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Police constable held for school teacher's killing

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe constable is being held for the death of 35-year-old Steven Dyer, who worked at the York Town Primary School in the parish.

According to a reliable source, residents, after hearing loud explosions in the Bushy Park area of May Pen, called the police.

Upon their arrival, the teacher was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and rushed to the May Pen Hospital.

"We got a call that a policeman was shot and injured, however, when we rushed to the scene, we discovered that it was rather a teacher who was shot and injured," the source informed The Star.

"The injured teacher, however, remained conscious long enough to name the constable as his assailant."

According to the source, as with protocols, a report was made to the security force watch dog agency, The Independent Commission of Investigations, and the constable detained.





Fire of unknown origin destroyed several wooden houses at the intersection of Rum Lane and Barry Street in Kingston early Sunday morning, leaving 100 persons homeless.

Five units responded to the fire that started shortly after 1:00 am.

The Jamaica Fire Brigade's Divisional Head for Kingston and St. Andrew, Superintendent Kevin Haughton, says firefighters were alerted at approximately 1:33 and were at the scene for close to eight hours.

Three persons - a resident and two firefighters - were injured. The fire fighters were hospitalised for smoke inhalation and fatigue but have since been released.

The resident, sustained minor lacerations.

Loss is estimated at J$30 million .





No school on Election Day, February 25

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education-minister-ronnie-thwaites.jpgThe Ministry of Education has issued a directive that all schools will be closed on election day February 25.

On Wednesday, February 24, schools will be closed at noon to facilitate preparations for election-day activities.

In a bulletin on Monday, the Ministry however said schools will be held Tuesday which is Nomination Day.

In the case of schools that will be used as polling stations on Election Day, principals are asked to ensure that rooms and bathroom facilities assigned to the Electoral Office are cleared, cleaned and all charts as well as teaching aids removed.

Schools will reopen on the following day - February 26.

In cases where schools will not be able to convene on that day, the Education Ministry says school administrators should immediately alert the respective Regional Directors.





karl-williams-police-commish.jpgDr. Carl Williams, Jamaica's Police Commissioner, says there was no political motive for the shooting incident that pre-maturely ended the JLP rally in Montego Bay on Sunday night.

Two men were killed and six others suffered gunshot wounds during the shooting.

The police later determined that the two men who died were both members of known gangs in Flanker, St. James, and that they had been in attendance at the rally, staged by the opposition Jamaica Labour Party, when a dispute arose, leading to the shooting.

"Based on our investigation and all the intelligence that we have, there is nothing to suggest that it was politically motivated. To the contrary, our investigations and intelligence are pointing to a dispute among some known persons from a particular community in St. James," the Police Commissioner told Dionne Jackson Miller on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, a short while ago.

"The dispute started right there at the meeting; it had its antecedents, but it happened at the meeting. The meeting was not invaded, as is being suggested by some people," he asserted, adding that "it was not as a result of people coming from outside."





Well-known gangster among two killed at JLP rally

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Police report that one of the two persons shot and killed at a Jamaica Labour Party mass meeting in Montego Bay, St. James Sunday night was a well-known member of a gang, that operates in the Flanker community of St. James. Eight persons were shot, two fatally at the JLP rally.

Head of the St. James Police, Senior Superintendent, Steve McGregor says the two persons killed, were directly related to the dispute, which developed at the political meeting, at which JLP Leader Andrew Holness was addressing.

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According to the senior supe, the condition of the other six persons is not considered serious.

SSP McGregor says, the shooting incident originated within the meeting.

The dead gang member has been identified as 22-year-old Javin Campbell, otherwise called Javinci', who is known to the police,

Police Commission Dr. Karl Williams is expected to issue a statement on the matter.





Vendor's throat slashed in Ocho Rios

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A vendor was found with her throat slashed Saturday morning in Pineapple, Ocho Rios.

Cavena Collins otherwise known as Tash was reportedly murdered between Friday night and early this morning while returning home.

The Ocho Rios police say they received a call Saturday morning at 9:30 notifying them, that a woman's body was found.

Upon their arrival, they found Ms Collins' body.

According to residents, it was one of Ms Collins' son who made the gruesome discovery of his mother's lifeless body and alerted them.

She also leaves a baby boy.





Jamaican parliament dissolved

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jamaica-map.jpgThe Jamaican Parliament was dissoved on Friday ahead of the February 25 general election.

All sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate will cease until a new government is formed.

Despite the dissolution of Parliament, however, ministers of government continue to perform their executive functions, between the dissolution of Parliament and the appointment of new ministers, following the election.

However, according to attorney Bert Samuels, there are exceptional circumstances in which, Parliament, despite having been dissolved, could be recalled, in the national interest.

"If a national disaster takes place, between the dissolution of the Parliament and the holding of elections, then the Parliament will come back together, and it will not be taken as being dissolved and the work of the Parliament will continue... and the new date for the election, if it is pushed back, becomes the date on which the Parliament is dissolved."





JLP candidate Peter Abrahams withdraws from race

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jlp-candidate.jpgJamaica Labour Party's candidate for St. Catherine North Central - Peter Abrahams has withdrawn as an aspirant to contest the February 25 general election.

Abrahams, who is also the Councillor for the Bog Walk Division in the St. Catherine Parish Council, has reportedly cited personal reasons.

This comes less than a day after the People's National Party's (PNP) John Paul White stepped aside as the representative for Trelawny Northern.





Hair dye alert! Bigen banned in Britain

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bigen-hair-dye-banned-in-britain.jpgBigen, a popular hair dye that is readily available in most Chinese wholesales across Jamaica and also in several pharmacies and hair products stores, has been banned in Britain because it can harm a woman's fertility and endanger her unborn child.

Popular store, Tesco pulled the product from its UK stores following a Europe-wide alert. Sainsbury's said it was also removing the dye from sale.

The removal order followed the discovery of a banned chemical in three hair-care products: Bigen, Blasol and JR Beauty.

The ban came from the EU's Rapid Alert System, Rapex, which warned: 'The list of ingredients indicates that the hair-dye contains sodium perborate. Sodium perborate is toxic if inhaled... [and] may damage fertility or the unborn child.'

Professor Allan Pacey, former chairman of the British Fertility Society, said last night: 'If women are concerned about using the recalled products they should seek medical advice.'

A spokesman for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, which is responsible for recalls, said: 'Sodium perborate is a prohibited substance under the cosmetic products safety regulations because it can cause harm to fertility and unborn children.

'As with any recall consumers and retailers should follow the instructions and in this case they should return the product and ask for a refund.'

A Tesco spokesman: 'Customer safety is always our top priority, so we have taken the precautionary measure of issuing a product recall for the Bigen hair dye range.'

'A Sainsbury's spokesman added: 'We are taking the Bigen product off the shelves.'





00 person, including prostitutes, were arrested early Saturday morning during a Police Operation in St Andrew.

Police report that a team led the St Andrew Central Division went to select locations in the Kingston 5 area - known to be a regular hangout for prostitutes and drug addicts - including Ripon Road, Eureka Road and Eureka Crescent, and made the arrests. The operation was launched as the Police heighten their drive around public order issues, with an emphasis on enforcing Section 7 of the Town and Communities Act.

Cops from the Kingston Western Division, the Caribbean Search Centre, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), the Mobile Reserve and the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) were also on hand..

Police say the four-hour operation, began about 1:00 AM.

One man, identified as Allan Jacob, a 47-year-old driver of North Avenue, Kingston 5 was charged for possession of cocaine and ganja. He is booked to appear in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday, March 14. Two other persons were also charged under the National Solid Waste Management Act.





Marley Natural™ debuts premium cannabis products

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marley-natural-products-photo-1.jpgLOS ANGELES (February 5, 2016) - Marley Natural, the official Bob Marley cannabis brand, today debuted a broad-based collection of cannabis and lifestyle products designed with deep respect for Bob Marley's legacy and belief in the positive potential of the herb to heal and inspire us.

"We are fortunate to be living during a promising time of positive change, especially with regard to cannabis and how people understand it. My dad would be so happy to see so many people appreciating the natural, healing power of the herb. We are thrilled to be sharing Marley Natural products with the world just in time for his 71st birthday," said Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's daughter.

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Marley Natural's inaugural product line includes:

Four categories of all-natural, locally-sourced, sun-grown cannabis flower and oil;

A naturally-derived line of body care products that blend the moisturizing power of hemp seed oil with Jamaican botanicals;

A collection of smoking, storage and preparation accessories made from sustainably grown American Black Walnut wood and heat-resistant, and oil are hand-selected from local farms run by experienced growers committed to sustainable growing practices. Sun-grown, natural and untainted by harmful pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers, all Marley Natural products are tested and clearly labeled for potency, purity and safety. Initially available exclusively in California, distribution of Marley Natural cannabis flower and oil will expand to other U.S. states where cannabis is legal in 2016 and internationally in 2017. Marley Natural cannabis flower and oil are available in four categories, each featuring different strains depending on harvest availability:

Marley Green features hybrid strains recommended for people beginning their journey with Marley Natural. Marley Green strains have balanced levels of THC that combine the cerebral effects of sativa with the physical relaxation of indica. Marley Green strains are appropriate for anytime use.

Marley Gold features sativa strains that offer energetic, uplifting effects that may produce a more cerebral experience compared to other cannabis strains. Marley Gold strains are appropriate for daytime use.

Marley Red features CBD-rich strains that combine CBD and THC in a beneficial ratio. CBD-rich cannabis is frequently reported to provide patients and consumers with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-anxiety properties without the psychoactive effects of strains high in THC. Marley Red strains are appropriate for anytime use.

Marley Black features indica strains recommended for connoisseurs seeking a more physical, full-body experience. Marley Black strains are high in THC and appropriate





2 men gunned down on Donmair Drive

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwo men were gunned down on Donmair Drive in St Andrew, late Friday evening.

They have been identified as Courtney Daley, 40, a carpenter of Donmair Drive and 57-year-old Lenny Daley, also called 'Shortman' of Blackwood Terrace.

Police report that the two Daleys were among three persons who were walking in the Terra Cotta community.

On their arrival at Donmair Drive, it is alleged that multiple gunmen alighted from a motor vehicle, opening fire on the group.

Both were hit and taken to hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries.

The third person managed to escape with minor injuries.

The police have indicated that though both victims shared surnames, the men are not related.





crime-scene-7.jpgA mother and her two children are suspected to have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in Three Hills, St Mary on Thursday, February 4.

They have been identified as 37-year-old Charla Thompson-Young and her two children- 12-year-old Brandon Young and 4-year-old Leslie Ann Young, all of Three Hills in St Mary.

Reports from the Retreat Police are that about 7:30 am, Mrs Young's sister went to the house where she discovered the bodies. The Police was called in and the bodies were seen in the house. Preliminary investigations by the Police revealed that a gas generator, which was housed in the living room, was reportedly left turned on overnight with the house locked-up.

Investigations continue.





mayor-angela-brown-burke.jpgMayor of Kingston, Dr. Angela Brown Burke, says Jamaicans should position themselves to take advantage of the emerging legal ganja industry.

She said the regulatory framework for legalization of ganja in Jamaica is being developed and should be in place in short order.

Mayor Brown Burke is encouraging small farmers to ready themselves to grab on to a share of the pie.

She said there are exciting potentials for a legal ganja industry in Jamaica which will result in benefits to all.





transgender-jamaican-duo.jpgWhile revealing such news to loved ones is a big deal for anyone, Steffan said for him it was heightened by homophobia and transphobia in Jamaica.

A 2014 poll by a Jamaican newspaper found 72 per cent of the population do not support giving transgender people equal rights.

Jamaica has also been called the most homophobic country in the world because of the high level of violent crime directed at LGBT people.

Sexual activity between men is illegal and punishable with up to ten years imprisonment, however sexual acts between women are legal.

The United Nations has criticised the country's government for not protecting transgender people under law and many are the victims of violent abuse.

Steffan said: 'Being of a Jamaican background it is usually seen as an "embarrassment" to go against the norm.

'My parents were very traditionalised and this made it even more difficult to even explain what transgender is never mind telling them I was thinking about transitioning.'Steffan's Jamaican mother, who lives with him in Birmingham, has accepted his transition but didn't support his decision to return to Jamaica as a male.

'Her main concern is my safety. She is Jamaican and knows what the possibilities are, she said "they don't care, they will kill you",' he said.

Despite his fear for rejection and his mother's warning, Steffan went ahead and told his relatives who he really is after flying back to Kingston.

He told FEMAIL: 'Most of my family members had different reactions - some were shocked, others had an idea already. But two of my sisters and nieces seem to be very supportive of me now and I'm happy about that.'

The documentary films Steffan breaking the news to his older brother, Gilla, who was surprised but told his sibling: 'You have to live your life as yourself, nobody can really stop that, that's your life, that's how it goes.'

Still struggling to call his brother by his new pronoun, he explained to the camera: 'She is still family.

'People out here look on things differently. They look on it as weird. She was a girl and now she looks more like man, they will think that makes her different.

'You have men who are what we call gay, and people don't like it out here. And you have people called lesbians, they more go for that than they would a gay man.'

Like Steffan, Romario had also plucked up the courage to tell his family that he was making a transition to be male.

The pair became friends at college six years ago and decided to travel back to Jamaica together to give one another moral support.

Romario, who is in his twenties, had already spoken to his mother about it and said she is 'extremely supportive of me now' but had 'mixed emotions at first'.

He travelled back to Kingston to break the news to his sister who he hadn't seen for years.

'Hopefully when she sees me she won't run away,' he said as she hasn't seen him as a man before.

She admitted she still loved him as a sibling but 'didn't believe transitioning is right'.

She said: 'I don't believe in it but I accept it as you are my family. I don't believe in transgender, not that it exists but believing it is right because the Bible says it is wrong.'





Sex change for 2 Jamaicans born as girls

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transgender-jamaican-duo.jpgTwo friends who were born as girls in Jamaica but have lived as men since moving to the UK have revealed how difficult it was to return to their birthplace and tell their families they are transgender.

Steffan Zachiyah and Romario Wanliss, who live in Birmingham, never felt comfortable growing up as female and both started making the transition to be male in adulthood.

Steffan, 25, explains in a BBC Newsbeat documentary: 'I have never felt female but I used to play the part.'

He added in an interview with FEMAIL: 'I first knew from around ten but I didn't know what it was that I was feeling, all I know is that I decided to explore my sexuality before realising that it wasn't my sexuality that was the issue, it was my assigned gender.

'At age 19 I decided to broaden my horizons and research more around transgender after meeting an old friend who was transitioning.

'From there I knew I was Trans but I wasn't confident enough to admit it to anyone around me because I feared being judged.'

The admin worker has been living as a man since he moved to the UK six years ago and decided to medically transition in 2014. He has started hormone treatment and is on a waiting list for surgery.

However, he had not yet told all his family back in Jamaica about his transition as he feared how they would react.

On previous visits to his home country he had made an effort to look more feminine but this year he decided it was time to tell the truth.





House speaker Michael Peart resigns

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michael-peart-speaker.jpgThe Jamaican House of Representatives met for the final time on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of Friday's dissolution of Parliament, in preparation for fresh elections on February 25.

It was also the last sitting for Michael Peart, the longest serving Speaker in the history of the Jamaican Parliament.

Mr. Peart, who has been the Member of Parliament for Manchester Southern since 1992, will not be seeking re-election, having served for five terms.

He first became Speaker in 2002 and served in that capacity until 2007, when the People's National Party lost the election of September 3 that year. When the PNP regained its parliamentary majority in the December 29, 2011 election, he was returned to the Speaker's chair.

Earning praise from both sides of the aisle in the House, Peart reflected on his years as Speaker, saying "the sometimes raucous Parliament was a source of energy for me."

Admitting that "the odd one of two" incidents "made life a little bit difficult for me at times," he nevertheless said it had been a fulfilling experience, and thanked members on both sides "for the trust that we developed in each other."

Having served a combined nine years in the Speaker's chair, Peart eclipsed all his predecessors in the post. Ripton McPherson, who served eight years (1972-1980), and B.B. Coke, seven years (1955-1962), are second and third respectively.





Search on for plane that crashed in St Elizabeth

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lovers-leap-lookout.jpgAn aircraft is suspected to have crashed into the sea, off the coast of the Lover's Leap area in St Elizabeth, on Wednesday afternoon.

Details are unclear at this time but the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) conducted a search of the area up to late in the evening, after receiving a report about the crash at around 3pm.

The aircraft has reportedly not yet been located.

Understands that the search has been called off until daylight Thursday.





Triple murder in Trelawny

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crime-scene-7.jpgCommunity of Salt Spring in St James, erupted into grief and chaos as three men were shot and killed late Tuesday evening.

According to initial reports from the St James Police, a group of four men were attacked by gunmen around 11:30pm in an area of the community called Meggie Top.

The lone survivor of the brutal gun attack, has been rushed to hospital. Loop News understands that the man in reportedly in serious condition.

A strong police presence is now in the area as investigators comb the scene.





General elections in Jamaica February 25

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Jamaicans will go to the polls for general election on February 25.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Sunday night at a mass rally, staged by her governing People's National Party in Half-Way-Tree, St. Andrew.

Nomination Day has been scheduled for February 9.

In a swift response to the election date announcement, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness declared that the Prime Minister was forced by circumstances to schedule a short election campaign, and set it ahead of the tabling of the 2016/2017 national budget.

There were stringent austerity measures to come in the budget, in keeping with the requirement of the country's current agreement with the International Monetary Fund, he declared, citing this as the reason for the timing of the election.





adventist-pastor-pnp-mass-rally.jpgThe Northern Caribbean University (NCU) administration is distancing itself from comments made by its vice president for spiritual affairs at a People's National Party (PNP) rally in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew last night.

In offering prayers at the mass meeting, Pastor Michael Harvey urged Jamaicans to support the PNP.

Like the NCU Church did, in a statement the NCU administration distanced itself from Harvey's comments.

"As an institution owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Northern Caribbean University does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office - a position that is based on our denomination's historical position of separation of church and state," said and NCU spokesperson.

NCU said while individual members of the university community are free to support or oppose any candidate for office, it remains neutral on all candidates for office and all university property remain a neutral space in respect of elections.

"Members of our community are free to participate in the voting process according to the dictates of their own conscience but denominational employees are expected to exercise extreme care not to express views in their denominational capacity about any candidate for office or any political party," the spokesperson said.

The NCU administration said while it values all workers and institutional leaders, it maintains its long-standing historical support for the separation of church and state by not endorsing or opposing any candidate or political party.





Constable and ex-cop on drugs trafficking charges

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A constable, suspected to be involved in the international drug trade, has been charged, following a recent drug bust at Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport.

Constable Valdano Smith was charged with cocaine trafficking on the weekend, following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions. He has been charged jointly with Anthony Robinson, a 56 year-old retired police corporal.

The men were arrested by on January 22, during an operation at the airport.

The cops said they seized several packages with ten pounds of cocaine in a car in which the men were sitting.

A constable, attached to the airport, was also arrested, but he was later released, pending further investigations.

Constable Smith and Mr Robinson are scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Tuesday.





Soldiers shoot dead young Correctional Officer

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police have begun a probe into the fatal shooting of a correctional officer on main street Bog Walk, St Catherine last night.

The deceased has been identified as 22-year-old Roman Bent of Ackels district, Kitson Town, in the parish, and is said to have worked at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Facility.

Reports from the police are that about 10:00 pm, there was an altercation between Bent and two members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) during which he was shot. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The police say that the matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).





Nearly 100 held in Back Road clean-up operation

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hands-behind-bars.jpgNearly 100 persons have been taken into custody and severalitems seized during an operation on Port Henderson Road, known as 'Back Road', in Portmore, St Catherine yesterday.

The police say the eight-hour long operation began about 2:00 am, and involved police personnel from the Area Five Headquarters, the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC), the St Catherine North Division, the St Catherine South Division, and the Mobile Reserve.

Fifty-nine females and 40 males were taken into police custody for processing. Their identities are being withheld at this time.

Among the items seized were two firearms, ganja weighing approximately 2.5 pounds and three offensive weapons, while two business establishments were ordered closed due to violations of the Public Health Act.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area Five, Derrick Knight, explained that the operation was geared towards identifying breaches of the Trafficking in Persons Act and flushing out wanted individuals, especially lottery scammers, who are known to seek refuge in such places. He also said the area would continue to be a zone of focus for the police.





murderer-methodi-vernon-antigua.jpgThe police in Antigua last week charged 26-year-old Jamaican national Methoni Adolphus Vernon for the July 2014 murder of a fellow Jamaican national, 47-year-old farmer, Roy Carridice, of Cassada Gardens near the racehorse track on the island.

Vernon, who resided at Villa district on the island for 15 years prior to the incident, appeared in the St John's Magistrate's Court on January 19, when he was remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh until March 31, the date for his committal on the indictable charge stemming from the allegation that he killed Carridice.

The local police have been praised for their intense investigation of, and vigilance on, the matter, as Vernon was nabbed while in transit from the island of Dominica, to which he had fled after the murder. He was being deported to Jamaica for living illegally in Dominica.

The police announced the arrest on January 18, some 18 months after the July 1, 2014 murder. This was two days after Vernon was intercepted on his way back to Jamaica, following his deportation from Dominica.

It is alleged that Vernon shot Carridice on the latter's Cassada Gardens farm, which Carridice operated since 2004. The early morning attack took the life of the father of one.

Reports were that minutes before the killing, a heavily tinted Rav4 motor vehicle came speeding along the road towards Carridice's farm, following which explosions were heard.

Two masked men dressed like police personnel, with handguns, reportedly held up a neighbouring farmer shortly after, and robbed him of a pick-up truck and a small amount of cash. The two gunmen escaped in the stolen pickup, which was later found abandoned elsewhere in the community.





michael-misick-photo-1.jpgRalph Thorne QC, the attorney representing former Turks & Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick in an on going corruption case, has said that a statement issued by Sandals and opening remarks by the prosecution's attorney both make for an unfair trial.

Ralph A Thorne, QC has issued a statement responding to the press release issued by Sandals Resorts International. That release, in part, asserted as factual that payments were made to Michael Misick by one or more Sandals-related companies, said Thorne.

Read Thorne's full statement below.

I represent former Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands, Mr Michael Misick in association with Mr Adrian Kayne at Mr Misick's trial in Turks & Caicos on various corruption offences. My attention has been drawn to a media release that has been issued on behalf of "Sandals-related companies" and carried in various media. I feel constrained to issue this response on behalf of my client.

It is my view that the statement has been a consequence of the practice of the prosecution of issuing daily releases of its unproved opening statement through a website created by the prosecution itself. I consider this practice to be improper and undue and I have expressed this position in court.

It is clear to me that the publication of the prosecution's opening statement to the Judge, and its style, have excited feelings of hostility and antipathy towards my client. This was clearly evident on Thursday, January 28, 2016, when Mr Misick was accosted with threats by an individual while he was leaving the court. Together with the prosecutor, we brought this incident to the attention of the Judge on the following morning. In addition, we now have a large corporate entity feeling obliged to issue a statement in relation to issues that pertain to contested evidence in the case.

It is a matter for the Judge if His Lordship will consider at the next sitting whether the issuance of this statement is contemptuous of the court and whether it is calculated to unduly and improperly influence the proceedings. As Mr Misick's lawyer, my immediate concern is that the statement is so highly prejudicial to his rights and to his presumption of innocence, that it defeats his opportunity for a fair trial. It is my view that the prosecution's daily publication of its highly charged opening statement and this statement have had the cumulative effect of scandalising my client, portraying him contemptuously and ultimately depriving him of the right to a fair trial that is guaranteed by the Constitution and by the Human Rights conventions.

I acknowledge that a proper balance between fair trial and press freedom must be maintained and I offer no condemnation of the media that seek to inform the public. However, parties to a trial must not exploit the media to seek resolution or ventilate on matters that are properly only within the purview of the court at this time. These extra-juridical publications, emanating from the prosecution and from a corporate entity connected to the evidence, are capable of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the dignity of the process of trial.

We must not allow this process to degenerate into the nature and spectacle of an inquisition. I therefore intend to make an application to the court to declare a mis-trial and to discharge my client and will reserve Mr Misick's right to further recourse.

My client has lost his right to a fair trial!





pastor-michael-harvey.jpgDr Michael H. Harvey, senior pastor for the Adventist Church at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in his opening prayer at the PNP mass rally in Half Way Treeon Sunday evening declare that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was the "right" leader for the country.

Describing Simpson Miller as one who is in touch with God, Harvey said: "Our country and the party need a great leader to lead us through tough times. Someone who is socially aware, one who has a genuine love and can empathise with the people...that's who this country has in the leadership of Comrade Portia Simpson Miller and her lieutenants."

Interestingly, Opposition JLP leader, Andrew Holness, and his family, are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Last November, Simpson Miller told PNP supporters at a mass rally in St Elizabeth that she would not send Jamaicans to the polls until she was touched by her master.





jordan-foote-trinity.jpgHoly Trinity Manning Cup footballer Jordan Foote, who was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his leg amputated last year, is reportedly now fighting for life against the disease.

According to Digicel SportsMax, Holy Trinity Manning Cup coach Devon Anderson is asking for the public's prayer and support as the cancer is now affecting Foote's lungs.

"They are trying to patch the part of the lungs that is leaking liquid, and draining off the water from his chest. He is deteriorating due to the cancer," Anderson reportedly said, adding "We just have to hope for the best but expect the worst, and know if the inevitable comes, it comes, but I hope it doesn't come for now."

The coach reportedly said doctors at the University Hospital of the West Indies are seeing signs of improvement, as a hole in Foote's lung has begun to heal through medication.

The development comes nearly two months after Foote had his left leg amputated five inches above the knee. Several organisations donated money towards helping to pay for the surgical procedure on the youngster, who has not been able to attend school because of the disease.

Foote was an outstanding player for Holy Trinity before being diagnosed with the disease last summer, helping the team reach the Super Cup finals in 2014. In an interview with Loop News in November, he expressed confidence that he would one day play football again.





Zika Virus could affect Olympics in Rio

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zika-virus-photo-2.jpgRIO DE JANEIRO - With about 500,000 people expected to visit Brazil for the Olympics here this year, researchers are scrambling to figure how much of a risk the Games might pose in spreading the Zika virus around the world.

Infectious disease specialists are particularly focused on the potential for Zika to spread to the United States. As many as 200,000 Americans are expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics in August. When they return to the Northern Hemisphere and its summer heat, far more mosquitoes will be around to potentially transmit the virus in the United States.

Brazilian researchers believe that Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects, came to their country during another major sports event - the 2014 World Cup - when hundreds of thousands of visitors flowed into Brazil. Virus trackers here say that the strain raging in Brazil probably came from Polynesia, where an outbreak was rattling small islands around the Pacific.

As many as 1.5 million people are believed to have contracted the virus in Brazil since then, and the authorities are now investigating thousands of reported cases of babies being born recently with brain damage and abnormally small heads. Zika has spread to more than 20 nations and territories in the Western Hemisphere, according to the World Health Organization, illustrating how quickly the epidemic can expand even without a big international gathering.

By itself, the virus is not normally life-threatening, and most people who become infected have no symptoms at all.

The big question is whether Zika is responsible for the huge increase in birth defects reported by doctors, hospitals and other medical officials in Brazil over the last few months. That connection has still not been proved.

"There is more and more concern that there may be a causal relationship, but a lot of the work so far is to rule out other possible causes," Dr. Bruce Aylward, an assistant director general at the World Health Organization, said on Thursday, adding that it might take six to nine months to know for sure.

Asked whether the W.H.O. would advise people not to travel to Brazil for the Olympics, he replied: "I would think that would be very, very unlikely."

American officials in the United States said Thursday that there was little likelihood of a Zika outbreak in the United States, adding that the country's long history of mosquito control efforts had curbed other mosquito-borne diseases, like dengue or chikungunya, in the past.

But because the virus can be carried in a person's blood to a new country, then passed to others by mosquito bites, researchers are trying to determine whether a big global event like the Olympics could add to the global transmission of the disease.

"Infected travelers departing from Brazil are expected to return to regions that have the potential to sustain transmission," said Moritz Kraemer, a scholar at Oxford University who researches the global spread of viruses, emphasizing that many travelers would return to their home countries during the summer. "So the international spread of the virus might increase substantially due to higher activity of mosquitoes."

Using worldwide temperature profiles and air travel routes, Mr. Kraemer and other researchers found that more than 60 percent of the population of the United States lives in areas where Zika can be transmitted during the Northern Hemisphere's summer, when the Games will be held. A much smaller number, about 23 million people, live in parts of the United States where Zika can be transmitted year-round, like Florida and Texas, the researchers found.





selector-crushed-by-bus-master-j-stewart.jpgA family is mourning the untimely deaths of two brothers who lost their lives tragically three days apart.

Popular selector Sanjay Stewart Grey a.k.a Master J, died in Spanish Town after being crushed by a bus. His brother died tragically three days ago at an ill-fated dance where a gun salute during the dance went wrong..

"Mi feel it for the family, a mother lost two sons in the space of three days. Mi hear say Master J and his bredda reach the dance, and inna one corner, and five minutes later, the gun salute, the bredda dead, and now this. All when yu think your burden ah the heaviest, other people have it tougher. Mi feel this one," a family friend is reported as saying.

Master J is described as "a good youth".

"Mi feel it say him drop out so tragically. Him play ah nuff uptown parties, him ting a pick up, last week Thursday, mi see him shell down Early Thursdays at Link Sports Bar, he had a bright future ahead of him," the friend continued.

The selector had reportedly been waiting in a bus at the Spanish Town terminus, but grew impatient as the bus took a long time to 'load' and make its full quota so that it could be on its way. The man saw another bus in the Spanish Town square, and that bus was in the process of leaving, so he decided to exit and attempted to hop onto the moving bus, but lost his footing and fell. The bus ran over him.

He later succumbed to his injuries in the Spanish Town, and was pronounced dead while undergoing treatment.





zika-virus.jpgThe Ministry of Education has designated Friday, February 5 as a National Clean-Up Day to facilitate vector control activities in schools in light of the threat of the Zika Virus.

The Ministry is calling for parents and other persons to participate in the school clean-up through PTA's and community groups.

Activities will also include the sensitisation of parents and members of the community on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the Zika Virus.

This includes removing or cleaning possible breeding sites once per week and ensuring stored water is properly covered.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts three to four million people could be infected with the Zika virus in the Americas this year.

WHO Director General, Dr Margaret Chan, in a briefing yesterday said Zika had gone from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions.

The WHO will meet on Monday to decide whether Zika should be treated as a global emergency.

The last time an international emergency was declared was for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa which killed more than 11 thousand people.





aj-nicholson-photo-1.jpgHaving made what was admitted to have been a crude joke about 'flexi-rape' during debate on the flexi-work week bill that was before the Senate some time ago, Minister of Foreign Affairs, AJ Nicholson has again come under fire for inquiring whether the Auditor General, Pamela Munroe-Ellis, was in the bathroom when she received an update on a 2013 project.

Interestingly, last year, Nicholson made a public issue about whether a female member of the Senate Marlene Malahoo-Forte had gone to the bathroom when she was required by the Senate President.

On Friday, leader of Opposition Business in the Upper House, Tom Tavares-Finson, led the charge in reading into the record an email that Nicholson sent to all 21 members of the Senate last week and demanded, Nicholson, to apologise for Senate President, Floyd Morris, sought to stop Tavares Finson when the latter insisted that Minister Nicholson should apologise for the insulting statement about the Auditor General.

Despite Morris' objection, Tavares Finson demanded that Nicholson tell the Senate why he made the bathroom reference in the note about Munroe-Ellis.

It was also revealed in the sitting, that fellow Government Senator, Lambert Brown, had cautioned Nicholson during the email exchange following the initial correspondence, that Nicholson had sent his inquiry to all 21 senators, including the Opposition members. That was apparently viewed by the Opposition members as conformation that Brown had noted some degree of indiscretion in Nicholson's statement.

Senator Montague posed a relevant question when he asked Senator Nicholson how he speaks of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller when the PM is out of earshot.

Nicholson refused to apologise or even comment on the matter.





Missing Sav-la-mar baby found in St Elizabeth

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The six month old baby who was reported missing in Savanna la mar, Westmoreland on Monday has been found alive in St Elizabeth.

A Sergeant attached to the Maggotty police tsaid the child was found Thursday night with his grand-aunt.

The woman is in police custody. The child is to be taken to the Black River Hospital for observation, after which he will be handed over to the Savanna la mar police.

According to the police, the woman tried to present the child as her own.

Earlier this week the Savanna-la-mar Police launched a hunt for the woman.

The child's mother, who lives in May Pen, Clarendon, said she spent the weekend with her aunt and could not find her son when she was preparing to leave.





ganja-image-1.jpgJamaica is one step closer to the start of a regulated cannabis industry.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Ganja, this week gave instructions for drafting of interim regulations.

The instructions came after an extensive process of consultation with key stakeholders by the Cannabis Licensing Authority.

The Interim Regulations will govern the licensing regime for the cultivation, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting and retailing of ganja.

The instruction to draft the interim regulations comes nine months after the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act came into effect.





butch-stewart.jpgThe hotel chain owned by Gordon 'Butch' Stewart - Sandals - in the on going criminal trial of former Premier of the Turks& Caicos Islands Michael Misick, has been accused of procuring political favours with sizeable monetary donations.

This in turn would see preferential treatment in securing deals for the development of its Beaches Hotel on the small British territory.

Prosecuting lawyer Andrew Mitchell QC has claimed that between 2006 and 2010, Sandals paid over US$1 million to Misick entities and subsequently the Jamaican-formed hotel group landed concessionary deals and other favorable terms in constructing and operating the largest hotel complex in the Turks& Caicos.

Sandals has issued the following statement in response:

"On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Andrew Mitchell Q.C. in continuing his opening statement in the criminal trial of former Premier of the Turks & Caicos, Michael Misick and others, stated that payments were made to Michael Misick by one or more Sandals-related companies. It is a fact that those payments were made.

"The matter first came to light in the course of investigation by the US Department of Justice. This triggered a series of internal investigations by Sandals to determine the source of the payment and the responsible parties., Tom Scott, a retired Federal judge and partner in the Florida law firm, Cole, Scott & Kissane, was retained by Sandals to assist with the investigation and a highly reputable forensic accounting firm in Washington D.C. was also engaged to conduct an in-depth accounting investigation into the affair. The results of the investigation and the forensic audit revealed that some US$1,650,000 had been paid to Prestigious Properties Limited, a real estate company in which Michael Misick, Phillip Misick and Washington Misick were the shareholders, and Chalmers Misick & Co., a firm of lawyers in the TCI. All those payments were made without the knowledge or consent of the principals of Sandals.

"The unauthorized payments were made by a Senior Executive and then Treasurer of Sandals. This culminated in the separation of the Senior Executive from the company and was followed by Sandals filing a lawsuit against him in the Bahamas to recover the unauthorized payments. The damage done to the Company by his actions was substantial. Not only had he betrayed the trust which the Chairman and other Directors had reposed in him but based on the level of his authority, the Company was legally bound by his actions and this culminated in the Company having to absorb a fine of US$12M imposed by the Turks & Caicos authorities.

"In concluding the investigation the US Department of Justice said that Sandals had cooperated: "with the United States authorities to a degree that [was] acknowledged to be both extraordinary and unique and included the early and voluntary release of valuable evidence that has been shared with the Special Investigation Prosecution Team ("SIPT")"





Jamaica confirms first confirmed Zika virus case

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zika-virus.jpgThe Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed the first case of the Zika Virus in Jamaica.

The patient, a four-year-old child from Portmore, St Catherine, has now recovered, stated the Ministry in a press release. According to the ministry, the child began showing symptoms on January 17 after a trip to Texas in the United States.

Below is the full statement from the Health Ministry on the matter:

The Ministry of Health has confirmed one case of the Zika virus in Jamaica. The patient who has now recovered is a four year old child from Portmore, St. Catherine. The child began showing symptoms on January 17, 2016 after earlier returning to Jamaica from travel to Texas in the United States.

The child was investigated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing on January 26, 2016. The Ministry received the positive zika virus test result from CARPHA late Friday afternoon (January, 29, 2016).

The case is being investigated to determine the source of infection and the child's parents and family have been contacted and briefed by a team from the Ministry of Health. No other family member is ill at this time.

As part of its investigations the Ministry of Health has undertaken the necessary community interventions in and around the area where the child lives to determine whether there are other cases and has heightened vector control activities.

The Minister of Health will provide a full update to the nation at a press briefing to be held on Monday, February 1, 2016.

In the meantime, the Ministry is advising persons, particularly pregnant women, to take extra precaution to prevent being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which transmit the Zika virus.

There is adequate medication available in the public health system at this time to treat the symptoms of Zika virus infection in the event of additional cases being identified.





Zika virus cases in the US climb to 20

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zika-virus.jpgThe number of cases of the Zika virus in the United States has increased to 20.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all of the patients traveled to Brazil or other affected countries.

The CDC says the disease has not spread beyond those travelers.

The Arkansas Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed that a resident had tested positive for the virus; another case was confirmed in Virginia.

The CDC has added the US Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic to its Zika virus travel alerts.

American Airlines and United Airlines have announced that they will allow some customers to cancel or postpone their trips if they are scheduled to fly to areas affected by the Zika virus.

United says its policy will include any areas listed in the CDC's alert, while American's policy so far includes flights to four destinations in Central America.

Charles Hobart, United's spokesman, says the airline is offering customers who are traveling to the affected regions the opportunity to re-book at a later date, or receive a full refund.





chris-gayle-photo-4.jpgSomerset have stuck to their word by re-signing controversial Jamaica and West Indies opener Chris Gayle for six matches in this summer's Twenty20 Blast, England's premier T20 competition.

Earlier this month, the 36-year-old was fined US $7200 after asking a television reporter for a date in a live interview while playing for Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Big Bash League

He later apologised but said the reaction was blown out of proportion. Gayle, whose first game is on June 1 against Sussex, scored 328 runs in three appearances for Somerset in 2015. The final match of his six-game stint will be against Hampshire on June 19.

Somerset's Director of Cricket Matt Maynard described Gayle as a world class cricketer who did phenomenal things for them last season.

Maynard who previously described Gayle as Box Office, also said the Jamaican is probably the biggest name in the sport at the moment.





Jamaican man freezes to death in the US

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jamaican-man-freezes-to-death.jpgA Jamaican man who worked at a hotel in Jackson, Wyoming in the United States, died last Saturday due to hypothermia, a condition which occurs when the body gets cold and loses heat faster than it can make it.

The coroner's office in Jackson said 30-year-old Aldane Mullings died from hypothermia due to exposure. The phenomenon can occur due to extreme exposure to cold air. Temperatures in Jackson, Wyoming hit minus-16 degrees Celsius last Friday night.

Mullings' body was found lying in a road on Saturday morning.

The Washington Times reported that the deceased man had been in Jackson on a J-1 visa, working at a hotel.

Authorities said he was last seen alive, drinking at a restaurant early on Saturday morning.

They said his death is no longer being treated as a suspicious development, this after an autopsy determined that none of his injuries was consistent with severe trauma.





Passenger crushed trying to hop onto bus

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shocked.jpgA commuter who hopped on a bus, fell and was crushed by the wheels of the bus in Spanish Town on Wednesday.

According to eyewitness reports, the man had been waiting on a bus at the Spanish Town terminus, but grew impatient as the bus took a long time to 'load' and make its full quota so that it could be on its way. The man saw another bus, in the Spanish Town square, in the process of leaving; so he decided to exit the vehicle he was in. He then attempted to hop onto the other bus while it was in motion, but lost his footing and fell. The bus ran over him.

"Mi a drive inna the middle of the road, and mi feel the bus run over something and there is no bump in the middle of the road, so I stopped. When mi go outside, big crowd draw, the bus had run over a man," bus driver Owen James is reported as saying.

The passengers in the bus quickly disembarked and assisted in getting the injured man onto the bus. James drove him to the Spanish Town hospital for emergency treatment, but the man eventually succumbed to his injuries in the Spanish Town hospital, and was pronounced dead while undergoing treatment.

The man has since been identified as Sanjay Stewart Grey of an unknown address.

An eyewitness recounted that the man was on a bus designated for Half Way Tree and kept telling the driver he was in haste and that he was wasting time.

"The driver didnt pay him any mind while the bus was loading. The man vex and come off and wi jus see weh de man hop onto Sun Tour Classic and drop off and the left back wheel run over him," the eyewitness recounted.

"Mi don't know if him drop because him a wear slippers or what, but it just unfortunate how him lose him life through carelessness."

A subsequent report was made at the Traffic Department of the Spanish Town police and an investigation launched into the incident.





Linstead man murdered

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crime-scene-7.jpgThirty-two year old Dwayne Harrison of Capture Land, Commodore in Linstead, St Catherine was shot and killed over the weekend by unknown assailants.

Reports from the police's communication arm, the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), are that around 11:50 pm, explosions were heard and the police summoned.

Harrison's body was found along a dirt track in the community.

He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation has been launched.





drugs-bust-new-york.jpgTwo alleged drug dealers from Guatemala were arrested in New York on Tuesday after authorities found 100 pounds of heroin worth $14million in their pickup trucks.

Peter Omar Garcia-Romero and Jose Guadencio Lantan-Vela were busted as they circled snow-covered blocks of Queens looking for parking spots in two separate trucks - a silver pickup and a blue 'monster truck' with massive tires.

The vehicles were first spotted at about 8pm, driving slowly and circling the blocks several times. Both vehicles had North Carolina plates and one was unregistered, officials said.

At 8.45pm, officials approached the vehicles, identified themselves, and eventually took the men into custody after discovering the heroin.

The area in Elmhurst was under surveillance by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Division, the NYPD and State Police at the time 'as part of an ongoing investigation into heroin distribution organizations operating in the Northeast region of the United States' a statement from the organizations said.

The men gave inconsistent statements, said Erin Mulvey, spokeswoman for the New York Division of the DEA, according to the New York Post.

'It was a monster pickup truck driving around the streets of queens looking for a place to park in the snow, so it really stood out,' Mulvey said. 'The two trucks kept going around and around in the same area.'

A Port Authority trained search dog found the 100 pounds of heroin hidden inside an old drive shaft and axle casings that were laying the bed of the silver truck, officials told the Post.





pnp-gen-sec-paul-burke.jpgGeneral Secretary of the People's National Party, Paul Burke, is not ruling out the possibility that PNP President Portia Simpson-Miller could announce the date for the general election at Sunday's mass meeting in Half Way Tree Square.

In a media advisory yesterday the Party said Sunday's meeting is part of its national mobilisation effort as it prepares for the election. Mrs. Simpson-Miller and other officers will address supporters.

And the Jamaica Labour Party says it's ready in the event that the date for the election is announced on Sunday.

General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang says that the Party has campaign activities planned.





cisoca-logo.jpgThe Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has launched an investigation into a rape video uploaded onto popular Facebook group Ragashanti Live on Monday evening.

The video shows four boys and a girl in an empty room as one young man forcefully removed the young girl's uniform, while the others recorded the ordeal, laughing to her grunts and tears.

"Please. No. It hurts," she pleaded as the youngster replied, "Shut yuh mout gyal and tek [expletive]."

The three-minute long video continued to show the girl crying, as the other boys eventually joined in - forcing the girl to perform fellatio.

The video has since been deleted, but not before thousands of Jamaicans saw the graphic content; voicing their outrage into the recording.

"So there's another rape video, Straight Outta Jamaica. WTH is wrong with these men. Smh," one woman wrote.

"Jah know, look how dem deal wid the girl! If she was my sister, mi nah hesitate fi get my justice fi har," one man noted.

"Animals! Just nasty," another woman exclaimed.

It is the latest incident of its kind in Jamaica.

On November 9, 2015, 25-year-old Clarendon resident Odane Greyson made himself a symbol of instant notoriety when he faced huge backlash for a video he uploaded to Facebook.

Greyson's video depicted a purported recording of sexual intercourse with him and a seemingly unwilling female participant begging him to stop hurting her.

Following a week-long investigation, he was slapped with rape and forcible abduction charges, and subsequently offered bail in the sum of $500,000 on Wednesday, December 9.





zika-virus.jpgThree persons have tested positive for the Zika Virus in New York, city officials said on Friday.

All three had travelled to areas outside the United States where the mosquito-borne ailment is spreading rapidly, the New York State Department of Health said, without specifying where.

Officials said one person has completely recovered, while the others are getting better.

US health authorities earlier on Friday expanded a travel warning for pregnant women to avoid 22 places in Latin America and the Caribbean due to the Zika virus.

It has been linked to thousands of cases of a birth defect known as microcephaly, when babies are born with abnormally small heads, which can cause brain damage. In New York, authorities have warned anyone contemplating travel to warmer regions to take care.

"We are urging residents, especially pregnant women, to check all health advisories before travelling, and take preventive measures when travelling to affected countries," said New York State Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker.





Bisexual Jamaican man granted asylum in Britain

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A bisexual man who said he would be killed if he was deported to his native Jamaica, has been granted the right to remain in the United Kingdom after a three-and-a-half-year legal battle with the British Home Office.

Orashia Edwards from Leeds, initially had his claim for asylum rejected after a judge ruled he had been "dishonest" about his sexuality.

But Edwards, who had a relationship with a man throughout much of his appeal, argued that he was treated unfairly because of misconceptions about bisexuality, and that widespread media coverage of his case in Jamaica would endanger his life.

In reacting to confirmation of his refugee status, Edwards, 33, tol the Gardian newspaper in the UK that: "I'm delighted. For the past three years I've had trouble eating, trouble sleeping, problems with depression, but now I can finally move forward with my life.

"It's a huge relief to me, to my mother, to my friends and supporters. I would never have made it without their support, I'm just so thankful to all of them."

He said he would now be able to open a bank account, apply for jobs and enroll in a college to pursue qualifications in electrical engineering.

Edwards, who was detained at times during the resolution of his asylum claim, said he had even provided intimate pictures of himself with another man to support his claim, but that officials had refused to acknowledge them as evidence of his sexuality.

Buggery was noted to be illegal in Jamaica, and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while sexual relations between men are widely frowned upon and definitely not accepted in public.

The Guardian in its report on the outcome of Edwards' court battle, said in 2014, the organisation, Human Rights Watch, found that LGBT people in the Jamaica faced "unchecked" violence and discrimination, and could not depend on the police for protection.





Sagicor Group Jamaica president and CEO, Richard Byles collapsed while on business abroad.

In a press release on Monday afternoon, Sagicor announced that "Byles did not feel well and was taken to the hospital for observation."

The company stated that Byles "remains in touch with his office."

Byles is one of the most highly regarded corporate executives in Jamaica.

He joined Sagicor in March 2004 and has guided the company into being a major financial sector player in Jamaica.

He is co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC).





PE teacher charged by CISOCA

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cisoca-logo.jpgCharges have been laid against a Physical Education teacher of a prominent high school. The teacher has been charged by detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

According to a release from the Jamaica Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit, the teacher is accused of inappropriately interacting with a student in his office in late December 2015.

He is to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday, February 1. He is facing a charge of sexual touching.

According to the JCF release, investigations are still ongoing.





Businesswoman charged for beating student with bat

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hands-behind-bars.jpgTrelawny businesswoman, Judith Scott, who operates a gas station in Duncans in the parish,has been charged by the police after allegedly using a baseball bat to beat a student of the Cedric Titus High School,last Saturday.

She is set to appear in court next Wednesday.

Police reports are that Scott found the 17-year-old schoolboy at her home studying with her 17-year-old niece also a student of the Cedric Titus High School.

Smith reportedly became angry when she found the teenage boy in her home and allegedly attacked him viciously, giving him a severe beating with the baseball bat, resulting in numerous injuries all over his body.

The injured teen reported the matter to the police.

Following investigations by the police, Scott was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The matter was also reported to the Children's Services Division, who are conducting their own investigations.

Sources at the school said the students were study partners.





Man shot dead during gun salute at dance

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crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Police High Command has ordered an investigation into the circumstances under which a man was fatally shot at a dance in Dam Head, St Catherine yesterday.

Investigators are trying to determine whether members of the Force were involved in the death of Romeo Marks. Mr Marks was shot during a gun salute at the dance.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, confirmed that members of the Force are under investigation in the matter. He said that several shots were fired at the scene and that police were on location.





Cold front continues

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The Meteorological Service says Jamaica is being impacted by a cold front east of the island.

The system is expected to remain in the vicinity of Jamaica for the next two days.

As a result,cloudy conditions will continue with cooler than normal temperature across sections of the island.





Fight Zika Virus with nuclear radiation

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zika-virus.jpgYukiya Amano, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations top nuclear watchdog group, will propose the use of nuclear radiation treatment as a strategy to eliminate or reduce the mosquito population carrying the Zika virus.

He made the disclosure yesterday before leaving for an official visit to Central America where the virus has been rapidly spreading.

The Atomic Energy Agency head said his organization has conducted extensive scientific trials and research into the effectiveness of the proposed method. Mr. Amano said the technology to sterilise insects is very effective in the reduction or eradication of the population of mosquitos and other carriers.

He pointed out that similar treatments have been carried out in parts of Africa targeting the Tsetse fly, which infects humans with a parasitic disease known as human sleeping sickness. According to the Pan American Health Organization, the Zika virus will likely spread to all 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as the southern part of the United States.

Alarmed at the surge of the mosquito virus in the Americas, the U.S. government has also launched an effort to develop a vaccine. However, medical observers say developing a vaccine could take years. In addition to causing birth defects the Zika virus appears to be linked to a rise in a nerve ailment called Guillain-Barre syndrome that causes paralysis in adults.





Policemen slapped with drugs charges

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hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo policemen and a former colleague of theirs have been slapped with drug charges following a cocaine bust at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Friday.

Sources indicate that one of the accused cops was caught with the drugs while dressed in the official uniform of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Reports were that the men were all held in an operation conducted by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

While details of the operation remain sketchy, it has been confirmed that it did take place at the airport.

It is understood that the three men were taken from a vehicle in which the drugs was found.

Acting on intelligence, MOCA operatives were reportedly awaiting the trio when they arrived at the airport, where one of the accused was said to have been previously stationed.





PNP releases names of election candidates

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pnp-headquarters.jpgJamaica's governing People's National Party (PNP) has released the names of persons who are expected to be its candidates in the next general election.

The list of 63 individuals was published on Sunday in both daily newspapers. It includes 13 women. Seven are seeking entry to Gordon House for the first time. They are Marsha Francis in St. Thomas Western, Imani Duncan Price St. Andrew East Rural; Jacqueline Taylor O'Gilvie, St. Andrew Northern, and Lisa Ann-Edwards, St. Andrew North Eastern, Patricia Sutherland Clarendon in South Eastern, Norma Lue-Lindsay in Clarendon Central, and Ashley-Ann Foster, St. James Central.

The newcomers among the men are Donovan Isaacs in St. Andrew North Western, Desmond Brennan, Clarendon North Central, and Norris Grant St. Catherine Central.

Other newcomers are Courtney Spence in St. Catherine South Central, retired West Indies cricketer Darren Powell, running in St. Elizabeth North Western, and Anthony Henry in St. James North Western.





police-cars.jpgA team from INDECOM is expected to question a Senior Superintendent of Police, who is under investigation following the shooting of a pregnant woman in Montego Bay, St James on the weekend. The woman is in serious condition after being shot in the back.

It's reported that the police and members of the Transport Authority were conducting a spot check in Westgate when they signalled a taxi to stop. The driver disobeyed and this led to a high speed chase. It's reported that the cab smashed into other vehicles.

The Senior Superintendent and a District Constable, who were involved in the chase, reportedly opened fire on the cab. It was discovered that the woman was shot. Four other passengers including children were in the vehicle.

The firearms of the Senior Superintendent and the District Constable have been seized by INDECOM. The Bureau of Special Investigation and the Inspectorate of Constabulary are also probing the incident.

And the driver of the vehicle has been arrested and charged. The taxi operator, who has several outstanding tickets, has been charged with several traffic violations, including dangerous driving and disobeying the police. He is scheduled to appear in court later this week.





police-cars.jpgA high level investigation has been initiated by the Police High Command into a suspected international drug trafficking ring involving members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Two policemen and an ex-cop were arrested on Friday during a major drug bust at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA).

The men were nabbed by operatives of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

The trio was accosted while they sat in a car at the airport.

The vehicle was searched and 20 packages containing more than 10 pounds of cocaine valued at millions of dollars were seized.

One of the implicated policemen is reported to be attached to the Protective Service Division, while the other is said to be, or was previously, based at the Norman Manley International Airport.

Indications were that the police began probing the drug network at the airport following the arrest of another cop last year.

It is believed that the accused cops are linked to drug traffickers in South America and the United States.





jdf-soldier-girlfriend-murder-suicide.jpgA 35-year-old JDF soldier, Lance Corporal Junior Wallace and his wife 30-year-old Christina Dawkins - a third year architecture student at the University of Technology are dead in what police say was a case of murder-suicide.

The police report that relatives had not seen the couple for more than a day and went to their house in search of them.

They kicked in the door to the house and found the bodies of Dawkins and Wallace in their bedroom.

Dawkins had two gunshots to her upper body and Wallace had a single bullet wound to the right side of his head.

The couple who had been married ten years died leaving a son. A man and woman are dead in what the Clarendon Police suspect to be a murder/suicide shooting in Park Hall in the parish around 8pm on Saturday.

However, according to other reports, a team of officers was summoned to the premises of 28-year-old University of Technology (UTech) student Christina Dawkins and her common-law-husband, Junior Wallace, a 35-year-old lance corporal from the Jamaica Defence Force - after residents reported hearing explosions.

Upon their arrival, Dawkins and Wallace were found lying in a pool of blood.

While investigations into the grizzly incident continue, the police have further indicated that a Glock pistol was also recovered from the scene.





No bail for man who allegedly murdered two sisters

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDelroy Erskine, the man accused of last year's murder of two sisters in May Pen, Clarendon, was remanded when he appeared before the May Pen Criminal Court on Thurday.

Erskine, a construction worker, who was charged last week, was remanded until March 24.

He is accused of the murders of 18 year old, Feleisha Bryan, who was a sixth form student at Vere Technical High School and her 23 year old sister, Janelle Howell.

Their bodies, which had stab wounds, were found in bushes near their home in Land Lease on October 3.

Erskine was captured last week in St Ann.





photog-rheco-snapdat.jpgTributes have been pouring in for well known photographer, Records Dowe aka Rheco Snapdat who reportedly drowned on Wednesday while diving at Blue Hole in St Ann.

"We believe that he hit his head before he hit the water and that's why he drowned because he is a good swimmer. He has jumped off the rocks at the Blue Hole before but this was his first attempt at that spot, and he died," close friend and dancehall artiste Chilando said.

"His family is mourning his loss, and he was a key member of Team Chilando, he was a neighbour, and a friend, and I am mourning a friend today. I was at home when I got the call and it shake me up say he is really gone."





tarrus-riley-photo-2.jpgPopular singer Althea,Hamilton, who has worked for several years with saxophonist Dean Fraser and reggae singer Tarrus Riley, succumbed to cancer this week.

According to a good friend, the singer had fought a valiant, eight-year battle with the disease.

"When she was put in hospice care at the end of last year, we knew in our hearts that that was the end. She was diagnosed eight years ago and has been treated at different stages. The cancer has gone into remission more than once, but it kept coming back, and in the end, it was at different places in her body, including the brain," the source told Yardflex.

Dean Fraser paid tribute to Althea on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

This makes the second back-up singer who worked with Dean to pass away. Connie Campbell died in 2012 after being in a coma for close to two years.





Prison escapee back in jail

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Westmoreland police say, they have recaptured an inmate who escaped from the Spanish Town lock-up in 2013.

He is Andre Knight of Spanish Town, and is said to be a member of the Clansman Gang, based in the old capital.

Knight was being sought for the killings of two Trinidad and Tobago nationals.

It is reported that police carried-out an operation in Carwina District in Westmoreland.

Its further reported that four persons were spotted at the house, one ran and managed to elude the police.

Three were taken into custody, including Knight.





Two women are in custody following the discovery of the body of ten year old Juvaine Bent in Portland Cottage, Clarendon on Sunday.

Head of the Clarendon Police, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, disclosed that a man has also been detained.One of the women is from Portland Cottage.

Investigators are still trying to ascertain the circumstances which led to Juvaine's death.

Three days after he was reported missing his body was found near a pond on Sunday morning.

Reports are that several wounds were seen on the body and one of the arms is missing.





Zik V puts pause on pregnancy

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zika-virus-photo-1.jpgOn Monday, the Ministry of Health advised women to delay becoming pregnant for the next six to twelve months given the possible link between the mosquito-borne virus and birth defects.

Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Health Ministry, Dr. Melody Ennis, said with the increasing threat and closeness of the virus to Jamaica, the ministry's position has changed. In an advisory issued on Monday, the Health Ministry says women who are already pregnant should take extra precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as Zika could cause microcephaly.

Microcephaly is an abnormal growth of the brain and stunting of the growth of the head of the foetus arising from infection in the first months of pregnancy.

Babies who develop microcephaly in the womb may not live to full term, maybe born prematurely, still born or survive but with life-long disabilities.

The Ministry's statement comes in light of questions being raised about its delay in warning women against pregnancy as has been done in other countries with the virus such as Brazil.

Health Minister, Horace Dalley says there is still no absolute proof of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly.However, based on evidence from Brazil, information from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and other technical partners the Ministry is seeking to prevent any possible adverse outcome to pregnant women.

He has reminded persons to take the necessary steps to rid their communities of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits the Zika virus. He added that the Ministry of Health has heightened its alert and is scaling up vector control activities.

In a statement on Monday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recommended that member countries monitor and report increases in neurological syndromes and congenital anomalies, which growing evidence suggests may be linked to Zika infections.





The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services says an immigration lawyer has been arrested in New York for defrauding immigrants, including Caribbean nationals.

The agency says Gnoleba Seri of Brooklyn, New York has been charged for immigration fraud and aggravated identity theft.

It says Seri allegedly used his legal knowledge to circumvent the law and forge documents that are critical to obtaining an immigrant visa.

The US immigration authority says Seri is charged with one count of visa fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive minimum sentence of two years in prison; and one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.





Bog Walk Gorge closed as truck overturns in river

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truck-bog-walk-gorge.jpgThe Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine has been closed to facilitate the removal of a truck carrying Liquified Natural Gas which overturned in the Gorge early Sunday.

The incident in which the vehicle ended up in the Rio Cobre, reportedly took place about 3 o'clock .

The truck driver escaped serious injuries

It's not clear how the truck ended up partially submerged in the water.

Teams from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) the National Works Agency, the Jamaica Fire Brigade and police are conducting assessments of the incident scene.





Negative results for suspected Zik V infections

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zika-virus-photo-1.jpgThe Ministry of Health is reporting that it has so far investigated twelve suspected cases of the Zika virus however they have returned negative results.

The samples, which were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, included eleven Jamaicans and a foreigner who traveled from Latin America.

In a statement late Friday, Health Minister Horace Dalley, said with Zika confirmed in Haiti, the Ministry will intensify vector control activities this weekend.

Dalley says given Jamaica's relationship with Haiti and other countries where the virus has been confirmed such as Panama, the threat of spread to Jamaica is imminent. He noted that despite efforts there is still a high number of mosquito breeding sites in several communities across the island. Accordingly, the Health Ministry will publish the names of communities with high levels of Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding.

The main symptoms of the Zika virus are fever, conjunctivitis, temporary arthritis, mainly in the small joints of the hands and feet, and a rash that often starts on the face and spreads throughout the body.Symptoms are generally mild and last between two and seven days.

There is no vaccine or preventive drugs.





One escaped prisoner flung back behind bars

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDondre Hyman, 21, one of the four prisoners who escaped from the Whithorn lock up in Westmoreland earlier this week has been recaptured.

Hyman was held at a house in Whithorn on Thursday.

He is facing a murder charge and will now be slapped with a further charge of escaping custody.

The police are still on the hunt for the other escapees.

They are: 20-year-old Romaine Jenkinson, 29-year-old Marvin Wilson, and 26-year-old Orlando Jarrett.

Jenkinson and Wilson are facing murder charges while Jarrett is facing charges of housebreaking and larceny.





zika-virus.jpgThe United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to countries in the Caribbean, and Latin American, where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies·

Officials say it could be the first time the CDC advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak. But some infectious disease specialists say, while such a warning is warranted, it could have a devastating effect on travel and tourism.

A CDC spokesman said the agency hoped to make a final announcement either on Thursday or Friday

The Zika virus first appeared on the South American continent in May, and although it often causes only mild rashes and fevers, women, particularly those in the first trimester of pregnancy, appear to be much more likely to have children with small heads and damaged brains, a condition called microcephaly.

Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, director of vector-borne diseases for the CDC, said the agency had found Zika virus in tissue from four Brazilian infants, two of whom had microcephaly and died shortly after birth, and two of whom died in the womb.

Some American virologists are already warning women who are pregnant or trying to have children to avoid traveling to the region.The Zika virus has been found in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.

The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Jamaica has not yet reported any case of the Zika virus.





hands-behind-bars.jpgInvestigators have revealed that three of the four inmates who escaped from the Whithorn police lock-up in Westmoreland were murder suspects.

They escapees are Marvin Wilson (alias Grave Digger), Romaine Jenkinson, Orlando Jarrett, and Dande Hyman.

The four were discovered missing about 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

It's reported that the men cut their way out of the lock-up.

Assistant Commissioner Winchroy Budhoo, head of Area One, told RJR News that a major search is on for the escapees. He has urged members of the public not to harbour the escapees.

This is the second jail break is less than a month. Four prisoners escaped from the Spanish Town lock up on December 19.





Prison escapee nicknamed 'Schoolboy' murdered

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crime-scene-7.jpgTwenty-one-year-old Romaine Esson, otherwise called 'School Boy', of Dalling Street, Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland, was shot dead in Caanan Mountain, Little London in the parish on Thursday.

Reports from the Little London police were that about 1:30 pm, residents heard an explosion and alerted them. On their arrival, Esson was seen lying in a yard with a gunshot wound.

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

Esson, who was charged for murder, escaped police custody at the Savanna-la-Mar Police Station lock-up.

Police investigations into his death continue.





boston-jerk-pork.jpgA visit by a team from the Health Ministry has prompted the closure of the Boston Jerk Centre in Portland, causing what will undoubtedly be a great financial los to the vendor there..

The Ministry ordered the world renown centre closed after its staff visited the location and found that unhealthy practices being undertaken there psed a serious health risk. Vendors preparing meals with dirty fingernails and pigs were being slaughtered on site are some of the unhealthy practices unearthed by the team.

The Ministry said it visited the site and warned the operators that they were not conducting themselves in a manner that was safe for patrons. However, despite the warnings, the vendors did not take steps to improve the situation so there was no option but to order the jerk centre closed.

The Boston Jerk Centre has been a popular spot for years and is credited for its jerk pork, lobster and chicken which attract visitors and locals alike.





garvey-maceo-students-in-accident.jpgThe Transport Authority has launched an investigation into Tuesday's crash along Foga Road in May Pen, Clarendon where an illegally operated bus overturned injuring several Garvey Maceo students.

The bus overturned following a collision with a Honda Integra motor car, shortly after 9 o'clock and left some 15 students hospitalised with at least two reportedly in serious condition.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Transport Authority said a team from it's operations division was dispatched to the crash scene to assess the situation and will be conducting further investigations into the matter.

The Authority is urging commuters to use only legal public passenger vehicles.

It is also joining the police in appealing to parents of students from Garvey Maceo and all other schools involved in the Safe School Bus Programme to ensure that they travel on approved school buses.

The Authority said, despite several efforts last year to implement a Safe School Bus programme in South Clarendon, some students from the participating schools refuse to take the designated buses.

It is calling for civic groups in the parish to help the Authority and the Police to galvanize support for the programme.





New May 23 trial date for Flippa Mogglea

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flippa-mafia.jpgDeejay Andrew 'Flippa Mogglea' Davis is scheduled for a retrial in Camden County Superior Court in New Jersey, on May 23.

The date was set when the entertainer appeared before Superior Court Judge John Kelley for a status conference on Monday.

"The State will retry Andrew Davis on the first-degree charge of Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, the one charge on which the jury in the last trial could not reach a verdict," said Peter Aseltine, Division of Criminal Justice press officer in New Jersey's Attorney General Office.

"He will not be sentenced on the other charges until he is tried again on the leader charge," Aseltine continued.

Flippa Mafia is being represented by top-tier Philadelphia criminal attorney J Michael Farrell.

In December, the deejay was found guilty of first-degree distribution of cocaine, second-degree money laundering, and second-degree conspiracy. The first-degree rap carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years, while the second degree has an incarceration period of five to 10 years.

According to prosecutors, investigations began in March 2011, when agents from the Camden High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office seized two packages from a mail facility in Marlton destined for receipt by Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard.

Each package contained four kilograms of cocaine. It is believed the 37-year-old entertainer ran an international drug ring that used the United States Mail and other delivery services to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey. More than 26 kilos of cocaine and over US$500,000 in cash were seized from the network. He has, however, maintained his innocence.

Bernard is scheduled to be sentenced on February 5.





Man killed and stuffed in car trunk identified

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crime-scene-7.jpgDetectives attached to the St Andrew Central Police Division have confirmed the identity of a man whose body was found in a Mitsubishi Gallant Terios motor car on Margaret Villa Road, Kingston 10, yesterday

He is 27-year-old Kevon McClure of 7 East, Greater Portmore, St Catherine.

The police had earlier issued an appeal for people to assist them with identifying the body.

Reports are that about 9:13 pm, residents stumbled upon the body and alerted the police. On their arrival, McClure's body was seen in the trunk of the motor vehicle with a gunshot wound.

Monday evening, detectives again appealed to anyone with information that can assist with their investigations to contact the Half-Way-Tree Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) at 926-2551, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





raymond-pryce.jpgDeputy General-Secretary of the governing People's National Party (PNP) Raymond Pryce, has resigned from that position.

Pryce, Member of Parliament for St. Elizabeth North Eastern, in his letter to PNP President Portia Simpson Miller on Wednesday, said the ongoing unrest within the Party's organization in that constituency had caused "significant strain and concern" to him, particularly in light of the fact that he is not only the MP for that constituency, but also Deputy General-Secretary for Communication.

Pryce faced strong opposition last year from some PNP members to his candidacy for the next election, and eventually he withdrew from a selection run-off against businessman Evon Redman, clearing the way for Mr. Redman to be selected unopposed.

Since then, however, supporters of Mr. Pryce have been unrelenting in their demand that he be reinstated, mounting a series of demonstrations in the constituency. Matters came to a head on Monday, when scores of his unhappy supporters drove from St. Elizabeth to the PNP's headquarters in Kingston, pressing for a reconsideration of the matter, and denouncing some members of the Party leadership.

Pryce, in his letter to Mrs. Simpson Miller, said his decision to resign was a principled one, made also out of respect "to you personally and as Party President."

The Executive of the PNP also issued a statement on Wednesday, declaring that it had not voted or made any decision to remove or suspend Mr. Pryce, "notwithstanding the fact that many members expressed no confidence in him remaining in that position."

It added that Executive members had expressed strong concerns and criticisms of "the conduct of a small group of individuals who came to the Party Headquarters" to support Raymond Pyrce.





miss-norma-whitehall.jpgNorma Fay Henry, the owner of Norma's Restaurant on Whitehall Avenue, passed away Wednesday morning.

Henry developed medical complications and was admitted to hospital on Sunday. She was never discharged.

Her death has cast a pall of gloom along Whitehall Avenue, Mannings Hill Road, Red Hills Road and other communities where 'Miss Norma' was well known and loved.

"She will certainly be missed and we are very saddened by the news of her death. Rest In Peace Norma," one patron of the popular eatery told Loop News.





hands-behind-bars.jpgBradley Robinson, Principal of John Mills Primary and Junior High School, was arrested and charged last September with knowingly causing a child to be involved in the production of child pornography.

The case, which involves a former student, is now before the court.

Robinson is scheduled to return to court in March.

The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) is handling the probe.

The court has ordered that Mr Robinson be prohibited from visiting the school..

There is now an acting Principal at the school.





Brit Jam promoter shot and killed in Mo Bay

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promoter-killed-alonzo-clarke.jpgA popular Montegonian, Alonzo Clarke, who was also part of the Brit Jam promotional team, was shot and killed just metres from the Barnett Street Police Station in St James, early Sunday morning.

According to reports, Clarke, a carpenter by profession, was chased by his attackers and shot multiple times in the heart of the city.

No motive has been established for the killing. Investigations continue.





Politician's son beats up love rival

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The son of a promonent politician is allegedly being investigated by police, ater it was reported that he and his thugs beat up the a male friend of his ex-girlfriend.

The incident took place at a party over the weekend.

Reports are that the ex-girlfriend of the politician's son was seen at the show in the company of another man and the two were confronted by the politician's son. Following an exchange of words, the man was attacked by the politician's son and members of his entourage.

The matter was reported to both the New Kingston and the Half-Way Tree police stations.





US official warns of ISIS threat in the Caribbean

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isis-photo-1.jpgGeneral John Kelly has repeated an earlier warning that ISIS terrorists from the Caribbean may carry out attacks in their home nations.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Friday, Kelly warned that there has been a shift in the rhetoric of radical leaders away from joining the fight in the Middle East and toward carrying out attacks on a local level. Kelly presents the thinking of such radicals saying, 'Rather than coming here to Syria, why don't you just stay at home and do San Bernardino or do Boston or do Fort Hood?' Kelly believes that these attacks on American soil could soon spread across the Caribbean.

According to Kelly, approximately 150 Caribbean nationals left the region to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East last year, an increase of around 50 over the previous year. In his initial warning last year, Kelly said that the terrorists returning to the Caribbean, come back more deeply radicalized and with new destructive skills.

Whether these radicals have never left or have returned with new skills, Kelly believes the situation is a serious one.

"Even just a few of these nuts can cause an awful lot of trouble down in the Caribbean because they [Caribbean nations] don't have an FBI, they don't have law enforcement like we do. And many of these countries have very, very small militaries - if they have militaries at all," he said on Friday. In his previous warning, Kelly singled out Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela as being vulnerable to this threat.





February date for trial of cop on murder charge

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court.jpgCorporal Selvin Williams who is charged with the murder of Valbert Salmon in Top Hill, St. Elizabeth three years ago is to stand trial on February 15.

The date was set on Monday at the completion of the preliminary enquiry.

Senior Resident Magistrate Sonia Wint-Blair concluded that a prima facie case was established.

Williams was offered bail in the sum of US$400-thousand .

The police reported that on December 29, 2012 a team from the St. Elizabeth Operational Support led by the accused was on mobile patrol in Top Hill.

The team encountered two men in the middle of the road fighting.

While attempting to quell the fight, the accused reported that he was attacked with a knife and discharged one round in Salmon's direction.He was shot and later died.

Following an investigation, it was recommended that Williams be charged with murder.





Health ministry cautions about Zika virus

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zika-virus.jpgMinistry of Health is urging citizens to protect themselves as much as possible from the danger of being infected by the Zika virus, a mosquito borne disease.

With 13 countries in the Americas reporting local transmission of the virus, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse , Jamaica's Chief Medical Officer, said on Beyond the Headlines that great emphasis is being placed on reducing, as much as possible, the mosquito population which transmits the virus.

There have been reports of babies being born in Brazil with significant brain defects, as a result of their mothers being infected by the virus.

In light of that development, Dr. Bullock Ducasse was asked several times during the interview whether women in Jamaica would be advised against getting pregnant during this period. She eventually said this advisory would not be issued at this time, preferring instead to reiterate the importance of pregnant women protecting themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes, just like other members of the population.





Student from York Castle High commts suicide

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york-castle-student.jpgAccording to reports, 15-year-old, Rudolph Revers, a tenth-grade student at the York Castle High School, was discovered hanging from a tree in his backyard on January 8 by a relative.

The suicide death of the teen comes on the heels of Revers being referred by the school to both the parish psychologist and the Child Development Agency (CDA).

Principal of York Castle High school, Raymon Treasure said that he was alerted to the fact that the teen was struggling after fellow schoolmates reported that Revers displayed disturbing behaviours.

Disturbing behaviours, suicidal speech and other signs of a teen struggling were also noted as friend's of the teen paid tribute to Revers on his Facebook Page.

"It was clear that he was struggling with something," said Treasure who added that the matter was outside of the scope of the guidance counsellors at the high school and Revers and his family were subsequently referred to both a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

According to Treasure, it is unclear whether the parents followed through entirely with the referrals, although he knows the teen had started to receive help from parish psychologist.

The principal added that school community is very tight-knit as such the death of the teen is, even more, sad and impactful.

To show just how tight-knit of a community, Treasure points out that he knew Revers' grandparents and went to school with Revers' parents.

As for the students of the high school, Treasure said that they are particularly distraught.

Member of Parliament, Dayton Campbell, also commented on the death of the teen, adding that the councillor for the division has reached out to the family and efforts will be made to support the Revers family at this sensitive time.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA policeman attached to the St Elizabeth police division was on Thursday taken into custody for allegedly injuring his son. A file is to be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a ruling.

It's reported that the policeman confronted his son over his low grades. The cop allegedly hit his son, resulting in the child's hand being fractured.

The boy underwent emergency surgery.





hands-behind-bars.jpgKingston based gynaecologist Dr. Lloyd Goldson had his bail extended this morning when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court.

Goldson and a female co-accused are facing several charges following their arrest last year.

They are charged with cruelty to a child, administering drugs to procure abortion and failing to report to the Office of the Children's Registry.

Justice Gloria Smith ordered both accused to return on April 8.

The woman's bail was also extended to that date.





crime-scene-7.jpgTwenty-one years after 17-year-old Jamaican Melonie Biddersingh was abused, killed and her charred remains left in a suitcase in Toronto, Canada her father has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

It took jurors just 5 1/2 hours yesterday to come to a unanimous decision in the case against 60-year-old Everton Biddersingh who is from Jamaica.

Crown attorney, Mary Humphrey, spoke with reporters shortly after the verdict was handed down stating that they sought justice and it came quickly. She noted that because its first degree murder its automatic life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after 25 years.

Formal sentencing will take place February 8 to allow family members to give impact statements. The court heard Melonie's mother sent her and two siblings from Jamaica to Toronto to live with her father and stepmother so they would have a better life. Instead, Melonie suffered years of abuse. The court heard she was kicked, punched, sometimes chained to furniture, deprived of food.

In 1994, her remains were found in a suitcase in an industrial area, but it took 18 years for police to identify her body after they received a tip. That led to the arrest of Everton and Melonie's stepmother Elaine, whose trial begins later this year.

In the meantime, Everton Biddersingh's lawyer, Jennifer Penman, says her client will appeal the verdict.





australian-reporter-paws-weathergirl.jpgqueen turned weather presenter, in the wake of the controversy over Chris Gayle's on-air pass at a journalist.

Sports reporter Hamish McLachlan wrapped his arms around Miss Universe Australia Monika Radulovic while she gave one of her first weather reports for Channel 7 in that country.

"Professional please... my goodness," Radulovic said while pushing McLachlan away on location.

He responded by pulling back and hopping over a nearby wooden fence to exaggerate his distance.

Australians quickly took to social media to voice their disgust, accusing the television station of hypocrisy in the wake of the "Don't blush baby" saga involving Jamaican cricket star Chris Gayle.

"I find it hypocritical that you are reporting on calls for a Chris Gayle worldwide ban while laughing about similar behaviour in your own report," one viewer tweeted.

Editor@SMNaustralia tweeted: "Ouch (fire emojicon) Worse than Chris Gayle".

@JenSMcNeil tweeted: "Hamish McLachlan yet another guy who doesn't get workplace:".

The backlash forced McLachlan to apologise on-air, in front of Radulovic who described his hug as a joke. No further sanctions have been revealed to date.

Gayle described as "a simple joke" his comments to Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin during a live mid match interview.

"I came to have this interview with you to see your eyes for the first time. So hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after," he stated while laughing.

"Don't blush baby," he added.

In response, McLaughlin, dressed professionally in a white business suit, started looking away when Gayle spoke of her eyes and then responded in turn. "I'm not blushing."

Gayle was forced to offer an apology, fined US$7,300 and faces more sanctions over his on-air flirt with McLaughlin.

It is reported that Cricket Australia - which has the power to accept or deny players for the Big Bash League - will likely overlook the West Indian back next season.

It has led some to question whether the penalty is disproportionate.

Kirk@Jamaipanese tweeted: "Chris Gayle's comment was inappropriate but the reaction is blown out of proportion and has racism undertones".





Flippa Mafia for sentencing hearing Monday

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flippa-mafia.jpgBeleagured dancehall deejay, Flippa Mafia goes to court on Monday, January 11 for a status conference to determine if the defence is ready for a sentencing hearing.

The dancehall deejay was convicted last month in the Camden County Court in New Jersey, USA of first-degree distribution of cocaine, second-degree money laundering, and second-degree conspiracy after more than two years in Federal custody.

Prominent attorney at law, Professor David Rowe tells Music News that at the status conference slated for Monday is a court-ordered meeting with a judge where they decide the date of the trial.

Flippa was among eight persons arrested in 2014 under a massive anti-narcotics drive called "Operation Next Day Air" by the US authorities. Prosecutors say the organization shipped large quantities of cocaine through parcel delivery services to New Jersey for bulk distribution to other narcotics suppliers and dealers.

The dancehall deejay who faces up to 20 years to life in prison is awaiting a date for his sentencing.





St Thomas wakes up to crocodile in his backyard

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alligator-found-st-thomas-backyard.jpgA S Thomas man got the fright of his life when he awoke on Thursday morning to see an 11-foot long crocodile siting in his backyard.

He made an alert which sent the residents of the Albion community scared, shocked and traumatized.

The reptile, reportedly measuring 134 inches (or 11 feet) in length, made its way onto the property from a nearby swamp.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) arrived shortly afterwards to collect the animal, which was not harmed during its encounter with the residents.

A representative from the agency informed that Albion is part of a natural wetland area, which is the natural habit for the American crocodile specie.

"From time to time, the crocodiles have occasionally been found in this area, as well as Portmore in St Catherine," she told Loop News.

NEPA was pleased the animal was not harmed and advised that crocodiles are listed as an endangered species, sheltered under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Any citizen caught harming crocodiles will be arrested, charged and fined up to $100,000 or serve 12-months imprisonment.

NEPA encourages Jamaicans who come into contact with a crocodile, not to interfere with the animal, but to call the agency at its Corporate offices: namely (876) 754-7540 or the toll-free hotline at 1-888-991-5005 FREE.





buju-banton-photo-9.jpgDecember 8, 2018 is the day that dancehall artiste, Mark 'Buju Banton' Myrie may be released from prison in the United States some two months earlier than his initial release date.

February 2019 date that was initially set for his release, however, the new date was posted onThursday on the official website of the US Federal Bureau of Prison.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons reportedly told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that she was not authorised to divulge information about an inmate.

Rosemary Duncan, coordinator of the Buju Banton Defence Support Committee reportedly declined to comment on the entertainer's reduced sentence.

This news comes just two months after, American network BET reported that the Grammy-winning reggae singer could be among 6,000 prisoners to be released during November as part of a reform from the US Sentencing Commission.

When the news went viral in Jamaica as fans were excited by the thought that the "Not An Easy Road" singer could be sent home early.

Buju who is being held at the McRae correctional institution in Atlanta, Georgia was remanded in Miami in December 2009 where where he was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in 2011.





fabian-marley-photo-5.jpgMassive Entertainment Group, the managers of reggae singer Fabian Marley has issued a press release staing that DNA tests have proven that Fabian is not the long lost son of reggae king, Bob Marley, See release below:

"Clayton Thomas of Massive Entertainment Group is pleased to announce that the true identity of the artiste who goes by the name Fabian Marley has finally been revealed.

Mr. Thomas, who has been on record several times stating publicly that his priority has always been to establish the real parentage of the artiste in whom he has invested millions of Jamaican dollars, says he can breathe a sigh of relief now that he knows the truth.

"In my quest to find out whether or not Fabian was indeed a Marley, I was able to find Fabian's family who he grew up with and get a DNA test from the gentleman who Fabian knew as his father in his childhood. The tests have come back and it has been proven 100% that this man is indeed Fabian's real dad," the Massive Entertainmnet CEO stated.

He added, "I am very happy that this aspect has finally been put to rest and now all of us, inclding the Marleys, can move on with our lives and Fabian' with his career. I am sure that the Marleys, too are quite thrilled that, through my determination to unearth the truth, I have ended for them what must have been a rather unsettling situation."

In closing, Mr. Thomas stated that, for Fabian, the journey continues."





jutc-buses-photo-1.jpgTwo suspects, 22-year-old, Garfield Walters, and 28-year-old, George Ballentine, both of Bedward Gardens, Kingston 7 are to face the court January 11, on murder charges, in connection with the shooting death of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver, on December 29.

Walters and Ballentine are charged in connection with the death of 51-year-old, Albert Barnes and also face charges of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition

Walters surrendered to the Yallahs Police In St. Thomas on Friday, January 01, while Ballentine was picked up by the police during an operation in august town, St. Andrew on Monday . Cops say a point 3-8-0 semi-automatic pistol and 24 rounds of ammunition were taken from him.

Police had reported earlier that Mr. Barnes was driving a JUTC bus along Bedward Crescent, Kingston 7 when explosions were heard.

The police were summoned and he was found with a gunshot wound to the chest.

He died while being treated at hospital.

Video footage taken by internal cameras installed on all JUTC buses was turned over to the police by the bus company.

Walters and Ballentine are scheduled to appear before the half way tree resident magistrate's court next Monday, January 11.

The state owned JUTC responded to the attack, the second in the span of a month, with what it said was an increased level of security afforded to the JUTC crews.

Additionally, the JUTC has called on persons to utilize the smarter card system, to lower the amount of cash kept on buses.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Jamaican flight attendant who crammed more than 6 pounds of cocaine into his underwear in an unsuccessful drug-smuggling attempt was yesterday sentenced to more than two years in federal prison in Florida. He is expected to be deported after he serves his prison term.

Forty year old Rohan Myers, was arrested in September at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after working on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Montego Bay.

U.S Customs and Border Protection officers said he became very nervous and sweated profusely when they searched his baggage and questioned him about athletic compression pants in his luggage.He immediately admitted he was smuggling cocaine and showed officers four molded packages that were strapped to his thighs and ankles and held in place by long-legged compression underwear beneath his uniform.

Myers said it was his first attempt at drug smuggling, and he was recruited by a man in Jamaica who said he would be paid US$10,000 if the delivery was made.

U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas said even though Myers played a minor role, he tried to smuggle a fairly large amount of drugs into South Florida.He sentenced Myers to two years and six months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.





ninjaman-benz.jpgVeteran dancehall deejay desmond Ballentyne, beter known as Ninjaman has lent his voice to the bad gas situation. This after he personally experienced the effects of the bad gas on his own vehicle.

According to Ninja, his car had to be taken to the garage five times because of the contaminated gas and noted that it is quite expensive to repair the damage. Bad gasoline has affected numerous vehicles in the country.

He says the minister needs to meet with Petrojam and the management of a prominent gas station.

Ninja man says the gas stations should not be blamed because the problem is being caused by the distributors of the gas.

The Ministry of Energy, last Tuesday revealed that 17 gas stations were found to be selling contaminated gas to customers and the pumps were ordered closed.

This followed complaints by motorists across the country that the gas was damaging their vehicles.

Several of the stations have since been reopened.





chris-gayle-and-ty-reporter.jpgIn a world which lavishes affection on a picture of 6ft 4 in tall Olympian, father and husband, Bruce Jenner, posing in coset pretending to be a woman on the cover of a celebrated woman's magazine, and Will Smith's SON is named the new fcae of WOMEN'SWEAR, then Chris Gayle acting like a real man and inviting out a real woman is truly a welcome breath of fresh air.

Thank you Chris Gayle!

After suggesting that he had played well in order to get an interview with the attractive female sports reporter, the big-hitting batsman Gayle, then proceeded to compliment her.

"To see your eyes for the first time is nice," the 36-year-old said. "Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don't blush baby."

Yes, time and place were inapprpriate, but guess, what, if he didn't do it at that time and place, I for one, would not have had the pleasure of reading his smile-inducing, real old-fashioned kinda compliment. Simply put, him lyrics her: "To see your eyes for the first time is nice." BOOM!

Come on now, who says that? Only real men.

Without apology, I, as a woman, am no feminist. Truth be told, I am a wee bit contemptuous of the breed and believe that it would have definitely been a better world had it not been for this drastic, draconian women's movement demanding equal rights.

As a woman, I glorify in the differences between men and women and yes, I want a man to open the door for men and yes, I I want a man to pay me compliments without fear of being jailed for sexual harassment.

However, I do believe inat there are some some things to be addressed including the attitude of some men who treat women as property. Also, women desperately need to fully comprehend their own powerful role in the little space we all occupy within the universe. There is nothing more powerful that Mother Earth, except the creator.

And, as for the suggestions about Chris Gayle making the reporter "feel uncomfortable in her own space". Hogwash. Look how many time reporters make the persons they are interviewing squirm and sweat and feel really uncomfortable. Come on now, reporters are a tough breede. They know how to give it and they certainly ought to know how to take it.





British national Andrew Allwood, 53, who was reported missing, is in fact in prison in Jamaica.

He was arrested by detectives attached to the Police Narcotics Division and charged for breaches of the Dangerous Drug Act, on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

Reports were that about 5:15 pm on December 16, Allwood, who is of a London, England address, was apprehended by lawmen when he arrived at the Sangster International Airport attempting to depart the island with a narcotic substance. During routine security checks, an officer searched two of his bags and it was observed that the handles felt unusual; they were opened and found to contain 1.5 pound of cocaine.

Allwood was subsequently arrested and charged for possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine, and attempting to export cocaine.

He appeared before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, where he pleaded guilty and was fined $150,000 or six months in prison for possession of cocaine, $300,000 or six months for attempting to export cocaine, and was separately sentenced to one year hard labour.

Allwood, who is also of a Manchester address in Jamaica, had been reported missing. Reports from the Cross Keys police in the parish were that Allwood left home for an undisclosed location on December 15, 2015, and had not been seen or heard from since.





US issues Bahamas crime warning

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe US Embassy in The Bahamas on Tuesday issued a new crime warning. The notice singled out operators of personal watercraft, or jet skis, following the sexual assault of a US citizen.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force said a 26 year-old man was taken into custody as a suspect in the January 2 attack.

The embassy stated that there have been five sexual assaults of US citizens by jet-ski operators in Nassau since last July.

The embassy has banned its staff from using jet-ski rental companies because of insufficient regulation and also recommends US citizens not use them.

The embassy also expressed concerns last year about rising crime in the Bahamas.





Cops probe shootings in Lime Hall, St. Ann

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police-cars.jpgThe police are probing two shootings in Lime Hall, St Ann which left a man dead and another hospitalised early Tuesday.

In the first incident, David Hudson, a taxi operator of Tracyville in Lime Hall, arrived home shortly after 2 am when he was attacked by gunmen.

They shot him in the back as he tried to flee - he died on the spot.

Shortly after, the police were called to another community in Lime Hall where a man was shot.

He was previously taken into custody and released after the disappearance of four persons in the area.It is reported that men went to his house, kicked open the door, pulled him from under a bed and shot him.

He was taken to hospital where he remains in serious condition.

The police have not ascertained whether the two incidents are connected.





hands-behind-bars.jpgCharges have been laid against two men in connection with last week's fatal shooting of Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver, 51-year-old Albert Barnes, in August Town, St. Andrew.

Garfield Walters, 22, and 28 year-old George Ballentine both of Bedward Gardens, St. Andrew were yesterday charged with murder, illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition. They are scheduled to appear before the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Mr. Walters surrendered to the Yallahs Police in St. Thomas last Friday while Mr. Ballentine was picked up by the police during an operation in August Town on Monday. A .380 semi-automatic pistol and 24 rounds of ammunition were reportedly taken from him.

Mr. Barnes was driving a JUTC bus along Bedward Crescent last week Tuesday when he was shot in the chest. He died at hospital.





clive-muir-kills-ex-lover.jpgA man who was once a friendly bus driver in St. Ann, Jamaica where he took school children to and from school, shot two people in Tamarac, Florida on New Year's Day before shooting himself.

According to Florida authorities, the man identified as Clive Muir, 65, drove to the apartment of Anne Nau, 21, on New Years' day to speak with her.

Nau is said to have let Muir into the apartment where he shot and killed her, she died on the spot.

Muir then drove to his former place of employment, Boston Market, where he shot assistant manager Jason Claire, 33.

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He then returned to his car and shot himself in the parking lot. Muir was pronounced dead on site.

Claire was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with injuries that are considered life-threatening.

According to Muir's friend, Bobby Sinclair, whom he spent a part of his holidays with, he was trying to get over his girlfriend, Anne Nau, however, he was not taking the break-up well.

Sinclair told the local media that he had encouraged Muir to move on, even jokingly adding, " Let's go to Jamaica and find some girls in Jamaica".

A cousin of Muir who lives in Jamaica told Loop News that she believes Muir got caught in a love triangle.

According to Muir's cousin, Muir had met Nau in Jamaica and the two had been dating for some time.

It is unclear why or how they broke up, but according to Muir's cousin, when Nau broke up with him, she also helped to get him fired from the Boston Market, then Nau became romantically involved with the new assistant manager, Claire- A move which deeply angered Muir.





Farmer from Frankfield killed by praedial thieves

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Clarendon police have launched an investigation after a 76-year-old farmer was reportedly killed by praedial thieves.

The body of Lloyd Riley was found in bushes near his home in Frankfield in the parish sometime after 7 o'clock last evening.

It appeared to have several chop sounds.

The police say preliminary investigations reveal that he was killed by praedial larcenists attempting to steal his cattle.

It's unclear if the thieves took any of the animals.





Gun, ammo seized in August Town

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ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgThe August Town Police seized a firearm and 24 rounds of ammunition in Bedward Gardens in the St Andrew community on Monday, January 4.

It is understood that the lawmen, who were on operation in the area, proceeded to search a premise around 7am.

Shortly afterwards, a .380 semi-automatic pistol and magazine containing 24 .380 rounds of ammunition were found.

One man was taken into custody in relation to the find however, his identity is being withheld pending further investigation.





Al Miller trial to take place March 23

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rev-al-miller-and-dudus.jpgMarch 23 has been set as the date when the corruption trial of Kingston pastor, Reverend Al Miller, will resume in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The date was set this morning when the case was again called up in court.

Miller is on trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The charge was laid by the police after then wanted man Christopher 'Dudus' Coke was found in a car Miller was driving on June 22, 2010.

Coke was wanted on an extradition warrant at the time he was captured along Mandela Highway in St Catherine.





Hoverboards riders will be fined!

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hoverboard-demo.jpgThe Traffic Police are warning that persons caught transporting themselves on hoverboards on the nation's streets will be prosecuted.

The cops are warning that no provisions exist under the Road Traffic Act that allows for the use of the devises on the public thoroughfare.

The cops also warned that the users of the devices should use them on private property, be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet.





crime-scene-7.jpgA second man has been held by the police in connection with the killing of Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver, Albert Barnes.

The police say the 18-year-old man was accosted in an operation in Bedward Gardens, August Town, St Andrew this morning.

According to the police, a point 38 pistol was recovered in the operation.

It is believed that the gun is the murder weapon.

The first male suspect remains in police custody.

He was handed over to the police on Thursday by his mother.

He is believed to be the main suspect in the case.

The 51-year-old JUTC bus driver was shot dead in the August Town community last week Tuesday.

The police report that Barnes was shot once in the chest after two armed men boarded the No. 72 bus he was operating.





court.jpgSeveral teachers turned up at the courthouse Tuesday morningup to show support for their colleague, Beverly Dinall, the St Richards Primary School teacher accused of beating a student causing him injuries pleaded not guilty to assault charges.

It was the first court appearance for Dinall since the alleged incident sparked a national debate last month about corporal punishment in schools.

In court Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey ordered that Dinall give her fingerprint to the police.

She is scheduled to return to court on February 11.

Dinall is alleged to have beaten a male student at the primary school causing injuries to parts of his body.The incident drew the ire of the child's parents who reported it to the police.

Dinall was interviewed by investigators and later charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. She was granted station bail in the sum of $50,000.





chris-gayle-and-ty-reporter.jpgExplosive Jamaica and West Indies opener Chris Gayle was fined but avoided suspension for making inappropriate comments to a female reporter in a live TV interview during a Big Bash League Twenty20 match in Australia.

After scoring 41 from 15 deliveries for the Melbourne Renegades in a win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night, the former West Indies captain suggested to television reporter Mel McLaughlin that the pair go out for a drink and made remarks about her appearance. He added, "Don't blush, baby" during an awkward pause in the interview.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland on Tuesday joined the criticism of Gayle's suggestive comments, saying it bordered on harassment and was inappropriate in the workplace.

Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry reacted by fining Gayle $10,000 Australian dollars ($7,300).

"It was done in jest but it's inappropriate," Coventry said. "We had a look at some history and ... we think that this is a one-off scenario."

Coventry said Gayle was "quite surprised" when informed of the fine, which will be donated to charity.

Sutherland said Gayle "got it badly wrong last night."

"It's not a nightclub - it's actually a workplace, it's Chris Gayle's workplace and it's Mel McLaughlin's workplace and those comments border on harassment and are inappropriate for cricket and inappropriate for the workplace," he said.

"We are working incredibly hard to ensure cricket is a sport for all Australians - men and women, boys and girls - and we just won't tolerate behavior that undermines that."

Sutherland said that because the Renegades had sanctioned Gayle, the veteran batsman would not face further action from Cricket Australia for this incident.

Coventry and Gayle both apologized to McLaughlin, with the player defending his comments as a "simple joke."

"There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I'm really sorry for that," Gayle was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press. "There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way.

"It was a simple joke - the game was going on. Things get out of proportion but these things happen."

McLaughlin said in a television interview Tuesday she accepted the apology and wanted to put the episode behind her, adding that she'd prefer to be talking about cricket than being at the center of a controversy.

"I've not spoken to (Gayle) personally," she said. "I know he issued an apology. I accept that and I just want to move on."

The BBL, one of a growing number of domestic Twenty20 tournaments helping revolutionize cricket, is a TV ratings winner in Australia and drew a crowd of 80,000 for a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over the weekend.

As part of the broadcasts, some players wear cameras on their caps or batting helmets and are involved in live interviews during the action.

Channel 10 head of sport David Barham was quoted by the Herald Sun newspaper as saying Gayle would no longer be fitted with a microphone for on-field comments.

Source: AP





Cops injure three, kill one, during shootout

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police-cars.jpgThe police in Kingston report that four men were shot during a shootout Kingston Friday morning, New Year's Day. One of the men reportedly succumbed to his injuries

Dead is 36 year old Richard Mattie of Caribbean Estates St. Catherine and Princess Street, Kingston.

Reports are that just after midnight, a team of officers was on patrol along the intersection of Princess Street and Charles Street.

The police reportedly observed a group of men doing a gun salute.

Further reports are that the men then opened fire at the cops, who took evasive action and returned fire.

After the shooting subsided, 4 men were found suffering from gunshot wounds.

They were taken to hospital where Mattie was pronounced dead, while the other 3 men were admitted under police guard.

Police say a one Baretta 9 mm pistol with a magazine was seized during the incident.

A man has been taken into police custody in relation to the stabbing death of his wife during a domestic dispute at the couple's home in Kingston yesterday (December 31).

Dead is thirty-nine-year-old Stephanie Warren of Carrboro, Ontario, Canada.

Police say Warren was stabbed by her husband during a dispute at La Taque.

Apartment, Crescent Road, Kingston 5 on Thursday, December 31.

Reports from the Half Way Tree police are that about 11:20 p.m., a dispute developed between the two during which warrens husband allegedly used a knife to stab her.

Warren was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The husband was subsequently taken into custody for questioning in relation to the incident.





ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgA Colt assault rifle, and 15 rounds of ammunition and a ski mask were seized in a police operation in Norwood, St. James, early Friday morning.

Police reports are that about 12:15 a-m, a team of Police Officers was on patrol in Norwood, when they heard a barrage of gunshots.They sped to the location where they heard the gunshots and a group of men was seen standing outside a premise.

Upon seeing the lawmen approaching the men ran leaving behind the weapon.





jutc-buses-photo-1.jpgPolice report that the main suspect in the killing of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver was handed over to them by his mother.

According to investigators, the woman turned up at the August Town Police Station with her son on Thursday.

It reportedly came after she was informed by investigators of her son's alleged involvement in the shooting death of 51-year-old bus driver Albert Barnes in the August Town community on Tuesday.

The suspect was later transferred to the Half-Tree Police Station.

The police report that Barnes was shot once in the chest 13 seconds after two armed men boarded the No. 72 bus he was operating.

A video recording of the killing was captured by the internal camera system installed on the bus and has since been turned over to the police.





court-case.jpgThe two Atlas security guards, charged in connection with last week's $20-million heist, were remanded yesterday when they appeared before the Mandeville Criminal Court.

William Patterson, otherwise called "Bling", and Michael Budhoo were charged with larceny as a servant. The men are to return to court on January 7.

It was reported that the guards, employed to the Atlas Security Company, were given a shipment of cash to be delivered to the company's base in Manchester. However, after arrival, it was discovered that a bag containing $20 million was missing. A report was made to the Mandeville Police.

The police conducted a search of Mr Patterson's house in Black River where they reportedly recovered $14 million hidden under his bed. The cops also seized a stove and other appliances they believed were purchased with the stolen loot. Mr Budhoo was arrested, along with three other guards, but three of them were later released.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have detained one of the three suspects being sought in connection with Tuesday's fatal shooting of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) driver in August Town, St Andrew. The suspect was picked up Thursday.

The police are investigating reports from residents that the other suspects have been killed.

Albert Barnes, 51, of 3 East, Greater Portmore, St. Catherine was shot dead on Bedward Crescent. It's reported that three gunmen who boarded the bus as passengers attempted to rob Mr Barnes. During a tussle he was fatally shot.

Residents of the community protested against the killing of JUTC driver and urged persons with information on the killers to turn them over to the police.





jutc-buses-photo-1.jpgA video recording captured by the internal camera system on board the No. 72 Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus 51-year-old Albert Barnes was operating has reportedly shown that the married father of two was shot in the chest 13 seconds after two hoodlums boarded the bus in August Town, St Andrew, on Tuesday night.

Colin Campbell, managing director of the JUTC,noted that he has seen the video and described how one of the thugs brandished a gun and placed it at Barnes' neck.

"We don't know what was said because it's not a system that records sound. Then we saw the shooter back off and fired one single shot and got off the bus," Campbell told The Gleaner yesterday.

"What the video actually shows is that between the time the guys boarded the bus and shot him and come off the bus was actually 13 seconds," he added.

The JUTC boss confirmed that no money was taken, but theorised that it could have been a robbery attempt.

Barnes succumbed to his injuries a short time later at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Despite support from residents, who have reportedly denounced the killing, Campbell signalled that the killing could leave sections of the St Andrew community without regular bus service "for the time being".

He said the slain driver's shaken colleagues were hesitant to carry out their duties and they later sought approval to turn around their buses at the intersection of August Town Road and University Crescent out of concerns for their safety. Campbell indicated that he gave them the green light on the condition that they inform passengers in advance.





crime-scene-7.jpgThe St James Cop, who shot and killed the mother of his child on Christmas Day, is expected to be charged with murder.

This follows, a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn.

The Constable is attached, to the St James Police Division.

Head of the St James Police, Senior Superintendent, Steve Mcgregor, says the charge should be laid against the cop, following which he will appear in court.

Meanwhile, Commander for Area One, A-P Winchroy Budhoo, has expressed concern over the incident, which led to the police officer shooting his child's mother.





Jamaicans are being warned against importing water guns, tasers or stun guns, army fatigues or camouflage clothing, and items used to conduct obeah or witchcraft.

The director of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is reminding consumers that these items are strictly prohibited and anyone found with them can be subjected to legal action.

He is urging Jamaicans to educate themselves about items barred from entering the island and those which require a permit for importation.

Anderson was speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM.





Do not use black mosquito destroyer!

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black-mosquito-destroyer.jpgDirector of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is warning the public against purchasing the black mosquito destroyers, and all others that are counterfeit as these are harmful.

Many Jamaicans have been taking steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites especially as the country heightens surveillance for the deadly Zika Virus, spread by an infected aedes aegypti mosquito.

However, he says the Contraband Enforcement Team has been on a drive to intercept shipments of counterfeit products like the black mosquito destroyer and remove any that may be on the local market.





JUTC driver shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver has died after being shot in August Town, St Andrew Tuesday night.

The Gleaner Online understands that the driver, whose identity has not yet been released, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

A police source says he was shot by gunmen who boarded the number 72 bus he was driving and demanded money.

It's reported that the driver was shot after he refused to hand over the money.

The police believe the killers then took the money as none was found on the bus.

According to police investigators, this is the second JUTC bus to be robbed in August Town in 24 hours.

In the first incident, however, the driver turned over the money and was not harmed.





Cops appeal for info in murder of JUTC driver

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jutc-bus.jpgThe police have issued an appeal for anyone with information on Tuesday night's murder of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) driver to come forward.

Fifty-one-year-old Albert Barnes of 3 East, Greater Portmore, St Catherine was shot by gunmen around 9:05 last night after he reportedly refused their demand for money.

The Half-Way Tree Police say Barnes who received a gunshot wound to his chest died while being treated at hospital.

The police say anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has any information that can help the police should contact the Half-Way Tree Police at 926- 8184 or 926-2551, Crime Stop at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





9 year-old Reanna Dawson missing from Olympic Way

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ananda-alert.png

missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





pm-at-church-service-george-william-gordon-anniversary.jpg

george-william-gordon.jpgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has hailed the contribution of National HeroGeorge William Gordon, to Jamaica's development as an independent nation.

She noted that as an elected member of Jamaica's House of Assembly during the 1800s, Mr. Gordon advocated resistance to the oppressive governance regime of the day, and lobbied the support of his peers to create greater opportunities for participation in the electoral process by the disenfranchised.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said consequent on these events, "we (now) must cherish the right to vote, and ensure that the elections are free and fair, and free from fair."

The Prime Minister also recounted stories of Mr. Gordon's contribution to the establishment of Christianity in Jamaica, which she said indicated that "wherever he established a business, he erected a church building."

She was speaking a special commemorative service marking the 200th anniversary of the National Hero's birth, at Boulevard Baptist Church, in Kingston, on Sunday, December 27.

Born to a wealthy planter, Joseph Gordon, and his slave, Ann Rattray, in 1815, George William Gordon was elected to the House of Assembly in 1844, as the Representative for St. Thomas.

His advocacy of resistance against the oppressive government at the time led to his arrest as an alleged instigator in the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865.

Mr. Gordon was illegally tried by a Court Martial, found guilty on what was deemed insufficient evidence, and sentenced to death. He was subsequently executed in October 1865.

In noting that the National Hero's resoluteness has redounded to Jamaica benefit, Mrs. Simpson encouraged persons across the society to follow his example by making positive contributions to national development.

"We have come a far way since then, and we should ensure that the Charter of the Fundamental Rights 2011 is upheld based on equality of all and justice for all. Gordon has left a rich legacy as legislator, business man, and church leader. He should be emulated and remembered," Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 2011, accords certain entitlements to all Jamaican citizens.

These include the right to: life, liberty and security; freedom of thought, conscience, belief and observance of political doctrines; and freedom of expression; the right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions; and the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of (i) being male or female; (ii) race, place of origin, social class, colour, religion or political opinions, among other provisions.

Jamaica's Parliament Building is named in honour of the Rt. Excellent George William Gordon.





Official Funeral for Bishop de Souza

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgThe Government of Jamaica will accord an official funeral to the late former Bishop of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Dr. Neville Wordsworth de Souza, OJ.

The Funeral Service will take place at the St. Andrew Parish Church, 6 Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10 on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 11:00 am. The service will be preceded by musical tributes commencing at 10:00 am. Interment follows at the church cemetery.

The 4th Jamaican to lead the local church, Bishop de Souza was ordained a Deacon in 1958 and became a priest in 1959. He was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay in 1973 and was enthroned as Diocesan Bishop in 1979. He guided the ministry of the Church for 21 years until his retirement in 2000.

Bishop de Souza died on December 12.





Patrons to pay more to enter Reach Falls In Portland

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reach-falls-portland-jamaica.jpgCome January 1, patrons will have to pay up to 200 dollars more to access to the popular Reach Falls in Portland.

The Urban Development Corporation, UDC, which operates the attraction, announced the rate increases in a newspaper advertisement yesterday.

The adult entry fee will move from 300 dollars to 500 dollars, while the cost for children will move from 150 dollars to 250 dollars.

The UDC says the current entrance fees have been in place since 2007.

It further said despite attempts to avoid a hike, operating and maintenance costs have increased overtime.

The UDC says it will not compromise on quality.

Thousands of Jamaicans flock to the Reach Falls each year, especially on major holidays.





Flow to increase Internet rates

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fly-jamaica.jpgFlow Jamaica's customers are to pay more to access the Internet come next year, as the company has announced new prices.

Customers will see their bills going up by between 274 dollars and 599 dollars.

The new rates take effect on February 1, 2016.

Flow says it has had to make adjustments to the rates in light of improvements to its Internet infrastructure to deliver a better service to customers.





Earthquake rocks 3 Eastern Caribbean islands

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 rocked the islands of Martinique, St Lucia and Dominica early Monday morning.

The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies reported that the quake that occurred at a 2:55 am, had a depth of 147 kilometres. It was located nine kilometres northwest of Fort de France, Martinique.

There was no report of damage or injuries.





New airline service between China-Cuba

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The first direct flight between China and Cuba took off on Sunday from Beijing International Airport.

State-owned carrier Air China is aiming to promote Chinese tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America.

It's the first direct route linking China, the world's second-largest economy, and the Caribbean. It is also the first route between the Asian nation and Latin America, operated by an Asian airline. Flights from China to Mexico and Brazil are currently operated by foreign carriers.

The new service is expected to boost tourism between China and Cuba, as well as travel from the Asian nation to all of Latin America, a region that is rarely visited by the growing number of Chinese tourists.





fly-jamaica.jpgThe management of Fly Jamaica airways appears to be heading into a stormy cloud with its Jamaica based staff.

The Jamaicans have not been given their salaries even though their Guyanese counterparts were paid from as far back as December 15.RJR News understands that the staff based in Jamaica had lobbied strongly for salaries to be paid at the same time as their Guyanese counterparts, but the effort was unsuccessful.

Subsequent to that effort, salaries were promised on Monday but the staff left without compensation as the airline told them it could not pay due to what it called unforeseen circumstances.

The Jamaican based staff is unhappy and concerned about whether or not the airline's anticipation of a resolution of the matter by tomorrow will in fact be realised.

The airline is owned by Jamaican and Guyanese shareholders and had its inaugural flight from Kingston to New York in February of 2013.





Have you seen 9 year-old Reanna Dawson?

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missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Zika virus in Martinique

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zika-virus.jpgMartinque is the latest country in the region to confirm reports of the autochthonous or local transmission of the mosquito borne Zika virus.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), says the French speaking Caribbean nation is the 11th country in the Americas to report the virus this year and the 12th to report local transmission.

According to Dr Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) "In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with wave after wave of vector borne diseases. During the last two years the region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika."

Last month , CARPHA confirmed that presence of five cases of the mosquito borne Zika virus in Suriname.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

In addition to Martinique, other countries confirming the presence of the virus are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are investigating the circumstances under which an eight year old girl, shot and killed herself.

She has been identified at Gabriel Ricketts, from Galina, St Mary.

It's reported that she was playing with her father's licensed firearm at home on Sunday morning when the gun went off accidentally and she was shot.

Gabriel was pronounced dead at the Port Maria Hospital.





prosecutor-jason-alliman.jpgProsecutor Jason Alliman who was involved in a car crash almost three weeks ago died early Sunday at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

Alliman, who was a prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, crashed on December 7 in Orange Bay, Hanover, when his car skidded on a wet surface.

He suffered head injuries and had to undergo surgery.

His family had launched a crowd funding appeal on GoFundMe to raise money to pay his medical expenses.Since his death, condolences have been outpouring on social media sites.

Meanwhile, tribute have been pourig in on social media for the brilliant young man, who was seen as an excellent and gifted role model.





Teenager charged for illegal gun

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gun-crime.jpgThe police in St James have charged a teenager with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. The teenager of grange pen in Lilliput was arrested and charged last night.

Reports from the Barrett Town police are that about 10:40 p.m the police were on mobile patrol in the Grange Pen area, when they saw the 17 year old boy.

Upon seeing the police, he reportedly threw an object from his hand into nearby bushes. A search was conducted of the area and a Colt .45 pistol was found with eight rounds.

The teen was taken into custody, however his identity is being withheld pending further investigations. This is the third firearm and 25 rounds of ammunition seized by the Barrett Town police within the last 36 hours.





Gun, ammo seized in Hanover

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA man was arrested after a joint police/military team seized a firearm and 15 rounds of ammunition during an operation on the Long Bay main road in Hanover last weekend.

According to a news release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit, the officers stopped the driver of a Toyota Yaris motor car about 10:05 pm during a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) operation. The occupants of the motor vehicle were searched and a Glock 19 pistol, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, was found on one of them.

He was arrested and charged.





Police charged for killing girlfriend

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThirty-three-year-old businesswoman Terry Ann Steer of Waterside Place, Bogue Village, St James, is dead and her common-law husband - a police officer - is in police custody.

Head of the St. James Police SSP Steve McGregor says investigators are looking at the incident, as a homicide.

Reports are that on Christmas Day, the Constable went to Steer's home to visit with his one year old daughter. An argument reportedly developed between the cop and Steer, which escalated into a physical altercation.

The police man reportedly pulled his licensed firearm and shot Steer in the chest. He then fled the scene.Steer was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The couple's daughter, as well as Steer's 17 year old son, who were at home at the time of the incident, were not hurt.

SSP McGregor says the accused cop later turned himself over to the police and surrendered his firearm. He says the police have not listed the case as a murder, because further investigations need to be conducted into the circumstances under which the couple became embroiled in the fight.

Its alleged that Steer threw water on the officer and attacked him with an object, causing the cop to act in self defence.





Escapee's head found; cops searching for body

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The head of a man who escaped from a lock-up on December 19 has been found.

The head of 26-year-old escapee, Duran Colman of Cockpit district, Clarendon was found at Dela Vega City, Spanish Town, St Catherine today.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 6:45 a.m., residents saw the head on the train line in the community and summoned them.

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

Colman who was charged for murder escaped from the Spanish Town lock-up.

Investigators have since launched a search for the body.

In the meantime, investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 119 or the nearest Police Station.





Suspect held in murder of Glenmuir teacher

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Clarendon police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 57-year-old teacher of the Glenmuir High School in the parish.

Head of the Clarendon Police, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, says the suspect was picked up yesterday, hours after Audley Coleman, who is also a pastor, was shot dead.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to Coleman's house on Tuesday night and attempted to break in.

They were unsuccessful and left and returned Wednesday morning and shot and killed Coleman.

The vice-principal of Glenmuir High, Newton Knight, says the school family has been left in shock following the murder.





Will stations selling bad gas be named and shamed?

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Jamaica's Energy Ministry is contemplating whether to publicly reveal the gas stations which have been identified as selling contaminated fuel.

Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Energy Ministry, said that there are several matters to consider before making a decision, despite the public outcry over the issue.

There are now calls for compensation, and for the gas stations to be named publicly and face sanctions. Mr Robinson is insisting, however, that proper procedures must be followed.

"We are obviously committed to ensuring that there's integrity in the process, but we also have to be careful that we don't put out information that becomes prejudicial to the business interests of a station," he said.

Once the results of the tests being carried out have been confirmed, "we will engage with the stakeholders and determine the best way forward, which protects the interests, first and foremost of the consumers," he added.

He cautioned there could be instances in which a service station has contaminated gas, but is not aware of this because it purchased the fuel from a marketing company.





Man held after millions found hidden under mattress

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgA man is in police custody, following the recovery of millions of dollars which was taken from an armoured vehicle in Manchester.

According to police reports, a large sum of money was being transported to Mandeville. When the money was delivered it was discovered that a significant amount was missing. The Mandeville Police were alerted.

Following investigations, $14 million was reportedly found hidden under a mattress in a building in St. Elizabeth.

The man, who was at the property, was taken into custody. He has been taken to Mandeville where he is to be questioned.

It is not clear whether the individual was employed to the security company which was hired to transport the money.





Boxing Day will be observed on Saturday, December 26

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The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has indicated that Boxing Day 2015 will be observed on Saturday, December 26, and not Monday, December 28.

Director of Legal Services in the Ministry, Camille Bennett-Campbell, told JIS News that according to the provisions of the Holidays (Public General) Act of 1895, by which all public holidays are governed, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, that is the day it will be observed.

"That Act says that when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then the 26th will be Christmas Day and the following day will be Boxing Day. It makes no provision where Boxing Day falls on a Saturday for it to be celebrated on any other day," she explained.

Mrs. Bennett-Campbell added however, that the law does make provision for Labour Day. Where it falls on a Saturday, then it will be commemorated on the following Monday.

In the meantime, the Director said workers should pay special attention to their working arrangements when asked to engage in labour during public holidays.

"If you are a minimum wage earner and you are asked to work on a public holiday, you will be entitled to double time rate. For other workers it depends on what is in your collective labour agreement if you are unionized or what is in your employment contract," she said.





Blood Bank makes urgent appeal for donations

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blood.jpgThere is an urgent appeal from the Jamaican health authorities for blood donations.

According to the Ministry of Health, the National Blood Transfusion Service continues to experience low volumes of blood in storage.

Health Minister Horace Dalley on Wednesday said violence and injuries, such as those caused by motor vehicle crashes, continue to place a heavy burden on the health system and place a high demand on the blood supply.

He added that blood is also needed to treat cancer patients, persons with bleeding disorders, chronic anaemia, and is even required to save the lives of some pregnant women.





Soldiers join police in search for cop killers

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duppy-film-police-murderer.jpg

Members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have joined the police in the search for the men behind Tuesday's murder of two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A senior investigator confirmed that the military was deployed to the parish on Wednesday following the visit by National Security Minister, Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams.

Police and soldiers conducted several raids in the parish on Thursday in the search for the suspects, including the ring leader, Marlon Perry otherwise called "Duppy Film".

The High Command is offering J$1 million reward for his capture.Meanwhile, the four persons detained yesterday for questioning in the case, remain behind bars.

The detainees, who are suspected members of Perry's gang, are being questioned about gang activity in the parish.

52-year-old Corporal Kenneth Davis and 35-year-old Constable Craig Palmer, were gunned down while playing dominoes in a bar in Yallahs.





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duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgA police constable, Dwight Sangster, of Ewarton in St. Catherine, has been accused of burglary in Richmond, and St. Ann has been charged for house breaking and larceny.

Sangster was charged on Christmas Eve.

According to the Head of Area 2, ACP Glenford Hudson, Constable, Sangster who is attached to the St. Catherine police, was arrested on Monday, in relation to a case of burglary in Richmond, in St. Ann.

Reports are that a house was broken-into at Richmond in St. Ann, and an item allegedly linking the accused cop to the crime scene, was found.

Following this, the constable's home in St. Catherine was raided, and a number of stolen items were allegedly discovered. The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), is probing the matter.

Meanwhile, the police are also investigating other cases of burglary in, and out of the community.

Constable Sangster is to go before the court next Monday, December 28.

Earlier this year, another rogue cop had dressed up as a Rastaman and attempted to hold up a bank. He was caught red-handed and stripped of his disguise.





Glenmuir high school teacher killed at home

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 57-year-old teacher was this morning shot and killed in Toby Heights, Clarendon.

The deceased, Audley Coleman, pastor at the Four Paths Berean Church of God and teaches geography at the Glenmuir High School was killed when men armed with guns went to his Toby Heights house and shot and killed the pastor.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to the house last night and attempted to break in.

They were, however, unsuccessful, so they returned and shot and killed the pastor.





Cousin of arrested JLP activist charged

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have charged the man who was arrested last Thursday with Jamaica Labour Party activist Rameish Simpson.

On Tuesday, his cousin Richard Simpson was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Rameish and Richard Simpson will remain in jail until they face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on January 6.

Rameish Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, in which Richard Simpson was a passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas.

The firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag in the vehicle.





police-commissioner.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams expressed outrage at the incident and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The message I want to send to the perpetrators of this evil deed is that their act of cowardice will not intimidate the valiant men and women of the Constabulary nor will it dampen our resolve to catch them and bring them to justice," he said in a CCU release.

"You will be hunted down like no criminal has been hunted before; you will be caught and made to pay for this terrible crime.

"My solemn promise to the families of these two slain officers is that no stone will be left unturned until these murderers are found," Williams added.

The police commissioner and security minister implored the public to assist the lawmen in solving the crime.

Anyone with information that can assist the police is being asked to call the Yallahs Police at 982-5075, Crime Stop at 311, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, visited Yallahs where the two slain policemen resided.

Bunting held a private discussion with the mother and father of Constable Palmer as well as the widow of Corporal Davis.

In condemning the killings Bunting said the incident demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to.

He also noted that the Kingston West Division has lost another member.

Two officers assigned to the Denham Police station were killed earlier this year.

Bunting is pleading with members of the public to help the police in their investigations by providing information that may lead to the apprehension of the perpetrators.

Reports are that former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is also scheduled to visit the relatives of Corporal Davis.The policeman was a close protection officer to the former Prime Minister.





duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgThe St Thomas police are now seeking Marlon Perry otherwise called 'Duppy Film' in relation to the murder of two policemen outside a wholesale on the Poor Man's Corner main road in St Thomas Tuesday night.

Perry was listed as wanted by the St Thomas police in June of this year in connection with murders and shootings in the parish.

The police have identified the dead policemen as Corporal Kenneth Davis, who was assigned to Protective Services Division, and Constable Craig Palmer, who was assigned to the Kingston Western Division.

A release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said the lawmen were murdered by criminals who brazenly opened gunfire at them and fled the scene.

The two policemen were ambushed while playing a game of dominoes with friends in the community, Security Minister Peter Bunting said in a statement later Wednesday morning.

"This demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to by virtue of their occupation and incidents of this nature remind us of the extremely difficult challenges facing the security forces, and the great sacrifices they continue to make in the fight to rid Jamaica of the scourge of crime and violence," Bunting said.





Lawyer Howard Letterman charged with larceny

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDetectives attached to the Counter Terrorism Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) have arrested and charged another attorney with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Howard Lettman,56, of Nevon Place, Mandeville, Manchester was charged on December 14.He was granted bail in the sum of J$500,000.

It's alleged that in 2000, a woman retained the services of Lettman in order to purchase a property.She reportedly handed over $11.6 million to acquire the property.

Lettman allegedly paid a portion of the money to the vendor but failed to pay the necessary fees resulting in the property not being transferred.

A report was made to C-TOC.

Lettman was arrested and charged with Fraudulent Conversion and is scheduled to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 15.





Dr Raymoth Notice in critical but stable condition

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dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr Raymoth Notice, remains in critical but stable condition in hospital after being shot yesterday by gunmen during a reported robbery at his home.

Member of Parliament, Dr Andrew Wheatley, says Dr Notice's condition has slightly improved.

However, the former Mayor remains in intensive care.

A suspect has been held in connection with the shooting.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, says the man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon and will be questioned.





Teen girl shot and killed in Tivoli

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 16 year old girl died Tuesday afternoon after she was shot in the head in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston.

The cops seized an illegal gun and arrested two teenagers for questioning in connection with the shooting.A third teenager is being sought.

It's reported that the mother of the teenager, left her at home to go on an errand.

When she returned shortly after 2 o'clock, she found her daughter bleeding from the head - ir was discovered that she had been shot.

The police were summoned and two boys who were in the house were detained.

The cops also found an illegal nine millimetre pistol with several rounds in the house.

The cops suspect the teenagers were playing with the illegal weapon when it discharged.





No bail for JLP activist Rameish Simpson

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgRameish Simpson, the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist who was charged on Monday with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, will have to remain behind bars until the new year due to the closure of the Court for the holidays.

Simpson will face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrates Court on January 6.

Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, along with a male passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas last Thursday.

Both men were held and the vehicle pulled from the sea with the assistance of the Marine Police.

A search of the vehicle was carried out and the firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag. The other man is scheduled to be questioned on Tuesday.





Jamaica on Swine Flu alert

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chief-medical-officer-bullock-ducasse.jpgIn light of the emergence of the Influenza A (H1N1), also called Swine Flu, in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica's Ministry of Health is stepping up its surveillance and monitoring for cases of the virus.

Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, Chief Medical Officer, has announced that, as part of the Ministry's surveillance system, samples from public health facilities are routinely sent for testing to the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

H1N1 is a respiratory illness that is caused by the Influenza A virus. The symptoms include fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and body aches, as well as fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be experienced.

Dr Bullock DuCasse added that it is the flu season and Jamaicans should be extra careful to prevent becoming infected and transferring infection to others.

She is reminding members of the public to observe good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly, and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThe man who is the suspect in the murder of 44-year-old Raymond Reynolds of Charles Drive, Bridgeport in St Catherine, was picked up by the police on Sunday, December 20.

Reports were that about 6:05 am, Reynolds was at home when he observed an intruder in his backyard. Reynolds approached the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

While the police have not released the name of the suspect who has been held, at the time of reporting Reynolds' death, the police had listed a man known only as 'Labelle' as being a person of interest in the matter, and advised him to come in for questioning on the matter.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgA man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon in connection with the shooting of Dr Raymoth Notice, former mayor of Spanish Town.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said that arrangements are being made for him to be questioned.

Dr. Notice, who was shot several times during a reported robbery on Monday morning, remains hospitalised. He underwent surgery to remove one of the bullets.

The former councillor was at his home in West Prospect, near Bog Walk, St. Catherine when two men barged in and held him up.

The men reportedly demanded money, and when the demand was not met, he was shot.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo men have been arrested in connection with the murder of 44-year-old People's National Party activist, Sadie Forbes in Newlands, St Catherine recently.

Forbes was fatally shot on December 1, days after she complained about political flags being posted at her gate.

The suspects, who are reputed to be gang members, were held last week during police operations.

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A senior investigator indicated that the police are experiencing difficulty in building a case against the suspects, as eyewitnesses to the murder have refused to come forward.

The shooting of Forbes sparked political tension in Newlands, forcing the Peace Management Initiative and the Political Ombudsman to visit the community in a bid to calm the tension at the time.





crime-scene-7.jpgA 44-year-old man was fatally stabbed at his home in Portmore, St Catherine this morning.

The Bridgeport police report that Raymond Reynolds, of Charles Drive, Bridgeport was at home when he observed an intruder in his back yard about 6:05 a.m. Reynolds reportedly accosted the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

The police were summoned and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The police believe that a man known only as Labelle can assist in their investigations and are appealing for him to turn himself in immediately.

Anyone knowing 'Labelle's' whereabouts is being asked to contact the Brideport police at 988-2697, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Lawsuits looming from parents of dead babies

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Lawsuits have been filed against the University Hospital of the West Indies by the parents of the premature babies who died following an outbreak of infections earlier this year.

This was disclosed by Chairman of the University Hospital Board, James Moss-Solomon, at a media briefing on Monday.

He said the hospital has been contacted by attorneys representing the parents.

Nineteen premature babies died from infections contracted at the University Hospital and Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Moss-Solomon also said a decision is yet to be made about requests from parents to have their medical bills written off.

"Those matters are being addressed with the meetings of the legal representatives ... I am not in a position to say what is a resolution at this point in time. I know that discussions are ongoing, I have seen correspondence and I can assure you that it is being addressed," Moss-Solomon said.





Don't blame us for bad fuel, says Petrojam

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Petrojam, Jamaica's state-owned oil refinery, has declared that there is no link between its products and claims that contaminated fuel is being sold to the local gasoline retail trade.

An investigation was carried out after the refinery received reports from motorists last week that tainted petrol was being sold at gas stations.

Howard Mollison, General Manager of Petrojam, told RJR News on Monday morning that the company had done "a detailed analysis of all the products we had in our tank that was being shipped out."

Arising from that exsamination, he said the agency was in a position to say "with absolute certainty" that "the products that we deliver into the market are free of contamination and consistent with the standards that have been defined by our Ministry," and in keeping with international standards.

He said, however, that Petrojam could only vouch for the fuel which it imports and distributes to service stations.

"Once they leave, we no longer have custody or control over the product, and as a result of that, contamination can take place at any point in transit," he said.

Accordingly, he said individual operators "have to ensure good practices to ensure the contamination doesn't take place at their station."





Political activist to be questioned

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgSt Thomas political activist and his relative who were arrested on Thursday, after they tried to elude the police, are to be questioned.

It is understood that one of the accused who was driving a Toyoto Prado disobeyed signals by the police to stop, and a chase was ensued which left the vehicle being driven into the sea.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m., the men were in the grant's pen vicinity when they were signalled to stop in a vehicular check point.

The driver disobeyed and the vehicle went into the sea at the Grants Pen fishing village. The men were taken in custody.

A search of the vehicle, with the assistance of the marine police led to the recovery of an uzi sub machine gun with 16 rounds of ammunition.

The St Thomas Police are carrying out further investigations say the men are to be questioned tomorrow.

The men will be represented by attorney-at-law Hensley Williams.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Spanish Town mayor Dr Raymoth Notice was reportedly shot Monday morning during a robbery attempt at his home.

According to the police, Dr Notice was shot at about 8:25 am at his home in West Prospect in Bog Walk, St Catherine by persons unknown during a robbery attempt. He was shot twice, and is now being treated at the Spanish Town Hospital.

A Jamaica Labour Party member, Dr Notice lost in his bid to enter Gordon House when he was defeated in the December 2011 general election by the People's National Party candidate, Natalie Neita-Headley, for the North-Central St Catherine seat.

He is not on the present slate of JLP candidates for the upcoming General election. He has been replaced as caretaker for the North-Central St. Catherine seat by Peter Abrahams, the sitting councillor of the Bog Walk division.





Six Burgher Gully Gang members charged

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Six members of the East Kingston based "Burgher Gully Gang" were remanded when they appeared before the Home Circuit Court on Friday.

The six, including the gang's leader, Devon Murray, also known as "Pepsi", were charged on Thursday after months of investigation by MOCA detectives.

They are to return to court on January 14.

The men have been charged under the anti-gang legislation in connection with murders, shootings, robberies, extortion and other crimes.

Investigators say the gang has been linked to violence in East Kingston and other parts of the Corporate Area.





Medical doctor from the west charged with fraud

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A Westmoreland based medical doctor has found himself in trouble with the law after allegedly defrauding an insurance company of nearly J$5 million in a medical racket.

Detectives attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) have charged Dr Jepthroy Thompson ,36,with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Thompson, a resident of Big Bridge in the parish was charged on Wednesday.

CTOC reported that between June 2013 and October last year, Thompson submitted claims for payment to a health insurance agency stating that surgery was done on several individuals with the assistance of a particular Anaesthetist and an Assistant Surgeon.

The company paid J$4.9 million to Thompson.

Investigations revealed that the Anaesthetist and the Assistant Surgeon did not participate in any of the surgeries and were not beneficiaries of any money paid to Dr.Thompson.

A report was made to the Fraud Squad in September.

Thompson is scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on January 6 to answer charges of Obtaining Money by Means of False Pretence, Forgery, Uttering Forged Documents and Demanding Money by Means of Forged Documents.





counterfeit-cigarettes.jpgThe Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) has identified a suspect in Friday's seizure of 154 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes during an operation at an apartment in St Andrew.

The man, who is said to be of Asian descent, is being sought.

The cigarettes, which comprised mainly the Craven A and Newport brands, had a street value of J$65-million.

Deputy Commander of CTOC, Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers, says the cigarettes are believed to be part of a large trade of counterfeit items.

"These products were found in an uptown residential community. They were in a room stacked from the floor to the ceiling, the operators knew what they were doing ....." he said.





st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgControversial St Thomas JLP supporter, Rameish Simpson, was taken into police custody on Thursday on gun and ammunition charges.

Simpson and a relative of his were arrested following high drama in the parish on Thursday morning. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist and his sidekick are behind bars, following the seizure of a sub-machine gun in St. Thomas. They were held after a high speed chase.

It's reported that, about 10:30 on Thursday morning, the political activist, who was driving a Toyota Prado, tried to elude the police who signaled him to stop.

He drove off and was chased. The vehicle was driven onto Fish House Lane in the community and subsequently crashed into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen fishing beach. Both men were held.

Members of the Marine Police and the Coast Guard assisted the patrol team to remove the vehicle from the sea. A search of the vehicle reportedly resulted in the seizure of an Uzi semi-automatic rifle and 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Simpson, popularly known as 'Rick', and his co-accused, were expected to have been questioned on Friday in respect of the alleged gun find.

Simpson came to prominence in 2009 when he was transported to hospital by West St Thomas Member of Parliament (MP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) deputy leader, James Robertson, after being shot and injured by the police.

Simpson was freed of gun-related charges in relation to that encounter with the police, and in 2011, was again freed of gun and ammunition charges after a witness failed to show up in court in connection with a murder-for-hire probe that led to him being taken into police custody.

He was also freed of a carnal abuse charge in 2011.





5 prisoners escape from Spanish Town lock-up

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hands-behind-bars.jpgFive prisoners are now on the run after escaping from Spanish Town Police Station lock-up in St Catherine on Saturday morning.

They five escapees are:

  • Akeem Hall, 18, of Beverly Flats, Newlands, Portmore, St Catherine, who was charged with robbery with aggravation.
  • Andre Siddon, 19, of Lindel Close, Fraser's Content, Spanish Town, St Catherine, who was sentenced to seven years and two years in prison, for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and assault, respectively.
  • Duran Colman, 26, of Cockpit District, Clarendon, who was charged with murder.
  • Jevon Bashford, 20, of Big Lane in Central Village, St Catherine, who was charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition
  • Omar Bramwell, 27, of Red Church Street, Spanish Town, St Catherine

Reports from the Spanish Town Police were that during a check at the lock-up, it was discovered that the prisoners were not in their cells. It is believed that they escaped by cutting a grille.

Anyone with information that can lead to the recapture of these prisoners is being asked to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

The police are also reminding the public that it is an offence to harbour a criminal.

It's the second major jail break on the island within the last several weeks. Six prisoners escaped from the Freeport Police Station lock-up in Montego Bay, St James on November 30. Two of those prisoners have since been recaptured and one killed by cops.





The case involving a teacher accused of using a PVC pipe to beat a 13 year old student at the Melrose Primary and Junior High School has been sent to mediation.

The decision was made on Thursday when the parties appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court.

Last week, the teacher, Rohan Treliven, was charged with assault.

It's alleged that last month, he hit the student with the pipe - wounding her.The child also alleged that she was dragged on the floor during the incident.

Treliven, who has denied the allegations, will return to court on February 1, next year, when a decision will be made whether the matter will proceed to trial.





Zika virus coming to Jamaica says health minister

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zika-virus.jpgHealth Minister Horace Dalley has warned that the disease is likely to reach the island sooner than later.

Minister Dally, who gave an address at a Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) breakfast event on Thursday, acknowledged that the Ministry of Health does not have the adequate resources to better equip the nation against vector control.

"I am saying to Jamaica: be prepared for the Zika Virus - it will come," said Minister Dalley.

horace-dalley-health-minister.jpg

"I'm going to be very frank, we don't have enough fogging machines to fog every single community in Jamaica," Dalley contended.

Already, the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has confirmed the mosquito-borne disease in multiple countries including Brazil, Chile (Easter Island), Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

In the meantime, the minister used the opportunity to urge the public to be proactive to the seemingly imminent arrival of the latest mosquito outbreak.

"We as citizens must take the [necessary] precaution[s]. The impact of Chik-V was tremendous last year...let us not go there [again]," he added.

"We will do what we have to do in the central ministry, but we have this personal responsibility that we must ensure we are a part of," noted Minister Dalley.





53 deportees arrive in Jamaica from the US

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A total of 25 deportees - 51 men and two women - arrived Thursday morning at the Norman Manley International Airport from various locations in the United States.

The individuals served sentences for mainly drug related charges and immigration breaches.

Annually, more than one thousand deportees are sent to Jamaica, most of the offences are immigration related.





St Ann businessman Mark Perkins shot at home

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Ann businessman was critically injured when he was shot several times at his home in Walkerswood, St Ann, yesterday.

He is Mark Perkins, operator of Lyming at Walkerswood, a popular restaurant and bar along the busy thoroughfare between Ocho Rios and Moneague.

Reports are sketchy, but it is believed that Perkins was at home sometime around 1 p.m. when shots were heard.

Upon investigations, he was discovered with several bullet wounds to the body. He was rushed to hospital where he was admitted. His condition is believed to be critical.

The incident shocked several residents of the normally quiet community.

Opened since September 2008, Lyming at Walkerswood has become a popular restaurant and bar, favoured by Jamaicans and visitors alike for its menu of Jamaican delicacies, which includes items such as jerk chicken and pork, roast fish, puddings, boiled corn and manish water.

The St Ann police are investigating.





Murder suicide rocks Linstead

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Linstead Police is investigating a possible murder-suicide, which has rocked the St Catherine community.

According to reports, a local security guard shot and killed the mother of his child before shooting himself after an alleged dispute around 6:15pm Thursday.

Both died on the spot.





Jamaica's pioneering boxing promoter, Lucien Chen, died at 5:53 pm on Wednesday. Chen who had been ailing for some time, resided in South West Miami.

He was 88 at the time of his death.

Chen negotiated the world title fight for the late Trevor Berbick in 1986 against Mike Tyson, and was also pivotal in arranging title fights for Mike McCallum, Richard Clarke, Simon Brown, Bunny Grant and countless others.

Chen was also intrumental in arranging the world heavyweight title fight, 'Sunshine Showdown,' between Joe Frazier and George Foreman in Jamaica in 1973. Chen also staged many dinner boxing cards in the 1980s and 1990s.

His other love was horseracing, where he owned the country's largest bookmaking firm, Track Price Plus, and was also an owner and breeder of racehorses teaming with Melvin 'Babu' Chin of Melvin Park Stud & Stables fame.





court.jpgBritain's High Court has ruled that a crack cocaine dealer who was recommended for deportation to Jamaica or Ghana, after being caught supplying drugs in the UK, is entitled to compensation for unlawful detention.

A judge said attempts by the Home Secretary to remove Paul Ricky West after he served a jail sentence were frustrated by a lack of documents and uncertainty about his origins.

The judge said West, jailed for supplying heroin and crack cocaine, was entitled to damages because the Home Secretary continued to detain him after it should have been realised he could not be deported within a reasonable period.

The judge assessed that West had spent 13 months in unlawful detention.

The court heard various inconsistent accounts of the prisoner's life, including that the 36-year-old was born in Ghana to a Ghanaian father and a Jamaican mother.

He said in one account that he was taken to Jamaica at the age of three months, where he was raised by his mother, and then by an aunt after his mother moved to the UK. He said he joined his mother in the UK in 1995, at the age of 16, and worked in various jobs until his arrest for drug offences in November 2005.

The judge said the total lack of documents meant there was uncertainty about West's identity. He has no known family or contacts in Jamaica.





Clarendon man goes missing in Papine

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clarendon-missing-man-garthley-henry.jpgThe police need the public's assistance in locating 28-year-old Garthley Henry otherwise called, 'Omels' or 'Bantan' of Low Wood District, Sanquinetti, Clarendon. He has been missing since Friday, December 4.

He is of dark complexion, stout build and is about 5 feet 11inches tall.

According to reports from the Papine Police, Henry was last seen in Papine around 10:30am. The police have been unable to ascertain Henry's mode of dress at the time he went missing, however all efforts to contact him have proven futile.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Garthley Henry to contact the Papine Police at 927-2047, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-2.jpgJust before competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Jamaica's Usain Bolt will return to the London Anniversary Games on July 22-23.

His appearance at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in the British capital will be his final race before the Olympic Games in Rio.

The world record-holder's appearance at this year's edition of the meeting was his last race before heading to the Chinese capital for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, where he successfully defended his titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"I know the athletics fans in London are very knowledgeable and passionate about track and field and will come out in force and create a great atmosphere like they always do," said the six-time Olympic gold medallist.

"I first competed in the London Grand Prix in 2005 when the event was in Crystal Palace," the global superstar added.

"This will be my ninth time to compete in a city I know very well. There are a lot of Jamaicans living in the UK and I always get great support - it is like my home away from home."





Fern Gully closed for 48 hours due to oil spill

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fern-gully.jpgAn oil spill caused by a bus fire on Wednesday has resulted in the Fern Gully in St. Ann being closed for 48 hours.

The National Works Agency (NWA) is mobilising a work crew to respond to the situation.

The Agency says the oil spill has affected a large section of the road and seeped into drains.

NWA Communication Manager, Stephen Shaw, says the oil spill will have to be contained and cleaned up before the area can be considered safe for motorists.

"We are going to use sand to assist in soaking up the oil that is there. We will then have to engage the assistance of the fire department of having the entire area washed. Some of the oil has also gotten into the drainage system - and all the drains go into the main gully that takes water into the sea."

He urged persons who usually use the Fern Guly to get to Ocho Rios to travel through Breadnut Hill or Chalky Hill .

The incident occured when a bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire.

More than forty teachers were on the bus which was destroyed.

Some passenger were to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says the daring daylight shooting in Cornwall Court, Montego Bay on Tuesday was a result of gang violence among mostly teenagers.

According to SSP McGregor, who is in charge of the St James police, the teens who are in an ongoing dispute over some missing guns, exacted their revenge by harming a relative of one of the key figures involved

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, SSP McGregor said the young gangsters were among the lotto scamming trade in the parish, and his team was in search of some who have been linked with the drive-by shooting that resulted in six persons being injured, one fatally.

He said the youngsters had developed a culture of indifference to public order and community stability, with happenings like the missing guns producing violent confrontations.

Over 200 persons have been murdered in St James so far this year, with the parish leading by far, the homicide statistics among the police geographical divisions.

SSP McGregor said the police are bent on getting on top of the situation.





Teachers injured as bus overturns in Fern Gully

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fern-gully.jpgfern-gully-bus-photo-1.jpgA bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire in Fern Gully on Wednesday..

According to reports, more than forty teachers were on the bus which was totally destroyed by the fire.

The police say that some passenger were taken to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





Body of missing 13 year-old found on Portland beach

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Portland police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a teenager whose body was found on Tuesday by residents at the Fisherman's Beach at Prospect in Port Antonio, Portland

He has been identified as Javaine Morris,13, a student of Drapers All Age School in the parish.

It's reported that residents at the fishing village spotted the body shortly before 6am.

It is suspected that he drowned.





education-minister-ronnie-thwaites.jpgEducation Minister Ronald Thwaites, while affirming that corporal punishment in schools is still legal, has cautioned teachers about its use.

This follows a recent incident, in which a senior teacher at St. Richard's Primary School in St. Andrew was charged with injuring a student with a ruler.

Beverly Dinall, the accused teacher, is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 5.

Mr. Thwaites, while declining to comment specifically on the Dinall case, reiterated that corporal punishment was discouraged in schools. He stressed, however, that corporal punishment is not against the law, "where applied in moderation and in proper circumstances."

In that regard, he asserted that "there are circumstances where I believe it may be justified (but) certainly never to injure someone."

Ms. Dinall, was charged by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, after the agency received a complaint by the child's parent that he sustained an injury during the reported beating last month.

Mr. Thwaites said the Ministry will be looking into the alleged incident.





Security guard killed in Mona Road collision

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crime-scene-7.jpgAn accident on Mona Road in St Andrew early Tuesday has claimed the life of Sean Nelson,26, a security guard at the University of the West Indies.

The police say Nelson, who was driving a motor cycle, was trying to overtake a vehicle when he ran into its back and was thrown from his motor cycle.

He was then run over by another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Head of the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says Nelson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Six shot, one killed in Montego Bay

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix persons were shot, one fatally in Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay on Tuesday.

It's reported that shortly after midday several persons were in a house in Cornwall Courts when a man arrived and sprayed the place with bullets.

One of the victims died en route to the hospital.

More than 200 persons have been murdered in St James since January.





Vendors injured as school wall collapses

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wall-collapses-at-school.jpgTwo vendors at the Happy Grove High School, in Portland have been hospitalised after a wall at the institution fell on them earlier today.

A parish council drain runs through the school compound and it's believed to have undermined the wall.

Several other vendors who were carried away by the heavy water caused by torrential rain, have been rescued.





The teacher at the centre of the beating incident at the St. Richards Primary School has been charged.

Beverly Dinall has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

She was granted station bail in the sum of J$50-thousand and is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on January 5.

She has retained attorney Peter Champagnie.

Dinall, who was questioned for more than an hour, is alleged to have beaten a male student at the school.





Media workers injured in car crash

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media-workers-crash.jpgTwo RJR employees were injured in a motor vehicle crash in Trelawny on Monday afternoon.

The engineering support team was heading to Montego Bay for an outside broadcast when the incident occurred.

One of the employees is scheduled to undergo surgery.





lady-saw-at-j-capri-funeral.jpgDancehall deejay Marion Hall, aka Lady Saw is heeding the long call of the Lord to serve Him and Him only. The number one female deejay has been sending out notice of her desire to turn away from dancehall since last year, but she finally made the decision on Monday.

According to Lady Saw, she will be cancelling all her dancehall shows because God has called her to work for Him.

On her Instagram page Monday afternoon, Lady Saw wrote:"God has just spoken to me. He did so at J Capri service and finish it off in my house."

"I'm now a new servant of the Lord," Hall said.

"All my dancehall shows will be cancel cause God has call me to work for him now," she continued in her post. "Glory be to the most high."

Lady Saw was among family, friends, fans, and well-wishers who gathered at the service of thanksgiving for the life of singjay Jordan 'J Capri' Phillips Monday morning at the University Chapel of the West Indies, Mona. Phillips died on December 4, following a tragic car crash on November 23 in the Barbican area of St Andrew. She was 23 years old.

This is not the first time Hall has professed her devotion to God and while a few of her followers reminded her of this, most were supportive and encouraged her spiritual journey.

Chyril_Hair said: "Yes sister Marion Hall this is where your real work begin @ladysawdhqueen."

Vellmore said: "That's wonderful and will still be your biggest fan in everything you do."

Shereew01 said: " Amen. God is really moving and speaking to a lot of us. May God bless you on your walk and journey with him.





Police capture 2 jail breakers; kill one

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Police have captured another two of the six prisoners who escaped from the Montego Bay Police lock-up in St. James on November 30.

The men were captured in snap operations in Westmoreland and St. Thomas between Saturrday and Sunday afternoon.

They are Randy Murray,30, a labourer of Landillo, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland and Gregory Roberts, 32,otherwise called Gref, of Maroon Town in St James.

Murray is charged with illegal possession of a firearm while Roberts is charged with robbery with aggravation.

On Friday, one of the six escapees, Benjamin Stephens, was fatally shot during an alleged confrontation with the police in Spring Mount, St. James.

A 9 millimetre pistol and three rounds were seized during the incident, which was reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

Meanwhile, the police are seeking the public's assistance in locating the other three escapees.

They are: old Shaniel Luton, 25, of Farm Heights, St. James who was convicted of murder and scheduled to be sentenced on December 4.

Kelvin Hodge, a labourer of Barnett Town, St. James who was charged for four counts of murder and Marcus Robinson,34, a higgler of Dome Street, Montego Bay, St. James.He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Anyone with information that can lead to their recapture is asked to contact the Montego Bay Police at 953-6191, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





Bishop Neville deSouza is dead

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgDr. Neville deSouza, the 12th Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands, is dead.

Bishop deSouza died at his home in Mandeville, Manchester just before midday on Saturday. He had been ailing for some time. Bishop deSouza, who was 87, served as a parish priest in many sections of the island. In 1973, he was elected Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay, and Lord Bishop in 1979.

He was known for his outspokenness and was not deterred by criticism, especially in the 1970s when he spoke out strongly about social issues of the time. He retired in 2000.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has paid tribute to the former Anglican Archbishop.

The Prime Minister said he gave many years of community and national public service with passion, deep devotion and distinction. She added that during his tenure as the head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Bishop DeSouza presided over the historic ordination of women to the Ministry for the first time.

She also remembered Bishop DeSouza for his wide range of interests, advocacy and areas of service. The Prime Minister extended condolences to his family and the Anglican Church community.





missing-teen-shaneia-reynolds.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Shaneia Reynolds of Golden Hills, St Andrew who has been missing since Friday, December 11.

She is of dark complexion, slim build and is about 165 centimetres (5 feet 5 inches) tall.

Reports from the Stony Hill police are that Shaneia was last seen at home about 6:30am dressed in her uniform - a white blouse, Khaki tunic and a pair of black shoes. She reportedly has not been seen or heard from since.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Shaneia Reynolds to contact the Stony Hill Police at 942-2223, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





The four gangsters who were arrested on Friday during an operation in Eastern Kingston will be questioned by detectives from Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) this week.

Reports are that one of the suspects, whose alias is 'Pepsi,' is believed to be the leader of the McGregor Gully Gang.

Supported by the military and other police units, MOCA reportedly conducted the pre-dawn raid in several locations in search of the men behind Thursday's million dollar robbery in downtown Kingston.

One illegal firearm and several rounds of ammunition were also seized during the police operation.

MOCA operatives said members of the McGregor Gully Gang have been linked to extortion and other serious criminal activities.

The men in custody are expected to be charged under the anti-gang legislation after the completion of the interrogation process.





Monsignor Albert to be buried on Wednesday

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monsignor-richard-albert.jpgThe funeral service for the late Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor Richard Albert, is scheduled for 10am on Wednesday, December 16, at the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church on Shortwood Road in St Andrew.

The much-loved Monsignor Albert, founder of both the St Patrick's and Stella Maris foundations, passed away suddenly on November 30, leaving behind a legion of grieving relatives and friends.

There will be public viewing of Monsignor Albert's body on Tuesday, December 15, at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on Bay Farm Road, also in St Andrew, between 11am to 1pm; then at Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew between 1:45pm and 4pm; then at Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church between 5pm and 6pm.

The organisers of the funeral service have advised that there will be ample parking arrangements in place for the ceremony, including a shuttle bus service to and from the Shortwood Practicing playfield.

Cremation and internment will follow at a later date.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo thuds who fought off an innocent Meadowbrook High Scool girl and stole her cellular phone and later allegedly mowed down a motorcyclist while fleeing the scene, were last week jailed for two years for the theft.

With that part of their date with justice over, they are now left to ponder what will transpire when they return to court on January 25, 2016, to answer to a charge of manslaughter in relation to the death of the motorcyclist.

Ryan Isaacs, 22, of Cassava Piece in Kingston 8, and Kevin Bailey, 21, of Mannings Hill Road, also in Kingston 8, pleaded guilty with explanation to charges of robbery with aggravation and manslaughter in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The court was told that on the afternoon of November 20, Isaacs and Bailey, who were travelling on a motorcycle, held up and robbed the complainant, a student, of her Samsung Galaxy Core 2 cellular phone along Meadowbrook Avenue in Kingston 19.

The outline indicated that Bailey jumped from the bike and punched the complainant, knocking her to the ground in the process, then snatched her cellular phone.

Bailey admitted in his statement to the allegation, and is alleged to have indicated that the motorcycle on which he and Isaacs were travelling, collided with another motorcycle in the vicinity of PriceSmart on Red Hills Road, as they attempted to evade a car that had stopped at the scene of the robbery.

The injured cyclist, who was identified as Christopher Sherwood of Glengoffe in St Catherine, was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment.

When both men appeared in court on Wednesday, they said they had not planned to steal the phone. Bailey told the court that he had lost his cellular phone on the day of the incident, and he was frustrated.

In relation to Sherwood's death, Isaacs said he was not riding dangerously, and that the collision occurred some distance from the scene of the cell phone theft.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Judith Pusey, subsequently sentenced Isaacs and Bailey to two years' imprisonment for the theft.





zika-virus.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices for people visiting nine countries in South and Central America, due to local transmission of the Zika Virus.

The notices, issued yesterday, relate to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.

Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with the Zika virus and are spreading it to people. The CDC recommends that travelers to the nine countries protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Brazil's Ministry of Health is also concerned about a possible association between the Zika virus outbreak and increased numbers of babies with birth defects. Pregnant women are being urged to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika virus infection.

With the virus detected in several countries Jamaica's Health Ministry has heightened the alert for persons to be prepared, in the event the mosquito-borne illness reaches the island.





Jamaica is #7 on list of most murderous countries

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Jamaica is down to seven on the most-murderous countries list, according to statistics provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which noted the island's once-recurrent presence in the top five.

The data further revealed, that almost half a million people from countries in Central and South America, lose their lives each year due to intentional homicide.

Intentional homicide, according to the UN, is defined as unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person.

Honduras and Venezuela continue to rank as the top two most murderous nations on the world, with over one in 1,000 being killed each year.

However, the biggest surprise was the introduction of Caribbean neighbours St Kitts and Nevis, and the rise of the United States Virgin Islands to the top three in the world.

Here's a list of top 10 most-murderous countries in the world for 2015:

1. Honduras: 90.4 homicides per 100,000

2. Venezuela: 53.7 homicides per 100,000

3. United States Virgin Islands: 52.6 violent-deaths per 100,000

4. Belize: 44.7 homicides per 100,000

5. El Salvador: 41.2 murders per 100,000

6. Guatemala: 39.9 homicides per 100,000

7. Jamaica: 39.3 murders per 100,000

8. Lesotho (In southern Africa): 38 homicides per 100,000

9. Swaziland: 33.8 homicides per 100,000

10. St Kitts and Nevis: 33.6 homicides per 100,000

On the other hand, several developed countries in Europe and Asia have the lowest homicide rates - with Liechtenstein, Singapore and Iceland having homicide rates of lower than 0.3 per 100,000.

The UN's list further ranked Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts, at the top of the list of cities - with 131.6 homicides per 100,000 people.

Capital city Kingston falls in at number ten in the list of most murderous cities.

Here's the full list from first to tenth place: Basseterre (St Kitts), Caracas (Venezuela), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Belize City (Belize), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Maseru (Lesotho), Cape Town (South Africa), Panama City (Panama), San Salvador (El Salvador) and Kingston (Jamaica).

Jamaica's fall in the global rankings, was seen as a welcomed improvement as the island continues a downward trend in criminal activity. The island bettered its sixth place rank achieved in 2014.





4 suspects held following downtown Kingston robbery

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have detained four suspects in connection with Thursday morning's million dollar robbery outside the Duke Street branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in downtown Kingston.

Head of the Kingston Central Police, Superintendent Michael Scott, told RJR News the suspects were held in the afternoon during an operation in East Kingston.The police report that shortly after 10am a female bearer was about to enter the bank when two men drove up on a motor bike.

One of the men grabbed the bag with the cash.

The men were challenged by a security guard and a licensed firearm holder.

However, they escaped.hots were fired and it is believed one of the robbers was hit. The cops say they found a helmet with bloodstains on the scene.





coral-gardens.jpgA report on the 1963 Coral Gardens incident released by the Office of the Public Defender is recommending that the State apologises to the Rastafarian community.

Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry, on Thursday presented the report at a meeting of the St James Parish council.

Harrison Henry explained the report looked at the events which led to the burning of a gas station in Coral Gardens in St James and the subsequent arrest, trial and imprisonment of Rastafarians.

The report found several human rights violations including denial of religious freedom.

The report recommended that a J$10 million trust fund be set up for survivors of the victims of the Coral Gardens incident.

The report also recommended that the State considers the granting of licenses to the Rastafarian community to grow marijuana for research.





nicolene-donaldson-marketing-manager-lasco-financial-services-presents-huawei-device-to-raffle-winner-at-the-launch.jpgMultinational networking and telecoms manufacturer, Huawei, has partnered with LASCO Financial Services Limited (LFSL) to distribute its mobile devices. LFSL is an authorized distributor of Huawei's open market and dual SIM handsets, tablets, wearable gadgets, bluetooth headsets and many other devices at select stores with immediate effect. On Friday, November 13 the line of products were unveiled to specially invited partners at a function in Kingston.

Devices distributed by LFSL include: the very affordable Ascend Y Series; Ascend G650; And the G Elite (P8) and the Ascend G7. The Huawei Talkband B1 and B2 as well as the Media Pad Youth 2, which is a 7 inch tablet with 4GB internal memory and up to 32GB external memory capacity, are also available.

Event models proudly display the latest unlocked Huawei devices, now available at over 10 LASCO agent locations island-wide. The big reveal happened at the official LASCO Financial Services and Huawei Launch held at The Liguanea Club, New Kingston on November 13.

Consumers can now access Huawei devices at 10 select LASCO Financial Service Ltd. locations islandwide.





$12 billion in circulation for Christmas - BOJ

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgThe Bank of Jamaica is expecting to be called upon this month to boost the stock of cash in the market by more than $12 billion. That is to meet expectations of stronger demand for cash associated with spending during the Christmas holidays.

That cash is expected to swell the currency stock to $84 billion by the end of December.

In real terms, this would constitute an eight per cent increase in the value of currency in circulation, compared with less than a one per cent increase last year.

The Bank of Jamaica says the relatively strong growth in currency demand reflects lower inflation and a recovery in economic activity.





An agreement has been reached with the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party regarding the use of political paraphernalia, including flags, ahead of increased campaigning for the general election. Both parties have given a commitment not to mount flags during political campaigns.

This agreement was arrived at during a meeting yesterday, convened by Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment-Brown.

The meeting, which involved the general-secretaries of both parties, followed concerns about the mounting of flags in breach of the Political Code of Conduct.

The Political Ombudsman said various recommendations were presented and commitments given by the political representatives. She told RJR News that, while the two parties have agreed not to mount flags, they might not be able to prevent enthusiastic supporters doing so "in advance of a meeting."

The situation is somewhat complicated, she explained, by the fact that "while people may enthusiastically put up flags in advance of a meeting, or something; generally, to get them down afterwards, you have to pay people to get them down."

Accordingly, she is recommending that "the taking down be planned, as part of any putting up process, although both parties have agreed that putting up of flags will not be part of their campaign."





Robber shot at NCB on Duke Street

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgThe National Commercial Bank on Duke Street in Kingston has been closed following a shooting incident outside its doors in an attempted robbery this morning.

One of the would-be robbers was shot and injured when he was challenged by a security guard and a licensed firearm holder.

He is now hospitalised under police guard.

However, his accomplice who was awaiting him on a motorcycle escaped.

It's reported that the robber was attacking a bearer who had just arrived when he was shot.

The incident has forced police investigators to divert traffic in the vicinity of NCB Duke Street as Scenes of Crime sleuths process the area.





the-bahamas.jpgThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday said it has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of The Bahamas about the recent detention of 11 Jamaican women who were suspected of solicitation for prostitution and being in breach of the Immigration Act.

In its formal letter to its counterpart ministry in The Bahamas, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said it advised them of its concerns that the Jamaican women may have been unfairly profiled for arrest and were not afforded proper treatment while in detention.

In a news release Thursday, the ministry said it is now looking forward to a timely response from The Bahamas.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry also reported that Patrick Hanlan, the honorary consul of Jamaica in The Bahamas, visited and interviewed the women who were held over the weekend and worked with The Bahamian authorities to secure their release within 48 hours.





A young male teacher at a high school in St Mary was on Wednesday caught with his pants down, as the saying goes, while making a clandestine move at a cottage with a 14 year-old student from the school.

The teacher was seen going into a cottage near the institution with a 14-year-old female student, which aroused the suspicion of persons in the area.The principal of the institution was alerted, and upon going to the cottage with another senior staff member, the two reportedly found the teacher inside, and the 14-year-old student hidden inside a closet in the building.

The principal scolded the student, much to the annoyance of the young teacher who pulled a knife and allegedly threatened the principal.

The teacher was eventually taken into police custody, and the student taken to a doctor for an examination.

Jamaican women detained in The Bahamas were not prostitutes! Watchdog groups demand probe.

Two women's rights groups in the Bahamas are urging the country's Police Commissioner to launch a probe into last Saturday's arrest of eleven Jamaican women.

The call follows allegations that the women were forced to urinate on the floor of the cell where they slept on cardboard boxes. The groups believe the women were victims of misconduct by Bahamian officers who allegedly discriminated against them, based on their nationality. It is also alleged that the Jamaicans were not allowed phone calls and were threatened while police held them for 36 hours.

During a press conference on Tuesday, representatives of Bahamas Women's Watch and the Bahamas Crisis Centre called for the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Department of Immigration, to cease what they characterised as the ongoing discrimination against Jamaicans.

They said this also applied to immigrant women who suffer the indignity of systemic discrimination because of their nationality. The watchdog groups said the officers' alleged behaviour must be investigated and condemned in the strongest manner by the Bahamas Police Commissioner.

The groups are also requesting an urgent meeting with the Commissioner to discuss how he plans to eradicate what they say is the systemic practice of discrimination against vulnerable immigrant women by police personnel.

The groups are in the process of drafting a formal complaint to submit to the police.

Meanwhile, a report in the Bahamas Tribune newspaper has provided details on the detention of the eleven Jamaican women. The report said the Selective Enforcement Team went to a nightclub in New Providence about 2 o'clock Saturday morning and arrested the Jamaicans, on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution and breach of the Immigration Act.The women were released on Sunday evening without any charges.

The newspaper quoted Noelle Nicolls,Communications Coordinator at the Bahamas Women's Watch, as saying the women who were arrested were paying patrons of the establishment. She said several of the women were attending a private birthday party in the upstairs section of the bar, while two others were there having a drink.

As was previously reported, one of the women arrested is a complainant in a rape case against an immigration officer. Miss Nicolls said the woman fears this incident was an attempt to harass and intimidate her specifically.

She claimed that, without any due process, the Bahamian men and women were allowed to leave the club while the Jamaican women, some of whom had documentation confirming their legal right to reside in the country, were hauled off. Ms Nicolls said the matter highlighted the need for state agencies to engage in sensitivity training.





imani-duncan-price-jmmb.jpgIn a move clearly demonstrating appreciation of the very high stakes that will be at play between them come election day, Senator Imani Duncan-Price, has invited her newly installed opponent for East Rural St Andrew, Juliet Holness to a meeting.

In a letter to Mrs. Holness, which was released to the media, the People's National Party (PNP) candidate Senator Duncan-Price welcomed her opponent - and wife of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader, Andrew Holness - to representational politics and called on her to meet with her team to discuss the Jamaica Political Code of Conduct which will guide the parties in the electioneering process.

"It is my hope that we will craft a campaign rooted in the spirit of healthy debate and dialogue which sets a solid example for our supporters and any such efforts in the future," Duncan-Price's letter said.

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"I trust that we can also agree to reach out to each other to address any concerns that arise on the ground, with the very clear understanding that our actions and reactions have the power to reverberate throughout our constituency and the nation," she added.

Duncan-Price also said she was looking to establish a "positive, exemplary working relationship" between the two candidates that would allow for a smooth working relationship in the interest of the constituency even after the general elections.

Mrs Holness was confirmed as the JLP's candidate on Monday night, a few days after she surprisingly applied formally for the position.





The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association has questioned whether a Jamaican woman, who was arrested last weekend, was targeted by the Bahamian authorities because of an ongoing rape case and civil suit.

Eleven women from Jamaica were held early Saturday morning at a night club in New Providence, on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution and breaches of the Immigration Act.

A source told The Tribune newspaper, however, that one of the women is the complainant who made an allegation against a senior immigration officer, and Saturday's operation was not what it seemed.

The newspaper said it was informed that the 11 Jamaicans were released without charge on Sunday night.

On Saturday, the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association issued a statement, expressing concern that the complainant could be released to the agency in whose custody she was raped and assaulted.

The statement added that the woman is married to a Bahamian, has legal status in the country and there was no lawful justification for her detention.

The sexual assault allegedly occurred when the 28 year-old woman was released into the custody of an immigration officer on December 15, 2014. In February, she filed a civil suit against the Bahamas Government, seeking damages for alleged battery, assault, false imprisonment and the breach of her constitutional rights.

In her claim, the woman described a crowded and filthy detention centre without sanitary facilities.

The Jamaican has sought at least one million dollars in damages.





missing-woman-teisha-smith.jpgNineteen-year-old Teisha Smith of Cassava Walk in Albion, St. James has been missing since Sunday, December 6.

She is dark complexion, medium build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall.

Reports received from the Montego Bay Police are that about 2:15pm, Smith was last seen at home wearing a black short dress. Efforts to contact her have proven futile.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Teisha Smith to contact the Montego Bay Police at 684-9080, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





hands-behind-bars.jpgCharges are to be laid against four men held following last month's disappearance of a family in St. Ann.

In a statement on Monday, the police said the men were questioned on Saturday.

They are expected to be charged with housebreaking and arson.The men were arrested after four members of a family disappeared on November 16.

It's report that residents saw the house ablaze and after the fire was extinguished there was no sign of the family.

Preliminary investigations suggest the possible cause of the fire was arson.

Missing are: Joesph Lynch, 57, Lascelle Lynch,43,Ruth Lawrence, 50 and Rimeka Haynes,7 all of Authurs Mount in the parish.





ganja-seized.jpgThe police are maintaining a strong presence in Mammee Bay, St. Ann and have strong leads following Saturday's major ganja find in the community.

The seizure has triggered a probe spanning several parishes into activities suspected to be related to the guns for drugs trade with Haiti.

According to a police statement, about 6 o'clock Saturday evening, the police, who were on special operations in the area, observed two men unloading parcels from a Toyota Rav 4.

While they were approaching the vehicle the men reportedly ran.

The vehicle and the area were searched and 26 knitted bags containing 893 pounds of ganja were found.

Thirty-one barrels of gasoline were also seized, along with the vehicle.





christopher-birch.jpgFamily and friends are mourning the senseless murder of software developer, Christopher Birch, 33, who was killed in front of his family at their Harbour View home during a robbery attempt early Monday morning.

The devoted Christian husband and father of two was surprised by at least two gunmen who entered his home at about 3am, demanded property. The thugs proceeded to shoot Birch multiple times when their demands were not met. They escaped with electronic devices including a laptop.

Tributes to Birch have been pouring in on social media since news of his death broke.His former classmates at Wolmer's Boys' School remembered him as a kind, fun-loving individual who "couldn't hurt a fly".

"He was a spiritual brother, unafraid and unashamed of speaking about the Gospel with a natural comfort that was very unusual for someone his age," Dennis Boothe, who was a member of the 1998 class with Birch, said on Facebook.

"He loved our school as we all do, but in a way that stood out even back then, and he took his job as a school prefect seriously, often leading the entire school in morning devotions. No matter who you were at Wolmer's, you knew Chris and respected him," Boothe added.

Another member of the class of 1998 and Birch's Christian "brother", Dwayne Fuller said: "I am broken by the passing of my friend and brother Christopher Birch. My prayer is for God's grace to be abundant in this time of grief."

What makes Birch's death even more difficult to accept for many is that it came at an exciting time in his life.

He recently welcomed a new addition to his family and was looking forward to next week's launch of a new version of KRAAS Images, the Caribbean stock photo agency he co-founded with Staysean Daley.

Daley was said to be overseas and unable to comment at this time. However, Jamaican tech industry pioneer Ingrid Riley said she was "really taken aback by this senseless killing" and noted that the tech community is in mourning.

"It's such a fantastic business, the Caribbean's answer to Getty Images," said Riley of KRAAS.





mark-golding-ganja-law.jpgJustice Minister Senator Mark Golding has put to rest speculation that the Government could soon change the definition of marriage in Jamaica.

Jamaican law defines marriage as being a legal union between a man and a woman.

However, with changes being made to that definition in other jurisdictions to allow for same sex marriage, Senator Golding indicates similar moves are not being contemplated for Jamaica.

"I don't think that will change in the foreseeable future.," Golding said.

Golding was speaking at a recently held Molynes Garden Citizens Association town hall meeting in St Andrew.

The Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Central constituency, Dr Peter Phillips, who was also speaking at the town hall meeting, says while he strongly supports the continuation of marriage in Jamaica between a man and a woman, the decay of the family structure is a more urgent cause for concern.

He said family life in Jamaica is facing a crisis which must be arrested as part of the development of the country.

"We are not having settled families, 89 percent of births in Jamaica are to a single parent - that is the big crisis that we face,"

He said other statistics showing that 20 percent of all births are due to teenagers is another issue that will cause persistent poverty.

The Justice Minister has lamented that a lack of discipline in society, is part of the reason for backlogs in an already overburdened court system.

He said of the many who use the court system, they do not respect the court's time and that causes some of the delays in administering justice.

He added that despite the backlog, efforts are being made to identify areas that cause delay and eliminate them.





zika-virus.jpgHealth Minister Horace Dalley has announced that the Ministry will be hiring and training one thousand young people as vector control workers.

They will go into communities, and along with the Ministry's vector control teams, identify and destroy mosquito breeding sites. Mr. Dalley has also charged senior officials in the Ministry to prepare the public in the event the Zika virus is detected in Jamaica.

The Health Minister announced these initiatives at a National Training Seminar to prepare the health sector for the Zika virus, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms include severe fever, joint and muscle pains, headaches, rashes and conjunctivitis. The symptoms appear within three to 12 days following a bite.





St James tops the 'murder list' islandwide for 2015

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crime-scene-gun.jpgCrime figures shave revealed that the parish of St James has had the highest incidence of murders this year, with more that 200 murders since January. This compared to 142 homicides during the corresponding period last year.

Hanover has recorded 59 murders, when compared to 35 last year, and Westmoreland, 99, versus 46 last year.

With under a month remaining in the year, the country's murder tally is now 1130, up from 937 during the corresponding period in 2014.

The figures do show a containment in homicides since the authorities deployed military personnel to western Jamaica and parts of central Jamaica.

Montego Bay, which is the capital of St James is Jamaica's second city and also a popular tourist desstination.





crime-scene-gun.jpgFive kindergarten students were left traumatised after the taxi transporting them to school was shot up by gunmen in Salt Spring, St James early Friday - killing the driver.

The police report that shortly after 7 am the driver picked up the students at Repasture Lane in the community.

Shortly after, he was attacked by gunmen who opened fire at him.He reportedly got out of the car and ran into a house, where he was chased and killed .

The children who ran from the vehicle, were assisted by residents

The name of the driver has not been released.





Was PNP activist's killing ordered by jailed don?

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don-ordered-killing-sadie-forbes.jpgAn investigation has been launched into reports that a convicted gangster ordered the murder of People's National Party activist, Sadie Forbes.

Jones was killed in Newlands, St Catherine on Tuesday after reportedly objecting to green flags, which represents the Jamaica Labour Party, being placed at her gate.

It is being alleged that Forbes refused to answer a phone call from the gangster and was gunned down less than half an hour afterwards.

The gang leader is serving more than 30 years in prison.

The police have identified suspects in the murder and are hunting them down.

Forbes was shot multiple times as she walked in the community. She was pronounced dead at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Minutes after Forbes was killed, persons attacked a newspaper vendor, Jermaine Vassell, also called 'Copper' and stabbed him to death.

The killings have reportedly heightened political tensions in the community. It was fueled by Senate president Floyd Morris who declared on Facebook on Tuesday that "...We have just experienced the killing of one of our members who was brutally shot by thugs and cowards who turned the gun on a supporter of the PNP because, as reported, she took down a flag that was posted at her gate by members of the JLP."





us-man-missing-stephen-staker.jpgA search has been launched for 20-year-old American national Stephen Staker, who has been missing since Thursday, December 03.

According to the Falmouth Police, Staker, who was a passenger on-board a vessel docked at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier in the parish, reportedly disembarked the vessel around 4:30pm and has not been seen since.

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

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Stephen Staker to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3271, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Dancehall artiste JCapri is dead

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j-capri-photo-4.jpgDancehall artiste J Capri has succumbed to injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident last week.

The 23-year-old had been in an induced coma since last Monday, after her Mercedes Benz slammed into a wall and overturned on Barbican Road in St Andrew.

News of the artiste's death hit fans and the entertainment fraternity hard on Friday morning, against the background of earlier reports that doctors at the University Hospital of the West Indies, where the singer was hospitalised, believed there was a strong possibility for full recovery.

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Fellow female dancehall artiste Vanessa Saddler, who goes by the stage name Vanessa Bling, was among several entertainers who posted tributes to J Capri. Saddler noted that she "woke up to a sad call".

"It's sooo sad to say good bye," Saddler said in a post on social media, accompanied by a photo of the late artiste. "I knw u family taking it hard rite now..But I pray God will keep n protect them...may ur soul rip."

Another female artiste, Tifa said: "Sing with the angels doll".

J Capri, real name Jordan Phillips, is known for songs such as Wine and Kotch with Charly Blacks, Pull Up To Mi Bumpa with Konshens and more recently, Boom and Ben Over. She was a past student of Wolmer's Girls' School.





Entertainment fraternity pays tribute to JCapri

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j-capri-photo-1.jpgWe here at YardFlex are saddened by the loss of this talented artistes whose death will surely leave a void in the music industry. Condolences to JCapri's family and extened family of artistes, musicians, producers, promoters and all who had a role in helping her to live her dream. May her soul rest in peace.

Lady Saw: My heart is saddened .. I met her in July at Hype TV and she was bubbly so full of life and into character before she went on to perform .. My heart goes out to her family and friends #R.IP Jcapri

Bounty Killer: JAH KNOW JAH ONLY YOU KNOW! R.I.P Artist : J Capri. Gone Too Soon

j-capri-photo-2.jpgKonshens: Cut way too short but God know everything. RIP. Condolences to the family and friends. saw what you did what you were doing and what you were about to do. I hope Jamaica,Dancehall and music lovers worldwide understand who and WHAT we just lost.

Skatta Burrell: #gonetoosoon up this morning to this awful news. Anyone who knew @jcapri_hcr will tell you she's more than a beautiful Soul. I can only say condolences to all her friends and family because no words will ever take away the heartache they feeling. #LifeIs2short #CherishYourLifeFolks

Reggae Sumfest: #teamSumfest mourns the loss of one of dancehall music's rising stars J Capri. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and management team #RIP #reggaesumfest2015

Meanwhile, dancehall artiste Charly Black with whom she did one of her hit songs, Whine and Kotch, refused to believe the sad news.

"I won't accept this news right now ok," he wrote.





facebook-zuckerberg-tax-avoidance-culprit.jpgOnce, it was enough to put a notice in the newspaper when your child was born. But Mark Zuckerberg, the multi-billionaire founder of Facebook, likes to do things differently.

So he welcomed his newborn daughter, Max, into the world with an open letter on his social media site, in which he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to donate almost all their L30 billion fortune to charity during their lives.

The happy couple talked rather smugly about how their first child gave them cause to reflect on the future, saying they were inspired by their desire to build a better world and because they have a 'moral responsibility to all children in the next generation'.

Within hours, more than one million Facebook devotees demonstrated their 'like' of this noble gesture, among them the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Melinda Gates, wife of fellow mega-rich philanthropist Bill Gates.

There was, of course, an outpouring of praise - particularly online - for this latest plutocrat declaring his intention to hand over great wealth.

Zuckerberg, 31, is the most recent in a growing line of digital billionaires turning to charity, and their giveaways are almost always a public, rather than a private, event played out on social media.

He and his wife deserve credit, of course, for pledging to use their huge mountain of cash to help wider humanity rather than frittering it away on a life of fun.

Yet there is a dark side to this trend. For behind it lies the sanctimonious hypocrisy of billionaires who build vast fortunes with firms that avoid the taxes paid by the rest of society, then arrogantly think they are best placed to solve the planet's problems.

Zuckerberg talked in his letter of creating stronger communities. Yet Facebook, like too many technology behemoths, is a serial tax avoider undermining government through its stubborn refusal to pay its fair share to society.

Last year, this all-conquering social media firm handed over just L4,327 in corporation tax in this country: less than the annual sum paid in tax by the average worker.

Yet its staff in Britain took home an average L210,000 each in pay and bonuses, safe in the security of a society that relies on public servants to protect them from terror, provide health care in hospitals and repair the roads on which they travel to work.

The Facebook founder has hailed Bill Gates as his hero - the world's richest man, who has been revered as something close to a secular saint after promising to give away the bulk of his L57 billion fortune.

But Gates became rich from a company that was even used as a case study for a U.S. Senate inquiry into tax avoidance.

Microsoft was accused of avoiding paying L3 billion annually in tax by shifting earnings around between low-tax nations. In Britain alone, it reported L1.7 billion revenues in one year for online sales of software, on which it paid no corporation tax. Zilch.

Gates even has the gall to tour the world telling governments to take more and more money from taxpayers for his beloved foreign aid programmes, once even branding those who oppose such policies as 'evil'.

However noble the intentions of Zuckerberg and Gates, it is pure hypocrisy to claim moral leadership while raking in immense wealth from companies engaged in such base tactics.

Online, there have been some harsh comments regarding Zuckerberg making a gift to his own chairty as a means of continued tax avoidance: "As a tax paying citizen of the US this annoys me. Pay your taxes Facebook," one reader commented.

Another explained: "It gets much worse than this. those facebook shares are worth 45 billion, if he sells them he is due to pay about 20 billion is capital gains tax. if he gifts them ti a charity there is no capital gains tax. so what you may say.... hes give 45 billion to charity, yes - but HE OWNS the charity. he controls all the charitys expenses. he has the use if all its private jets, property, exoense account. and no doubt his child wil be the next ceo ofthe charity. all paid for by the 20 billion tax he avoided

"And when the super-rich do "donate", they usually give to their own foundations which is another tax scam. They get a current income tax deduction yet the foundation only has to give a small fraction of its assets for charitable purposes and can retain the rest basically forever. This allows them to brag about their generosity while they and their descendants can still control the "donated" assets perpetually."





Former Minister of Health and current Member of Parliament (MP) for West Central St Catherine, Dr Ken Baugh is slowly recovering from brain surgery which he recently underwent at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) general secretary, Dr Horace Chang, who is a medical doctor, on Wednesday said Dr Baugh, the party's spokesman on health, was taken out of an induced coma over recent days, and is in a stable condition at the hospital.

A team of local surgeons performed the emergency operation on Dr Baugh on November 13, following which there were complications after his initial progress. This resulted in him being taken into the hospital's intensive care unit.

A former Cabinet member in more than one JLP Administration, Dr Baugh has also served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.





superintendent-of-police.jpgThe police are keeping a close watch on Newlands in Portmore, St. Catherine, following claims that two killings in the community on Tuesday may have been politically motivated.

The incidents, which took place two hours apart, happened amid increasing political tensions in the community. However, the police have not been able to confirm whether the killings are connected or linked to politics.

In the first incident, which occurred about 6:30, a woman, identified as Sandy Forbes, of Newlands, was found suffering from bullet wounds. She was pronounced dead at Spanish Town Hospital.

Senior Superintendent Noel Christie, head of the St. Catherine South Police, told RJR News that Ms Forbes had made a report to the Bridgeport Police on Sunday about political flags in the community.

In the second incident, a man was found suffering from stab wounds at his home in Newlands. Investigators believe he was stabbed elsewhere and ran to his home where he collapsed.

Several persons have been detained in a joint police military operation that is now underway in the community in search of the persons involved in the murders.

Superintendent Christie told RJR News that additional police have been deployed to the community, in response to the increased political tension.





Government prepares to copyright Jamaican ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgJamaica is preparing to register ganja as a geographic indication (GI), according to investment minister Anthony Hylton.

The move comes amid launching the island's first GI for jerk. GI gives the highest level of international legal protection of products from counterfeit and duplication.

Already, Jamaica has signed a bi-lateral agreement with the Swiss Government for the registration of medicinal marijuana as a GI.

"Of immediate focus is, therefore, the expansion of our bilateral agreements for the protection of medicinal marijuana," Hylton told a gathering at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last week to launch the jerk GI.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we already possess the traditional knowledge where our people use ganja for the cure of asthma and various ailments. The registration of medicinal marijuana as a GI is the next step in the development and monetization of this industry."

He said that Jamaica has several potential GIs including Cocoa, Pimento, Ginger, Castor Oil, Jamaican "Roots" Wines, Logwood Honey and Ganja.

"The registration of Jamaican Jerk as a GI is therefore the first step towards increasing the registration of other Jamaican GI's," he said.





imani-duncan-price-jmmb.jpgJMMB Group has advised that Imani Duncan-Price, the company's Group Strategy Chief Officer, tendered her resignation effective November 27, 2015. It's the official departure of Duncan-Price, who will represent the PNP in the next General Elections.

"Mrs Duncan-Price would be joining the People's National Party to represent the St. Andrew East Rural constituency in the next general election," stated JMMB.

Duncan-Price is the daughter of PNP stalwart Dr DK Duncan. She joined JMMB Group as Group Strategy Manager & Manager, Corporate Solutions, and then as Group Marketing Manager led the brand and marketing strategies across the region.

She was promoted to Group Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for developing corporate strategies and ensuring alignment among the various subsidiaries to enable sustainable profitable growth for the diverse business lines in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago.

Duncan Price was listed among the 187 under forty leaders worldwide selected by the World Economic Forum as 2015 Young Global Leaders (YGL). She is a founding member of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, a Board Director of the National Parenting Support Council and of the Y.U.T.E. (Youth Upliftment Through Employment) Programme and a Senator with the Government of Jamaica.

She holds a BA in Economics and a Master's degree in International Development from Harvard University. She is a former Miss Jamaica.

She will likely face Juliet Holness, the wife of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, for the East Rural St Andrew seat. Mrs Holness submitted her application to contest the seat on Wednesday.





Andrew Holness' wife to run for MP?

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holness-juliet.jpgJuliet Holness, wife of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness' is being considered to represent the party in St Andrew East Rural.

However, reliable sources insisted that there has been no confirmation of her candidacy as, while Labourites in the constituency have been clamouring for her to be the party's standard-bearer in the next general election, she has not yet responded to their request.

The JLP leader reportedly had consultations with members of the parliamentary group through most of yesterday and obviously got a consensus on Mrs Holness's candidacy.

According to the sources, Mrs Holness and a team had been working in the constituency with Senator Alexander Williams, who had been the party's candidate in the constituency up to yesterday when he announced his resignation. Williams is expected to make a statement byThursday about his decision.

Juliet Holness, an accountant by occupation and a former student of St Catherine High School, married Andrew Holness -- Jamaica's ninth prime minister -- in 1997. They have two children, Adam and Andrew Jnr.

The ruling People's National Party (PNP) recently replaced businessman Peter Blake with Government Senator Imani Duncan-Price in the St Andrew East Rural constituency for the next general election.

Duncan-Price is the daughter of former PNP Cabinet minister and veteran member of Parliament Dr DK Duncan.

St Andrew East Rural is currently represented by the PNP's Damion Crawford, who was beaten by Blake in an acrimonious selection contest on October 4.





Zika virus spreading in the Americas

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zika-virus.jpgNews is emerging that the mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread to more countries in the Americas. Following cases in Brazil, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it has been notified of Zika virus infections in Guatemala and El Salvador. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the findings.

Media reports suggest that cases of the virus have also been detected in Paraguay and Venezuela.

Brazil-one of the hardest hit countries-reported more microcephaly cases, which health officials suspect might be related to infections in pregnant women. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and gender.

Zika virus infections, spread by Aedes mosquitoes, have rapidly spread to new parts of the Americas since last year and continues to sicken people in other parts of the world. Symptoms are similar to dengue fever, but usually milder, lasting four to seven days.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries in the Americas to maintain the capacity to detect Zika cases and prepare their health systems to take on more burdens, arising from the disease.

Some of the other locations reporting cases this year include Colombia, Suriname, Cape Verde, Fiji and Indonesia.

Jamaica's Ministry of Health has been conducting preparedness activities for the possible spread of the Zika virus to Jamaica. Speaking on RJR's programme Doctors' Orders on Sunday, Dr Winston Dawes, former Chief Medical Officer at the May Pen Hospital, warned that the virus could trigger an increase in stillbirths and birth defects in Jamaica.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwenty-four year old Vinnel Brown has been charged with the November 16 murder of six year-old Daniel Anderson, in Runaway Bay, St Ann.

Brown, a resident of Mount Edgecombe, was charged on Tuesday afternoon, having been pointed out in an identification parade on Monday. He will be taken to court later this week.

Brown was picked up last week, following investigations into the murder of the six year-old, whose body was found in a gully in Mount Edgecombe, two weeks ago.

Daniel's body, which had chop wounds, was found a day after he was reported missing.





It's a boy for Peter Bunting an wife Anuscha Mai

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peter-bunting-and-wife.jpgAnushca Mai, wife of Security Minister Peter Bunting, gave birth to a baby boy in Miami on Tuesday.

The two were recently married at a private ceremony.

Bunting, who was formerly married to Janine Ewart, has two other children - Brent and Emma Bunting.





shoshane-rattigan-gun-attack-victim-bronx-new-york-photo-1.jpgA 28-year-old Bronx woman, who is originally from St. Ann, Jamaica was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend early Tuesday as the couple's 6-year-old son sat in the next room, police sources said.

Now cops are looking for the 30-year-old ex, who has been accused of harming victim Shoshane Rattigan before, horrified neighbors said.

"At night she would run downstairs and say, 'He's beating me! He's beating me!" said downstairs neighbor Joanna Volpicelli, 74. "I was shaking this morning when I heard about (her death)."

Rattigan, who is a nurse and attended the Golden Grove Primary and Marcus Garvey High Schools in Jamaica, was reportedly arguing with her ex inside the apartment on Bogart Ave. at about 4 a.m. when he fired off one round - striking her in the head, officials said.

Rattigan died at the scene.

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Her young son and a 20-year-old cousin were in another room and did not witness the horrific killing, police sources said. The child told police that all he heard was a popping noise.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately disclosed, but who reportedly goes by the name 'Sonny',sped away with the gun in a Honda Odyssey and has not been caught.

Cops had been called to calm the quarreling couple on four separate occasions - twice this year alone - but no charges were ever filed against either of them, police said. Rattigan had even filed a rape complaint against her ex at one time but withdrew it before he was charged, according to police sources.

Neighbors said Rattigan and her former boyfriend - who lived a few blocks away - fought often but always made up. Volpicelli's daughter Lyn Volpicelli, 48, said Rattigan's ex "creeped" her out.

"He had this weird glazed look over his eyes," she said. "He just had that evil look in his eyes. He was calm but looked like he could snap at any moment."

Rattigan, the younger Volpicelli said, was exactly the opposite.

"She was very quiet, you never really saw her," she said.

Rattigan and her beau even fought when he moved her into the Bogart Ave. address more than six months ago.

"He was screaming, 'Be careful with the f------ door! Watch the f------ furniture!'" neighbor Mike Manzo, 58, said. "He was yelling at her for the stupidest reasons. He was very degrading. You just don't talk to women the way he was."

"I kept my distance," he added. "I thought, 'This is not the type of person I want to deal with.' I just hope they catch this guy."





Catholic priest Monsignor Richard Albert is dead

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monsignor-richard-albert.jpgRoman Catholic priest, Monsignor Richard Albert passed away on Monday evening.

According to initial reports, the 69-year-old Albert died in hospital, just hours after complaining he felt ill.

Having left New York for sunny Jamaica some 39 years ago, Monsignor Albert joined the Catholic ministry in Jamaica.

He frequently bemoaned the state of the poor, the elderly and the underprivileged living in the island, and was instrumental in creating and facilitating the establishment of many social intervention projects like the St Monica's Home for the Aged; The St Patrick's Foundation and the Stella Maris Foundation.





A special team of investigators from Kingston will be dispatched to St Ann today to assist with the probe into the disappearance of four members of a family in Lime Hall three weeks ago.

The missing persons include a seven year old child and her mother. They have not been seen since a fire, believed to be the work of arsonists, gutted their home.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, provided details on the special team. He said the team will be in the parish all week and is appealing to the public as the whereabouts of the missing persons are still unknown

It is suspected that the four individuals were killed and their bodies dumped. Items belonging to two of those missing were found by the police last week.Seven men have been detained in connection with the case.





escaped-montego-bay-prisoners.jpgSix prisoners escaped from the Freeport Police Lock-Up in Montego Bay, St James, between Sunday night, and early Monday morning, prompting a massive manhunt.

Police personnel discovered the prisoners missing from their cell, during a head count, Monday morning.

The men are charged with various crimes, to include murder, illegal possession of firearm, and robbery with aggravation. Police personnel have reportedly been deployed in search of the escapees. It's understood that a large hole was discovered in the wall of the cell, and a section of a grill to the rear of the cell block was cut.

Head of the St James Police Ssp Steve Mcgregor says preliminary reports are that the men breached a plumping fixture in the cell.

On the run are:

  • 30 year old, Kelvin Hodge of Jenkins Corner in Barrett Town, St James charged with murder;
  • 29-year-old Randy Murray of Llandilo Phase 6 in Westmoreland, charged with illegal possession of firearm;
  • 34 year old, Marcus Robinson of Dome Street, Montego Bay, charged with illegal possession of firearm and murder;
  • 30-year-old Gregory Roberts of Maroon Town. He was charged with illegal possession of firearm;
  • 21-year-old Benjamin Stephenson of Dias in Lucea, Hanover, facing a murder charge;
  • 26-year-old Shaniel Luton of Farm Heights, St James for illegal possession and murder.

It's understood that Luton was convicted of murder and was to be sentenced on December 4.

Members of the public are being urged, to be extremely careful, and report to the police, any suspicious men, they may see in their neighbourhood. The police have urged anyone with information that can lead to the recapture of these prisoners to contact the Montego Bay Police at 953-6191, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.

The police also reminded the public that it is a criminal offence to harbour a criminal.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA St Elizabeth couple was sentenced to more than 100 years in concurrent jail time, based on several counts of sexual assault against a minor who was living under their care.

They were convicted in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court on charges which include grievous sexual assault, buggery, having sexual intercourse with a person under 16, as well as aiding and abetting grievous sexual assault.

The charges stem from several incidents which took place at the couple's house where the minor also lived.

The man carried out the assaults against the minor over a prolonged period of time with the knowledge and consent of the woman.





'Lucifer' from Clansman Gang arrested and charged

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A member of the Clansman Gang who the police described as a major player has been arrested and charged.

Edward Dunn otherwise called 'Fabulous' and 'Lucifer',was taken into custody by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) and detectives from the St Catherine North Division.

Dunn who was arrested on Tuesday, was charged on Thursday with leading a criminal organization and being a member of a criminal organization.

Meanwhile the C-TOC says in recent times five persons from the Clansman Gang and four persons from the One Order Gang have been charged.

The organisation says plans are in the making to prosecute additional persons who were attached to the criminal gangs.





January 13 court date for soldier on rape charge

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court-case.jpgA Jamaica Defence Force soldier, accused of raping a 17 year old girl, is scheduled to return to court on January 13 when a trial date will be set.

The accused, Oral Bourne, was released on $100,000 bond when he appeared in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Wednesday.

The soldier was charged last week, following a probe by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) into allegations that he had molested the teenager.

Mr Bourne has denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, a source confirmed that CISOCA is investigating several complaints filed over the last three weeks against members of the Jamaica Defence Force.

One of the soldiers was charged last week after he was placed on an identification parade. He is scheduled to appear in court this week.

In recent months CISOCA has laid charges against several members of the security forces for alleged breaches of the Sexual Offences Act.

A policeman was charged two weeks ago with various sexual offences as part of the crack down.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA teenager is now behind bars for the mauling death of a man in Annotto Bay, St Mary on Friday.

The victim has been identified as 21-year-old Odane Walters.

Police report that Walters was walking along the Annotto Bay Main Road about 8:30 AM when he was attacked by a group of males.

He was stabbed and chopped several times and was taken to hospital.

Walters succumbed to his injuries about 9:30 pm Friday.

The teenager was subsequently taken into custody.





crime-scene-gun.jpgA downtown Kingston venodor who goes by the alias is 'Rasta' is now dead after a plainclothes policeman pumped three wild bullets into him, in a stupid attempt at trying to shoot a fleeing chain-grabber, last Friday.

The incident took place shortly after 2:00 pm in the busy market district when scores of children were on their way from school. Persons on the scene told Yardflex that a chain-grabber when making his escape in the crowd near to the Captains Bakers when a policeman popped off his firearm and shot straight through the crowd. The bullet, the woman told YadFlex, ripped through the chest of the vendor, who is known for selling escallion, thyme and other vegetables.

"Him a the breadwinner and hve him pickney dem fi look after. How them a go take this news. A mash up down yah mash up now," a seller wailed.

Look there now.. the thief get 'way; the chain not recovered and the man lose him life. How dem police ya so irresponsible? Dem can a fire inna crowd just so?" she complained to the YardFlex crew.

One woman said that the man had been taken to the hospital, but sometime later, the body was seen lying on the sidewalk. The area was subsequently cordoned off with yellow tape and policemen in khaki uniforms were seen processing the scene.

Head of the Kingston Central police, Superintendent Micheal Scott, said he had limited information regarding the incident.

Supt Scott said, "I am just coming from a meeting, however I was briefed that a policeman was being robbed by two men and he challenged the two robbers and a vendor was shot. That's all the information I have at this point."





ganja-smoking.jpgIt's okay, I have doctor's note.

Under new Ontario regulations, that's what people puffing on medical marijuana - in a joint or an e-cigarette - can now say in any public place where smoking is otherwise banned.

The exemption includes everything from movie theatres to restaurants, offices, stadiums, playgrounds full of children and more - even the legislature, Dipika Damerla, Ontario's associate health minister, acknowledged Wednesday.

She was peppered with questions about the new rules, which leave gray areas in which bystanders - particularly kids - could be exposed to potentially dangerous second-hand pot smoke and how to prove the smoking is a legitimate medical use for cancer, severe epilepsy or other conditions.

But employers, restaurant owners and other proprietors have the right to overrule any medical marijuana smoking, Damerla said.

"As an employer or a restaurant owner you can say 'there's no vaping, no smoking of medical marijuana here," she told reporters. If a person were to continue smoking "they are breaking the law."

A restaurant owner "could ask for some kind of verification," Damerla added when pressed on what constitutes proof the pot is medically prescribed.

"This is about the fact that somebody who's very ill, maybe in a lot of pain, wants to use. There are many ways to take marijuana. This is one way."

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she's concerned about people being exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke or vapour, although she wants to take a closer look at the regulations.

"That's something we need to keep in mind...we need to take a closer look," she said, joking that if someone was smoking medical pot beside her in a restaurant that "I'll probably eat more."

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown didn't quarrel with the regulations and said he wouldn't make "political hay" of the issue.

"If it's for medical purposes, it's for medical purposes," he said. "There's not going to be an overwhelming amount of people in Ontario running out to parks to have their medical marijuana."

The Canadian Cancer Society warns on its website that "people exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke may have many of the same health problems as people exposed to cigarette smoke, including an increased risk of cancer."

Other studies have found medical marijuana significantly improves quality of life and pain control for patients who need it.

Damerla tried to downplay any controversy, saying there are a "very, very limited" number of people in Ontario taking medical marijuana and that allowing them to do so in public is an issue of "balancing" rights.

The government consulted "very broadly with the medical community" before approving the new regulations, she said.

A group called Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana called the policy an "important milestone in the recognition of the legitimacy of the use of cannabis as a medicine."





ashton-eaton-and-genzebe-dibaba.jpgDespite winning the prestigious title five times previously, in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Jamaica's sprint sensation Usain Bolt was beaten in the race for male athlete of the year.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced USA's Ashton Eaton and Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba as the male and female IAAF World Athletes of the Year for 2015 on today.

Both athletes set world records during 2015, Eaton in the decathlon and Dibaba in the 1500m, and won gold medals in these events at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.

Ashton Eaton became the first decathlete to win the male World Athlete of the Year award after his stellar performance Beijing, China where he set a world record of 9045 and improved his own three-year-old mark by nine points.

"While I'm honoured that I am considered the 'artist' of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I'm flattered to be among them.

Meanwhile, Dibaba, who set a world indoor 5000m record of 14:18.86, was unbeaten in her 1500m races during the summer. At the World Championships in Beijing, she was no less formidable. She won all three rounds of the 1500m comfortably. She also took a 5000m bronze medal.

"I am humbled and honoured to receive this award from the IAAF," said Dibaba. "It feels so good to be the World Athlete of the Year.





Hurricane Sandra strengthens

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hurricane-sandra-category-4-storm.jpgHurricane Sandra has strengthened to a powerful Category 4 storm in the eastern Pacific off Mexico's coast.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds increased early Thursday to near 145 mph (230 kph). The US National Hurricane Center says no significant change in strength is expected but weakening should begin Friday.

Sandra is centered about 500 miles (810 kilometers) southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, and is moving north near 12 mph (19 kph).

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Skeng Don paid $72-million to out Riverton fire!

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riverton-city-fire.jpgBlack Brothers Inc, led by Kenneth "Skeng Don" Black, gained a $72.5 million contract to transport dirt to out the massive Riverton City fire earlier this year, according to latest government figures.

The value of Black's contract represents several times that of all other contracts to extinguish the fire combined.

The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) shows which companies earned the largest contracts during one of the largest fires in the country's history. It lists the National Solid Waste Management Authority issuing contracts in March 2015 directly related to extinguishing the fire valued at $91.6 million.

These contractors included:

--Black Brothers at $72.5 million for fire: to transport dirt from a quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at Riverton.

--L&D Trucking at $5.9 million to transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--Mavrick Haulage at $1.12 million for fire:To transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--Parkes Trucking at $555,000 for fire:To transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--Estrime Trucking at $1.6 million for fire:To transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--S. Green & Associates at $1.7 million for Fire:To transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--All Trucking Co Ltd at $658,000 for fire:To transport dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--National Works Agency at $5.48 million for fire:To provide Komatsu Wa380 to load dirt from Quarry to fire site to aid in the cooling of fire at the Riverton Landfill.

--General Construction & Power Line Services for fire: To provide a DC tractor to push and spread waste at Riverton related to the fire at $2.17 million.

Other contractors gained contracts in the month of March including Incomparable Enterprise to provide a DC tractor to push spread and cover and compact waste at Riverton Landfill at $12.8 million. However, that contract was not explicitly stated as related to the fire.





Soldier on rape charge released on bond

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court-case.jpgA Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier accused of raping a 17 year old girl was released on bond on Wednesday when he appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court.

Oral Bourne was offered bail in the sum of J$100-thousand with surety during a bail hearing.

Bourne, who is scheduled to return on January 13, was charged last week following a probe by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) into allegations that he molested the teen.

He has denied the allegations.

Reports are that several members of the JDF are being investigated by CISOCA, which is probing complaints filed over the past three weeks. One of the soldiers was charged last week after he was placed on an identification parade.

He is scheduled to appear in court this week.

Over the past several months CISOCA has laid charges against members of the security forces for alleged breaches of the Sexual Offences Act.

Two weeks ago, a St Elizabeth-based attorney and a policeman were charged with various sexual offences as part of the crack down.





court.jpgAttorney and lecturer at the Norman Manley Law School, Laverne George, who is accused of defrauding two of her clients of nearly J$20 million had her bail extended when she appeared in court on Tuesday.

George, who was charged last week by the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC), pleaded not guilty.

Investigators say in 2010, the attorney sold a property for one of her clients for J$10 million but only handed over one million dollars from the sale.

It's alleged that she sold another property in 2013 for J$8 million but fraudulently converted the money to her personal use.

George is scheduled to return to court month.





ak-47-assault-rifle-ammo.jpgThe three foreigners arrested in Sunday's arms and ammunition bust in Manchester, have been charged.

They were charged on Wednesday with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as drug trafficking.

They are Costa Ricans, Carlos Rodriquez Sanabrias and Angel Calixto Merin as well as Nicaraguan, Dane Hains Cuthbert.

The men were arrested after the Manchester police seized four illegal guns and 150 rounds of ammunition along the Alligator Pond beach on Sunday.

Three kilogrammes of cocaine and the vessel used to transport the men were also seized.

Investigators say the men are linked to the guns for drugs trade.





former-boxing-champion-o-neil-supernova-bell-has-died-aged-41.jpgFormer Jamaican boxing champion O'Neil 'Supernova' Bell has died in a robbery in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Bell, 40, of Atlanta, was one of two people shot in the 1800 block of Harbin Road in the southwest part of the city at around 12.30am, police said.

Officers found him lying in the street with a gunshot wound and he had also been stabbed, WSB-TV reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers also found a bag containing wads of cash in the middle of the street.

The other victim - a man who was dressed as a woman, according to the station - was shot once in the hip and is recovering in hospital. He told officers his purse and cell phone had been taken.

The pair were not known to each other, but were both getting off the same bus and walking together when they were robbed, police said.

Authorities said the victims had been gunned down by two suspects driving a red PT Cruiser. Police are still searching for the shooter.

Bell, who born in Jamaica, moved to Delaware at the age of five with his parents. He moved to Atlanta in 1995, where he worked as a UPS driver before becoming a professional boxer, AJC.com reported.

He first fought under the name 'Give 'Em Hell' Bell before changing his moniker to 'Supernova'.

He was the former undisputed cruiserweight champion - and held WBA, WBC and IBF cruiserweight titles before retiring in 2011.

In a career spanning 13 years, he recorded 27 wins (including 25 knockouts), four losses and one draw, according to BoxRec.com.

Anyone with information is asked to call Atlanta police.





Jamaica wins five of 6 CASJA awards

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shelly-ann.jpgWorld sprint champion's Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce copped the major titles as Jamaica won five of the six categories in the second annual Caribbean Sports journalists' Association (CASJA) awards.

Bolt who successfully defended his world championships sprint titles in Beijing was unanimously chosen as the sportsman of the year, beating Paralympic athlete Akeem Stewart of Trinidad and Tobago fellow Jamaican O'dayne Richards of Jamaica.

Fraser- Pryce who retained her 100 meters title and anchored Jamaica to the 4×100 meters title at the world championships copped the sportswoman of the year ahead Yarisley Silva of Cuba and fellow Jamaican Alia Atkinson

Jamaica's world 100 meters hurdles champion Danielle Williams and Jeffrey Gibson of the Bahamas were voted the top rising stars in the Caribbean.

Jamaican relay teams dominated the team of the year categories with the quartet of Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell, Nickel Ashmeade, Usain Bolt taking the male team of year for the 4x100m gold at the IAAF World Championships.

Trinidad & Tobago's 4x400m relay team which won the gold medal at the Pan American games and the silver at the World Championships settled for the runners-up spot followed by Jamaica's 'Reggae boyz' who finished as the beaten finalist at the Concacaf Gold Cup tournamentt.

The 4x100m championship record team of Veronica Campbell-Brown, Natasha Morrison, Elaine Thompson and Fraser- Pryce copped the female team of the year.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-1.jpgUsain Bolt, the fastest man alive has teamed up with South Africa's national telecommunications operator Telkom to promote fibre technology, which delivers high speed internet service.

Telkom has not revealed the amount that the Jamaican superstar will be paid for the deal but revealed that Bolt was perfect for their fibre optic roll-out as they are aiming to convince people of the technology's speed.

"We believe that Bolt‚ as the fastest person in the world‚ will assist us in creating awareness of the speed‚ consistency and reliability that fibre technology offers‚" Telkom's Chief Marketing Officer‚ Enzo Scarcella‚ said in a statement announcing the partnership.

Telkom says it hopes to reach one million homes with fibre by 2018 to expand what it says is already the largest fibre network in the country.

Fibre technology can transfer more data over longer distances than copper wire and permits Internet connections equalling 100 Mbps in downstream speeds.

Portland teacher and daughter stabbed by attacker who then takes them to hospital

Shock has gripped the Fair Prospect community in Portland, after a high school Vice Principal and her daughter were stabbed multiple times in the wee hours of this morning (November 24) and then taken to the hospital, allegedly by their attacker.

The mother, Andrea Moore who is Vice Principal at the Fair Prospect High School received 17 stabs, while her 18 year old daughter was allegedly stabbed some 9 times.

Both are in serious, but stable condition at hospital. It is understood that Mrs. Moore's husband was not at home, at the time of the incident.

The brazen attack occurred about 12:15 this morning, when Mrs. Moore reportedly heard screams coming from her daughter's room. She went to investigate and both females were attacked allegedly by a man armed with a knife. Police say the intruder gained entry to the Vice Principal's house through a window.

Reports are that the man repeatedly enquired about guns about which the high school Vice Principal and her daughter had no information. The educator and her daughter were stabbed repeatedly, all over their bodies.

And, in a strange twist of fate, the alleged attacker reportedly took the two wounded females to hospital in the Vice Principal's car.

The women were left outside the hospital, and vehicle taken by the alleged attacker.

In the meantime, gloom hung over the Fair Prospect High School today, as staff and students reacted to the gruesome news. Principal at Fair Prospect High, Godfrey Flemmings, who visited with Mrs. Moore in hospital says she is in good spirits. He says counselling was offered to staff and students, some of whom cried openly.

Crime Officer for Portland, DSP Richard Hilton says a motor car believed to be the stolen vehicle was recovered in Yallahs, St. Thomas on Tuesday.





UTech student dies in car crash in Hellshire

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utech-student-kaestner-jackson.jpgThe University of Technology (UTECH) family is mourning the loss of another student. This time it is due to the death of an engineering student, Kaestner Jackson.

Jackson, 23, died after a Daihatsu Terios sports utility vehicle crashed into another car head on. The accident happened on Sunday night on the Hellshire Main Road in St Catherine.

Jackson's photo was posted on social media with several friends and colleagues expressing their condolences.

Last Saturday, slain student, Shanique Walters was laid to rest in an emotional ceremony in Old Harbour, St Catherine. She was shot in the face earlier this month after she made her way home with a friend.

No one has been arrested for Walters' murder which sent shock waves through the college community and prompted police to beef up security on the school campus in communities surrounding UTECH.

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDays after it was reported that another attorney has been charged with fraud, the police have revealed that a doctor has also been implicated in the case.

A statement from the police says the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) branch charged 67 year old attorney Peter Millingen, of Braywrick Road Kingston 6, and 58 year old Dr. Dane Levy, of White Wing Avenue, Portmore, St. Catherine with breaches of the Larceny Act. They reportedly forged a Will.

According to the police, in 2013 a relative of a deceased man requested a copy of the Will from Mr. Millingen, who was his lawyer, but the request was denied. The relative retained another attorney who obtained a copy of the document. After examining the Will; the relative discovered discrepancies with the document, including the deceased's signature. A report was made to C-TOC.

The document was sent to the JCF's Questioned Document Examination Department, along with several specimen handwritings. The investigation revealed that Mr. Millingen, who prepared the document, had filed an Affidavit of Feeble Handwriting in the Supreme Court, which stated that he was present at the date when the deceased and the two purported witnesses signed the document. However, forensic evidence allegedly revealed that it was Dr. Levy who forged the signatures of the witnesses.

Mr. Milligen was arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud, uttering forged document, and demanding property by means of forged document, while Dr. Levy is to face charges of conspiracy to defraud, and forgery.

They are scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday.





Manchester woman fined for ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgFifty-three-year-old farmer Patsy Ferguson, of a Manchester address, pleaded guilty to possession of, and dealing in one pound and two ounces of ganja and was fined $13,500 when she appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court last Wednesday.

Co-accused Abigail Ferguson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court was told that on October 30, at 1:00 p.m., the police, acting on information, carried out a raid at a house in Salt Spring. During the raid, the ganja was found in two separate parcels, one hidden in a couch in the living room and the other in the bedroom. Nine hundred and fifty dollars was also found with one of the parcels.

The two women, who were at the premises, were taken into custody and subsequently charged.

Wong-Small subsequently ordered Ferguson to pay a fine of $4,500, or spend 30 days in jail on the possession charge, and $9,000, or 30 days, on the dealing charge.

Meanwhile, the court was told that clarity was needed concerning a police statement in the matter against Abigail Ferguson. She had her bail extended until January 7, 2016.

Both women were ordered to submit their fingerprints to the police.





pray-for-jcapri.jpgjcapri-give-blood-alert.jpgDancehall artiste J Capri was involved in what appears to be a serious car accident earlier this morning.

Her Personal Assistant, Danielle Francis has since advised that she is in surgery. Various posts on social media suggests that the accident happened on Barbican Road, and that her car flipped-over on impact. She was taken to the hospital immediately. She is currently in serious condition and is in need of blood.





meadbrook-high-school.jpgThe drama unfolded last Friday evening along a lonely stretch of road on Meadowbrook Avenue in the residential middle class community.

A taxi-man who was going about his usual business, was about to make a left turn onto Meadowbrook Ave when he spotted what appeared to be the student and a man playing. However, he watched the action for about 15 seconds and then realised that the young girl was thrown to the ground and "all her underclothes were exposed".

"When I saw that, I realised that it was a robbery. So I turned right instead and drove fast down the road, blowing my horn as loud as it could go," the cabbie told YardFlex.

He said that when the thug heard the noise and saw the car, he made a great pull and took the horrified female student's phone and jumped onto a waiting bike.

The quick-thinking taximan memorised the licence plate of the bike and hurriedly called the police to make a report, while assisting the terrified school-girl.





Elections will NOT be called this year

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prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has signalled that the general election will not be called this year, confirming that she will only set the date after the November 30 Voter's List is published.

With the Christmas period already ruled out for holding the election, this essentially confirms that the election will be held in 2016, instead of late 2015, as had been suggested earlier.

Mrs. Simpson, addressing a rally of the governing People's National Party (of which she is president), in Black River, St. Elizabeth, said she took account of the fact that thousands of people were enumerated ahead of the September 30 deadline, and she had listened to calls for those persons to be allowed to vote in the next election.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said she wanted Jamaicans to have a peaceful Christmas, and expressed confidence that her Party will win the next election.

In response, the Jamaica Labour Party said it had no problem with the election being called after the publication of the November 30 Voter's List.





harold-brady-photo-1.jpgEight months after he was charged with fraud, attorney Harold Brady was freed on Friday in the Corporate Area Criminal Court.

Mr. Brady's legal team reported to the court that he had paid over more than $30 million owed to businessman Jeffery Panton and Panton's wife, Sue-Ann.

He handed over four cheques to the Pantons and their attorney Peter Champaignie, in court on Friday. One of the cheques was for US$250,000, while the others were in Jamaican currency.

After the cheques were presented, the prosecutor withdrew the charges against him, with the Pantons having accepted the settlement.

Mr Brady was charged in March, after he was accused of defrauding the Pantons of J$37 million in a real estate deal. Investigators reported that Mr Brady sold a house for the couple in Stony Hill, St Andrew, for J$51 million. He reportedly paid them US$165,000, initially, but failed to pay the balance.





Another lawyer on fraud charge

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Attorney-at-law, Laverne George, of Diamond Road, Stony Hill, St. Andrew has been charged with fraud.

Detectives attached to the counter terrorism and organized crime investigation branch, c-toc arrested and charged Ms. George with fraudulent conversion this week.

Reports are that in 2013, Ms. George was contracted to conduct transactions involving the sale of land on behalf of the complainant.

It is alleged that Ms. George failed to pay over the total sum of money from the sale, to the complainant.

A report was made to the police, an investigation launched and Ms. George was arrested and charged.

She is expected to appear before the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court next Tuesday, November 24.

In October, attorneys Miguel Lorne and Harold Brady were also charged with fraud.





money-hidden-in-shampoo-bottle.jpgA Venezuelan man has been arrested after he was allegedly found with more than US$80,000 in his luggage while trying to board a flight at Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport.

According to a police report, about 10:30 Wednesday morning the 42-year-old man was about to check in for a flight to Curacao when he was stopped.

His suitcase was searched and US$83,900 reportedly found concealed in several items including shampoo bottles.





US rapper Lupe Fiasco chillin' in Jamaica

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lupe-fiasco-nov-18.jpgUS rapper Lupe Fiasco is in Jamaica, chilling and making links but avoiding to smoke ganja.

He told his 1.3 million Twitter followers on Wednesday that he's experiencing food on the rock.

"Eat Jerk Chicken & Kola Champagne actually in #Jamaica," he tweeted 19 hours ago.

Later the rapper, most known for his Touch The Sky collab with rapper Kanye West, denied smoking ganja in response to a fan.

"No man...Babylon presence was too strong ya ear mi star...mi no smoke no ganja anyway," he indicated.

Born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco the rapper rose to fame in 2006 with his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. He released his latest album, Tetsuo & Youth, this year.





French Caribbean islands have been included in the state of emergency declared in France by President Francois Hollande following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

The islands which are overseas territories of France are Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island, and St Martin and St Barths.

Hollande declared the state of emergency last weekend after the terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), claimed responsibility for the Friday night attacks that killed more than 129 people and injured in excess of 350 others.

According to the Ministry of Overseas Territories, the decision to include the Caribbean countries was justified by the necessity to reinforce security in all territories during the state of emergency that has since been extended by three months.





Stop carrying children in car trunks! taximen warned

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The Transport Authority has issued a stern warning to route taxi operators transporting children in the trunk of motorcars, to immediately discontinue the practice or face prosecution.

The Authority has received reports that operators have been placing children in the cargo compartment of sedans, in a bid to increase their earnings on each trip.

Its Operations Division has been instructed to intensify activities to stamp out the practice, which compromises the safety and comfort of passengers. Donald Foster, Managing Director of the Authority, on Friday said the reports originate primarily from western parishes.

"We are currently carrying out further investigations to look into the problem because we shall be taking appropriate action to stop the illegal activity," Foster said.

He added that operators found violating the rights of passengers to a safe and comfortable ride by overloading the vehicles will be prosecuted under the Road Traffic Regulations. He said the Transport Authority will be engaging the police to implement strategies to prosecute offenders for cruelty to children under the Child Care and Protection Act.

"We will be meeting with them soon , we have made arrangements about the problem and they will be planning our operations along with the polce to address this concern," he sad.





No bail for man who posted rape video on Facebook

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odane-greyson-rape-victim-demo-photo.jpgTwenty-six year old Odain Grayson, the man who was arrested in connection with a video posted on Facebook, was refused bail on Friday when he appeared in the Spanish Town Criminal Court.

Prosecutors and the police opposed bail during a hearing.

Grayson, who is charged with rape and abduction, was remanded until December 9 when there will be another bail hearing.

He was charged last Friday by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, and is facing other charges under the Cybercrimes Act.

Grayson sparked an uproar on social media last week Tuesday when he posted a video on his Facebook page, apparently having sexual intercourse with a female who was pleading with him to stop.

He surrendered to the police last Thursday.





Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival cancelled for 2016

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jamaica-jazz-and-blues.jpgThe highly-anticipated Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival, which each year boasts the biggest name in music internationally, has been cancelled for 2016.

According to the event's website, the festival is postponed until 2017 when the festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Event organizers used Facebook to apologize to fans explaining why the festival wasn't being held in 2016.

"We really tried to make 2016 a reality, however, things just did not work out," read a post from Jamaica Jazz and Blues on Facebook.

"Therefore, instead of trying to push and stage a festival that would not be of our usual standard, we decided to postpone it," they added.

However, the event organizers promised patrons that they would not disappoint when they returned in 2017.

The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival usually attracts an audience of 15,000t o 20,000 and was originally established to boost visitor arrivals to the island during the tourism slow season.

The festival was formerly known as the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.





No breakthrough in murder of 6-year-old

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The police have not yet established a motive for the deadly attack on a six-year-old boy whose body was found in a gully in Mount Edgecombe, Runaway Bay, St Ann on Monday.

The body of Daniel Anderson, which had chop wounds, was found a day after he was reported missing.

"We have contacted al the persons connected with this child..... statements are being collected. We are giving it full attention and we are continuing with the probe into this homicide," said head of the St. Ann Police, Superintendent Wayne Cameron.

Daniel, who was a student of the Runaway Bay All-Age School, was reportedly sent on an errand by his father on Sunday afternoon.

His body was discovered on Monday afternoon by a passerby.

Fifty seven children have been murdere v d so far this year up from 41 during the same period in 2014.





The St. Anns Bay Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 57-year-old Joseph Lynch, 43-year-old Lascelle Lynch, 50-year-old Ruth Lawrence and 7-year-old Rimeka Haynes all of Authurs Mount, Lime Hall, St. Ann who were reported missing on Monday, November 16.

Joseph is of dark complexion, slim build and about 175 centimetres (5 feet 9 inches) tall, Lascelle is of dark complexion, slim build and about 175 centimeters (5 feet 9 inches) Ruth is of dark complexion, slim build and about 91 centimetres (3 feet) tall. No description of Rimeka was given.

Reports are that about 3:30 a.m., residents reportedly saw their house on fire and alerted both the fire brigade and the police. Since then, the family has not been seen or hear from.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Joseph Lynch, Lascelle Lynch, Ruth Lawrence and Rimeka Haynes is being asked to contact the St Anns Bay Police at 972-2211, the Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police.





Portland cop shoots relative dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Independent Commission of Investigations is probing the death of a man in Portland on Sunday in an alleged confrontation with police.

Dead is 45 year old Rohan Hamilton, also called Cliffy, of Long Bay.

The police in confirming the incident gave no detail saying only that Hamilton was killed in a confrontation with police in Long Bay.

CCU says no firearm or ammunition was seized.

INDECOM has reported that the officer involved is related to the man who was killed.





PNP candidate on larceny charge withdraw from race

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) is scrambling to find a replacement candidate in St Andrew North Eastern following Monday's resignation of Gregory Sutherland who had been selected to represent the Party in the constituency.

Sutherland is facing charges of simple larceny, submitting forged documents and impersonation.

The criminal charges against Sutherland were confirmed by the party. He has since resigned.

It is expected that the election date will soon be announced by Prime Minister Protia Simpson Miller.

St Andrew North Eastern is represented in parliament by the JLP's Delroy Chuck.





ganja-ras-Iyah.jpgPresident of the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association Ras Iyah is urging the Government to "align" with other countries to secure a slice of the international marijuana market.

"I think the Government of Jamaica has a duty and responsibility to align themselves with other countries, because I know there are other countries, here in the Caribbean, in Latin America...that are against this big stick that America has over our heads that says 'you can do what I say but not what I do'," he argued.

According to Ras Iyah: "Unity is strength, and as such whether from a regional bloc or from a point of view, that we...make sure that we become strengthen in such a way that we have a say on the international political field," Ras Iyah stated. "Otherwise we will always have to succumb to the big stick that America has over our heads."

He accused the US of using state laws as a smokescreen to stifle the emerging ganja industry in Third World countries while promoting theirs.

"I know that the United States of America is using state laws as a guise to develop their cannabis industry and at the same time to fight against Third World countries development. I don't think the State would have been doing what they want if the Federal Government was not in league with it...without some form of backing," the veteran ganja advocate charged.

He was speaking on day one of the two-day Beckley Foundation Conference on Jamaica's Cannabis Reforms at the Swept Away Resort in Negril, Westmoreland, last Friday.





Missing 6-y-o boy found dead in St Ann

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police-station.jpgThe police have reported that the body of a six-year-old St Ann boy who was reported missing on Sunday was found in a gully in Mount Edgecombe district in the parish yesterday.

He is Daniel Anderson of Bellaire in Runaway Bay.

Reports from the Runaway Bay police are that about 4:15 pm, residents discovered the mutilated body and summoned them.

On their arrival, the police say the body was seen with a wound to the head.

The scene was processed and it was removed to the morgue pending a post-mortem examination.





Jamaican woman jailed in US for distributing drugs

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A 35 year old Jamaican woman is to spend ten years behind bars in the US for distributing methamphetamine disguised as the drug ecstasy in Pittsburgh.

On Monday, U.S District Judge David Cercone imposed the term, the mandatory minimum, on Racquel Sanchez, who has been living in Tucson.

Sanchez, who also has a home in Tampa, Florida was convicted at trial in June for her role in supplying methamphetamine through an intermediary in Cleveland.

The FBI was able to piece together the case against her through taps on the phones used by two co-conspirators.

Although she was never intercepted on the calls, trial testimony and transcripts showed that the others often made reference to her, sometimes imitating her Jamaican accent, indicating she was the supplier.





rohan-marley-and-shane-wittle-ceo.jpgShane Whittle, the former chief executive of a coffee company built on the name of late reggae star Bob Marley has been charged in the US with running a stock scheme that netted US$78 million in illegal trading profits.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges on Tuesday, against Shane Whittle, the former CEO of Jammin' Java Corporation, a company he co-founded in Los Angeles with Rohan Marley, the late singer's son.

Marley, who is still involved with the company, was not accused of wrongdoing.

The SEC said Whittle, helped by eight outside accomplices, illegally profited by secretly taking control of millions of shares of Jammin' Java, inflating their value and later dumping them on unsuspecting investors.

The scheme allegedly involved setting up a front company to make it appear that Jammin' Java had a financial backer and making various promotional announcements that helped boost the share price.

The alleged accomplices , none of who are affiliated with the company -- are accused of various promotional activities, including publishing false stock reports and facilitating illegal stock transactions through offshore holding companies.

The company was founded in 2008.The alleged illegal activity occurred in 2010 and 2011.

According to public filings, in May 2011, shares of Jammin' Java, which also does business under the name Marley Coffee, surged to $6.35 cents, a price that valued the company at more than $400 million d though its revenue the previous year was a little over $1,000.

Soon after reaching that peak, the defendants sold the shares, which later nose-dived to less than one dollar.

The dramatic rise and fall of the share price prompted the SEC's investigation.





Jamaica's Reggae Girlz need your support

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reggae-girls-u-17.jpgThe Reggae Girlz are Jamaica's National Women's Soccer Program. All three national women's teams- the U-17, U-20, and Senior squads- recently topped their groups at the Caribbean Football Union level as they compete for spots in the upcoming international competitions:

  • FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2016 (Jordan)
  • FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2016 (Papua New Guinea)
  • 2016 Summer Olympics (Rio)

In spring of 2014, Cedella Marley became Global Ambassador for the Jamaica Women's Football Program. Recognizing that football can be a conduit to social change in Jamaica and other emerging countries by providing education and opportunity to its young women, Marley spearheaded an international fundraising campaign that got the team to the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifers in the United States. After coming within a hairs-breath of making the FIFA women's world cup last fall, the senior Reggae Girlz now train under the direction of a top-notch technical staff in Orlando headed by Hue Menzies. The comeback story continues as they compete for a spot in next year's summer Olympics....but money is still the biggest opponent on the road to Rio.

reggae-girls.jpg

Even after last year's great return to competition (after a six-year hiatus caused by lack of funding) it has been a struggle to get sponsors for the national team. Most corporations in Jamaica are throwing their financial weight behind track and field because it's a proven winner for the country. The others just continue to believe that female football is not a big enough marquee for them. Also, there is now the added expenses of the younger female teams that are currently in their world cup qualifiers.

Upcoming Tournament Dates:

  • U-17 Women's CFU Finals (ConCaCaf/FIFA WWC Pre-Qualifier): Nov. 13-18 in Puerto Rico
  • Senior Women's CFU Finals (Olympic Pre-qualifier): Nov. 16- 21 in Trinidad
  • U-20 Women's ConCaCaf/ FIFA WWC Qualifier: Dec. 3-13 in Honduras

Because of financial constraints the players have not been able to train consistently in preparation for these important tournaments. One week of camp in Orlando costs approximately $50,000.00 for housing, transportation (including airfare), meals, and medical care. An itemized budget for camp that narrows it down to an exact figure, but is approximated here because the travel expenses fluctuate based on how far in advance flights can be booked.

This is your chance to support the Reggae Girlz training camps with either cash donations or by sponsoring a specific budget item (as in pay the hotel, restaurant, or travel agency/airline). The Mister Mister Foundation in Miami (a 501c3 non profit that helps at risk young men and women through sports and art, run by R&B icon Betty Wright) sponsors the camps by acting as a fiscal agent for all U.S. based donors. Any checks should be made payable to that foundation.





Caribbean leaders condemn Paris attack

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trinidad-pm-keith-rowley-microphones.jpgLeaders across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have condemned Friday's terrorist attack in Paris that led to the deaths of over one hundred people.

France has since declared a state of emergency with President Francois Holland describing the attack as an "act of war" organised by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley described the attacks as "unspeakable" adding that "the rest of the world is also gripped by shock, sadness and outrage.

The Perry Christie Government in The Bahamas says it stands with the international community in expressing its deep regrets over the loss of life from the horrific shootings in Paris.

"We condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest terms. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims," said Christie adding that Nassau stands "ready to work with our CARICOM allies and the international community to combat this problem".

In Paris, all public demonstrations have been banned until Thursday.Sports events have also been cancelled.The city's hospital officials say they have treated 300 people after the attacks, 80 of who remain in critical condition.

In London,one of two terminals at London's Gatwick Airport has been evacuated as a precaution following the discovery of a suspicious article. Sussex Police said one person was arrested on Saturday and an army bomb disposal team was on the scene. A police spokeswoman said officers were called to the terminal about 9:30am after passengers saw a man discarding a suspicious item.

The police are investigating the circumstances of the incident adding that it's too early to say what the item may be, however, given the events in Paris last night, there is heightened awareness.





utech-student-shanique-walters.jpgThe police continues to maintain a heightened presence in the Mona and Papine communities of St Andrew, with special focus on the tertiary institutions in the area.

It follows the brutal murder of 22-year-old University of Technology (UTech) student, Shanique Walters, who was shot dead in the nearby community of Hope Pastures after she refused to hand over her handbag to armed robbers.

The lawmen have also visited UTech as part of the continued dialogue and support to them and to ensure that the area remains safe.

Superintendent Velma Thomas Gayle and her team met with the Acting President of UTech, Professor Colin Gyles and members of his team and provided an update on the investigation.

"Crime is not just for the Police, it is everybody's business. Security begins with each of us and I encourage especially the students to be alert and aware of their surroundings," said Superintendent Thomas Gayle.

UTech students have complained that they have been targets of robbers and many have been held up at gunpoint and relieved of cellular phones and other belongings by hoodlums.

In addition, the University authorities have decided to implement a shuttle service to take students, who live in communities close to the university, home at nights.





21-year-old kidnapped; family sent death threats

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kidnapped-junior-patterson-spanish-town.jpgA 21-year-old St Catherine entrepreneur, Junior Patterson was reportedly abducted by a group of men laying-in wait in a car in his community of Ellerslie Pen, Spanish Town last Wednesday, November 4.

According to reports, members of the community witnessed Patterson's abduction around 10am. Patterson, friends in the community and a man with whom Patterson was doing business all got into a vehicle.

"The car drove off and later came back; all the men came out but Junior was not with them," an eyewitness is reported as saying added.

When Patterson failed to show up in the morning [Thursday], his sister reported him missing. The men immediately contacted her with death threats and she got cold feet and refused to return to the Spanish Town Police station with Junior's passport.

Patterson's brother also received death threats after he started to ask around in Spanish Town seeking information on his brother, which he has reported to the police.

Patterson operated a bustling meat and grocery store in Spanish Town, which was allegedly being set upon by extortionists.

The Spanish Town Police are aware of the situation and their investigations are still ongoing.





go-fund-me-campaign-childbirth-death.jpgA GoFundMe campaign has been set up to pay for the flight home and burial of a Montego Bay woman who died after childbirth and falling into a coma, while at a hospital in the United States.

University of the West Indies graduate, Marshae "Kimmy" Paul, died on Thursday, more than a month after falling into a coma following childbirth at a Massachusetts hospital. She leaves behind her almost two month old son, Kameron.

According to the GoFundMe campaign, Marshae suffered a series of cardiac arrests beginning on September 20 and she was admitted in an ICU at Massachus General Hospital.

"Having been admitted to this hospital since September, the doctors tried repeatedly to administer medical treatment but to no avail. Her condition disintegrated and her vital organs started failing," read the message.

"Kimmy succumbed to her ailments on November 12, 2015 at 5.30 pm leaving behind her almost two month old son Kameron.""Her family needs your help to take her home and lay her to rest. We need help for air fare and to cover her burial expenses in her homeland," read the campaign message.

"Please help us to set a foundation also for Little Kameron who will never meet his loving Mom taken home at such an early stage of his life. Your support no matter how small will be greatly appreciated.Thanks for your Support. God Bless."

The campaign has so far raised US$2,250 of a targeted US$30,000.

Paul had celebrated the joyous occasion of her child's birth on Facebook, posting a picture on September 18 of her son under the caption, "When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world #myhappiness #mybiggestblessing #myprincekameron."

Friends and family celebrated with her through congratulatory messages on the social media platform. However, joy soon turned to pain when it was announced, by a brother in law a little over a week later, that Marshae had slipped into "a coma and may not survive".





BEWARE! Zika virus found in the Caribbean

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zika-virus.jpgChief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse, says persons need to be more vigilant, and take their responsibility in cleaning up their environment and destroying mosquito breeding sites.

This comes in light of the announcement by the Caribbean Public Health Agency on Thursday (November 12) that the Zika Virus has been detected in a Caribbean country, which has not been named. Dr. Bullock Ducasse says the Ministry of Health is continuing its preparedness for any possible introduction of the Zika Virus in Jamaica. She says focus is being placed on destroying breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which carries the virus.

She is urging Jamaicans to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing deet. Dr Bullock-Ducasse says the health teams will continue to work in parishes to assist in reducing breeding sites. She is calling on members of the public to destroy mosquito breeding sites by looking for anything around the home, school, churches and business places that may collect water and either cover it, keep it dry or dispose of it.

Repair leaking pipes and outdoor faucets, cut the grass short and trim shrubbery, clear roof gutters and eaves to prevent water from settling and fill in and drain any low places in the yard such as areas where there are usually puddles when it rains.

The ministry says regional health authorities increased the frequency of fogging in several areas and will continue to pay close attention to high risk communities, pointing out that however that fogging is a temporary solution and cannot by itself solve the problem of mosquito breeding.

The virus has previously been reported in Brazil, Colombia and suspected in the Dominican Republic. The Pan American Health Organization has indicated that it has been confirmed in Suriname.

The Zika virus is a viral disease, transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue and Chik V. Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, and rash.





PNP mass rally for Portmore Sunday

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pnp-gen-sec-paul-burke.jpgThe People's National Party has called a mass rally for this Sunday in Portmore, St. Catherine.

According to General Secretary Paul Burke, the Prime Minister had not made up her mind about announcing the date for a general election.

"We will have a rally in the Corporate Area when we think it is right," Burke said.

As speculation mounts as the date of a general election, the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), on Wednesday announced that it has canceled its annual conference to focus on preparing for an upcoming general election.

JLP General Secretary, Dr. Horace Chang, however stressed that there should be no fall out as a result of the cancellation of the conference that was scheduled for November 22.

Meanwhile the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is on high alert. According to Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher, training is in progress and the recruitment of temporary personnel is underway.

"If the election is announced, we will just move to the next phase. In terms of preparedness we are at the level where we would need to be, so nothing will change unless the election is announced.

Ahead of a general election the two political parties on Wednesday agreed to the stating of three political debates.





Forum bridge to be closed for 3 months

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Work is to continue this week on the Forum Bridge in Portmore, St. Catherine, that will be closed on Friday for three months.

A detour road has been constructed adjacent to the bridge construction site to allow for the movement of traffic and pedestrians during the closure.

The detour road will be opened on Friday however operators of heavy duty vehicles will not be allowed to use it.

Traffic will be allowed on the bridge during peak hours.

One way flow will be facilitated for motorists travelling northbound in the direction of the Toll Plaza during 5am-9am and 4pm - 8pm

The project commenced in September and is scheduled to be completed in six months.





odane-greyson-rape-victim-demo-photo.jpgThe Police have confirmed that 25-year-old Odane Anthony Greyson, the person who shared on Facebook a purported recording of sexual intercourse with him and a seemingly unwilling female participant begging him to stop hurting her, is in custody.

The caption that accompanied the video was "DWL...fool". The video was subsequently deleted, but not before thousands of Facebook users had seen and heard the contents, and became enraged by the horrific details.

The man in the alleged rape video circulating on social media has been identified.

Greyson will be interviewed in the presence of his attorney on Friday.

The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse is investigating the matter.

In a post on his Facebook profile the man attempted to justify his interaction with the young woman and his decision to post it.

He claims it was not rape but several people who viewed the video say it was and have been threatening him.





Cabbie, passenger shot dead; another hospitalised

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crime-scene-gun.jpgReports are that a taxi operator and a female passenger were shot dead when a group of men travelling in a motor car opened gunfire at the cab this morning.

Another female who was travelling in the taxi is now in hospital with gunshot wounds.

The deceased have been identified as 43-year-old taxi operator Garfield Allen of Hartford, in the parish and Onecka Samuels.





The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ruled that two policemen and the husband of Manchester businesswoman Norma Henry Coleman be charged with her October 23 murder.

Constables Leroy Curtis and Denrick Thomas have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder; while her husband, Vincent Coleman, has been charged with murder. Mrs. Henry Coleman was shot dead while driving on Begonia Drive in Mandeville.

Investigators claimed persons were paid one million dollars to have her killed.





Taximan, school-girl reported missing

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taximan-teen-missing.jpgA taxi operator and a schoolgirl, both of Whitehall, St Thomas addresses, have been reported missing since Monday.

They are 15-year-old Sherisa Bailey of Ridge district and 26-year-old Wilton Phillips of Clunie Road.

Police say the fair-complexioned teen was last seen when she left home for school about 6:30 am. She was dressed in her school uniform - a blue skirt, a white blouse, a pair of white socks, and a pair of black shoes.

She is of medium build and is about four-foot-nine-inch tall.

When she did not return home at the usual time, calls were made to her cellular phone but went unanswered. A report was subsequently made to the police.

Meanwhile, Phillips, who is of dark complexion, slim build and is about five-foot-seven-inch tall, last spoke to relatives via cellular phone about 3:00 pm the day he went missing.

The police say subsequent calls to his phone went unanswered. His mode of dress at the time he went missing is unknown.

Phillips plies the Morant Bay to Whitehall route.

The police did not indicate whether or not the two cases are connected.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Sherisa Bailey or Wilton Phillips is being asked to contact the Seaforth police at 982-4280/2255, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





A lawyer charged with sexual offences in relation to a six-year-old boy was yesterday offered $150,000 bail when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The 34-year-old St Elizabeth attorney was offered bail by Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey, following a bail application by Queen's Counsel K Churchill Neita.

The accused, who is charged with grievous sexual assault, indecent assault and sexual touching, is scheduled to return to court on January 26, 2016, for a preliminary hearing.





buju-banton-photo-9.jpgAccording to a news report from BET, Grammy-winning reggae artiste Buju Banton could be among 6,000 prisoners to be released during November as part of a reform from the US Sentencing Commission.

In its report, BET directly named the entertainer as one of the many prisoners who could be released.

Banton's release date is set for February 2019, but if his name makes the list of 6,000 he could be released sometime in November after only serving half of his sentence.

According to the report, inmates became eligible for release on Sunday, November 1. Around 16,000 inmates are expected to be freed within the first year, and 45,000 over the next several years.

The reggae singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was convicted in 2011 on three counts of drug trafficking charges. He was given the minimum 10 years sentencing, and is currently serving that time in a Georgia, Atlanta prison.





Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2016 postponed?

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jamaica-jazz-and-blues.jpgThe organizers of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival have allegedly pulled the plug on the January 2016 staging of the annual event. A check of the festival's website revealed that 2016 information was "coming soon". Normally, by now, the festival would already have been releasing names of their top acts, in anticipation of a mid to end of January staging.

Significantly, no dates have yet been announced for 2016.

The details surrounding the reason for the reported postponement are unclear. However, checks made by one entity reveal that the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival organizer Walter Elmore is currently not accepting calls.

When his assistant was contacted, she reportedly told the callers that she was not his assistant and recommend we send an email to info@jamaicajazzandblues.com. Meanwhile, the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival's official website has listed its 2016 dates for the festival as unconfirmed.

The three day event suffered greatly at the beginning of this year as a result of its top headliner Mariah Carey. Carey, who delivered a dismal performance in January 2015, is arguably the festival's biggest disappointment.





Cops kill man who pulled gun from his crotch

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crime-scene-gun.jpgReporte aew that a man was shot dead at the Spanish Town Police Station after pulling a gun on a police officer.

The incident is said to have occurred around 4:45 pm on Tuesday, in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) area of the police station.

Information is that the man was taken to the station on a road traffic offence when he allegedly pulled a gun from his crotch, pointed it at a police officer and was shot.





jps-truck-lands-in-house.jpgIt was a very near tragedy on Monday afternoon as a Jamaica Public Service truck got out of control and slammed into a townhouse at Cornwall Court in Montego Bay, St. James.

Reports are that a utility truck contracted by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) slammed into the side of an apartment off Ramtallie Boulevard in the second city.A JPS crew was reportedly conducting a routine maintenance along the roadway around 3pm, when the truck unexpectedly started rolling down the hill with the driver still inside.The truck slammed into a section of a house, creating a huge hole.

Fortunatey, house owner - known in the community as 'Anthony' - escaped fatal injuries.

According to reports,"Anthony was upstairs sleeping when he got a call from his common-law wife to pick up their daughter from school. He was about to leave when he decided to step out onto the veranda - suddenly he saw the truck heading downhill in the direction of his house," the woman added.

"He said he was so shocked that he couldn't move... he just stood there, watching the truck coming straight toward him," a member of the community reported.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly suffered minor injury and was rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital by his colleagues.





Bloody murder as JP's throat slashed at home

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Catherine Justice of the Peace (JP) was killed at his home in Knollis in Bog Walk ,St Catherine, Sunday night police have reported.

He has been identified as Ernest Dunbar, a 58-year-old contractor.

Police report that sometime before 10 p.m., Dunbar and a female were at his home when hoodlums broke a window and entered the house.

They reportedly tied up the woman. Dunbar's throat was then slashed by the criminals who also stole his licensed firearm.

The Bog area has been under attack from criminals in the last month, the police said.





JLP chairman Robert Montague denies rape allegations

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robert-montague.jpgChairman of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Senator Robert Montague, today released a statement to the press, denying claims appearing on a certain web log of sexual misconduct.

According to Montague, on Friday, August 28th he received a private message on his Facebook account that contained the allegations.

Montague said that the e-mails attempted to extort money from him.

According to the Senator, he immediately contacted the police and was advised that no reply was to be given.

The police units of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime and the Major Organized Crime Agency, (MOCA), have been made aware of the matter.





cisoca-launches-investigation.jpgThe Centre for Investigations of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has launched an investigation into the viral video recording of a male and a seemingly hesitant female having sex.

Though the faces were not clearly shown, the female could be heard crying and begging the man she referred to as, "Odane", to stop.

This video has caught the attention of a number of persons who have since been posting that the man, Odane Greyson, should face the full extent of the law.

"Somebody needs to put this b.... where he belongs in prison with animals," one social media user posted.

But a post from Greyson's Facebook page which has since been deactivated, is denying the rape allegations.





odane-greyson-rape-victim-demo-photo.jpgThe video, which 25-year-old Odane Anthony Greyson shared with a viral Facebook group, Speak Your Mind Jamaica, depicted a purported recording of sexual intercourse with him and a seemingly unwilling female participant begging him to stop hurting her.

The caption that accompanied the video was "DWL...fool". The video was subsequently deleted, but not before thousands of Facebook users had seen and heard the contents, and became enraged by the horrific details.

The conversation seemed to revolve around some dispute in which Greyson felt the girl had disrespected him and was 'teaching her a lesson'.

The two-minute long video was mostly obscured as he attempted to record having sex with the girl, but her constant struggle to free herself rendered those who watched to listen to the girl's pleas for him to stop.

Greyson's profile page has since been flooded with expressions of anger, pain, disbelief, death threats and promises to exact justice.

The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) is aware of the viral video and arranged an interview with the distraught victim for 6:30 Tuesday evening.

Several Jamaicans have shared Greyson's personal details and contact information with Crime Stop's Facebook page.





PNP prepares to unveil election date

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pnp-gen-sec-paul-burke.jpgThe People's National Party (PNP) will this week decide on the venue for its next rally amid speculation that Jamaicans could hear as early as next Sunday the date for the general election.

On Saturday, a PNP source said a rally is being planned for Sunday in Half-Way -Tree at which the date is expected to be announced by the Prime Minister.

The expectation is that the election will be early next month.

"No decision has been taken as yet about any rally at any place whatsoever. Bur we will meet this week and by Tuesday (or) Wednesday we will determine where the next rally ought to be," said PNP General Secretary, Paul Burke.

Preparing for a general election

Both political parties on Sunday evening staged rallies in St. Ann and St. Catherine .

PNP Campaign Manager Dr Peter Phillips said the PNP has been using the rallies to deliver its message to the electorate.

"All across the country, I think we are carrying the message not only to the membership of the PNP but the other members of the public and explaining that progress has been made in the country over the years....we have seen a pickup in jobs in particular, a pickup in investments and a lowering of interest rates - that's the message that we have been carrying," he said.

For its part, the Jamaica Labour Party says its election preparations are in high gear. General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, says the party is ready for the election, despite concerns about the Voters' List.

"The preparation is going well ....we do feel that they should have written the new list.." Chang said.





fabian-marley-photo-2.jpgThere has been a huge outcry online as news of the Marley's offer to have one of the Marley siblings provide DNA sample to compare with that of Fabian Marley, the 47-year-old singer who is claiming to be the first-born son of reggae icon Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley.

News sources disclosed on Sunday that the Marley family is to make children of the late reggae icon available to compare DNA samples with that of singer Fabian Marley. On November 4, Marley family attorney Kevin Powell, a partner in the law firm Hylton Powell, responded to a letter from Keachea Dixon, the attorney for Fabian Marley.

"...we will make available one or more of Bob Marley's children to complete the comparative DNA tests...," the letter said.

"Your client's request for his DNA to be matched with that of the deceased Robert Nesta Marley is unreasonable and not at all rational," the letter continued. "It is completely out of the question and our clients will not even consider it."

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In response, Fabian Marley, who is managed by Clayton Thomas of Massive Entertainment Group, says he will be taking legal action to obtain Bob Marley's DNA sample to conduct the relevant comparative test.

"I'm taking this to the court. I know I am a Marley. I never went to any of them for anything ... I'm not going to match up DNA with any of the siblings. When I was ready to do this three years ago they turned me down. Mi nuh inna this," he said.

Not surprisingly, the online backlash has been swift an very much in favour of Fabian MArley.

According to one reader, "I got the funny feeling that his claim to be Bob Marley's first born son dethrones Ziggy Marley's status to that honour. There lies the problem, he is not just one of Bob's children but a pivotal one in the chain food order."

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Others stated the following in their comments to the story posted online: Why are they not using the DNA from the source. Maybe the children whose DNA they are using are Not that of Bob Marley hence the reason for this decision to disqualify Fabian from being his child. Fabian has no connection to those who are supposed to be Bob Marley's children. I hope he does not agree to that

Rasta stands for truth and love!!!! Truth swims like oil on water.

Truth should not be feared. PEACE.

What are they afraid of? DNA don't lie, it makes no sense you want to match his DNA with siblings he wants to prove Bob is his dad not that his siblings are his brothers. Why are you blocking him if he is not then every one will at least know the truth. I wish you luck, Fabian. This is not the family's greatest moment. Why would they want to withhold Bob Marley's DNA? Chances are he is Fabian's father.

What are they afraid of, it's not like he is hounding them for anything. Who are the children whose DNA sample would be used, the ones that Bob said aren't his? The man is a clone of Bob.

Agreed. Make Bob Marley's DNA available to test against Fabian's DNA...this should settle this matter once and for all! Why should it take 3 years for this DNA test to come about, especially when Fabian should be made to pay for the test, to verify his claim? RIDICULOUS!!!

If the man and his mother said Bob Marley is the father, all the Marley family needs to do is to do a DNA test and put him out of his misery. He has a right to know or prove that this particular person is his father.

Whether you like it or not, they have no rights to stop him from knowning what he wants to know. In any other civilised country he would get that done.

Anyway, we all know the Marley family is a greedy bunch and this kind of behaviour was expected of them.





Cops probe double murder in Porus

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The police in Manchester are investigating the circumstances that lead to the death of two unidentified men.

The two men were reportedly found in pools of blood in Porus, Manchester on Friday morning.

According to initial reports from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) a pedestrian travelling on the Melrose Main Road in the parish around 9:15am discovered a body along the roadway, when the police were summoned.

Upon their arrival, the man, believed to be in his late 20s, was seen lying face-down with his throat slashed.

The man found was said to be of a dark complexion, slim build, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and dressed in a red, white and blue stripped Polo shirt, khaki pants, black socks and red sneakers.

Upon further inspection of the area, another man was discovered in a nearby storm drain.

The second unidentified body was riddled with gunshot wounds and was clad in a beige Polo shirt, stripped brown pants and black shoes.

According to the police, the second victim is of dark complexion, slim build and about 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The bodies were removed to the morgue for post mortem examinations and the scene processed.





No motive established for deaths of homeless men in downtown Kingston 8:04 pm, Fri November 6, 2015

Detectives have not established a motive for the deaths of two homeless men whose bodies were found on Orange Street in downtown Kingston early Friday with their heads bashed in.

The police who were alerted shortly after 6am, report that two stones were found nearby.

In the past, homeless men have been targeted for attacks in downtown Kingston.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-3.jpgJamaicans could know as early as next Sunday the date on which a general election could be held

A People's National Party (PNP) source said a rally is being planned for Sunday in Half-Way -Tree at which the date is expected to be announced by the Prime Minister. It is believed that a general election could be held early in December.

The source said the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has advised governments to stay clear of elections on a Wednesday or Thursday. The EOJ has reportedly indicated that it prefers to work on preparing for an election over the weekend and would rather an election on a Monday or Tuesday.

It is expected that at the rally, the Prime Minister will announce nomination day with the election day to be 16 days after.The election must be held between 16 and 23 days after nomination day while nomination day must be held five days after the announcement.That means nomination day could be as early as November 20.

Meanwhile, PNP General Secretary Paul Burke says all is set for the last of three mass rallies being held by the party to assess its readiness for the general election. The last rally is scheduled for Browns Town, St Ann on Sunday. This follows rallies in Westmoreland and St Mary over the past three weeks. The St Ann rally will bring together PNP supporters from Trelawny and St Ann.

Burke says the leadership of the party will meet on Wednesday to assess the state of the Party's preparedness.

The opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will be holding a rally on Sunday evening, in Munamar Square in Spanish Town, St Catherine. The rally will be addressed by Party Leader Andrew Holness and Campaign Chairman, Mike Henry.





cop-attack-hope-road.jpgA member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force was beaten to a pulp and is now listed as in a serious condition following a proper beating on Saturday night along West Kings House Road by an enraged motorist, who fled on foot, armed with the policeman's gun.

Sergeant Bruce Williams of Protective Services was reportedly travelling along Hope Road close to midnight when he witnessed a motor vehicle accident in which one car - a white Nissan Sunny - refused to stop.

Williams is said to have followed the Nissan Sunny and managed to intercept the vehicle at West King's House Road. An altercation reportedly developed between Williams and the rogue driver, during which the Sergeant was punched and kicked several times, and one if his ears bitten off.

Shots were reportedly fired and the man managed to escape on foot with Sgt Williams' service Glock pistol.

The abandoned white Nissan Sunny AD wagon is registered #6674 GP. It is believed that the vehicle is owned by an ex-member of the Jamaica Defence Force.

Williams, who also suffered fractured ribs, is said to be in serious condition.





Jah Cure and wife Kamila split?

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jah-cure-wedding.jpgRumours are widespread that reggae singer Jah Cure and his media personality wife, Kamila McDonald, are now separated.

The two met along Constant Spring Road, St Andrew in 2009 and got married two years later in a fairy-tale wedding at the upscale Tryall Club in Hanover. Less than nine months later, they welcomed a baby girl Kailani Belle Alcock and rode off into the sunset to enjoy a blissful married life.

However it now seems that all the icing has melted off the fabulous wedding cake, and with that, the love has seemingly changed to something else.

According to one gossip outlet, "a close family friend recently confirmed the split, stating that Kamila has moved out of the home she shared with Jah Cure".

"She moved out of the marital home and back into her family home over a month now. So by the looks of it, it seems to be over," the anonymous source said.

The source also mentioned that neither party has been wearing their wedding rings for months.

Speculations were also ripe earlier this week when Kamila posted a picture showing off her nails on her Instagram page. Many persons had questions about the state of the marriage because her wedding ring was not seen on her finger.

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A same-sex Pennsylvania couple who are technically father and son are now trying to annul the arrangement in order to legally marry.

Nino Esposito adopted his partner Roland "Drew" Bosee in 2012 after 40 years of being a couple, because they thought they would never be able to marry.

Some same-sex couples used adoption laws as a way to gain legal recognition as a family along with related benefits such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.

However with the Supreme Court decision in May which allowed for same-sex marriages, the couple is now trying to undo the adoption in order to legally marry.

Speaking to CNN, Esposito said he never thought that he and his partner would be able to see the day that they could be properly married.

"We never thought we'd see the day" said Esposito, 78.

The adoption "gave us the most legitimate thing available to us" at the time, said Bosee, 68.

However Judge Lawrence J. O'Toole, of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, ruled against the couple.

He said the primary purpose of the adoption was to reduce the Pennsylvania inheritance tax payable upon the death of one of the men from 15% to 4%, "as the two men would now be in a parent-child relationship instead of a third party relationship."

O'Toole said he was "sensitive to the situation" but noted that despite the fact Esposito and Bosee desire to marry, "they cannot do so because they are legally father and son."

"This Court welcomes direction from our appellate courts in handling parallel cases," O'Toole wrote.

"We don't believe the Pennsylvania judge who refused to annul this adoption was unsympathetic," said Witold Walczak, the Legal Director of the ACLU Pennsylvania, "he simply felt that the legal path to doing so should be forged by an appellate court."





JLP caretaker outraged at murder of UTech stuent

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utech-student-shanique-walters.jpgJLP caretaker for St Andrew Eastern Fayval Williams says she is shocked and outraged at what she describes as "a gruesome attack on the future of Jamaica" following the shooting death of a female university student on Tuesday night in Hope Pastures.

Health Science student Shanique Walters was shot dead in the St Andrew community after she refused to hand over her handbag which gunmen, who were travelling in a car, demanded from her and another female student as the two walked home from school.

Williams says the attacks on students in and around the university community have become too frequent and has called for stakeholders to review how the entire geographic zone is treated.

"It is really heartbreaking that a student could meet her death in such a dreadful way. The heartless criminals are preying on our students and this latest incident goes to show that the moral fabric of the society has been so significantly deteriorated that not even students are safe anymore," she stated.

Williams says she condemns in the strongest of ways the murder of the female student and has urged the police to spare no resources in finding the criminals responsible for snuffing out the life of the student. She says the criminals must not be pitied and they must bear the full brunt of the law.

The JLP caretaker recalled that, since this year, a male student was stabbed and seriously injured on the campus of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus.

"Since year, a student was stabbed and seriously injured at UWI and luckily he was able to survive with the help of the Guild and all the students of the UWI who were able to donate blood. This promising young lady wasn't so lucky. I also recall that students at UWI's back gate were robbed of their gadgets and cash. There is an organised and sustained attack on our university students and it must stop. We have to work together to ensure that it ceases. If we truly believe in the growth and development of our constituency and our country then we must all commit to that," Williams said.

Williams says it is regrettable that so close to end of term examinations, coldblooded killers would be so thoughtless to rob and kill the University of Technology student.

"This is a situation that we must give priority. We must ensure that we have a peaceful university environment because our students cannot learn and be the best that they can be if they have to live in fear. In and around our universities must be the safest at all times and certainly this latest incident has exposed that we are not doing enough to protect our students. Time and time again they have complained about the harassments and threats they face on a daily basis and it had to come to this," Williams lamented.

Williams says the Member of Parliament has not adequately addressed the residents' calls over the years to have a comprehensive approach to the increased occurrences of robberies and other serious crimes that have been taking place in Mona and Hope Pastures area of the constituency.





Spineless, dog-hearted criminals continue to target students in their never-ending quest for cell-phones, lap-tops and money to fund their lazy, worthless lifestyle.

It was brought to the attention of Yardflex.com that many students who go to school in the downtown area are preyed upon by these vile criminals.

Students of Kingston College and ST Georges College on North Street are subjected to this kind of thuggery every sigle day of the week. The students are held up at knife point and are relieved of their bus fares and bag juice money, their phones, school-bags, shoes and laptops.

Over at Kingston College, the members of the track team who train late are fodder for these villains. On Wednesday evening, yet another track team member was stabbed as he made hisway home using a road off North Street to walk to his bus stop downtown.

According to reports, a thug on a bicycle roe up behind him and demanded his cell phone. The student did not immediately give in to the demand and was stabbed twice by the ruthless criminal.

Residents on Elleston Road, where KC has it Melbourne Campus, tell tales of having to stand on the sidewalks in the evenings when school is dismissed in order to ensure that the criminal, anti-social elements in their midst do not "rob the students blind".

It must be pointed out too, that many of these thugs walking around with ratchet knives are students themselves and they have learnt quickly how to identify the vulnerable in their midst and bully them.

The schools are only too aware of these issues and encourage students to walk in groups and go home if they do not have extra-curricular activities. But more needs to be done. Schools need to ensure that those students who have to stay back for lef=gitimate reasons can at least reach their bus stop safely. Perhaps the school bus could be used to take students downtown, for example, or even Cross Roads.

There are just too many thugs, too many ratchet knives and far too many vile, vicious, dog-hearted low-lifes wandering around seeking their next prey.





missing-man-fitzroy-thompson.jpgThe police are seeking the public's assistance in locating 51-year-old Fitzroy Thompson, a correctional officer of Boone Hall Estate in Stony Hill, St Andrew who has been missing since Monday, October 26.

He is of brown complexion, slim build and is about 173 centimetres (5 feet 8 inches) tall.

According to reports, Thompson was last seen on Forsythe Drive, Kingston 6 about 2pm, wearing a white Polo shirt, black-and-white plaid shorts and a pair of slippers. Efforts to contact him have failed.

Member of the public have been urged to come forward with any information regarding the whereabouts of Fitzroy Thompson.

Persons may contact the Matilda's Corner Police at 978-6003, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





sheldon-mcdonald.jpgJamaican-born Sheldon McDonald, the head of the University of Guyana's Law Department has succumbed to injuries he received in a car crash in the East Coast Demerara on Friday.

McDonald, 64, died on Wednesday.

The Jamaican who was a former employee of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat received serious injuries to his chest and one of his lungs and was being treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Students, family and friends have been plunged into shock and grief at the passing of McDonald, regarded as very outspoken.

"It is a terrible, terrible thing, all now I'm still asking if it's true, and I still can't believe," Sibert McDonald, the oldest brother told The Gleaner from his home in Portmore, St. Catherine.

"The whole family in shock and bawling. Practically all his family is here in Jamaica, and he would come home often. We need him to come home now."

A long standing member of the People's National Party (PNP), in August McDonald was honoured by the Party's Youth Organisation 70s fraternity for his outstanding contribution.

McDonald was a member of the Inter-Governmental Task Force charged with revising the constituent instrument of the Community, the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

His brother said the family is making arrangements to have him buried in Jamaica.

McDonald leaves behind two sons, three brothers, several relatives and friends.

SEE STATEMENT BELOW FROM THE PRESIDENT CCJ:

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) notes with sadness the passing of Mr. Sheldon McDonald, Head of the Department of Law, University of Guyana.

Mr. McDonald was a firm believer in Caribbean integration and played a pivotal role in the genesis of the Court as a member of the CARICOM Preparatory Committee, which, contributed to the development of the CCJ and Caribbean jurisprudence.

The Court wishes to profess its deep conviction that Mr. McDonald's integral and sterling contribution to its creation is now, and will permanently be, incontrovertible evidence of his unwavering faith in and unstinting contribution to Caribbean integration, jurisprudence and development.

Weeks before his passing, Mr. McDonald had contributed a chapter to a publication being developed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Court.

The Caribbean Court of Justice mourns the loss of a true Caribbean man and I express my personal condolences to his family, colleagues and legions of friends throughout the region.

The path he blazed with such dedication and assiduity will be forever testimony to his commitment to regional social transformation.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo men are now in custody following a double murder in Westmoreland on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police reports the men were gunned down at a shop in Little London, Westmoreland. They have been identified as Leonard Nanco, 70, a pensioner, and Fabian Allen, 33, unemployed, both of Little London.

Reports are that the men were sitting at the front of a grocery shop when a car drove up from which two men alighted and opened fire at them about 2:07 p.m. They was later pronounced dead at hospital.

The police were alerted and a car fitting the description of the one used in the shooting was intercepted with two men aboard in Hanover.Those men are now in custody.

The Little London police say they have not yet established a motive for the killings.





utech-building.jpgStudents of the University of Technology (UTech) will be wearing black today as they mourn the untimely death of Health Science student Shanique Walters.

Walters was shot by a gunman on Hope Boulevard in Hope Pastures, St Andrew minutes after 6:00 PM on Wednesday after gunmen travelling in a silver motorcar accosted her and another female student of the tertiary institution as they walked home from school.

They demanded that the women hand over their belongings and, while Walters' friend complied, she did not and tried to run.

One of the gunmen got out of the car and gave chase. He fired a single shot which caught her in the head, killing the promising youngster on the spot.

Her colleague was not harmed as the gunmen left the scene.

The unharmed student has been severely traumatised and is now in protective custody.

Hope Pastures has been plagued by robbers and vandals for several months despite the efforts of the police to keep a lid on the escalating situation.





gun-crime.jpgA 22-year-old female medical student of the University of Technology was this evening shot dead in Hope Pastures, St Andrew during a reported robbery while on her way home from school.

She has been identified as 22-year-old Shanique Walters of Darlington Drive in Old Harbour, St Catherine. She was a student of the College of Health Sciences.

Commanding Officer for the St Andrew Central Division, Senior Superintendent Millicent Sproul-Thomas, says the deceased and another female student were walking on Hope Boulevard shortly before 7 pm when a silver motorcar with two men aboard drove up and demanded that the women hand over their bags.

It's reported that the friend handed over her bag but the deceased refused and instead ran off.

That's when one of the men reportedly got out of the car and shot her in the head as she ran, killing her on the spot.

SSP Sproul-Thomas says the unharmed female is now in police custody and was unable to ascertain information on the model or make of the car.

She is appealing for residents of Hope Pastures to be careful when traveling in the community.





Elephant Man's bail on rape charge extended

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elephant-man-photos-4.jpgDancehall artiste Elephant Man had his bail extended when his rape trial failed to get under way in the Home Circuit Court yesterday.

The trial could not begin because there was another court case taking place. As a result, the case has been rescheduled to February 8, 2016.

Elephant Man, whose real name is Oneil Bryan, was charged with rape in 2012 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his Hillcrest Avenue home in St Andrew.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA Mandeville man, who is accused of plotting the assassination of his wife, will seek bail on his behalf today.

Attorney Oswest Senior-Smith is expected to argue in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court that his client, Vincent Coleman, has been behind bars since last Thursday and has not been charged by the police.

Coleman was arrested by police after their investigations led them to accuse him of offering a million dollars for the killing of his wife, Norma Henry Coleman.

Three members of the constabulary and a civilian has also been arrested in connection with the businesswoman's murder.

She was shot to death after hoodlums ambushed her as she drove in Mandeville, Manchester last month.





gun-crime.jpgA courageous woman, with the aid of a licensed firearm holder, overpowered a gunman, relieved him of an illegal gun and handed him over to the police in Montego Bay, St James on Monday.

The Montego Bay Police report that the incident took place in Bay West, in the resort town.

Reports are that, at about 10:15 pm, the woman was walking along the roadway when she was pounced upon by the gunman, who robbed her of a cellular phone, valued at $9,800.

But the woman was determined to defend her possessions and struggled with the hoodlum. During the tussle, she managed to stab the armed thief and retrieve her cell phone.

A licensed firearm holder subsequently intervened and disarmed the gunman.

The man was handed over to the police and a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol with 11 rounds of 9mm cartridges were handed over to the cops who also took the woman's cell phone as evidence.

The identity of the gunman has not been released.





bob-marley-photo-2.jpgA US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from some of the biggest clothing entities in the country that claimed they have legal rights to sell shirts bearing the image of reggae icon Bob Marley.

"The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the merchandisers had used his likeness to sell clothing at Walmart, Target and other stores without permission from Marley's children," the Associated Press reports.

Marley's children control the rights to the musician's image through a company called Fifty-Six Hope Road Music.

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music sued rivals A.V.E.L.A. and others in 2008, arguing that their sales of Marley merchandise violated federal trademark law.

A federal court ordered the companies to pay more than $1m in profits and damages, citing evidence that consumers were confused as to who endorsed the merchandise.





Jamaican female umpire to create history

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jamaica-female-umpire-jacqueline-williams-right.jpgJacqueline Williams

Jamaican Jacqueline Williams will later this year make history when she becomes the first female umpire to officiate in the WICB Regional FOUR-day competition.

The 39 year old from Westmoreland, will stand in the middle with Peter Nero, for the fifth round match in the WICB PCL competition between Jamaica Scorpions and Guyana Jaguars at Sabina Park from December 11 to 14.

Williams recently made her international debut when she stood in the first ODI and first T20 game in the ongoing Pakistan Women's tour of the West Indies.





metal-detectors.jpgThe Ministry of Education is considering extending the metal detectors programme to include schools at the primary and secondary level.

Currently metal detectors are distributed only in high schools.

However, in light of the incident at Papine High on Thursday in which an illegal gun and ammunition were allegedly taken from a 13 year old boy, Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites says more schools could also receive metal detectors

The presence of a metallic object in the Papine High student's knapsack was reportedly detected by security personnel at the school while conducting routine security checks.

The teenager, who is said to be the son of a convicted gang leader, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was remanded when he appeared in court on Friday.The boy's mother was also taken into custody and is facing charges under the Child Care and Protection Act.

Meanwhile, Thwaites says the incident at Papine High highlights the importance of the metal detectors and disclosed that a student at Brimmervale High School in St Mary was also recently found with ammunition.





university-hospital-entrance.jpgReports are that the The University Hospital of the West Indies now has an acting Chief Executive Officer in the wake of last week's announcement that Dr. Cecil White had resigned.

Senior Director/Finance at the hospital, Kevin Allen, assumed the post effective yesterday.He was appointed despite Dr. White's resignation taking effect on January 31, 2016. The hospital also has an acting Senior Director of Clinical Services after Professor Trevor McCartney's resignation took effect on Saturday. He is Dr. Karl Bruce.

News came last week that Dr. White and Professor McCartney had tendered their resignation. Chairman of the Hospital, Sterling Soares, met with the two men based on a request by the Board following an emergency meeting.

Mr. Soares said both men expressed concern about developments at the University Hospital following the deaths of some newborns due to infections at the neonatal intensive care unit.





biddersingh-court.jpgA teenage girl who came to Canada dreaming of a better life was starved and abused by her own family before her charred body was found in a burning suitcase 21 years ago, a Toronto jury was told Wednesday as the trial of her father got underway.

Everton Biddersingh, 60, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 17-year-old daughter Melonie. He has pleaded not guilty.

Crown prosecutor Anna Tenhouse detailed Melonie's troubled life after she came to Canada from Jamaica in 1991 to live with her father and stepmother.

"Instead of going to school, she was treated like a slave. She was beaten. She was starved. She was drowned or nearly drowned, inhaling water shortly before her death. She was stuffed into a suitcase and driven to an isolated area where she was set on fire," Tenhouse said in her opening statement.

"Three years after she had come to Canada, Melonie was killed."

The case has taken two decades to get to trial because police weren't able to identify Melonie's remains for years until they received a tip that eventually led to the arrest of Everton Biddersingh and Melonie's stepmother, Elaine Biddersingh, in March 2012.

Elaine Biddersingh's trial on first-degree murder is set to begin in April 2016. A confession she made to a pastor years after Melonie's death led to the break in the case.

Court heard that when Melonie first came to Canada at the age of 13 with two brothers, her father and stepmother promised her a life "full of hope."

"Melonie was pretty and a happy girl. However that did not last long. After living in the Biddersingh home, Melonie's appearance changed," Tenhouse said. "Everton's attitude towards Melonie changed."

Melonie was made responsible for one of Everton Biddersingh's other children, who was a baby, was responsible for keeping the family's small apartment clean and was often not allowed to leave the home, court heard.

She was subjected to all kinds of abuse that included being kept in a closet, being placed in a barrel, having her head placed in a toilet which was flushed as punishment, being chained to the furniture at times, being kicked and punched and being deprived of food, Tenhouse said.

The girl was also called "the devil" and told she brought evil to the family, Tenhouse said.

"Melonie became thinner and weaker as a result of the abuse and food deprivation," Tenhouse said, adding that the teen, who was not given medical attention, told her older brother Cleon she wished she was dead.

Melonie died on Sept. 1, 1994, but Tenhouse told the jury they would be hearing two different versions of just how the teen died.

In Elaine Biddersingh's version of events, Everton Biddersingh said his daughter was dead and showed his wife the teen's lifeless body in a hall closet, Tenhouse said.

"Elaine assumed Melonie died of malnourishment because Everton was restricting her food and she looked thin," Tenhouse said. "Elaine suggested that they get a suitcase and put Melonie's body in the suitcase."

Elaine Biddersingh said her husband and Cleon set the suitcase on fire after she drove with them to an isolated area, court heard.

Cleon, however, has said he was woken by his father and told Melonie ran away from home, Tenhouse said.

"Cleon did not understand because Melonie was weak and sick," Tenhouse said. "Melonie had tried to run away on one prior occasion. She only made it to the stairwell next to their apartment."

Jurors heard that expert evidence expected in the case will indicate Melonie had 21 "healing fractures" involving her ribs, spine, pelvis, right knee and left ankle which were caused three weeks to six months before her death.

A post mortem also found that Melonie was starved and had inhaled water shortly before her death, Tenhouse said.

"She weighed only 50 pounds post-fire, even though she was 17 years old - the weight of an average eight-year-old," Tenhouse said.

"Given Melonie's fractures and her poor health, she was weak and in a great amount of pain at the time of her death."

"After hearing all the evidence, we will be asking you to find Mr. Biddersingh guilty of first-degree murder."

The Crown said Melonie's biological mother, Opal Austin, searched for her daughter for 17 years because Everton Biddersingh told her she had run away. She was flown in from Jamaica, where she lives, to testify on Thursday.





suitcase-death-melonnie.jpgThe mother of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found inside a burning suitcase more than two decades ago never stopped looking for her daughter after being told the teen had run away from her father's home, a Toronto court heard Friday.

Opal Austin struggled to contain her emotions at times as she testified at the trial of Everton Biddersingh, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his 17-year-old daughter Melonie.

Crown prosecutors have said Melonie, who lived with her father for three years before she died, was starved and abused by him.

The case has taken 21 years to get to trial because police weren't able to identify Melonie's frail, charred remains for years until they received a tip that eventually led to Biddersingh's arrest in 2012.

Austin told jurors that Melonie was born in Jamaica, and was the oldest of two children she had with Biddersingh when they were living together. When Melonie was about two years old, Biddersingh left for Canada, court heard.

Melonie's early years were spent with her mother, who had a total of seven children, court heard.

"She was a quiet person, she didn't give no problems," Austin said of her daughter. "She loved drawing...She loved to read."

Despite living in a one-room house with dirt floors and a leaky roof, Austin said her children never went hungry and noted that Melonie was a healthy child.

"I do odd jobs, like domestic work, wash people's clothes...them never left hungry," Austin said. "I provide."

In 1991, when Melonie was 13, an opportunity arose to have her, her younger brother and an older half-brother sent to Canada to live with Biddersingh and his new wife, court heard.

Austin believed the move would give her children a chance at a better life and she took comfort in the fact that their new stepmother had children of her own, court heard.

"I was confident. I put my trust (in her), as a mother with children," Austin said, choking back tears. "They would be going to school. They would be big man and big woman, working."

Not long after her children left, Austin said she would make collect calls from a roadside payphone to check on them but she was often told they were at school or at the gym.

A Crown prosecutor has told the jury that Melonie was never sent to school in Toronto and was instead "treated like a slave."

After a time, Biddersingh said he couldn't afford to pay for Austin's calls and urged her to write letters instead, court heard.

In one letter from Biddersingh sent in November 1993, which Austin read in court, he indicated the teen wasn't listening to him. Biddersingh also wrote that when he asked Melonie to write to her mother, "she say she just want to live her life."

"He tell Melonie to write me and Melonie say she don't have any time, she can't deal with ... the ghetto, where she came from," Austin said.

Melonie died on Sept. 1, 1994, but Austin said Biddersingh only told her about three years later -- when she ran into him and his wife in Jamaica -- that her daughter had run away from home.

"I ask him, 'where is Melonie?' Him said Melonie run down to America," Austin said, adding that Biddersingh said her daughter had made friends in the U.S.

"He say she steal away his wife's clothes and jewelry," Austin said, noting, however, that Biddersingh's wife was "a stout person" and Melonie had always been slender.

Biddersingh also told Austin he did not go looking for his daughter, court heard.

Austin told jurors she began trying to track Melonie down. She told friends about her situation, asked the Red Cross for help, and even filled out missing person's forms and contacted people she knew in the U.S.

Her efforts led to numerous false leads over the years until she was contacted by Jamaican police in 2012.

Police obtained a DNA sample from Austin which allowed them to identify Melonie's body, court heard.

Biddersingh and Melonie's stepmother, Elaine Biddersingh were arrested in March 2012 and charge with first-degree murder.

Elaine Biddersingh's trial is set to begin in April 2016.





hands-behind-bars.jpgHaitian investigators are looking into new allegations of child sex abuse against a American man who founded an orphanage for boys in Haiti's capital decades ago.

Police with an arrest warrant searched unsuccessfully last Friday for Michael Geilenfeld at a modest private residence in a mountainside community above Port-au-Prince and the nearby Wings of Hope home for about 30 physically and mentally disabled children and young adults.

The American is already the subject of another criminal case in Haiti that accused him of sexually abusing boys in his care.

He spent 237 days in detention before being released in April by a Haitian judge who dismissed the charges in a brief trial that was not attended by the accusers, now adults.

But the country's justice minister granted a re-examination of the case and it is now in court again on appeal.

Geilenfeld has argued that the false accusations of sexual abuse linger against him in impoverished Haiti because he was a gay man in what he described as a homophobic country.





Opposition wants details of passport contract

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The opposition wants the government to provide details about the contracting process for the procurement of 750 thousand blank passports and the specifications of the documents.

The call from spokesman on national security derrick smith follows an announcement last week that cabinet has approved a contract for 3 point 7 million u-s dollars for the acquisition of the passports from the Canadian bank note company limited.

The government says the order is expected to satisfy the local and overseas demand for Jamaican passports for the next 3 and a half to 4 years.

Mr. Smith says the government must assure taxpayers that the investment it is seeking to make is one that is worthwhile.

According to him, there is need for a clear indication as to whether this awarded contract was subjected to the open tender process, and whether the passports being procured meet the criteria for modern passports in terms of compatibility with the technology and direction other countries are moving in.

He states that this would have implications for the smooth and seamless flow of holders of these passports through immigration and customs around the world.

The opposition spokesman says the government needs to be forthcoming with answers regarding details of the procurement, as the matter has far-reaching implications for Jamaican passport holders and is of interest to the general public.

Mr. Smith states that failure to do so, will see the opposition asking pertinent questions in parliament and inviting the Contractor General to take active interest in the matter.





gun-school-bag-oct-31.jpgThe 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged after a 9mm semi-automatic pistol was found in his knapsack is the son of an area don who is in prison.The boy was remanded in custody when he appeared in Gun Court on Friday.

His mother was also taken into custody and is facing charges under the Child Care and Protection Act.

According to reports, the fully loaded gun was detected through the use of a metal detector used by security guards on Wednesday at the Papine High School where the boy attends school.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites is commending the administration of Papine High for finding the weapon using the metal detector provided by the Ministry.

Thwaites noted that this incident, along with the recent finding of ammunitions on a school boy at Brimmervale High in St Mary, underscores the importance of school administrators utilising the metal detectors provided.

At the start of the new school year the Ministry of Education distributed more than 130 metal detectors to high schools.

Fake cop with police ID among three arrested and charged.

Police impersonator was among three men arrested by the Half Way Tree Police on Friday.

An illegal firearm and several rounds of ammunition were seized during the incident on Melrose Avenue in Kingston. Charged are: 49-year-old Donovan Howard, otherwise called 'Nick' and 34-year-old Horace Brown both of Golden Spring Road, St. Andrew and 29-year-old David Sang, otherwise called 'Management', of Stock Farm Road in the parish.

Reports are that, at about 8:00 pm, while on patrol duty in the area, Police came upon three men abroad a grey Honda motorcar parked along the roadway. Upon seeing the lawmen, the men began to act in a suspicious manner. As a result, they were accosted; Howard then identified himself as an undercover Police officer and produced an identification card (ID).

Detailed checks revealed that the ID was forged. As a result, Howard and the other two men were searched. One 9mm Smith and Wesson firearm along with sixteen 9mm rounds of ammunition was found in Howard's possession.

The men were subsequently arrested and charged. Howard has been charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition; impersonating a Police officer; possession of forged document; uttering forged documents; being a member of a criminal gang; and participating in a criminal gang while Brown and Sang were charged with being a member of a criminal gang and participating in a criminal gang. They are scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Gun Court on Wednesday, November 4.

This seizure brings to 94 the number of firearms removed from the nation's streets under the 'Get The Guns' Initiative just six weeks after its launch.





16-year-old girl shot dead while playing with gun

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gun-school-bag-oct-31.jpgA 16-year old girl is now dead after she was reportedly shot in the abdomen in Rose Town, Kingston, on Saturday.

She has been identified as Shadae Allen.

Reports are that Shadae and another teen were playing with a gun about 11:00 am when she was shot.

The police have reported that a firearm - a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver with the serial number erased - was seized during an operation on Bethune Avenue in Rose Town, Kingston, about 8:30 pm.

Police suspect that the weapon may be the one that was used in Shadae's killing. The police say they are following several leads.

Allen was reportedly shot in the abdomen while playing with a firearm with another teen about 11:00 am on Saturday.

Detectives from the Denham Town police are investigating the incident.





world-cannabis-cup.jpgJustice Minister Mark Golding has urged persons attending the Rastafari RootzFest, which will see local growers of ganja competing for the coveted World Cannabis Cup, to be responsible during the four day event which will be held in Negril next month.

In endorsing the event, which will be held November 12 - 15, Golding said the Fest was a great concept and hoped that it will grow into an annual event.

He was speaking at the launch of the event at the Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road in St Andrew.

"As Minister of Justice, I must encourage all to be responsible in their approach to herb. I know that the Rastafari approach to herb is a responsoible approach. We don't encourage smoking amongst kids, we don't encourage any form of abuse of this plant, but at the same time we acknowledge that this is a powerful plant than can be used as a force for good," Golding said.

The Fest will host High Times magazine's annual World Cannabis Cup and will also feature nightly reggae concerts with, according to organisers, "homegrown Jamaican Rastafari artistes".

The Cannabis Cup is the world's leading marijuana trade show, celebrating the world of ganja through competitions, instructional seminars, expositions, celebrity appearances, concerts and product showcases.





kingston-college-student-matthew-nesbeth.jpgA student of Kingston College, who helped an elderly woman with her bag, has been getting praised all across social media platforms for his act of kindness.

Matthew Nesbeth's good deed was highlighted by former beauty queen Kaci Fennell, who shared the note-worthy event on her Facebook page.

Fennell, who shared the photo of Nesbeth and the elderly woman, thanked the Kingston College student for "reminding us all that the Jamaican future is not all lost."

The beauty queen then asked her large social media following, "What was your last good deed?"

Very well done, Matthew.





gun-shooting.jpgEducation Minister Ronald Thwaites today commended the administration of Papine High School in St Andrew after a gun was allegedly found in a 13-year-old male student's bag on Thursday.

Thwaites said the presence of the gun in the student's school bag was detected using a metal detector provided by the ministry during routine security checks on Thursday.

The police were summoned and upon investigation they identified the gun as a nine mm firearm with 12 live rounds.

Thwaites in a press release today, noted that this incident, along with the recent finding of ammunitions on a school boy at Brimmervale High in St Mary, underscores the importance of school administrators utilising the metal detectors provided.

At the start of the new school year the Ministry of Education distributed more than 130 metal detectors to high schools.

The ministry's Safety and Security Unit also distributed revised policy guidelines and several safety and security manuals to schools.





busy-signal.jpgPopular dancehall artiste, Busy Signal, has been cleared of defrauding a Zimbabwean promoter. He was cleared by the high court yesterday (28/10/15) after allegedly failing to fulfill a contractual agreement to perform in Zimbabwe in August last year.

He was accused of defrauding the promoter, Long Cash Entertainment Limited of approximately thirty thousand dollars.

According to African news outlet, All Africa, Justice Loyce Moyo dismissed the application that was made by one of the directors of the entertainment group, Patrick Hundu.

Busy Signal's lawyer, Ms. Venge, says the judge noted that, in the contract of engagement, both parties agreed that any dispute would be held before arbitration in Kingston.

It was also noted that Long Cash Entertainment, breached the contract when they failed to pay a non-refundable deposit of twenty seven thousand five hundred dollars.

Last Friday after Busy Signal's arrival in Zimbabwe, Mr Hundu reported the entertainer to the police.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe husband of murdered Mandeville businesswoman Norma Coleman, has turned himself in to the police.

Colemean on Wednesday reported to the Criminal Investigation Branch HQ along with his lawyer. He will be questioned in the presence of his lawyer after being listed as a person of interest in the killing of his wife last Friday.

On Friday, at about 1:30 pm, the 61-year-old businesswoman of Begonia Drive, Mandeville was shot and killed on Confidence Avenue in the town. Preliminary investigation indicates that Coleman's death was a contract killing involving person/s closely associated with her.

Two cops were arrested on Monday in connection with the murder.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe Manchester police say that a third cop was held today in relation to the alleged contract killing of 61-year-old Norma Henry-Coleman last Friday.

Reports are that residents heard an explosion about 1:30 pm in the vicinity Confidence Avenue in Mandeville and summoned the police.

When the lawmen got to the area the lifeless body of Henry-Coleman was reportedly found and later removed to the morgue.

The constable, who was reportedly held in Kingston, now makes four suspects in custody. Another constable, a district constable, a female civilian and the deceased woman's husband Vincent Coleman are the other suspects.

Police say Vincent Coleman turned himself in at the Criminal Investigation Bureau headquarters today accompanied by his attorney.

A Marshall Small of a Mandeville address, who is believed to be "critical" to the case, is still being sought.





JPS embarks on islandwide Debt Amnesty Programme

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jps-building-photo-1.jpgThe Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has announced that it will embark on an islandwide Debt Amnesty Programme, which will offer delinquent customers an opportunity to negotiate up to 70 per cent off debts owed.

The JPS said it will seek to assist residential and small commercial customers who are indebted to the Company, to regain active status and power supply in time for Christmas and become debt free to the company by the New Year.

"Customers may opt for telephone negotiations which run from November 4 to December 19 or face-to-face negotiations during the '12 Days of Amnesty Road Show' at JPS Parish Offices on Wednesdays and Saturdays between November 11 and December 19, 2015. During the Road Show, independent lenders will be on site to facilitate persons who would like to explore debt financing options," the company said in a release to the media.

Customers in the residential and small commercial categories, who owe in excess of $50,000 as at August 31 and have had their service disconnected, will qualify to apply for amnesty. Also, residential and small commercial customers with active accounts who owe more than $100,000 as at August 31, 2015may apply for the amnesty.

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Calm restored to Negril

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Calm has been restored in the resort town of Negril, Westmoreland, which was the scene of a massive protest following the death of a biker who was involved in a traffic collision with a Police service vehicle on the Nampriel main road in the parish on Wednesday.

The dead man has been identified as 26-year-old Noval McInnis of Red Ground in Negril, Westmoreland.

The police are reporting that members of the Divisional Command have met with family members of McInnis, and have assured them that the incident will be thoroughly investigated, without prejudice or impartiality.

The police also report that the scene of the crash was thoroughly examined by the Accident Investigation and Reconstruction Unit (AIRU) and the findings will be submitted to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a determination to be made.

Reports are that, at about 1:40 AM on Wednesday, McInnis was driving a Suzuki Accent scooter motorcycle, which collided with a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck being driven by the police.

The service vehicle, which was responding to an assignment of an intruder on premises, subsequently crashed into an embankment on the right side of the road and damaged both tyres on that side. McInnis was taken to hospital, where he later died.

The Police officers were not injured. Investigators are now probing reports of the involvement of a second motorcyclist in the incident, and are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact them at 957-4268.





jordan-foote-trinity-edited-oct-28.jpgHoly Trinity High School's football team took to the field in the Manning Cup on Monday without one of their star players - Jordan Foote.

Foote, an influential central midfielder on the Central Kingston school's team that made the Flow Super Cup final last season, was diagnosed with bone cancer after visiting a doctor to seek treatment for a foot injury he sustained during pre-season.

The illness has reportedly taken a toll on Foote's body and the 17-year-old was hospitalized on Sunday, according to Yardie Sports, which first reported the story.

The school has rallied around the student.

Holy Trinity coach Devon Anderson reportedly described Foote as a "brave boy" and said that the team was "playing for him". On Monday, the team took to the field wearing pink ribbons before fighting valiantly to earn a draw against defending champions Jamaica College.

Foote, who has not been able to attend school, urgently requires surgery that will cost up to $800,000. Persons wishing to donate to the cause can contact Holy Trinity High School at 876-922-3395,876-922-5727,876-922-7104 or 876-967-7010.





police-station.jpgThe Police High Command has admitted that there is a worrying increase in murders suspected to be contract killings involving family members who are hiring others to kill relatives.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell said the High Command is now probing a number of contract killings. He has given the assurance that the requisite resources will be allocated to this and similar investigations to speedily bring all involved to justice.

Meanwhile, the Police High Command has confirmed a story first reported by RJR News that two cops have been taken into custody as investigators probe the suspected contract killing of a Manchester businesswoman.

Norma Henry Coleman,61, was killed in Mandeville on Friday when gunmen opened fire on the vehicle she was driving.

According to Powell, the police are searching for the suspects.





police-station.jpgTwo policemen were arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of Manchester businesswoman Norma Coleman who was killed in the parish on Friday.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) who are reporting significant progress in their probe of the incident, are now spearheading the investigation.

On Friday, at about 1:30 pm, the 61-year-old businesswoman of Begonia Drive, Mandeville was shot and killed on Confidence Avenue in the town. Preliminary investigation indicates that Coleman's death was a contract killing involving person/s closely associated with her.

"There is a worrying increase in murders suspected to be contract killings involving family members who are hiring others to kill relatives," Head of the CIB, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ealan Powell said.

Powell is assuring the public that the requisite resources will be allocated to this and similar investigations to speedily bring all involved to justice.

The police are also appealing to Coleman's husband, Vincent Coleman, and Marshall Small, both of Mandeville addresses, to report to the Mandeville Police Station by midday tomorrow as the Police believe these men can assist the investigations.





asafa-and-lewis-hamilton.jpgSub-10 second king Asafa Powell was a member of the presentation party after Lewis Hamilton claimed his third Formula One title with victory at a dramatic US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Mercedes driver Hamilton ultimately pipped team-mate Nico Rosberg to glory at the Circuit of the Americas, following an incident-packed race featuring several safety-car periods, enthralling strategic battles and a host of overtaking manoeuvres.

The 30-year-old became the first British driver to win back-to-back titles and also the first to win 10 or more races in successive seasons.He made contact with Rosberg as he initially passed the pole-sitting German at the first corner, but the latter worked his way back to the front and looked set to keep both himself and Sebastian Vettel in mathematical contention for the title by winning the race.

However, a Rosberg mistake on lap 49 of 56 allowed Hamilton to snatch a 10th victory of the season and join the likes of Jackie Stewart and Ayrton Senna in