfare and Sport, Local Government & Community Development and finally, Finance & the Public Service.

He was then promoted to Cabinet rank as Minister of Labour and Social Security, then Water and Housing and finally, Information and Development.

Donald Buchanan, who also served as General Secretary of the PNP, was known for his ready wit and sharp tongue.

In 2006, after Collin Campbell's resignation from the Cabinet at the height of the Trafigura Scandal, he was appointed Information Minister.

At his first post cabinet press briefing Danny Buck as he was affectionately called had this quick response during a humorous exchange with a journalist.

"You saw what the editor said about me yesterday, that I’m a cantankerous man, so I wouldn’t want contention t be between me and you because that will bring bangarang! (laughter)," Mr. Buchanan said.

He is survived by widow Dorothy and seven children.

Yardflex extends condolence to his family and friends in this difficult time.

Female driver in Old Hope Road crash charged

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Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent, Radcliffe Lewis, on Monday made good on his intention to charge the female driver linked to last Monday's road crash on Old Hope Road.
Two women were killed in the crash.
SSP Lewis confirmed on Monday afternoon that 33-year-old Jamaica National Building Society employee, Ann-Marie Williams was charged with two counts of manslaughter and dangerous driving.
Ms. Williams was slapped with charges in the presence of her attorney at a Corporate Area Hospital where she is recuperating from injuries sustained in the ill-fated crash.
SSP Lewis says a Corporate Area Justice of the Peace was on hand to witness Monday's proceedings.
Ms. Williams was later offered bail in the sum of $750,000.
She is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Friday.
In the meantime, SSP Lewis says investigators are still awaiting the phone records requested from Ms. Williams' mobile provider.
The report, SSP Clarke notes is expected to play a key role in the investigations.
He says a thorough examination is to be undertaken of Ms. William's mobile phone records near to the period of the car crash.

It’s been quite a long wait and reggae singer Lazah Current is very happy that his sophomore solo album titled ‘A Better Tomorrow is finally completed. The album which consists of fifteen tracks was produced by Anthony ‘Bassy’ Hibbert and will be released before the end of March.
He is extremely optimistic about the album as he awaits its release. To date two singles have been released from the album these are ‘Hey Girl’ and ‘Lately’. Both songs have received good airplay both locally and abroad.
‘A Better Tomorrow’ was originally scheduled to be released early last year but was put on hold to facilitate the recording of more songs in order to make the album stronger.
“The album was supposed to be released in January 2010 but because everyone involved with the project including myself wanted it to be very strong, we decided to spend more time in the studio to get it right,” said Lazah Current who is signed New York based DJT Productions Inc.
He also said that his management team will be staging a series of album release parties in Toronto, New York and Kingston leading up to the release of the album.
‘Cry Me’ and ‘Life Is’ done for Canadian based Blunt Life Productions are two of the singers latest recordings.

The 13-year-old investigation into the murder of rapper Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace has gained traction in recent months, as new leads are being pursued in an attempt to finally solve the case.
Sources told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that a new task force of local and federal law enforcement agencies are pursuing leads related to the March 9th, 1997 slaying of Biggie outside of the Petersen Automotive Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
Police claim a lone gunman in a Chevy Impala rolled up next to a Chevy Suburban carrying B.I.G. and members of his entourage.
He was killed on the spot when the unknown gunman sprayed the passenger side with bullets in a scene eerily reminiscent of the slaying of Tupac Shakur six months earlier, on September 7th 1996, on the Las Vegas Strip.

The internet was in an uproar yesterday after a rumor spread that Lil’ Wayne made some comments at a video shoot that were disparaging to dark-skinned women.
As expected, Lil Wayne and Young Money president Mack Maine deny that any such comments were ever made.

More police officers kicked out of the force

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It's frightening the amount of police officers are being kicked out of the force. Can you imagine these men took vows to serve, protect and reassure and instead they are the monsters in the society.
Eighty-two police officers were kicked out of the force in 2010 as the Police High Command continued its efforts to reduce corruption and unprofessionalism within the ranks of the police force.
Information released by the Police High Command on Sunday shows that 395 police officers were disciplined during 2010 with 82 refused re-enlistment, while the cases of 15 other members are yet to be finalised.
Of the cases finalised and pending, five involved Sergeants, 17 were Corporals, while the other 75 cases involved Constables.
A total of 141 members with disciplinary cases were re-enlisted for periods shorter that the re-enlistment period is five years.
The standard re-enlistment period is five years, however during disciplinary cases; the Commissioner of Police can reduce the period of enlistment.
Fourteen police officers including six Sergeants and eight Corporals had their ranks reduced while 31 others were fined pay days and 38 reprimanded.
Seventeen cops were also convicted on criminal charges while one Sergeant was dismissed as a result of judicial a conviction.
The cases against 13 cops to be dismissed in the public's interest are pending.

Free shows taking its toll on promoters

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We came across an interesting story in today's Observer. Check it out below and give us your take on it.

The question of the downturn in support for major reggae/ dancehall shows first arose last December, following a disappointing turn out for the 27th staging of the 'greatest one night reggae festival on Earth' -- Sting.
In addition to what was perceived as a weakline-up, the support for the annual Boxing Day event was perhaps the weakest ever, as many potential patrons refused to shell out their already limited funds to see acts whom they had been seeing on stages across the island at numerous promotional road shows without spending a cent.
The impact of these corporate events rose steadily during the final quarter of 2010 and peaked during December in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year's holiday.
This period saw the staging of the massive Arthur Guinness Day celebrations inside Kingston's National Stadium in October. This well-produced event featured the much-talked about performance by dancehall rivals, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. The major telecommunications players, LIME, Digicel and Claro all staged a number of roadshows across Jamaica as the plugged the season's promotional campaigns. On December 12, Red Stripe Bold took to New Kingston's main artery -- Knutsford Boulevard -- where thousands stood shoulder-to-shoulder in driving rain for another free concert featuring the year's top deejay, Vybz Kartel.
Sting then became the benchmark, with a number of reggae/dancehall watchers noting that the proliferation of these free, promotional stage shows by corporate entities is having a negative impact on the business of legitimate show promoters.
Reggae act Tony Rebel, who heads Flames Productions -- promoters of Rebel Salute -- was vocal about the impact these shows are having on operations such as his. Speaking in Kingston last week at the launch of this year's staging of Rebel Salute, he called for a levelling of the playing field.
"We all have to play our role to keep the music alive, but these free shows by corporate Jamaica are threatening to put legitimate promoters out of business. We haffi balance di ting to make it work for everyone," he suggested.
Senior lecturer at the UWI, Dr Donna Hope Marquis agrees that the increase in shows by corporate Jamaica is having an impact on the legitimate promoters and dwindling patronage at their shows. She however notes, that this is being done by corporate Jamaica in a bid to develop stronger ties to their markets. " I get the impression that some of these corporate sponsors want to maintain traction with their core consumer group, but wish to do so in a more direct way so that the consumers will perhaps develop greater affinity for their product because they see them as a 'benefactor' -- Jamaicans, we are told, love freeniss," she explained.
Dr Hope-Marquis added, "These free shows are being put on by corporate entities that were once the primary sponsors of many legitimate promoters, and so the sponsorship funding is being siphoned off into other areas. If legitimate promoters do not garner corporate sponsorship, music stage shows will continue to dwindle and evaporate. It is a sad commentary on how we regard and support a critically important component of our culture that has such wide-ranging social, cultural and economic repercussions for so many demographics -- age, class, gender, etc."
Meanwhile, at least two of the corporate entities who have staged the shows, particularly in the run-up to the the holidays, have defended their events.
LIME chairman, Chris Dehring notes that "the focus of LIME's musical foray is to give our musicians the opportunities which we feel our fellow Jamaican and Caribbean musicians deserve. We also believe that the market is there for innovative promoters to stage successful stage shows even while we continue to expand the opportunities for our musical artistes. In fact, by embracing our own Jamaican music, LIME is expanding that market for even more musicians and entertainers, which will lead to a better and more organised music industry. This should in turn lead to more opportunities for show promoters."
And, fellow telecoms player, Digicel, notes that since their entry into the local market in 2001, they have continuously supported the local music industry through sponsorship of events such as Reggae Sumfest.
Head of marketing at Digicel Donovan White stresses that Digicel's shows are a signature part of our promotional activities and over the years they have given artistes the opportunity to market themselves and increase their fan base. Importantly, performances on Digicel Road Shows serve as a promotional teaser for the artistes as to what patrons can expect from them at larger events."
White adds, "taking our free shows to communities across Jamaica also gives persons a chance to see and interact with their favourite artistes as they may not be able to attend the larger events."

This Friday the legendary Tuff Gong Studios will come alive with the soothing vibrations of cool music, thanks to the Iration Ites – Vinyl Series. The Uprising Roots in association with Lees Unlimited and Tuff Gong presents IRATION ITES - VINYL SERIES PART 3 - TUFF GONG EDITION.
The Iration Ites – Vinyl Series will feature legendary vintage sound systems and disc jockeys known to spin the “original wheels of steel”, with resident disc jockey Lee Tafari, Ivor (The Entertainer) Smith and DJDC (the one with the direct consciosness) in charge of the nights’ vibe.
Darren Hamilton, manager of The Uprising Roots Band, one of the promoters of the Iration Ites says that the January 7 staging will be the third staging of the Iration Ites – Vinyl Series and will be a “very special event”.
“January 7 is the day when the Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated and so it’s a very significant day in the Rastafarian community. We are more than happy that we will be able to not only stage Iration Ites at Tuff Gong Studios, but that we will be able to create a unique experience for patrons because of this special day,” remarked Hamilton. Tuff Gong is a space where positive energy can grow and the community of Reggae lovers can enjoy conscious, positive vibration and build the Love energy that’s so necessary today.
‘We want to remember the days when the dancehall did sweet…Anywhere two sound box set up and some sweet Reggae tune a flow… likkle food and drinks deh bout…good people and good vibes used to follow.' added Tuff Gong Spokesperson, Donisha Prendergast.

‘Vinyl is the truest essence of the highest thought and sound of man.’ Stated The Uprising Roots Band
Once a month, on a specially chosen day, the Love energy will be lifted with melodies recorded on Vinyl from legendary Lee’s Unlimited and different Collectors’ memory box at the Musical Home of Reggae, TUFF GONG located at 220 MARCUS GARVEY DRIVE, KINGSTON.
Earlier, Hamilton in earlier announcements said that the vinyl series would feature disc jockeys and sound systems from back in the day and they will be playing strictly from records. He says this remains the same.
“There are no CDs, no auto-tune, nothing like that allowed at Iration Ites – Vinyl Series. Real, true old-time spinning from some spectacular sounds and DJs and in the way records were meant to be enjoyed,” he said, also keeping tight lipped about what was in store for the music lovers that will be turning out to the event.
He hinted however, at the fact that the retro dancehall mood would be fully complimented by the décor. Items from the Record Shop will be on display for discounted prices, providing the opportunity to experience Music from all over the world that has been recorded at Tuff Gong over the years. Persons will also be able to experience how vinyls are made. Admission to the event is a cool $300, with no tickets being pre-sold. Food and refreshments will be on sale. Start time is 7pm sharp.

Spelling Bee and Schools' Challenge Quiz master, The Reverend Glen Archer has been going through kidney dialysis treatments since August last year, and the Ardenne High School students came together with funding to assist their beloved past teacher with his medical costs.
Archer, following nauseating experiences at the sight of food, has been going through dialysis twice a week.
“At the cost of $10,000 per visit. I went to the doctor and he said that it looked like my kidneys weren't functioning properly," The Gleaner reported.
Dialysis, treatment used to cleanse the kidneys of waste, is facilitated by a catheter which has been inserted into Archer's chest.
"This is where they connect the machine," he said, touching his chest just below his right shoulder.
Under the leadership of Ardenne High's Faye Richardson, along with the support of the school body and other donors, the grade-nine students came together and presented Archer with a cheque amounting to more than $500,000.

"These are challenging times for me," said the evidently grateful Archer to the auditorium of students. "I had to fight back the tears and be strong for myself."

Dem people yah mad

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Can you imagine big big international airport and firearm holder caan control dem temper. What we want to know how come people like those get gun license? Every little argument and gun a draw? No the govt must carry out psychological tests before giving some of the applicants the permission to walk around with firebrand.
Cause look what happen at the MoBay airport now, according to an alleged eyewitness, at about 3:00 pm the firearm holder was at a lottery outlet at the facility making purchases when a man walked in and picked up his $1,000 bill.
An argument reportedly developed between the two and during an ensuing struggle the licensed firearm holder's gun went off. The bullet reportedly ricocheted, hitting two bystanders.
Their conditions are not said to be serious.

One day left for ‘Dudus’ Enquiry statements

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Persons who wish to give evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into issues relating to the extradition of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, have two days to submit statements.
The signed, written statements should be sent to the Secretariat of the Commission, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in Kingston, by Friday.
It is expected that people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will be examined, when the Commission resumes on January 17.
The Commission of Enquiry is being is chaired by Emil George.
The former Tivoli Gardens strongman was extradited to the United States, on drug and gun running charges, in June.

Bob Marley would have been proud of what his son Ky-Mani has become. A Grammy-nominated reggae artist, who has carved his own place in history with a successful career, Ky-Mani is a singer, actor, author and humanitarian with four successful studio albums to his credit.

The second youngest child of reggae icon Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981, Ky-Mani’s mother, Anita Belnavis, was a leading table-tennis player in the Caribbean in the 70s’, and is one of several women with whom Bob had children with outside of his marriage to Rita.

Fusing a musical talent with an athletic one, it’s no surprise this selfless and humble artist, who considers himself as “the black sheep of the family,” was destined for greatness.

Ky-Mani, who documented his childhood in a book titled Dear Dad, released earlier this year on what would have been his father’s 65th birthday.

The book, which focuses on his close relationship with his mother, Anita, also details a complicated relationship with his half-brothers and sisters, some of whom, he documented, enjoyed lavish lifestyles in contrast to the one he had while growing up. In addition, he writes that after he turned 18, he was forced to decide between taking a lump sum payment from the Marley estate, and risk not being “part of the estate,” or reinvest the payment. He took the lump sum and embarked on his own musical career, much to the disapproval of some of his family members, which prompted some to stop talking to him for a while.

“I have been thinking about writing a book for a couple of years,” adds Ky-Mani, about his decision to pen his childhood memoirs. “I was bitter about a lot of things that were bottled up inside of me, and I just needed to get it out of my system and put it out on paper,” continues the artist, who fondly recounts in the book, an occasion when his father took him on a family outing and also touches on his father’s premature death.

“I had to explain all the trials and tribulations I went through growing up, but my outlook is a little bit different now,” continues Ky-Mani, who started having kids at a young age. “Those are the things that I went through as a child, and I’m just explaining why I rebelled so much in the book. I started having children early because I wanted to have that relationship, which I didn’t have with my father, so I actually went out and had a child early,” he continues. “If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t do it the same way, because at that time, I didn’t really understand parenting. Fortunately for me, I am a fast learner.”

Dear Dad, which is distributed in five languages, was written with the assistance of Dr. Farrah Gray, the influential African-American empowerment guru, and it caused a slight firestorm between Ky-Mani and Gray when it was initially released, but it’s a disagreement Ky-Mani says was overblown.

“The drama wasn’t really the drama the media and blogs made it out to be,” he clarifies. “There was some discrepancy, but it’s all good right now. It wasn’t me trying to bash or say anything bad. It’s my story basically,” adds the artist who admits a closer relationship with brother Rohan.

”I am close to all my brothers and sisters, but I think I’m just closer to Rohan, because we were raised in Miami together, so I spent more time with him growing up, but I have a very close relationship with all of my siblings and love and respect all of them,” he adds.

An artist with no limits, Ky-Mani is currently recording his next album, which will be a double disc CD titled ‘Evolution of a Revolution’ at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, the world-renowned studio founded by his father in 1965. An album, which is expected to continue his musical exploration, it will feature collaborations with artists from different music genres.

“The evolution side of it will be more live music,” Ky-Mani adds. “Music that speaks to the soul and if it’s put in a genre, it will be world music. The revolution side of it will be the follow up to Radio, which is more hip-hop, inner city, dancehall soul,” he explains.

Despite his father’s musical legacy, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that Ky-Mani started recording music, teaming up with hip-hop artist Pras from The Fugees for a rendition of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”. Still remaining true to his Jamaican culture, Ky-Mani combines all genres of music, incorporating hip-hop, blues, rock, reggae and a grass roots sound into an end product that transcends the cultural line.

Ky-Mani also runs the association Love Over All Foundation (L.O.A.F.), and he has starred in several films, including “Haven” with Orlando Bloom, and the romantic movie “One Love” with singer Cherine Anderson.

Ky-Mani is best known with movie fans for his role in the crime film Shottas, where he starred opposite Wyclef Jean, the musician, who recently lost his presidential bid to govern Haiti. Not one to weigh in on politics, Ky-Mani, who has little to say on Wyclef’s presidential bid, certainly has more to say on Proposition 19 – the recent California ballot to legalize marijuana, which was rejected by voters.

An amiable and talented artist, Ky-Mani has performed all over the world and is already planning a world tour next year to promote the upcoming album, which is scheduled to be released in January 2011. In addition, he has several concert dates scheduled for February, 2011 in California, and he will be performing at the Roxy Theater on February 10th.


Marleys in the news

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The youngest child of reggae legend Bob Marley will spend seven years on probation for growing marijuana in her Chester County home in Pennsylvania in the United States.

Sharon Marley was arrested and charged after the mother of a six-year-old boy who attends a learning centre she operates lodged a complaint with the police that Marley had physically abused her child.

The child was reportedly playing with a toy when Marley allegedly carried him inside a room. Shortly after the child was heard screaming.
Sting closed the year with one boring show.

Year in review

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Yardflex now presents its final installment on the year in review.
It has certainly been a challenging year in one way or the other and prominent in the news has been our entertainers who seem to be at the heart of all the mix up
Described as cross, Angry, miserable Bounty Killer has been in and out of jail for the year in one dram or another. First he was charged for beating his girlfriend during a domestic dispute and locked up. Let’s not forget the other court appearances for other charges. Just when you thought the deejay had learned his lesson come the news that he was again at it this time with the hammer.
Kartel was taken into custody for a few days as he was wanted for questioning by the police and after resisting for several days, he finally turned himself in and was released just in time to make it to the Sunfest stage in his designed ‘prison bud’ outfit.
The sports fraternity did not escape the mix up as track coach Raymond Stewart was banned for life for allegedly obtaining performance-enhancing drug for his athletes. He continues to maintains his innocence.
Loss was also a part of this troubled year as Irie FM’s beloved founder Karl Young was among those who passed during the year, Al Goodman of the group Ray Goodman and Brown also made the transition.
After all the mayhem and controversy Christopher ‘Dudus’ coke turned himself in to the US Marshall and was escorted out of the country. During this process Rev Al Miller found himself on the wrong side of the law for his help to facilitate the process. His case is still pending.
With money being a challenge Elephant Man found he had no signal to fly the plane as he was turned back at the airport because of his failure to pay his taxes, Bounty Killer also had two of his high end vehicles seized because of the same tax issues.
On the good news side Sumfest was a blast with some great performances from local and international acts Chris Brown and Usher. Gyptian walked away with the MOBO and the Soul Train Award.
The year was not without its fair share of conflicts with Black Ryno and Kartel’s business manager Corey Todd in kas kas. Of course there was Beenie Man and LA Lewis.

Kartel named ‘Caribbean Artiste of the Year’

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Head of the Portmore Empire, Vybz Kartel, has been named the Caribbean Artiste of The Year by fans of New York mainstream radio station WBLS 107.5.
Mavado got second place while Beenie man came in third.
Meanwhile, Song of the Year went to Gyptian for his hit single "Hold Yuh" despite a strong showing by Gaza fans for Kartels and Popcaan’s unexpected hit, ‘Clarkes’.

My fellow Jamaicans...
2010 was a year of mixed fortunes. It was, in some respects, a tumultuous year, most notably with the events surrounding the extradition of Christopher Coke.

In the first half of the year, we experienced the worst drought in more than 30 years and then, in a complete reversal, we had more rains in the latter part of the year than we have had for 30 years. The economy continued to feel the effects of the global recession with weak demand for our exports, reduced levels of investment and, although recovering, remittances are still not back to where they were before the recession.
Even though the rate of decline in the economy has slowed, it has taken a heavy toll on us - many persons are out of work, more families have fallen below the poverty line, spending power has been weak and many find it hard to make ends meet. Recovery from the global recession is proving to be slow, resulting in hesitancy on the part of investors to expand or start new businesses and thereby restore the jobs that were lost. Despite the harsh economic environment, however, we recorded growth in tourism and agriculture.

This past year, we put in place a number of strategic measures to form the basis for future investment and growth. The Jamaica Debt Exchange, a critical element in the Medium-Term Economic Programme, supported by tight fiscal management has resulted in interest rates falling to their lowest level in more than 30 years.
We have been able to source much cheaper loans and while the size of the public debt will not come down for a few years, the burden of that debt on taxpayers has been reduced. The steps we have taken to institutionalize fiscal responsibility and accountability, will ensure that we don't return to the ways of the past but build confidence for the future.
The immediate challenge we faced in responding to the global crisis was to stabilize the economy and create the macro-economic conditions for growth. It required tough and even painful measures but we knew that if we failed to act the pain would eventually be much worse. That task is well advanced.

Interest rates have been coming down, inflation is coming down, debt service costs have come down, the exchange rate is stable, the net international reserves are robust, government spending is being kept tight and loss-making enterprises are being divested.
Our focus must now be on stimulating growth and creating jobs through investment and expansion. This, of course, must be driven by the private sector but the government has an important enabling role to play. The strategies to support this focus on growth are being developed through the PIOJ which has engaged the services of Professor Donald Harris, noted Jamaican economist and Stanford University Professor Emeritus.
This effort will benefit from the consultative machinery of the Partnership for Transformation which brings together the leadership of the private sector, trade unions and government. It will inform the policies on which the new budget will be constructed and presented in April.

Major public sector investment projects such as the JDIP road improvement programme and large housing construction projects, both facilitated through the government of China, started toward the end of last year and much greater impact will be seen this year.
We have virtually completed the privatization of the sugar industry and the new operators will assume management of Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge in July with a commitment for US$127 million in new investment to modernize and expand sugar production.
Similarly, we have divested Air Jamaica which was costing us close to $1 billion per month to maintain.
We have entered into a new agreement to divest our assets in Jamalco. The agreement negotiated includes the cancellation of the forward-sale contracts which have cost taxpayers more than J$12 billion since they were entered into in 2002 and which were projected to cost us another J$15 billion before the contracts come to an end in 2013.

Last year, we saw the reopening of the Ewarton alumina plant. We are currently in discussions with the owners regarding the possible reopening of the other two plants - Kirkvine and Alpart - that were also closed because of the fallout in the global alumina market.
The efforts toward switching much of our energy needs from oil to natural gas is proceeding and long-term contractual arrangements, investment commitments and an appropriate regulatory and pricing framework should be firmly in place early in 2011.
Construction of the new Port of Falmouth is virtually complete and it will receive its first cruise ship next Friday. Next week, we will officially declare open the new Montego Bay Convention Centre which will enable us to enter the huge market for convention business.
The redevelopment of downtown Kingston is being kick-started with the construction of Digicel's global headquarters and the opening of the Kingston Transport Centre scheduled for the middle of January.
On the issue of governance, last year saw the establishment of the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) to ensure public confidence in the investigation of alleged abuse by members of the security forces. A number of other key commitments such as prime ministerial term limits, impeachment provisions, a special prosecutor to deal with corruption, whistleblower protection, tighter procedures for the award of government contracts, legal sanctions for breaches of the Code of Political Conduct and the regulation of political party financing, are either before Parliament for approval or will shortly be submitted to Parliament.
The Charter of Rights on which deliberations have gone on for more than 17 years will shortly become a reality as the final vote to insert it in the Constitution will be taken in Parliament at the end of March.
The crime-fighting initiatives introduced in May have yielded good results. The murder rate for the second half of the year fell by 30% when compared to the first half. Our security forces must be commended for their hard work. We have also seen a much greater level of cooperation from the public in providing information to the Police and in their willingness to testify. This cooperation is vital if we are to ensure that violent criminals are taken off the streets and kept off the streets.
Despite the improvement we have seen, the level of crime is still too high and reducing it further remains a top priority for the new year. We expect to enact this year tough anti-gang legislation for which Cabinet has already issued drafting instructions. The majority of violent crimes are linked to the activities of organized criminal gangs for which special targeted measures are required. Just as countries throughout the world found it necessary after 9/11 to institute special measures to deal with international terrorists, we too need special measures to deal with organized criminal gangs whose viciousness is just as costly in human lives.

We made a concerted effort last year through the National Road Safety Council to keep the number of persons killed in road accidents to under 300. Although we didn't quite make it, it was still the lowest number of fatalities we have seen in over 10 years. We must improve on that this year and changes to the Road Traffic Act which will shortly be submitted to Cabinet, will strengthen our efforts to ensure more careful use of our roads.
This year our athletes who have brought us so much glory internationally will begin their preparations for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. We must support them. We will shortly be installing new synthetic surfaces at both the National Stadium and the Stadium East to meet our scheduled athletic events for this year as well as to facilitate our athletes in their preparation for next year's Olympics.
This year, as well, preparations will move into high gear for the commemoration of our 50 years of independence in 2012. It is going to be a grand event and a grand homecoming with thousands of overseas Jamaicans coming home for the celebrations.
We begin the New Year with renewed hope. Yes, we have been through some tough times. We have had to endure the worst global economic crisis in 80 years but the worst has passed and we have used the time to put in place measures that will position us not just for recovery but for sustained improvement over the medium and long term.
Let us, together, face the challenges of the New Year with confidence and determination and let us grasp every opportunity that it offers to make Jamaica a better place to live, work, raise our families and do business.
I pray God's blessings on our nation and all our people throughout 2011.


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The annual concert Shaggy and Friends that would normally take place in the beginning of the New Year has been postponed for 2011.

The Event which attracts thousands of patrons each year has left many who look forward to the musical performances, disappointed.

Shaggy told Music News that the decision to cancel the show for 2011 was he becoming a recent father of twins and the planning committee having many other obligations.
However Shaggy states that in 2011 a new strategic plan will take place to revamped the concert to be more fresh and innovative.

The third fastest Jamaican in history, Nesta Carter OD, received a Prime Minister's Youth Award for Excellence

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is confirming that the Prime Minister's Youth Awards for Excellence, will now be held on January 23 at Jamaica House in Kingston.

The event was originally scheduled to be held during Youth month in November, however that was postponed for December 5.
Outlining reasons for the further date change, Director of Communications of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Oliver Watt said the Ministry had shifted the date for the Awards as part of a review and calibration of the youth development programme.
Mr. Watt was responding to an article in The Gleaner on Friday in which the People's National Party Youth Organization was upset over reports of a cancellation of the Awards ceremony.
Nominees will be presented with their awards at the event rebranded, "Celebrating Youth and Prime Minister Youth Awards".
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange had said in an earlier statement that the fiscal challenges during 2010 had an impact on the budget of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture.

However, Ms. Grange said the challenges also presented opportunities to evaluate programmes and projects.
Minister Grange said the annual event will no longer be presented as a youth month activity but will take place in January as a major event for youth.
The Prime Minister's Youth Award is the highest honour bestowed upon Jamaicans between the ages of 15 to 24, who have achieved eminent national and international distinction in categories such as sports, youth in service, the arts and culture, academics and leadership.

Yardflex – The Year In Review 2010 continues

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The year 2010 has been a challenging one all round, no less so on the entertainment scene. Surely one of the most testing trials was the decision in April by the US government to revoke the visas of Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Aidonia and Ricky Trooper.
To date, these artistes have not yet been given back their visas and no explanation has been forthcoming.
Then there was the infamous hunt for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke and the subsequent Tivoli incursion which saw dozens being killed and Dudus finally captured and sent to the US. This also signaled the end of the stage-shows promoted by Dudus through his popular Presidential Click Promotions.
On the upside, Gyptian did well internationally, artistes like Beenie Man and Bounty Killer put their differences aside and teamed up to entertain fans, dancers made their mark and there were quite a few songs which had fans singing along.

A what wrong with St Mary food?

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First it was on the news that a tourist died after consuming food bought at a supermarket in St Mary and now close on its heels comes the news that a St. Mary girl died and other family members hospitalized after eating a meal of ackee and saltfish.
Police in St. Mary are awaiting a post mortem examination, to determine what caused the death of a 14-year-old girl.
The girl Brittany Marsh, a student of the Retreat Primary and Junior High School and Stewart Mountain in St. Mary, died on Saturday, December 25.
Divisional Commander for St. Mary According to a report on told Irie FM News the girl was rushed to hospital Saturday morning, after she and her family fell ill.
Brittany, her brother, mother and step-father ate a meal consisting of ackee, saltfish, and dumplings on Friday evening.
They later fell ill, and the four were rushed to the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital where Brittany died on Saturday.
The brother has been released and the parents remain hospitalized.
Food samples have been collecte for testing.

Be on the alert - Region should expect major quake

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The acting director of the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr Joan Latchman is warning Caribbean countries to be prepared for a magnitude-eight earthquake following the 5.2 tremor felt in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.
Trinidad's Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) said there were no reports of damage or injury from the quake that the National Earthquake Information Centre at the United States Geological Survey said that the quake was located 15 miles north-west of Port of Spain and 70 miles west south-west of Scarborough in Tobago. It was also felt in some sections of Venezuela.
Latchman said that a major quake could hit the Caribbean any day.
"Our largest earthquake close to Trinidad occurred in 1756 which is more than 200 years ago. The largest one in the Eastern Caribbean occurred in 1843, which is more than a 100 years ago; the region is poised for a large earthquake," she said on a radio programme here.
On January 12 this year, a magnitude-7 earthquake shook Haiti, killing an estimated 300,000 people and leaving more than one million others homeless.
Latchman said that while earthquakes in the magnitude 7.1 to 7.5 range have been recorded in the Eastern Caribbean "every 20 to 30 years, we have not had that one in the magnitude, eight range, that we expect every 100 years."
"We need to take it seriously... we need to take the earthquake hazard very seriously," she said.

Latchman said that Sunday's earthquake was part of a series of earthquakes that began in September 2006 when one of the tremors registered a magnitude of 5.8, the highest registered on land in Trinidad since the Seismic Unit has been monitoring earthquakes.

Going for some the very best producers reggae/dancehall music has to offer, singer Colin Levy (also known as Iley Dread) has hand-picked Barry O'Hare, Bobby Digital, Dean Fraser , Stephen Marley and Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor to work on tracks for his upcoming album,Unleashed.
Scheduled to be launched in early spring 2011, Colin Levy officially released the debut single, Lover’s Holiday, at a special release party held recently in Canada. Lover’s Holiday is produced by Ocho Rios-based producer, Barry O’Hare, who has a long history of working with singers in particular, with much success.
According to Levy, he assembled these elite producers for this album project because Unleashed represents his maturity as a reggae singer.
“I have a great amount of respect for veterans like Dean Fraser, Barry O’Hare and Bobby Digital … they have a body of work that speaks for itself. And then there are the two Stephens, both of them the sons of reggae icons (Bob Marley and Freddie McGregor). I think they are possibly the best young producers in reggae and dancehall right now,” Colin Levy explained.
He was also quick to point out that although Stephen Marley is a many -time Grammy winner, both as a singer and a producer, “his attitude is amazing. It’s not about hype; for him, it’s all about work. I respect that”.
Levy, who visited Jamaica over the Christmas holidays to perform on GT Taylor’s successful Christmas Extravaganza, also used the opportunity to promote the single, Lover’s Holiday, and premiere the accompanying music video.
The video was shown for the first time on HYPE TV 'Up and Live' with the feedback being that it was “refreshing lover’s rock, feel good music”.

Quake Rattles Trinidad And Tobago

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tues. Dec. 28, 2010: An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale rattled the north coast of Trinidad on Sunday night, the West Indies Seismic Research Centre reported Monday.

The quake occurred at 9.01 p.m., according to the Centre and was felt from Carenage to Moruga and Matura. The centre`s website said the quake was located at 10.714 degrees north and 61.404 degrees west with a depth of 40.08 kilometers.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and management in Trinidad yesterday said that in light of the quake it has put first responder agencies on alert to render assistance in the event of aftershocks.

No damages or injuries were reported. The quake comes just days after a 5.4 magnitude quake hit Puerto Rico. That quake also caused no damages.

The tremors come almost a year after the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12th in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti that claimed over 200,000 lives.

First ever JA Blog Award

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Top Jamaican bloggers who have been busy revolutionizing the information and social networking landscape in the island and the Diaspora will be recognized for their efforts with the inaugural Jamaica Blog Awards set for January 16 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

With awards in over 16 categories, winners will be selected through a process of public voting and panel adjudication.

Organizers have said there are almost 300 blogs on the nominations list.

To participate in the voting and to get more info on the awards visit

The awards will be an annual event that recognises the best in blogging in Jamaica and equips people to have a greater impact in the world of new media.

O Holy Night

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O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

O Holy Night Christmas Carol Lyrics


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Frustrated with what they say is a distinct media bias toward dancehall music in Jamaica, a group of disgruntled musicians have formed an organisation to push for a level playing field.

Protest Now And Save Reggae (PNASR) is the name of the group which currently has 15 members, including president, Canute Parkes, a singer who also goes by the moniker Livebroadcast.

Drummer/songwriter Oniel 'Blunt' Walters is vice-president of the organisation, which also includes guitarists Andrew Simpson, Mitchum 'Khan' Chin and Lebert 'Gibby' Morrison, bassist Donald 'Axeman' Dennis and keyboardist Carol 'Bowie' McLaughlin.

Parkes said getting 'serious' Jamaican music back on local airwaves is one of the PNASR's primary objectives. That and rescuing reggae music.

"We want to see reggae risen from its fallen state and to do that we've started a movement that is going to get it back to an acceptable level," Parkes told The Gleaner.

The PNASR plan to release a song, Reggae Rescue From Freefall, to help push their point. It will be distributed to all local media and, based on response (airplay, etc), results will be sent to the Broadcasting Commission, the independent body that monitors airwave standards.

"Depending on the level of airplay the song gets, we will be in a position to test the integrity of the system," Parkes said.

McLaughlin, who has recorded with Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown and Ziggy Marley, says the PNASR should be a wake-up call for a dancehall-skewed media.

"We need a monitoring system that will diversify especially radio," said McLaughlin, who produces music for his Rusty Car label. "We're not knocking dancehall but there are people out there who would love to hear substantive sounds on radio," he added.

Completion of Air J deal in jeopardy

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There are indications that the Trinidad authorities are having concerns over the completion of the Air Jamaica deal.

The information came out as part of the public quarrel between the Trinidad Transport Minister Austin "Jack" Warner and members of the Board of Directors of Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL).

Squabbles between the Trinidadian Transport Minister and the Caribbean Airlines board about who makes decisions for the airline, have brought into sharp focus, concerns about the Air Jamaica deal.

In a release last week, the board of CAL revealed that three of its members visited Jamaica on November 18 after Captain Ian Brunton, the airlines former Chief Executive Officer, suggested that the Trinidad Government "should not complete the Air Jamaica transaction" which had been approved by the previous administration.

The visit was sanctioned by Mr. Warner after he was told in advance of the agenda to be discussed.
It is not clear who the Board members talked to or what was agreed during the visit but the sanctioning of a trip to discuss the possibility of walking away from the deal to acquire Air Jamaica runs counter to public statements by both Mr. Warner and the Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissesar endorsing the deal.

Currently, Caribbean Airline is in a transition stage with Air Jamaica in a plan that will see the Lovebird absorbed into its operations with the Trinidadian carrier assuming ownership of the assets.

CAL should also be recognised as the Jamaican national airline and have the right to use the brand.

In turn, the Jamaica Government is to retain a 16% stake.

All this should be completed by April 30, 2011, a deadline by which Caribbean Airlines has the right to terminate its transitional arrangement with the Jamaican Government on minimal notice and with no penalty.

A what dem feed the Argentine tourists suh

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Honestly we are curious plus tax regarding what exactly the tourists had in that fish in St Mary. We can't think of any food that is poisonous. It's a real bad mark for our island and I feel for the people at that particular villa.
Thirteen others were also hospitalised in the incident. Jamaica`s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has expressed regret at the passing of the tourist who died in St. Ann last night. The deceased was a member of a group which was vacationing at a villa in St. Mary.
Preliminary investigations indicate that members of the group had purchased fish at a supermarket in the parish only hours earlier, but later fell ill after eating a meal of fish and potato salad they had prepared.
Members of the group were rushed to the St. Ann`s Bay Hospital where a male tourist was pronounced dead on arrival while ten other persons, including Jamaicans were admitted in critical condition.

Minister Bartlett was quick to note that the Ministries of Tourism and Health will continue to render the critical assistance needed to the group, in order to ensure that they return to good health. He outlined that `the Ministry of Tourism is implementing measures to provide support for the relatives of the deceased and members of the group as they seek to recover from this regrettable ordeal.`
The Ministry of Tourism is working along with the Ministry of Health and other state agencies to facilitate the medical care of the members of the group and to investigate the cause of the incident.

More acts confirmed for Jazz Festival

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An array of international and local musical stars have been confirmed for the event's 15th staging, which will once again make the picturesque Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

In addition to Maroon 5, Sisters with Voices better known as SWV has been added to the line-up and so too have Jamaican songstress Diana King and Irish recording artiste Laura Izibor.

SWV, the American female contemporary R&B trio from New York has been mesmerising fans since coming together in 1990. Their infectious sounds have brought hits such as Weak, Right Here/Human Nature and I'm So Into You. The group, which reunited in 2005, after disbanding to pursue solo projects in 1999, has been ranked number 100 of the top-500 pop artistes of the past 25 years.

Laura Izibor has been compared to legendary singer Aretha Franklin.

The event, takes place January 23 to 29, 2011.

When Cash Plus investors a guh get justice?

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Olint's boss David Smith will be facing trial in April for his failed ponzi scheme. Stanton is already serving time in prison, Madoff has been convicted and imprisoned and only in Jamaica is the wheels of justice real slow. While the victims of Cash Plus are suffering because their money went up in smoke, it seems as if Carlos Hill won't have to suffer any consequences for his abuse of their trust. Will there even be a trial much less prison time?

Mayor McKenzie leaked on too

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WikiLeak was in no way finished with jamaica as they alleged that Kingston's mayor Desmond McKenzie held secret meeting with US officials regarding Dudus' extradition claiming it would do more harm than good.
Watching his defense on television last night we have to admit that we were curious about his choice of words. "I have no recollection of any such meeting". Knowing how the Mayor has been fiery and peppery when he is wronged we were expecting words like, "let them bring the proof, I am going to sue!"
All we can say is interesting, real interesting.

What a way WikiLeak do the PM wife bad

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If what WikiLeak is reporting has any truth to it then honestly we could feel nothing but sheer embarrassment for the Prime Minister's wife. She is painted as a butto and someone who can't conduct a good social meeting with the upper echelon of society. Imagine telling your diplomatic guest that what you are giving them is somethign your husband made the night before!! Oh no!
The cable, released on Wednesday, has been published by the United Kingdom-based Guardian newspaper.
Lorna Golding is reported to have invited Patricia Attkisson, the US Public Affairs Officer, for afternoon tea on December 11, 2009 at the Prime Minister's residence.
However, based on the document, Mrs. Golding was unprepared and unable to stay on message.
According to the US cable, Mrs. Golding expressed concern about the actions of United States officials in the extradition of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

The Wikileaks cable describes the encounter between the Prime Minister's wife and a US Embassy official as "an often surreal and disjointed conversation."
The cable says "the invitation ... to meet for afternoon tea on December 11 at the PM's residence had been unexpected."
According to the cable, "no other guests were in attendance and no tea was actually served."
The cable adds that the US official "was offered some salad that Mrs. Golding said the Prime Minister had prepared the previous evening."
It says Mrs. Golding took issue with the fact that US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had not mentioned the Government of Jamaica specifically in her traditional Independence Day message to the Jamaican people in August 2009.
The US cable also says "Mrs. Golding remained convinced that the White House's delay in naming a new US Ambassador (to Jamaica) is because Jamaica has been "downgraded" as a result of the extradition request delay."

The cable closes by saying that "Mrs. Golding insisted that she had invited the US official" to have tea on her own initiative and that Prime Minister Golding, although aware of the meeting, "hadn't put her up to it."

Investors in failed Neville Blythe-led UGI Finance and Investments Limited, are yet to receive their money since it collapsed in January and went into receivership.
The investors turned up at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday to hear how they will be paid but were left disappointed with the Liquidator's comments.

The Liquidator, Dalma James, told the investors that there was no money to pay them next month.

The largely middle-aged to elderly crowd numbering over 30 informed RJR news on Tuesday that they had invested some or all of their live savings into the company.

It is understood that the company went into receivership on January 12 and proceeded to close its Mandeville and Montego Bay offices without notifying investors.

The investors say they found out about the closure after they were contacted by the Liquidator in March at which time they had their first and last meeting with Mr. Blythe, Chairman of UGI Finance's Board of Directors.

One incensed investor, Verona Black-Brooks says it was the company's suggestion that the matter be kept quiet which prompted her to contact the media.

Mrs. Black-Brooks says she has over 15 years of life savings in the company and she has been left without a cent.

"My concern is because I work hard for my honest bread and the bank has closed with all my hard earned cash. I have no money, I have to be borrowing people's money and I don't know how I'm going to repay them. I need my money and I don't know how I'm going to get it back," she said.