Jamathon 2017

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Model: Althea Hunter

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Model: Althea Hunter
Country: Jamaica

Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica
Contact: Cell: (876) 416-2123
Twitter: @blistainc




Jamathon 2017

Model: Michaela Ramlal (Miss Universe 2012 Finalist)

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Model: Michaela Ramlal (Miss Universe 2012 Finalist)
Country: Jamaica

Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Port Maria
Country: Jamaica
Contact:Cell: (876) 416-2123
Twitter: @blistainc




Usher granted custody

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On Friday, R&B Grammy winning singer Usher Raymond ended a long legal fight with his ex-wife Tameka Foster Raymond. The singer was granted custody of his two sons. The Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane ruled that the 33-year-old singer will have primary custody of Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond, according to court clerk's office spokeswoman Cherrise Boone. His custody will start September 1.

The singer whose real name is Usher Raymond IV, and Tameka Raymond tied the knot in 2007, they got separated in July 2008 and claimed there was no hope of reconciliation. They have been locked in a custody battle since and the judge finally ruled in his favor after the death of Tameka Raymond's 11-year-old son Kile Glove last month after he was critically injured in a boating accident.




Model: Erica Lynne

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Model: Erica Lynne
Featured Magazine: Smooth Magazine
Agency: Oxygen's Bad Girls Club
Country: USA

Location: Hedonism II
Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica
Contact: Cell: (876) 416-2123
Email: blistainc@gmail.com
Twitter: @blistainc
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/blistaincphotography
Website: http://blistainc.com/






Model: Leesa Unique

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Model: Leesa Unique
State: New York City
Country: USA
Featured Magazine: Smooth Magazine

Location: Hedonism II
Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica
Contact: Cell: (876) 416-2123
Email: blistainc@gmail.com
Twitter: @blistainc
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/blistaincphotography
Website: http://blistainc.com/





Model: Gabrielle Mercado

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Model: Gabrielle Mercado
State: Orlando
Country: USA

Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica
Contact: Cell: (876) 416-2123
Twitter: @blistainc




Model: Sashane Clarke

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Model: Sashane Clarke
Country: Jamaica

Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica
Contact: Cell: (876) 416-2123
Twitter: @blistainc




Snoop Lion tells why he chose Reggae

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Snoop Dogg who recently converted to Snoop Lion says he chose reggae because it is the genre of love, happiness and struggle, said the rapper during the Reincarnated Documentary Press Conference, he also said he wants to expand his musical influence through positive messages.

"I have always wanted to perform for kids, my grandmother and people around the world who really love me and can't accept the music that I make, and this reggae music is music of love, happiness and struggle, and now I get a chance to perform for kids and grandparents. Not that the music in the past never felt good at all; it felt good because it was who I was and it is who I am. But now, as a 40-year-old man in the music industry, the younger artistes call me Uncle Snoop. I gotta give them something now. I can't just keep taking them to the dead-end street and drop-em off," Snoop Lion said.

One of the Marley's (Rohan Marley) was present at the conference and he happily welcomed Snoop Lion to the reggae fraternity. Rohan said music is universal and Jamaica is a part of music, so they really don't separate themselves and they embrace snoop not only through the music but through divine order. He continued to say once people profess a positive vibration and give back to earth and the land and the people and be an instrument of good then they will be well received.

Snoop Lion affirmed that he would give back to Jamaica by initiating developmental projects, because Jamaicans are not lazy and once given the opportunity they will make it happen.








Happy 94th Birthday Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday today, Wednesday  18 July 2012 and with that the world marks its third Mandela Day.

The United Nations declared Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009, meant to recognise the 67 years of his life fighting for human rights, peace, and reconciliation.

Nelson is a South African politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first ever to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before being elected President, Mandela was a militant anti-apartheid activist, and the leader and co-founder of  the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mandela went on to serve 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island. Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela led his party in the negotiations that led to the establishment of democracy in 1994. As President, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation, while introducing policies aimed at combating poverty and inequality in South Africa.

In South Africa, Mandela is often known as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name. Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades.




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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Monday a Gilead Sciences Inc.GILD +1.66% HIV drug for use in certain healthy people to help prevent them from contracting the virus that causes AIDS.

The move, which was expected, marks a milestone in the three-decade effort to prevent HIV and AIDS. Truvada was previously approved for use in combination with other drugs to treat HIV. The new approval marks the first time the FDA has approved a drug to prevent HIV infection. The approval allows Truvada to be used in people who are considered at high risk of becoming infected with HIV, such as those who have an HIV-infected partner.

The FDA said Truvada, a pill taken daily, is to be used in combination with safe-sex practices, such as condom use, to cut the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection in adults. The agency said doctors need to test patients to make sure they are HIV-negative before prescribing Truvada and do follow-up testing every three months. The use of Truvada alone in a person who might become infected with HIV won't treat the virus effectively.

Truvada is a combination of two medicines that make it harder for HIV to multiply in the body. Wall Street analysts said approval of Truvada as a prevention tool is unlikely to add much to the product's sales because it is already being used for this purpose in limited cases, such as when heterosexual couples with one HIV-positive partner try to conceive a child.

Gilead said it has developed FDA-approved materials to educate doctors and patients about how to appropriately use Truvada and will provide vouchers for free HIV testing and condoms.

In May, a federal advisory panel voted to support the expanded use of Truvada in gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples in which one partner is HIV negative.

In the U.S., about 1.2 million people are infected with HIV and about 50,000 new infections are diagnosed each year, a level that has been stable for the past decade. Medical experts said additional approaches are needed to lower the rate of new infections but were divided on whether Truvada should be approved.

One big concern is whether healthy people would adhere to pill's daily-dose regimen, which is necessary for it to work, and whether the use of the medicine might prompt people to drop other prevention measures such as condom use.

While two federally funded clinical studies submitted by Gilead in support of Truvada showed it could substantially lower a person's risk of contracting HIV, another study looking at Truvada for prevention was stopped last year because too few people were taking the medicine properly to show whether it might work.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a global AIDS organization that provides medical care and services to HIV-infected people, called the FDA's approval of Truvada for HIV prevention "reckless" and criticized the agency for not requiring proof of a negative-HIV test in users. In March, the group had filed a petition with the agency urging it to reject Truvada's application, citing concerns about drug side effects, the nearly $14,000 annual cost of the drug and the difficulty of sticking with a daily pill regimen.

The FDA said possible serious side effects were kidney problems and bone loss but that these weren't common. The less serious but more common side effects were nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, the agency said.




Mavado buys Ferrari 458 Italia sport car

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The Gully Gad just buy a new Ferrari! Mavado a live the big life inna foreign now! Nuff people a cuss and a say him sell out him Gullyside friends dem and ting. We nuh business wid dat, we just a say how him new Ferrari look good!!!!!




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Kyle Glover, the eleven year old stepson of Usher, has been declared brain dead by doctors at an Atlanta children's hospital.

Glover is the first son for Usher's ex wife Tamika.

The 11-year-old was airlifted there after being hit by a jet ski in Lake Lanier, and has not experienced any brain activity since.

No decision has been made as to whether or not to take Kyle off of life support.

Usher arrived at the hospital last night and Tameka has not left the hospital since she got there, sources tell TMZ.

Despite Usher's acrimonious divorce from Foster, he chartered a plane for Tameka, who was out of town, to be by her son's side.

Glover was sitting in an inner tube on Lake Lanier when he was hit in the head. He was unresponsive when he was taken out of the water.




Reggae artiste Teddy Brown arrested

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Immigration authorities in the United States say they have arrested a reggae singer in New Jersey for being in the country illegally.

Fifty-two year-old Tedane Anthony Kerr was arrested at his home in Asbury Park Tuesday.

Officials say Mr. Kerr also goes by the name Anthony Butler and sings under the name Teddy Brown.

The singer's website says he released a disc on the Fugitive Entertainment record label and has performed in New York, in Philadelphia and at the Jersey Shore.

Customs officials say Mr. Kerr entered the U.S.in 1977 from Jamaica as a lawful permanent resident but was ordered removed the same year after a conviction for aggravated assault.

An immigration judge will decide whether he will be deported.




Video: Rick Ross - A day in Jamaica

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Chances of a new trial, Slim for Buju

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A US-based criminal defense attorney, is giving a cautious opinion about reggae entertainer Buju Banton's chances of securing a new trial, following Thursday's dismissal of  his case by the US Appeal Court.

Buju was appealing his 10 year sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and the use of a phone to facilitate a drug crime.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeal not only dismissed the appeal, but reversed the not guilty verdict for his gun possession conviction.

The court also sent Buju's motion for a new trial back to the District Court to decide if enough evidence is there for a new one.

Florida-based defense attorney, Wayne Golding, remains cautious about Buju's attempt to get a new trial.




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Usain Bolt sprinted away with over $1.8 billion over the past 12 months, according to leading business news publication, Forbes Magazine, which recently released its list of the world's 100 richest sports personalities.

Bolt, who has been the poster boy for athletics, has gone on to dominate his events over the past four years, all this time raising the value of the sport and, by extension, his brand.

His US$20.3 million earnings leaves him in the number 63 position, and again makes him the only track and field athlete among the 100 highest-paid sports personalities. The list accounts earnings between June 2011 and June 2012. Bolt is believed to command in the region of US$300,000 in appearance fees per track meet.

The bulk of the athlete's earnings come from his numerous commercial deals, with Forbes accrediting US$20 million of his US$20.3 million income to endorsement arrangements with companies such as Puma, Hublot and Gatorade.

Bolt's contract with Puma is his largest to date and is believed to be in the region of US$10 million - one of the largest shoe-company contracts in the world.

Nissan contract

The Jamaican recently added Japanese automakers Nissan Motors to his ever-growing list of partners, after recently agreeing to feature in the company's global campaign to promote the 2012 Nissan GT-R.




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YardFlex can exclusively confirm that platinum-recording star Trey Songz  will hit the stage on International Night 1 alongside such seasoned talents as Shabba Ranks and Tarrus Riley. Trey Songz will be making his debut appearance at Sumfest.

DANCEHALL NIGHT : Thursday, July 19


Beenie Man, I-Octane, Cham, Konshens, Popcaan, Ninja Man, Assassin, Aidonia, Kiprich, Tommy Lee, Spice, Khago, Tifa, Jah Vinci. 
**MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED**

INTERNATIONAL NIGHT 1: Friday, July 20


Shabba Ranks, Trey Songz, Tarrus Riley
Jamaica 50 Tribute featuring:
John Holt, Yellow Man, U-Roy, Leroy Sibbles, Mighty Diamonds, Leroy Smart, Derrick Harriott,, Frankie Paul, Pinchers
**MORE TO BE ANNOUNED**

INTERNATIONAL NIGHT 2: Saturday, July 21


Damian 'Gongzilla' Marley
Third World, Christopher Martin, A. J. Brown
**MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED***




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Dancehall artiste Konshens has made a significant step in the right direction as far as his career is concerned. His Subkonshus Music label has signed an exclusive deal with New York based independent label VP Records, for the chart topping smash single Gal a Bubble.

Impressed with the success of the Gal a Bubble single, VP Records and Subkonshus Music hammered out a licensing and distribution deal which will be beneficial to both parties.

Gal a Bubble which was produced by Subkonshus Music, has been successful in several markets outside of Jamaica including the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. It has topped several charts locally and overseas.

With the work ethic and innovation from Subkonshus Music mixed with VP's impressive track record in the ethnic, urban and pop markets, this exclusive deal is destined to become a winner.

VP Records, arguably the largest independent record label for reggae and dancehall music has played a major role in the international success of dancehall/reggae acts over the years including Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Sean Paul through the label's exclusive deals with Warner Music's, Atlantic Records and Virgin Music Canada.




Serbian band 'Irie Fm' wins reggae contest

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The Serbian band Irie FM wins the overall European finals of the Rototom Reggae Contest in Italy and enters the line-up of Rototom Sunsplash 2012.

The Serbian Band is the first band from Eastern Europe ever to win the Reggae Contest, much celebrated within the European reggae scene. Chalwa Band & King Konsul from Spain, Arrokibi Roots from Italy, Sundyata from France, Ital Audio Band from the UK and Sattatree from Germany were the other finalists of the 10th edition yearly competition.

The reggae-dub style of Irie FM, who had already entered the finals last year, convinced both audience and judges. The band will tour the main European reggae festivals, including Rototom Sunsplash.




London Police cancel potential Kidd Concert

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The Metropolitan police were forced to lock down a show featuring Potential Kidd at the Da Boss Nightclub at Woolwich High Street in London, England on Monday night after the cramped, overcrowded conditions became dangerous for the partygoers themselves.

"The club has a capacity of 2000 persons, and the club was rampacked, and there were at least as many people outside as inside so the police were called in to lock it off because the club was overcrowded," Potential Kidd's manager, Angeletta McKenzie sad during an international call on the night the show.
 
Potential Kidd is in the middle of a 14-gig tour of the United Kingdom that will see him perform at clubs in Nottingham, Birmingham, London, and Brixton over the next couple of weeks.

Potential Kidd burst on the dancehall scene like a surface-to-air missile earlier this year, scorching the airwaves with his catchy singalong single, A Yah Suh Nice, and its raunchier version was a monster hit on mixtapes all over the island. He followed up that success with 'Urgency' which racked up over 200,000 hits on youtube.

He then inked a one-year recording deal with VP Records on the strength of his popularity in the underground dancehall market. He suffered a bit of a PR blowback when telecommunications LIME giant cancelled the artiste's involvement in a Champs promotion which would have required the artiste performing at a school concert because of the suggestive content of the unedited version of Kidd's single Ah Yah So Nice.

Since then, the artiste has redoubled his efforts in the recording studio to follow up on the success of A Yah Suh Nice. He has a slew of new singles which include God a Come Dung, Mi Tink a Foreign, Tight Tight, How Many Time and Love Mi Mamma.




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Dancehall artiste Busy Signal is expected to be extradited to the United States before the end of the week to face a charge of absconding bail.

There were reports that preparations were being made to turn him over yesterday to US Marshalls who will accompany him to Minnesota where the charge was laid.

A police source disclosed that the entertainer is still in Jamaica.

Another source said the surrender warrant has been signed by the Jamaican authorities and all is in place for the entertainer to be taken to the US.

Busy Signal was arrested three weeks ago by members of the Fugitive Apprehension Team, after completing a European tour.

When he was taken to court on May 24, the artiste waived his right to an extradition hearing.




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Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne has launched a petition in hopes of returning to the United States.

The Belize-born rapper is seeking 25,000 signature for the petition posted on the White House website.

He was deported to Belize from the United States in October of 2009, after serving time for a 1999 shooting incident at a New York nightclub while partying with Bad Boy CEO Diddy and his then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

While in jail he converted to Judiasm and changed his name from Jamal Michael Barrow to Moshe Levi.

Since his release Shyne has signed a a new contact with Def Jam.

He is asking for a visa based off his good behavior and community service since his conviction.




Beenie Man's USA work permit reinstated

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Artiste added to lineup for concert in New York


New York: Two years after his USA work permit was initially cancelled, controversial DJ Beenie Man, aka Moses Davis will return to the USA for a performance at the inaugural 'Groovin In The Park' concert on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, NY. Beenie Man was one of five top Jamaican entertainers whose visas and work permits were revoked by the Embassy of the United States in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2010.

"I am extremely excited to announce that our booking agent here in New York was able to secure a work permit for the dancehall king Beenie Man to be a headline performer at this year's 'Groovin In the Park' concert on July 1," and elated Christopher Roberts, CEO of Groovin Inc., parent company of Groovin In The Park said.

"Music fans in the tri-state area have been waiting for a very long time for the opportunity to see Beenie Man perform live here in the USA again. I am glad we were instrumental in making it happen for the fans. Beenie Man is an extremely talented entertainer and we are happy that he will be again able to showcase his talents on stage in New York" Roberts said.

R&B crooner R Kelly who was originally booked for the Queens concert will not perform.

"Kelly will no longer perform at the 'Groovin In The Park' concert because of a scheduling conflict with the date of our festival on Sunday, July 1" Roberts said.

"We have added Beenie Man and also plan to add an exciting high calibre R&B artiste to the line up. An announcement will be forthcoming in the media shortly" he said.

Other headline performers for 'Groovin In The Park' are Boyz 11 Men, Jimmy Cliff and Beres Hammond.

'Groovin In The Park' is in part a tribute to three great nations who are celebrating independence anniversaries: the United States celebrating 236, and Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago who are both celebrating 50 this year.

*For tickets go to www.groovininthepark.com**

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Jimmy Cliff

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Boyz 11 Men

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Beres Hammond




Passenger restrained on flight to Miami

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A 24-year-old Canadian man is in federal custody for rushing toward the front of an American Airlines flight from Jamaica after the plane landed in Miami.

The FBI says Ryan Snider faces federal charges including interference with a flight crew. His court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday. It's not known if he has an attorney. The FBI says this wasn't terrorism-related and Snider is not on the "no fly list." It did not provide Snider's hometown.

Airline officials say the disoriented passenger stood up from his seat after landing Friday at Miami International Airport from Montego Bay. The flight was taxiing and he didn't obey crew member instructions to sit down.

Authorities say he rushed toward the front and was subdued by some of the 165 passengers on flight 320.




Usain Bolt gets his own Hublot Watch

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The world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, now has a Swiss watch made in honour of him, which also features his image. The watch is aptly named King Power Usain Bolt.

In addition to the watch's many references to the sprinter, it features an interesting hallmark: the strap is made from exactly the same leather as the shoes he wore when he broke world records in Beijing in 2008.

Hublot, for whom he is an ambassador, has developed this special model in close consultation with Bolt to mark this monumental year in sport.

The watch is a fusion of symbols which represent everything about Bolt starting with his pose - his unique signature - stylised and immediately recognisable in an anthracite grey transfer on a black background. A 12-hour chronograph counter sits at 6 o'clock, and is decorated with a touch of green in a nod to the colours on the Jamaican flag.

Bolt, who turns 25 this year, recently opened his season in style by completing his first individual 100 metres in a quick 9.82 seconds at the National Stadium in Kingston, as he prepares to defend three titles in London this summer: the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres.




Beenie Man apologises to Gays!! (Video)

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Mavado banned in Canada???

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Rumours have been circulating that dancehall superstar Mavado have been banned from Canada.

According to reports, the Deejay has also been dropped from YMCMB label.

These allegations are stemming from the deejay's guilty verdict which was handed down last week.

Stay tuned for more details.




Pregnant Trinidadian Woman Mauled by Dogs

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Thirty-six year old Kurleen Cooper, who is 5 months pregnant, underwent emergency surgery yesterday to save her arm after she was mauled by three dogs two mixed with the pitbull breed in Trinidad.

She was walking home after taking her children to school when one of the dogs reportedly ran out from a house and charged at her.

The two other dogs reportedly followed and leapt on Cooper and knocked her down.

The dogs reportedly tore the flesh off her left arm and bit her on the head, hands, inner leg, left ear and stomach.

She tried to fight them off and was rescued by a passerby and residents from the area.

She was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital. Her condition is listed as serious.

The Trinidad Express Newspaper reports that she told doctors that she is not feeling the baby.

They checked and reportedly said there was movement.




Happy Mother's Day

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A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.

Happy Mothers Day
From YardFlex




31st Anniversary of a Legend's Death

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Thirty one years ago, the world lost a great man - Reggae legend Bob Marley.

Marley passed away on May 11 1981 in Miami from cancer. He was 36 years old. His music has moved people and started movements, and he's constantly reminded us all that "one good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain."

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the death of a true musical pioneer, a man whose impact transcended class, race and culture all over the world. The reggae legend inspired an almost spiritual following among a diverse set of believers. Marley was an everyman, a gentle soul and a revolutionary. Many have identified with his humble upbringing in the tiny island of Jamaica, the Pan-African beliefs stemming from his Rastafarian faith, and his advocacy of social justice. When he penned politically charged songs like "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up Stand Up," they resonated as far more than mere recordings. They were calls to action.

Many of Marley's greatest and most recognizable hits came with the Wailers including Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer who grew up beside him.

Ultimately, it was Marley's penchant for social justice that made him an identifiable superstar.

Marley's living legacies - his children, continue to build and propel brand Marley worldwide. Three decades after Bob Marley's death, his legacy will continue to resonate for years to come.

Videos of live performances of Bob Marley








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Chairman of the People's National Party, Robert Pickersgill says the party has no record of having received a gift from former Olint boss David Smith.

Yesterday the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and former Prime Minister P J Patterson both issued statements reacting to media reports regarding benefits allegedly received from Smith, the jailed Jamaican who headed the collapsed investment scheme.

The statements followed reports of a Confiscation Order issued by the Supreme Court of the British Caribbean colony, Turks and Caicos, claiming that both the Opposition JLP and the ruling PNP, as well as Patterson and Daryl Vaz, benefited from donations from Smith.

In a brief statement, the Opposition party said that it was aware that Olint/David Smith "was one of many contributors to the JLP campaign over the period leading up to the September 2007 General Election". The JLP added that it was "examining the claim that US$5 million was donated to the party".

Former Prime Minister, PJ Patterson categorically denied allegations that he received US$1 million.

Patterson said he had referred Smith to PNP campaign director Donald Buchanan about contributing to the campaign. He said he did not know what resulted from those discussions.

Pickersgill said the party has also not received any formal communication in relation to the court document.

Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida last August. He was accused of defrauding thousands of customers of more than US$220 million and was convicted after pleading guilty to 18 counts of money laundering, four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.





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Legendary pianist Monty Alexander along with Dean Fraser and Tarrus Riley, will perform at a benefit concert on his birthday, June 6, 2012 at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, New York City.

This Birthday Bash will also commemorate Monty's 50 years in music and the 50th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica from Great Britain.

Monty Alexander's legacy of musical excellence bridges the worlds of Jazz and Jamaican music with over 70 albums and an international following of dedicated fans.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit Heartbeats of the World, a nonprofit organization that serves to enrich the lives of children, adolescents, and women in Jamaica, by providing educational opportunities to address poverty and unemployment.

Mr. Alexander was first approached by Pat Chin, founder of VP Records, to volunteer his services to the Heartbeats' charity.  Speaking for the Board of Directors of Heartbeats, Mrs. Chin said: "We thank Monty, Dean and Tarrus for their generous donation of time and talent to such a worthy cause; we all look forward to celebrating Monty's birthday."




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A woman who reportedly allowed and encouraged her 12-year-old daughter to have sexual intercourse with a 20-year-old man has been charged by the police.

The child's stepfather and the 20-year-old man have also been charged with various breaches of the Sexual Offences Act and the Child Care and Protection Act. It is reported that the 20-year-old, who is the child's boyfriend, moved in to live with her, her mother, and her stepfather.

The mother reportedly supplied her daughter with contraceptives but the child became pregnant. It's alleged that the mother did not report the matter to the police.

Investigations led the police to the location, where all three were arrested and subsequently charged. The 20-year-old man has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years old; sexual touching; and grievous sexual assault.

The mother has been charged under the Sexual Offences Act with aiding and abetting sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years old.

She has also been charged with failing to report a crime to the Children's Registry, and cruelty to a child - under the Child Care and Protection Act. Meanwhile, investigations revealed that the stepfather was also molesting the young girl.He was charged with grievous sexual assault and sexual touching.

The three are booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday, May 11.




Mavado now apart of cash money billionaires

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The international platform for prominent Dancehall artiste Mavado has grown tremendously with the recent announcement that the label he is currently signed to - "We The Best", will now be joining forces with Cash Money Billionaires.

Last summer, Mavado signed his first international record deal with DJ Khaled's We The Best Music Group and has since released songs such as 'Emergency' with label mate, Ace Hood as well as 'Survivor' featuring hip-hop artiste, Akon. Additionally, Mavado has been touring across the United States in recent months in an effort to market himself in the country following the re-issuance of his visa last July. He also performed in Paris recently where he brought Drake on stage.

Earlier this week, Cash Money Records co-founder, Birdman announced that his label has now signed We The Best Music Group under their imprint, making Mavado an affiliate of the Young Money Cash Money Billionaires (YMCMB) as he's now under the Cash Money umbrella




mirf-9th-edition.jpgThis year, for its 9th edition, the Montreal International Reggae Festival (MIRF) team will be celebrating Jamaica's 50 years of independence with some of the leading and most prolific ambassadors in the history of Reggae.

Continually embracing the motto "United Against Violence" and with an unrelenting determination to unite nations through music, MIRF has designed three days of stellar programming this summer.

Included in the roster of confirmed artists are: Konshens, Khago, Assasin and Christopher Martin, Chma, Tarrus Riley and Luciano "The Messenger" who returns to North America after a five year hiatus.

To celebrate Jamaica's jubilee of independence in splendor, it is fitting that the unique and multi-talented, Honorable Jimmy Cliff (O.M) will headline this year's festival. Immortalized by the character Ivanhoe Martin in the 1972 Perry Henzell classic film, The harder They Come and its hit list soundtrack that included, You Can Get It If You Really Want, Many Rivers To Cross, Sitting In Limbo and the unforgettable title track, The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff also started his musical career in 1962, the year of Jamaica's independence.

The song Miss Jamaica, was one of Jimmy Cliff's earliest hits, composed in recognition of Jamaica's August 6, 1962 independence; and for 50 years since then it has remained closely linked to the lowering of the British flag and presentation of Jamaica's new colors black green and gold. Jimmy Cliff, whose real name is James Chambers, is currently the only living artist to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor granted by the government of Jamaica for achievement in the arts and sciences.




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A former Jamaican Pentecostal deacon Ezekiel Foster has claimed in the Old Bailey criminal court in London that he was on the orders of an evil spirit named 'Joseph' when he killed his partner a young Jamaican mother of three.

Foster stabbed 24-year-old Sashana Roberts at least 11 times, then dumped her body in the bath of her flat in north London on September 12 last year.

However, the court was told that Foster's attack was caused by a jealous rage.

Foster denies murder but has admitted to manslaughter, claiming he suffers from a mental illness which affected his ability to control his actions.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Foster said he had started hearing voices in his head while he was on the run from police in around 2009.

He said he had skipped bail after he was told he was facing jail time for shoplifting because of his previous convictions.

He was eventually arrested and sent to prison for four months.

Asked about his motivation for the killing, he replied that the spirit told him to do it, and he had no recollection of how it happened.

The trial continues.




Xposed Skinz Bikini | Model: Tashie-Gay

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Model: Tashie-Gay
Agency: Lipstickk Smooches
Bikini Line: Xposed Skinz Bikini 
City: Mandeville
Country: Jamaica
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 120lb

Location: Hedonism II
Photographer: Blista Inc Photography
Edited by: Blista Inc Photography.
City: Montego Bay
Country: Jamaica

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Xposed Skinz Bikinis

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Model: Erica Lynne
Agency: Oxygen's Bad Girls Club
Country: USA
Height: 5' 3"
Weight: 34D-27-41
Photographer: Blista Inc Photography

















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Name: Sasha (Owner/ Designer of Xposed Skinz)
Country: USA
Height: 5'2
Weight: 101
Hips: 33
Waist: 24
Bust: 33




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Rita Marley, widow of the great Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley and the first lady of Reggae will be among eight icons to be honored at the 31stannual International Reggae and World Music Awards returning to Chicago July 5th after 15 years on the road. In addition, for the first time ever the Awards will be held in conjunction with Chicago's 4th of July weekend celebration -- the 20th anniversary of the International Festival of Life. The festival takes place from July 4-8 in Washington Park with July 5th set aside for the Red Carpet IRAWMA Awards ceremony.

Ephraim Martin, IRAWMA and IFOL producer, said that after fifteen consecutive years on the road, the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) ceremony has come home. "It's going to be a grand celebration," he said. "Since The Taste of Chicago, one of America's biggest July 4th Independence celebrations begins later in the month the Festival of Life will serve as the main event for residents and visitors from around the world. The Chicago Office of Tourism will join IFOL in its effort to maximize tourists to Chicago for the July 4th holiday."

He added, "We're going to roll out the red carpet in Washington Park on the 5th of July right in the middle of the festival and just steps from President Barack Obama's home."

Eight Icons who are living legends were named for the Reggae 50 Honors. Two honorees will receive the Martin's International Award of Honor in Media. The 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee(s) will be named at a later date.

The REGGAE 50 HONOREES ARE:

RITA MARLEY - FOR HER WORK IN THE PERSERVATION AND PROMOTION OF REGGAE'S LEGACY

  • MARCIA GRIFFITHS EMPRESS OF REGGAE
  • JUDY MOWATT FOR SPIRITUAL SERVICE THROUGH MUSIC
  • FREDDIE MCGREGOR FOR 50 YEARS OF DEDICATED & UNTIRING SERVICE TO JAMAICA AND THE WORLD THROUGH MUSIC
  • KEN BOOTHE- FOR BEING MOST CONSISTENT IN THE PRESERVATION OF JAMAICA'S ROCKSTEADY MUSIC
  • ERIC DONALDSON - THE KING OF JAMAICAN SONG CONTEST IN PAST 50 YEARS
  • CHARLES CAMERON- FOR SIXTY YEARS OF UNTIRING CONTRIBUTION TO JAMAICAN MUSIC
  • COPELAND FORBES FOR 50 YEARS OF VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

THE MARTIN'S INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AWARDEES ARE:

  • BERKO AKOTO OWUSU, AFRICAN SPECTRUM- FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISTIC CONTRIBUTION TO AFRICAN AND WORLD MUSIC
  • ONSTAGE TV- WINFORD WILLIAMS FOR MOST VALUABLE MEDIA CONTRIBUTIONS TO REGGAE IN THE LAST DECADE

Dedicated to "Jamaica's 50th Year of Independence," the Festival of Life will feature a pavilion showcasing "All Things Jamaican," and serving as a road to Jamaica's Golden Jubilee in August. Importers/exporters, hoteliers, shipping services, travel-oriented entrepreneurs and businesses that market Jamaica or Jamaican brand products are encouraged to contact Martin's International at 312/427-0266 or e-mail:irawmasponsor@gmail.com to be a part of the pavilion.
 
  • This history making 31st IRAWMA and the 20th anniversary IFOL is sponsored by NBC 5 TV- Chicago, The Chicago Park District, Chicago Office of Tourism, J.FC Jerk and Fried Chicken, Robert Scott - One Stop Studio, Rogers Park Fruit Market, Insurance Brokers, Inc, Captain Hooks Fish/Chicken and Firehouse, KCB Inc and others. The Marriott Chicago Midway Airport is the official hotel for the five days celebration. For reservation call 1-708-594-5500 and mention the code words "Festival/Awards".
 
Hours for the Festival of Life are 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily, except for July 5th and 6thfrom 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The IRAWMA red carpet arrival and Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 5th from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Get tickets now at www.festivaloflife.biz,www.irawma.com or call 312/427-0266 . E-mail: festoflife@gmail.com.




Scared AA passengers abandon flight

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aa-passengers.jpgAt least 12 American Airlines passengers who were scheduled to depart the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to Miami, this evening refused to board the aircraft which had mechanical and electrical problems earlier today.

Flight AA2038 was scheduled to depart at 8:45 yesterday, but never left until 7:53 p.m.

"They first told us that plane was defective and they had to get some parts from Miami, and the aircraft would leave at 10:00 a.m, then they said 2:00 p.m, which moved to 4:00 p.m and the time went on and on," says Margaret Wadsworth, a passenger who spent 13 hours waiting at the airport.

According to Wadsworth, when she and the other passengers eventually boarded the aircraft at 5:30 p.m, inside the plane was extremely hot.

"Some of us started to panic, and within minutes we were told there was an electrical problem," she said.

The airline was forced to disembark all the passengers, where further checks were made, after which the aircraft departed, but not before the 12 passengers and their bags were delisted.

An American Airlines official said once the passengers requested to be taken off, the airline was obliged to adhere to their request.

She also said there was no other flight that could accommodate the passengers all day today.

"There was nothing we could do but to have them wait until the problem was fixed."




Seasplash Resort Special

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Seasplash Hotel in Negril is offering a special for the fun and adventurous persons!!

Price: $349 for 4 nights, breakfast for 2, transportation from Montego Bay Airport. Special ends April 28, 2012. Coupons are valid for 1 year.

Contact (876)957-4041 or email mrhurt@aol.com.

Sea Splash Resort is located near the beach in Negril and close to Seven Mile Beach, Kool Runnings Water Park, and Negril Hills Golf Club. Additional area points of interest include Negril Lighthouse.

Sea Splash Resort features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a spa tub. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The property offers a roundtrip airport shuttle (surcharge). Wedding services and tour/ticket assistance are available. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a concierge desk, multilingual staff, and secure parking.

Air-conditioned guestrooms at Sea Splash Resort feature ceiling fans and windows that open. All accommodations have balconies. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations and hair dryers. In addition to safes, guestrooms offer phones with voice mail. Housekeeping is available daily.





the-mei-healthcare-group.jpgMEI Healthcare Inc., a leading provider of healthcare strategies and equipment solutions for medical facilities around the world, is partnering with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, the governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Global Health Partners, Ltd., to begin construction of The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean at Mount St. John Medical Centre in St. John, Antigua. Groundbreaking for the new $13.5 million (EC dollars) facility will take place Thursday, April 26.

"Our partnership will provide accessible, high-quality cancer care for a population that is underserved," said Gordon Baltzer, CEO of MEI Healthcare Inc. Baltzer will be speaking at the groundbreaking. "Currently, patients need to be treated abroad, which is costly and incredibly difficult for patients and their families. As a result, many patients have gone without treatment."

The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean will provide high-quality medical, radiation and surgical oncology services. The facility will include state-of-the-art technology capable of administering intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The centre will be used as the hub for consultation services being offered to the participating member countries.

"Nearly 1,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year in the OECS and, of those, approximately 400 will need radiotherapy at some time in their disease course," said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, The Hon. Baldwin Spencer in a prepared statement. "I recognize that currently there are no facilities in the Eastern Caribbean that are truly comprehensive and offer both surgery and radiation...(and) it's important for us to develop the facilities necessary to provide support to patients who have cancer."

The Hon. Arthur T. Porter, M.D., Chair of the Board of MEI and a key driver of this project, stated, "MEI insures that the Eastern Caribbean will have the technology platform to deliver modern day cancer therapy at a level commensurate with that of the USA, Canada or Europe."

During a regional healthcare symposium in 2009, government officials expressed interest in developing a partnership with the private sector to equip a cancer center in Antigua with the latest oncology services and technical expertise. The "partnered care" model being used to create the facility is a cost-effective solution to bringing the latest technology to the region.

MEI provides business development, capital equipment funding strategies and growth consulting services to physicians, hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide.




A panelist at the first green investment forum at the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Sustainable Tourism Conference believes waste to energy plants in the region could help solve the problems of high power cost.

Tony Fiddy, President of the Waste to Energy Division and Regional Vice President for Europe and Africa, Naanovo Energy Inc., says waste to energy plants could lower the power costs of many nations tremendously.

"In St. Kitts we will be building a plant and selling power for US.20 cents to the government there, resulting in a huge savings that will be passed along to the consumer," said Fiddy, a panelist on the"Going Green" Invest Caribbean Now Forum organized by Felicia Persaud's Hard Beat Communications and the CTO and held on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Guyana International Conference Centre in Liliendaal, Guyana.

The forum also featured Loreto Duffy-Mayers, Project Manager for the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action (CHENACT) Programme and Ujjwal Bhattacharjee, a specialist in renewable energy and energy efficiency with a focus on technology, investment and policy and a consultant on the CHENACT project.

The CHENACT Study found that green investments in the Caribbean hotel sector offers a sufficient critical mass to spur entrepreneurial activity and both Duffy-Mayers and Bhattacharjee expressed the hope that a Clean Energy Policy will be incorporated into the National Energy Policy of countries and replicated throughout the region.

The forum was a partnership between the CTO and Invest Caribbean Now, the brand founded by Felicia Persaud, the Guyana-born CEO of the New York-based digital media company Hard Beat Communications.

Persaud, who co-convened and moderated the forum, urged the 100 delegates to remember that "investing in clean energy is not just environmentally responsible, but good business."
"No region offers more long-term growth prospects for renewable energy than the Caribbean," said Persaud.

Last year, according to the UN Environment Program, investors pumped a record two hundred and 11 billion US dollars into renewables globally and this is projected to grow to 1.7 trillion by 2020. Of the 211 billion, $72 billion was invested in developing countries vs. $70 billion in developed economies. South and Central America secured $13.1 billion of that amount. The Caribbean was not accounted for in this study.

"And so it is a challenge to the Caribbean region to position itself to take advantage of this new sector sustainably and with transparency. Our leaders must begin to think outside the box and be unafraid to move beyond the traditional sectors - for instance out of a dying sugar industry, to ethanol," Persaud added. "We must tap investment into this sector to create new jobs and limit our dependence on the up and down prices of oil and grow our economies like our south American neighbors and really make a mark on this generation."

The Caribbean Tourism Organization has been staging its Annual Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC), since 1997. The 2012 conference was presented by the CTO and hosted by the Government of Guyana from April 15-18, 2012.




Donations needed for Team 'Jamaica Bickle'

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team-jamaica-bickle-needs-your-help.jpgAbout Team Jamaica Bickle
Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. is a 501(c)(3 ) not-for-profit organization, based in New York, formed in 1994 under the leadership of Irwine G. Clare Sr., to provide much needed support for Jamaican athletes who compete at the annual Penn Relays Carnival, held at the University of Pennsylvania. Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc.,has supported athletes and athletic programs for the past 17 years. Currently, TJB services extend to a delegation of approximately 750 Athletes, coaches and volunteers from Jamaica; other Caribbean countries (which includes Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Grenada and Bahamas), as well as from the USA..

In 1999, Team Jamaica Bickle became the first Jamaican organization to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays, thus allowing us to partner with our corporate friends. As a result, the Jamaican flag became the first foreign nation's flag to be flown at the Penn Relays, a distinction unmatched. Over the years, TJB has received several proclamations and awards from numerous local and national entities.

Team Jamaica Bickle provides the following services:

  • Meals and other refreshments
  • Physical therapy, chiropractic, mentorship and medical services
  • Transportation to and from the stadium each day
  • Airport transportation: arrival & departure
  • Subsidized hotel rate
  • Subsidized air fare

In honor of Jamaica's & Trinidad and Tobago's 50th Anniversary of Independence, TJB's goal is to offer a $50 per night rate tot the athletes - a more than 50% discount.  We are asking for your help in making this a reality. The organization needs to raise $60,000 to meet that need. Every little bit counts. This is in addition to their annual budget of approximately $95,000.

A big push is welcome over the next 3-4 days. We do appreciate the help!!

Please visit http://teamjamaicabickle.com/. There is a donate button on the home page (right side). Your donations are tax deductible!

Please confirm with me one you have made your donation. Alternately you may write a check to Team Jamaica Bickle Inc. and mail to the following address. Please state 'PRO2012', on your check  so I can keep track of my records & efforts. Thank you so very much! And don't hesitate to call me if you need more information.

Please Mail to or I can make arrangements to pick-up:

Team Jamaica Bickle
c/o Irwine G. Clare
Managing Director
Caribbean Immigrant Services, Inc
159-05 Hillside Ave
Jamaica, NY 11432




Bob Marley Documentary to premiere tonight

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'Marley- A definitive story', is set to premiere tonight at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

The documentary was directed by Kevin Macdonald and is the only film that is fully endorsed by the Marley family.

Telecommunications group Digicel will also be streaming aspects of the premiere including the Red, Green and Gold carpet arrivals on facebook throughout the night.

The premiere is free to the public and begins at 8pm




Thierry Mayard-Paul, Haiti's Chief of Staff and Minister of the Interior, Territorial Collectivities and National Defense, led the Haitian delegation that shared Haiti's disaster risk management and recovery experience with a cadre of top-level experts from approximately 38 nations, at the highly-regarded Consultative Group meeting of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Haiti was the only Western Hemispheric country invited to attend the event as a Developing Country, for the period 2012- 2013.

Mayard-Paul described the Martelly Administration's vision for emergency preparedness and response, stating: "the 2010 earthquake demonstrated that development will never be successful if we don't build risk reduction at our core. That is why the Martelly administration is committed to making disaster risk reduction and management, a critical priority across the government."

Coming into Office, President Martelly's new Government boosted preparedness and response capacity by strengthening the Civil Protection Directorate, as well as sub-national efforts. This work continues and will remain important as Haiti heads into the hurricane season. The Haitian delegation provided specific examples, for instance, of how the government has integrated risk reduction as a centerpiece of its recovery efforts within the 16/6 project. This is a US$78-million project seeking to rehabilitate 16 neighborhoods to relocate residents of six large camps in the metropolitan area, impacting 30,000 people.

Mayard-Paul gave many examples of fruitful collaborative efforts between donors, NGOs, and federal and local governments. "However, they are independent programs that are not fully integrated under one single, comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction & Management strategy." As a result, the government --through the Ministry of the Interior-- is developing a policy framework for longer term disaster risk reduction and management that will be integrated into the new national development plan.

"Development progress and risk reduction will only be successful if they are tied to local development," added Mayard-Paul. "That is why we recently launched Katye Pam Poze, the cornerstone program for the government's National Decentralization Agenda." Disaster risk reduction and management are intrinsically embedded within KPP. This way, capacity is built at the community level across the country, under an innovative "bottom up" or grassroots approach, but in complete alignment with the national strategy.

Mayard-Paul encouraged potential partners present at the meeting to help Haiti make a significant impact in disaster risk reduction and management. "We know we can't do this alone. We need long-term development partners to support the government's identified priorities," said Mayard-Paul. "That's why organizations like GFDRR and the World Bank (WB) are critical, and why this meeting is so important to Haiti."

The Minister cited eight key areas of potential support from international partners:

  • Building institutional capacity at all levels-- for example, supporting Katye Pam Poze's emergency risk reduction and response modules.
  • Contributing to build infrastructure and processes -- from basic physical work space to the creation of a single national emergency warning system.
  • Supporting knowledge and innovation - by financing university research to identify new ways to tackle risk whilst channeling efforts of the young.
  • Funding research and assessments --information gathering and sharing is one of Haiti's major challenges.
  • IT/online infrastructure, software and training so that databases and critical information can be shared.
  • Helping build comprehensive disaster risk reduction programs in priority cities and departments since reducing risk across the whole country at the same speed is impossible.
  • Build national capacity to assess, monitor and reduce risks. In particular, build on the progress made on seismic risk reduction while also strengthening cyclone/hydro capacity.
  • Supporting communications and public awareness campaigns.

"The Government of Haiti is charting a new course on disaster reduction and management, one based on resilience, best practices and community integration ensuring sustainable development," concluded Mayard-Paul.




Studies Show that 55% of Americans believe Marijuana should be legalized.

Legalizing Marijuana would bolster a floundering economy.

Marijuana is the greatest revenue producer of all agricultural products grown in the US, the annual haul is $36 Billion.

Cannabis is the top cash crop in 12 states, top 3rd cash crop in 30 states and the top 5th cash crop in 39 states.

The number one crop is unregulated and untaxed.

Prohibition cost The US $7.7 Billion a year.

Teens between ages 12 and 17 say it's easier to get marijuana than buy cigarettes, beer and prescription drugs.

For more info click on: 




The Panama Canal and the Caribbean

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In two years time, significantly larger ships will be able to pass via an enlarged Panama Canal between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Together with other infrastructural developments this is leading some Caribbean governments to hope that with the support of investors from outside the region, Panama's development as a hub for the hemisphere could significantly improve the region's economic prospects.

There is a growing body of opinion that when in 2014 the enlarged Panama Canal opens, and the size of vessel able to pass across the isthmus will more than double, this could bring economic growth to nations at the western end of the region.

At present, the canal is limited to ships carrying 3,500 TEUs (twenty foot containers equivalent units) but after 2014 it will be able to convey post-Panamax vessels with a greater draught carrying up to 12,000 TEUs. This is expected to result in cargo volumes increasing by an average of three percent per year, the canal handling 510m tons of cargo per annum by 2025 compared with 313m tons 2007, and earnings for Panama projected to reach more than US$6 billion annually.

Because of the Caribbean's location at the intersection of east-west and north-south shipping routes, it is anticipated that one outcome will be for the region's deepwater ports to become significant transhipment and logistics centres and hubs for international commerce.

Jamaica is particularly well placed geographically to take advantage of the widening of the Canal. Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, said that the Jamaican Government was moving quickly to encourage a broad range of investments aimed at taking advantage of the opportunity that changes to the Panama Canal will present. He told potential investors that Jamaica was well placed to become one of a small number of large trans-shipment and logistics centres that are going to emerge. The Port of Kingston, he said, would be at the heart of plans which involved the dredging of the Kingston harbour and expansion of port facilities; the establishment at various locations on the island of a dry dock, a bunkering facility, construction of a cargo and maintenance, repair and operations facility; and the development of an Economic Zone.

Panama has also made clear that it intends becoming the hub for Caribbean and Latin American air services.Until recently, the biggest disincentive to the creation of a deeper relationship between Latin America and the Caribbean has been the absence of any significant scheduled air services. This has been especially frustrating in the case of geographically near neighbours in Central America where the hoped for development of closer ties through commerce and tourism has largely remained unfulfilled. The only option for hundreds of thousands of Caribbean citizens, visitors and business people wishing to travel from the Caribbean to Latin America has been to fly to Miami and be subjected to delay, irritation, idiosyncratic security and unnecessary expense.

Now, the privately owned and profitable Panamanian airline, COPA, is rapidly developing air services into the Caribbean through its hub at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. This provides, for most, a visa-free alternative to Miami, enabling rapid transfers to virtually everywhere in Latin America as well as to Caribbean destinations including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, Aruba, Trinidad, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and St Maarten with o Barbados and elsewhere to be added shortly.




Immigrants to catch a break on processing fees

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The United States is set to lower some immigrant visa processing fees later this month. The lower rates are set to be effective on April 13, 2012 and immediate relative and family preference and employment-based applicants are among the big winners.

According to the U.S. State Department, spouses, children and relatives filing for their immigrant relatives will now pay a processing fee of $230, a savings of $100 as the current fee is $330.

Employers filing for employees will now pay $405, saving them a whopping $315 as the current fee is $720. Others saving will be winners of the Diversity Visa Program and applicants who are filing to have their residency status returned. Those fees will be lowered from $440 to $330 for the diversity program and from $380 to $275 for the returning resident status applications.

All other immigrant visa application fees will be lowered from $305 to $220.

The decrease in fees will also apply to K or fiancé (e) visa applicants and those seeking treaty investor and trader visas or the E visa as they are commonly called. The K visa application fee has been lowered from $350 to $240 while the E visa filing fee will cost $270 now, down from $390.

However, tourists and others who want to travel to the US will see an increase from $140 to $160 while applicants of Petition-based visas will now pay an application fee of $190 instead of $150. These visa categories include H (for temporary workers and trainees), L (for intra-company transferees), O (for aliens with extraordinary ability), P (for athletes, artists and entertainers), Q (for international cultural exchange visitors) and R (for religious occupations).

The State Department says the fee adjustments are necessary since it is required to recover, as far as possible, the cost of processing visas through the collection of application fees. The non-immigrant visa fee increase, officials explained, will support the addition and expansion of overseas facilities, as well as additional staffing required to meet increased visa demand.

The US Embassy says the fee adjustments are the result of a December 2011 worldwide cost-of-service study conducted by the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the Department of State. More information on the fees can be found at fee on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, travel.state.gov.




Collie Buddz launched radio station

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At 6am on Friday March 30th,  local reggae star Collie Buddz launched Bermuda's newest radio station - VIBE 103.3 FM.

The radio stion is owned and operated by Collie Buddz [Colin Harper] and his brother Matthew Harper. VIBE 103.3 FM is set to give audiences a mixture of Top 40, Caribbean and Dance music, and a blend of both local and overseas news, weather, sports and entertainment news. VIBE 103.3 FM is aiming for "minimal drive time commentary" and will be set apart from the rest by giving listeners "less talk, more music."

Collie Budz made it clear that Vibe 103 will only be about hit music from all genres played 24/7 automated and by live DJs. Whether it's a current hit song or a future hit song, they'll be playing it,

This new station will offer "Inside Edition," a daily news magazine that gives audiences a mix of investigations, interviews and human interest stories as well as celebrity and pop culture features; "ET Radio Minute" featuring the latest entertainment news highlights; "Doctor's Orders" which will feature four medical practitioners with four different specialties, and Sky Sports News, the latest news from the Sky Sports UK news desk. In addition listeners can tune into VIBE 103.3FM online via www.vibe103.com.




Beenie Man's visa woes

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Dancehall artiste Beenie Man was unable to perform with International superstar Nicki Minaj yesterday due to Visa restrictions.

Beenie Man had initially planned to perform his collab "Gunshot" on BET'S 106 and Park with Minaj yesterday, but was told on Sunday that this performance would be a breach of his visitor's visa.

Beenie Man has still not be re-issued a work permit and was advised hat his appearance on BET would be considered as a paid performance because the station has to pay over royalties for live performances, so it would be a clear violation of the terms of his visitor's visa.  Beenie Man and his management team said they would not take the risk and would instead comply with the US Embassy.

Beenie Man has appeared on BET'S 106 and Park twice before. Beenie is currently working on his new album




Snoop Dogg doing reggae album

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Rapper Snoop Dogg is reportedly recording a reggae album. Sources say that Snoop is working with high-profile producer Diplo, who has worked with big names like Beyoncé, MIA and Usher.

According to Producer Diplo, he and Snoop have started work on 18 tracks but took a break from recording. They expect to resume some time this monSnoop Dogg is best known for hard-hitting projects like The Chronic and Murder She Wrote, both produced by Dr Dre.

He has performed twice in Jamaica, at Sashi in 2000 and at Reggae Sumfest the following yearth.




Wayne Wonder to drop album in the summer

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International artiste Wayne Wonder will be releasing a yet-to-be titled album this summer. The album will also feature collaborations with Grammy-winning artiste Shaggy, as well as female rap star Kalena of Diddy's Dirty Money.

Wayne Wonder's  chart topping single "No Letting Go" along with his songwriting, producing and smooth delivery made him a staple in clubs for the past decade.

Now, he is getting ready to make another serious push on the local dancehall scene with a slew of new singles such as Love Gets Sweeter (Cashflow Records), A Nuh Lie (for Mad Spider), They Don't Know (DJ Frass), and Caught Up (Washroom Production).

The singer is currently on a two-week stint in Europe, appearing in major clubs in cities across the continent. The tour will end on April 8.




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International superstar Nicki Minaj and Jamaican sensation Moses Davis aka Beenie Man will perform their single "Gunshot" on BET'S 106 and Park today.

'Gunshot' is one of the new singles on Minaj's new album: "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded". The album is due for an April 3 release and will also feature other artistes such as Lil Wayne, Drake and Nas.

Beenie Man, who has scored five major Billboard Hot 100 hits, continues to maintain a viable international presence and this song represents his chance to hit mainstream US radio this Summer. The track was recorded at Anchor Recording Studio in Kingston. Minaj had previously collaborated with Gyptian on the 'Hold Yuh' remix, and Sean Paul on the 'Letting Go' remix.




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Artiste Sizzla Kalonji has had the Swedish leg of his European tour cancelled on account of the anti-gay lyrics which feature in his music. Sizzla was scheduled to perform later this month in Stockholm but public condemnation of the artist, whose lyrics have incited violence against gay people, led organizers to call off the date. 

Other concerts in the tour are still planned for Italy, France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain. This is not the first time that Organizers have cancelled Sizzla's tour because of anti-gay lyrics. Concerts by Sizzla have been cancelled in the UK in 2004 and in Toronto in 2007.

In 2008, he was denied a visa for the 29 European countries then signed up to the Schengen agreement after a German LGBT group appealed to their government. Sizzla was stopped at Madrid airport that year and returned to the US. In July 2007, Sizzla and numerous other acts signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.

The Act reads: "It must be clear there's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia... we do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae."

The European tour dates are believed to be Sizzla's first major appearances since a motorcycle accident late last year led to widespread reports he had died.




Rip Delroy "Speedy" Sterling

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Many Reggae artistes are still in shock over the death of radio DJ Delroy "Speedy" Sterling. Canada-based artistes Iley Dred and Tasha-T lauded Speedy for his dedication to reggae music and his respect for members of tye music fraternity.

Award winning artiste Steele, who is a close friend of Sterling, said he is finding it difficult to come to terms about his death.  He said "Speedy had a good heart and he loved the music. You would not even understand the number of young artistes who Speedy buss here in Canada. I owe a lot to Sterling because he has been playing me on radio for ages. Take an artiste like I-Octane ... is not now Speedy playing I-Octane songs... from him was 'low-Octane'. And there are countless others who Sterling played their music long before they became big name reggae acts. All because he had an ear for talent and wanted to see reggae music grow positively".

In an interview Iley Dred described Speedy as n "all-rounder. He hailed him as someone who was always eager and ready to play a role in furthering the cause of reggae music. 

The popular radio personality, emcee and founder of the Canadian Reggae Music Achievement Award, Delroy Sterling, passed away on Sunday at the Etobiocoke General Hospital in Canada. Reports are that Speedy, as he was affectionately called, collapsed at home on Friday and was immediately taken to the hospital, but never recovered from what was said to be complications cause by a brain tumor.

Meanwhile, there will be a memorial celebration in tribute to the life of Delroy 'Speedy' Sterling on Friday, March 23, at Jamaican Canadan center 995 Arrow Road, Toronto, Canada. The thanksgiving service is scheduled for Monday, April 2, 2012.

Condolences to the family and friends of Delroy "Speedy" Sterling from the YardFlex family.




Mavado speaks about his non-show in New Jersey

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Dancehall superstar Mavado has finally broken his silence on his non-show for a performancein New Jersey on March 10th. According to Mavado, he was looking forward to thrilling his New Jersey fans, where he had not performed for 3 years. The event, Grammy Kid's Anniversary, was well promoted and the buzz around the show was good.  Early  management team have implimented contractual obligations and promoter screening systems to ensure that payment of performance fee is no longer an issue and indeed there was no issue around promoters LKQ Entertainment not paying the Artist fee. Mavado was well rested, focused and looking forward to giving a great show.

Mavado had worked with the promoter on a prior occasion and whilst things were not as smooth as one would have liked, in terms of organisation, the previous event was overall a success and the decision was taken to move ahead with the event in New Jersey. However these organisational issues were once again quickly evident on the night of March 10. The promoter of the event told Mavado's travel party that pickup time was midnight, to arrive at the venue no later than 12.30am, go on stage @ 1am and perform for an hour to comply with opening hours. Daylight saving time was kicking in in the early hours of Sunday morning, which meant the clocks were to go forward at 2am, making it immediately 3am. Mavado readied himself to be picked up at midnight as instructed, only to be told that his management had received a call from LKQ Entertainment that new pick up time was 1am. Wary of the time change and the potential for Mavado's fans to be cheated out of a full performance, Mavado's management were perturbed and as time ticked by as they waited in the hotel lobby sent out this Tweet: "1.40am an we still waitin for promoter to send vehicle to pick us up, so if u in the club in Jersey dnt bex wid the artist for goin on late."

Suspicions quickly became reality as several calls to the promoter resulted in more confusion and what seemed to be pointless lies; "Police moved on the drivers from in front of the hotel," "Police have pulled him over," "They are outside," were just some of the excuses being given by the promoter as to why the vehicles were not at the hotel to pick up the Artist. Mavado, support acts, security, DJ and his management were in the lobby of the hotel for 2 hours waiting and despite being told that the drivers were outside on more than a dozen occasions they were nowhere to be seen.  Calls from people inside Palladium were telling of more disorganisation at the club - no liquor license had been granted for the event so the NJPD informed the promoter he could not sell a drop of alcohol inside the event, much to the chagrin of the partygoers who had come to have a good time.

Finally, as the clock ticked to 3am more calls from patrons inside the club told management that the police were now there and were about to shut it down. Lo and behold the drivers suddenly appeared down the block, having "pulled up outside the wrong hotel." It took them approximately another 10 minutes just to pull round the block by which time the event had been shut down for good. Mavado had no choice but to call it a night.

Mavado is deeply sorry for the hundreds of fans that came out in the cold to support him, paid up to $70 to enter the event, did not get to see him perform and have up to now not been refunded. At this point his management team are considering taking legal action against LKQ Entertainment on a number of grounds and strongly urge anyone with a ticket stub to return to the outlet they purchased it from and demand a full refund.

As for Mavado performing in New Jersey, plans are currently being finalised to stage an event to appease his fans. Details of this will be announced as soon as plans become concrete. We are still baffled as to the reasons why the promoter couldn't get his act together and simply pick up the Artist on time and deliver the advertised package. Mavado regrets the non-performance but he hopes this explanation will help his fans and the patrons that night to understand that it was absolutely due to circumstances beyond his control.




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Recording artiste Khago, alongside Barrington Levy, Capleton and Luciano will join a whole host of international stars such as Diddy and Chipmunk for the 'One Love Peace Festival'- the UK's number one urban music festival, which returns in spectacular fashion this Summer. The festival will have a stellar line-up across two massive stages on Sunday 15th July 2012.

The Reggae Acts will share the stage to celebrate 'Jamaica 50' for Jamaica's 50 years of independence.

With a legacy of over 20 years, the One Love Peace Festival aims to unite revelers by promoting tolerance and reconciliation with community-led campaigns. This year the organizers will be launching The Peace Fund which will act as a long-term charitable trust fuelling varied outreach activity including the development of youth centers, outlets of parental support and local mentoring schemes offering coaching, advice and support to the frontline in Broken Britain.

Hip-Hop heavyweight Diddy will also headline the event on The Contemporary Stage. Special guests from renowned rap label Bad Boy will also join Diddy on stage with past and present members of the highly celebrated roster reuniting in a landmark festival exclusive.

With 2012 marking the 15th anniversary of Notorious B.I.G's untimely passing as well as a year that would have seen the first star of Bad Boy celebrate his 40th birthday, Diddy, his mentor, will also be performing a special tribute to the late star as part of an extended set at the One Love Peace Festival.

Also set to perform at the festival is Rev Run, UK's popstar Chipmunk and Grammy Award winning artiste T-Pain.




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An arrest warrant has been obtained and authorized by Interpol for the arrest of Michael Eugene Misick, former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

According to reports, The Special Investigation and Prosecutions Team (SIPT) have sought to secure the attendance of Mr Misick at its offices in Providenciales in respect of allegations of corruption and money laundering during his time in office.

Mr Misick had reportedly been given the opportunity to voluntarily surrender to the SIPT's jurisdiction for interview. Misick's solicitors also stated that he would attend for the interview, but he has failed to do so. Last year a worldwide freeze Misick's assets was ordered by Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick, the Turks and Caiços Sun newspaper reported.

The order included bank accounts held in the Turks and Caiços Islands and overseas, Misick's personal residence in Providenciales, parcels of land throughout the country, two condominiums, a cinema in Providenciales which still carries a variation of his ex-wife Lisa-Raye McCoy's name, and several credit cards.

Misick, who has been at the centre of a corruption probe into the ruling elite on the British dependency, resigned in March 2009, saying he was giving way to a unified Government.

His resignation came as the British government was considering legislation to suspend the constitution and hand over power to the British Governor Gordon Wetherell.

London eventually imposed direct rule on the islands in August 2009, a move that angered Misick who accused the British of organising a coup.




Kes and Appleton dust up mas camp

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Last Friday's 'Martian Dust Up', the second installment in Bacchanal Jamaica's Future Shock series saw all revelers out in full company, ready to take the intergalactic ride known as Kes The Band. Courtesy of Appleton Rum Special, Kes the Band took all 'Bacchanalist' to another Bacchanal dimension.

Opening up with Precision Whine, the Kes dancers launched on to the stage. Whining and gyrating in their bright costumes the trio got the crowd into frenzy as they awaited Kes' front man and Soca Commander Kes Dieffenthaller to take the stage. Kes the Band did not disappoint, giving the revelers the ride of their lives with their hits like 'Where Yuh From', 'Stress Away', 'Ah Ting' and "Coming Over". They also covered crowd favorites 'Bacchanalist' and 'Palance'.

"After a high energy Carnival in Trinidad, Jamaica really is a good follow up. The energy is so unique, so fresh, it feels great! I love Jamaica so much. And I thank Appleton for making all a this possible!" said the Band's front man, Kes, shortly after they left the stage.

Marketing Manager for Rums at Wray & Nephew, Cecil Smith, expressed that Appleton has had a beautiful partnership with Bacchanal Jamaica, sponsoring them for over 10 years: "Seeing the revelers having a good time, responsibly, while drinking Appleton, is one of the best things about our partnership over the years." he said.




Man stabbed at Trini Carnival

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A young man believed to be in his early twenties, was stabbed at the close of Carnival Tuesday's Parade of Bands at Queens Park Savannah.

The victim was seen staggering across the stage bleeding from a wound to his neck and a blow to his head. He was taken to the ICU at the Port of Spain General Hospital. 

According to hospital sources, he was treated and stabilized at the ICU where he was kept overnight. The name of the victim was not released.

Reports are that violence marred the last lap celebrations of the Dream Team band due to inadequate police and army personnel at the Savannah edge at Queen's Park East. According to the police however, the bands were supplied one security guard per ten masqueraders, but many young, intoxicated male bystanders infiltrated the band attracted by the young women revelers.

Executive Committee members of the band stated that they will now be rethinking the presentation of the band and may even be downsizing the band for 2013.




Rihanna and Chris Brown team up on two songs

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It is now official; Rihanna and Chris Brown have teamed up again. For a few weeks, there has been much speculation if the two were back together. Two days ago both Rihanna and Chris Brown released remixes collaborating with each other. Rihanna was featured on Brown's 'Tun up the Music' whilst Brown jumped on Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake'.

The 'Birthday Cake' remix has many individuals wondering if the two are now together or if it's just music that they share. Chris Brown sings that e's been missing her body' and so on.

Fans and critics of both artistes have been taking to social media websites such as FB and facebbok to speak on the remixes. Some are upset that Rihanna would work with Chris Brown again after what transpired whilst others are happy that they have forgiven each other and have moved on.

According to reports, Rihanna's management team is furious with her for collaborating with Brown as they believe this will hurt her image.

Birthday Cake Remix by Rihanna ft Chris Brown


Turn Up the Music by Chris Brown ft Rihanna





Persons Disgruntled over Machel's Soca Monarch win?!

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According to reports, some individuals are upset that Machel Montano has walked away with the Soca Monarch title. Many believe that other artistes enter every year but are always denied victory simply because Machel is in the competition.

Some Antiguans & Barbudans have expressed displeasure with local artiste Hard Knaxx's loss at the International Soca Monarch Competition in Trinidad on Friday. Many individuals have been calling in to radio stations expressing their displeasure at this. One caller said: "I think we waste time sending artistes down there to perform. It doesn't make any sense... In a million years they are not going to win anything."

Hard Knaxx himself was also dissatisfied with the show. He conveyed that aspects such as fireworks, confetti and stage lighting were not delivered during his performance. "I see that as not being professional enough at the night of the show, by paying for everything and not getting nothing ... It's like a bias thing," Hard Knaxx said. 

The artiste also claims that although the music was fine in rehearsals it was lacking on the night of the show. However, Hard Knaxx said he does not dwell on the innuendos and remains in high spirits. He is calling the show a "win-win" situation.

"It's a big thing, it's a big achievement, even though I didn't win. Everyone is still a winner," Knaxx said.




Machel Montano dominates Trinidad Soca Monarch 2012

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Machel Montano won the Digicel International Power Soca Monarch and the Play Whe Groovy Soca Monarch for 2012. The event which was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Fantastic Friday got underway about 9pm and ended about 4am. Thousands of of avid Soca lovers turned out at the venue to see the best artistes perform but in the end, Mache Montano, known as "Mr. Fete, was chosen by the judges and the people for the Power Soca and Groovy Soca titles. He secured the $2 million first prize after beating 11 other competitors in the Power Soca competition with "Pump Your Flag" and $500,000 in the Groovy Soca category.

Digicel International Power Soca Monarch


1st Machel Montano
2nd Neil Iwer George
3rd Destra Garcia
4th Prophet Benjamin
4th Blaxx (Tie)

Play Whe International Groovy Soca Monarch


1st Machel Montano
2nd Kerwin Du Bois
3rd Benjai
4th Nadia Batson
5th Kees Dieffenthaller




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London's Kiss FM radio host David Rodigan was presented with UK's fifth highest award, the prestigious Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). The award was presented to him by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Rodigan stated that: "One of the reasons I feel so honored to be awarded for services to broadcasting is because it is so important for reggae music and, without being patronizing, for the Jamaican people who migrated to this country in the 50s and 60s and brought their music with them."

Rodigan began his broadcasting career in 1978 on BBC Radio London. He moved to Capital Radio in 1979, where he remained for 11 years, hosting his legendary Roots Rockers program, cassettes of which were prized commodities among reggae fans. He further solidified his reggae street-cred when he began broadcasting his Capital Radio show live from Jamaica. He engaged in a series of on-air competitions with renowned presenter Barry "Barry G" Gordon of (Jamaica's now defunct) JBC radio, their lively exchanges garnering a widespread audience that included Jamaicans on the island and those living in England and throughout North America.

Rodigan's illustrious career as a radio host and sound system selector spans 35 years. Rodigan can be heard on Sunday night 11pm-1:00am on London's Kiss FM and in the USA on WVIP 93.5FM on Irie Jam Radio on the popular "London Calling" which airs each Saturday.




Alton Ellis' daughter is Miss Jamaica UK

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Keecia Ellis, daughter of the late musical icon Alton Ellis, is Miss Jamaica UK 2011-12. Miss Ellis captured the title at the 22nd staging of Miss Jamaica UK a in London over the weekend. Hosted under the distinguished patronage of High Commissioner to London, Miss Ellis told RJR News that among her priorities during her reign is to initiate a greater awareness of laws relating to copyright issues within the reggae music industry. She said that such is her passion as too many reggae artists are having problems surrounding such legislation and their ability to access royalties. She also pledged to take centre stage in many Jamaican communities across Britain during 50th year of independence celebrations next year, promoting the values and cultural legacy that makes Jamaica and its people proud. Chief organizer, June Daley, highlighted the significance of Jamaica's independence celebrations in Britain next year, stating that Miss Jamaica UK will play a vital role in helping to fly the flag high. Proceeds from the pageant will go to Jamaica's Inner city Foundation and the East Africa Famine appeal.
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Jamaican remanded on drug charges in T&T

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English: Location map of the Borough of Arima,...

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A Jamaican man has been remanded by a judge in Trinidad and Tobago on drug trafficking charges. The accused, who has been identified as Junior Reid, was arrested at the Piarco International Airport on Saturday. He was denied bail after facing an Arima Court on Monday. Mr. Reid was not called upon to plead when he appeared before Magistrate Adrian Darmanie on charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was remanded because criminal tracing was not available at the time of his court appearance. Mr. Reid, who was arrested while preparing to board a flight bound for Kingston, is to return to court on December 12.
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Buju imprisoned with violent Mexican gangsters

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Buju Banton performing at the Ilosaarirock fes...


Buju Banton has been on the move during the first few months of his ten-year sentence on federal drug charges. The iconic dancehall star went from Florida to Oklahoma to Texas, back to Oklahoma, and he will soon be en route to the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami, according to David Markus, Banton's attorney. According to reports, plans to place Banton in a Mississippi prison fell through when authorities discovered that a co-defendant in the case had already been assigned to the facility. Authorities then stowed Banton in a Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City before moving him to a correctional institution in Texas. According Mr. Markus, he was at one of the worst places you can imagine -- a county facility that had been converted to house federal inmates. "The place was used for short-stay Mexican nationals who were going to be deported. It was filled with Mexican gangs. Buju was one of very few black men in there. It was really violent," Mr. Markus said. Both Judge Moody and the Jamaican consulate urged the Federal Bureau of Prisons to move Banton from the Texas facility. Mr. Markus said they appreciate that Judge Moody stood by his initial recommendation that Buju should be in Miami. "And he made a point to comment that Buju is a peaceful person and shouldn't be housed in a violent facility," he said. Mr. Markus said he plans to file an appellate brief with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta later next month.
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Mavado recently attended the MTV Sucker-Free Awards in Miami with DJ Khaled and lablemate Ace Hood, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and Busta Rhymes and has been spotted at the hottest club night in the US - Sundays at legendary Club Liv - sparring with some of Hip Hop's biggest names. As his mainstream profile continues to rise, Mavado will be appearing on two star-studded events over the next two weeks. Friday November 25th sees Gully Gad appear for We The Best Music boss DJ Khaled's birthday bash @ Club Mansion on South Beach, Miami. Rick Ross, Puff Daddy, Ace Hood, Meek Mills and a host of surprise guests are slated to perform alongside Gully Gad at the birthday bash that is one of the biggest annual parties in Miami. "Mavado being at my birthday celebration is a blessing," said DJ Khaled. "Its what the people want and We The Best always delivers that!" Scheduled for the following week, Mavado has just been added to the huge annual Jingle Jam concert presented by Connecticut's biggest Hip Hop and R'n'B station Hot 93.7 FM. Jingle Jam is being held on Friday December 2nd at the XL Centre in Hartford. This year sees Mavado starring alongside headliner and friend Drake, with Wiz Khalifa, Mindless Behavior, Diggy Simmons and Meek Mills amongst other performers. After that event Mavado dashes straight off to Boston to headline his own show inside Club Lido. "Its a great look for me to be on these types of events," said Mavado.
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 "It helps introduce me to new audiences and is good for Dancehall and Jamaica on a whole. I'm just thankful to Jah for the opportunity to be out here representing for the music and my country." With an extremely busy holiday schedule ahead of him, including appearances in the UK, Caribbean and Central America, Mavado makes a triumphant return to Africa in mid-December for his first appearances in Zimbabwe and Kenya. After a lengthy absence from the stage in Jamaica, local fans will get to see Mavado live over the Christmas period at GT's Christmas Xtravaganza and his return to the Sting stage. He is also confirmed for the Portland Family Fun Day January 1st. "Next year is going to be huge for me," said We Th Best Recording Artist Mavado. 
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"I've been in the US putting in a lot of work both in the studio and in the streets and we're expecting a big 2012. I've taken a conscious decision to stay far from anything and anybody negative, a just mi music and mi family mi a focus pon." The video for number one collaboration with Laza Morgan "One by One," shot recently in Miami, is in the final editing stages and should be hitting screens and the internet in the next two weeks. With a few big-name collaborations already recorded, Mavado will be dropping his new single Survivor feat Akon in the coming weeks. Follow Mavado on his official Twitter account @Mavado_Gully

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Reggae artist Bob Andy is set to write a full original song, this time for Legendary Reggae Singer/songwriter and Dominican opera singer Marie-Claire.
Bob Andy last penned songs for Marcia Griffiths some 20 years ago.
The song entitled Constellation has already been recorded and released.
Marie-Claire is set fly in from New York City for the Bob Andy Tribute concert to be held on Friday October 28.
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Three held for cocaine seizure

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Three persons, including a woman, were taken into custody following the discovery of two pounds of cocaine at the cargo section of the Sangster International Airport on Sunday.
The cocaine was found in a shipment of agricultural produce and other items which were destined for England.
The cocaine was found when the goods were examined on Sunday afternoon.
The three persons, who are alleged to be connected with the shipment, were taken into custody and are waiting to be questioned by the police.
 
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Noel 'Zambo' Heath murdered in St Kitts

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Oct. 14, St Kitts -- Four males have been taken into custody for questioning in connection with the early morning murder of Noel 'Zambo' Heath, police confirmed. Heath was ambushed outside of his home at about 5 o'clock this morning by at least two gunmen, who then escaped through a nearby alley after the shooting, reports indicate.
The St. Johnston Village resident was shot several times about his body and died shortly after being taken to the JNF Hospital.
Heath gained international notoriety when he made America's Top Ten Most Wanted list a few years ago. After being extradited from St. Kitts, he plead guilty to drug trafficking charges and spent four years in a U.S. Federal prison.
The shooting death marked the nation's 31st murder for 2011. Victim #30, 17-year old Vincent 'Pini' Williams, was gunned down less that 11 hours earlier, in Madhouse Alley, Newtown.
On arrival at the Heath murder scene, The Observer met armed law enforcement officers surrounding the areas close to the scene of the crime. A crowd begin gathering and many persons were bawling and saying they could not believe it was Zambo.
This media house was informed that Heath was exiting his home to get into his vehicle when yet-unidentified armed assailants opened fire. One resident said she heard 20 shots, but it could have been more.
Many in the large crowd assembled at the entrance of the hospital cried at the news that Heath had not survived. Some who said they had only heard of him, looked on in disbelief.
Heath, who despite the notoriety stemming from the drug conviction, was deemed a philanthropist to the people of his community, especially as it related to sporting activities.
Returning to St. Kitts in 2009, he received a 'hero's welcome' at the RLB International Airport. Since then, Heath had publicly condemned the gun violence in the nation and called on the youths to "put down the guns".
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Fashion Consultant Sues Lauryn Hill

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Lauryn Hill in concert



A fashion consultant who fitted Lauryn Hill with clothes for her European tour back in 2007 is suing the singer, claiming Lauryn jacked her threads, TMZ is claiming. 
According to a lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Via Davia Vintage provided Hill "with an entire wardrobe of high fashion items." The company claims Hill agreed to pay a fixed weekly fee for 4 weeks.
But according to the lawsuit, Hill hung on to the clothes for three months, paying only a fraction of what she owed.. And to top it off ... the consultant claims Hill only returned about 30% of the items, keeping the expensive stuff.
This is the second time in the last two months Hill has been sued because of her 2007 European Tour. Last month, a guitar player sued her for $20,000 ... claiming she stiffed him.
Calls to Hill's agent were not returned.
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J'can remanded in Canada on prostitution charges

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A Jamaican man described as a pimp and listed as one of Canada's most-wanted fugitives is scheduled to appear in court, after he was remanded on Wednesday, September 7.
Canadian police say Walford Uriah Steer, 39, an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, with 76 convictions, often travelled from Toronto to Montreal, befriended young girls at bus and train stations, then allegedly forced them into a life of prostitution.
On Wednesday, Mr. Steer answered charges related to his arrest last week, for allegedly trying to pimp a 16-year-old girl.
He has been charged with procuring for the purpose of prostitution, exercising control, and living off the avails of prostitution.
His case was adjourned until Thursday, September 8, when his lawyer will be able to attend court.      
Mr. Steer was deported in 1999 for criminality, and then snuck back into Canada, in 2000, allegedly using fake identification.
He filed a failed refugee claim as well as appeals, in an attempt to remain in Canada.
Mr. Steer was the subject of a nationwide manhunt that ended after he and 31 others had their identities posted online by the Canada Border Services Agency, which has been seeking the public's help in bagging the fugitives.
Three suspects, including Steer, were arrested.
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Buju to serve prison sentence in Mississippi

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Buju Banton performing at the Ilosaarirock fes...



Incarcerated reggae star Buju Banton has been transferred from the Pinellas County Jail in Florida to the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi to begin serving his 10-year sentence.
Defence attorney David Oscar Markus, says Judge James Moody had recommended that Buju, whose given name is mark Myrie, serve his sentence at a facility in Florida.
But he is being transferred to the Mississippi-based prison because of a shortage of beds at the Florida facility.
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Negril: The Miss iBlack Nude Pageant is unapologetically the most eye-popping pageant on the planet. This one-week extravaganza is a classy, jaw-dropping parade of the most sensationally beautiful black women alive and it takes place in Jamaica from September 25 to October 3, 2011. The venue is the hypnotically lush paradise resort of Hedonism 11 in Negril, located on the secluded end of the town's seven mile white sand beach.

The Miss Black Nude Pageant is broadcast on the HBO Real Sex series and this year's staging will bring together twelve of the sexiest chocolate ladies from across the United States competing for cash prizes and the coveted crown. The event is one of  the most requested and  repeated shows on the HBO channel.

 

The girls typically come from all walks of life.  Some are college students, others are exotic dancers and a few from this year's bevy of beauties work in the private sector. They all are as supremely talented as they are irresistibly beautiful, but only one lucky lady can glide away with the crown.

 

Pageant director Delores Dickson pointed out that this year is the eighteenth renewal of the pageant, and she said that over the years, the delegates have benefitted from the competition to educate themselves and finance their college education. She noted that a recent delegate graduated from Howard University as an ophthalmologist and another qualified as a medical doctor and is now enjoying a productive career in immunology in the Washington DC area.

 

During this sizzling week, the twelve luscious ladies of color from multiple American cities will compete in several categories of competition: evening wear, swimsuit, talent showcase, a Burlesque routine and the all-important nude showcase. Hollywood, a celebrity choreographer from the Washington DC area will work with the girls to perfect their routines and a panel of judges will determine the eventual winner on the night of Saturday October 1.

 

"We are very excited to be back in beautiful Jamaica with our first-class show", Dickson beamed.  When Dickson is not doing the pageant or engaged in one of her other entertainment enterprises, she spends time raising funds for cancer research. She created the Miss Black Nude pageant after watching the Miss America pageant one night, and she wanted to do a similarly classy event for women of color, but with a daring twist.

 

Over the years, the pageant has built a devout following of loyalists who travel to witness this thriller every year. "The Miss Black Nude pageant is my pied piper" Dicky Rockingham, a New York fan confessed. "Every year I go with my girlfriend and her friends, and to say the event is mesmerizing, magical and mouthwatering is to put it mildly. I think each year the girls are plucked from the Garden of Eden", he drooled.

english: This is the american HBO brand logo. ...


 

Hundreds of pageant fans are expected to converge on Negril during pageant week, and guests can participate in a number of activities including fashion shows, pajama parties, body painting, toga parties, wet t-shirt contest and nude volley ball playoffs. Or one can simply daydream under the soul-warming rays of the tropical sun.   

 

Hedonism 11 is an adult all-inclusive playground for pleasure that nourishes the body, the mind, the spirit and the soul. For over thirty years, this trend-setting resort has shattered inhibitions, pushed the limits of human endurance and brought untold joys and fulfillment to hedonists from all corners of the globe. And all the rumors, legends and myths you've heard about Hedonism are all true!

 

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Hundreds of persons have now joined in the search for a Jamaican woman who has disappeared in the Cayman Islands.
According to the Caymanian news service, CayCompass.com, friends of  25-year-old Karran Natalee Baker held two separate volunteer search parties yesterday evening but there was no sign of  the missing woman.
One group scoured an area known as Pedro Castle while another searched near her home in Beach Bay.
The police have asked volunteers not to touch or handle any items of  interest they might come across as it could taint evidence-gathering.
They have already issued bulletins appealing to persons with information on Ms Baker's whereabouts to contact them.     
The missing woman's white Honda Civic motorcar was found on a cemetery lawn on Monday.
Friends say they became concerned on Saturday after calls to her cellphone went unanswered.
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Separate motor vehicle crashes in Trelawny and St. Mary Sunday morning left six people including four foreign nationals dead.
The first incident occurred around 12: 30 a.m. when  a White Mitsubishi Mini bus  traveling along the Braco main road towards Rio Bueno collided with a Ford Ranger traveling towards Duncans.
According to reports, upon reaching the vicinity of Braco Farms Limited, the Mitsubishi bus which was transporting seven foreign nationals swerved to the right of the road into the path of the Ford and collided causing severe damage to both vehicles.
Forty-five year old Kathleen Rawlinson of a U.K address died on the spot.
Three other foreign nationals identified as  Talia Jones, a Canadian living in the U.K, 17 year old Caisie Mulla and the driver of the mini bus, 49 year old Gary Banford also from the UK were rushed to the Falmouth Hospital where they were pronounced dead.
The three remaining passengers including a 15 year old have been admitted to hospital in serious but stable condition.
In the second crash which occurred around 6:20 a.m. in St. Mary, a black Nissan pulsar with three persons aboard was traveling from Kingston towards Annotto Bay.
Full details on the crash have not yet been released, however RJR News understands that on reaching the vicinity of Castleton in an area known as eleven steps, the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and hit a wall.
Two persons said to be cousins died on the spot.
One is said to be a member of the Jamaica Defence Force.
The third person has been admitted to hospital in serious condition.  
The names of the deceased have not yet been released.
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Lauryn Hill


Lauryn Hill has revealed Rohan Marley - the father of five of her children - is not the daddy of her new baby boy.
The former Fugees singer, 36, who gave birth on Saturday, released a statement on her website to deny reports that her long-time on/off partner abandoned her while she was pregnant.
She described her relationship with Rohan, Bob Marley's son, as having a 'long and complex history' with 'long periods of separation over the years' - but pointedly referred to them have just five children together - not six.
As to who is the father of her latest addition, Lauryn was not giving anything away, saying she was reserving her right to privacy.
Her statement in full read: 'Mr Marley and I have a long and complex history about which MANY inaccuracies have been reported since the beginning. 
'To speculate without the facts can only cause people to form the WRONG conclusions. 
'We both value privacy and for that reason defend and preserve our right to it.
'Contrary to the numerous reports, Mr Marley did not abandon me while pregnant with his child. We have had long periods of separation over the years but our five children together remain a joy to both of us. 
'Thank you for your concern and I appreciate all of the well wishes regarding the birth of my new son.'
News of Hill giving birth was broken by the website 'Black Celeb Kids'. The website reported she 'had a little scare because the baby came out the womb with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck'.
The source added: 'All is well now and everyone is happy.'
It emerged just two months ago that the singer was pregnant.
At the time Rohan confused fans, by hinting he was not the father of Hill's then unborn child - but not categorically ruling it out.
Over the weekend he tweeted: 'I'm forwarding all well wishes to Ms Hill on the birth of her new son. I'm sure she'll appreciate the love being sent to her.'
The 39-year-old has been in a relationship with Hill for 15 years.
But rumours are circulating that he is dating 28-year-old Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana.
Miss Fontana posted a photo of her and Marley on Twitter with the caption, 'I'm in love with @Romarley 's heart.'
After rumours of an affair started, Marley hit back on Twitter, saying: 'Ms. Hill is the mother of my children, whom I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for. I would never do that.'
Hill and Rohan are parents to Zion, 14, Selah, 13, Joshua, nine, John, eight and three-year-old Sarah. She is yet to reveal the name of her new son.
 
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More problems for Caribbean Airlines

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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 27:  Travelers stand i...


The management of Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) faced further problems on Tuesday as a result of delayed flights.

An early morning flight from the Norman Manley International Airport destined for JFK Airport in New York did not leave at its scheduled departure time, leaving scores of passengers angry.

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This follows a similar flight delay on July one, when CAL and Air Jamaica began sharing a single code. The Air Jamaica JM Code was dropped on June 30, in favour of the BW code used by Caribbean Airlines.

A distraught passenger, Racquel Brown said angry passengers demanded an explanation and were advised by a CAL representative that the plane's computer system was experiencing problems and attempts were being made to correct it.   

In the end, passengers were asked to leave the boarding gate and return  to the departure lounge.

Attempts by some passengers to rebook on other flights were futile.

On Sunday, Caribbean Airlines spokespersons attributed the July 1 delay to "teething problems" associated with the "migration of large amounts of data", and the learning curve for staff to deal with the new process.

 

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A Thomas Cook Airlines Boeing B757-28A (civil ...


A Boeing 757 aircraft headed from Montego Bay in St. James to Atlanta was forced to divert to Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida Monday afternoon, June 4, due to bad weather.

The Delta flight landed about 4:30 p.m., took fuel, waited out the storms in Atlanta and took off one hour later.

There were 181 passengers on the flight.

Jim Durwin, the Assistant Superintendent of Airport Operations at Tallahassee Regional, said all the passengers stayed on the aircraft.

Mr. Durwin said the 757 is larger than what the airport normally sees, but it is not uncommon in the summer months to get planes diverted to Tallahassee.

He explained that the Regional Airport is one of Delta's designated diversion stops.

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As we get it, so we give it. Yardflex sources have confirmed that ska giant Eric 'Monty' Morris is currently at the Chrome Facility in Miami, Florida.

Monty Morris reportedly had a case years ago and he was called in a few months ago to be questioned on it. He was sent to a certain room number which is associated with deportation, but was subsequently released and given a date to return. On his return, he was detained. Just like that.

This is a man with a career spanning some fifty years and an equal number of hits. This is so not good.

Monty, we are praying for you that you wil be released and sent home to your relatives.

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Now You See Me Now you Don't - Daniel Bedingfield vs Ovamarz by DanielBedingfld


New Zealand-born British singer-songwriter, Daniel Bedingfield, is in Jamaica making music.

The singer recently teamed up with dancer/singer, Ovamarz for a remix of Marz' hugely popular single, Now You See Me, Now You Don't, which is blazing up Richie B's Jamaica Countdown Chart.

In a recent interview, Ovamarz, whose real name is Marlon Hardy, said he was more than pleased that Daniel had chosen his song to do a remix.

"This is good for me in particular and Jamaican music in general," Marz said. "Daniel is really such a talented guy and so humble about his success. I give thanks to be a part of this project," Ovamarz added.

The original song is produced by Jordan of Chimney Records, and it was he has also been tipped to work on the remix.

Daniel has been in Jamaica since the end of May and, known for his constant tweets, has been keeping fans updated on his trip to the island. He has also done another remix featuring Gappy Ranks and Russian.

This, however, is not his first trip to Jamaica to do music. In December 2009, he was co-writing material with Tessanne Chin as well as recorded three songs with Busy Signal at DJ Karim's studios in Kingston. The songs are said to be for Busy Signal's upcoming VP Records project as well as Bedingfield's own upcoming project.

Daniel Bedingfield is the brother of pop singers Natasha Bedingfield and Nikola Rachelle and he is best known in Jamaica for the ballad, If Your'e Not The One.

In 2001, his song Gotta Get Thru This gathered momentum on white label, through the underground UK garage scene, and went on to become a number 1 smash in the UK Top 40 in December of that year. He has since had two more no.1 singles (If You're Not The One and Never Gonna Leave Your Side), as well as three further top 10 hits.

His debut album, also titled Gotta Get Thru This, which was recorded at home using Making Waves Audio software, reached No.2 in the UK albums chart and went on to sell more than 4 million copies worldwide..

While sharing his songs recently, Daniel writes,"Listen to Daniel Bedingfield Jamaica Run Tings Mix by DanielBedingfld: I'll add all my new Choons from Jamaica here as i add them."

He also tweeted that he was "stuck in my chair on the beach in Jamaica and i can't get out.I don't believe the effort to move myself from this chair is present within my self at this time."

So, if you are walking on a beach in Jamaica and see a guy stuck in a chair, it might just be you know who..

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Marley coffee not jammin in Canada

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Regulators in British Colombia, Canada have prohibited the trading of shares in Jammin Java, a coffee company chaired by Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, over failure to file its financial report.

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) issued a cease trade order against the stock inside its jurisdiction, posted on the BCSC's website late last month.

However, the stock trades freely elsewhere. Essentially, the Canadian regulator wants about 30 financial documents, most of which are already filed to US regulators, officially sent to BCSC.

Once filed, in accordance with its Securities Act, the commission noted it would consider lifting the cease order.

Specifically, the BCSC wants Jammin Java to file its quarterly and annual financial statements outstanding since 2008, management discussions, annual information forms from 2009; a notice of its changes in corporate structure, particularly related to its name change from Marley Coffee to Jammin Java; and copies of news releases and reports disclosing material changes in its business affairs since 2008.

In response, Jammin Java said in a notice filed to shareholders last week that it would comply.

Jammin Java Corp, a US-based company, provides roasted coffee on a wholesale level to the service, hospitality, office coffee service and big box store industry. Last year, its chairman Rohan Marley listed Jammin Java on the Over The Counter stock exchange, the OTC, in the US.

The Canadian hold follows a period of volatility for the penny stock, which became the darling of the OTC market last month hitting a US$6.11 high on May 12 then dipping rapidly to US$1 a week later.

The company has been touted as the next big coffee brand in line with Fortune 500 Starbucks, despite having only US$40,000 in sales, its latest financials indicate.

 

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Nicki Minaj for Sumfest

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nicki minaj fake teethYoung Money diva, Nicki Minaj has been confirmed as one of the major acts for
Reggae Sumfest 2011.
Sumerfest Productions, organizers of the annual Reggae Sumfest, made the
announcement yesterday..
It will be Minaj's very first stage performance in Jamaica and based on reports,
her fans are quite excited to see her on the Sumfest stage.
Reggae Sumfest 2011 will take place at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex
in Montego Bay, St. James from July 17 to 23.




Who is the father of Lauryn Hill's baby # 6?

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Lauryn Hill


Rohan Marley, one of the sons of reggae legend Bob Marley has reportedly said he
is not the father of singer Lauryn Hill's expected sixth child.
Hill recently announced during a concert in Detroit that she will be taking time
off from her music career, to have the child.
But soon after announcing her pregnancy, Rohan Marley, who is the father of her
five children, reportedly said he was not expecting another child.
In a spree of tweets on Twitter, which have since been removed, Marley hinted
that is not the father of Lauryn's sixth child, and that he is not married to
his ex-wife or Hill.
The specifics of Hill and Marley's relationship have long been a mystery to the
public as they are not married to each other and do not live with each other.
Marley says they are "spiritually together."
Media reports say Hill has remained quiet on the matter.
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Reggae singer and
guitar-player, Robert Sutherland, had absolutely no idea that his lament in song
about "hard times" would end up bringing him such great news.Sutherland, who is
based in Philadelphia, where he keeps the reggae flame burning brightly, is
almost bursting with excitement at the success of the single, Times So Hard. The
song has gained quite a lot of recognition, not only in the US, but also in
Jamaica and as far away as Australia.Times So Hard, on the Nijeri Records label,
climbed to the pinnacle of the Jamdown Vershun Top 10 Reggae Chart in Australia
for the week of June 4. Other artistes who complete the Top 10 include Tarrus
Riley, Stephen & Damian Marley ft Buju,  Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Romain Virgo,
Prophecy, Etana, Hezron  and Danglin.Incidentally, Jamdown Vershun is
Australia's longest running reggae radio show.  It  has been playing reggae and
dancehall music since 1979, when it was started by General Justice.
In Jamaica, Times So Hard is currently # 6 on the Jamaica Music Countdown Top 25
Reggae Singles Chart, which it entered eight weeks ago.
Sutherland, who has played guitar in bands such as Ruption and Calvin Christie
and The Overdrive,  is more than appreciative of this positive feedback, and
declares that this is an important milestone in his career.




A verdict is expected to be handed down before the end of the week in the trial
of American evangelist Reverend Paul Lewis.
The trial, which is in its second week, will continue Wednesday in the
Westmoreland Circuit Court.
So far six witnesses have testified.
They include two doctors who gave evidence on Tuesday.
The Circuit Court is slated to end this Friday and Reverend Lewis should know
his fate by then.
The pastor, who is the head of Paul Lewis Ministries, was charged on June 17
last year.
Allegations are that he took two girls aged 14 and 15 to a hotel in Negril. He
is alleged to have fondled the 14 year old, and had sex with the other teenager.
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REDjet forced to cut staff

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Beleaguered low fare airline REDjet has been forced to cut staff following
delays in getting approval to fly to Jamaica as well as Trinidad.
REDjet announced on Tuesday that it will be laying off eight of its cabin crew.
The airline is hoping that the move will be temporary as it seeks permission to
commence service to Jamaica and Trinidad.
The Civil Aviation Authority said it would have indicated last week if REDjet
had been given clearance to fly to Jamaica, however, to date there has been no
word on the matter.
The CAA earlier said as a precautionary measure its Board made the decision to
hold off on the application to determine if there is any conflict with the
Caribbean Airlines/Air Jamaica merger.
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Sean Kingston now breathing on his own

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Sean Kingston is walking around eight days after he was brought there in
critical condition following a personal-watercraft crash, the publicist for Epic
Records said Monday.
Kingston, 21, has been upgraded to serious condition, publicist Joe Carozza
said.
"Sean is breathing on his own and walked for the first time this morning,"
Carozza said.

Kingston was admitted to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital after the crash.
Two sources close to the hip-hop artist told CNN last week that doctors expected
Kingston to need about six weeks to recover.
He suffered a broken jaw, a fractured wrist and water in his lungs, according to
the sources, who both asked not to be identified since they were not authorized
to speak to the media.
Cassandra Sanchez, 23, was riding on the Sea Doo personal watercraft with
Kingston when it crashed into a Miami bridge on May 29, according to an accident
report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Sanchez was also injured and hospitalized.
Kingston had bought the Sea Doo just days before, as he was moving into a new
house in Miami, one of the sources said.
His life vest apparently fell off during the crash, causing him to sink below
the water before he was rescued, according to witnesses.
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Drug dealer's UK/JA assets seized

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A British drug dealer who flew to Jamaica to mail cocaine concealed in skin
cream to a friend has been stripped of his assets.
Jerome Kelly, 29, who had a home at Kingswood in Bristol admitted conspiracy to
fraudulently evade a prohibition on the importation of  a Class A drug last
October, and was jailed for seven and a half years.
The police searched one of his houses and reportedly found a ten-ton press and a
piece of equipment used by drug dealers to compact cocaine into blocks.
At Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday made a confiscation order against Kelly.
He was found to have made nearly £30,000 from his criminal lifestyle, and
ordered to pay £23,795 - the total value of all his assets which included three
vehicles and jewellery.
If he does not pay within four months he faces another year in jail and will
still owe the money.
The parcel with the drugs was intercepted by officers from Avon and Somerset
Police's Serious Crime Group at Heathrow airport.
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UK opens new immigration centre

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Failed asylum seekers and foreign prisoners in England, including many
Jamaicans, could be deported starting in September following Wednesday's opening
of a new immigration centre in Britain.
The centre means that the United Kingdom Border Agency can now hold up to 3,400
people in detention at any one time.
The main objective of the centre is to ensure that those due for deportation are
not allowed back into the community before they are removed.
The British Government has already launched two nationwide enforcement campaigns
and the UK Border Agency's enforcement activity has resulted in 14 hundred
arrests, 330 prosecutions and 260 removals.

Meanwhile, it is becoming easier for some failed asylum seekers to regularise
their status with a reduction from 12 to 8 years, if they have had no criminal
convictions.
While there has been a significant reduction in the number of Jamaicans behind
bars in England in recent times, Jamaicans still account for the highest number
of foreign nationals incarcerated.
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Miami Beach: Sean Kingston remains in critical but stable condition at a Miami
hospital after crashing his personal watercraft into a Miami Beach bridge and
the hip hop singer may owe his life to a Good Samaritan who came to his rescue.
Kingston's publicist Joseph Carozza provided the update on the singer's
condition Tuesday. He says the singer's family is asking for privacy while
acknowledging how grateful they are for the prayers and support from Kingston's
fans.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino saysthe 21-year-old singer and a female passenger were injured Sunday afternoon when
their watercraft hit the Palm Island Bridge.
A Good Samaritan who just happened to be at the right place at the right time
rescued the singer and his passenger from the water.
Kingston was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remains in the
intensive care unit. 


Reggae singer Gramps Morgan visited Kingston on Monday and said he's holding on.
"He's stable. A lot of rumors are going around saying that he passed away. But
he's not passed away. Sean Kingston is alive and well," said Morgan.
Tennis player Serena Williams also visited with Kingston most of Monday
afternoon.
"Just continue to pray for my, my little buddy," said Williams.
Kingston rose to fame with his 2007 hit "Beautiful Girls" and was also featured
on songs by artists including Justin Bieber.
On Twitter, Bieber posted a message of support for Kingston.
 "Got my friend Sean Kingston in my prayers tonight," Bieber tweeted early
Monday. "A true friend and big bro. Please keep him in your prayers tonight as
well."
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Singer Barbie is currently in Jamaica on a promotional blitz that has seen her
getting connected with media and fans as she unveils her latest offering --  the
completed video for Come See About Me, featuring US rapper, Trina.
Perhaps the one thing that is most striking about Barbee (let's forget her
derriere for a minute) is the fact that she has matured so much as an artiste
and is totally focused on her career and on being a good role model. She is
steadily meeting her goals and the Come See About Me video is testament to this
fact.
Shot on location in LA, the video is clean, full of energy, overflowing with a
glitzy wardrobe, beautiful bodies and a bit of passion.
"The video shoot was a lot of fun," Barbee recalled. "Trina was just fabulous,
the dancers strutted their stuff and the leading man was a dream to work with.
The video director is amazing and all the elements combined to produce a quality
video that we can all be proud of," the reggae singer said.
Many of those who have seen the video are already singing it high praises. It
was officially premiered on CVM's On Stage with Winford Williams, last Saturday.
Barbee has surely come a far way from the budding starlet of a couple years ago
who did the hot combination single, Missing You, with Junior Kelly.

"Missing You did a whole lot for my career and I really thank Junior Kelly for
taking the time to work with a young artiste like I was at the time and playing
a part in making good things happen for me. Of course, I would welcome the
opportunity to work with him again, especially since it's been years since we
have linked up," Barbee said.
With this collaborative effort that is poised to expose her to other markets,
Barbee is hell-bent on working it. Hip hop princess, Trina, who has great
credibility in both hip hop and reggae/dancehall worlds, was this year given the
'Friend of Reggae Award' from the Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards
(EMEs in Jamaica).

Although Trina and Barbee didn't perform the song together at the event, a
dolled up Barbee added her own signature glam tp the proceedings by appearing on
stage with Trina for the official presentation by event organizer, Richard
'Richie B' Burgess.
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PNP unveils new shadow cabinet

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Portia Simpson-Miller

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Message from Party Leader Portia Simpson Miller
The People's National Party is acutely aware of the difficult challenges the
Jamaican people are currently facing.

We note that much of these challenges have been compounded by the mishandling
and mismanagement of the country's affairs by the incumbent Administration.


Through the Progressive Agenda, we have been actively engaged in a process of
policy review and policy development; designed to quickly and adequately respond
to the new global economic realities and to take the country on a path of
genuine inclusive growth and development.

As Party President and as Leader of the Opposition, I have determined the set of
portfolio assignments best suited to respond to the emerging global challenges
while stimulating growth and development in a measurable way. The persons
assigned to each portfolio reflect a blend of youth and experience.

Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller - Development, Information,
Gender Affairs and Sports among other areas*

Dr. Peter Phillips - Finance, Planning and the Public Service
Dr. Omar Davies - Transport and Works
Peter Bunting - National Security
A.J. NicholsonForeign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Robert Pickersgill - Lands, Water, Environment and Climate Change
Anthony Hylton - Industry, Investment and Commerce
Dr. Morais Guy - Housing
Dr. Fenton Ferguson - Health
Roger Clarke - Agriculture and Fisheries
Dr. Wykeham McNeil - Tourism and Entertainment
Ronald Thwaites       - Education
Lisa Hanna - Youth and Culture
Mark Golding - Justice
Phillip Paulwell - Energy, Science and Technology
Derrick Kellier - Labour and Social Security
Colin Fagan - Local Government and Community Development
Noel Arscott - Mining
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A 37-year old Jamaican man has been sentenced to 98 years in prison in Costa
Rica after being convicted on two counts of murder and one count of attempted
murder.
The sentence was handed down on Monday.
Lionel Delphus Perkins who is from Glendevon in Montego Bay, St. James and other
Jamaicans were arrested late last year in connection with the murder of a
university student who was also the daughter of a Costa Rican Ambassador.
Perkins and his cronies were also charged with the death of a judicial police
officer.
He was gunned down while trying to apprehend them.
Earlier this year Perkins' co-accused, who included an 18-year old boy, were
sentenced to jail time.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund NEW YORK (AP) --
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's reputation with women earned him the nickname "the
great seducer," and not even an affair with a subordinate could knock the
International Monetary Fund leader off a political path pointed in the direction
of the French presidency. All that changed with charges that he sexually
assaulted a maid in his hotel room, a case that generated shock and revulsion,
especially in his home country.

Police said the maid picked Strauss-Kahn out of a lineup. Unless the charges are
quickly dropped, they could destroy his chances in a presidential race that is
just starting to heat up.

The IMF, which plays a key role in efforts to control the European debt crisis,
named an acting leader and said it remains "fully functioning and operational"
despite Saturday's arrest.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told The Associated Press that his
client will plead not guilty. He and another lawyer went in and out of the
Harlem police precinct where Strauss-Kahn was being held early Sunday afternoon,
and declined to answer reporters' questions until the arraignment, which was
expected later Sunday.

"He denies all the charges against him," Brafman said. "And that's all I can
really say right now."

Brafman is one of the city's most high-profile defense attorneys. His clients
have included mobsters and such celebrities as Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and ex-New
York Giants star Plaxico Burress.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested less than four hours after the alleged assault,
plucked from first class on a Paris-bound Air France flight that was just about
to leave the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The white-haired, well-dressed, thrice-married father of four was alone when he
checked into the luxury Sofitel hotel, not far from Manhattan's Times Square, on
Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn't clear why he was in New York. The IMF
is based in Washington, and he had been due in Germany on Sunday to meet with
Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 32-year-old maid told authorities that when she entered his spacious,
$3,000-a-night suite early Saturday afternoon, she thought it was unoccupied.
Instead, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway
and pulled her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, New York Police
Department spokesman Paul J. Browne said.

The woman told police she fought him off, but then he dragged her into the
bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her
underwear. The woman was able to break free again, escaped the room and told
hotel staff what had happened, authorities said.

Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived moments later. He left his
cellphone behind. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," Browne said.

The NYPD discovered he was at JFK and contacted officials at the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. Port Authority officers
arrested him.
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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Al Qaeda confirmed Osama bin Laden was dead on Friday,
dispelling some of the fog around the killing of the "holy warrior," and vowed
to mount more attacks on the West.
The announcement by the Islamist network, which promised to publish a taped
message from bin Laden soon, appeared likely to silence doubts expressed by some
that he had died at all.
In a statement online, it said bin Laden's blood "is more precious to us and to
every Muslim than to be wasted in vain."
"It will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that hunts the
Americans and their collaborators and chases them inside and outside their
country."
Al Qaeda urged Pakistanis to rise up against their government to "cleanse" the
country of what it called the shame brought on it by bin Laden's shooting and of
the "filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it."
"Before the sheikh passed from this world and before he could share with the
Islamic nation in its joys over its revolutions in the face of the oppressors,
he recorded a voice recording of congratulations and advice which we will
publish soon, God willing," the militant group said.
"We warn the Americans not to harm the corpse of the sheikh or expose it to any
indecent treatment or to harm any members of his family, living or dead, and to
deliver the corpses to their families," it added. U.S. officials say bin Laden's
body has been buried at sea.
Anger and suspicion between Washington and Islamabad showed no sign of
dispersing.
A U.S. drone killed 17 in northwest Pakistan, despite warnings from the
Pakistani military against the mounting of attacks within its borders. Islamists
in the south rallied to vow revenge for the shooting of the "martyr" bin Laden.
Afghan Taliban and Islamist Indonesian youths made similar threats.

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How the First Earth Day Came About

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By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day 

What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked. 

Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.

I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not. 

After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment? 

I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try. 

At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office. 

Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events: 

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...." 

It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities. 

Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.

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JAHVINCI HEADS TO GUYANA THIS WEEKEND

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Portmore Empire singer Jahvinci, known for the number one hit Watch Yu
Friends, is amping up the promotion of his singles for the busy
Summer. Jahvinci recently shot a video for his new single, Draw the
Line, which will debut on local TV soon.

"My songs are really doing well in Europe, there is a lot of interest
over there from promoters who
heard how well the Empire tour did early this year. I am getting ready
to do some great things this
year. I am working hard, writing and voicing songs, I am about to step
things up," Jahvinci said in a release.

However it is Jahvinci's 'Mama Love' tune that is creating the
greatest buzz in the streets.

"Yea, man. I heard that the Mama tune is popping on Internet radio
charts in France, and another one in Belgium, the response has been
amazing...the song seems to be touching people and the feedback is the
reason we're shooting a video in early May when I get back from
Guyana," he said.

He will be performing in Guyana on a show on April 23rd. Other
Jahvinci singles to look out for are Holding On, Rising, Hear My Cry
and Know Jah featuring Lutan Fyah.
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Tribute to The Dragon

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The Byron Lee Foundation will, on Saturday, April 30, pull together four of
Jamaica's top Bands to perform on a show billed "Tribute to The Dragon".
The show is scheduled to take place in the Jamaica Pegasus Gardens.
"Tribute to The Dragon" will see Fabulous 5 Inc., Errol Lee & the Bare
Essentials, and Lloyd Parks & We the People Band, joining the rebranded Byron
Lee's Dragonaires to honour the `live' big band legacy which Byron Lee helped
forge.
This show will be the first big entertainment event that the Byron Lee
Foundation will be staging.

However, it is the second major activity being undertaken by the Foundation -
following, the April 8 dedication of the Sports Field at Hillel Academy to which
the Foundation donated seating for the bleachers.

Sheila Lee, Byron Lee's widow and head of the Foundation added that, in keeping
with its mandate, the Byron Lee Foundation also intended to offer support for
projects in which record major milestones in the development of Jamaica's music.
Tickets for the April 30 "Tribute to The Dragon" will go on sale on April 27.
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Grammy Award

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In a major Grammys overhaul, organisers of the music industry's top awards said
on Wednesday they would slash the number of categories to 78 from 109
for next year's ceremony. However, fans of reggae music can rest comfortably
that the Best Reggae Album category remains on the list of 78.
Many existing categories will be merged, while some will be dropped outright
with contenders from different musical genres required to compete in new,
all-purpose categories.
The top awards -- album, record and song of the year, and best new artist --
will remain untouched.
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said the changes followed discussions
that involved "some pretty passionate discomfort" and would be "a little
unsettling" to some musicians.
The R&B field suffered one of the biggest cuts, with the number of awards halved
to four. The three R&B vocal performance awards for males, females and groups
have been merged into a single R&B performance award.
The Recording Academy's Vice President of Awards, Bill Freimuth, said some of
the R&B categories had not received many submissions in years past.
Among other changes, the separate awards for male and female vocal performance
will now be combined into a new pop solo performance category.
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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
compelling.

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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'Dudus' returns to court today

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Accused drug and weapons dealer Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, will make another appearance in Court here today.

His appearance -- the sixth such since being extradited last year -- will likely be a routine pre-trial conference between prosecutors and defence attorneys, during which motions could be filed.

Today's court appearance was set by US Federal Judge Robert P Patterson at Coke's last appearance in February, to allow his defence more time to review discovery materials and to prepare whatever motions they are likely to file.

The wire-tapping evidence against Coke is emerging as one of the likely pieces of evidences against which a motion could be filed, as there is a feeling within his defence team that it is not admissible in Court here.

However, his lawyers would not elaborate as they have been instructed by Coke not to speak to the Press.

 

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Why the people dem in Barbados so lie? After them subject the Jamaican woman to all kinds of mental abuse and finger rape, them turn round and say is lie she telling.  The woman give details how the Barbadian customs officer carry her into a room and tell her to bend over for a cavity search and then dem chuck  her in a cell with two other woman. And the customs officer did just a cuss straight, a tell how she no like Jamaicans and how all dem do is come a Barbados and tek people man.

And now dat it buss open, the Barbados government a mek up story how the Jamaican woman was going to stay with man who involved in human trafficking, that's why dem send neva let her in dem country. But since dem know that this man is involved in human trafficking why dem don't do something about it?

Di woman must sue dem.

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Barrington Levy, Chino, Ryno for Belize

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Singer Barrington Levy, Big Ship artiste Chino and dancehall artiste Ryno are off to Belize this week to perform at the official album release party of Def Jam recording artiste Shyne.

SHYNE_BARROW_CHINO_BARRINTON_LEVY.jpgThe event, which is to be held on Saturday, March 26 at the Princess Poolside and Casino in Belize City.

 Ryno, who is billed as one of the event's headliners, is very upbeat about the concert and says he plans to make the occasion a memorable one.

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Delroy Grant, the Jamaican man, branded one of the most prolific and depraved sex attackers in British history, has been convicted of a series of sex attacks on elderly people in south London. The police say Grant, 53, who has been dubbed the 'Night Stalker', raped and assaulted elderly victims over 17 years in south London.

They say he was responsible for some of the most "awful and disturbing crimes" in the history of Scotland Yard.

But they also apologised for missing chances which could have stopped him.

According to the police, Grant has been linked to incidents involving 203 separate surviving victims - but they fear his actual number of victims could be as many as 600.

They say many of these victims may have died without reporting their attack.

The British police branded Grant a "perverted, callous and violent individual" who attacked some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Grant, of Honor Oak, south London, denied the 29 charges, including burglary, rape and sexual assault, between 1992 and 2009, at Woolwich Crown Court.

The court heard the vulnerable victims were targeted in their homes at night.

 

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From D Krewe: Carnival with Love!

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To say that YardFlex didn't party hard in T&T would be an understatement. As always, carnival delivers a plethora of colors, culture and beautiful costumes and this year D Krewe's band was no exception. YardFlex was hosting in one of the top medium sized bands to date and every year it seems to get hotter and hotter. D Krewe's band was a mixture of locals and foreigners, gays, straight and in betweens and we all had a ball! When I think of D Krewe, one thing comes to mind and that is FUN! There's a vibe that everybody has that makes this one of the premier and safest bands to spend your carnival experience with. I miss it already......I guess you can say that I have a real 'carnival tabanca' and for my non-Trinis, I'm suffering from severe carnival withdrawl. Oh well, I'll just start my countdown for next year's uper event. By the way, carnival 2k12 is February 20th and 21st. Time to wine!!!




Wyclef Jean shot in hand in Haiti

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A spokesman for Wyclef Jean says the hip-hop star has been released from a hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his hand.

wyclef_shot.jpg

Joe Mignon, senior programme director for Jean's Yele Foundation, says Jean was shot in the hand after 11 pm local time Saturday in the city of Delmas, just outside Port-au-Prince.

Jean's brother, Samuel, confirmed the musician was shot. Neither he nor Mignon had additional details.

The shooting came on the eve of presidential elections in Haiti. Jean is supporting fellow musician Michel Martelly.

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police could not be immediately reached for comment.


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The Brooklyn Bridge, seen from Manhattan, New ...

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CMC - Two medical personnel have been charged with the death of a Jamaican psychiatric patient in 2008.

Prosecutors said a nurse and an aide at the sprawling Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn have been charged with allowing Esmin Green, 49, to die on the floor of the psychiatric ward and then covering up her death.

Green was recorded on a surveillance camera tape lying face-down in the emergency room for nearly an hour on June 19, 2008, ignored by staffers and security personnel.

Court documents revealed that nursing aide Easton Royal, 53, allegedly wrote in the observation sheet that Green was doing fine at 6.00 a.m., in the midst of the excruciating 57 minutes the dying woman spent on the floor.

Prosecutors said Royal was arrested on Tuesday and charged with reckless endangerment and falsifying business records. She was arraigned at Brooklyn Criminal Court and released without bail.

Another nurse, whose name was not released, had pleaded guilty last month to similar charges.

A previous report by the New York City's Department of Investigation mentioned that one nurse, identified only as Gonzalo, admitted to making false entries on Green's progress notes after she died.

The city's Medical Examiner's Office said the Jamaican immigrant, who waited some 24 hours in the hospital's psychiatric waiting room, died of blood clots.


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Gays attacked in St Lucia

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Castries Harbor from Morne Fortune, St Lucia

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) - The St Lucia government today that the recent attack on three gay visitors to the island appeared to be perpetrated by individuals whose views do not reflect the sentiments of the majority of law abiding citizens.

In a statement, the authorities said that they were extending "sincere apologies" and a speedy recovery to United States citizens Todd Wiggins, Michael Baker and Nick Smith, who were assaulted while on the island.

"St Lucia does not condone such acts of violence appeared to be perpetrated by individuals whose views do not reflect sentiments of the majority of law-abiding citizens.  

"Whether or not this crime was motivated by anti-gay sentiment, or during the course of robbery, it is none-the-less unacceptable behaviour and our destination will not tolerate it. Our law enforcement authorities are pursuing this matter relentlessly," the statement noted.

The three visitors were attacked as they showered together in a cottage in the west coast town of Soufriere.

One of the men has since taken his story to several leading gay publications in the United States and has also documented his ordeal on various social networks, suggesting that the incident represented a hate crime directed at gays.

The visitors say that in addition to being attacked, robbed and beaten they were subjected to certain discriminatory remarks.

Police said they have arrested two of the five men involved in the incident and have recovered most of the stolen items.

In the statement, the government said that St Lucia has always been a safe destination, respectful of people's own choices for religion, beliefs and perspectives on life.

Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet over the weekend warned that the situation had the potential to tarnish the island's reputation and tourism sector.

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Shaggy collaborates with rapper Pitbull

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12:  Jamaican musi...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Diamond-selling reggae act Shaggy continues his crossover surge into the international music market with the release of a brand new single entitled Fire Up / Forget The Recession which features Miami-based recording artiste Pitbull.

Pitbull at the Alhambra High School 2007 Prom ...

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The new single which boasts a Latin dance beat is centred around a celebration theme of making money. Fired Up comes on the wings of Shaggy & reggae vocalist Alaine's chart-topping hit single For Your Eyes Only which was released late last year.

Shaggy, who is also featured on a host of local singles including Stucky Teacher with teen reggae artist QQ and Cheap & Clean alongside Khago and Big Yard / Scikron label mate Red Fox is now focused on maintaining his presence in the music fraternity.

Shaggy is gearing up for a busy Easter and summer season with a number of bookings already confirmed.

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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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Trinidad Carnival 2011 pics

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UK to increase visa fees

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The motto appears on a scroll beneath the shie...

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The United Kingdom immigration minister Damian Green has proposed a further increase in visa application fees.

The UK Government says the new proposed fees will be laid in Parliament in two separate regulations.

If approved, the increased fees will take effect on April 6.

The UK Government has reiterated that the new charges will not come into force until they have been debated and approved in Parliament.

According to the UK home office website under the current spending review, the ministry has to cut its budget by 20 per cent.

It says the UK Border Agency is already seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and targeting commercial suppliers.

But the UK home office says these measures will not go far enough, and to address the funding shortfall the UK Border Agency will need to increase fees for the 2011/2012 financial year.

According to the UK Border Agency, the proposed visa fees increase strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that the structure facilitates the UK's ability to attract migrants and visitors who can make a valuable contribution to the country.

 

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An evangelist is one of two Trinidad and Tobago nationals, remanded last week, after he was found guilty of attempting to smuggle marijuana out of Jamaica.

Twenty six year-old Neptune Dyson and Keron Wilson, 29, both pleaded guilty.

They are to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Mr. Dyson was held with 15 pounds of marijuana, while Mr. Wilson was nabbed with 14 pounds as they attempted to board a Caribbean Airlines flight at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on February 27.

 





Machel Montano booed in Trinidad

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Soca artist Machel Montano from Trinidad and T...

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Hundreds of patrons booed the announcement that Machel Montano had won the 2011 International Power Soca Monarch competition, making off with the TT$2 million first prize.

There were reports that while many patrons expressed delight over Montano's victory as they exited the stadium, even more were crying foul, saying Iwer George, who placed second, was the true winner.

During Montano's performance a large portion of the audience kept chanting "Iwer, Iwer, Iwer" every time Montano instructed the band to lower the music for him to speak to the patrons.

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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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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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Dubtonic Kru win Battle of the Bands

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Popular local band, Dubtonic Kru, were victorious at the global Battle of the Bands finals held in Malaysia over the weekend.

The band walked away with the trophy, a cheque for US$100,000 and the title of best new band in the world, after they competed against 24 other bands from various parts of the world.

Screams erupted from the audience after Dubtonic Kru was crowned the winner.

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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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Charges dropped against TVJ reporter

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Yardflex has it from good source that the charge against TVJ reporter Latoya Spence  has been dropped. Yesterday the news spread like wildfire about the misdemeanor charge.
"A eediot ting dat. They should have given the girl a chance to defend herself instead of blasting it like that," are some of the comments that have been coming our way.
Many of her friends in the media fraternity held firm the view that there must have been some misunderstanding and were convinced that she would be vindicated.
Last night TVJ gave a brief statement that they were standing by her.




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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Reggae series to be shown on BBC television

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A series of programmes celebrating Reggae’s impact on British music, culture and society will be aired on the BBC Four Television, beginning on February 11.
The programmes are a part of the BBC Four Britannia series and will show how Reggae came from Jamaica in the 1960s to influence, over the next 20 years, both British music and society.

The series will start with the documentary Reggae Britannia and includes major artistes and performances from that era, including Big Youth, Max Romeo, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jerry Dammers and the Specials, the Police, UB40, Dennis Bovell, lovers rock performers Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay, bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse and reggae admirers, such as Boy George and Paul Weller.
A special Reggae Britannia concert was held at the Barbican centre in London on February 5 and the broadcast of this concert will follow Friday’s opening documentary.

Other programmes in the Reggae Britannia series will include the broadcast of a special live recording of the 1973 Reggae Concert at the Edinburgh Festival, which featured the Cimarons, Winston Groovy, Dennis Alcapone, the Marvels, Nicky Thomas and the Pioneers.
The series also include the Rise Up Reggae Star programme, which followed three aspiring artistes who seek to ‘rise up’ from obscurity for their chance at success.

The Reggae Britannia series end on February 19 with the 1977 Bob Marley Exodus concert.





Baby Chris on "My Life" tour

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Fast rising artiste Baby Chris has joined I-Octane on his "My Life" tour set to cross the United States over the next few weeks. The "My Life" tour kicked off last Friday with a performance in Dallas, Texas and another at the Temptations Night Club in Brooklyn, New York Wednesday night.
The artistes will then head to Newark, New Jersey for more performances before they return to Texas.

Baby Chris says things are happening for him since he began doing a media blitz alongside I-Octane.
He has been getting some airplay for my new song on Seanizzle’s riddim, and his management team reportedly got a call that Bad Boys Records want to meet with him.








Rita Marley (third from the right) and members of the Explore.org team in Ghana, (Phot. Explore.org)
As several persons around the world and in Jamaica celebrated Bob Marley’s 66th birthday on Sunday, February 6, an online channel highlighted the work being done by the late King of Reggae's widow Rita Marley.
A team from Explore.org recently did a short film which shined a light on the Rita Marley Foundation and the amazing work that she and her organisation is doing in Ghana.
The Explore.org team joined Rita who is the official Queen of Development (Nkoso-hene) of that region as she walked through Konkonuru, a Ghanaian village that she and her foundation have worked on to rehabilitate building new medical clinic, improving the drinking water and renovating a school in Konkonuru, which Rita now calls home.
This is just one example of her fight against poverty and malnutrition in communities of less developed nations.
According to Explore.org, Rita Marley truly embodies the selflessness, compassion and love that the Marley name has come to symbolize around the world.





Terry McMillan Goes Off On Will Smith’s Kids

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California — Yesterday, the author of Waiting To Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back Tweeted, “It feels like the Smith children are being pimped and exploited. Or, they’re already hungry for fame. What about 4th grade?” Cue the ruckus.

McMillan also wrote:

The Smith children already act like child stars. There’s an arrogance in their demeanor and behavior. I find it incredibly sad.

A lot of A-list movie stars shielded their children from the Hollywood-world until they were old enough to decide. Look at those who didn’t.

Look at Lindsay. Phoenix. To name but a few. They miss out on childhood. It’s more important than fame.

These kids don’t already know what they “love”. Total bullshit. They’re not prodigies. They think Hollywood is real.

McMillan’s Tweets were Retweeted a bunch of times, and a hubbub ensued, with messages like, “While some of the things ur saying about Will/Jada may be true…Why do u come off so bitter? WOW” and “@MsTerryMcMillan annoys me. Get off Will and Jada’s children. Worry about your own womb, and why you haven’t written a decent book in years.” And even more rude: “@MsTerryMcMillan didn’t your man leave you for another man?”







"Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett was released from an Australian hospital on Thursday, a day after falling off the stage during a concert in Sydney, his official website said.
"Jimmy has been released from the hospital and is doing well," said a brief statement on margaritaville.com.
In video footage obtained by U.S. celebrity website TMZ.com, the 64 year-old singer is seen stepping off the front of the stage at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion and plummeting to the concrete floor.
Dr. Gordian Fulde, head of the emergency department at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, said Buffett "really took a very nasty tumble."
"He just didn't see the drop in front of the stage," Fulde, who was at the concert on Wednesday, told Australia's Seven Network.
"I heard the crack and I thought this guy has broken his neck. He had a head injury and he lost consciousness ... (but) scans show that he's OK," Fulde added.
Buffett has released over 30 albums and has been touring since the late 70s. He is known for a country folk and island musical style which includes hit songs "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Both songs are also the names of two restaurant chains which he owns or licenses.
Buffett also has his own satellite radio channel on Sirius XM called Radio Margaritaville.
Buffett is scheduled to play a concert in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, but it was not immediately clear if the event would go ahead. (Source: Reuters)









Thirty-five-year-old Jamaican, Denise McNeil, who has been in a British Prison without charge for almost a year and facing deportation, has been granted bail.

She was released following a court hearing in London this week.

Ms McNeil was identified as a ringleader at the one of Britain’s largest Immigration Centre in Bedford.

The Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre was the scene of a hunger strike against indefinite imprisonment, abuse and poor living conditions by over 70 black women, which forced the authorities to release many of them.

However, Ms Mcneil and other identified ringleaders ––Sheree Wilson from Jamaica and Aminata Camara from Guinea, were transferred to Holloway Prison in London since last February without charge.

Wilson and Camara will have their bail hearing on February 1.

McNeil, who has lived in the UK for more than 10 years, was arrested in September 2008 for possession of ganja.

She served a six-month prison sentence and was detained in Yarl's Wood upon her release in January 2009.

She still is awaiting the outcome of a judicial review of her case after being refused leave to remain in the UK.







The man who brought you ‘Hold yuh’ which was without a doubt the biggest song for 2010 was supposed to have touched down in NYC recently, but never made it.

The reggae star and hip hop artiste Maino were slated to record the video for their hot collaboration together ‘It’s You’ but can’t seem to get the project done. It’s reported that this is the second time that the two artists have attempted to meet up to record the video but without luck.

The first time it was booked Maino had to cancel due to ‘unforeseen’ legal issues. For the second time, the video team was in place, club was booked, camera people were ready only to hear that flight delays affected Gyptian.

This has prevented the project from moving forward. In fact, Gyptian was scheduled toperform later that night at an event in Queens, NY and never ever touched down in the big apple. Word on the street is that the promoter of the show never confirmed the arrangements fully with Gyptian management team if he would be able to even perform at the show and participate in the shooting.

You see what happens when promoters try to cut corners?

Gyptian has a great reputation for appearing at his shows so for him to miss a NYC performance is quite unlikely.

As the saying goes, maybe three’s a charm. We’ll see what happens at the third attempt of this video shoot.





Drake Considers Recording Full 'Reggae' Album

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(AllHipHop News) Canadian rapper Drake recently revealed that he is exploring the option of dropping a Reggae album, which he may start working on at the end of his European tour.

Drake appeared on the Canadian network MuchMusic, where he broke the news during an interview with T. RexXx on the Hip-Hop show Rap City.

"I wanna do something for Jamaica, because we are supposed to go out there and record after the European tour," Drake said. "I was like send me some rhythms that are poppin and I'll see what I can do. He sent me some rhythms that are poppin, so I'll see what I can do. You never know."

Drake's possible Reggae project comes on the heels of reports that he will collaborate with award-winning indie rock band Florence and The Machine, as well as The xx.

Drake is currently in negotiations to star in the financial thriller "Arbitrage" alongside veteran actor Al Pacino.

The news of a full album could quite possibly draw the wrath of the Jamaican government, who condemned Drake's last collaboration with an artist from Jamaica.

In May of 2010, Jamaica's Minster of Tourism spoke out against the portrayal of the country in Drake's hit song with dancehall artist Mavado titled "Find Your Love."

"We just have to say that care has to be taken by all, including our creative artistes, in portraying images of our destination and people," Bartlett told the Jamaican Gleaner. "Gun culture, while not unique to Jamaica, is not enhancing (the island's image)."





Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr

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Today, is the great man Martin Luther king’s Jr birthday. The mn who fought so hard so that blacks could live the dream. Below are four things that not many people know about the black icon.





No February trial date for Buju

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Defense attorney David Oscar Marcus, who represents international reggae star Buju Banton, is refuting reports that the entertainer will begin his re-trial on February 7.
Since his mistrial late last year, there has been tremendous speculation about the date of Buju's return to court.
Some sections of the media have stated that it would begin on February 7, but according to Mr. Marcus, the legal team does not know which date next month.
"No there's no court set for February 7; that was a rumour that went around. We’re waiting for a specific trial date in February. The court should be letting us know soon when they’ll be going to trial," Mr. Markus said on RJR's daily current affairs discussion programme Beyond the Headlines Thursday evening.
Buju Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was released on US$250,000 bail in October after the jury in his trial for drug related charges failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Conditions of his release included paying a private security detail for 24 hour monitoring, signing an extradition waiver ensuring his return if he flees the US, and wearing an electronic monitoring device.
He will be performing this weekend at the 'Before the Dawn' concert in downtown Miami.





Carnival to hit social networking sites

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Tristar Entertainment has launched accounts on social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, as they gear up for the media launch and the first event in the All-Island Carnival Series.

While not giving too much details of the campaign about to kick into high gear, organizers said that users of the social networking websites can expect to be "tastefully engulfed” in All-Island Carnival’s limitless energy.

The event now boasts rapidly growing Facebook and Twitter accounts, with a YouTube Channel soon to follow.

With this combination of social media, the organisers will involve soca fans and patrons with various activities and giveaways.

The All-Island Carnival is set to be the largest soca event in the region, with 10 fetes in 12 weeks across Jamaica starting on January 29 in Kingston at the UDC Field in New Kingston.

All-Island Carnival will visit places such as St. Mary, Portland, Negril, St. Thomas, Montego Bay and more.

Pre-sale tickets for the first event will be available soon, with the promoters promising an “attractive” admission cost.





Gramps Morgan to play football

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International Entertainer Gramps Morgan has now gone into the world of American football for one season.
The entertainer said in a recent interview that he decided to get into semi professional sports because it is something he has been doing over the years and always wanted to play professionally and it is a great way to keep in shape and to show his fans that he is a good player, there will also be video footage of the games.
However, Gramps is still doing shows as a solo artist and touring around the world with his most recent stop being in Africa.
Fellow artiste Marcus Miller, Busta Rhymes, Capleton and Rick Ross, over seventy five thousand patrons turn out for the festival Gramps also stated that fans were surprised to hear him as a solo artiste.
Nevertheless, Gramps has a solo album titled “Two sides of my heart” vol 1.





Nas caught up with Junior Gong collabs

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US rapper Nas has said that his recent pairing with Reggae star Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley almost made him reconsider his solo career.
Nas told US media that he got so used to working and touring with Junior Gong that he actually considered not performing alone again.
Nas and Marley continue their 'Distant Relatives' tour this year, with new tour dates already set.





Sean Kingston Wins A Libby

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Jamaican American Hip Hop artist, Sean Kingston, has won himself a Libby.
Kingston was presented with the award at the 5th Annual Libby Awards, sponsored by peta2, the world`s largest youth animal rights organization.
He took home the award for the Most Animal-Friendly Hip-hop Artist in 2010.
`When it comes to fighting animal abuse, peta2 and today`s hottest music stars are in perfect harmony,` peta2 Director Dan Shannon told AllHipHop.com. `Sean Kingston has let dog guardians know that life on the end of a chain for a dog is no life at all.`

Kingston was featured in a peta2 campaign last year that debuted on MTV`s show Styl`D. In Kingston`s ad, the singer/rapper urged dog guardians to keep their dogs inside, as opposed to chaining them to a leash and leaving the animals outside, exposed to the elements.








It has been revealed that one of the world's largest suppliers of commodities and raw materials, Glencore International is closing in on a deal to acquire the Government's stake in the Jamalco refinery.
According to an internet report, the sale which will make the Swiss-based Glencore a 45-percent owner of the refinery, should be announced in a few weeks.

When contacted last night, Mining Minister James Robertson, declined to comment directly on the report.





The "Cool fool with the live jive" is dead

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One of the voices that dominated the airwaves of RJR in the early years has been silenced.
Charlie Babcock died in his hometown of Peterborough, Canada, on December 28.
His son - Charlie Babcock Jr. - told his former radio station that his body was cremated on Tuesday afternoon.
"As you know Charlie had a stroke when he was very young - at 38 years old and he has been in rehab in a retirement home since that period . So basically he was the longest living resident of that nursing home. He expired on the 28th peacefully and I was just up there to see him …and he recognised me and asked me about RJR and asked about certain people who worked there and didn't work there anymore" his son disclosed.
Charlie Babcock dubbed "the cool fool with the live jive" dominated the airwaves from the late 1950s into the 1960s.
Charlie came to RJR as a guest Disc Jockey from Canada.
According to information from RJR's archives, Charlie's impact was so great that listeners requested his return on a permanent basis.
Charlie is remembered for his little red convertible sports car, his penchant for attention, gimmicks such as riding a horse to work, and his happy-go-lucky attitude.





Trinidad records four murders for 2011

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As Trinidad and Tobago started the year with four murders and two fatal accidents, the country's Commissioner of Police, Dwayne Gibbs, warned criminals that efforts will be made by the police to put them where they belong.

The police commissioner said that one of the goals for the police service in 2011, was the transformation of the service.

He said such a move would benefit the country, since police officers would be able to effectively and professionally serve the public.

The Commissioner said focus will be placed on rebuilding the model of policing, to get in line with the 21st century.

Commenting on the four murders on the first day of the year, the police chief said his officers will remain relentless in their pursuit of those responsible for disrupting the peace and stability of the country, as they seek to maintain law and order.

Bushman sings the Bush Doctor
Reggae artiste Bushman is seeking to come back in a big way with a new studio album and a title to match - Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor - A Tribute to Peter Tosh. Compiled in honour of reggae legend Peter Tosh, Dwight Duncan aka Bushman covers some of Tosh's greatest hits as he pays justice and tribute to the icon.

Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor is a12-track collection (15-track digital version) of classic Tosh songs, recorded with reverence and grants homage to the original classics. The album was produced in collaboration with Penthouse Productions and sees guests vocalists Buju Banton and Tarrus Riley, and musicians Robbie Lyn, Sly Dunbar, Kirk Bennett and others join Bushman on this tribute, which both honors and continues Tosh's legacy.


The lead track Legalize It was featured on the recent Greensleeves compilation Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 3. Other standouts include Don't Look Back featuring Tarrus Riley, Mawga Dog, Brand New Second Hand, and Mama Africa featuring Buju Banton.

The baritone voice of Bushman has a notable resemblance to Tosh's tone and is thus perfectly paired on this tribute to the iconic entertainer. With his own vibrant, soulful sounds, this new take on Tosh's classics is a treat for connoisseurs and new fans alike





Yendi places fifth in online beauty competition

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Reigning Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Philipps was edged out of the on-line Ideal Beauty competition.
Miss USA took home the award with 1,789 votes.
Yendi was named fourth runner up.
She thanked everyone who supported her online and congratulates Miss USA for her win.





Dancehall deejay Bobby Genius killed in NY

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New York police have confirmed that a Jamaican dancehall artiste who tried to break up a fight outside a Queens banquet hall was the city’s first 2011 murder victim, the Caribbean Media Corporation says.
The police said an unidentified gunman shot and killed Dwayne Haughton, 29, early on Saturday morning in the Richmond Hill section of Queens.
CMC said that Haughton, who carried the stage name “Bobby Genius”, was walking a friend to her car after she got into an argument with another woman.
The police said they found Haughton bleeding from neck and chest wounds, and he died a short time later at Jamaica Medical Center in Queens.









With a rise in flu cases in the United Kingdom, Jamaicans travelling to Britain are advised to take flu prevention precautions.
The number of flu cases in Northern Ireland has more then doubled in the past week.
H1N1, commonly known as Swine Flu, has lead to deaths in some cases.
Doctors advise that the regularly washing hands and covering noses when sneezing could save lives.

The Public Health Agency said Britons eligible for the H1N1 vaccine should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Official data show the number of cases has more than doubled from 56 to 129.
In the past month there have been 39 deaths as a result of flu infections.
Of this number, 36 were caused by Swine Flu.
The classic flu symptoms are a sudden fever, headache, muscle aches, a dry cough and sore throat.
The average duration of infection is between 10 and 14 days.






New York police have confirmed that a dancehall artiste who tried to break up a fight outside a Queens banquet hall is the city's first 2011 murder victim.
The police said an unidentified gunman shot and killed Dwayne Haughton, 29, during the early hours of Saturday morning in the Richmond Hill section of Queens.

Houghton, who carried the stage name 'Bobby Genius', was walking a friend to her car after she got into an argument with another woman, police and eyewitnesses said.

The police said they found Haughton bleeding from neck and chest wounds, and died a short time later at Jamaica Medical Centre in Queens.

Haughton had come to the party to pick up his girlfriend, Kadian Allen, when he saw a female friend get into a scuffle with another woman.

"I heard gunshots," Allen said, adding "when I ran out of the car, he was just laying there on his back, just laying there not moving.

"How do I tell my son someone shot his father because he was walking a friend to her car?" Allen added.







MayBach Jamaica established by Miami based rapper

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Miami Based Rapper Rick Ross who dominated the music charts throughout 2010, has distinguished himself from most rappers and other musicians by forming MayBach Jamaica.
This is a movement aimed at placing reggae artistes on the same competitive platform as their musical counterparts of other genres.
Rick Ross made this vision clear when he signed Magazeen, the very first dancehall artiste signed to MayBach Music Group.
Following this idea, Rick Ross went on to do a collaboration with Jah Cure and Mavado called "Like I See it", which shows the unity among hiphop and reggae artistes.

Ross has ended the year with the release of a final mix tape, entitled "Ashes to Ashes", which seems to symbolize the end of an era and the dawn of a new one.





Haiti's cholera death toll tops 2,700

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Health officials say the death toll from the cholera outbreak in Haiti has reached 2,707.
The Haitian health ministry said nearly 130,000 people have been infected with the water-borne disease since the first case was recorded at the end of October.
The ministry estimates that 40 people are dying from the epidemic on a daily basis, despite ongoing international efforts to bring the disease under control.
Health officials said the disease has spread throughout the country, but is worse in the central province of Artibonite, where at least 813 people have died. Forty-four deaths have been reported in the southern province of Nippes.
However, in the south-west district of Grand Anse, Haitian health officials said the situation remains complicated because people associate the outbreak with voodoo spells and do not comply with the measures established for cholera cases.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that up to 400,000 people could be infected with the disease within the next 12 months.





People bruck

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Cost of living getting higher, more seller than buyer...the sentiments expressed in this song is more true today than ever. According to the Bank of Jamaica despite strong growth in the amount of currency in circulation last week, the actual out turn remained below their projections.
Net currency issued last week grew by $6.6 billion.
However, that was almost 6% below the bank's projections.
The slower than expected growth in the amount of money to facilitate holiday spending mostly reflects a depressed economy.
At the end of business on Friday, December 24, about $58.4 billion was in circulation.
Declines are expected in that figure over the coming week, which is consistent with seasonal norms.





Lauryn Hill goes back on the road

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Lauryn Hill is putting herself back on the music trail and hitting the road for the new year.

The Grammy-winning artist has announced a series of intimate shows, kicking off right after Christmas and running into February.

Lauryn will appear with a live band on 17 North American dates.

Stops include New York and the famous Chicago's House of Blues, plus two dates in Canada.

Well aware that she "may never play venues of this size again," some of which she "hasn't played since the Fugees days," the star is excited "to see her loyal supporters up close and personal again."

She will perform reworked versions of Fugees classics and hits from her breakthrough solo debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.





Party Like It's Your Birthday making waves in the US

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The massive Reggae hit, Party Like It's Your Birthday, made waves here in Jamaica but according to word out of the Scikron Big Yard camp, the song is heating up in Atlanta as well.

The song - a collaboration with Richie Loop, D-Major and Busy Signal - was released in June and has been receiving heavy radio rotation.

Reports are the song is on the verge of making a big impact on the US east coast as the song is being played in the clubs and on respective Internet radio sites.

Busy Signal says he is happy that the song is such a huge hit and thanks the fans for the support they are giving to all three artistes.








Rihanna’s performance of “What’s My Name” on this month’s finale of the UK’s “X Factor” has launched an investigation, following claims that it was too sexy for family TV.

The “X Factor” finale aired from 7-9 PM on Saturday, December 11. Under British rules, 9PM is the “watershed hour,” after which adult content can be shown.





Payless coming to Jamaica

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All those Payless Shoesource shoppers won’t have to board a flight to Miami anymore to take advantage of specials, as Payless is coming to Jamaica.
The Observer reports that the popular American chain is now in the island recruiting staff in preparation for the opening of its first store here next year.
Michael Stern, the minister of state in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, confirmed Payless' impending investment in Jamaica, saying it represented a trend.
Some of these firms, he said, are American, while others are from within the Caribbean.
Stern said he did not have the details of the investment. However, he confirmed that the Payless representatives were working with Jampro to ensure that the investment went smoothly.







Rohan Marley, father to Lauryn Hill’s five children, is planning to press charges against an off-duty police officer who put the son of Reggae legend Bob Marley in a headlock and maced him.

A source tells TMZ that Marley mistook the man, who was moonlighting as a security guard, for a valet outside of Los Angeles hot spot Voyeur on Saturday night. The man took offense and traded words with Marley resulting in Marley being assaulted.

Marley tells TMZ that he feels the guy “went overboard” and that he plans to press charges because he “just can’t let this go.”









Jamaican nationals who visit the Cayman Islands are set to benefit from a change in visa requirements at the start of the new year.

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush has announced that local authorities are to change the present visa requirements for Jamaicans by January.

He said the change was being made to improve his country’s business environment.

The Cayman Premier said visa exemptions will be put in place for Jamaican Nationals who hold valid United States, United Kingdom or Canadian visas.

He also announced the introduction of a new 1-5 day business visa for persons travelling to the country for legitimate business purposes.

The announcement was made at the recent Northern Caribbean Conference on Economic Co-operation held in Grand Cayman which facilitated 160 representatives of government and the private sector from across the sub-region.






Jamaica, Cuba and WikiLeaks

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Jamaica neva far from di mix up dem eeh? The latest now a how WikiLeaks a try mix wi up inna di fight against drugs. But if Cuba did have problem wid Jamaica, we nuh supposed to be good friends and neighbours, why dem haffi a complain to newspaper a England?
Wi nuh understand, but wi a listen out fi weh di government a guh sey.






Africa here I come says Tarrus Riley

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Did Taurus Riley new single entitle “Shaka zulu Pickney” give him the leeway to go to Africa?

Well for the first time ever the sultry singer Taurus Riley will head to the mother land .Well it should be a great experience for the artiste.
Taurus is expected to return to the island at the end of the month









Reggae superstar Sean Paul will not appear in Zambia and Malawi as previously advertised. Fans, in these regions, who were previously promised a show will be disappointed as the promoters have been advertising the artiste in these markets December 17 and 18 respectively, without confirmed bookings. After spending the summer and fall touring the globe, entertaining audiences from Abu Dhabi to Zimbabwe, Sean Paul is back in the studio preparing his highly anticipated new album.
His recent partnership with world-renowned DJ Bob Sinclar for Tik Tok, an infectious dance-reggae track, has been making waves worldwide since its release in November. Sean Paul is also busy in studio working on a single with Grammy winning Damian “Junior Gong” Marley and is actively engaged in his own productions.
With an undeniable track record for crafting hit singles as a solo artiste, including cuts like Deport Them, Like Glue, We Be Burnin and Temperature, as well as a history of taking other artistes songs to the next level through tracks like Beyonce’s Baby Boy, Jay Sean’s Do You Remember and Eve’s Give It Up To You, Sean Paul has established himself as one of the seminal pop voices of his generation.





Gyptian teck it easy

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Reggae artiste Gyptian had to pay attention to his body signals after he almost collapsed. According to his manager Ivor Ruddock, the who issued a statement response to rumours about the health of the Reggae star, clarifying that he is suffering from dehydration following a 60-day tour of Europe and Africa.

After a hectic period of shows, interviews and promotion, the artiste, real name Windel Edwards, said that he was feeling faint after arriving in New York City earlier this week from Tanzania for two last performances. Gyptian reported feeling faint and was taken to a hospital in the city.

A decision was taken to cancel the shows but he reportedly insisted on performing. However, on completion of the last show he again reported feeling faint but with added stomach cramps and was rushed to the emergency room. A doctor there prescribed him medication and ordered him to rest and rehydrate as he was now severely dehydrated.

"To my fans in Barbados, I apologise profusely and I am currently renegotiating a date with the promoters to complete my obligations and please my fans. There is no Gyptian without my fans and I am very grateful for all the concern that has been shown but I assure everyone that I will be back to work for all of you as soon as I am back in peak form because as me seh, 'Me Nah Let Go'," said the artiste in reference to his recent international breakthrough hit, which precipitated his rise in workload.

Gyptian is returning home to rest and consult with his personal doctor and dietician. He will rest for a few days so that he can return to work in good health.





Who cares about celebs Twitter death? Nobody

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Celebrities may have wanted to consider the economy and the holiday season before agreeing to be killed off on Twitter for charity.
Stars like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Ryan Seacrest all took part in removing themselves from the social networking site on Wednesday in order to raise money for Alicia Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive in honor of World AIDS Day.


The deal was, these tweet happy celebs were to remain silent until $1 million was raised. Only issue is, fans have only donated a total of $200,573—not even a third of the way there!
The economy could be to blame—a lot of people are still out of jobs, therefore lessening the amount of donations that they can make to organizations like this one.


The other possibility is that Black Friday just happened, followed by Cyber Monday, in which online spending surpassed $1 billion dollars!
Case in point, people are either broke, they’re spending their precious dollars on themselves loved ones or they're just happy that celebs are not tweeting about stupid stuff...and we know they do a lot of that!


It’s actually kind of a sad scenario, seeing as though it’s a great charity. Maybe they should have rethought the goal number before killing off these tweet-obsessed celebs!





BUJU BANTON LIVE BEFORE THE DAWN CONCERT

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Sunday, January 16th 2011 Martin Luther King Weekend, mark your calendars for the most highly anticipated show that will lock down any other show for the entire year, Buju Banton Live on Stage for one night and one night only. There is no other way to start 2011, but to start it with one of the leading Grammy Nominated Reggae Artist, Buju. Just when they thought Mr. Gargamel would stop to dwell on the negativity, Buju rises and comes fourth with friends for Before the Dawn Concert. With no school or work the next day there is no other reason to miss this once in a life time un-expected concert, which will not happen anywhere else in the USA. So come out and witness history as Buju hits the stage on American Soil, which most people say, may be his very last show.



Buju will be performing hits like, “Bogle”, “Destiny”, “I wanna be loved”, “Driver”, “Untold Story”, “Til I Lay to rest” tracks from his new album “Before the Dawn” and the list goes on! This show will show why he is one of the Best Reggae Artist of all time! Not only will it be a moment of truth, but a moment of Happiness for a man who does something who truly loves to do.



This concert is a show with Buju alone, but the list of acts from top Dancehall, Reggae, Hip-Hop and R&B artist that will be added will leave with a lost of words. Music will be by New Yorks’ Hot 97 finest, Massive B with Bobby Konders, Jabba and Shotta and the Host of the night, hum? Just know this is why Miami brings you nothing but the BEST of the BEST! Book your flights and get your tickets there is no other questions that needs to be asked!!!



This is a family Event Kids Free Under 12 W/Adult
Doors Open at 4pm Showtime 5pm *SHARP*
Taken Place @ Bayfront Park AMPHITHEATRE 301 North Biscayne Blvd Downtown Miami FL (Next to Bayfront Market)



More Info and Booth Rentals Please Call 305 438 9488






Post-Election Violence Reported In Haitian Town

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Protesters demanding cancellation of Haiti’s weekend presidential election clashed with U.N. peacekeepers Tuesday, the United Nations mission and Haitian radio reported.

Radio Kisekya said at least 15 people had been injured in two days of demonstrations north of the capital.

U.N. police sent reinforcements Tuesday but had no reports of injuries, police spokesman Jean-Francois Vezina said.

Rampant disorganization and allegations of fraud hang over Sunday’s critical vote for president, a third of the Senate and all of the lower house.

The winner of the presidential race will have to deal with Haiti’s crushing poverty, a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,700 people and post-earthquake reconstruction — including overseeing billions of promised aid dollars from the United States and other nations.

Violent protests that caused several deaths occurred across northern Haiti before the election, fed by suspicions shared by public health experts that the cholera epidemic was caused by a contingent of U.N. peacekeepers.






Killer makes request from court for his passport

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Bounty Killer will know tomorrow whether the court will return his passport so that he can travel to the Caribbean during the festive season.


The entertainer's passport was seized as part of his bail condition when he was offered $500,000 bail on November 27 on a charge of unlawful wounding.


The charge stemmed from his arrest in September following an alleged incident at his Oaklands apartment in Kingston, where he reportedly attacked his 19-year-old lover, Raquel Smith using a hammer, a gold chain and mosquito zapper to beat her.


On Wednesday, his attorney Christopher Townsend presented the application for the variation of bail to Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly Williams at the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.


However, Shelly Williams told the attorney that she would peruse the document and inform him of her decision on Friday. The deejay, whose really name is Rodney Price seemed 'cross, angry, and miserable' due to the long wait before the matter was called up, had his bail extended until Friday.


Price will face trial on January 11






Judge allows Buju to perform at concert in Miami

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International Reggae star Buju Banton has been cleared tp perfom at a concert on January 16.


Buju won an appeal against an order which denied him the right to perform at the concert.


Buju, whose given name is Mark Myrie, had applied for permission to perform at the concert on November 23 but his motion was dismissed by United States Judge Anthony Porcelli on the grounds that he was a flight risk.


However, in overturning the ruling on Wednesday Judge James Moody cited that the issue had been already addressed when Buju was released on bail in October.


Wednesday's ruling will now allow Buju to earn money to pay for his security detail which is costing US$20,000 monthly.


He is expected to perform at the concert, dubbed 'Before The Dawn', which will be held at the Bay Front Ampitheatre in downtown, Miami.
Other prominent reggae artistes are expected to perform at the concert which is being produced by Rockers Island.





Reggae Grammy nominations announced

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Buju, Sly and Robbie, Andrew Tosh, King Isaac and Lee 'Scratch' Perry have all been nominated in the 2011 Grammy Awards. See complete list:
Best Reggae Album – Vocal or Instrumental


Before The Dawn
Buju Banton
[Gargamel Music, Inc.]
Isaacs Meets Isaac
Gregory Isaacs & King Isaac
[King Isaac Music]
Revelation
Lee "Scratch" Perry
[Megawave Records]
Made In Jamaica
Bob Sinclair And Sly & Robbie
[Yellow Productions/Universal Music France]
One Pop Reggae +
Sly & Robbie And The Family Taxi
[Phase One Communications/Taxi Records]
Legacy An Acoustic Tribute To Peter Tosh
Andrew Tosh
[Box10/Tuff Gong]








Gay and lesbian activists are planning to protest against an appearance by Jamaican performer Capleton in California on Monday night.

They say his lyrics advocate violence against them.

Capleton is scheduled to appear at a nightclub in Sacramento.

Members of Equality Action Now, a civil rights group, have called a press conference for Monday afternoon to outline plans for the protest.

The group says the club in which Capleton will be appearing first agreed to cancel the performance in response to concerns, then rescheduled it after receiving e-mails from fans who were upset it had been called off.

This is the second time in a little over a month that Capleton has faced protest by a gay group in the US.

Threats of protest by gay rights activists last month forced the cancellation of a show featuring the artiste in Chicago.

According to an internet report, some persons also felt the singer's gig was inappropriate following news of a spate of young gay people committing suicide.





Busy Signal for performance in Gambia

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The Gambia Observer featured internationally renowned Jamaican reggae dancehall star, Busy Signal, earlier Friday.


Busy is due on the Smiling Coast on 10 December 2010, ahead of his first live musical concerts in Africa.
Signal, is to perform live with his band at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on December 11 2010.


Supporting acts will constitute artistes from Jamaica, England and The Gambia including the most celebrated reggae-dancehall star, Singateh aka ‘Freaky Joe’ and other well established artistes.
The highly anticipated event is brought by Planet World and supported by Africell, one of the country's leading GSM providers.






Maroon 5 for 2010 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival

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Multiple Grammy award-winning pop-rock band Maroon 5 will headline the 15th anniversary of the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival to be held at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium from January 23 to 29.


The Los Angeles based group, which released its third studio album, Hands All Over, this fall, has sold over 10 million albums in the United States and 15 million worldwide.


The three-time Grammy award-winning quintet, captured the attention of audiences worldwide with Songs About Jane, a mix of hybrid-rock, funk and R&B.


The multi-platinum album spawned the Billboard hits, This Love, Harder to Breathe and She Will Be Loved.
The band's second critically acclaimed album featured collaborations with Rihanna and Mary J. Blige, and produced the smash hits Makes Me Wonder and If I Never See Your Face Again.


According to Festival organizers TurnKey Productions, the event is more than a music festival; it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that brings together thousands of friends and family for one week of pure pleasure and relaxation.


"The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival has a special aura to it, unlike any other event with which I have been associated. It is a combination of the musicians, the people, the setting and the infectious vibe of Jamaica that creates an almost surreal experience for anyone who attends. I am looking forward to this 15th anniversary event in Jamaica and have assembled a top-quality line-up that is sure to please our patrons," stated Walter Elmore, CEO of TurnKey Productions.


The Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival started in 1996, by the national airline, Air Jamaica, in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board and several other business entities.


The Festival now attracts over 25,000 patrons annually and has been expanded to a week-long event in resort towns of Montego Bay, St. James and Ocho Rios in St. Ann.









Patrons who attended One Love Reggae Concert Winter Series show at Negril Escape on Tuesday November 23rd had a wonderful time, as they were treated to some very exciting performances.


Headline act Kymani Marley appeared on stage about 11:10 PM, clad in a white T shirt and blue jeans, much to the delight of the audience, which was mostly made up of tourist.

From the moment he opened his mouth it was pure Marley magic, as he entertained the audience with original numbers such as Dear Dad, The March, Armed and Dangerous and Warriors. He also did several of his legendary father’s timeless classics including Concrete Jungle, I Shot the Sherriff and Johnny Was A Good Man.


Earlier on the opening acts were also well received. Timmi Burrell who is based in Negril was the first of the opening acts to perform. Performing songs such as Give Me A Ounce, Chill and Hold A Vibes, Make Doh (Hustle) and Dark Shades White Tee, the silky smoothed voice singer connected well with the audience. He was followed by fast rising reggae crooner Andy Livingston who poured out his heart for the ladies in the, crowd as delivered love songs such as Love Ain’t Enough, My Promise and Searching For Love. He also delivered cultural numbers Good People and Jam Dung






No December show for Buju

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A request by Buju Banton's defence team for him to perform at a Boxing Day concert in the United States has been denied.

Buju, 37, whose given name is Mark Myrie, wanted to perform at a live concert in Miami on December 26.

However, the Tampa Bay Tribune reports that US Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli denied that request on Tuesday.

The US Magistrate argued that any financial pressures the international reggae singer faces do not outweigh the risk that he might flee.

On Wednesday, Buju's attorney asked the judge to reconsider, saying the 24-hour security detail ordered to monitor the singer as a condition of his release, costs US$20,000 a month.

In addition, Buju's attorney argued that there was the cost of preparing for his upcoming drug trafficking retrial.

It is understood that Buju's security detail does not object to him doing the concert and would be present for the show.

The prosecutor however, has objected to the artiste's request to perform.

There is no official word yet on whether Buju will be allowed to attend the show.










Five-time Grammy Award winning producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Stephen Marley along-side his brothers Damian Marley and Julian Marley are proud to announce the signing of reggae music singing sensation Christopher Ellis to the growing roster of musical talent featured on the Marley brothers record label imprint , Ghetto Youths International, Inc.


Christopher Lamour Ellis was born the youngest male progeny to “The Godfather of Jamaican Rocksteady”, the late Alton Ellis. Talented in his own right, the soulful 28 year-old roots reggae, r&b crooner has been astounding audiences with his incredibly natural, smooth vocal stylings since the age of 11.


In 2009, a mutual friend introduced Stephen Marley to Christopher Ellis in Jamaica. During that fateful meeting on Hope Road, Christopher sang A Capella for the iconic reggae producer.

Coincidentally, the very same day that Stephen Marley met with Christopher Ellis, Marley was also contacted by producer Baby G, son of the legendary producer King Jammy, who had a remix track by Alton Ellis that he wanted Stephen to hear. Stephen listened to the Alton Ellis remix and immediately invited Christopher Ellis to join him at King Jammy’s studio in Jamaica to sing on the track.

The session resulted in Marley recording Christopher Ellis’ first single entitled, ‘End of Time’, produced by Baby G. ‘End of Time’ is a moving, soul-stirring track featuring beautiful vocal works by Christopher Ellis , Stephen Marley and Jah Cure, and is inspired by Alton Ellis’ rendition of ‘You Made Me So Happy’.


The magnificent opportunity of working with Stephen Marley and the Marley Family has continued in 2010 in Miami where Christopher Ellis has spent quality time working in the studio on material that is being helmed and produced by mega-producer.


“I feel so incredibly Blessed to be working on my debut album with Stephen Marley for the Ghetto Youths Records family.” comments Ellis.
To date, Stephen Marley has executive produced and recorded two singles for Ellis, including the aforementioned ‘End of Time’ and a rendition of Alton Ellis’ song entitled, ‘Willow Tree’, a sweetly seductive lover’s ballad that showcases Christopher Ellis’ versatile musicality. ‘End of Time’ has an anticipated release, while a ballad version and a reggae version of Ellis’ ‘Willow Tree’ is available now on iTunes. Later this year, a video launch accompanying Ellis’ ‘Willow Tree’ single will mark Christopher Ellis’ international debut, including in the territories of London, Jamaica and the United States.


Stephen Marley has been the driving creative force behind Ghetto Youths International, Inc. and the music created by his brothers for the family owned label. Stephen's production, performance and writing credits have earned him more Grammy Awards than any other Marley family member or reggae artist in history.Blazing his own trail in the music world, combining reggae, hip-hop, and r&b styles to create his sound as a performer, songwriter, and producer, the accomplished Stephen Marley is known to take on more of the behind-the-scenes roll.


Stephen Marley comments, "I don't want to be just another artist, I want to make a statement, and I want to continue this musical legacy with my family. Just like my brothers, I aspire to be a reckoning force, when you hear my name, when you hear the Ghetto Youths name, you know the quality that comes with that: good music, good message, and good vibe."


Ghetto Youths International was founded by Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley in 1989. In 2002, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley and Julian Marley went on to incorporate the family owned record label. Recent projects released by the premiere, reggae and hip-hop oriented imprint include the Grammy award winning and nominated albums by Damian Marley Welcome To Jamrock, Stephen Marley’s Mind Control and Julian Marley’s Awake.

A catalogue of reggae and hip-hop influenced artists signed to the Ghetto Youths record label include: Stephen Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Julian Marley, Mr. Cheeks, Illestr8, Christopher Ellis, Jonathon Malcolm, Javaughn, Black Am I , Daniel Bambaata, and Jo Mersa.






Munga shines on 15-state US tour

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Dancehall star Munga Honourable recently returned to the island after completing a one month tour of the US. Munga, opened for 'the fireman' Capleton on the tour that saw him doing 26 performances in 15 states.

"It was just like it was back in the day when Capleton first brought me on the road with him. The tour feeling is amazing," Munga said.

The hectic tour had the artiste travelling for at least 12 to 13 hours each day in between performances. Munga performed in places like Albany, New York, Bentley House of Soul in Nashville, Tennessee, the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, North Corolina and many more. Yet the 'Gangsta Ras', said his most memorable performance was at the West Indian Club in Hartford, Connecticut.

"I was amazed at the welcome I received from the crowed and when I started to perform, that took the energy in the club to new level," Munga said.

Munga's set included hits like Earthquake, Gangstas do Dem Own Ting, Nuh Flesh Weh Mi Fraid A, Rise My Own, Bad From Mi Born - which was one of the most well received tracks performed while on tour. He also performed, Wanted Man and Whine Pon It, as well as newly released tracks Private Dancer, Cologne, Space Fi Di Gal Dem and Clean and Fresh which he is set to do the video for.

He returned to the island on October 26 and since then has been heavily promoting his new music. Munga has also gone into production, starting his own label, Hilltop Records, which he currently has two artistes Mad Rhymez and Nazari Bastik.

In addition to his already hectic life, the deejay has been working with the Portmore Society, which has resulted in a a track called Girl Dem Check Fi Mi recorded on the Portmore Society's Hot Is riddim.

Being on tour this time around Munga found that since his introduction into the dancehall industry, he has garnered followers from all over and his fan base has grown considerably. With all things being equal, both Europe and Africa will be seeing the 'Gangsta Ras' quite soon as he is now finalising appearances to concretise a two-month tour.





UK tour for Nas and Jr Gong

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Rapper Nas and Reggae royalty Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley will return to the United Kingdom this Spring.

According to reports, Nas and Damian Marley will perform in London, Glasgow and Manchester.

The pair will perform songs from their own catalogs, as well as selections from their collaborative album, Distant Relatives.





Gyptian makes his debut on the UK Singles chart

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Following his recent win at the Soul Train and MOBO awards, Gyptian has debuted on the UK Singles chart with Hold Yuh.
Hold Yuh which peaked at number 77 stateside on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and at number 69 on the Canada Hot 100 chart hops onto the UK Top 75 Singles chart at number 16.


This is the first time in four years that a Jamaican artiste is featured as lead on any single that has cracked the Top 30 portion of the UK Singles chart.


Sean Paul was the last artiste to have achieved this feat. In 2006, Temperature entered and peaked at number 11.


Hold Yuh has already peaked at number 54 on the European Hot 100.








President of the Republic of Colombia, His Excellency Dr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, has said that his country is willing to share its expertise with Caribbean countries, particularly Jamaica, in the fight against drug trafficking.

"We are aware that only by working together, Jamaica, Colombia and the rest of the world that are increasingly being affected by the drug cartels, that we can jointly overcome this problem," he said.

He was speaking at a public lecture at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus in Kingston on Friday November 19.


President Santos said that his nation continues to fight the phenomenon with more and more success, with a professional and trained police force that has been learning from over 40 years of fighting the drug cartels, adding that it has been a successful war to dismantle the big cartels.

"The subject of security and the effective fight against transnational crimes, such as drug trafficking, is a matter crucial to our nation's future. Many countries in the Caribbean and Central America are going through tremendous difficulties similar to those Colombia faced in the past because of drug trafficking and its terrible effects on society," he said.

He pointed out that, in its fight against drug trafficking, Colombia has lost some of its best politicians, police, judges and leaders, but has managed to preserve its principles and democracy, noting that it is from the lessons learnt that the country can help other nations.

President Santos said that Colombia wanted to help Jamaica become effective in the fight against drug trafficking, before it is too late.


We in Colombia committed a big mistake thinking that that problem is not such a big problem. When we discovered it was a big problem, it was too late and we had to fight very hard to overcome it. But, we are telling our Central American and our Caribbean friends, don't go into what drug and alcohol addicts usually go into, (that is) the state of denial," he said.

President Santos stated that Jamaica and Colombia share many common goals, and that his country's relationship with Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is important in tackling the problem of drug trafficking.





New York celebrates Bob Marley week

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THE US-based Americas Society has just wrapped its inaugural symposium on Bob Marley and his legacy, in New York.
The three-day event, exploring the life and work of Marley the musician, composer, Rastafarian and world cultural icon, brought together associates and compatriots of the first third world superstar including musicians, poets, and scholars.


Among the highlights was a conversation between Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records who launched Marley and the Wailers internationally and John Farley, author of Before the Legend:Rise of Bob Marley (2006).


It also featured Ibo Cooper music instructor of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Herbie Miller of Jamaica Music Museum/Institute of Jamaica, scholars Robert Hill in a panel discussion on Marley as a consummate musician and as national hero of Jamaica. The discussion was moderated by Queens College's Christopher Winks.


Related events, was the launch of Review 81 Bob Marley and His Legacy, featuring guest editors Lorna Goodison and Christopher Winks as well as poets/writers including Jacqueline Bishop, Kwame Dawes, and Shara McCallum.


The Americas Society is the premier forum dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Its mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.

And to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationships.






US marshals take David Smith into custody

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Olint boss David Smith is reported to be en route to the United States to face a raft of criminal charges stemming from operations surrounding his failed ponzi scheme empire.

US marshals swooped down in the Turks and Caicos Islands earlier Thursday to take custody of Smith who is now serving time in prison.

The Olint boss was sentenced to six and half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to fraud in the Turks and Caicos.

On Thursday afternoon Mr. Smith’s lawyer, Oliver Smith says he expected is client to land in the United States where he will face criminal charges in a Florida Court.

The attorney swiftly dismissed speculation that David Smith was extradited.

 “He is on his way to the United States but it is not an extradition. We have agreed for him to go up so it’s not an extradition, pursuant to a consent agreement between myself and the US Attorney’s office,”

 “I don’t want it to be portrayed as an extradition, an extradition has certain connotations as if he is a fugitive. [I am expecting him to arrive in the United States] very shortly, in the next day or two,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith also said he does not know if the former Olint boss has left the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Meanwhile, legal documents filed in a Broward Country Court in Florida obtained by RJR News labelled David Smith as a self proclaimed religious genius, who convinced over one thousand investors from the US, Jamaica, St. Kitts, Panama, Greneda and the Dominican Republic, that he could produce a 10% return per month in foreign currency trading.

 

 





Photos of reggae icons on exhibition in New York

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A collection of portraits, performance and personal shots by photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker are now on exhibition in New York.


Through her photos, Gottlieb-Walker charts the rise of reggae with an unparalleled insight into the genre’s most iconic artists.


The images were captured in Jamaica and Southern California in the mid 1970s and many of them will go on display for the first time.


This collection of powerful and pivotal pictures features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Heptones, Inner Circle and Jacob Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Murvin, Toots and the Maytals, George Harrison, Burning Spear and Third World.



The exhibition will close on November 18.





TT Prime Minister apologizes for post-Tomas comments

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Trinidadian Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has apologised to the region for recent biting comments which drew the ire of several regional heads, the business community, and media.

Addressing a press conference in Trinidad, in late October, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said that her administration had no intention of helping CARICOM countries hit by Tropical Storm Tomas without some benefit accruing to the twin-island republic.

Angry Caribbean people described her comments as insensitive and said they went against the principles of regionalism.

There were scores of stakeholders calling for a boycott of Trinidad products.

Now more than two weeks later Mrs. Persad-Bissesar has apologised on RJR's Beyond the Headlines.

“Ah maybe, it was most unfortunate and I do apologize for the statements that have been taken in this regard. I remain committed to regional integration and to our CARICOM brothers and sisters,” Mrs. Persad-Bissesar said.

The Trinidad Prime Minister says since the controversial comments were made, her administration has extended the hand of assistance in the form of several shiploads of containers dispatched to the islands affected by the recent flood rains.

She added that Haiti is also to receive assistance despite the logistical problems.

The Trinidad Prime Minister went on to clarify her comments.

“The way I envisioned it is that, I can only give from my home, I think [St. Lucia] Prime Minister Stephenson King put it in these words and I appreciate, when he said what Kamla is saying…that we don’t expect her to go out and shop for us and so she would give us goods and supplies out of Trinidad and Tobago, that is what I meant really. It is most unfortunate the way my comments have been received and I do apologize for that,” she said.





Haitians blame UN mission for cholera outbreak

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There have been violent protests in Haiti against United Nations peacekeepers, who have been blamed for the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 900 people, a report from BBC Caribbean states.

A senior UN official briefed the agency about the violence, and says he is expecting a significant increase in the number of cholera cases, following a nationwide review.

Nigel Fisher told journalists that United Nations has been using Haitian government figures for the number of sick and dead but these are based on those who seek treatment.

Mr. Fisher said he expected to find the real number significantly higher. This is the first cholera outbreak in Haiti and it has triggered fear and confusion.

Mr. Fisher said in some cases people had protested against attempts to build cholera clinics in their neighbourhoods.

The UN peacekeeping spokesman also confirmed reports of violent demonstrations outside a UN base north of the country, he said UN troops fired tear gas at protestors throwing stones and disrupting traffic.

Some Haitians hole UN peacekeepers responsible for the cholera outbreak.

The suspicions concern a different base of soldiers located on the river system where the epidemic broke out.

Mr. Fisher repeated UN statements that no evidence has been found to justify these accusations.





Gyptian for Negril One Love Reggae concert

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Fresh on the heels of copping the Soul Train Award for Best Reggae Artiste, Gyptian will headline this week's One Love Reggae Concert tomorrow night at the Negril Escape Resort in Negril.

This will be his first appearance in Negril since he shot to international prominence earlier this year, with the smash Billboard hit Hold Yuh and his many fans in the west will no doubt expect a very exciting performance from him. The artiste, whose real name is Windel Edwards, has been having a great awards season so far, having also won the UK-based MOBO award for Best Reggae Artiste a few weeks ago.

Gyptian came to local prominence earlier this decade with the hit song Serious Times, and has since then grown steadily to become one of the consistent reggae singers in recent times. This can be attributed to quality of his songs and his electric personality along with the fact that he is a good stage performer.

Last Tuesday supporters of the weekly concert series in the resort town of Negril, were treated to a very exciting performance by veteran reggae artiste Tony Rebel. OTher Reggae acts scheduled to appear on the line-up in coming weeks are, Ky-Mani Marley, Richie Spice, Queen Ifrica, Tarrus Riley and Marcia Griffiths.





Rita Marley to receive ICS Garvey Award

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Rita Marley, widow of Reggae superstar Bob Marley, is to receive the Institute of Caribbean Studies' (ICS) 2010 Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award will be presented to her at the ICS 17th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala this evening (November 12), at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington D.C.

According to President and Founder of ICS, Dr. Claire Nelson, Rita Marley is the perfect recipient for the award this year. She told JIS news that the award recognizes persons who, unselfishly, advocate to empower and uplift people of Caribbean and African descent.

Dr. Nelson said that throughout the life of Rita Marley, her music and actions have demonstrated an unconditional will to help lift the image of Africa on the global stage, while assisting Jamaicans.

The Marcus Garvey Lifetime Award is presented annually, by the ICS, to an individual or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to the principles of human empowerment of the people of African descent. Since its inception, recipients have included Reggae superstar, Jimmy Cliff; Trinidad and Tobago's Calypso star, Slinger Francisco (The Mighty Sparrow); and Frederick "Toots" Hibberts of Toots and the Maytals fame.

Last year, the ICS conferred the Vanguard Award on world and Olympic champion sprinter, Usain Bol.





Gyptian cops Soul Train Award

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Reggae star Gyptian continues to rack up awards around the globe.

This time the singing sensation has copped the coveted Best Reggae Artist title at the 2010 Soul Train Awards. The reggae singer also performed live at the awards ceremony which took place last night at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.


Gyptian recently won the MOBO awards held in London and is currently gearing up to tour with the Queen of R&B Mary J Blige at the end of this month.


The Soul Train Awards hosted by Oscar-nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, will premiere on both CENTRIC and BET on Sunday, November 28 at 9pm.


Gyptian will now head into the studios over the next couple of weeks to record a collaboration with R&B singer Ne Yo.

Damian Marley, Mr Vegas, Jah Cure, Vybz Kartel and Gramps Morgan were the other reggae acts nominated alongside Gyptian.





Buju now under house arrest

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International Reggae singer Buju Banton in now under house arrest at his Tamarac, Florida home after almost a year in jail.


He was released on bail from the Pinellas County jail in Tampa on Wednesday.and made the more than three hour long journey to his home in Tamarac.


Buju, 37, whose given name is Mark Myrie, left the jail covering his face and refused to comment to the media. He was in the company of his court appointed security and wearing a tracking device, left the jail
Buju will be under house arrest and will be only allowed to leave to meet his lawyers or pick up prescribed mediation.


"He can come here at the office to have lunch and prepare for the case and then he's got to go home," defence attorney David Markus said.


There will also be strict regulations governing Buju's stay at home.
The lawyer noted that the reggae singer was very grateful for the support he had received form people all over the world especially those who have been contributing to his legal funds as he prepares for his re-trial in February.


Mr. Markus also praised the solidarity shown by fellow entertainer Stephen Marley, who took out a lien on his South Florida home for the US$300,000 to help secure bond for Buju.
Buju's next hurdle is his re-trial next February.






Olint depositors concerned

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The Association of Concerned Olint Members says it has begun to officially register Olint Depositors with the Victims Support Division of the US District Attorney’s Office.



The association says it has been formally granted representational status by the US District Attorney to act on behalf of Olint Depositors.



According to the Association, checks with US Assistant District Attorney Bruce Ambrose has revealed that legal and diplomatic formalities are now in place for the imminent removal of David Smith from the Turks and Caicos Islands prison to face criminal charges in the United States of America.



The association also says the US Assistant District Attorney has hinted that significant sums of Olint Depositors’ money have been identified in America.











The United States is reportedly closer to having convicted former Olint boss David Smith flown to America to prosecute him.



David Smith is now in a Turks and Caicos prison serving a sentence on two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to defraud.



He is also wanted in America to face charges related to the collapse of the Olint.



Oliver Smith, the lawyer for David Smith told the Gleaner yesterday that he’s aware that the US is making efforts to have his client in America.



Oliver Smith also said that US officials have been in contact with him and Turks authorities.



On September 23, David Smith was sentenced to six and half years in prison in the Turks and Caicos after he pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to defraud.



As part of the deal for him to plead guilty, 26 other fraud related charges were dropped against David Smith and his wife was freed of similar charges.



David Smith is alleged to have lost billions of dollars in investments by Olint club members in his unregulated scheme.







Send home the Jacans prisoners is British PM desire

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Jamaicans top the list of foreigners in the England and Wales prison system, who Prime Minister David Cameron wants sent home to complete their sentences.

The Daily Mail on Monday published the list which shows Jamaica holding the dubious number one position with 942 prisoners.

Nigeria is next with 727 followed by the Irish Republic with 681.

According to the article, Prime Minister Cameron, who is to spearhead a cost cutting drive, plans to tear up agreements that convicts cannot be returned home without their consent.

The article goes on to note that it costs British taxpayers £38,000 to keep someone in jail for a year, a figure that is higher than the cost to send a pupil to the prestigious Eton College.

And while the Prime Minister's move may be stymied by human rights laws, the article insisted that Mr. Cameron is determined to do everything in his power to get as many foreigners sent back to their countries of origin as possible.

Mr. Cameron is expected to speak to his counterparts in various countries and believes this will have an important effect.





Yendi Phillipps is the new American Toyota girl

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Yes, Yendi has done it again! The Jamaican beauty face could be seen on US network television in the new North American Toyota campaign in a lead role.

Shot in Hollywood for Toyota's producers by well-known film director Hype Williams, this commercial is one of several Jamaican, regional and international projects being undertaken by Yendi who was placed second at the Miss Universe in Las Vegas this past August.

Specially managed by Pulse's Kingsley Cooper, in consultation with Invyte Productions, licensees for Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi has booked several assignments in the months since Las Vegas and has been travelling to the wider Caribbean and the United States to complete these assignments.

Phillipps is in hot demand globally for appearances, event hosting, speaking engagements, commercials and film roles. While she is not at liberty to disclose most of these assignments due to contractual 'gag' orders, she will, however, be able to announce a number of them, once they have been released.

No stranger to the international spotlight, Yendi was a finalist at Miss World 2007 in China, prior to her dramatic success at Miss Universe. In Sanya, China, Yendi was the only contestant to make all five fast-track competition finals.

Over the years, Yendi Amira Phillipps has added a wide range of credits to her résumé.

These include the Pepsi Refresh commercial in the US and the Sprite campaign in India. She has been a special guest on the Food Network show Throw down with Bobby Flay and has been host/presenter of Movie Hang Time and Digicel's Rising Stars in Kingston.

Yendi has done extensive runway work and her covers and editorial credits include several Caribbean and international publications, such as Skywritings magazine, Caribbean Beat magazine, Woman & Home, Fair Lady, Buzz, Collage, Soul, Basia, Ocean Style among several others.

Since her success at Miss Universe, requests for interviews, editorials and appearances have come from almost every corner of the globe.

In this regard, relocation to Los Angeles, alternating with New York and Atlanta has become a real possibility for the beauty queen.





Serani’s Skip To My Luu hits Hot 97

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Serani's career continues on an upward path as his popular dancefloor track Skip to My Luu, featuring Ding Dong and Razz n Biggy, has been added to daytime rotation on America's #1 radio station HOT 97 in New York.

It's a phenomenal feat for Serani as it is his third single to get added to mainstream daytime radio in the US in the last 2 years, following on from the Billboard-charting No Games and She Loves Me.

"It really is all about hard work," said Serani. "I've been putting in the groundwork over the last two years, constantly being out there on the road. We've been working Skip for a while at radio and now its paying off. HOT 97 always shows Reggae and Dancehall a lot of love and kudos to them for introducing Dancehall records to the mainstream."

Skip to My Luu is a fun track based off the dance of the same name that was #1 in Jamaica earlier this year and still a staple at dances across the globe. It crossed into American clubs over the last couple of months and was then picked up by US radio. Skip to My Luu was produced by top tier production trio Daseca.

"It looks good so far," he said. "Crossover stations in New York, Connecticut, Philly, Boston and Miami are all showing the record some love so we are looking to take it to the next level and get the record added in those markets next. I've got a lot of promotional appearances coming up to support the Skip movement"





$300000 USD new figure for Banton’s bond

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Buju Banton continues to get a fight from the persecution as he tries to resolve the issues surrounding his bail in his ongoing drug battle.



New details are that, the court has increased Buju’s bail from $250,000US dollars to $300,000.00US. In addition to that, the magistrate has ordered that the security company post a $25,000.00US bond.


Buju, who still remain behind bars, was given bail under strict conditions. The international reggae entertainer will be placed under 24-hour surveillance with the costs being paid by the defense, he will have to sign a waiver of extradition, undergo random drug testing, wear a GPS ankle bracelet and surrender his passport.

Buju Banton has been in lockup since December 10 of last year. The Gargamel is expected to go before the courts for a retrial in his high profile drug battle against the United States government in February 2011.


Bwoy di DJ caan get a break, look like dem really want to break him down. Buju, yuh did know what yuh singing bout when you sey is not an easy road…inna your case it bumpy nuh hell.





Cuban plane crash leaves all 68 dead

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A state airliner filled with Cubans and travellers from Europe and Latin America crashed and burst into flames in a mountainous area after declaring an emergency and losing contact with air traffic controllers. All 40 Cubans and 28 foreigners aboard died, authorities announced early today.


AeroCaribbean Flight 883 was en route from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba to the capital when it reported an emergency at 5:42 pm local time yesterday, then lost contact with air traffic controllers. It went down near the village of Guasimal in Santi Spiritus province, carrying 61 passengers and a crew of seven.

Cuba's Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement hours later saying there were no survivors. It released a list of passengers that included nine Argentines, seven Mexicans, three Dutch citizens, two Germans, two Austrians, a French citizen, an Italian, a Spaniard, a Venezuelan and a Japanese. The seven member crew were all Cuban, as were 33 passengers.

A photo posted on the website of the local newspaper, Escambray, showed a large piece of the plane in flames, with rescue workers in olive-green military uniforms standing around it. It said the local Communist Party chief as well as Interior Ministry and other officials were at the scene helping with the effort.

The twice-a-week flight goes from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Santiago de Cuba to Havana. State media said that the plane was an ATR-72 twin turboprop and that the crash site was not far from the Zaza reservoir, the largest in Cuba. It said authorities had mobilized doctors and emergency workers in the rural area, which is about 220 miles (350 kilometers) east of Havana.

At Havana's national terminal, relatives of those on board the plane were kept isolated from other passengers and journalists.

"This is very sad," Caridad de las Mercedes Gonzalez, who was manning an airport information desk, said before officials announced that everyone had been killed. "We are very worried. This has taken us by surprise."

State media gave no details on what happened to the airliner, saying only that the cause of the crash was being investigated.





Wake for Gregory Isaacs held in the UK

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Hundreds of fans along with entertainers lit candles, chanted bible verses and brought flowers at a wake in honour of the late Gregory Issacs in London Tuesday night.

Among those paying tribute were singer A. J. Franklin, who described Isaacs as a loved icon whose fans have been hit hard by his passing as he was loved by the people.

Dennis Alcapone, who performed with Isaacs in the early days, remembered the entertainer as one of the sweetest singer to have come out of Jamaica.

Gregory Issacs died on October 25 in London.

He lost his battle with lungs cancer, a year after being diagnosed.

He was 59 years old.

Isaac's funeral service is to be held in North London on November 10 before his body is flown back to Jamaica the following day for burial.





Trinidad PM is something else

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Can you imagine! I was watching the news and saw Trinidad’s female Pm saying they won’t help any CARICOm countires unless something is in it for them. Well maybe we should all remind her that we all need to lean on each other.


How about not supporting the Trinidadian businesses in the various CARICOM countries. Let’s see if Jamaicans and other CARICOM countries start boycotting anything that has its origin from Trinidad what would Miss PM say to that?






Jah Cure robbed in Dominica

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Reggae artiste Jah Cure was robbed in Dominica while there for a show on Sunday, October 31.

"It was unconditional disappointment, not unconditional love for me," the artiste said on a radio station in Roseau on Monday.

He told the listeners that the stolen items were in his bag in the hotel room and he thought it to be safe.

The singer, whose real name is Siccature Alcock, gave no indication as to the value of the stolen items, but said his room had been entered into by someone using a master key while his entire entourage was on stage.

"I still love Dominica and I will return," he said.

Jah Cure also urged listeners to help the police in the investigations.

Police said they had questioned several individuals at the hotel.

The Jamaican was one of the headline performers on the last day of the 14th World Creole Music Festival at the Windsor Park Stadium on Sunday





Another delay in Buju’s trial

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The retrial of international reggae singer Buju Banton is being delayed until February at the defense’s request.

Buju's defense attorneys are reported to have said that the singer hopes to make bail for the holidays.

In addition, a December trial date reportedly would have been bad for the defense attorney and witnesses.

The government did not oppose the delay.

Last Wednesday, a judge set new bail conditions for the entertainer which included a US$300,000 bond secured by the Miami-Dade County home of Stephen Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley.

A security company must also post a separate US$25,000 bond to keep Buju on house arrest at his home in Tamarac, Florida; fit him with a GPS monitor and install new locks and an alarm system at his house.

Buju would not get the keys or the alarm code.

Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, 37, is charged with conspiracy to possess five kilograms, or 11 pounds of cocaine, with intent to distribute.

His first trial ended in a mistrial in September.





Hurricane Tomas take two lives in St Lucia

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St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King told a local radio station that an unidentified American tourist drowned Saturday at Cas En Bas beach in the island's north and a 31-year-old St. Lucian woman also died in a road accident during the passage of Hurricane Tomas over the weekend.

High winds ripped the roofs off a hospital, a school and a stadium and toppled a large concrete cross from the roof of a century-old church, St Lucian government officials said. A landslide blocked a main highway linking the capital to the island's south.

The island was deluged by 21 hours of sustained rain starting Saturday morning. On Sunday, dead animals floated in swollen rivers and people in the capital of Castries took to streets to clear fallen branches, broken glass and other debris.

Authorities in neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines also said two workers were hospitalised after they were blown off a roof by high winds.

St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said fierce winds tore roofs from scores of homes and more than 1,000 people sought emergency shelter as the islands plunged into darkness. Widespread flooding triggered landslides that cut off as many as 30 roads, marooning hundreds of residents.

"I have been told that over 300 houses have suffered some level of damage," Gonsalves said Sunday. "There is also serious damage to fruit trees, bananas and other infrastructure, and this is going to cost the state millions."

Meanwhile Hurricane Tomas weakened yesterday after ripping through the eastern Caribbean. Forecasters said the storm could regain force and veer toward earthquake-stunned Haiti, where some 1.3 million people living under tarps and in tents are vulnerable to heavy rains and wind.

With maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), Tomas was barely a hurricane. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted more weakening during the next 24 hours before it begins to strengthen again around midweek.

Daniel Brown, a center forecaster, said Tomas is "likely to strengthen when it's over the central Caribbean," and Haiti could be hit by rains from outer bands in another couple of days.

Late yesterday afternoon, Tomas' center was steaming west near 12 mph (19 kph). It was expected to continue on that track for the next two days, then gradually turn toward the north.

Brown said it's too early to say how strong Tomas could be later in the week or if Haiti might suffer a direct hit, but "there's certainly going to be the threat of heavy rainfall" in the impoverished nation, where widespread deforestation and ramshackle homes mean even moderate rains can cause devastation.

Aid workers in Haiti fear the worst. Hundreds of thousands of people there have only rudimentary shelter nearly 10 months after the Jan. 12 earthquake, and a cholera epidemic has killed more than 330 and hospitalised nearly 5,000.

At least 20,000 people were without power on Martinique, and streets flooded and tree branches were down. A cruise ship carrying nearly 2,000 tourists docked instead in Dominica.

Tomas also toppled power lines and damaged houses in Barbados as a tropical storm.

In Haiti, food and fuel were being stockpiled in southern areas expected to be most directly affected by Tomas, and emergency shelter materials were being distributed to the camps in Port-au-Prince.

Tomas is the 12th hurricane of the season in the Atlantic.





Stephen Marley puts up his house for Buju

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They say good friend is better than pocket money and in deejay Buju Banton's case this is especially true as Stephen Marley has put up his Miami Dade house for bond in an effort to secure his friend Buju Banton's release from the Pinellas County Jail.

Two weeks ago Banton was offered bail with stringent conditions by United States Magistrate, Anthony Porcelli as he awaits a second trial for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine.

One of the conditions stipulated that Banton had to secure a US$250,000 bond which was co-signed by his friend Joseph Chavalier, who had put up his St Petersburg home as security for the bond.

However, an appraisal of Chavalier's property revealed that its value was less than the US$250,000.

Stephen Marley then stepped up to fill the breach and has offered his house as security.

"Mr Myrie hereby notifies the Court that Stephen Marley, well-known entertainer and son of Bob Marley, and his wife Kertia DeCosta Marley, are willing to substitute as the signator for the bond in lieu of Mr Chavalier. His property is located in Miami-Dade county and has an approximate equity of $350,000.

As evidence, Mr Myrie will provide the Court with a recent appraisal of the residence, a title search, a copy of deed and mortgages, outstanding mortgage balances, and affidavits from Mr Marley and his wife," court documents filed by Markus stated.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is set to return to the US Gibbons Court today to show that he has met the bail requirements.

He must wear a tracking device and must have a security detail at all times. Under US law, the defendant must bear the cost of the security detail.

Myrie has contacted two private security companies willing to provide the service but they have been rejected by lead prosecutor James Preston who contends that the detail must include off-duty police officers.

But Markus contends that hiring off-duty cops is too expensive and is an additional burden to his client.

A representative of the security companies, the Florida Agency Of Investigations Inc based in Key Largo, Florida, will be present at the hearing today.

The other company is Guardian Professional Security, which is located in Hollywood, Florida.

If Banton secures bail his attorney will immediately seek a bond in the Immigration Court as his entertainment visa was revoked upon his arrest.

He will also have to sign an extradition waiver.









United States R&B singer Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds is set to perform at National Indoor Sports Centre on November 13.

This is a benefit concert organized by United Way with the hope of raising awareness and money.

The show will be produced by Turnkey Productions and will be a signature event in the series of activities taking place during United Way Week from November 8 to 14 which commemorates 25 years of service in Jamaica.

Edmonds is a 10-time Grammy winner with 11 solo albums.

His music has crossed several boundaries and genres, as he has written and produced songs for many artistes including Prince, Al Green, Beyoncé, Diana Ross, Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, Paula Abdul, Tevin Campbell, Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J Blige, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Kenny G, and Lil Wayne, among others.

According to Marcia McDonnough, Marketing Manager of Turnkey Productions and volunteer on the Communications Committee of the United Way, Mr. Edmonds is an ideal icon to help to celebrate the establishment of an organisation such as the United Way of Jamaica.

"In trying to assist the United Way in planning their celebratory and fund-raising activities for this year, it seemed like a perfect match.

A superstar such as Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, who is so well loved in Jamaica, would naturally be able to help us not only raise funds, but also help to raise the awareness for the work that is done by this organisation.

We also know that many persons missed seeing him at the Jazz and Blues Festival and so this is the perfect opportunity for all his fans to come out and spend an evening with him," she said.

Jamaican Diana King, well known for her first hit single Shy Guy, will also perform at the show, providing a thrill to fans who have not seen her in perform locally for some time.

Fast-rising group Nomaddz and the Silver Bird Steel Orchestra, well known especially on the North Coast for their exciting and stimulating performances, and for twice winning the World Championship of the Performing Arts, join the line-up along with Abdel Wright.





Stephen Marley prepared to post bail for Buju Banton

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Stephen Marley, son of music legend Bob Marley, has reportedly offered to post his South Florida home as bond to get reggae star Buju Banton out of jail.

According to the Tampa Tribune newspaper, Buju's attorney Tuesday notified a Florida Court of the offer.

The property is valued at US$350,000.

The newspaper says outstanding matters relating to bail granted to the entertainer, whose given name is Mark Myrie, will be heard today in court.

Stephen Marley is a Grammy winner who beat Buju for best reggae album this year.

As a non-citizen of the United States, the Immigration Court will have to decide if Buju can remain in the US as an undocumented resident since his visa was revoked at the time of his arrest.





Buju back in court tomorrow

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International reggae superstar, Mark 'Buju Banton' Myrie will be heading back to the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court for the matter of his bail bond to be reviewed by Magistrate Judge Anthony E Porcelli tomorrow.


According to reports, the four-time Grammy nominee and his legal team are in a disagreement with the prosecution over the security company they want to hire for Banton’s round-the-clock security detail.


As part of his bail conditions, it was stipulated that Banton be placed under house arrest, have a 24-hour security detail, at his expense, and wear an electronic monitoring device. The security detail is to ensure that Banton does not violate the terms of his house arrest.


Judge Porcelli had also ruled that the government agree with whatever security arrangement Banton is putting in place.


Buju Banton was offered bail in the sum of $250,000 bail after his cocaine and gun trial ended in September with a hung jury.





Despite Bail, Buju still behind bars

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More than a week after international reggae star, Buju Banton was granted bail in a Florida court in the United States, the artiste remains behind bars.

Buju, whose given name is Mark Myrie, has been in custody since December charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

It has been over a week since the dreadlocked artiste was granted US$250,000 bail, nearly three weeks after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in his trial.

The Judge also ordered, at Buju's expense, that he be placed under house arrest, employ 24-hour security and wear a monitoring device.

Buju’s lead attorney David Markus explained in a radio interview that the defence has been ensuring that he is in a position to satisfy the bail conditions.

He will then appear in Immigration Court to see if he will be allowed bond.

As a non citizen of the United States, the Immigration Court will have to decide if he can remain in the US as an undocumented resident since his visa was revoked at the time of his arrest.

If Buju fails to secure bond, he will be deported.

Mr. Markus says the team is hopeful that he will be able to meet all the criteria to secure bail next week.

The four time Grammy nominee was arrested at his Tamarac home in December and slapped with charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute five kilograms of cocaine and possession of a firearm.

A new trial is to take place in December.









Gyptian received his trophy for the 2010 MOBO Award live during the ceremony at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Tuesday, October 20, 2010.

Awarded the 'Best Reggae Artist of the Year,' Gyptian took the stage to accept his prestigious statue infront of a packed house and millions viewing around the world.

"It's an overwhelming feeling winning my first international award," reveals an elated Gyptian. "Give thanks to VP Records, miles ahead in reggae, give thanks to my fans, my management and everyone who has been supporting me on this incredible journey."

Gyptian's singles "Hold You" and "Nah Let Go" and the respective videos have been receiving steady airplay across the UK ever since the release of his album, Hold You, from VP Records in July 2010.

He is currently touring Europe and took a quick break to attend the MOBO Awards, which was televised live on BBC 3. Gyptian resumes his tour tonight, opening for Omarion in Manchester, and will also join Mary J. Blige for her UK tour in November, opening for her London and Birmingham shows.

Gyptian now heads to the Soul Train Awards on November 10 in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is nominated for "Best Reggae Artist" and will also be a featured performer during the show, airing on BET and CENTRIC on November 28 at 9pm.


The Music of Black Origin or MOBO Awards are held annually in the U.K. and is the first awards show in Europe to honor urban music. It attracts the largest primetime multicultural audience and reaches over 250 million people, worldwide. Gyptian shared the nomination with fellow VP Records artist, Gappy Ranks.





Heavy flooding kills 10 in Haiti

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Heavy flooding in Haiti has killed at least 10 persons after rivers burst their banks in the capital, Port-Au-Prince, following torrential rains.

Several residents were reported missing.

Displaced people living at a tent city for the victims of the January earthquake were strengthening their makeshift homes to cope with the bad weather.








VP Records recording artiste, Gyptian, continues to rack up nominations this awards' season with his nomination for 'Best Reggae Artist' at this year's Soul Train Awards.

The reggae singer will also be performing live at the awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, November 10 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hosted by Oscar-nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, the Soul Train Awards will premiere on both CENTRIC and BET on Sunday, November 28 at 9pm.

Gyptian joins a hotlist of the top entertainers in music today at CENTRIC's second undertaking of the annual awards, including Alicia Keys and Usher who both lead the pack with four nominations, Drake with three nods, and Monica, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu and Sade with two each.

Also joining Gyptian on stage for live performances are Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Keyshia Cole, R. Kelly, Badu, Cee-Lo and more, proving to be an exciting night for music and for reggae's reigning star.

Gyptian currently has two songs in rotation on radio with his breakout hit "Hold You" and his new smash "Nah Let Go," both singles from his current album, Hold You, released from VP Records in July 2010.

With a solid foundation and fan base, the versatile entertainer now sees his international acclaim grow, and has already seen collaborations with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Busta Rhymes and Mary J. Blige, and will be joining Blige for her UK tour on November 2-3 in England.

This is the second major award nomination for Gyptian, as he's also nominated for the 2010 MOBO Award in the UK, also for 'Best Reggae Artist.' He will be attending the MOBO Awards on Wednesday, October 20 in Liverpool, England.






Beenie Man, Ruff Cut to perform in Zimbabwe

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Jamaican dancehall artiste Moses Davis, more popularly known as Beenie Man, left the island with the Ruff Cut band on Tuesday for the African nation of Zimbabwe.


Beenie Man has been confirmed for one show only and will perform at the Lion Lager Summer Festival to be held at the Old Hararians Sports Club on Saturday, October 16.


The deejay, whose United States visa was revoked earlier this year, and who has seen a shrink in his global market owing to his anti-gay lyrics, has been enjoying success with a number of songs in rotation.

He and Ruff Cut are scheduled to return to the island next week,
This is just time for the Arthur Guinness celebration where he and fellow dancehall deejay, Bounty Killer, whose given name is Rodney Price, will be performing on the same stage






Buju offered bail but still in custody

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It is not clear exactly when embattled reggae artiste, Buju Banton, will be released from the US jail which has been his home for several months. This, despite being offered US$250,000 bail in a US Federal Court on Thursday.


Banton’s bail bond, which was secured by the equity in a friend's house, has not yet been posted and there is the issue of an immigration bond which has to be posted to prevent the entertainer from being deported. Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie has no legal status in the US as his visas were revoked following his arrest on cocaine charges there last December.


As part of the bail condition, the four-time Grammy nominee will have to wear an electronic monitor, and undergo drug testing.And there are also costs to the defence that are associated with the bail bond.
The round-the-clock security detail to scrutinise his every move, which the court has ordered, will have to be paid for by a cash-strapped Buju Banton.


Buju can only leave the house, accompanied by his security detail, to meet his lawyer, go to court, see the doctor or pick up prescribed medicine.


A pre-trial services officer will also have to approve every trip ahead of time or Buju will go back to jail.


US Magistrate, Judge Anthony Porcelli, said if Buju made bail, he would essentially be under house arrest at his home in Tamarac in Broward County as the court's main concern is a risk of flight.


If Buju's attorney manages to make the arrangements, the US government still could request another hearing before he is released.
Last month, a federal judge declared a mistrial, after jurors said they were deadlocked on charges that Buju conspired to buy five kilograms of cocaine.





Buju gets bail

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JAILED Reggae artiste Buju Banton was this afternoon offered $250,000 bail in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in the United States.

But Banton, real name Mark Myrie, is still not in the clear as his lawyer David Oscar Markus will now have to seek bond in the immigration court to prevent his deportation to Jamaica. Banton’s entertainment visa was revoked when he was arrested last December.

As part of Banton's bail condition, he will have to wear a monitoring device and will be subject to house arrest and 24 hour security, to be paid for by the defence.

He can only leave his house for meetings with his attorney and for doctors’ appointments and to purchase medication. He will also be subjected to drug testing.

Source: Jamaica Observer







Bob Marley's Buffalo Soldier played as Victor Zamora Burgueno, one of 33 miner trapped underground in Chile since August 5, was rescued on Wednesday.

Burgueno, the 14th miner to be rescued, is a huge fan of Marley and to celebrate his safe rescue, a global news station played the song.

The last of the 33 miners trapped deep underground in northern Chile for more than two months has been rescued.

Luis Urzua, the shift supervisor who was credited with helping the men survive the first 17 days before rescue teams made contact, was greeted by his family and President Sebastian Pinera.

The six rescuers sent down to assist the miners must now be lifted through the hole in the cave.

Many of the miners have severe dental infections and some have eye problems.

One has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

However, Health Minister Jaime Manalich, stressed that all appeared to be in far better condition than expected.

The men were trapped underground when a rockfall caused a tunnel to collapse.

President Pinera meanwhile says he believed the rescue operation would change his country's image in the world.





Another step in Buju’s bail hearing Thursday

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Magistrate Anthony Porcelli will on Thursday hear follow up arguments before he makes a decision on bail for Reggae star Buju Banton at the US Gibbons Court in Tampa, Florida, a newspaper has reported.


Banton's attorney David Markus had last week applied for bail for his client after a 12 member panel of jurors failed to arrive at a united verdict which resulted in the singer's trial for drug-related offenses ending in a mistrial.


He is set to be re-tried in December and Markus is seeking to have his client released until the trial starts. But Banton's immigration status has caused some worry as he is likely to be picked up by immigration authorities even if he is granted bail.


But United States prosecutor James Preston is not letting up and has asked the court to throw out Markus' application without a hearing.
Banton , whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been in jail since December when he was arrested at his Tamarac home in South Florida on cocaine conspiracy charges.


Mack and Thomas have signed plea deal arrangements and will be sentenced next month.


The singer's supporters and fans have started a drive to get 15,000 signatures on a petition to US Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to step in and thwart the prosecution's bid to keep him languishing in jail.









Duane Stephenson was recently invited by the World Food Programme (WFP) to perform in honour of the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The event took place at the George McGovern Leadership Award ceremony in Washington, DC.


Stephenson was at the tail end of his US tour with the Wailers, and the two parties previously teamed up for a song that manifested a partnership with the WFP. "The Wailers and I are partners with the World Food Programme," says Stephenson. "Our song A Step for Mankind has helped to spread the message of the need for more action in addressing the issue of world hunger."


Duane Stephenson and US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, meet in Washington, DC during a World Food Programme award ceremony.


Stephenson was thus invited to perform at the ceremony that included political dignitaries and social activists from around the world at the prestigious event, where Secretary Clinton was presented with The George McGovern Leadership Award for her work to curb global hunger.


Stephenson reveals he is humbled and excited by the experience. "It's so inspiring to be in the company of global politicians and dedicated corporate partners who share the same values and aspirations to eradicate hunger," states Stephenson.

"Food is a common bond that unites every single life form on this planet, we all require it to live, yet a billion people each night go to bed hungry and 25,000 of them die."
Stephenson disclosed his work with the World Food Programme will continue as he sees the issue of world hunger as one that is very important to him.

"I was happy to be there to see Secretary Clinton get this award as she has fought for this issue for years now.

Hunger affects a billion of our brothers, sisters and children in 80 countries. This award will bring added attention and raise awareness of the issue."


Duane Stephenson just wrapped up touring the US as the opening act for the legendary Wailers, and promoting his sophomore album Black Gold, released by VP Records on September 28, 2010.





Buju Banton still waiting

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It's not an easy road for embattled reggae entertainer Buju Banton who patiently awaits a decision for bail.


Last month Buju’s lawyer filed a motion for bond. However, after the bail hearing last week, the judge felt he needed time to access the arguments made by the prosecution and the defense before his final decision.


As previously reported, a mistrial was declared in Buju Banton’s ongoing drug battle against the United States government after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.


The Gargamel, who has been in custody since December 10 of last year, had his entertainment visa revoked upon his arrest.


Buju Banton’s lawyer David Markus in his application for bail stated that the entertainer is not a flight risk or a threat to the community.


However, The Gargamel's court battle does not end there, as if Buju is granted bail he will then be turned over to immigration authorities where another bail hearing will take place, which means, long days still ahead.






Six medals for JA at Commonwealth Games

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Jamaica's medal count at the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India stands at six after Lansford Spence, Nickeisha Wilson and Sheree Francis landed silver and bronze respectively on Sunday's seventh day of competition.

This puts Jamaica is 13th position in the overall medal standings with two gold, three silver and one bronze.

Australia continues to lead all countries with 137 medals including 61 gold.

Spence, 28, who is better known as a quarter-miler, turned in the performance of his life in the 200 metres in Delhi, to produce 20.60 seconds in the heats, 20.54 seconds in the semifinals and 20.49 seconds, which got him on the podium.

Leon Baptiste of England took the gold in 20.45 seconds.

Rasheed Dwyer missed out on a spot in the final after finishing fifth in the semifinals in 21.13 seconds.





Tight hold put on artistes by VP Record

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VP Records is showing their strength in the reggae industry.


According to a letter released from the company’s director of business affairs Alexander Threadgold, anyone who desire to exploit master recordings embodying the performances of VP records artistes must request and explicitly obtain from VP a waiver of exclusivity which VP may elect to grant or not grant in its sole discretion.


Some of the entertainers listed by VP Records include Beres Hammond, Assassin, Bounty Killa, Busy Signal, Capleton, Elephant Man, Gyptain, I-Wayne, Luciano, Sean Paul, Queen Ifrika and a host of others.






Second Bahamian plane crash

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Four Bahamian passengers were treated at a Florida hospital for injures sustained in a plane crash on Wednesday.

It was the second such incident in a week.

Eight people died on Tuesday when a charter flight crashed into a Lake after taking off from the capital Nassau.

"It's an unfortunate coincidence with these two things happening one behind the other. If you look at the number of take offs and landing within the commonwealth of the Bahamas, this is a very small fraction of the numbers and our volume is much higher than anybody else in the region in terms of people traveling by air," said Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation in the Bahamas.

"From everything we've seen, there's really no reason to be concerned about the level of air safety in the Bahamas as it is obvious from the absence of incidents over a long period of time, that it's generally very, very safe. We have a great group of people working in the civil aviation to make sure that we maintain a high safety record," he added.






Gyptian joins Mary J Blige on UK tour

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Reggae star Gyptian continues to sizzle this year as he now joins forces with the iconic Mary J. Blige.


Gyptian will be breaking from his tour schedule to join the R&B queen on the England leg of her UK tour. He takes the stage on November 2 at The O2 Arena in London, the same venue Michael Jackson was slated to headline for his infamous 'This Is It' concert. Gyptian then heads with Blige to the LG Arena in Birmingham on November 3, before resuming his own tour.

Gyptian has been touring consistently since releasing his current album Hold You this summer, even joining Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Nas on several dates of their recent 'Distant Relatives' tour in the US.


Gyptian was enlisted for Blige's new single, “Anything You Want”, which is expected to be on her new album. The reggae-infused track also features Busta Rhymes and has been receiving steady airplay since its release in early September.
This exciting concert collaboration was secured by Planet Reggae, the new booking division of VP Records/Greensleeves Records, with AEG, the world's #1 concert production company.


"These are the opportunities that come about by having the #1 record label in reggae enter the live-touring business," states Neil Robertson, head of Planet Reggae. "Our brand lends credibility and comfort for the major international talent buyers.

When you combine that with a great artist like Gyptian and a manager like Ivor Ruddock, who both understand the bigger picture, you can expect more high profile opportunities which are good for the whole genre."


Gyptian has been heating up the UK scene recently, with his performance at BBC Radio 1Xtra Live in late September, and will return on October 20 for the MOBO Awards, where he's nominated for 'Reggae Artist of the Year.'





Bail hearing for Buju today

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Once again everyone will be tuning in to the media, internet, wherever they can get news on the latest happenings in the Buju Banton case.


The will find out today if he will be granted bail by a United States court. Banton has been in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in Tampa, Florida; for almost 10 months after being hauled out of his South Florida home in December last year.


His attorney David Oscar Markus, last week filed a motion for his client to be granted bail citing that he was not a flight risk because of his popularity. Markus also said that he would apply for a bond in an Immigration Court if Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was granted bail.


Banton...bail hearing set for today.


But US prosecutor James Preston, has lodged an objection to the artiste being granted bail and requested that the bail application be flung out of the US Gibbons Court without further hearing.

Yardflex will keep you posted on the latest development.





Duane Stephenson invited to honour Hillary Clinton

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Duane Stephenson has been invited by the World Food Programme to The George McGovern Leadership Award ceremony for United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday October 5 in Washington DC.


Stephenson is being invited to join the WFP's Board of Directors, US Congressional Committee Members and Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Office of the Secretary of State, Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley.

At the prestigious event, US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be presented with The George McGovern Leadership Award for her work in addressing the issue of global hunger. This award is given to individuals who have done stellar work in tackling the issue and Mrs Clinton is the tenth awardee.


Stephenson says he is humbled and excited at the same time: "It's so inspiring to be in the company of global leaders and dedicated corporate partners who share the same values and aspirations to eradicate hunger.

Food is a common bond that unites every single life form on this planet, we all require it to live, yet a billion people each night go to bed hungry and 25,000 of them die," he stated.



Stephenson continued, "the Wailers and I are partners with the World Food Programme and our song, A Step for Mankind, has helped to spread the message of the need for more action in addressing the issue of world hunger".


The young Reggae act says his work with the World Food Programme will continue as he sees the issue of world hunger as one that is very important to him.

Duane Stephenson is currently touring the US promoting his sophomore album Black Gold which was released on September 28.

Black Gold follows Stephenson's debut album, From August Town which was release by VP Records in 2007 and was hailed as one of that year's best reggae albums.






Kartel was a hit Amsterdam Reggae Festival

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Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel is back on the island after an impressive performance at the second annual Amsterdam Reggae Festival in Europe.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adijah Palmer, was reportedly one of the most anticipated acts at the festival with people placing bets on whether or not he would actually perform.

However, Kartel had the crowd on his side when he introduced himself to the audience in French, by declaring "Je M'apelle Kartel" before delivering a powerful performance.

Although he is not able to go to the United States, the dancehall artiste is set to fly off to Suriname in November to perform on another big show.





Marley for Education

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As the 2010 – 2011 school year kicks into full gear, the Bob Marley Foundation continues to support the educational needs of rural and inner city youths.

’Marley for Education’ the educational project funded by the Bob Marley Foundation has already paid out grants and awarded full and partial scholarships to students from inner city communities in Kingston & St. Catherine. The Foundation has assisted with their tuition fees, auxiliary fees, books and uniforms.



Mrs. Jacqueline Lynch – Stewart, the General Manager of The Bob Marley Foundation noted that “We are pleased to be able to perpetuate Bob’s legacy through the assistance provided to these students by his Foundation.”



In his childhood, the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, O.M. attended Stepney Primary and Junior High which is located on the outskirts of his hometown, Nine Mile, St. Ann.



The Bob Marley Foundation’s main mandate is to keep the name, image and legacy of the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley O.M. alive and to continue the caring, loving and giving spirit of this great Jamaican Reggae Music Legend.






The state Department of Children and Families could have done more to protect a Riviera Beach family from an angry and violent man who killed his wife and four step-children and later killed himself Monday, according to the top agency official in Palm Beach County.


Perry Borman, DCF southeast regional director, told reporters Tuesday during a telephone conference that after investigating Patrick Alexander Dell, 41, in January for allegedly attacking his wife Natasha Whyte-Dell, 36, with a knife at a neighbor's house in December, the agency could have taken over a half dozen steps to guarantee the family's safety.


DCF officials could have followed up with the family's neighbors or relatives regarding Dell's aggressive behavior toward his wife, or could have inquired about another five domestic disturbance calls that were made from the Dell home to law enforcement before the December incident, Borman said.


Instead, the agency's investigation was closed after 30 days and concluded the children were not at "significant risk", Borman added.
"As a result of looking at this case and talking to folks involved and our management team, we have sort of uncovered some opportunities that we could have had in January that we think are missed opportunities," Borman said.


Borman also said the department's child protective investigator who looked into the abuse allegation at the Dell household in January has been placed on administrative leave, after he was arrested Sept. 14 in Plantation on charges of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.


The investigator, George Allen Shahood, 43, who is the son of retired Fourth District Court of Appeal Chief Judge George A. Shahood, was first arrested in March on battery charges. DCF removed him from investigating cases, but reinstated him a week later after the charges were dropped, according to Borman.


But charges were re-filed this month, and Borman said Shahood was placed on administrative leave after his most recent arrest.
In his investigative report, Shahood said all seven children seemed to be well taken care of and happy to be living with their parents. Both parents said they would never harm the children, he said.
Borman said he did not want to speculate whether Shahood's domestic violence accusation interferred with his work as a child protective investigator.



"I think this case and what has transpired has given us a lot more to think about in terms of the actions that we take when in fact someone is arrested, irrespective of what the charge is," Borman said.


Dell shot and killed his wife and four step-children, and then shot himself, according to police. Whyte-Dell's 15-year-old son, Ryan Bartnett, was the only survivor of the attack, and is being treated for a gunshot wound to the neck. The couple's 1 and 3-year-old kids were unharmed.


According to Borman, Shahood's investigation in January, prompted by a call to the agency's abuse hotline, was the first time DCF had contact with the Dell family, even though Dell's violent behavior and conflicts with his wife had been chronicled in court records and police reports for the past three years.


Borman said he wonders why DCF was not notified of the restraining order issued by a judge to Whyte-Dell in May, and said the county's Domestic Violence Steering Committee was inquiring.


County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, who on Tuesday sat through Borman's presentation about DCF's yearly activities in the county, questioned whether extending the agency's investigating period from 30 to 60 days would have made a difference.


"If the kids maybe had been removed when this man came in May, the children might be alive today," she said.


Records show Whyte-Dell asked a county judge for a restraining order against Dell in April 2008, citing abusive behavior. She said Dell would yell and swear at her and that her son Ryan would try to intervene.


Whyte-Dell filed for divorce three times between 2007 and 2008, but voluntarily dismissed each case, according to court documents. In December, Dell was arrested after attacking his wife and another woman with a knife because he suspected Whyte-Dell was cheating on him.


Borman added that this tragedy has created an opportunity to establish a communcation procedure with the county's court system regarding domestic violence cases.

(Source: Palm Beach Post News)






Buju to get answer on bail application October 6

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The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that at least one child was washed away when the house in which the child was living was swept away in Barbican, St Andrew in the vicinity of Burger King.

Buju Banton will have to wait another week to know his fate as it related to spending the next two months incarcerated. Reports are that the hearing on the bail application filed by his lawyer has been scheduled for October 6, at 1:30p.m in Florida before Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.
The prosecution in the case has also been granted until September 30, to file a response to Myrie's Motion for bail.
Buju’s lawyer filed the application on Tuesday after the judge, James Moody, declared a mistrial, when the 12-member jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision in the drug case.
The judge said a new trial is to be held in December on a date to be announced.
The lawyers are trying to secure special dispensation to allow Buju to be out on bail without facing deportation from the United States.
According to legal experts, it would be impossible for Buju to be granted bail as his US visa was cancelled and he has no legal immigration status.
The lawyer reportedly told Judge James Moodie, in giving notice of the bail request, that the Jamaican singer was not a flight risk and did not pose a threat to society.
The lawyer said the court could, if bail is granted, stipulate that the artiste wear a tracking device.
The four-time Grammy nominee, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was facing charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
But after deliberating for 15 hours the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Buju's lawyer said he hopes his client will not have to spend the next three months in county jail in the Tampa area while he awaits re-trial.





Hung Jury in Buju's trial

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The jurors in the Buju Banton trial have just told US Judge Jim Moody that they have failed to come to a unanimous decision despite almost three days of deliberations.

A new trial date is to be set and will be announced today.

Banton's lawyer David Markus has applied for bail for his client and the judge is expected to address the application later today.








After about an hour of discussion on what has been their third day of deliberation, jurors sent a note to U.S. District Judge James Moody telling him about their difficulties, according to an update in the Tampa Bay Online this morning.


"Just for informational purposes," the note said, "we are still split on a decision and after reviewing evidence, nobody has changed their minds from our original vote on Thursday."


The case went to the jury Thursday after closing arguments in a four-day trial. Jurors were allowed to go home for the weekend.


Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been held without bail since his arrest in December on federal drug and weapons charges. The defense maintains Banton, 37, was entrapped. The government is using evidence of conversations Banton had with an informant.








The U.S. drug trial of reggae star Buju Banton is the talk of Jamaica, where islanders are debating his guilt or innocence on street corners, in offices, in letters to the editor and on social networking websites, The Associated Press reported in a story yesterday.


In the Jamaican capital, some people are dissecting every detail of Banton's case, a few even comparing him to the late reggae legend Bob Marley. For others the case is more of a curiosity, a media-fed sensation that distracts from weightier news.


His most ardent fans are talking of conspiracy theories - that he was framed by the U.S. government or gay activists who have protested violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton's career as a brash dancehall singer.


The husky-voiced Rastafarian singer has long been a star in his homeland with the brash reggae-rap hybrid of dancehall music and, more recently, a traditional reggae sound.


"He's a major, major figure here, so his trial has dominated the media and people's conversations," Jamaican musicologist and disc jockey Bunny Goodison said. "He's been extremely important through the years because he's represented Rastafari and black consciousness in a very focused way."


On Friday, a false story that Banton had been found innocent was broadcast on an island radio station. Tumultuous applause broke out at an elite prep school when the rumor was announced as fact on the public address system. People across Kingston spread the false bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.


Banton is charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and aiding two others in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution. He faces up to life in prison.


In closing statements Thursday, Banton's attorney argued that an undercover U.S. government informant managed to connect only the two other men, but not Banton, to the conspiracy. Banton's team of lawyers has tried to prove the singer was a victim of entrapment.


The singer testified that he talked a lot about cocaine with a U.S. government informant, but said he was just trying to impress the man, who claimed to have music industry connections.


Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston argued that Banton's conversations with the informant put the conspiracy into motion. Prosecutors said Banton was an established drug trafficker by the time he met the informant and the singer was looking for "more, new and different money through a new conspiracy he was shopping for" in addition to drug deals he had already financed.



Banton's arrest derailed plans to tour Japan after a tumultuous U.S. tour for his Grammy-nominated 2009 album, "Rasta Got Soul." Shows in several U.S. cities were canceled because of protests over his early homophobic lyrics and unapologetic anti-gay stance through the years.






Twitter trend

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On Friday, Buju made history when he entered Twitter Trends and up to the time it was announced that the jury would reconvene today, he was trending at number six. He became the first reggae act to trend on Twitter.


There was a frenzy on Friday when one website announced erroneously that Banton had been freed. Consequently, from the time the jurors went to lunch at 12 noon, until they called it a day, there were thousands of tweets reporting that “Buju free!”


It is expected that fans and “so called fans” of Buju will again be on high alert today for any and every morsel of information coming out of the Florida courtroom.


Although the jury is still out, many persons are confident that the reggae artiste will indeed walk free.





Will Buju get lucky today?

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Will he or won’t he? That’s the question that ought to be answered today when the 12-m3mb34 jury meets for the third time in a Tampa, Fl courtroom to decide the fate of reggae artiste, Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie.


The cocaine trial of the Grammy-nominated singer took place in Florida last week, and the jury has been deliberating sicne Thurday evening and into Friday without deciding the young man’s fate.


Myrie’s co-defendants in the cocaine conspiracy case have already pleaded guilty and ave co-opertaed with the prosecution. Buju, however, has maintained his innocence and his lawyers say he was entrapped and his only sing was “talking too much”.


The reggae artiste took the stand on Wednesday and declared that he was “scared and embarrassed” and was only trying to impress the man he met on a flight from Spain with talk of drugs runnings. That man turned out to be an informant, who was used to try and bring him down.





Buju fans wait

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Yesterday, since the jury retired to deliberate in the drug case against Reggae artiste, Buju Banton Jamaicans and Buju’s fans all over have been holding their breaths for the outcome. Seems they still have a little longer to wait as the jurors will continue their deliberations this morning.

“Mercy di wait a kill mi. A really want him fi get whey, but mi memba sey a white people him a deal wid so anyting possible,” one ardent Buju fan told Yardflex.

Yardflex will keep you posted the minute a decision is made.









Reggae star Gyptian crosses the pond to wow British fans for the annual BBC Radio 1Xtra Live, taking place at Wembley Arena in London on Saturday, September 25, a release from VP Recrds stated.

Gyptian joins a hotlist of international acts for the annual event that also includes B.O.B and Jason Derulo, in addition to local U.K. acts.


"BBC Radio continues to show me a lot of love," reveals Gyptian. "They've always supported my music and I'm looking forward to performing at 1Xtra Live."

Gyptian will be singing his tunes to even more U.K. fans during his upcoming European tour, which runs from October 13 to November 13.


Gyptian's popularity continues to skyrocket internationally, as the videos for his first smash hit, "Hold You," has now been added into rotation on MTV Base and its Major Lazer remix into play on MTV Dance, over in the UK.

He is also nominated for "Reggae Artist of the Year" at the 2010 MOBO Awards, which takes place in Liverpool on October 20. He will be competing with fellow VP Records artist, Gappy Ranks, for the honour.


Gyptian currently has two singles in rotation on U.S. radio with "Hold You" hitting Top 40 radio on Z100 in New York and his second single, "Nah Let Go" in rotation on New York's HOT97.

The "Nah Let Go" video recently premiered on BET 106 & Park as the "New Joint of the Day," fueling the buzz on this star.





Similac infant formula recall

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WASHINGTON, United States - Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories said today that it is recalling millions of containers of its best-selling Similac infant formula that may be contaminated with insect parts.

The voluntary action affects up to 5 million Similac-brand powder formulas sold in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries. The company said the products may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could cause stomach ache and digestion problems.

The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

A company spokeswoman said Abbott uncovered the insects last week in one section of a manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan.

"We immediately shut down that one area and began an investigation," said Abbott's Melissa Brotz. "We're in the process of resolving it now." Abbott manufactures Similac at several US sites.

Brotz said the company has been consulting with the Food and Drug Administration, which determined there was no "immediate health risk" from the contamination.

Consumers can enter the lot number on their containers online to determine if they are subject to the recall. The products should be returned to Abbott for a full refund.

"Delivering anything less than the highest quality infant formula is unacceptable to us," said Brotz. "We will do whatever is necessary to maintain the trust of parents in the coming weeks."

The affected products were sold in plastic containers and various can sizes, including 8-ounce (227-gram), 12.4-ounce (352-gram) and 12.9-ounce (366-gram).

Similac is the best-selling infant formula in the US Abbott's nutritional products - which include adult brands like Ensure - had sales of US$5.3 billion last year.

Abbott expects to lose US$100 million in connection with the recall. However, the North Chicago, Illinois, company confirmed its third-quarter earnings guidance between US$1.03 and US$1.05 per share.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories fell 16 cents to US$51.99.








Rapper Busta Rhymes is heading to Jamaica. He set to unleash his slew of hits at the Arthur Guinness Celebrations set for Saturday, October 23 at the National Stadium.


The iconic rapper has been added to the already stellar line-up of dancehall and reggae pioneers which includes Grammy award-winning artiste Beenie Man, Shaggy, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Wayne Wonder and Lady Saw.


Rhymes is currently riding high in North America and Europe with his latest album Back on my BS for Universal Motown.


The 38-year-old will be unleashing some of his most recent and timeless hits such as Platinum Grammy-nominated single Whoo Hah, Got You all in Check, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See, as well as number-one hip hop and R&B and number-three pop single What's It Gonna Be, featuring Janet Jackson.


The trip to Jamaica will be Busta Rhymes' second, after his appearance here in the late 1990s at Sting.


Since debuting in 1996 with then group, Leaders of the New School, Rhymes has steadily risen to the top of the rap game with as many as 11 albums and countless television and film appearances dating back to 1993.


His latest album features collaborations with Common, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, TI, Akon, Estelle and T-Pain.





Stephen Marley testifies on behalf of Buju

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Stephen Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley, appeared in court to testify on behal of his friend and colleague, Buju Banton
He said he has known Banton for 19 years and has never known him to be involved with cocaine.


"He's a close friend of mine," Marley said. "I love him."
Marley said Banton is important to Jamaica. Referring to Banton's album "Voice of Jamaica," Marley said, "That really sums up who Buju is to us."
According to prosecutors, Banton introduced Johnson to Thomas, his friend and driver, and then allowed the deal to proceed, keeping himself "in the trenches," away from the action.



The defense contends that although Banton talked a lot and tasted cocaine when the informant surprised him by showing him the drug, he is not a drug trafficker; the deal that transpired among Thomas, Mack and Johnson had nothing to do with Banton.


The trial continues today.





Buju is ‘embarassed … scared’

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Reggae star Buju Banton said he's embarrassed about what he has done, afraid of losing his freedom but innocent of any involvement in drug trafficking, a story in the Tampa Bay Online stated.


"I'm just a humble musician," he testified on Wednesday in his trial on federal drug charges.


An informant's recordings capturing Banton talking about large-scale cocaine deals are all accurate, the Jamaican musician said, but they are just talk.


"I was just talking garbage with him," Banton said, referring to informant Alexander Johnson. "I was just talking straight-up garbage," Tampa Bay Online said in their report.


Banton, 37, testified that he thought Johnson, who introduced himself as "Junior," was funny and likable. Banton said he went to coach class during the flight to check on his band members and then encountered a flight attendant who blocked his return to business class.


He said he was allowed to return to his seat after Johnson interceded and vouched for him.


He said Johnson also told him he knew people in the music business in Los Angeles and might be able to help him.


"I thought I was going to see him because we were talking about my career," Banton said.


When he talked to Johnson about buying and selling cocaine, Banton said, "I was trying to impress this guy, and that's what got me in the hot seat I'm sitting in now."



Asked why he tasted cocaine when shown a kilo of the drug in a Sarasota warehouse, Banton said, "I don't know why I did that. If I could, I would rewind the hands of time."


Banton, a four-time, Grammy-nominee whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been held without bail since his arrest in December. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.


Two codefendants, James Mack and Ian Thomas, have pleaded guilty.






Wyclef Jean Officially Ends Presidential Run

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Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean announced Tuesday he is officially ending his bid to become president of Haiti.


The Grammy-winning artist, who was born in the quake-ravaged country and raised in Brooklyn, will not challenge an electoral commission that deemed him unqualified to run in the Nov. 28 race.

”After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti,” Jean said in a statement.”





Bravo turns down WICB retainer contract

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West Indies vice-captain Dwayne Bravo is one of two players who have turned down central retainer contracts from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

CMC Sports is reporting that the 26-year-old Bravo has joined fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard in not signing the contracts by the September 10 deadline as stipulated by the WICB.

Captain Chris Gayle also failed to sign the contract by the deadline but wrote the WICB asking for an extension which was granted.

However, the other 22 players offered contracts have all signed, paving the way for the cream of West Indies players to be available for international duty.








Yesterday Buju Banton took the witness stand in his cocaine trial and denied that he was a trafficker or a financier of any illicit drug activities.

He admitted two things: that he was naïve, and that he was only "talking crap" when he was recorded telling Government informant Alexander Johnson that he was a drug financier, who was in search of new drug ventures.

Like my mom always say, 'Mark, you talk a lot,' and that is the consequence of it," said the 37-year-old entertainer, whose given name is Mark Myrie, during cross-examination from prosecutor Jim Preston.

Banton said he was ashamed of himself for the things he had said, but told the attentive jurors that "talking crap" did not make him a dealer.

Banton had been eagerly awaiting this moment for the past several months following his arrest last December at his home in Florida. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for life and fined several million dollars.

"Are you guilty of being a cocaine trafficker?" Markus wasted no time in asking.

"No, Sir, I'm not," Banton promptly responded as he went on to deny the charges against him.

"How do you feel?" Markus asked.

"I'm scared," Banton said, managing an awkward smile. "I'm nervous. I've been waiting 10 months."

He was, however, prevented from completing the statement due to an objection from lead prosecutor Jim Preston, which was sustained by Judge Jim Moody.

At Markus' prompting Banton proceeded to recall how he met Johnson on a flight from Madrid, Spain following a tour of the European continent in July 2009 and how he got to like Johnson's company.

He said he and Johnson spoke on a number of topics during the eight-hour flight to Florida, USA and that Johnson was the one who raised the issue of drugs after both men had had a few glasses of wine which Johnson ordered.

He said both men spoke about the entertainment business and Johnson told him that he had contacts within the industry.

Banton testified that before the argument of drugs came up, Johnson had told him that he had a seafood business but that he did "a little thing on the side", which the entertainer took to mean that the "side" enterprise may have been illegal. Banton said his suspicion was further heightened when Johnson pulled a wad of cash from his pocket and showed it to him.

Nonetheless, Banton said he was having a good time talking with Johnson and that he found him quite affable.

"He was a funny guy," said the entertainer with a smile.

Banton testified that he gave his number to Johnson, who gave his name as Junior, and that he received a call from him the following day, saying that he wanted to meet the next day, which they did at a restaurant.

He said he had no idea that Johnson had invited him to the restaurant to talk about drugs, and that he had left the restaurant and was meeting outside with his realtor when Johnson approached him and asked if he had talked to his friend about the cocaine venture.

Asked by his attorney about his drug discussions with Johnson, Banton said that he was just yapping to impress Johnson and that he was not a drug dealer and was not interested in making any drug deal.

"I was talking garbage. I was just talking straight up garbage! He was trying out-talk me," Banton said, a line he would maintain throughout his close to two hours in the witness box. "I was trying to impress him."

"I'm just a humble musician. I was just talking above my head. I was trying to impress this guy and that's what got me into this hot seat," the entertainer said in a contrite tone.

Johnson had been working undercover for the us Government since 1996, following his conviction on drug-trafficking charges. He has, over a three-year period, made US$3 million as a Government informant.

Also yesterday, Reggae artiste Stephen Marley, the son of late Reggae icon Bob Marley testified on Banton's behalf. He said he had been friends with Banton for more 19 years and did not know him to be a drug dealer.





Buju is ‘embarassed … scared’

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Reggae star Buju Banton said he's embarrassed about what he has done, afraid of losing his freedom but innocent of any involvement in drug trafficking, a story in the Tampa Bay Online stated.


"I'm just a humble musician," he testified on Wednesday in his trial on federal drug charges.


An informant's recordings capturing Banton talking about large-scale cocaine deals are all accurate, the Jamaican musician said, but they are just talk.


"I was just talking garbage with him," Banton said, referring to informant Alexander Johnson. "I was just talking straight-up garbage," Tampa Bay Online said in their report.


Banton, 37, testified that he thought Johnson, who introduced himself as "Junior," was funny and likable. Banton said he went to coach class during the flight to check on his band members and then encountered a flight attendant who blocked his return to business class.


He said he was allowed to return to his seat after Johnson interceded and vouched for him.


He said Johnson also told him he knew people in the music business in Los Angeles and might be able to help him.


"I thought I was going to see him because we were talking about my career," Banton said.


When he talked to Johnson about buying and selling cocaine, Banton said, "I was trying to impress this guy, and that's what got me in the hot seat I'm sitting in now."



Asked why he tasted cocaine when shown a kilo of the drug in a Sarasota warehouse, Banton said, "I don't know why I did that. If I could, I would rewind the hands of time."


Banton, a four-time, Grammy-nominee whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been held without bail since his arrest in December. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.


Two codefendants, James Mack and Ian Thomas, have pleaded guilty.






US informant testifies on day 2 of Buju's drug trial

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TAMPA, Fla. — A U.S. government informant testified in a Florida court this morning that reggae star Buju Banton introduced him to a friend who the musician said had contacts to sell kilograms of cocaine, The Associated Press has reported.


Authorities say that Banton tried to buy cocaine from an undercover officer in Sarasota last year.


Recordings of phone calls and other conversations between Banton and the informant, Alexander Johnson, were played in court today.


Johnson testified that Banton introduced him to Ian Thomas. Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He faces up to life in prison.
Banton's attorney says Johnson entrapped his client.





Jury selected in Buju’s trial

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The selection of a jury reportedly took place this morning for the trial of international reggae artiste Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie in the Middle District Court in Tampa, Florida, a report carried by RJR news stated.


The trial reportedly began at 9:00 o’clock this morning.


Buju and two co-accused, Ian Thomas and James Mack, were arrested in December last year in South Florida and charged with conspiracy to possess more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute.


A grand jury indictment also charged him with carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime.


Thomas and Mack have since entered into a plea deal with prosecutors.


Reports reaching Yardflex are that a prayer vigil was held in Florida last night and a number of persons from the entertainment fraternity had expressed a desire to be present at today’s session.


Buju, up to last evening, was reportedly in “good spirits”.





6 Jamaican-borns died in NY crash

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NEW YORK, United States — Their small church had lost its leader and five other members in a van wreck, and eight others lay in hospitals. But members of the Joy Fellowship Christian Assemblies rejoiced in their faith even as they mourned yesterday, a day after the crash.

All of the victims are believed to have been born in Jamaica.

Some members of the predominantly Jamaican congregation wiped away tears at an hours-long service. But many of the roughly 100 who gathered at the storefront church raised their voices in song, their arms in praise and their hope in prayer.

"I cried enough last night. There's no reason for me to cry anymore. I have to be strong for others," said Pearl Foster, who said she had known the church's bishop, Simon White, for 29 years.

White and 13 others were on the New York State Thruway, headed to a church event near Schenectady, when a rear tire ruptured and sent their 1997 van hurtling out of control on Saturday afternoon, state police said. The van rolled over into the grassy median, throwing some of the passengers to the ground.

The bishop; his wife, minister Zelda White; pastor Titus McGhie and three others — Avril Murray, Evelyn Ferguson and Elaine Reid — died at the crash scene in Woodbury, about 55 miles (90 kilometres) north of New York City, state police said. Eight others were hurt and remained hospitalised Sunday afternoon.

"It was a tragic, tragic scene," state police Troop T commander Major Robert Meyers said Saturday.

The driver and White, the front-seat passenger, were wearing seat belts; the other passengers weren't required to wear seat belts and apparently did not, state police Trooper Brian Kieckhafer said.

Pastors from other local churches led the Joy Fellowship congregation in worship Sunday, and song and cries of "God is a great God" rang out through the church and at times could be heard outside its doors in a shopping area.

White "was a man of integrity," Michael Bennett, the pastor of another Bronx church, said in an interview. The two had worked together on revivals and a radio show, he said.

"I know that he was a man that loved God," Bennett said. "We never knew he was going to go home like this."

Bishop White founded the church in 1998 with about 20 members, according to the church's website. The congregation now has affiliate congregations in Schenectady and elsewhere in the state.

He and Zelda White had eight children, the site said.





Buju Banton Goes to Trial on Cocaine Charges

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Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star, was arrested on federal cocaine charges last year. Today, he is finally going to trial in Tampa, Florida a week before his album’s release in the States.

“I’ve been accused, wrongly convicted. Jah knows I’m innocent,” he sings in his gravelly voice, invoking the Rastafarian God. “I’ve been badly singled out by beloved friends … who sold me out.”

The star recorded his 10-song album last year before being arrested in his Miami-area home on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine. A grand jury indictment also charged him with carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime.

According to the indictment, Banton and an associate negotiated with an informant to buy the cocaine. Along with a third man, they allegedly met with an undercover officer in Sarasota in early December to buy the drugs.

The informant told Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he also saw the singer inspecting the cocaine. Banton wasn’t alone in all of this. Two other men plead guilty to drug conspiracy charges and a weapons charge on Wednesday. They face life in prison.





Canadian Farm Workers Deaths Attributed to Suffocation

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The coroner has ruled that the two Jamaican farm workers who lost their lives recently on a Canadian farm, died as a result of "environmental suffocation".

Thirty-six-year old Ralston Whyte from Pike, Manchester, and 44-year-old Paul Roach from Preddie, Clarendon, were killed on Friday, September 10, when they were overcome by fumes in a tank which was processing cider vinegar on the Filsinger's Organic Foods farm where they were both employed.

In an interview with JIS News, one of the owners of the farm, Deb Becker, expressed deep sadness at what happened to the two workers.

"Ralston and Paul were good workers and very honest men. We have a small community here of about 400 persons and they were known by everyone," she said.

Mr. Roach started in the Farm Work Programme in 2004 and Mr. Whyte in 2003. From the beginning they have been working with Filsinger's Organic Foods, an orchard farm which produces sweet apple cider, apple cider vinegar, apple butter and apple sauce.

In recounting the accident, Ms. Becker said Mr. Roach, Mr. Whyte and a third Jamaican worker, Robert Samuels, were pumping about six inches of cider vinegar from one tank into another when the pump stopped working, possibly clogged by the "mother of vinegar" that had settled at the bottom. The "mother of vinegar" is a sludgy substance that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids.

One of the workers climbed inside the tank, apparently to clear the blockage, and was overcome by fumes. The second worker went to assist and he too was overcome by the fumes.

"That smell is so strong. The first worker should not have gone inside the tank. I can understand the second one going in after seeing his friend collapse. They knew they should not go in the tank but just take out the pump, wash it off and put it back inside the tank," said Ms. Becker.

A memorial service was held on the farm for the two workers on Tuesday, September 14. It was attended by about 170 persons from the community. Ms. Becker and her two sons, Cory and Sean Becker, own the farm jointly with Brandon Weber.

She said the Jamaican men were well liked and Mr. Weber had visited Jamaica last winter and met their families. The other Jamaican worker, Mr. Samuels, will not be returning home until December.

Ms. Becker said members of the Victim Services Unit were brought in to counsel him, and he was the one who had asked that a memorial service be held.

Chief Liaison Officer at the Jamaica Liaison Service (JLS) in Ontario, Larkland Stone, said the bodies should be ready to be returned to Jamaica by next week Wednesday.





Buju Banton’s legal team optimistic of his release

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The attorney representing reggae star Buju Banton is expressing optimism that he will be freed at the end of trial, which starts on Monday.

The 37-year-old artiste has been incarcerated in a US lock-up since December when he was arrested on drug trafficking charges.

Anxiety increased among Buju's fans this week when a second co accused turned state witness.

James Mack, 48, agreed to plead guilty to multiple drug charges and is expected to face a mandatory prison term.

He agreed to a deal which will see him serving 25 years in prison instead of the life imprisonment he would have received since he's a repeat offender.

The other co-defendant, 43-year-old Ian Thomas had already entered into a plea deal, which will see him serving seven years.

But on Thursday morning Mr. Markus asserted if the former co-accused men speak the truth the artiste will be vindicated.

“If they tell the truth, we believe that will happen. Thomas and Mack were at the deal and they did the deal,” he said.

Mr. Markus insisted that his client was nowhere near the scene when the alleged drug sale occurred.

He also confirmed reports that the Rastafarian DJ had lost weight after having a difficult time with his strict diet.

However, Mr. Markus said Buju, who recently released an album, remains in excellent spiritual and physical shape.






Warrior King excites reggae fans in Suriname

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Reggae artiste Mark Dyer aka Warrior King is on a musical high as he continues to take his conscious brand of reggae to the four corners of the earth.

The singer, who recently collected the Marcus Award for music, delivered a very exciting performance in front of a huge audience at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Suriname on Friday September 3.


During his performance the audience sang along with him word for word as he belted out hits such as Virtuous Woman, Can’t Get Me Down, Jah is Always There, Where Is The Love and A Breath Of Fresh Air.


Also on the bill were Biggaton and Ginjah who were performing in Suriname for the first time, they were also well received.


Such was the magnitude of Warrior King’s performance that the promoters have invited him back to perform in the island in December.


Warrior King is also slated to visit the African continent for a series of shows before the end of the year.





Today is International Ozone Day

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Today, September 16 is being celebrated globally as International Ozone Day.

The theme for this year's celebrations is, "Ozone layer protection: governance and compliance at their best", and highlights the role of good governance in enabling successful implementation and compliance with the Montreal Protocol.


The National Ozone Unit which co-ordinates all projects and activities geared towards the phase out of ozone depleting substances in Jamaica will observe the day with a public awareness campaign including a weeklong exhibition at the Tom Redcam Library, a publication, and radio commercials.


The Montreal Protocol is an environmentally legally binding agreement to reduce ozone depleting substances (ODS) and protect the ozone layer. It is ratified by over 192 countries, and is recognized around the world as the most effective environmental agreement ever implemented.

At the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 approximately 1.8 million tonnes of controlled ODS were being produced. In the twenty three years since the signing of the Montreal Protocol, production was reduced to about 83,000 tonnes. The ODS have been replaced with substitutes which do not deplete the ozone layer, such as hydro-fluorocarbons and hydrocarbons. Ozone friendly equipment has fewer leaks and is more energy efficient.

Since some ODS contribute to global warming and eventually climate change their reduction have benefited the earth's climate. Recovery of the ozone layer is expected within this century.


Jamaica ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1993, and has also ratified all the amendments.

The National Ozone Unit (NOU) which is the housed at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) co-ordinates all projects and activities geared towards the phase out of ODS.

Through the work of the NOU, the National Ozone Commission and other key stakeholders Jamaica has achieved all its obligations under the Montreal Protocol to date, including phasing out CFCs as at January 1, 2006, four years ahead of the Montreal Protocol's 2010 schedule.

The next ODS to be phased out is hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), for which the first reduction target has been set for 2013. HCFCs were initially used as an alternative to CFCs due to the unavailability of more suitable alternatives.

They can be found in some air-conditioning units, and refrigerators. Jamaica is currently preparing the HCFC phase out management plan which includes the planned activities and their implementation dates.







Buju Banton’s cocaine-related case hit another snag yesterday when it was reported in the Tampa Bay Online that the second of his two co-defendants has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the US government.


James Mack, 48, will plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 or more kilos of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court.

Both charges carry up to life in federal prison. Mack previously signed an affidavit stating he never met Banton before his arrest, and that Banton had no knowledge of the money and gun that were in Mack's car.


His other co-defendant, Ian Thomas, 43, was scheduled to plead guilty yesterday afternoon to the conspiracy charge. He also has agreed to cooperate with the government.


Buju, after being jailed in Florida since December last year, goes on trial on federal drug charges Monday.


From day one, Florida-based, Jamaican attorney-at-law David Rowe had stated that he thought it was best that the Grammy-nominated Reggae artiste enter into a plea bargain in his cocaine-related case in the US.


Banton’s lawyers, however, say their client was entrapped. Now, with his two co-defendants turning State witnesses against him, Banton must be having bouts of diarrhea. The next couple of days will be crucial as Buju and his lawyers hunker down and prepare to tell previously untold stories.





Usain and I are not engaged, says reality star Milan

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Leesa Wee Tom, the cutie who plays Milan in the reality show BET’s College Hill: South Beach, told Yardflex in an exclusive interview that contrary to Internet reports, she and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, are not engaged.

“Usain and I are very good friends,” the beauty queen reiterated, flashing her winning smile.

So how does she explain the engagement ring she was pictured wearing last weekend while partying with friends at Fiction night club in Kingston? Or the fact that her name has been called in relation to Usain’s troublesome back injury?

“You know sometimes you have a ring that fits only one finger, well, it’s like that.
It’s really a very nice ring so I was out with friends celebrating winning the Miss Jamzone contest in Guyana and I wore it,” Milan told Yardflex.

“I don’t know who took the photo and put it on the Internet,” she said, adding again, that Usain is her “very good friend”.

However, despite gushing over the ring and describing how exquisite it was, she ducked out of answering if it was Bolt who had bought her what appears to be an engagement ring.
And, interestingly, she wasn’t wearing the ring during the Yardflex interview.

With regards to the back injury suffered by the 100 and 200 metre world record holder, Milan says it had absolutely nothing to do with her.

“As I stepped off the plane in Guyana the other day, people were pushing microphones in my face asking me if I had anything to do with Usain injuring himself. I was so shocked,” she said.

Her reply then was a simple “no comment”.

The 21-year-old, who attended Stella Maris Prep and Immaculate Conception High schools in Jamaica is now in her final year at college in Florida, where she is majoring in journalism. Quite a professional at entering beauty contests, Milan copped the crown at the Miss Jamzone International in Guyana in August.

According to her updated bio, since 1993, she is the first beauty queen to represent Jamaican on an international stage and win.

“The contest was a great. The people of Guyana treated me with lots of affection and even though Miss Guyana was in the contest, they had no problem with me being the winner,” said Milan, who has been entering beauty contests professionally since she was 14.

In between finishing up her degree and entering more beauty contest, Milan is also writing a book, which should be launched early next year.





Buju Banton removed to another jail

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Authorities in the United States have removed Reggae singer Buju Banton to another holding facility following the revelation that one of his co-defendants has decided to testify against him.

Banton, James Mack and Ian Thomas are facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine.

The move was confirmed by Banton's lawyer David Markus.

Markus told the Observer that after news surfaced last week that Thomas had struck a deal to testify against Banton, the authorities removed Banton from the Pineolas County Jail to the Citrus County Jail which is situated north of Tampa, Florida.

He said Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, will be transported back to the Pineolas County Jail before his trial starts in Tampa on Monday.

"He was moved for a week as they wanted to keep him and Thomas in separate facilities," Markus told the Observer.

Banton was arrested at his Tamarac home in South Florida hours after Thomas and Mack were busted attempting to purchase cocaine from Drug Enforcement Agents in December last year.





MOBO Award nomination for Gyptian

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Damian Marley, Mavado, Gyptian, Vybz Kartel and Gappy Ranks are all vying for the Best Reggae title in the 2010 MOBO Awards.

Gyptain who is nominated for the first time says he’s grateful for the nomination.

Celebrating its 15th year, the MOBO Awards will be held in Liverpool, on October 20.

The MOBO Awards was established in 1996 to recognize and celebrate artists of any race or nationality performing black music. The MOBO Awards is the first Black awards show in Europe.








Two Jamaican farm workers lost their lives on a farm in Ontario, Canada, Friday (September 10).

Chief Liaison Officer in the Jamaica Liaison Service (JLS) in Toronto, Larkland Stone, would only describe it as a "job-related accident" on the Filsinger Farm in the Owen Sound area of Ontario.

The two men, 37-year-old Paul Roache of Clarendon and 43-year-old Ralston White, both regular farm workers on the Canadian Overseas Employment Programme, died in a work-related accident on the Filsinger Farm in the Owen Sound area of Ontario.

Mr. Stone added that the Canadian Ministry of Labour and police are conducting investigations, and the bodies have been removed to the morgue. Autopsies will be done on the bodies.



Jamaica's Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, has expressed shock at the sudden death of the Jamaican workers.

"We are very saddened by the untimely loss of our two Jamaican men. Our hearts go out to the families," he said. He added that the Consulate General will monitor all the news and keep in close touch with the Jamaica Liaison Service.

The Jamaican Farm Work Programme began in Canada in 1964, and this year more than 6,000 Jamaicans were employed on over 300 Canadian farms.





Chino says Japan was great

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Big Ship artiste Chino says his Japan sojourn couldn’t have gone better.


According to Chino, who recently returned from a tour in that reggae-loving land to promote his newly released album, Never Change, his visits to cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe and Fukuoka were educational.


"It was a great experience, especially the Yokohama Reggae Bash in Tokyo.

The venue was filled to capacity with thousands of fans and the Big Ship family really pulled out all the stops, and I think the fans enjoyed it.

Overall, the tour went well.

Most of the record shops there have the album, have been playing it and the fans have been supporting the album. So I have to say thanks to everyone for their support."


Chino, whose correct name is Daniel McGregor, released his sophomore Japan album to rave reviews and in less than 20 hours of its release on iTune's Reggae Japan chart, Never Change has already shot to second spot on the chart.





Soca artiste in hospital

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Veteran soca artiste Arrow is reportedly in an Antigua hospital for medical treatment.

Known for the hits Hot Hot Hot and Long Time, Arrow it is reported, has been ill for sometime.

A lot of prayers are going up for the artiste who has been known for his very energetic performances.

It is the norm to see him getting the calypso loving crowd in a frenzy when he takes centrestage.

Yardflex wishes all the best





Lady Saw guest judge today on 106 & Park's freestyle

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Having declared in her current single, Party Till December, that her "body's too hot to be at home just sitting back", Lady Saw, not surprisingly has been living it up in fine style.

The dancehall diva — whose album My Way had its official release on Tuesday, secured an invitation from BET's 106 & Park — to appear as a guest judge on the popular Freestyle Fridays.

Of course, she graciously accepted the invite.

"It was an honour and the spinoffs from that I am sure will be tremendous," Lady Saw said with enthusiasm. "This is good for me, as the publicity will surely help my album and it's a positive move for dancehall on a whole,"

she added.

Freestyle Friday is a segment on BET's popular show 106 & Park where two aspiring rappers compete in a freestyle battle before the studio audience and the cypher (from 2006) and three celebrity judges.

Each competitor alternates freestyling for 30 seconds in each of the two rounds. The rappers are not allowed to use profanity or sexually suggestive lyrics, such is punishable by disqualification. After the battle, the judges decide the winner, per majority vote.

The rapper who wins each week wins a prize and returns the following Friday to defend their champion title. After seven consecutive wins, however, the rapper is retired and inducted into the Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame.

The episode, which will air today at 5:00 pm local time has Lady Saw as guest judge alongside rapper Waka Flocka Flame, the American rapper signed to 1017 Brick Squad and Warner Bros.

Her recently released album, My Way, has productions from Tony 'CD' Kelly, Lloyd 'John John' James, Danny Browne, and Stephen McGregor. Among the tracks are Every Way Mi Go, Your Chick, He Is At My House (Featuring Eve), My Way, Me Hold Yuh, Muscle Control (Featuring Camar) and I Can't Wait (Featuring Ding Dong).






November date for Dudus

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NEW YORK, United States – Former Tivoli Gardens don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke will return to a Manhattan court on November 16 to continue his trial on drugs and gun running charges.


According to a report by Observer correspondent Harold Bailey, who covered Tuesday’s court appearance, the former Tivoli Gardens strongman appeared to be in good spirits.


Coke's legal team has been bolstered by the inclusion of attorneys Steven Rosen and Frank Dodatto.


He was arrested on June 23 along the Mandela Highway after being on the run for almost a month. He was found in the company of popular pastor, rev Al Miller, who said he was taking Coke to the US Embassy in St Andrew. Miller has since been charged with harbouring a criminal and perverting the course of justice.


Coke is facing a long sentence if found guilty of the charges laid against him. His assets can also be seized.


He is reportedly being held under maximum security conditions and spends most of his days locked in a cramped cell.





Flippa on bail?

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Finally some good news about the flossing deejay Flippa Mafia. According to a story in the Weekend Star he has seemingly been given a break at last and is reportedly out on bail in the United States.

The deejay was arrested earlier this year after he was allegedly caught trying to enter the United States illegally from the Bahamas in March.

Reports however, surfaced this week that the deejay was released on bail. According to a number of sources he is out on bail and is currently in Philadelphia, where he resided when he previously lived in the United States. Friends of the deejay also claim they have spoken to him since his release.

The reports are yet to be confirmed still anyway.

If anyone has seen Flippa about the place in the Philly area, just drop Yardflex a line.





More stress for Buju Banton

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Seems there is no quick solution to the Gargamel Buju Banton’s problems.

Just as he was looking forward to his upcoming trial on Wednesday, comes the crushing blow that it has been pushed back until the end of September.

News is that the DJ is reportedly devastated behind bars after his ongoing drug battle against the United States was again postponed.

The Gargamel who was slated to stand trial on September 1 will now go before the courts September 30 where his case will officially be mentioned.

Buju Banton has been behind bars since his December 10 of last year, and has been charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm.

In relating news, Buju Banton’s new album will hit the stores on September 13.

The album dubbed “Before The Dawn” is the incarcerated reggae artiste's 9th album and features 10 influential tracks written by the Gargamel.





U.S. wants David Smith extradited

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International news agency Reuters is reporting that US authorities want to extradite David Smith, former OLINT boss, from the Turks and Caicos Islands for his involvement in one of the Caribbean's biggest financial fraud cases.

The report quotes a US law enforcement official.

American prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Mr. Smith, who is currently under investigation but on bail in Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mr. Smith faces fraud, money laundering and other charges in the British territory.

John Briggs, Deputy senior investigator of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Special Investigation and Prosecution Team, says it is alleged that Mr. Smith ran a Ponzi scheme involving US$300 million.

In a court filing earlier this month in Florida, prosecutors said Mr. Smith defrauded thousands of investors from Jamaica, the US and other Caribbean territories, promising them monthly average returns of 10%.

Mr. Smith is due to appear in a Turks and Caicos Islands court on September 28 to answer fraud charges.

Jamaican authorities shut down OLINT's offices four years ago, but Mr. Smith moved on to operate out of Turks and Caicos Islands.





Brick and Lace make Zambia debut

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Jamaican born, Canadian based RnB dancehall female duet Brick n Lace last Saturday performed at Barclays Bank Sports Complex in Lusaka, Zambia for its local fans.

Brick n Lace popularly known for the ‘love is wicked and Never Never songs’ performed most of their news songs on stage and managed to entertain some of their Zambian fans.

Most of the Zambian artistes who were invited to perform at the show were not allowed to mingle with their counterparts even though they performed on the same stage.

Mahogany Entertainments arranged two VIP lounges to which most of the local artistes were not amused at all.

They were two VIP lounges, one for Brick n Lace with other foreign artistes while the Zambian artistes were also made to occupy the other.

The security for the duo was very tight and the fans only managed to mingle with artistes on stage during their performance.

The media personnel were also not given the privilege of interviewing the foreign artistes as they were not allowed access to the VIP lounge as well.

The show started late but the foreign artistes tried their best to entertain the fans.

It is the first time the duo Brick n Lace (Nyanda and Nailah Thoubourne) have visited and performed in Zambia to market their music.





Gay pressure puts a stop to Sizzla tour

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Members of the gay and lesbian community are again making their voices heard when it comes to reggae artistes with anti-gay messages.

The latest Jamaican act to face the verbal outbursts is reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji who is his European tour.

The 34-year old artiste, whose give name is Miguel Collins, was scheduled to perform at this years Chiemsee Reggae Summer in Germany which the artiste recently found out was cancelled.

It was understood that there was heavy pressure for several weeks from gay groups and politicians.

The decision to cancel the tour was because of safety reasons as they could not guarantee the safety for festival-goers, as a huge amount of protestors planned to attend the festival during Sizzla's performance.

However, Sizzla's fans may see him on stage very soon, as he is scheduled to perform in Europe in September and Japan in October.








United States Ambassador-designate to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater has given the assurance that when she assumes her post as Ambassador, she will take steps to address the declining approval rate of visa issuance to Jamaican nationals.

Ambassador Bridgewater gave this undertaking to Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, who raised the concern while in discussions during a courtesy call on Ambassador Marks at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC on Tuesday, August 24.

The Ambassador-designate said, "I will meet with the Consular team at the US Embassy in Jamaica along with my Consular team very early after my arrival to see how this issue can be addressed to the satisfaction of both countries."

Ambassador Marks highlighted the declining approval rates for the issuance of visas to Jamaican nationals as an area which needed continued review. She mentioned that Trinidad and Tobago for example enjoyed a visitor's visa approval rate nearly three times as high as Jamaica's.

She indicated that she had had discussions with relevant officials in the Department of State, where she had raised the worrying trend of the declining approvals.

It was explained that the US looks at a variety of factors, including the economy of the sending country as well as the state of the US economy. However, Ambassador Marks said she had been promised a review for Jamaica.

In this context, Ambassador Marks pointed to the positive economic indicators in Jamaica, which showed that economic fundamentals were going in the right direction.

She requested Ambassador Bridgewater's support of continuous reviews to increase the approval ratio. In responding, the Ambassador-designate stated that she believed that the positive economic developments in Jamaica will augur well for a review of the visa regime.

Ambassador Bridgewater who will take up her post in Jamaica shortly was accompanied by Desk Officer in the Department of State, Mr. Robert Piehel. Also present was Minister-Counsellor in the Jamaican Embassy, Mr. Franz Hall.





Former Jamaican Hip hop exec shot dead in NY

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A former Jamaican hip hop executive was shot dead in a robbery in Brooklyn, New York Thursday night.

It is understood that that a gunman entered a liquor store about 9:30 and demanded that Robinson’s girlfriend hand over her bracelet.

When Robinson, 34, tried to protect her, the gunman shot him several times in the chest and arm.

He was then taken to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Friends say Robinson was well known, and well-liked, in the community.

Robinson was born in Jamaica, and worked as a hip-hop executive before converting to Orthodox Judaism.

His lyrics were taken from the torah and he turned them into reggae songs.

He was working on a book about how he turned to Judaism to escape a life of drugs and violence.





Bob Marley t-shirt incident results in court case

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A Canadian man says he is planning to file a human-rights complaint against an amusement park in the United States after security guards told him to cover up his Bob Marley t-shirt or leave the premises.

Brunaud Moise, 32, is seeking moral and punitive damages from the six flags-owned park as well as reimbursement for two entry tickets and a public apology for himself, his brother and Bob Marley’s family.

However, the amusement park insists it did not have a problem with the shirt's portrait of the late reggae legend, just the cluster of green, marijuana-shaped leaves that surround it.

Mr. Moise argues, however; that security staff singled him out because they associated a black man wearing a Bob Marley shirt with something criminal.

His attorney has noted that what happened to his client is more than unfortunate and is a violation of his human rights.

Six Flags operates nineteen amusement parks across North America.





New US ambassador coming soon?

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Reports are that United States Ambassador-Designate to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater Awkard, has moved one step closer to confirmation, with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee giving her the nod of approval.

This should pave the way for Bridgewater Awkard to move to Kingston later this year as the top US diplomat in Jamaica.

The Senate is expected to rubber-stamp the nomination when it returns from its summer break next month.

Bridgewater Awkard has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy created when Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson ended her tour of duty in January 2009.

Bridgewater Awkard is a career member of the Foreign Service with the rank of minister.

She has served since 2008 as a senior inspector in the Office of the Inspector General and has served as ambassador to Benin and Ghana.

The career diplomat has served in Belgium, Jamaica, South Africa and The Bahamas.







Judy Mowatt, one of the original members of the legendary I-three was scheduled to perform at the Monterey Jazz fest, but sister Judy never even got to leave Jamaica because the promoter, up until the day she was scheduled to leave still was unable to present a contract or a deposit.

According Sister Judy in April of this year Robert Ougie of Ojama productions contacted her in regards to booking shows for the West Coast.


“I verbally agreed to be a part of the show providing the contract details be sent to me via email.

I was originally scheduled to perform here in Jamaica and declined the home-based show to go accommodate the Monterey Jazz Fest. It is standard procedure for a contract and deposit be delivered in a timely fashion.

I encountered several communication issues with the promoters including not responding to phone calls , emails or text messages. The only time I heard from the promoters was regarding the purchase of the airline tickets for myself and my back-up singers the day before I was supposed to leave Jamaica.

My daughter and manager got wind of the situation and intervened immediately via black berry with very little outcome.

I therefore had to notify my singers prior to the flight that we would no longer be heading to the festival since up until the day of travel no contract had been delivered. “

According to the singer, she had prepared herself thoroughly for this event and she extended an apology to all her fans who had turned out for the show.


“To all of my fans and supporters over the years I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for continued loved and support. For my fans over on the west coast, I was very much looking forward to the show since it has been years since I’ve performed there.

I have prepared for this tour mentally, physically and spiritually to share my heart and soul but cannot force what was not meant to be. The all mighty father is the knowing one. The Monterrey Jazz festival is not a charity event and my work over the years has been a gainful employment and was not respected.

“This is not the case with all promoters of course but one must always be cautious at all levels.

What the promoters have done was an attempt to devalue my worth as an artiste but it was unsuccessful.

He has also tried to cover his tracks by lying about the situation, but that too was unsuccessful. Again thank you all for your ongoing love and support always. One love.”










In the wake of a perceived easing of tensions between Washington and the Bruce Golding government over the extradition of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, RJR News understands that the US is to apply for the extradition of two high profile subjects.


Highly confidential sources told RJR News that the US government has prepared indictments for the extradition of two businessmen from Western Jamaica on drug trafficking charges.


One of the men is said to be connected to a well known family in Montego Bay, St. James.


Our sources reported that the US government prepared the indictments on statements given to them by a powerful Jamaican fugitive who was given a reduced sentence last year, after he decided to cut a deal with US prosecutors.


It is understood that US agents are now in the island working with local agents to monitor the movements of the fugitives.
Our sources say they do not expect any resistance from the Golding administration.


The Obama administration and the Jamaican government were reportedly at bitter odds last year over the release of Montego Bay businessman Presley Bingham, who was being sought for drug trafficking.


The initial refusal of the State to extradite Christopher Coke is also believed to have cost the Jamaican government friends in Washington.


Neither government have officially admitted to a diplomatic impasse however, Washington finally appointed a US ambassador within weeks after Christopher Coke’s extradition.





Buju Banton supporters launch writing campaign

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Supporters of jailed international reggae artiste Mark Anthony Myrie, popularly known as Buju Banton, have launched an official writing campaign to US. Attorney General Eric Holder.


The campaign is being described as a consolidated effort to bring even more attention to what they claim are flimsy Federal charges being wielded against the artiste.


At the same time, the supporters want to ensure that the US Government is keenly aware that the public is monitoring this case closely.


The letter to Mr. Holder noted that the incarceration of Banton without bail is unconscionable, and the charges are a result of information provided by a professional informant who relentlessly pursued Mr. Myrie for six months to participate in a drug deal.


"In our great system of justice, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, therefore, persons accused of crime are entitled to bail," the letter outlined.


The letter also outlined that Buju meets all of the requirements for bail, yet it has not been granted.
In addition, his trial has been postponed three times despite his attorney’s objections.


The supporters urged Mr. Holder to do whatever possible to end this injustice.


Organisers of the Letter Writing Campaign are encouraging friends, fans and supporters worldwide to print out this letter— or write a version of their own, sign and mail it directly to Mr. Holder.






The President Addresses the Country

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I have, today, instructed my Attorneys that I intend to waive my right to an extradition hearing in Jamaica and to proceed directly to the United States under the terms of the Extradition Laws and treaty between Jamaica and the United States of America.

I have taken this decision of my own free will and have done so even though I am of the belief that my case would have been successfully argued in the Courts of Jamaica.

I take this decision for now I believe it to be in the best interest of my family, community of Western Kingston and in particular the people of Tivoli Gardens and above all Jamaica.

Everyone, the whole country, has been adversely affected by the process that has surrounded my extradition and I hope that my action today will go some way towards healing all who have suffered and will be of benefit to the community of Tivoli Gardens.

Above all I am deeply upset and saddened by the unnecessary loss of lives which could have been avoided, be it of members of the Security Forces and over eighty (80) residents of Tivoli or any other innocent Jamaicans that has occurred during this time.


I leave Jamaica and my family in particularly Patsy (his mom) with a heavy heart but fully confident that in due course I will be vindicated and returned to them

Pray for me and God bless Jamaica

R u truly sry 4 the lives lost...hmm U cud hav avoided that by turning ureself in from the get go. U were just delaying the inevitable. I lost family n frenz there, sry u can keep ure apology.





Romain Virgo hits Billboard

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Singer Romain Virgo made his Billboard debut with the release of his self-titled CD, which landed at number 14 on the Reggae Album charts.



Among the producers on the 15-track album are the heavyweights Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records, Shane Brown and Omar and Dawin Brown from the Vikings label. The official launch party for the album is scheduled to take place tonight at the Knutsford Court Hotel, St Andrew.

After winning the Digicel Rising Stars Competition in 2007, Romain aligned himself with some of the industry's top producers with the help of his management camp, Vikings Productions and thereafter recorded some of Reggae's biggest recent hits including Cyaan Sleep, Wanna Go Home, Murderer, This Love (the video for which was included in VH1's rotation), Who Feels It Knows It and others.







Earth Wind & Fire and the late Bob Marley are among the 2010 inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which will hold a ceremony Thursday (today) in New York City.

David Foster, who will also be inducted Thursday, cited “After the Love Has Gone,” a song he co-wrote for Earth, Wind & Fire, as one of the defining moments of his career.

“It was the first Grammy that I had won,” the 60-year-old told the Associated Press.

Former Genesis frontman Phil Collins, already a Songwriters Hall of Fame member, will receive its highest honour, the Johnny Mercer Award.

Country sensation Taylor Swift is getting the Hal David Starlight Award for emerging songwriters, while other hall inductees include Leonard Cohen, Jesse Stone, Laura Nyro, Jackie DeShannon, Johnny Mandel, Matt Dennis and Sunny Skylar.

The hall will also honour “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” written by Paul Simon, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Other special tributes include one for producer Phil Ramone and publisher Keith Mardak.








The promoters are not the only ones who want to know just why Trinidad refused entry to Ding Dong in their country.

For real we would like to know just what’s the rationale behind it. I think they are just targeting Jamaican artistes out of spite.

According to a report carried in the Star Kemoni Richmond of Junglest International, organisers of 'Party Cup', which Ding Dong was scheduled to perform on, his lawyers were currently consulting with the Ministry of National Security and Immigration services in Trinidad to find out why the deejay would be placed on the 'blacklist.' On Friday night Ding Dong was unexpectedly denied entry upon arrival in the island.

'Party Cup' was to feature Ding Dong, as the main act but instead fans were treated to the Ravers Clavers crew, as well as Tony Matterhorn and Norris Man who gave last-minute performances in the place of the popular dancer-turned-deejay.

The promoter said the turnout was not as strong as it should have been approximating the loss from the event to be US$20,000.

Richmond said, "when he came here he was told he was on the list of artistes banned, which is a fact, but we the promoters didn't know about it.

I don't understand this, he is not an artiste known for profanity or violence, he even promotes abstinence in school. Everybody knows Ding Dong is a fun artiste who does dance songs."

According to Richmond, the event was being promoted on the Internet, on the radio, via flyers and in the national newspapers two months prior and they were not informed by the government that he would be unable to attend.

A first class ticket he says was also booked for Ding Dong on Caribbean Airlines.

"This is a total shock and disappointment to the country.

He's one of the biggest things in the dancehall music in Trinidad right now, (and) the country was looking forward to seeing him," he said.

Richmond said Ding Dong, who is known for songs like Holiday and Party Cup, was also booked by them in May of last year and performed with no problems.

He added, "I've heard that a lot of Jamaican artistes are on the list and the government should tell us who is on the list so we, the promoters, know who not to take bookings from. There is a lot of money involved and being lost."

The truth is that the show was being promoted all over, so why wait until the artiste is actually at immigration point to let him know.


That sucks…maybe Jamaican should start returning the ‘favour’ ban Trinidadian artistes too.





Sean Paul off to France

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International Reggae act Sean Paul is scheduled to perform in five cities in five days across France.

The French market is Sean Paul’s second largest fan base and is in for a treat June 2-6.


The tour begins on Wednesday June 2, in Paris, at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy.

The following day Sean Paul performs at Le Zenith in Toulouse, and on Friday June 4, St Herbalin at the Zenith. Saturday May 5 will see Sean Paul’s blazing entourage move to Marseille at Le Dome and the final performance takes place on Sunday June 5 at Mauguio at Le Seven Club.


Sean Paul has been touring in support of his album Imperial Blaze, which made its debut at number one in Japan and sold over 50,000 copies in its first week of release.

Tracks such as Press it up and Hold my hand continue to enjoy steady rotation on local and overseas stations and the tunes are still readily available for download at www.allseanpaul.com.


And while Sean digs into his French support this June, producer Bob Sinclair is this summer set to release a track he produced with the deejay back in October titled Made in Jamaica, with input from the Reggae giants Sly and Robbie.





JUTC Plane Crash Heroine For Disney World

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Annette Howard, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus operator who assisted over 100 passengers of an American Airline plane which overran the runway at the Norman Manley International Airport in December, will have her dream come through this week.


She and her family will travel to Disney World, Orlando, Florida on Thursday (May 20) fulfilling a wish she expressed to the Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, when she paid a courtesy call on him on December 31, last.

The Ministry of Transport and Works made the disclosure in a release issued Tuesday (May 18):

Annette Howard, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus operator whose heroics on the night of December 22, 2009, after an American Airlines jet overran a runway at the Norman Manley International Airport, is set to reap some material reward for her self-less action that won her wide-scale public acclaim.

In the face of extreme personal danger, Miss Howard, who was first on the crash scene, scrambled to get over 100 of the distraught airplane passengers onto her bus and drove them to safety at the airport police station.

Now Miss Howard, along with her two sons and her mom, are happily scheduled to depart for Miami, en route to Orlando, on Thursday, May 20, for a three-day visit to Disney World, in fulfillment of a wish she expressed to Prime Minister Bruce Golding during a courtesy call at Jamaica House on December 31.

The PM gave instruction then, for the necessary efforts to be made to help Miss Howard to accomplish her long-time dream.

Through a concerted effort led by Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz; Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Mike Henry; and JUTC Managing Director, Paul Abrahams, a five-day trip was realised for Miss Howard and her family.

This involved securing United States visas for the family members and sponsorship to cover the cost of air transportation, hotel accommodation and tickets to Disney World. Their other travel expenses are being met by the JUTC.

The visitors, along with a family member from Florida in the capacity of a chaperone, will be accommodated at Holiday Inn Orlando, located within the Walt Disney World Resort, from where they will have access to all the Walt Disney theme parks. They are scheduled to return to Jamaica on Labour Day,Monday, May 24.









Organizers of the 1st Annual Atlanta Music Festival took to the radio airwaves in Atlanta Georgia to address the community who queried the strength of the first Festival.

Speaking to Rico Vibes and the listeners of his ‘Weekend Mix Show’ on Atlanta’s #1 radio station, Da Flava Radio, Stitchie set the record straight by addressing the most pressing concern: “Is this a fraud show?”


Armed with signed contracts from each artiste, Stitchie made it clear that he and his partner Papa from Jabari Productions have no affiliation to a similar show that was held last year, but not a successful due to the fact that artistes were not paid.


When asked by Rico, Stichie explained: “The line up this year is very similar to that of last year, but the show is not the same.

We wanted people like Bounty and Beenie, but due to the visa situation, we had no choice but to lean with this line up.”


Further on in the interview, Freddie McGregor called into the ‘Weekend Mix Show’ speaking directly to the people. Freddie acknowledged that he and the Big Ship family were in Atlanta to perform last year, however the promoter didn’t show up the night of the event.

McGregor also went on to say that Elephant Man, Chino, Laden, Spragga Benz, Etana as well as all other artistes advertised will be on the stage for the 1st Annual Atlanta Summer Festival.

The Reggae icon even sang a dubplate live on air for the festival using the melody of Gregory Isaacs hit song “Rumours!" Chino also called in after Freddie to echo the same sentiment — the entire Big Ship family, as well as all artists advertised will be there.


Jabari Productions also announced that Lil Wayne’s Young Money members Lil Chuckee, Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda will be on the show.

Out of the Gucci Mane camp, we have So Icy Rock Boyz. We also have ATL’s own Pastor Troy. For the ladies, we have R&B sensation Pleasure P, formerly lead singer from Pretty Ricky.


The 1st Annual Atlanta Summer Festival will be staged at the James R. Hallford stadium in Atlanta (Georgia Perimeter College – 3789 Memorial College Ave.), and will be hosted by Nikki Z, Juggla and Rico Vibes.