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jamaican-passport-bordo.jpgA strong police detachment was on hand Wednesday at the Passport Office located on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, where scores of people gathered at the gate..

The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on Sunday said that as of Tuesday, May 26, the cost of a regular adult passport will move from $4,500 to $6,500, while the passport for a minor will move from $2,700 to $4,000.

In addition, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors. Faced with an anticipated rush by persons applying for passports ahead of the fee hike, the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, went ahead and implemented a quota system.

PICA was on Tuesday forced to halt the receipt of applications early as the number of customers grew beyond capacity. At midday, 762 persons had applied for passports which was 80%t of the 945 individuals served at its locations last Tuesday.As a result, PICA has introduced quotas at its outstations for the rest of the week to ensure the safety of applicants.

PICA said they will process 150 applications at its Mandeville office, 250 in Montego Bay, 100 each in St Ann's Bay and May Pen, 90 in Portmore and 1,000 at its headquarters on Constant Spring Road. The number of work stations at its offices has been increased from 27 to 39.

However, people at the PICA office on Wednesday morning made it clear that they were trying to get their documents before the new fees came into effect.The rush of customers to the institution caused a massive traffic pile-up along the Constant Spring and other adjoining roads as the long lines extended from the gate of the institution to the surrounding sidewalks.

Several customers were left fuming because of the long wait and it was subsequently announced that the Passport Office had closed for the day as it had reached its quota of 1,000 applications by 8:30am.





kellier-parliament.jpgMinistry of Agriculture, Derrick Kellier is attracting irate comments after declaring that there is no drought and is being compared to his health minister counterpart, Fenton Ferguson, who had declared in the height of the intolerable Chik-V ravage last there that there was no epidemic.

Kellier informed the House of Representatives that "a meteorological drought" has not been declared in Jamaica. In a statement to the House Wednesday afternoon, he said that it was also noticeable that the country has started to "see a little rain".

"We all pray for more rains, but while we pray, we are ensuring... that crops on the ground can be safeguarded," he said.

Kellier added that despite the dry conditions, the domestic food crop sector grew by 2.7 per cent last quarter.

Despite his assurances, persons have taken to social media to contradict Kellier's statements and poke fun at him."Lets not stop the list there," one reader stated, "There are also:

1. No bad roads
2. No sliding dollar
3. No poor heath service
4. No crime
5. No poor education system
6. No abuse of our children
7. No visitor harassment
8. No economic hardship
Is lie everybody a tell.

Another commented: Sometime yuh fi know wen fi chat an wen fi shut up! Dat a di mark of wisdom.Right now een a fi mi neck a di woods nuh rain nuh fall fi at least 5 months nung. Yuh a cum tell people bout nuh metereological drought nuh declare! Yu tek people fe eediat? A same way Fenton neva declare nuh Chik V outbreak till every odder Jamaican sick wid it..some all dead(dem soul rest in peace). So yuh intend fi wait an siddung pan yu bahine den wen tourist seh de place dry....unnu seh dought drought an a run up an dung like headless chicken? Since when Jamaican people need nubaddy fi tell dem when a drought from when a nuh drought. Yu a try outdo Fenton an him lackeys een a di chat bull department?? Yuh tiad a de portfolio?

"I don't know about that, as the NWC has issued several water restrictions in my area. I have very low water pressure, and the NWC turns off water supply from 10:00 pm in the nights to 4:30 am in the mornings. This is done, to advert the increasing water demand on a drought hit water supply. This is what I was told by a NWC customer care representative. So I have no clue what the Minister is saying, as the time is Hot as hell."

"Mi convince kellier drop and hit him head" (PIC KELLIER)





zik-v-update.jpgThe Health Ministry says, persons travelling to Jamaica from countries experiencing an outbreak in the mosquito bourne Zika virus, will be screened at the ports of entry.

The virus, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms of fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis or pink eye, headache, weakness, rash, and swelling of the lower limbs.

Brazil is currently experiencing an outbreak of the Zika virus. It has not been detected in the Caribbean.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse says there is no vaccine, nor specific treatment for persons with the Zika virus. She says the Health Ministry is employing measures to prevent the virus reaching Jamaica's shores.

Dr. Bullock-Ducasse is also urging Jamaicans to destroy mosquito breeding sites around the home and office. She says persons who contract the Zika virus, are treated based on the symptoms, as there is no vaccine.Symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days, and last four to seven days.





jamaican-passport.jpgOpposition spokesman on National Security Derrick Smith says the announced increases in fees for processing passport applications are "exorbitant and unconscionable", given the economic hardships Jamaicans are having to endure at this time.

"It cannot be that people are getting modest increases in their income, if any at all, but at the same time, are being called upon to pay considerably more for basic services," Smith said. "While the Passport Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) may well have to increase its fees from time to time, right now, it is unconscionable to saddle the already overburdened population with increases that go up to a high of 44 per cent.

derrick-smith-passport-fees.jpg

"Most Jamaicans are struggling just to get by," he continued. "We are at our taxable limit and have virtually no capacity to absorb any increase in fees and taxes, let alone this massive 44 per cent increase."

The Opposition spokesman said the Government needs to "wheel and come again".

"It has to explain to the nation, the basis on which fees for processing passport applications are being increased by such exorbitant rates, while inflation is in low single digits and workers, particularly those in the public sector, are having to endure the strictures of wage restraint," Smith said. "The average Jamaican worker has had no meaningful or substantial increase in their income due to the economic hardships confronting the country.

"And in the case of public sector workers, the mere 5 per cent increase being offered by the Government, illustrates just how unconscionable this proposed 44 per cent increased is," he said.





michael-lorne.jpgThe local Rastafarian community was last Thursday left upset that prominent attorney-at-law Miguel Lorne refused to heed the group's advice and instead stood in defence of accused child molester Roy 'Ras Carver' Bent in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's court.

According to the group's spokesman, Lorne was advised prior to his defence of the accused that it wasn't in the best interest of the Rastafarian community, or the victim's family to give representation to the alleged child molester.

"Lorne was asked not to defend Ras Carver in this matter because he (Lorne) knows the victims quite well, and both girls look up to him as an elder of the Rastafarian faith, therefore, his representation of the accused is tantamount to a betrayal of the family's trust," Ras Ivi, the group's spokesman, lamented.

He said the attorney was also taken to task by the 13-year-old victim for his representation of her assailant after the attorney made an unsuccessful bail application on behalf of the accused.

"He was told by ( ), that as an elder of the Rasta community, she has lost her respect for him and the next time they meet, she will spit at his feet in disgust," Ras Ivi added.

In defence of his client, Lorne said it was a bit unfair to judge him.

"Some people have cast judgment upon him already and say that he is guilty, which is absolutely absurd. Each person is entitled to their representation; each person is entitled to their day in court and sufficient on to the day. From that point, to prejudge Ras Carver that way is not fair to him, and, secondly, he is entitled to representation," Lorne said.

Lorne pointed out that it is the police who had asked that Ras Carver get legal help. He stated that at this point, his main focus is to apply for bail on behalf of his client.

Lorne, a Rastafarian, is representing 61-year-old Rastafarian accused child molester Roy Ras Carver Bent, who was arrested last Tuesday for the alleged sexual molesting a nine-year-old and her 13-year-old sister.





A strong detachment of police is still in place at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann following an operation to clear the property of all employees.

Action was taken to prevent further protest, after it was revealed that the contract for ICON Construction Group was terminated yesterday. Workers were reportedly escorted from the property yesterday afternoon and when they arrived this morning were denied access.Attempts to get a response from property managers and the police were unsuccessful.

There have been protests at the site over the past two months.

A fire in March destroyed millions of dollars worth of furniture at the hotel.





The Jamaica Medical Doctors Association is warning that although there is a lull in local cases of chikungunya, a second strain of the mosquito-borne virus poses a threat to the island.

"It can come to Jamaica, as (did) the first strain that we got, and wreak havoc, so we should always be vigilant and we have to continue our vector control programmes and we have to take personal responsibility to get rid of mosquito breeding sites," Dr. Dawes told RJR News.

He stressed that this second strain of the virus "can cause just as much damage" as the one that infected a significant portion of the Jamaican population in 2014.





mosquito-borne-zika-virus.jpgJamaicans are being urged to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus to the island, in the wake of an outbreak in Brazil.

The Zika virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is similar to dengue, with symptoms such as fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash as well as swelling of the lower limbs. After the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days. The symptoms last for four to seven days

Following a warning by the Pan American Health Organization regarding the potential for the virus to spread to other countries, Dr. Kevin Harvey, Permanent Secretary in Jamaica's Ministry of Health, is urging householders to rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites.

"The Ministry of is taking this threat very seriously," he told RJR News.

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus.

Brazil's Ministry of Health has confirmed that 16 patients have been infected by the Zika virus. The number could rise as another 1,200 cases, mostly in Brazil's northeast, are being investigated.

The suspicion is that the virus arrived in Brazil with tourists.

Brazil's Health Minister, Arthur Chioro, says the country is also facing a dengue fever epidemic. There have also been 6,200 cases of chikungunya.





child-development-agency-names-hotspots.jpgTHE parish of Westmoreland in western Jamaica has the highest number of child abuse cases in the island, with 500 active cases up to yesterday.

The Child Development Agency's (CDA's) Rosalee Gage-Grey made the disclosure yesterday at the end of a march to lobby for greater protection of the nation's children from abuse.

"Reports that we get we see what we call 'hot spots' such as Westmoreland. The whole belt from just near Savana-La- Mar, Negril, going back to Green Island, Hanover is a hot spot. We see right now in Westmoreland alone 500 active cases of reports that are being investigated.

Other hot spots to which Gage Grey pointed were St Ann; May Pen and hilly areas of Clarendon; Kingston and St Andrew; and St Thomas.

In the case of the latter, Gage-Grey said the incidence was under reported, as the number of reports do not match the cases on the ground.

"The cases that are reported to us are growing daily. We get about 200 cases per week. This is stretching us, but we are not broken because we are committed to the task of finding every one of those children and more importantly, we are committed to finding all those men and women who continue to abuse our children," she said.

The march, which began and ended at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston was organised by Dr Michael Abrahams, founder of Protect Our Children. He told the Jamaica Observer that yesterday's event was part of a movement to create public awareness about the gravity of issues involving children, and to raise money for the effort.

" When I was going to do the march people asked a very pertinent question, 'What use is a march any way?' It has a lot of usage; there was a march on Friday and a good friend of mine was speaking into the PA system he kept on saying 'report child abuse'. An about a hour later there was a man out there saying that he knows a 13-year-old who is being abused. What do I do about it? I didn't know until this week that the number is 188- protect," he related.

Scores of Jamaicans from several organisations participated in the march, bearing placards and demanding an end to the abuse of the nation's children.

Cases of child abuse, particulalrly murder and sexual abuse, appear to be been on the increase recently. So much so that it dominated Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's address for Child Month which was broadcast last night.

"(Children) embody the present and represent the future. For me, children are the precious jewels of the nation; a valuable resource that must be cherished and protected. Children must be loved, cared for and nurtured," Simpson Miller said.

"Yet, it is with a deep sense of concern and sadness that I take note of the recent cases of abuse and crimes against our children. These horrendous acts against our children, including murder, are unacceptable.The brutal killing of our children is a vile and dreadful occurrence that is alien to our culture."

The prime minister said she was also concerned about instances of parental neglect as children who are neglected are exposed to violence, sexual abuse and murder.

"The abuse of our children must never be condoned by anyone, under any circumstances," she said. "Too many of our children are being subjected to heartrending violence and physical, sexual and emotional abuse, many times carried out by family members and other persons they trust. This must be dealt with immediately and firmly."

Simpson Miller said government was taking "tough action" to that end.

"Cabinet has approved a submission from the minister of justice to, among other things, prescribe harsher penalties for persons who murder, rape or commit other serious violent offences against children. They will meet the full force of the law," she warned.

Simpson Miller said too, that work is underway for legislation to be passed to create a new offence of parental neglect.





Chinese medical mission at KPH May 18 - 28

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kph-hospital.jpgA Chinese medical mission is expected to be in Jamaica from May 18 - 28.

Called the Bright Journey Chinese Medical Mission, the team will provide free cataract surgical operations and clinical activities.

According to an advisory from the Ministry of Health, the Chinese team will also be donating medical equipment and supplies to the Ophthalmology Department of the Kingston Public Hospital valued at over US$390,000 tomorrow.

Acting through the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese ophthalmology medical team, which comprises of six medical doctors and nurses, will also carry out academic exchanges with Jamaican health care personnel.

While in Jamaica, the medical team will be based at the Kingston Public Hospital and expects to perform 200 surgeries.

Selection of patients for surgery is being done by members of the Ministry of Health and the Chinese teams using screening criteria for patients previously reviewed in the health system islandwide.

Horace Dalley, minister with responsibility for the public sector in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, is expected to bring remarks on behalf of the Minister of Health tomorrow.





american-found-floating.jpgHarold Fox, a 37-year-old American man, is suspected to have drowned at the Bamboo Beach in St Mary, on Sunday.

Police reports are that Fox's body was seen afloat about 1:00 pm. The police were alerted and on their arrival his body was removed from the water.

Investigations are ongoing.





A 41-year-old Chinese man was shot dead by unknown assailants Sunday in Spring Gardens, St James.

The police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) reports that Yu Gyowei, otherwise called Simon, of Main Street, Hanover, was at a beach with another man about 12:00 pm when they were attacked by an armed man.

The gunman allegedly proceeded to rob the two before shooting them. Gyowei was pronounced dead at hospital while the other man was admitted. His condition at this time is not known.

Subsequent reports are that the alleged gunman was injured during the incident and was later accosted when he turned up for treatment at hospital.





SOUTH BEND, Indiana (AP) - A northern Indiana judge rejected an argument by a man who asked that his marijuana possession charge be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor because he follows the Rastafarian faith.

Jerome Scott that he was being charitable to others by cultivating marijuana to ease ailments from chronic back pain to cancer, the South Bend Tribune reports. St Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller said he still broke the law.

"I understand there are many people who agree with you that marijuana should be legal, but you're in the wrong state for that," she said. "What you knowingly and deliberately did in Indiana is break the law by not only cultivating it, but also distributing it."

Followers of the Rastafari faith, developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, believe cannabis is a holy herb, and smoking marijuana is considered a sacrament that brings peace, wisdom and a spiritual connection to nature. Scott and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Melanie Schmidt, see the state's marijuana laws as unjust.

Scott said was not a drug dealer, but that he distributed the cannabis strictly for medical and religious purposes.

"Cultivating my own cannabis is my way of not contributing to the black market and drug dealing tactics," he said.

In March, Scott pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of marijuana. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance. Schmidt pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge.

Woodward Miller ordered Scott to serve 18 months on probation and sentenced Schmidt to 12 months on probation.

Scott, who has a license in Michigan to grow marijuana for other approved patients as a "caregiver," said his felony conviction will ruin his chances of having his license renewed. If he loses the license, Scott said, he will also lose the right to practice the cultivation of cannabis, which he views as a calling and key aspect of his faith.

"All of his hard work, all of his studying, his whole life, they're telling him he can't do that," Schmidt said.





number-portability-media-brief.jpgCorporate Communications Manager at FLOW, Naomi Francis (second right), pledges her company's support for the rollout of Number Portability, which becomes effective on May 31. Occasion was a Media and stakeholder Number Portability Workshop, held on May 13 at the Courtleigh Hotel, in New Kingston. Others (from left) are: Director of Customer Solutions at Digicel, Patrick King; Head of Marketing and Communications at Island Net, Timothy Bingham, and Head of Corporate Communications at LIME, Elon Parkinson. (PHOTO: JIS)

Jamaica's telecoms providers have pledged their full support for Government's roll-out of number portability on May 31. They expressed this support at a special media and stakeholder number portability workshop, held last Wednesday at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston, according to government news agency JIS.

Number portability means that consumers who use wireless and fixed line telephones will be able to transfer their telephone numbers from one provider to another as of May 31.

Director of Customer Solutions at Digicel, Patrick King, said the company is ready for the May 31 roll-out and that members of staff have been trained to deal with any challenge that may arise.

According to Corporate Communications Manager at FLOW, Naomi Francis, as a fixed line service provider, Flow would continue to provide improved service to its customers when number portability is rolled out.

LIME is currently carrying out testing to meet the May 31 roll-out, says the company's head of Corporate Communications, Elon Parkinson.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, who delivered the keynote address at the workshop, said he is pleased with the collaboration of the stakeholders leading up to the May 31 timeline. He informed that a licence has been granted to Porting Access PV, to ensure that the new system works.





The directive issued by the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) to cable television operators to cease transmission of approximately 20 channels by the end of the month is set to be overruled and reversed by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

According to a report in the Sunday Gleaner, the OPM will be rewriting the script after major stakeholders in the local cable industry appealed to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and minister without portfolio Sandrea Falconer, who has day-to-day responsibility for information, operating out of the OPM.

Some major players in the local cable industry have charged that the BCJ jumped the gun in its directive that the cable channels should be pulled, and it appears legal advice given to Falconer supports this view.

"The legal advice I have received suggests that the actions were taken outside of the legislative provisions. I have shared this with the Broadcasting Commission," Falconer said in response to the concerns raised by the Jamaica Association of Community Cable Operators in a slew of letters to her.

Sunday Gleaner sources further say that the OPM is concerned that it was not properly briefed by the BCJ on the matter before it went public with its directive.

Falconer refused to comment extensively on this matter as she told our news team that discussions on the issue were continuing.

"The OPM has been in discussions with the Broadcasting Commission on the directive issued to cable operators on April 24. The discussions have not yet concluded, and when they have, I will comment further," said Falconer.

Well-placed sources reportedly told The Sunday Gleaner that the BCJ's plan to convene a press conference and issue the directive had not been communicated to Falconer.

Chairman of the BCJ, Professor Hopeton Dunn, said that dialogue was had with all the stakeholders.According to Dunn, the commission is now gathering feedback from stakeholders on issues regarding the implementation of its directive.

"We have made no decision to rescind the directive, but we are aware of concerns regarding the implementation based on all the issues involved, and the commission will discuss this going forward," said Dunn.

He refused to be drawn on the possible reaction of the BCJ if the OPM reverses its decision even as he reiterated that the commission was an independent regulator.

"I am not going to speculate on what is not before me, but the law allows the commission to regulate, and it does what it is authorised to do under the law," declared Dunn.

Any decision by the OPM to reverse the BCJ's decision will undoubtedly anger powerful interests in America, where the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has kept Jamaica on its watch list for 2015.





KPH worker among 2 shot downtown

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kph-hospital.jpgTwo people including an employee of the Kingston Public Hospital were shot outside the institution's entrance on Saturday.

One person sustained a bullet wound to the foot and the other in the hand.

The injured hospital employee is said to be a records officer. It's understood that the attack is linked to a

Another man, Rudolph Foster,42, was shot at the intersection of Orange and Charles Streets in downtown Kingston.

He later died in hospital.





Breakthrough in murder of 12-y-o girl

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The St Catherine North police have made a breakthrough in the murder of 12-year-old Jamelia Richards, almost a month after she was killed. The man has been identified as Kevin Anderson otherwise called 'Dave', a 28-year-old labourer of the Naseberry Grove area of Kitson Town, St Catherine.

According to Senior Super-intendent of police Marlon Nesbeth, Anderson needs to turn himself in to the police.

"He forms a crucial part of the police investigation. He is very important to solving the incident where a 12-year-old girl was found murdered in Williams Field district two weeks ago," SSP Nesbeth said.

The senior crime fighter said that the victim was not raped. He told The Star that the case is at a crucial stage and needs closure.

Meanwhile, Tstudents of the Harewood Primary School where Richards attended are still traumatised.

In April, residents of Williams Field, St Catherine found the decomposing body of Richards near a river in the community.





Ganja farming licence handed to UTech

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utech-building.jpgThe University of Technology (UTech) on Thursday received a licence officially authorizing the cultivation of ganja for scientific research.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell presented the licence to the institution at a special ceremony to mark a day of celebrations at UTech's Papine campus dubbed, "Medical Marijuana Integration Day."

Paulwell, prior to presenting the licence, told the capacity audience of academics, private and public sector partners and interest groups, students and members of the Rastafarian and Maroon communities, that "Jamaica intends to regain its pride of place by becoming a Centre of Excellence for research and development in ganja."

The Minister pointed out that there is now convincing data and evidence which support beneficial effects of ganja in relation to glaucoma, epilepsy, eating disorders, pain and several other conditions affecting the nervous system. He noted that it is in this context that he has started to issue licences to enable Jamaica to move forward with research and development, even whilst the process for the amendment of the Dangerous (Amendment Act) to be passed into law takes place.

Acknowledging that Jamaica has had a history of "failing to properly exploit opportunities" in various industries, the Minister stressed the need for research to enable Jamaica to maximise the full economic value of a legal and regulated marijuana industry. He assured the gathering that everyone from the small farmer to the producer will have a role to play in taking advantage of the global market space.





Corrupt St Thomas cop to be sentenced

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A policeman was today convicted for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act when he appeared in the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court.

Sergeant Glenford Campbell, who was assigned to the Cedar Valley Police Station in St Thomas, was convicted on one count of soliciting and two counts of accepting.

Reports are that on October 29, 2011, Campbell was on patrol duty in the Cedar Valley community when he cited a motorist for breaches of the Road Traffic Act.

He then corruptly solicited and accepted an undetermined sum of money in order not to prosecute the motorist.

A report was made to Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency and Campbell was arrested and charged on November 4, 2011 with four counts of breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act.

He's to be sentenced on June 17.





court.jpgThe two suspects who were arrested and charged in connection with last month's quadruple murder in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon are to face the court next week.

In custody are, 27-year-old Jermaine Turner and his sister, 21-year-old Sabrina Corrier both of Canaan Heights, May Pen, Clarendon.

Turner was charged with four counts of murder, robbery with aggravation and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition, while Corrier was charged with receiving stolen property.

They are to appear before the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Last month, 14-year-old Ricardo Briscoe, 14-year-old Raymond Givans, 15-year-old Alex Turner, and 35-year-old Marquis Hamilton, all of Clarendon addresses, were murdered execution-style.

According to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit then, the three boys were walking along the roadway about 9:00 pm when two armed men, who forced them onto Hamilton's premises, pounced them upon. The men then allegedly demanded money and phones from them, however, their demands were not met.

The four were subsequently shot.





Jamaica to receive additional area code

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jamaica-area-code.jpgWithin the next seven months Jamaica will have a new area code to add to the current 876 code.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

The agency is finalising the number to be used for the code with the North American numbering plan administrators.

Reports are that service providers are assigned numbers in batches of 10 thousand and are now running out of these issued numbers.

This has triggered the need to create the new area code to give the service providers additional numbers.





With Clarendon still reeling from the brutal execution style murder of three teenagers last month, the parish was given another shocker when three teenage boys were caught red-handed having a threesome.

The three, two from a prominent high school in May Pen and the other a recent graduate, were literally caught with their pants down on the grounds of the Denbigh showground in May Pen, THE WEEKEND STAR understands. It is understood that the three displayed their sexual dexterity before a mob held and gave them a proper beating.

However, amid the melee, all three boys escaped, minus their clothes, after running away and jumping the wall of a nearby school.A source at the May Pen police confirmed hearing about the incident, but said no official report has been made.

"Me say, suppose you see the three nasty boy dem how dem look good. Suppose you see the size dem weh them have?

"Dem should a still a get the beating," a female exclaimed with disgust in reaction to the incident. Them say dem man deh fast, but a me fi tell you, dem yah boy faster than Bolt."

According to information reaching The Weekend Star, the man who made the discovery was walking through the Jamaica Agricultural Society-owned property, when he heard suspicious sounds coming from an isolated area of the expansive showground. Inquisitively, he went to investigate and got the shock of his life.

An alarm was raised and a mob quickly converged on the showground and went in pursuit of the three teenage boys.

After accosting the boys, the mob began pelting them with all forms of improvised weapons, before the boys managed to escape.





Funeral service for Toya May 24

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toya-photo-1.jpgThe funeral for dancehall artiste Toya, the wife of CEO of Down Sound Records Josef Bogdanovich is set to take place on Sunday, May 24.

Toya, who was ailing for some time, died from diabetic complications while in the United States, on Thursday May 7.

"I believe that the funeral is going to be huge, today I am talking to family members to make the final arrangements with the funeral home. There will be a procession in Washington Gardens where Toya lived, and the ni-night will be held there," Bogdanovich said.

According to reports, Bogdanovich said Toya's condition was kept private in an effort for their family to remain positive.

He added that efforts to get a kidney donor was successful, and she was to have the transplant operation in June.





buju-banton-photo-8.jpgWayne Golding, a Florida-based Jamaican attorney, believes Buju Banton's deal with the US Government could result in him being released before the scheduled 2019. This conclusion is based on his analysis of the factors involved in Buju's case.

News emerged yesterday that the legal team for Buju Banton (Mark Myrie) agreed to stop filing appeals in the matter, in exchange for the US government stopping its pursuit of a pending gun charge, which could have added five more years to his sentence. Buju was convicted in February 2011.

Mr Golding, speaking on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, said that because of the new agreement, the door has been opened for the possibility of a reduced sentence. He also outlined the other factors to consider, including credit for time spent.

Meanwhile, Mr Golding has praised Buju's decision to come to an agreement with the US government. He argues that, based on analysis of the costs and time involved, everyone should benefit. He explained that while Buju could have won the appeal the government could have also refiled the charged so in the end it was an excellent move.





Lawyer Don Foote arrested

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don-foote.jpgAttorney-at-law Don Foote was this morning arrested and charged with fraud.

He was offered station bail in the sum of J$1 million.

Court date has been set for May 26.





Detectives attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) have charged two men after they were allegedly found in possession of batteries belonging to telecommunications operators.

The batteries were stolen from cell sites in St. Ann, Westmoreland, St. James and Trelawny, and were valued at $9 million. It's reported that on April 29 C-TOC conducted an operation in Farm Town, St. Ann, which resulted in the recovery of 38 radio base station batteries. This led to the arrest of 37 year old scrap metal dealer Cassius Campbell, of Farm.

Last Saturday, another operation was carried out in Darliston, Westmoreland and 43 batteries were reportedly recovered. Hensley Johnson, a 52 year old businessman, was arrested.

Mr. Campbell and Mr. Johnson were charged with receiving stolen property.





Several activities planned for Child Month

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Several activities have been planned to celebrate Jamaica's children during Child Month in May.

The month was officially launched on April 15, at GraceKennedy's downtown Kingston offices, under the theme: 'Children Safety and Security -Our Priority'.

The occasion was also used as a soft launch for Dr. Jimmy Cliff's latest single titled 'Children,' which will be used as the theme song for Child Month.

The National Child Month Committee (NCMC) kicked off the scheduled activities with a Church Service on Sunday, May 3, at Webster's Memorial Church, 53 Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston,

National Children's Day will be observed this Friday, May 15. On this day parents, teachers, guardians and caregivers, are encouraged to celebrate their children by doing something special for them.

On Friday, June 26, the Youth Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards ceremony will be held to recognise students, who attend non-traditional high schools and have overcome great odds to achieve outstanding results at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) level. For the first time, a National Day of Prayer and Fasting will be observed on Wednesday, May 27 at the Faith Chapel Apostolic Ministries, 1 Renfield Avenue, Kingston 20.

"This is a time when we unite to request God's intervention in our affairs as individuals, as families and as a nation," said Chair of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings.

The month's activities will culminate with Action Day on Friday, May 29, where children are encouraged to give back to their communities.

"The day creates an opportunity for schools, clubs, church groups and the individual child to do something for their community, thus promoting good values and community spirit," Dr. Mullings said.

Organised by the NCMC, Child Month activities are sponsored by GraceKennedy, which has been associated with the Committee for over 30 years.

Other supporters include National Continental Corporation and the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

Child Month was first celebrated in May, 1953, under the patronage of Lady Foote, wife of the then Governor.

Some of the major objectives of the NCMC are: to heighten public awareness of the many issues and challenges negatively affecting the development of children and of steps that can be taken to address some of the issues and effectively meet the challenges; and to mobilise resources and facilitate action to support children-focused programmes.





A 61-year-old dreadlocked man was yesterday arrested and charged after allegations surfaced that he sexually molested two minors who are sisters in Clarendon.

According to a police source, the suspect has been slapped with two counts of sexual molestation of a nine-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister. The suspect is booked to appear in the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court today.

It is alleged that the suspect over time won the trust of the girls' family and began frequenting their home. It is reported that he sexually molested the girls after gaining the family's trust.

"Obviously, he got access to the girls because, overtime, he became a trusted person by the family. But he seems to have betrayed the family's trust with the alleged sexual molestation of the two sisters," an officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Statistics from the Office of the Children's Registry show in 2007 there were 121 reported cases of child sexual abuse, which by 2014 stood at some 3,386 new cases. Of the figures released, 59 per cent are girls, while the remaining 41 per cent are boys, the report shows.





PICA offers 3-day service at Mo Bay convention

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pica-pasport.jpgThe Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will be offering a three-day passport service at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference from June 13 to 18, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

"Because it is a short week ... if someone comes on Monday they can get back their passport on Wednesday; though our standard service is for seven days," director of customer service at PICA, Lesline Chisholm, told JIS News in an interview.

PICA will also have an immigration officer on location to facilitate processing of immigration documents, offer information and citizenship services to patrons.

"We are having a full-house service and we are looking forward to having members of our diaspora there, and we are really excited about it," she said.

The services will be offered as part of the Government at Your Service 'One Stop Shop' feature of the conference. This feature is a collaboration of public-sector agencies offering attendees fast-tracked government services.

The forum is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in collaboration with the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Members, key community persons and diaspora community groups, under the theme 'Jamaica and the diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity'.

This year, the conference promises to be bigger and better, with the organisers anticipating a robust turnout of diaspora members.





A man who attempted to extort a complainant for the return of a dog was remanded yesterday in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. He is to face sentencing on Friday.

Charged with extortion is Luke Green. He pleaded guilty to the offence. The accused was held on a warrant after failing to return to court last year.

The court heard that Green requested a Samsung Galaxy S4 in order for the safe return of a dog. Green will be sentenced on May 15.

A fingerprint order was also made against the accused.





barack-obama-bob-marley-centre.jpgActivities related to United States president Barack Obama's visit to Jamaica in April cost Jamaica at least $270 million, preliminary estimates have revealed.

Minister with responsibility for information, Sandrea Falconer, made the announcement on Wednesday at the post-Cabinet press briefing.

She said nearly $208 million was spent on road rehabilitation, and more than $66.5 million on events associated with the visit.

Government conducted feverish road repairs and beautification activities in preparation for Obama's visit, which locked down Kingston and St Andrew for almost one day.





Jamaican top gangsta held in the US

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dudus.jpgA man described as one of Jamaica's top tier gangsters, was held in the US recently, police have confirmed.

Michael Headley, otherwise called 'Dudus', of Salt Pond Road, Spanish Town, St Catherine, was reportedly held with two other persons, Mead Myrie and Kevon Maitland. All three are wanted for various crimes including murder, police said.

The police said Headley was captured through the collaborative efforts of the The National Strategic Anti-Gang Unit (NSAGU) and its international law enforcement partners.

Headley, police said, is a known member of the Klansman Gang - which operates in Spanish Town, St Catherine and its environs. He was fingered in the 2013 gun murder of Ballington Morris.

The three are to be deported to Jamaica, after which local detectives will pursue several matters against them, particularly under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act.

Since the passing of the legislation a little over a year ago, more than 130 persons have been charged.





vybz-kartel-prison.jpgAccording to Music News, they have been reliably informed that Kartel is currently in the process of retaining a legal team to apply for an appeal.

A source close to the entertainer tells Music News that Vybz Kartel is anxious and concerned about the information which surfaced during the trial involving juror misconduct.

Accused juror Livingston Cain is currently on trial for allegedly trying to bribe the forewoman and other members of the jury. During his ongoing trial, it was understood that two members of the jury worked for the Jamaica Defense Force while another two are believed to be neighbors.

One attorney who is already on the deejay's legal team reveals to Music News that the transcript of Vybz Kartel's trial is practically ready, hinting that they will make an appeal before the year ends.

Conspiracy by the state against the dancehall deejay is part of the defense's argument going forward.

But with the case so heavily publicized, what is the likelihood of Vybz Kartel getting a fair trial in Jamaica?

Kartel is currently serving a life sentence at hard labour after being convicted for murder last year April.





High level resignation at NCB

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national-commercial-bank.jpgA senior manager at National Commercial Bank (NCB) has resigned with immediate effect. Senior Assistant General Manager, Group Facilities & Services, Major Ffrench Campbell, tendered his resignation on Friday.

Major Campbell resigned after an investigation by the bank revealed a connection to an individual of a company involved in the construction of NCB's financial centre on Constant Spring Road. That project, which was launched in October 2013, has missed its completion deadline and has faced cost overruns.

It's understood that Campbell failed to declare what has been described as "connected party status". There are also reports that the bank is investigating allegations that several other contracts were awarded to the Kingston based construction company.

When contacted Senior General Manager Group Human Resources, Rickert Allen, confirmed the resignation. Allen however declined to divulge the reason behind Major Campbell's departure.





Freak storm raises the roof in St. Elizabeth

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A freak storm left a trail of destruction across several communities in sections of St Elizabeth, including Carisbrooks, Providence and adjoining areas.

Residents have been trying to clear fallen trees and other debris. A house in Carisbrooks lost its roof while several other buildings lost sheets of zinc. In Providence several buildings suffered roof damage while ashop lost its roof.

Agriculture produce including bananas, yams and other fruit trees in both communities were also damaged.

Residents in the affected communities are calling for the authorities to carry out a speedy assessment of the damage caused by the freak-storm.





janiel-morgan-missing.jpgEighteen-year-old Janiel Morgan, the cousin of Jamaican 400-metre runner Ricardo Chambers who was reported missing, was found in St Mary on Sunday and has been safely returned home.

Chambers made the announcement via social media on Sunday evening.

"Thanks to everyone who share and help spread the Amber alert out for my little cousin The st Mary Police find her in St Mary she now safe and on her way home," Chambers said in a post on Instagram.

Morgan went missing in Kingston on Friday, after she left her home for school.

Chambers received a lot of support in spreading the message from several fellow athletes such as Warren Weir and Michael Frater.

Weir expressed his happiness at the news on Instagram.

"Give thanks @chamberschamp cousin is home safe Blessed be the most High," Weir said.

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peter-bunting-photo-1.jpgNational Security Minister, Peter Bunting, says amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, resulting in decriminalization of specified quantities of ganja, are "most fundamental and far-reaching."

He underscored this point while addressing a community meeting in Orange Hill, Western Westmoreland recently, to discuss the provisions of the new ganja legislation.

Bunting noted that for "decades", the possession of small quantities of ganja has caused "friction" between the police and residents.

"Communities saw young men who they did not regard as criminals being arrested, fined, and, sometimes, sentenced for possession of ganja. It gave them criminal records ... eventually limiting their life chances," he noted.

The Minister said, against this background, the current administration took the decision to de-criminalize possession of small quantities of ganja, while initiating a licensing regime for medical and medicinal research.

"Since about September last year, when those new guidelines (were initiated), we have had over 1,000 fewer persons arrested and charged for ganja every single month since (then). Since the beginning of this year, to date, relative to last year, we have had about 5,000 fewer persons charged, which makes an enormous difference ... as I believe that the police must use their (resources and energy) going after the real problems in crime, such as...violence... which should remain their primary priority," he argued.





carmax.jpgInvestigators say the fraud at CARMAX Jamaica has increased to more than J$230 million with customers still filing complaints with the police.

The cops have collected more than 140 statements from persons who reported that they gave CARMAX vehicles to sell, but have not received the proceeds.

CARMAX CEO, Darren Blake, has been charged with more than 80 counts of fraud.Investigators say they still want to question former CARMAX Director Ian Lyn, in the case. Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has again appealed to Lyn to report to the Division. Lyn is in the US and the local police have declared they will be applying to the authorities for his extradition.

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east-ruralst-andrew-fire.jpgA grim picture has emerged of wide scale destruction to the agricultural sector in communities in east rural St. Andrew following nine days of bush fires. The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) estimates losses to farmers at close to half a billion dollars. It will be writing to the Agriculture Ministry seeking emergency assistance to farmers.

JAS President,Senator Norman Grant, says large acres of coffee, banana, pineapple and vegetables went up in flames.

"It stretches across many many communities, Mavis Bank, Content, Lime Tree, Tower Hill, ... there was another fire down in Craighill and Robertsfield, just to name some of the communities."

He says the destruction follows last year's setback to the agricultural sector due to bush fires and the protracted dry spell. Grant added that it will be sometime for the coffee industry in east rural St. Andrew recovers from the massive fires.

"When the coffee trees have been devastated now, you're going to be loosing at least two to two and a half crops of production .....a coffee tree takes three years to come into production."

An urgent appeal is being made by residents for the trucking of water to communities affected by the fire. The residents say while electricity has been restored the taps remain dry.

According to Patrick Haughton a coffee farmer in Flamstead, the situation is dire as fire destroyed several containers used by residents to store domestic water.





riverton-fire-photo-1.jpgSpontaneous combustion has been cited as the cause of Saturday afternoon's small fire, which broke out at the Riverton City Dump.

According to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) it was extinguished in two hours and did not affect operations at the disposal site.

"It's really the heat .... It's similar to what's happening in Mavis Bank. It was small fire ..." said NSWMA chairman, Dennis Chung.

The agency says emergency measures have been implemented to deal with fires at the dump and these were partially tested during Saturday's fire.

Meanwhile, the Board of the NSWMA has established a sub-committee to assess the operational risks facing the dump.It will also review critical areas of operations.

"It is going to make recommendations - as to what are some of the things to be put in place in case of outbreaks of fires, garbage not being collected, things like that. It is also going to do an assessment as to what the resources are and if any efficiencies can be brought to the operations

He said the comprehensive review should be completed in three weeks and the public will be updated.





Cops seeking 4 person in major bank racket

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The Fraud Squad has named four persons of interest in connection with a major racket targeting some of the island's commercial banks. They are Damion Burton and Rohan Reid, both of Kingston 17 addresses; Andre Wallace of Four Path, Clarendon and Floyd Walters of a Kingston 13 address. They are being asked to report to the police by 9AM on Monday

A bank employee, said to be at the centre of the fraud, was charged on Friday.

Marlon Taylor, 32, a business development officer was charged with several counts of fraud totalling J$10-million. Investigators say the figure is expected to increase.

It's alleged that Taylor conspired with other persons to submit fictitious applications to several banks, seeking loans on behalf of persons purporting to be members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The financial institutions became suspicious and contacted the police.

It was discovered that the applicants were imposters.





Deaf Dance Festival May 13 at Little Theatre

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The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth & Culture continues to fulfill its mandate of unearthing, developing and showcasing the creative talent and expression of our people through the National Festival of the Performing Arts that is currently on at the Little Theatre.The National Final in the Performing Arts continues this Wednesday May 13 with the exciting Deaf Dance Competition, featuring various styles including Creative Folk, Modern Contemporary, Praise, Popular, Jazz and Dance Drama with dancers range from Juniors to Adults. The Deaf Dance Festival commences at 4 p.m.with tickets being sold at a cost of Adults $400, Children $200 and Students with ID $200.His Excellency David Fitton, the British High Commissioner will serve as patron of the Festival and will bring greetings before the performers wow the audience.Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the JCDC, Stephen Davidson, notes that "It is amazing each year to see how these performers move to the various rhythms. I am confident that those in attendance will be wowed and fully entertained at the Deaf Dance Festival." He also praised the teachers and coaches for the hard work that they put in each year in preparing the performers for this level of competition. The National Deaf Dance Competition was developed and implemented in 2006 for the hearing impaired. This annually staged programme seeks to sensitize the hearing impaired to dance forms, subsequently building ease and confidence in expressing themselves. The Competition encourages through movement, the development of a sense of rhythm, creative expression,communication of feelings, and building self-confidence. Residential workshops organized by the Commission for teachers of various hearing impaired institutions provide the necessary support mechanism for preparing their students for the Competition.

This event is sponsored by CHASE Fund, Digital Video Concept and Jamaica Association for the Deaf.





Konshens teams with LIME for school tour

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konshens-photo-5.jpgDancehall star Konshens has teamed up with Lime Jamaica to fulfill one of his many charity initiatives, 'Music to Fund a Cause'. Konshens is set to perform at five high schools throughout Jamaica in order to raise funds towards each school's specific initiative. Always ready to perform for a good cause, education is one thing Konshens holds dear to his heart.

"Education is something I take seriously but most importantly, I strongly believe every child must have access to the proper tools and health to attain a good education" says Konshens.

The first concert kicked off on May 6 at Konshens alma mater, Excelsior High school. The charitable initiative for Excelsior is to raise funds for the students Health & Hygiene Program at Excelsior. The program aims to upgrade the facilities at their high school and teach the students healthy lifestyle habits. Each high school will have their own initiative, which Konshens will assist in raising funds through his performances.

Konshens is pleased to know he can continue to give back to the youths, many of who support his music today. The students will be entertained by Konshens backed by his band, Road Life, members of his SubKonshus label (Delus, Darrio, Javada) and surprise guests. Returning from New York recently, where he kicked off his 'College Pop Up' campaign, Konshens spoke to the various college students, signed autographs and visited the various departments of each school. Currently in Barbados, Konshens is set to perform with rappers Young Thug and Birdman this weekend.





Toya suffered cardiac arrest in NY hospital

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toya-photo-2.jpgSources close to the family of recording artiste Latoya Alicia Jackson, more popularly known as Toya, the wife of Downsound Records CEO Joe Bogdanovich, has confirmed that she died of cardiac arrest.

Toya, who had been ill for over a year, had travelled to New York in mid April. According to the source, news of her death was unexpected, as she was doing fine on Wednesday.

Known for songs such as Boss Lady, True Blessings and Hot Like Fire, Toya made her debut on the music scene in 2008.

A past student of Edith Dalton James High, Toya later went on to pursue a culinary course at the HEART Trust/NTA. She is survived by one son.





Lady Saw raps, sings and deejays on new track

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lady-saw-photos-3.jpgPushing the envelope yet again, Lady Saw has through show her versatility on her brand-new track, 'Tonight'.

Her hard-core dancehall lyrics and style is what she has come to be known for, but she has successfully crossed over into rap on this track, riding the rhythm like the professional artiste she is.

With everyone in the dancehall fraternity jostling for a standout position, Lady Saw's smooth and seemingly effortless approach demonstrates why she stands tall above the rest and dominates the Jamaican scene.

The queen has teamed up with Mr Magik from Black Magik Entertainment for Tonight, an adoption of Betty Wright's Tonight is the Night. On the track, she not only sings and deejays but also raps - a combination which is unique to this landscape. There seems to be no limit to the talents Lady Saw possesses.

In the single, the sultry artiste expresses her feelings about that special man in her life and how he will make her feel "Tonight is the night that you make me your woman, you said you would be gentle with me and I hope you will."

Mr Magik said he and the queen of the dancehall were striving for perfection on the track, which was released last Thursday.

"I found working with Lady Saw very challenging. however, that is because we both strive for perfection in our different ways. Tonight is the perfect result of two perfectionists striving for perfection," said producer Mr Magik.

The song has been tearing up the airwaves since it premiered on radio stations locally, Newstalk 93FM, Zip 103FM andalso on international airwaves, Flexx FM in South Florida, Waggie T and Y-103FM in Uganda .

A video is to be recorded and released in short order for the track which, it is hoped, will follow in Saw's Heels On success.





bobbi-kristina-brown-photo-4.jpgBobby Brown and Pat Houston have been appointed co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown, a statement from their attorneys confirmed to Us Weekly on Thursday, May 7. The decision comes after the late Whitney Houston's ex-husband and sister-in-law spent the day in court.

"We are delighted to inform the public that the court has appointed Bobby Brown and Pat Houston as co-guardians of Bobbi Kristina Brown ('Krissi'). Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston are jointly responsible for decisions related to Krissi's care and medical needs," reads a statement issued by David Long-Daniels, Counsel for Pat Houston and Cissy Houston, and Christopher Brown, Counsel for Bobby Brown.

According to the statement, the court has also appointed attorney Bedelia Hargrove as the conservator for Krissi. "Ms. Hargrove is responsible for Krissi's assets, including her likeness, rights and legal claims," the statement explains. According to Hargrove's law firm's site, she "specializes in fiduciary litigation, probate and estate administration, estate planning, personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as general civil litigation."

"Both parties are delighted with the court's decision and are working harmoniously to ensure Krissi receives the best possible medical care. We are appreciative of the manner in which Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh handled this matter," the statement concluded.

Bobbi Kristina was hospitalized on Jan. 31 after being found facedown and unresponsive in a bathtub. After months in which she was hospitalized in an induced coma and on life support, Whitney Houston's only daughter was moved to a rehab center this past March, but according to Cissy Houston, she remains unresponsive.





nick-cannon-and-kreesha-reach-falls.jpgAmerican television personality Nick Cannon and his music protégé Kreesha Turner were at Reich Falls in the beautiful parish of Portland on Thursday. They were shooting a scene from Cannon's new Jamaica-based film project, King of The Dancehall.

Cannon on Instagram shared a photo of himself with Turner at the venue, with the caption: "Jamaica that's a wrap!!! Finished at the beautiful @ReachFalls #ReachFalls Dope scene with the talented @kreeshaturner #SexyGal she killed it in #Kingofthedancehall."

Cannon has frequented the island doing castings as well as undergoing dance training for the upcoming movie. Several artistes which span dancehall, rap and R and B, will be making cameo appearances.





My Money Ha Ha singjay killed

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merital-family.jpgThe St James police say there are no motives yet surrounding the death of former Portmore Empire affiliate, Derrick 'Corey' Edwards, a leading member of the Merital Family, based in Montego Bay.

Reports are that at about 12:30am Friday in Iron Shore in the parish, unknown assailants pounced on Edwards, who, reports suggest, was walking to his car, and opened fire. He was shot at least three times in the head and died on the spot.

Edwards, 32, is from Providence in Flankers. The Coral Gardens police are investigating.

The former Portmore Empire member and his Merital Family team rose to prominence with their chart-topping single, My Money, Haha featuring Vybz Kartel.

Several former affiliates of the Vyz Kartel- led Portmore Empire have publicly condemned the killing, namely Jah Vinchi, Lisa Hyper and Gaza Slim.





Teacher commits suicide

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teacher-commits-suicide-diane-vassell.jpgA female teacher is believed to have committed suicide at her home in Malvern St. Elizabeth this morning (May 9).

Dead is 38-year-old Diane Vassell.

Vassell was a Mathematics and Social Studies teacher at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

Reports are that about 7:15 a.m., Mrs. Vassell's husband discovered her body hanging by a piece of rope, in the bathroom. Mrs. Vassell was reportedly undergoing treatment for depression following major surgery.

An alarm was raised and the police summoned.





Schoolgirls jump from moving robot taxi

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Three schoolgirls from a Corporate Area High School reportedly jumped from a moving motor car, while the driver was attempting elude the police in Downtown Kingston on Thursday.This as the driver was allegedly operating the vehicle as an illegal taxi or robot.

However, the driver was apprehend and the school girls, though not seriously injured, received medical attention.The driver, Fredrick Cameron, 48-year-old taxi operator of Kingston 16 was arrested and charged with several breaches of the road traffic act. The motor vehicle was also seized

Reports are that on Thursday afternoon the three school girls were passengers in a Honda fit motorcar being operated by Cameron as an illegal taxi in Downtown Kingston.

On the approach of the police, Cameron reportedly sped away, using roads unfamiliar to the teenagers as an escape route. In a bid to escape, all three teenagers reportedly jumped from the moving motorcar. They were taken to the hospital by the police, where they were treated and released.

Meanwhile, the police are once again appealing to members of the public to utilize the service of legitimate public passenger vehicles only. Additionally, commuters are being reminded that route taxis are illegal in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, as the routes are reserved for JUTC buses.





Rastafari exhibition opens in Mo Bay

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rastafari-singers.jpgResidents in western Jamaica have been given the opportunity to be better informed about the history and nature of the Rastafari movement, through a historical exhibition mounted at National Museum West, located in the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

In keeping with its efforts to foster the development of various aspects of the country's tourism product, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) played a pivotal role in enabling the Rastafari exhibition to be mounted at the Cultural Centre, where it will be displayed for a year.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition recently, Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison, described the mounting of the exhibition and the presence of members of the Rastafari community as "a journey with some distance still left to go," but which stand out as a testament to the spirit of the Jamaican people.

Mr. Harrison cited the strength of the Rastafari culture, "their insistence on being themselves and being accepted for who they are and what they are about."





A man accused of robbing a police officer who was in the process of receiving a facial at a beauty shop off Nugent Street in Spanish Town appeared in the Spanish Town RM Court earlier this week.

The accused, Fabian Edwards, appeared before Resident Magistrate Horace Mitchell on one count of shooting with intent and robbery with aggravation. He pleaded guilty.

His case was transferred to the Gun Court on May 8, 2015.





janiel-morgan-missing.jpgThe cousin of Jamaican 400-metre runner Ricardo Chambers has gone missing.

Eighteen-year-old Janiel Morgan has been missing since Friday. Chambers took to social media website Instagram this morning to plead for the public's help in finding his cousin.

"Help me find my little cousin Janelle Morgan she missing since Friday. she left for school and went missing last seen @ Weymouth Dr Kingston 20 if any see her or know of her please contact (876)430-1537 (876)807-4108 or nearest police station ....$100,000 reward," Chambers said.

Chambers has received a lot of support in spreading the message on social media, including from several fellow athletes such as Warren Weir and Michael Frater.

Weir, in sharing Chambers' post, encouraged persons to "Repost, Share (and) Tag", noting that "it could help save a life."





Abducted six-year-old girl found

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ria Martin, 6, who was allegedly abducted on Tuesday.

A man who was reportedly involved in the abduction is in custody.The police issued an urgent public appeal for assistance in locating Phaedra, after she was snatched from her father.

It was reported that Phaedra was walking with her father, when she was taken away at knife point by two men. They took the child in a car with three persons aboard including a woman.

Head of CTOC, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkiss, says he will be questioned next week.





Bisexual Jamaican man denied asylum in Britain

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A bisexual Jamaican trying to persuade immigration officials in the United Kingdom how gay he was, by presenting even photographs to prove his lifestyle, was flatly denied asylum status and is to be deported.

Reports are that 34-year-old Orashia Edwards, who says he faces danger in his native Jamaica because of his sexuality, will be deported soon, despite having received death threats. According to www.theguardian.com, Edwards had told British authorities he could be killed if he is returned to Jamaica because he is bisexual. Edwards, who is currently being held at Morton Hall immigration removal centre, Lincolnshire, was refused refugee status in December 2013 when an asylum tribunal refused to accept he was bisexual.

He has since been embroiled in a long-running appeals process to have the decision overturned.

Reports are that his supporters insist he has had relationships with men as well as women, including his current same-sex partner, with whom he has been in a relationship with for around two years. Edwards, who spoke to the media from detention, said an asylum tribunal had rejected his claim that he had been in a relationship with a man in Antigua, where he lived for a time before coming to the UK.

He believes his matter was dealt with unjustly because he couldn't remember details of the relationship. Edwards also said he believed the Home Office had unfairly weighted against his claim the fact that he had been married to a woman and has a young daughter.

However, a letter from his then partner, confirming they were an item, had been refused. Edwards acknowledged he was fearful for his life.

He was quoted as saying, "In Jamaica, there is a huge amount of homophobia. If you go into the dancehalls and the clubs, they play music saying 'If you are a ... man, you get a bullet in the head. If you are a ... man, you are condemned. If I go back I will be tortured, I will be killed for sure. Because my case has been covered in Jamaican media, there will be no way for me to hide. I've already received death threats on social media, people say I'm making the country look bad."

His mother, who is a resident of the UK, also said her son will be left without any form of support in Jamaica.





Police appeal for calm in Spanish Town

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The police are appealing to residents of Spanish Town to remain calm in light of the upsurge in violent crimes which has resulted in 58 murders since the start of this year.

A statement from the police says just over 40 per cent of the murders is related to an internal feud over the leadership of the Spanish Town-based Klansman Gang. The police say operational activities in the division have been heightened with a view to increasing public order and safety. They are also appealing to residents not to harbour criminals and give the police information about illegal activities and strangers in their communities.

In the meantime, the St. Catherine North Police have listed five men who are being sought in connection with murders and shootings in the Division. They are: Duran Dennis; Kalonji Tyrell; Alrick Burke; Andre Knight and Kirk Forrester.

The men are being asked to turn themselves in to the Spanish Town Police or the nearest Police Station with their lawyers by 5 o'clocktomorrow afternoon. Anyone knowing their whereabouts should contact Crime Stop at 311, 811 or the 119 emergency number.





nuh-guh-deh-suh-premiere-no-maddz.jpgWith current public discussion and growing awareness about the sexual abuse of girls in Jamaica, the "Nuh Guh Deh" campaign to end sex with the girl child has developed a song and video as one of the ways to advance its efforts.

Eve for Life, a non-governmental organization and NoMaddz Band, with support of the United Nations in Jamaica, have teamed up to produce a song and video to prevent sexual violence against girls.

The song, "Nuh Guh Deh" reflects the theme of the public advocacy campaign that urges Jamaicans to speak up and condemn sexual violence against young girls. It was launched on Saturday May 2 at Emancipation Park, in-front of a large audience consisting of government officials and parliamentarians, International Development Partners, Civil Society representatives and other Jamaicans.

Speaking at the launch, Rushell, a survivor of child sexual abuse, bravely related how she was raped by her stepfather at nine years old. She explained that in addition to the pain and trauma she experienced as a result of this violation, she was further humiliated by family and community members who sought to blame her instead of the perpetrator.

"People made me, a little primary school child, feel like I had brought shame and disgrace on the family. My own mother avoided talking about what happened and said "she bring disgrace to the family." "People in the community started to label me a bad influence. They called me names. Everyone thought the worst of me. It was like I was the criminal and not my stepfather. I was discriminated against. After all the hurt my stepfather inflicted on me, I was further hurt, hated and traumatized by family members and the community."

Rushell appealed to the audience to take strong steps to ensure that no other child experiences what she had. She pleaded with Jamaicans to protect children, report the sexual abuse of minors and send the clear 'Nuh Guh Deh' message to rapists, abusers and perpetrators of such a horrific crime.

Patricia Watson, Executive Director, Eve for Life, stressed the important role and responsibility of communities and individuals in ending sexual violence against girls and protecting children. She noted that neighbours and community members should be the first to report these crimes to the police and State agencies instead of waiting until after the fact to voice suspicions.

"Jamaican brothers and sisters for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, little sisters, our little primary school and high school girls, to save them from abuse, to save them from early pregnancy, to save them from HIV, to save their very lives and to save their future, PLEASE I am begging you to join us to tell ALL ABUSERS and ALL THOSE WHO ENABLE ABUSE - NUH GUH DEH!, she declared.

Dr. Arun Kashyap UN Resident Coordinator in Jamaica congratulated Eve for Life for its drive and determination to help young girls and for its strategic partnerships with the UN and other partners including NoMaddz, to get the message to end sexual abuse of the girl child, all across the island. He said the UN is taking an integrated approach to address sexual violence against children.

Sheldon Shepherd of NoMaddz says he hopes the song and video will catch on with Jamaican audiences and that they will be motivated to be the change that is so badly needed to bring an end to the pain and suffering of thousands of young girls who are sexually abused.





A female Metropolitan police officer was stabbed by an ex-metropolitan policeman in an establishment known as 'Fada Bar' off Young Street in Spanish Town on Monday night.

The two are reportedly involved in a relationship which produced a child. However, the relationship appeared to turn abusive because of the jealous nature of the ex policeman. The police confirmed that the female cop was attacked by him on a previous occasion with a chair and this attack eventually led to his dismissal from his job as a municipal police officer.

"Metro-cops" are employed by municipalities to carry out law and order activities which supplement the duties of members of the regular police force.

The young man, who plies the trade of a barber in Portmore, allegedly attacked his babymother while she was in the bar. She was stabbed in the back with a long knife.

The extent of her wounds are reportedly very serious. Not long after the attack, she was transferred from the Spanish Town Hospital to the Kingston Public Hospital where she remains in stable but serious condition. In the meantime, the spouse has been taken into custody by the Spanish Town Police.





Jamaican scammer convicted in the US

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A 25-year-old Jamaican man was convicted on Thursday for his role in a lottery scam that U.S. authorities say cost victims around the country millions of dollars.

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Bismarck had deliberated since Tuesday afternoon before reaching a verdict in the case of Sanjay Williams,25, of Montego Bay. He was found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering and faces up to 40 years in prison.

Investigators described Williams primarily as a "lead broker" who bought and sold "sucker lists" of potential victims. He was the only one of 32 defendants to opt for trial; about a dozen defendants are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams was arrested in North Carolina, where prosecutors say he had associates in the scam.

Defense attorney Charlie Stock said he hadn't decide on whether there would be an appeal. "I need to speak with Mr. Williams to see where he wants to go," he said.

Prosecutors said the case came to light four years ago when Edna Schmeets, 86, of Harvey, North Dakota, received a call from a man who told her she had won $19 million and a new car, and needed only to pay taxes and fees. The process dragged on until the widow's savings were wiped out, a sum of about $300,000.





Six-year-old girl abducted

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Investigators are on the hunt for several persons, including a woman, who allegedly abducted a 6 year old girl who is at the centre of a custody battle.

The police issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, appealing to the public to assist in locating the child, who has been identified as Phaedra Martin of Berwick Road, Kingston 13.

It's reported that Phaedra was walking with her father on Ransford Avenue about 1:30 p.m on Tuesday afternoon when they were approached by two men, one armed with a knife. They reportedly took the child into a car, which was parked along the road, with three persons aboard, including a woman. They then fled the scene.

A statement from the police says Phaedra is of brown complexion and slim build. She was dressed in blue school uniform, blue socks, black shoes and was carrying a pink bag.

The police are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of Phaedra Martin and her abductors to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch, Crime Stop at 311, the 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





us-naval-hospital-ship.jpgJamaicans are to benefit from medical services offered by the United States Navy hospital ship, 'Comfort', starting today (Wednesday).

The hospital ship is docked at the Kingston Container Terminal.

The medical personnel on board will carry out procedures as well as outreach activities at the National Arena and the Maxfield Park Health Centre, from May 6-13.The ship's visit to Jamaica forms part of its six-month humanitarian mission across the Caribbean region. It is expected that hundreds of Jamaicans will receive medical during the ship's stay.

United States Marine Corporal, Philip Henry, one of three Jamaican-born personnel working on the ship, said that the visit is part of efforts to sustain the partnership between the United States and neighbouring countries.

"Its primary purpose is to continue the partnership between the United States and neighbouring countries in Southern and Central America and the Caribbean. The medical personnel will carry out different medical procedures. They will also exchange whatever expertise they have with local medical personnel," he said.

Medical services to be provided include optometry, dentistry, general medical, women's health and paediatrics. Corporal Henry pointed out that the ship will be off-loading several items which will be donated to selected institutions.

"We have school supplies, medical supplies and construction supplies, and these will be going out to the local communities in Kingston and some locations in St. Catherine," he said.

Additionally, they will provide engineering services to schools in Kingston & St. Andrew and participate in several community relations activities as well as carry out veterinary procedures with local veterinarians.

The ship is expected to depart on May 14.





warren-weir.jpgJamaican sprinter Warren Weir criticized U.S. sprinter Ryan Bailey for disrespecting track and field and Usain Bolt after mocking Bolt's "To Di World" pose with a throat-slash gesture (video here) at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday night.

"Especially when you are a little nobody, you really are to show more respect to those who are leading the way and those who have accomplished way more than you have," Weir said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

"He disrespected track and field. He also said that Bolt is 'somewhat of an icon,' he is an icon and he was not showing enough respect, not just to Bolt, but to the sport. As an athlete, I feel like he was disrespecting me and as a member of this Jamaican team, I also felt upset and disrespected about it. This is just the beginning."

Weir, the 2012 Olympic 200m bronze medalist, and Bailey also went back and forth on social media.

Bailey and the U.S. beat Bolt and Jamaica in the 4x100m relay on Saturday, a race that Weir was not a part of. Bailey received the baton for his anchor leg with a lead on Bolt. Bolt ran a faster leg but could not make up the entire deficit. It was the first time the U.S. defeated Bolt in a global championship race since 2007.

The next night, Weir anchored Jamaica to a 4x200m relay victory without Bolt, who reportedly sat out as a precaution due to a minor hamstring injury. Bailey was not part of the 4x200m relay. The Jamaican team celebrated on the medal stand by doing Bolt's "To Di World" pose.

The U.S. and Jamaican 4x100m teams, likely with Bolt, perhaps with Bailey and unlikely with Weir, could go head to head again at the World Championships in Beijing in August.





Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, says she is gathering information on reports that a policeman on a sex offence charge is leading a youth group at a Seventh-day (SDA) church in St Andrew.

A rift has reportedly been developed among members of the church over the role of Sergeant Dalton Leslie who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. He was granted bail last week.

However, some members are questioning why he's being allowed to lead an all-male youth group involving underage boys at the church.

They say Leslie remains the guardian of an underage boy who attends the church.

The Children's Advocate says the situation is untenable even though Leslie has not been convicted of any crime. She says as a precautionary measure he should not be allowed unsupervised access to underage children.

Meanwhile, the East Jamaica Conference, which oversees the church, says it is also gathering information. Head of communications for the organisation, Phillip Castel, says he cannot comment until he has all the details.

Peter Champagnie, the policeman's attorney said that he was not aware of the roles being played by his client at the church.

He says he is making checks.





The lip-locked photo of two female students of an all-girls institution in St Andrew has gone viral. It has surfaced on a social networking site, Facebook, and has received widespread condemnation from the site's users.

The photo, which contains different frames of the schoolgirls dressed in uniform, shows them sitting in each other's lap suggestively and intimately holding on to each other as if in a relationship.

The photo appears to have been shot at the school and the largest frame has the girls passionately sharing a kiss with eyes closed.

When the school was contacted, an administrator reportedly said that she was not aware of the picture because she had not seen it.

However, the principal's secretary later explained tha, "The principal is not available for comment. We are dealing with the situation internally."





health-minister-fenton-ferguson.jpgThe United Union of Jamaica (UUJ) has raised concern that complaints of a shortage of supplies in the public health sector have not been addressed.

President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association Dr Alfred Dawes recently revealed that his members do not have the proper supplies.These include soap cut in half instead of the antibacterial solutions needed to prevent the transfer of bacteria to patients and garbage bags instead of surgical aprons in operating theatres. UUJ President James Francis says when shortages are reported, they are met with complaints of a lack of funding.

"I am calling on the Minister of Health to rise up and do something. I'm not calling for his removal yet...I am asking the Prime minister, Minister of Finance, to call an emergency meeting with Dr. Fenton Ferguson to get the matter sorted out,' he said.

On Friday. The JMA said the public health system is on the brink of collapse with hospitals lacking equipment vital for surgeries and doctors have working in sub-standard conditions that pose serious risk to patients and themselves.





Two cops dead in murder-suicide

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murder-suicide-cops.jpgTwo police constables from St Ann were on Sunday confirmed dead. They are Kemo Walsh and Andewale Smith.

Reports are that today would've been Smith's birthday and that the men were out celebrating at a bar in Ocho Rios, St Ann. It is alleged that there was an altercation between the two and Constable Walsh was shot.

While Walsh was being transported by police officers to hospital, Smith allegedly shot himself. Constable Smith was also in the motor vehicle being used to transport Walsh to hospital.

Investigations are ongoing.





negril.jpgEnvironment Minister Robert Pickersgill says buildings being constructed in Negril, Westmoreland can now be up to four storeys high as an adjustment has been made to the Negril Development Order to allow for the maximum height. The Order is among four provisional orders announced by Pickersgill last year. The other three were for Portland, Trelawny and Manchester.

He said other Development Orders are on stream to be published this financial year.

The Government is said to be on target to have the entire island regulated by Development Orders under the Town and Country Planning Act by the end of the 2016/2017 financial year. Meanwhile, improvements are to be made to the development approval process. Following complaints by stakeholders, discussions were held with representatives from the public and private sectors to review the procedure.

The Environment and Local Government Ministries made recommendations which were approved by Cabinet last December.

Pickersgill says a draft implementation plan, which includes time-lines, has been completed, and is being finalised for Cabinet approval.





Jamaica cited for copyright piracy

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copyright.jpgJamaica is among several countries which have been cited by the US authorities for copyright piracy.

The U.S Trade Representative has released the 2015 Special 301 Report which has Jamaica on a watch list of 24 countries which have been deficient in protecting intellectual property.

This comes a week after the Broadcasting Commission announced that 19 channels are to be removed from local cable operators, because they did not acquire the rights to broadcast them.

According to the U.S Trade Representative the countries on the list have not provided an adequate level of intellectual property rights protection or enforcement.

The countries have also not provided market access to persons relying on intellectual property protection.

Other countries on the watch list are Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Greece, Mexico and Kuwait.





More complaints from China Harbour workers

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granville-valentine.jpgWage complaints continue to plague the operations of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in Jamaica, with workers on the North/South leg of Highway 2000 citing discrepancies in overtime payments as a recurring problem.

At various times, starting in late 2014, construction of the highway has been interrupted, with workers walking off the job in protest against their rate of pay and the terms and conditions of their work.

One man who operates one of the heavy-duty earth movers on the site, told RJR news that workers were frustrated at the failure of the company to honour a promise to increase workers' pay, and what he claimed was the Government's failure to intervene on behalf of the workers.

In response to the latest complaint, Granville Valentine, General Secretary of the National Workers Union, says he will be investigating the matter, particularly in respect of overtime payments.





Triple murder in Central Village

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central-village-triple-murder.jpgThree persons were shot dead early Saturday morning in a community known as Compound, in Central Village, St. Catherine.

The bodies of two men and a woman were found inside a house.

According to the police, two of the victims were shot, execution style, while the other was killed while attempting to escape.

Residents reported hearing explosions about 1:30 a.m. and called the police.

The police arrived sometime before 7 o'clock.





Carmax CEO denied bail again

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Chief Executive Officer of CARMAX Jamaica, Darren Blake, who is charged with several counts of fraud was again denied bail when he appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Friday.

Prosecutors reported that the Fraud Squad was still receiving complaints against CARMAX, two weeks after Blake was taken into custody.

The cops are searching for another former Director, Ian Lyn, for questioning.The Crown also reported that the alleged fraud has increased to J$217 million.

Scores of complainants packed into the courtroom today in the hope of hearing whether Mr Blake will be able to refund them their money. His attorney Raymond Clough argued that Blake cannot assist the complainants while in custody.

Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece said she was concerned Blake could flee the country if released on bond and ordered him remanded until May 26.

CARMAX Jamaica came under investigation last month after customers complained that the company sold vehicles on their behalf but has not paid over the money.





'Donkey' stabbed to death in Spanish Town

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A man known as "Donkey" was stabbed repeatedly and killed in his home in the area known as "Brooklyn" in the Thompson Pen area of Spanish Town sometime between last night to this morning.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the man was stabbed repeatedly by unknown assailants and his body transported from his house and dumped in a nearby gully. Residents found the body this morning and summoned the police.

The CCU said that details are sketchy as to the motive for the killing, and the police are yet to ascertain the man's real name.

The area has been plagued by inter-gang violence caused by a power struggle in the feared Clansman gang. Two men were killed earlier this week in the area in a separate incident.





Wanted man killed by his cronies

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The spate of shootings and killings continues unabated in sections of Spanish Town.

Among the latest victims is Orane Malcolm, aka "Sci fi", a 29-year-old man of a Kingston address. Sci Fi was killed by unknown assailants on Wednesday night. It was announced earlier this week that Sci Fi was wanted by cops in the St Catherine North division.

The Corporate Communications Unit has confirmed that sometime after 9 pm in the Thompson Pen area, gun shots were heard and the police summoned. Upon reaching the scene, the deceased was found lying on his chest with what appeared to be gunshot wounds. His body was taken to the morgue pending a post mortem examination.

On Thursday morning, there was another body found in the gully in the area known as 'Brooklyn', which is also located off Thompson Pen Road. It is not yet ascertained if that gunshot victim was shot in the same incident, and then later fell to his demise in the gully. Up to 9:30 am this morning, the body was still in the gully.





keri-dorman.jpgSeveral persons in Montego Bay have expressed sadness at the death of Cornwall College teacher Keri Doman.

Doman reportedly passed away in her sleep earlier this week.

"Her husband found her unresponsive in bed, early yesterday morning. Keri and her husband, had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary and she was pregnant with twins," the Cornwall College Old Boys' Association wrote on Facebook.

"This is a very sad time for our Cornwall family, particularly her students, colleagues, certainly her husband and her family. Our prayers, heartfelt condolences go out to them all. R I P Keri. Sleep well dear precious one. Trod on...", the post continued.

Other persons have paid tribute to Doman on Facebook.





A police sergeant from the St Andrew south division, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, was offered bail in the sum of $250,000 in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.

He is charged with buggery.

The sergeant was charged yesterday following a ruling handed by the director of public prosecutions.

In court, defence attorney Peter Champagnie told Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey that his client strongly denied the allegations.

The magistrate told the policeman that he is not to communicate with the witnesses.

He is to return to court on July 22 for a preliminary hearing into the matter.





A woman was reportedly stabbed to death on Sunday after blabbering about her boyfriend's oral sex practices.The deceased woman has been identified as Khadian Webb of a Wint Road, Kingston 11 address.

According to a police source, Webb reportedly told the friends of a man, believed to be her lover, that he had performed oral sex on her.

"She mentioned to his friends in a crowd that he did oral sex on her," revealed the source.

This led to an argument between Webb and the man, resulting in her being stabbed. Webb later died at hospital.

According to the police's Corporate Communication's Unit, the 26-year-old woman was killed in her community around 6:15 p.m. She died as a result of the knife wounds she sustained during a dispute between the man and herself.

The police are said to be continuing their investigations into the incident.





2 men killed in downtown Kingston

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shocked.jpgTwo persons are dead and another two, including a male student, injured after a shooting spree in downtown Kingston on Tuesday afternoon.

One of the dead persons is reportedly a gunman who attacked a man and shot him several times before being challenged by cops who shot him dead during a shootout.

The incident took place in the parade area of downtown Kingston where students and workers gather to get public transportation to their homes.

The area has been tense for weeks amid an internal feud among members of the 'Spanglers' gang, following the shooting of an 11-month-old baby weeks ago.

The child was shot from its mother's hands after two gunmen chased a man into a yard and opened fire wildly. Police have been posted at Love Lane and Chancery Street to prevent any further reprisals but the killings continue unabated.

It has not yet been ascertained if Tuesday's incident was connected with the ongoing gang warfare.





BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) - An elderly widow who authorities say was among dozens of victims of a Jamaican lottery scam told jurors in federal court she lost about $300,000 and borrowed against her insurance policy with the hopes of collecting $19 million to help her family.

Edna Schmeets, 86, testified Monday in the trial of Sanjay Williams, one of 32 defendants charged in a global case that authorities say involves at least 72 victims, most of them elderly. Several people have pleaded guilty and 14 defendants are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, is the first person to go to trial.

Williams, who is from Jamaica but was arrested when he flew into North Carolina, came into court wearing orange prison clothes and carrying two garbage bags that appeared to contain documents and books. After trial recessed for the day, he asked US District Judge Daniel Hovland if he could have a laptop at his desk Tuesday to review DVDs. Hovland agreed.

Schmeets calmly recounted a series of phone calls from scammers who wanted "another check and another check and another check" from her in order to cover taxes and fees for the purported prize. She said she eventually became suspicious of the lottery, but by that time had emptied her savings account.

"I was feeling pretty bad because they said, 'Absolutely don't tell anybody about this,' until I got the $19 million," she said.

One of the banks contacted Schmeets' children about big checks she was writing to Shannon O'Connor in Florida, and eventually the case reached the FBI after the family filed a complaint. FBI Agent Frank Gasper testified Monday he travelled to Florida to interview and arrest O'Connor, and that opened the door to the wide-ranging case.

Prosecutor Nick Chase said in his opening statement that Williams sold lists of potential victims to scammers, known as "lead lists" or "sucker lists." Some of them were on Williams' website gamblersleads.com, Chase said.

Schmeets, whose husband died in 2010, said she was first contacted in the fall of 2011 by someone who identified himself as Newton Bennett. Authorities say she was the first victim in the scam.

"Edna Schmeets was very excited. She thought it was a great opportunity to help her children and grandchildren," Chase said. "But there was no prize."

Defense attorney Charlie Stock told jurors that a lot of people accused in the scam used fake names and IDs and said they are not credible witnesses in the case.

"How do you believe any of them?" he asked.

O'Connor has pleaded guilty.

One of the defendants charged in the case is a prominent Jamaican disc jockey. Deon-ville O'Hara, also known as ZJ Wah Wa, has pleaded guilty.





Clansman boss Tesha Miller's brother killed

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tesha-miller-photo-1.jpgThe brother of incarcerated Clansman gang boss Tesha Miller is among four murder victims in the old capital of Spanish Town between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Police have ramped up their efforts to keep a lid on the escalating violence between former cronies of the notorious gang that has been imploding for more than a year. The communities of Quarry Hill, Dela Vega City and Lakes Pen have been saturated with cops.

The dead man has been identified as Tashoy Miller.

Police report that they were called to a scene after loud explosions were heard. When they arrived, Miller's crumpled body was found lying in its own blood in front of a business establishment. The incident happened minutes after 8:00 am on Monday.

Members of the Clansman gang have long been at odds over leadership of the once organised criminal outfit and a number of lives have been lost. At least three of Tesha Miller's siblings have been killed in the conflict.

On Sunday evening, 30-year-old Lucien Simpson, otherwise called Kevin, of Dempshire Pen in Spanish Town, was slaughtered. Another man was also injured. Simpson and the injured man were reportedly among a group of persons when two gunmen pounced and opened fire. Both were taken to hospital where Simpson was pronounced dead and the other man admitted.

The other murdered persons were killed in spate incidents in Portmore.

A man, who is yet to be identified was shot and killed in Gregory Park. The body was clad in a black sweater, white short pants, and a pair of blue and white Nike slippers. The police say he is about five-feet-six-inches long.

Nineteen-year-old Ackeen Glanville of Confidence Avenue in Mandeville, Manchester, was shot dead by unknown assailants at Port Henderson Road.





No evidence that Jamaican teen was ISIS recruit

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe police have confirmed that their investigations have uncovered evidence that the 15 year old St. Mary boy held two weeks ago was being recruited by the terrorist group ISIS.

However, in a statement on Sunday, the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) said the teenager's actions had aroused suspicion.

It said the matter was triggered by peculiarities concerning the boy's travel arrangements.Including the fact that he was a first time traveler, was traveling as an unaccompanied minor on a trip that would require international connections and using a route that has become the focus of security concerns in the region.

The route booked for the minor, would involve him traveling from Jamaica with connections in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and The Netherlands ending in Istanbul, Turkey.

The police say this route has been under international scrutiny as it is a known route for persons traveling to join ISIS.

In addition to the particular concerns about the route being traveled, investigators said there were other issues that elicited the focus of intelligence efforts.

These include: the claim that the student would be staying at a particular hotel in Istanbul although there was no hotel in the name provided, there was no evidence his grandmother would be traveling to Turkey despite the boy's claim and the inability of family members to assist the police in clearing up several of the anomalies that emerged during the investigation.

As the probe continues, the police are giving the assurance that extreme care will be taken to avoid any infringement of individuals' freedom of religion. On Sunday, it was reported that lawyers for the 15 year old boy are to sue the State.They will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages for false arrest and defamation of character.





12-year-old-murdered.jpg

A post mortem examination conducted on the body of 12-year-old Jamelia Johnson has concluded that she was not pregnant. The police are also awaiting the results of tests conducted on the child to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted.

Jamelia's body was found in bushes at Riversdale in St Catherine last week, two days after she was reported missing. Irate residents of the community torched the house of one of her relatives and blamed them for her untimely demise. The police were forced to escort her relatives from the area for their own protection.

A man who was taken into custody in connection with her murder has been released while police in the parish interrogated her mother on Friday.





pj-patterson.jpgNew York - Western Union and GraceKennedy will hold their annual town hall series from May 4th to May 8th, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York; Toronto Canada and Miramar, Florida under the theme, "The Caribbean Diaspora - Borderless Possibilities." The keynote speaker for this year's series is the P.J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and President of Heis Consults Ltd.

"These forums are very important to us as they provide an excellent opportunity to engage the Caribbean diaspora - not just to network with our customers and get their feedback but also importantly, to encourage their participation in the discussion about issues that are critical to their home countries. Their contribution is very valuable as we explore ways to continue the development and promotion of the Caribbean while improving the quality of lives for those who live within the region," said Michelle Allen, Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Money Services.

This year's discussion topics include "Corporate social responsibility - changing lives, cultivating generations through educational investment." Western Union and GraceKennedy will also share information on their commitment to education and support of the diaspora.

Each session will include a question and answer segment following the keynote speaker's presentation. Please visit www.networkcaribbean.ca for more details and to register.





Police and ministers of religion met with members of the Drumilly community in St. Ann Saturday morning within hours of a double murder in the deep rural district.

Dead are 24 year old Demar Smith, also called Chunky, a bus conductor of Drumilly, and his girlfriend 15-year-old Amoya Brown, of Good Hope, Clarendon. The two were chopped to death just before day break at Smith's house.

Members of the community immediately went in search of a man, who like Smith, was a tenant at the house.

Up to news time, there was no information on his whereabouts, but police have asked the man who they have not named, to make contact with the police.

In the meantime, Smith's sister, Sidonie Smith, was distraught and said her brother was killed for nothing at all. She said there seemed to be a dispute over electricity, which she said had been cut off to a section of the house, her brother occupied. Even as community members searched for the alleged killer, the St. Ann police community safety and security branch, led by Sgt. Lorna West-Small took a team to the scene for grief counselling.

Among them were Inspector in charge of Claremont Velrose Wilson, Methodist Minister Racquel Clemmings and Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Bancroft Lopez. The community members, including siblings of Smith, were addressed by the police who asked for their cooperation.

The numbers of senior police officers for St. Ann were given out for easy reach by community members. The church leaders also prayed with the community members.





Kenny Benjamin's Serenity Farms up for sale

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The Kenny Benjamin-led Guardsman Group has put its recreational property in St Catherine up for sale.

Serenity Farms, located in Bushy Park, St. Catherine was once marketed as a tourist destination for families looking to get away from the city to experience nature and a relaxing retreat.

The property consists of flat farmland with development potential with access to water, electricity and includes several buildings, ponds and a house.





ian-lyn.jpgWanted for questioning by the Fraud Squad, Ian Lyn, the former director of Carmax Jamaica Limited, has broken his silence, declaring that he is not a thief, even as the cops say allegations of impropriety against the company he formerly ran has climbed to $160 million.

"First of all, let's make it clear that I am not a director of Carmax, since last October. I haven't been the head of operations for six months. Second, I am not a thief, because that is diametrically opposed to who I am. And third, the allegations are far from the truth," Lyn told The Sunday Gleaner by telephone from an undisclosed location overseas.

According to Lyn, he was never the majority shareholder in the company which traded in used cars. He added that he did not flee Jamaica to avoid possible fraud charges, similar to those levelled against Daren Blake, a director in Carmax.

"I am out of the country on business. I am many things, but I am not a thief. It is against who I am and everything that I strive to do for all the years of my business life," reiterated Lyn, a former president of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers' Association.

However, Lyn refused to say when he would be returning to Jamaica to face the music, following a plea from the Fraud Squad for him to turn himself in for questioning. Instead, the car dealer referred our news team to his lawyer, Shantez Stewart. The attorney later said he is taking instructions from his client and could not say when Lyn will make himself available to the cops.

"My client advised me to go to the Fraud Squad and present certain information, which I did. Having done that, we will now allow all the processes of the judicial system to proceed," said Stewart.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, has already indicated that the police are considering their options, following Lyn's failure to turn himself in.

Last week, auto broker Roderick Byles obtained a Supreme Court order which placed Carmax into receivership. The assets of Blake and Lyn, who holds an American passport, were also placed into receivership.





Lambert Brown lashes out at critics

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lambert-brown.jpgOne of the persons re-appointed to the National Housing Trust, NHT, Board has come out swinging amid calls that he and three previous members should not remain Directors of the entity.

Trade unionist Lambert Brown says the arguments presented for him and the three Directors to be removed from the Housing Trust Board are baseless. Mr. Brown last night declared that he will remain a Director. He said a request was made and he agreed to stay on. He noted that the audit did not speak to corruption or the incompetence of the members.

Brown, Percival Latouche, Robert Buddan and Office of the Prime Minister representative Sonia Hyman have been retained on the new Board, which will be led by former Cabinet Secretary Dr. Carlton Davis.

And at least one civil society advocate is taking issue with the reappointment of the four NHT Directors. Carol Narcisse says the Prime Minister missed an opportunity to address the negative perception of the entity's Board.

She described the re-appointments as astounding. She said in the wake of the public outcry and auditor general's report she does not understand how the Prime Minister re-appointed those members.





Dr Carlton Davis new NHT chairman

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carlton-davis.jpgDr. Carlton Davis, a former Cabinet Secretary, is the new Chairman of the National Housing Trust (NHT), replacing Easton Douglas.

Daisy Coke, an actuary, is Deputy Chairman.

This is the second occasion that Dr. Davis will be serving as NHT Chairman, having done so in the early 1990s.

Some other members of the NHT's new Board are Robert Buddan, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, Senator Lambert Brown and Lisa Harrison.

Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer made the announcement on Wednesday at a Jamaica House media briefing.





19 cable channels ordered removed

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broadcasting-commission-cordel-green.jpgSubscribers to cable television in Jamaica will see their viewing options reduced by the end of May as the Broadcasting Commission has ordered the removal of 19 channels, due to copyright breaches.

The channels to be removed, in the first instance, are Encore Black, Showtime East, Encore Family, Showtime West, Encore Love, Showtime TOO, Encore Suspense, Showtime 2, Encore WAM, Showtime Showcase, Encore Classic, Starz Comedy, Encore Drama, Starz West, Encore Mystery, Starz Kids & Family, Encore Movie Plex, Starz Multiplex, and The Movie Channel Xtra

Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Commission said the action being taken was in an effort to regularize access to these channels and ensure that "Jamaica's reputation is not sullied." It was, he said, "the natural outcome of a process, which began with a comprehensive coypright audit." Furthermore, he said, there were some rights holders "who are becoming far more aggressive in protecting their content."

Additionally, he said, "there is more content also being acquired by local television stations; there are channel owners who have invested in programmes that they themselves don't create, which are programmes from other channels that they go and purchase to make up their offerings, and we have to see about whether their content is being devalued if they are in the same market legally, competing with other channels that are in the market illegally.

Asked what might be the implications for Jamaica, should this action not be sustained, Mr. Green cited trade issues that would arise. Intellectual property rights are part of bilateral trade agreements and treaties, he said, warning that "any disregard for rights holders abroad might be reciprocated," noting that Jamaica also creates content, which must be protected.

Nine of the channels are from Encore, five from the Showtime group, four from Starz and the channel known as The Movie Channel Extra. CAPTION:Cordel Green, Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission





12-year-old-murdered.jpgResidents of Barnes Avenue, off Maxfield Avenue in St. Andrew on Friday morning protested the beating of a 22 year old woman by a gunman earlier in the morning. The incident occurred shortly after midnight.

The young woman has been admitted to hospital.

According to the police, she was standing with friends at the intersection of Maxfield Avenue and Whitfield Avenue when a man approached them.

The man reportedly pulled a gun and dragged the young woman to an abandoned building along nearby Barnes Avenue where he attempted to sexually assault her. She resisted and was hit repeatedly in the head with the gun. The man also smashed her head against the pavement.

The police were called and she was taken to hospital.

12-y-o girl murdered; residents blame parents, burn house to the ground

The identity of the 12-year-old girl who was found dead in bushes in the Riversdale community here this morning has been released. She is Jameila Johnson, a student of the Harewood Primary School in the parish, who reportedly went missing on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education has corroborated earlier police reports, stating that Jamelia asked her grandmother for tissue paper and proceeded to the outdoor pit latrine. A three-day search was launched, ending in the discovery of the decomposed remains of the child.

Yesterday, a group of angry residents, after learning about the little girl's death, went to her family's home and set the house on fire. The child's mother and grandmother were also attacked by the mob and had to be escorted from the community by the police.The group claimed that it was neglect by the family that led to the child's death.

The ministry has since condemned the killing citing that it is "distressed at the senseless killing of the nation's children".

"We grieve with the relatives and friends of Jameila Johnson," it said in a media release Friday.

Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites has expressed sadness over the killing of Jameila. He says that guidance counsellors from the ministry's regional office will provide grief and trauma sessions to the affected students and staff.

Since the start of the year, two other young girls have suffered similar fates. Santoya Campbell, a 14-year-old Westmoreland girl went missing on January 26 and her body was found two days later stuffed in garbage bags under a bridge.

According to the grief-stricken relatives, Santoya, who was a grade eight student of Frome Technical High, did not reach school after leaving her home early the morning she went missing. Similarly, another 14-year-old girl, identified as Kayalicia Simpson of a St Thomas community was hacked to death and her mutilated body dumped metres from her house on March 3.

Police reports are that about 5:00 am that day the grade eight student went outside her house as she prepared for school. About half-an-hour later her body was found lying face down in bushes close to the one-room wooden structure in which she lived. Post-mortem reports on the 14-year-old girls later revealed that they were both pregnant at the time of their deaths.





Carmax director denied bail

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carmax.jpgCarmax Jamaica Ltd Director Darren Blake was on Thursday denied bail in the in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court as the court felt that he would interfere with the ongoing fraud investigation.

At the same time, the court was informed that 88 people have filed complaints and the amount defrauded is now at J$162 million.

?Blake was remanded into custody until May 1.

Blake was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13, for several counts of fraudulent conversion, following reports from a number of people who allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles.





Sign bearing PJ Patterson's name stolen

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pj-patterson-prime-minister.jpgThe sign bearing the name of P.J Patterson, a former prime minister of Jamaica, on a section of Highway 2000 has been stolen.

The official renaming of that section of the Highway took place last Friday, but Stephen Shaw, Communication and Customer Service Manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) confirmed that the sign has been stolen.

He said a new sign will be erected shortly.





Shocking revelation at West Kingston Enquiry

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west-kingston-enquiry.jpgThere was a shocking revelation at the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry about what was purported to be a copy of the Jamaica Gazette Supplement dated May 13, 2010.

The document, which contained a proclamation about a State of Emergency, was previously tendered into evidence. However, Supervisor in the Gazette Department at the Jamaica Printing Services, Dempsha Thompson, said the document was fake.

He made the revelation during his examination in chief by Counsel for the Commission Simone Mayhew. He pointed out to the Commission a number of errors including inconsistent page numbering and format.

Having taken the Commission through the series of faults with the document, he was asked by Chairman

Thompson testified that the gazette produced by his office was done on May 24, 2010, which was a public holiday. He said the document for publication was delivered to the Jamaica Printing Services by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force 15 minutes after he arrived for work.

The three member panel looking into the May 2010 security forces operations during the hunt for Christopher "Dudus" Coke will be touring sections of West Kingston on Friday. The tour , scheduled to begin at 9:30am will last for approximately three hours.

A report from the Office of the Public Defender said 74 civilians and a member of the Jamaica Defence Force were killed in West Kingston during the operations.

Ellington testifies

Former Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, denied that the High Command had prior knowledge that the Government would have authorised the execution of a warrant for the arrest of Christopher Coke.

Ellington was being cross examined by attorney representing the Office of the Public Defender, Lord Anthony Gifford.

The former Commissioner testified that when the announcement was made that the authorities would be proceeding with the warrant he was not surprised.





Huge ganja find in Portland

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ganja-seized.jpgThe Portland police on Thursday seized a large quantity of ganja at Burlington in Snow Hill during an operation in the parish to clamp down on praedial larceny.

Deputy Superintendent in charge of operations at the Portland Police, Patrick Bennett, said no one was arrested, however, they will be pursuing the owner of the property.

"This is just a small step in the right direction as it relates to the reduction of praedial larceny," he said.

Bennett added that police have not received tickets to issue to persons who are in possession of more than two ounces of ganja following an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.





Lawyer Jade Hollis arrested

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Cops from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged 47-year-old Jade Hollis, an attorney-at-law of Caribbean Close, Kingston 10 with four counts of fraudulent conversion on Tuesday.

Hollis was collared at the Norman Manley International Airport upon her return to the island at about 12:30 pm, following a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions Office (DPP). Hollis was retained as a carriage of sales of a real estate company and allegedly fraudulently collected over $12 million.

She is to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, May 13. Her bail was set at $3 million with surety.





Children's home for teen terror suspect

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isis-photo-2.jpgThe lawyer representing the 16-year-old St Mary boy, suspected of trying to join terror group ISIS in the Middle East, is to appear in the Supreme Court on Wednesday to get him released from custody.

The Family Court on Tuesday ordered that the Child Development Agency house the youth in a children's home instead of a juvenile centre? in Kingston.

At the same time the judge transferred the matter to St Mary, saying she had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

This, according to a source, ?despite the police saying they had no further interest in the teen.

The teen's legal team wants him to be released in the care of his father.





norman-manley-airport.jpgThe Government has announced that five potential bidders will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal stage for the privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport.

They have been identified and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team, which has been established to supervise the privatisation process.

Making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr the Hon. Omar Davies, said the five firms are from Europe, Asia and South America.

"We take particular pleasure in the fact that two shortlisted consortiums include Jamaican partners. I have also been informed that a third is actively seeking collaboration with Jamaican firms involved in the aviation industry," the Minister noted.

Dr. Davies informed the House that bidding documents will be issued at the beginning of June, and it is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by early next year.





dudus-disguise.jpgFormer Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, said the reason why no reports were made of criminal activity in the former garrison community was because Christopher 'Dudus' Coke's criminal gang ruled with an iron fist and enforced a code of silence.

He made the disclosure during the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry on Tuesday.

"The police were prevented from investigating murders and other crimes because the gang enforced a code of silence.

"It was nearly impossible to carry out normal policing duties there," Ellington said during cross-examination from attorney representing the residents of Tivoli Gardens, Alexander Williams.





Cops make appeal to Carmax fraud victims

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carmax.jpgThe police are again appealing to members of the public who may have been defrauded by the Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC).

The appeal is renewed contrary to reports carried in a section of the media on Monday that investigators might have to consider whether to stop taking complaints.

Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited Daren Blake, was arrested and charged on Friday, March 13 for the offence Fraudulent Conversion, following reports of several persons who allegedly entrusted him to sell their motor vehicles. However, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved unsuccessful.

He appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on March 27, however the matter was postponed until Friday, May 1.

The C-TOC has intensified its probe and is appealing to possible victims to come forward and make their reports to C-TOC at 967-1389.





Cops kill St Thomas wanted man

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Ricky Ricketts, who was being sought by the St Thomas police, was killed yesterday in an alleged shoot-out with members of the security forces.

It is understood that Ricketts was among ten men wanted for questioning regarding several crimes under investigation in St Thomas.

According to reports, Ricketts engaged the police in a gun battle when they attempted to apprehend him in York in the parish.

A revolver was reportedly taken from the deceased.





portia-lisa-monymusk-visit.jpgDetectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are to conduct a high level review on Monday of the evidence collected in last week's quadruple killing in Clarendon.

Head of the CIB, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, said the review will determine whether the police have evidence to link any of the two persons in custody.The two men were picked up last week following the killing of three teenagers and a 35-year-old accountant in the Monymusk Housing Scheme.

Powell said investigators have collected several statements in the case.

Concerning the policeman who was questioned in the incident, Powell said he has been cleared. The policeman's gun was also examined by investigators. Powell said the cop was not considered a suspect, but was questioned based on information received by the police.

Leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness and National Security Minister Peter Bunting visited the scene of the quadruple killing on Sunday. Holness said the police must solve the case to send a signal to criminals.

The National Security Minister urged residents to assist the police in their probe.

"Any murder is bad enough, but when you have these multiple murders, the records show that if these persons are not apprehended, the records show that they will continue to act with impunity.... we have to pay special attention to this and find the perpetrators and bring them to justice," Bunting said.

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shelly-restaurant-photo-1.jpgJamaica's Pocket Rocket, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser Price, yesterday opened her very own restaurant on the campus of the University of Technology, UTech.

Already patrons are raving about the food, t he priced and the decor and the fact that Shelly is hand-on in the restaurant.

YardFlex popped by on the opening day and here is our review: "The prices are great! Food is recommmendable! Best menu on the Utech campus! Smoked salad wrap with callaloo! Tuna melt, crispy fish, chicken salads! The cherry mint lemonade Sell Off!!I had mine made by Shelly herself!! Thumbs up."

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UWI poised to make big bucks from ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgPredictions are being made that with the University of the West Indies, Mona, now licensed to grow marijuana for research purposes, the industry should be earning nearly US$1billion in the next few years.

Executive Director of the Mona School of Business and Management, Dr. Densil Williams, argues that Jamaica can potentially reap huge rewards based on the new ganja licensing regime. Plans for the UWI include spending more than $16 million for the growing of ganja plants and the construction of greenhouses. Dr Williams gave his assessment of where Jamaica should be in another few years. He said in another 5 years we could secure 10% of the global market share amounting to over a billion US dollars.

In the meantime, Principal of the UWI Mona Campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, has outlined some of the conditions that the university intends to treat based on its cannabis research. He says once it begins taking extracts from the plant, it will target a range of diseases including hypertension, epilepsy and pain.

Professor McDonald predicts that as the clinical research progresses industry standards and practices will also evolve.

And Professor McDonald has outlined that small scale ganja farmers stand to benefit from supplying the University for its research. He gave a timeline within which the arrangements with these farmers are expected to begin. He explained that the University will be able to contract farmers under its license as well as government will be issuing licences. He estimates that after using the greenhouse approach farmers will be contracted in over a month's time.





To many, April 20 is just another workday. But to marijuana enthusiasts around the globe, 4/20 is a holy day, one to be considered above all others as a time to celebrate -- and consume -- cannabis.

The counterculture holiday doesn't appear on any official calendar, but it's pretty popular all the same. The origins of 4/20, aka National Weed Day, can be traced to Northern California where, in the 1970s, pot smokers began using the code "420" - the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress - as a reference to toking up.

Planning to observe 4/20? Here are 20 funny quotes to share on every pot smoker's favorite holiday.

1. "That is not a drug. It's a leaf." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. "They've outlawed the No. 1 vegetable on the planet." -- Timothy Leary

3. "The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it." -- J.W.D. Henderson

4. "I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is a flower. God put it here." -- Willie Nelson

5. "Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn't like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton." -- Jay Leno

6. "When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point." -- Barack Obama

7. "I know you're supposed to tell kids not to do drugs, but, kids, do it! Do weed! Don't do the other stuff, but weed is good." -- Kevin Smith

8. "To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a big mistake." -- Bill Hicks

9. "You bet I did, and I enjoyed it." -- Michael Bloomberg

10. "I think pot should be legal. I don't smoke it, but I like the smell of it." -- Andy Warhol

11. "?Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see." -- Thomas Jefferson

12. "If you substitute marijuana for tobacco and alcohol, you'll add eight to 24 years to your life." -- Jack Herer

13. "It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics ... dope and all that crap. It's a thousand times better than whiskey -- it's an assistant -- a friend." -- Louis Armstrong

14. "I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast." -- Ronald Reagan

15. "Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere." -- George Washington

16. "If you grew up in the '60s or '70s and didn't do drugs, I don't trust you." -- Danny Danko

17. "There are only two kinds of dealers. Those who need forklifts, and those who don't." -- Tom Forcade

18. "The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties, I tested everything." -- Bill Lee

19. "Of course I know how to roll a joint." -- Martha Stewart

20. "I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits -- and millions of Americans agree with me." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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A demonstrator participates in a rally sponsored by the Marijuana Party of British Columbia by smoking a giant hash-and-marijuana hash joint in downtown Vancouver April 20, 2005. Commonly known as 4/20, April 20 is a popular day among cannabis users.





Yardflex 4/20 Weed Day Feature

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4/20 Rallies: Marijuana Advocates In US, Canada Use National Weed Day To Send A Message About Legalization

Marijuana users are doing more on April 20 than just getting high. Some pot enthusiasts in the U.S. and Canada are using the unofficial pot smokers' holiday to declare an end to federal bans on cannabis. Advocates turned out in Denver over the weekend for the annual 4/20 festival to shop marijuana-themed products, listen to live music, and, of course, toke up. A political rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, centered around pot is scheduled for Monday.

About 125,000 people attended the 4/20 event in Denver this past weekend, according to the Denver Post. "It's a well-rounded atmosphere," Miguel Lopez, the event's founder, told the Post. "There are people here from all financial backgrounds...We push all the 4/20 rallies to head there to extend the national, grassroots narrative that's been going on for 45 years."

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Four of those states - Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington - and D.C. have legalized weed for recreational purposes. Advocates of marijuana legalization in the U.S. say that while pot will likely remain illegal at the federal level for at least another decade, they expect states to continue to move toward legalizing weed for either medical or recreational use.

Further north, in Canada, organizers of the annual 4/20 rally at Vancouver's Art Gallery said this year's upcoming event will be particularly important because of the federal election coming up in the fall of 2016. The rally's theme is "Grow the Vote," and coordinators say they're going to encourage people to register to vote, according to News 1130. While medical marijuana is now legal in Canada, recreational pot is still banned at the federal level.

"Policy costs of enforcing prohibition against marijuana are astronomical," Craig Jones of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada told CKNW AM radio. "All they do is clog the courts, and saddle otherwise law-abiding people with criminal records. The police figured this out a long time ago and because Vancouver is Vancouver, they figured it out a lot earlier in Vancouver than they did in the rest of Canada."





Baby's body found in barrel

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barrel.jpgThe Santa Cruz Police in St Elizabeth are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a little girl in Grosmond District near Braes River.

She has been identified as Jaydeen Myers who was 1 year and 11-months-old.

Reports are that the little girl went missing between 1 pm and 7 pm yesterday Saturday April 18.

Police say relatives went in search of her and she was found unconscious in a barrel inside the house, which stores clothing and food.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Investigations continue.





Cops featured on CISOCA's high profile list

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The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offenses and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says allegations of wrongdoing by police personnel continue to feature on what it calls its high profile list.

Head of CISOCA, Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart, says the accused have been cooperating with investigators.

"The list is about 25, among them police, teachers ....people before the court. We are not looking at those that we are actively investigating," said Ross-Stewart who was speaking at the latest RJR Group News Forum.

The reports will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions

The CISOCA says it will not be deterred by the status of persons in probing allegations against them.





Cops seize Uzi sub machine gun in Spanish Town

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uzi.jpgPolice seized an Uzi sub-machine gun during an operation in the March Pen Road area in St Catherine on Saturday.

Spanish Town police report that about 4:00 pm, a team of police went to premises and during a search the weapon was found.

A dozen 9mm cartridges, and a ballistic vest we're also found.

No one was arrested in connection with the find. The police say they are investigating.





JPS rolls out pre-paid service today

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jps-building.jpgThe Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will launch its "Pay As You Go" metering service today. It will allow JPS customers to control daily usage of electricity with the pre-paid service.Two thousand customers in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine will initially benefit.

Tishan Lee, head of Marketing at the JPS, explained that under the current phase, certain residential and business customers can sign up.

According to Miss Lee, there is no risk of customers running out of electricity, as they might run out of pre-paid telephone credit.

"You are alerted when you are running low, so before you run out of credit, you can just call you and we'll forward you an additional five kilowatt hours until you get the opportunity to top it up," she explained.





Tufton unhappy with 'Dudus' reference

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christopher-tufton-photo-1.jpgJLP senator, Dr Christopher Tufton, has taken issue with Foreign Minister A.J. Nicholson for his veiled reference to the Dudusgate saga, which strained relationship between Kingston and Washington in 2010.

Tufton, who was a member of the Bruce Golding-led Government, which handled the extradition request of Dudus, said he sees no reason for Nicholson to talk now about the restoration of Jamaica's good name.

Nicholson, in updating the Senate on the visit of US President Barack Obama to the country recently as well as the Summit of the Americas in Panama, said the visit of the president is an indication that Jamaica's name has now been restored.

But while he pointed to the testy period of strained relationship, Nicholson did not name the Dudus saga.

"If there is one thing that the events of the past week or so have unequivocally demonstrated, it is that in just three short years, we have once again taken our hard-won place as a respected voice on the international stage," Nicholson said.

"In just three short years, we have resumed our rightful place as a leader in international relations and foreign policy. In just three short years, we have restored that most vital of commodities - trust," he added.

Tufton, however, said it is unfortunate that Nicholson has chosen to resurrect the matter.

"There have been high and low points, challenges if you will, at various points in our independent history. The truth is generally speaking, I am not sure, while we accept that the visit is a positive one, I am not sure if that point needed to be emphasised, about relationship been restored," Tufton said.

Nicholson said in the Senate that "when the administration led by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller took office in January 2012, we realised that there was much work to be done to re-establish Jamaica's reputation in the international arena as a leader in the sphere of international relations and foreign policy."





Thief shot while robbing policeman

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The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) is reporting that a man was shot in the Nugent Street area in Spanish Town.

According to the CCU, at about 6 pm, the man attempted to rob a police officer at a barber shop on Nugent Street, but the robbery was thwarted by the officer who challenged the robber and shot him.

A firearm was recovered. The robber was then transported to the Spanish Town hospital where is now receiving treatment.

Earlier in the day, a cordon and search operation in the Spanish Town area, led to the seizure of a Tarrus 9 mm pistol and 12 live rounds at March Pen Road.

No one was arrested in connection with the illegal weapon.





Small ganja farmers to be protected

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ganja-image-1.jpgJustice Minister Mark Golding says the government will not agree to any arrangement that would see multilateral companies take over the ganja industry and exclude local farmers.

He says the authorities are conscious of the need to ensure that those who have been involved in the industry for many years in the shadows or unlawfully , should be afforded the opportunity to be part of a lawful industry if they want to be part of it.

The minister was responding to questions posed by listeners this morning on IRIE FM's The Africa Forum with host Ka'bu Maat Kheru.

Entertainer Mackie Conscious asked, "if any plans will be put in place to prevent multilateral companies from taking over the ganja industry from the small man who suffered fighting for its legalization?"

Senator Golding indicates that how the small ganja farmer is protected is an area that needs to be worked through.

However he says, one way to do this would be to ensure that foreign investors have local partnerships.





Police hunt for mother of dead baby found at dump

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The police say they have received more information in the case where the body of an infant was discovered by residents at the Riverton Dump on Friday.

"We have received new information suggesting that the truck from which the body of the baby was dumped had hours earlier collected garbage in the Wickie Wackie area located in East Kingston," one of the detectives in the case said.

The police said based on the latest information they have now turned their attention to the Wickie Wackie area.





Cops find illegal gun shop in Salt Pond

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ak47-ammunition.jpgThe Police are reporting that the location in the Salt Pond area where an AK 47 rifle was seized on Wednesday was a base being used by criminals to sell illegal guns and ammunition.

Salt Pond, is an area located on the outskirts of Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The Police reported that about 5:45 am, they went to the area and during the operation, a man was shot dead.

The dead man has been identified as Nesta Halstead.





Teen charged for murder of 11-month old boy

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11-month-old-baby-killed.jpgCharges have been laid against the teenager who was held in connection with the shooting death of 11-month-old Omar Lindo on Charles Street in Kingston on Monday, April 6.

The teenager is booked to appear in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April 22.

He was nabbed by the Kingston Central police in Courage district, Gordon Town, St Andrew, on Saturday, April 11.





16 year-old mother and baby missing

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Sixteen-year-old Natasha Chambers and her seven-month-old daughter, Briana Henry, both of Grove Road, Kingston 10, have been missing since Friday.

Natasha is of fair complexion, slim build and is about 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 inches) tall. Briana is of fair complexion and is about 51 centimetres (1 foot 8 inches) tall.

Reports from the Half-Way-Tree police are that Natasha and Briana were last seen in their community. At the time they went missing Natasha was dressed in a green blouse, blue jeans skirt and a pair of green and yellow sneakers. Briana was dressed in a blue dress and a pair of black and white slippers. They have not been seen since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Natasha and Briana are being asked to contact the Half-Way-Tree police at 926-8184-5, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





3 shot in Portmore drive-by

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Three persons were shot one fatally in the Braeton area of Portmore, St Catherine early Saturday morning.

The deceased has been identified as 34-year-old Businessman Jamey Ridley of a Kingston 8 address.

The incident reportedly at a fish fry about 1:30 am, where patrons were gathered when a Toyota Corolla motor vehicle pulled up. It is said that the occupants of the vehicle opened gunfire hitting Ridley and two other persons. An off duty officer who was at the scene reportedly challenged the men, however they managed to escape.

The injured were taken to hospital where Ridley was pronounced dead and the others admitted.

No motive has been established for the shooting.





Kingston College marches for 90th anniversary

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kingston-college-march.jpgApril 16, 1925 marks the founding of Kingston College (KC), and 90 years to that date students at the all-boys institution lined the length of North Street for a historic march to the site where the school was first established.

The sea of khaki interspersed with streams of purple could be seen from any vantage point along North Street on Wednesday.

The sporadic outbursts of celebratory cheers were complemented by energetic fanfare provided by the marching band.

The march culminated outside the walls of The Gleaner, where a plaque highlighting the location as the site of the building which housed the first 49 students of the school is erected. This was where the students gathered for prayer and reflection.

Vice-principal Everton Burrell was in a jubilant mood as he marshalled students at the historic event.

"Today is the exact day, 90 years ago, Kingston College was founded right at the same spot where The Gleaner Company is right now. As a symbolic event, we decided to march to the spot," he said.





Laughter erupted in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court after a man told the court that he was not urinating on the street but was hiding his money inside his brief.

Constantine Savage was arrested and charged with littering after he was reportedly caught urinating on a street in downtown Kingston. But on Monday when he appeared in Court, Savage pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying, "I was not urinating; I was putting my money in my brief, that is what happened".

"Keeping it safe and warm," Magistrate Judith Pusey uttered amidst laughter from the court.

Savage's bail was then extended for him to return to court for trial on June 2.





Bahamian R&B singer, Johnny Kemp, dies in Jamaica

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johnny-kemp.jpgBahamian R&B singer Johnny Kemp, who is best known for the hit song "Just Got Paid," has died in Jamaica. He was 55.

Jamaica police said Friday that Kemp was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay on Thursday morning. It had not yet been determined how he died.

Police said Kemp arrived in Jamaica on a cruise ship but added that they did not have further details.

Reach Media Inc. said Kemp had been scheduled to be on a Caribbean cruise this week, but the U.S.-based parent company of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" said it did not have further details.

Kemp was nominated in 1989 for a Grammy Award for "Just Got Paid" in a category that included Bobby Brown and Luther Vandross. The song was a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart.

Kemp appeared on a 2007 Keith Sweat DVD called "Sweat Hotel Live" and had been performing at musical events across the U.S. in recent years.





Women sexually assault teenage girl with bottle

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Two St Catherine women were recently charged with gross sexual assault after being accused of inserting a bottle inside a teenager's private area two years ago.

The two women will stand trial in the St Catherine Circuit Court in September this year.

The matter was decided in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court recently after Resident Magistrate Llyle Armstrong ruled that a prima facie case has been made out against the women.They are scheduled to appear in the Michel Mass Session of the St Catherine Circuit Court in September 2015.

It is alleged that in 2013, the two accused lured the 17-year-old complainant to a house in Linstead, St Catherine. They then held her down and used a bottle to sexually assault her. The complainant had to seek medical attention.

A subsequent report was made to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. Both women were later charged with gross sexual assault.





Number portability next month

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The Government is assuring that number portability will be available to Jamaicans next month. Number portability entails and facilitates the retention of numbers assigned to telephone service users, regardless of their provider.

Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell said that he has issued a Number Portability Administrator licence to Porting Access B.V., a company out of the Netherlands, which is working to ensure that this deadline will be met.Paulwell was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

To last for a period of 10 years, the licence took effect on March 16, 2015. The company is mandated to establish, operate, manage, coordinate and maintain a number portability central reference database and an automated central order handling system and related activities for the provision of number portability.

Paulwell pointed out that this number portability arrangement will allow Jamaicans to move from one service provider to another while retaining their mobile and fixed telephone numbers. He said it will also enable greater competition amongst players within the telecoms industry.

Studies indicate that the introduction of number portability facilitates greater competition in the telecoms market, which can result in lower prices and more innovative products and services.

Number portability can also eliminate some of the costs, delays and inconvenience that businesses and individuals encounter when changing from one telecoms provider to another. The rules on number portability have been gazetted since September last year.





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The People's National Party (PNP) has condemned the slaying of three teenagers and an adult male in Hayes in Clarendon on Wednesday.

"We mourn with the families and school communities of the three student boys. One each from Central, Vere Technical and Garvey Maceo High schools," a release from the ruling party said.

The men were shot in the back of the head after being ordered to lay face down.

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Party President and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller wholeheartedly condemned the murders.

"We condemn this dastardly act. Our youth are our country's best and most promising resource. We must protect them. These recurring images of our mothers crying for the lives of their children who are brutally murdered break the spirit and stride of our entire nation all of us have a role to play to bring these acts of terror to an end. In this regard I add my own call for the community members to assist the investigators by telling all that they know so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice" she said.

According to the release reports emerging from the community as to how the four (the three teens and the adult male) were murdered is all the more shocking and painful.

"Our prayers are with the families that have been left to mourn all four. We go further by joining May Pen Mayor Scean Barnwell by asking the entire community to find the resolve to cooperate fully and openly with the police as they investigate this incident," the release said.





The man charged in connection with last month's quadruple killing in Richmond Hill, St James, was denied bail when he appeared before the Montego Bay Criminal Court on Thursday.

Kelvin Hodge,29, otherwise known as "Tafari" was charged last week with four counts of murder as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was remanded until April 29.

Hodge is charged with the execution style killing of Lois Watson,28 and her eight year old daughter, Shaya Prince, at their home on March 19. Junior Scott,26 and Kemali Walker,22 were also killed in the attack.

Investigators say Hodge, who was the boyfriend of Watson, carried out the attack after she ended their relationship.

Meanwhile, two other suspects held in the case have been released.





Resident shoots robber dead in Mona

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gun-crime.jpgQuick action by a licensed firearm holder resulted in the death of one of three robbers in Mona, St Andrew on Thursday evening.

Three robbers reportedly attempted to hold up a resident of the middle class community but were challenged by the licensed holder.Shots were fired and when the smoke cleared the man lay dead. His identity has not yet been ascertained. Meanwhile, his two cronies managed to escape.

Armed robbers have been plaguing Mona for weeks and a number of persons have been held up and robbed at gunpoint. Despite the efforts of the police, the robbers have managed to elude them.

While not joyous over the loss of life, one resident said that the dead man had it coming.

"A life is a life, but robbers are making the lives of the residents of Mona hell and maybe a message has to be sent," she said.





Teenage terror suspect remains in custody

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The 16-year-old Jamaican who was sent home from Suriname on Saturday on suspicion that he was heading to Turkey to join the terrorist group ISIS is to remain in State custody until Tuesday.

The Family Court today ?said an assessment is to be made of his home situation before a final order is made on Tuesday on whether to send him home.

His attorney had applied to the court to have him released from custody.

The teen's family has since denied claims that he was a part of a terrorist group, saying he was headed to England to be with his mother.





Carmax CEO arrested for fraud

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The Fraud Squad of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC) arrested and charged Daren Blake, Director and CEO of CARMAX Jamaica Limited for the offence of Fraudulent Conversion on Friday following several complaints.

He was initially booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on March 27 where the matter was postponed until May 1, 2015.

Reports are that between December 2014 and March 2015, several persons allegedly entrusted Blake to sell their motor vehicles, valued about $54,500,000.

The vehicles were sold however, efforts for the persons to collect their money from Blake proved futile.

Members of the Fraud Squad are asking for Mr. Ian Lyn and affiliates of CARMAX Jamaica Limited to report to the Fraud Squad offices on Duke Street by 9:00 a.m. on April 17.





UWI, UTech get ganja licence

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THE University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be the first two educational institutions to be issued with licences to grow marijuana for research purposes under the new provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which took effect yesterday.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell made the announcement yesterday in his presentation in the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House .

He said that, as the country moves to build an industry for medicinal ganja, it is crucial for research institutions such as these to have the required authority to cultivate the plant. "If Jamaica wants to establish itself as a centre of excellence for research in ganja, this should be the home of research and development in ganja," he said.

Paulwell pointed out that, as it stands now, institutions are allowed to use marijuana for research, but under the auspices of the police. The science and technology minister stressed that the licences come with strict conditions. "It's not a free-for-all... or to promote smoking of ganja, it is to recognise that this product has tremendous value," he said.

He also sought to allay apprehension about who would benefit from a local medical ganja industry, stating that the market was large enough to accommodate small and large farmers and urged cooperation and sharing of information to allow sharing of the expected benefits.

The licence will be for a specified period and subject to monitoring of the research activities to ensure that they are in keeping with what was approved.





2 suspects held in quadruple murder

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The Clarendon police say two suspects have been held in connection with last evenings quadruple murder of four males in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon.

The suspects were held this morning in the parish. Their identities are, however, being withheld pending further investigations.

Fourteen-year-old Ricardo Briscoe, 14-year-old Raymond Givans, 15-year-old Alex Turner and 35-year-old Marquis Hamilton, all of Clarendon addresses, were murdered execution-style.

According to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit, the three boys were walking along the roadway about 9:00 pm when they were pounced upon by two armed men who forced them onto Hamilton's premises. The men then allegedly demanded money and phones from them, however, their demands were not met.

The four were subsequently shot.

The Police High Command has since ramped up its security presence in major towns, business districts and communities in the parish.





Man hangs himself in Falmouth market

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shocked.jpg Twenty year-old Jevaun Ricketts of Deeside in Trelawny, hung himself in the Falmouth Market around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

A cord was used to do the act in one of the unoccupied stalls.

According to reports, Ricketts suffered from a mental condition and was exhibiting this in his community before journeying the approximately 12 kilometres from his home to do the act in the Trelawny capital.

Scores of onlookers gathered to get a glimpse of the tragic situation.





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A new date has been set for the murder trial of entertainer Desmond Ballentyne more popularly known as Ninja Man.

The case was postponed when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court on Monday. The trial was rescheduled because the witnesses were unavailable.

The controversial deejay also expressed happiness after the judge gave him permission to take bookings for overseas performances during the first six months before his return to court.

Ninja Man, along with three other persons are being charged with the 2009 murder of Richard Johnson in the Mall Road Area of Kingston. The trial was previously postponed in November because a case was being heard.





Assault case against Chuck Fenda dismissed

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Reggae artiste Chuck Fenda and his babymother were sent to mediation when they both appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrates' court before senior RM Lyle Armstrong on Tuesday.

The accused, Chuck Fenda, whose real name is Leshorn Whitehead was charged with assaulting his babymother.

Allegations outlined were that on March 23, 2015, at about 9:30 pm, the entertainer went to pick up his daughter in Portmore where an argument developed with his babymother. It was said that he boxed and kicked her all over her body causing swellings on her face, a cut to her neck and bruises to the knees.

The two, who were seen talking amicably before the case was called up, were sent to the mediation department and a successful agreement was made.

The case was then dismissed against Chuck Fenda.





JPS cuts electricity rates

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The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has announced that its customers will now be paying US 25 cents per per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity.

The company said this rate was the lowest for electricity in Jamaica since 2010.

"The dramatic reduction in overall energy cost is due to lower fuel charges, as well as the improved efficiency of JPS' generating units. Since last year, JPS customers have been benefiting from lower Fuel and IPP Charges on their bills, as a result of the reduction in the price of oil on the world market. The Fuel & IPP Charge on bills this month is J$14.670 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared to J$18.449 last month" JPS said in a release.

This means a seven percent reduction in the April bill for the average residential customer, compared to his/her March bill. The Fuel and IPP Charge on bills is coming down from a high of $J28.828 / kWh in March last year when oil prices were at their highest for 2014, the release continued.

JPS said that in addition to the lower cost of the oil used for electricity generation, the company is also passing on to customers the gains from the improved efficiency of its generating plants.





Caribbean Broilers cuts prices

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For the second time this year, Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group has cut the price of their products in Jamaica.

Effective April 20, the company will lower its prices, right across the board, for all their business lines, which includes their flagship brand in the CB Foods division - CB Chicken, their fresh pork line - Copperwood Pork, their convenient ready to eat line - Caribbean Passion, their Grade A egg brand - Chippenham Eggs, their Omega enriched Smart Egg line and lastly their Bad Dawg Sausages program.

The good news also extends to farmers, who will also see a price reduction on purchases of all Nutramix animal feeds.

As with a similar decrease seen just a few months ago, in January 2015, further reduction in some key input costs, such as grains, has given the company the ability to reduce their selling prices and pass on savings to the trade.

Dr. Keith Amiel, Corporate Affairs Manager explained that, "If you've been following the commodity markets, you'd realize that grains have been trending downwards which have allowed us to purchase our raw materials at better prices and this has in turn allowed us to pass savings on to the consumers".

He further shared that "When the markets are going North we are forced to pass on the price increase to the market and so naturally, when things go the other way, its only right that we pass on the savings as well.





25 year-old woman commits suicide

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A 25-year-old woman is believed to have committed suicide at her St Andrew home Tuesday afternoon.

Reports are that the woman, identified as Jodi-Ann Williams, sent several messages to friends telling them that she loves them and she was sorry.

The circumstances leading up to her death is not known at this time.

She was later found hanging from the roof of her house. Police were summoned to the scene about 2:30 pm.





Commercial sex trade remains illegal

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey, says the commercial sex industry cannot be regularized, as it is still illegal under the law.

Responding to a question at the latest RJR Group News Forum, Harvey said the industry should be monitored and this would protect those involved as well as members of the public.

"We need to get to a stage where the industry is regulated and we provide the necessary supervision and oversight that we don't have underage children, we do not have abuse of the persons involved, we limit the issue related to human trafficking and all of those things related to and impact sex work," he said.

The idea of regularising the commercial sex trade was proposed several years ago but received opposition from the religious community.





Controversy surrounds JLP NE St Catherine seat

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There are more rumblings in the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) this time over reports that Sharon Hay Webster has been campaigning in the constituency of North East St. Catherine which is held by Gregory Mair.

Hay Webster is an aide to JLP Leader Andrew Holness.

The contents of a letter from Mair to the Party's Chairman Robert Montague demanding an urgent investigation into Hay Webster's campaign in his constituency and attempts to undermine his political organisation, have been leaked.

Mair also wants answers on whether she has applied for the seat, was interviewed by the selection committee, provided with the list of Party workers in the constituency and given the green light to campaign. In his letter to the JLP Chairman, Mair said he wants Hay Webster out of his constituency.





Third person charged in killing of Mario Deane

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A third person has been charged with the fatal beating of Mario Deane,31 at the Barnett Street Police lock-up in St James last August.

Damion Cargill, who has a hearing disability, was charged on Friday with murder and conspiracy to murder following a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He appeared in court shortly after.

Cargill will make his next court appearance on April 29.His attorney Franklin Haliburton says his client may not be aware of the charges against him.Haliburton says a 10 page document submitted to the court by a language specialist who interviewed Cargill stated that he is not able to understand sign language.

The other accused, Marvin Orr and Adrian Morgan were charged in October last year. It is alleged that the inmates attacked and beat Deane who died three days later in hospital.





Ganja law effective Wednesday

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The recently amended Dangerous Drugs Act commonly referred to as The Ganja Law will take effect this Wednesday.

According to the Justice Ministry the law is expected to among other things reduce the number of cases before Resident Magistrate's Courts and acknowledge the constitutional rights of the Rastafari community which uses ganja as a sacrament.

It will also facilitate the creation of a regulated legitimate medicinal and industrial marijuana industry.

Justice Minister Mark Golding said in a release that Jamaica is approaching the reforms in a responsible manner, and in keeping with international obligations.

There will be a public education campaign to discourage ganja use by adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups.





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The family of the 16 year old Jamaican boy who was refused passage through Suriname on the weekend is claiming that he is being wrongly accused.

Immigration officials in Suriname said they suspected he was traveling to join the militant group ISIS.

The Surinamese police said the teenager arrived on a flight from Jamaica, intending to transit to the Netherlands, from where he would travel to Turkey.However, his family is refuting the claim of an ISIS connection.

At his home in Bailey's Vale, Port Maria in St. Mary, his grandfather Alveren Hunter said his grandson was travelling to the Netherlands to visit his grandmother who he had not seen for years.

"That rumour is very bad, he was going to the Netherlands to his grandmother for vacation ....."

Hunter believes the authorities got it wrong as he says his grandson is not the religious type. But he acknowledged that the Koran was found in the teen's room during a search by the police on Saturday.

"He is not a Muslim..... the only church he goes to is to play football ...."

His aunt, Avril Hunter says the situation has left the family upset and concerned as it will cast a shadow over her nephew's future.

The teenager who returned to the island on Friday is in police custody.





16-y-o from Jamaica stopped from joining ISIS

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isis-photo-1.jpgOnline publication devsur.com is reporting that a 16-year-old boy from Jamaica was refused passage through Suriname yesterday (April 11) as immigration officers suspected he was travelling to join terrorist organisation Islamic State group in Turkey.

The police reportedly issued a press release stating that the teen arrived at the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport on a flight from Jamaica, intending to transit to the Netherlands, from where he would travel to his end destination Turkey.

"He was denied entry to Suriname because we received information from a regional intelligence service that he wanted to join the Islamic State group," the police reportedly said.

The online publication stated that after the boy was interrogated and additional information received from Jamaica, the decision was made to send him back to Jamaica on the next available flight.

The teenager's name was not given.





shocked.jpgTragedy struck a family in Nairne Castle, Claredon on Saturday when a three-year-old boy shot and killed his mother at his grandmother's home.

According to initial reports, at around 3 pm, the child took his father's gun and shot his mother, Rhea Ricketts, otherwise called 'Lucky', between her eyes. She was pronounced dead at the Spaulding Hospital.

The father, who is a policeman, had gone with his wife to collect their children, who had been on holidays. The father fell asleep and the child removed the firearm and shot his mother.

The family, who is from Spanish Town in St Catherine is still trying to come to terms with her tragic death. A relative described her as a fun loving person, who was easy to get along with. Her brother Junior Ricketts said the other family members are devastated.

"It's a very devastating moment, this is like a nightmare. I couldn't possibly imagine that this would have happened to us," he said.

Ricketts recalled the moments leading up to when he got the news. He said he was on his way to the house when he saw a family member running towards the house. He asked and was told his sister had been shot and killed by her son.

"When I rushed down here I saw my mom crying and I came up to the van and asked what was wrong and that was when I saw my sister lying in the van back. I looked at her and asked what was wrong then I realised blood was coming from her face and there was a hole between her eyes," he said.

Ricketts said he rushed his sister to the hospital and the doctors pronounced her dead on arrival.





Two men accused of using their bus as a "mobile hotel" for another man to have sex with a schoolgirl appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrates' court on Friday.

The accused men, Omar Berry, a 24 year old conductor and Roshane Johnson, a 29 year old bus driver, both residents in Linstead, were granted bail. Bail was set at $250,000 each with 1 or 2 sureties, and both are to report to the Linstead Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.

They are both charged for aiding and abetting, while another accused is before the Children's Court for having sex with a person under the age of 16 years old.

Allegations are that Johnson and Berry were on their bus while the other accused was on the back seat having sex with the minor. It was further outlined that Johnson was driving around in circles telling them to hurry up cause he needed to pick up passengers.

Their case was transferred to the Linstead RM Court and will be mentioned on April 22, 2015.





Congrats Mayor Browne Burke on your Doctorate

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Yardflex.com takes pleasure in congratulating Kingston Mayor, Angela Brown-Burke on receiving her PhD.

The mayor presented her doctoria thesis last week and already social media is buzzing with her achievement.

Congratulations Dr. Burke!





Teen held in murder of 11-month-old infant

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The Kingston Central Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of 11-month-old Omar Lindo of Charles Street, Kingston.

The suspect, a male teen, was held in an operation in Courage district, Gordon Town, St. Andrew, which was carried out on Saturday.

Arrangements are now being made for him to be interviewed in the presence of his attorney.

Omar was shot dead in his yard on Monday, April 6. A six-year-old child was also shot and injured in the incident.





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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Jamaica's leader asked President Barack Obama on Thursday to exonerate black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey, who was convicted in the U.S. of mail fraud in the 1920s and remains a prominent historic figure on the island.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said she told Obama it is the "deep desire of the government and people of Jamaica" to have Garvey exonerated of the conviction that got him deported back to his Jamaican homeland in 1927.

"I asked the president to consider the matter and to offer any support within his authority during his tenure in the White House, and beyond," Simpson Miller said after Obama departed the island to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Garvey was the first person named a Jamaican national hero following the island's independence in 1962, and the government put his likeness on coins. He died in 1940.

U.S. officials did not immediately provide comment about Simpson Miller's request regarding Garvey, who once inspired millions of followers with messages of black pride and self-reliance. Obama made no mention of Garvey during his public comments in Jamaica, which focused on a wide range of regional issues including energy security, trade and climate change.

Born nearly 50 years after the abolition of slavery in Jamaica, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica in 1914 and then built it into a mass movement in New York from 1919 to 1927. From his Harlem base, Garvey urged blacks to be proud of their African ancestry at a time segregation was deeply implanted in the U.S. and European colonialism still stretched around the world.

Garvey's Pan-African philosophy urged blacks to return to the continent of their ancestors.

His supporters in Jamaica and abroad contend the U.S. charges were trumped up to silence Garvey.





Red Stripe beer delivered to the President

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United States President Barack Obama will get his desire for a cold mug of Jamaican Red Stripe beer on Air Force One.

In fact, 48 bottles of the Jamaican beverage have been delivered to Air Force One for the American president.

A taste of the Jamaican beer was one of two wishes the president made around 10 minutes before Air Force One landed at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday night.

The other wish to visit the Bob Marley Museum was materialised in a surprise stop at the Hope Road-based landmark, just over an hour after Obama touched Jamaican soil.

Yesterday, Red Stripe sought to make the other wish come true, delivering two crates of beer at the Norman Manley International Airport which were received on the president's behalf by his Secret Service agents.





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The bus conductor who was implicated in the death of 14-year-old Kayalicia Simpson has been formally charged with murder by the St Thomas police on Wednesday.

He is 29-year-old Damion Ewin of Newland Housing Scheme in Yallahs. Ewin has also been charged with committing sexual offences in the same matter. On Tuesday, March 3, relatives found the girl's body and summoned the police. She was found with multiple chop wounds to the head and neck.

The post-mortem examination revealed that Kaylacia was pregnant. She was a student of the Donald Quarrie High School in Kingston.

Ewin will appear before the Yallahs Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, April, 15.





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Police said a boy found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday is a ward of the state.

Eleven-year-old Jevon Thompson, who gave his particulars as eight-year-old Kevin Washington of Miami, United States of America, is a ward at Reddie's Place of Safety in Kingston 2.

Reports are that about 12:55 p.m., Jevon was found wandering at the airport. He subsequently reported that his parents were waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom and upon his return, they were not there.

Checks by the police revealed that Jevon went missing on multiple occasions and was placed at the facility in September, 2014. He was taken by the police to the home yesterday.





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Reggae artiste Chronixx yesterday cleared the air, explaining that he did not disrespect US President Barack Obama in a social media post he made earlier in the day.

This, after finding himself at the receiving end of harsh criticisms from fans.

Chronixx posted a picture of Marcus Garvey and captioned the photo: "This man ... Still have criminal record on the United States and we glorifying some waste man! This man was hunted and imprisoned by our Jamaican government ... who some years later, paved a peaceful and safe path for the US president to address is a ... "race of good for nothing's". That's why black faces don't mean anything to rasta anymore".

His post was met with harsh criticisms as many believed his 'waste man' comment was aimed at Obama. Many called him out for his hypocrisy, stating that he has performed in the United States several times.

"Waste man? But yuh deh pon TV inna waste man country a perform your songs ... . Such hypocrisy," one commentator said.

Another stated: "You are a fraud. How dare you address the man as such. You sing conscious lyrics, but you do not practice what you preach ... Give back your American visa since you are so high and mighty."

Another said: "The blatant disrespect of my President! (Your comment) was uncalled for. You earn wages in America."

Others however, agreed with Chronixx's statement, calling for the expunging of Garvey's criminal records. Chronixx later commented that those who wished to unfollow him, were free to do so.

"...Will go on more American stations this year and chant liberation again and again and again. When I speak, I don't really think about career and things like that. Nuh frighten fi career either, never born with career."

Fans of the artiste were still ruffled by his post. This prompted him to further elaborate on what he meant.

He wrote: "I love every human on this planet, and as hard as it is, I show nothing but perfect love even to the waste man dem at home and abroad. Love has nothing to do with truth! And I did not call the president a waste man."





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KINGSTON, Jamaica - An eight-year-old US child by the name of Kevin Washington from Miami, was found wandering at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday, April 8. He is of dark complexion, slim build, about four feet tall and was dressed in a grey shirt, brown shorts and a pair of blue and green crocs slippers.

Authorities are reporting that about 12:55 pm, Kevin was at the airport with his parents, waiting for their departure to Miami, when he went to use the bathroom. When he returned, his parents were gone. He gave his father's name as Junior Washington and his mother's name as Christina.

The police are asking people with information that can assist Kevin Washington in reuniting him with his family to contact the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Division (C-TOC) at 967-5948, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





The attorney for a man killed in a boat accident in The Bahamas says the matter is likely to go to the Coroner's Court for a ruling on whether anyone should be held accountable for the death.

Sandals Resorts chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, was among the people on the Tropical Cruises-owned fishing boat which crashed on April 3. The exact circumstances of the crash could not be ascertained.

According to Tropical Cruises, Stewart was the only member of his family on the boat.

"All concerned are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased at this time," said a Tropical Cruises spokesman in a statement issued to the media.

Meanwhile, Wayne Munroe, the lawyer for the family of Timothy Ferguson, the man who was killed in the accident, said he has not had any communication with the police or Stewart. Munroe also said issues related to civil liability may arise.





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Aubrey Stewart, youth advocate and a former Head Boy of Cornwall College, shared an embrace with President Obama after introducing the world leader at a Town Hall meeting at the University of the West Indies on Thursday.

During his introduction of President Obama, he seized the opportunity to encourage young individuals to overcome their respective circumstances.

"My dream is for young people to convert every negative feeling into a feeling of hope. My country is rich with culture and talent ... and I ask you to be inspired by this nation."

Stewart also encouraged collaboration among the CARICOM nations.

When President Obama arrived on to the podium he affectionately said: "Greetings massive ...big up. It is great to be here in Jamaica."

Obama is the first US President to visit Jamaica in over 30 years.





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The University of West Indies (UWI) Assembly Hall is filled to capacity as young Jamaicans eagerly await audience with US President Barack Obama.

Obama is scheduled to hold a youth town hall forum at 2:30 pm. The audience is filled with primarily university students and young professionals, including many celebrities.

Among the well known personalities at the event are Youth Minister Lisa Hanna; world's fastest man Usain Bolt; Olympic Gold medallist Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce; singer Tessanne Chin; beauty queen Kaci Fennell; Members of Parliament Raymond Pryce and Dayton Campbell; Opposition spokesperson on education Kamina Johnson Smith and Opposition caretaker Delano Seiveright.

Hanna revealed that Obama will announce a partnership to help Jamaican youth. "As a young woman in the government, it means a lot because Obama is very passionate about youths," Hanna said before the function.

"He has worked on a lot of youth projects," she added.

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Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and US President Barack Obama this morning held bilateral discussions on Jamaica's economic programme with the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

Mr. Obama expressed support for Jamaica's efforts in dealing with its public debt, investments in youth and efforts at strengthening governance.

He said issues of energy and climate change were also discussed and will take centre stage when he meets with Caricom leaders this afternoon.

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President Obama also spoke about Security and the strains drugs trade is placing on Jamaica.

President Obama said the relationship between Jamaica and the US is more than a friendship between states. He said due to the long history, the two countries were more like family bond.

Mr Obama said he intends to return with his wife Michelle and the family sometime in the future.

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President Obama visited the Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica on Wednesday night. The president took a brief tour of the museum which was once home of Jamaica's reggae icon in the capital. Earlier he met with U.S. embassy personnel and their families at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel where he is staying.

The stop was not previously listed on Obama's schedule and reporters were barred from covering the tour, according to a pool report.

Obama reminisced as he looked at a wall of framed records inside the museum and said "I still have all the albums," according to a New York Times photographer who was allowed on the tour.

Marley's hit song "One Love" played over speakers as the president exited the museum.

Obama spoke about his admiration for Marley in an interview with MTV in 2012.

"I remember in college listening, and not agreeing with his whole philosophy necessarily, but raising my awareness how people outside of our country were thinking about the struggle for jobs and dignity and freedom," he said.

Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Jamaica since 1982. The president will meet with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Thursday morning before meeting with Caricom leaders at the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies.

He will travel Thursday evening to Panama to attend the Summit of the Americas.





President Barack Obama arrives in Jamaica

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president-obama-greetings-massive.jpg US President Barack Obama arrived in Jamaica shortly after 7:30 pm on Thursday aboard Air Force One that landed at the Norman Manley International Airport.

This marks the second visit to the island by a sitting president of the United States, the first being Ronald Reagan in April 1982.

The president was met by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Chairman of Caricom Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas and leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness.

The welcoming party will included other Ministers, Members of the Senate, Judiciary, defence and the diplomatic corps.

Shortly after his arrival, Obama was whisked away by helicopter.





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Less than a day before the start of the visit by President Barack Obama, Wednesday night into Thursday, there are few details about the President's itinerary.

Sources cite security concerns for the lack of details even as arrangements are made to ensure security and a sense of order around public places on the route of the President's party and at places he's expected to visit.

Officials have been clearing stalls and informal structures in areas around the route from the airport and also at Heroes Park which President Obama is to visit.

Vendors who operated food and fruit stalls at the Harbour View round about and also those who sell fish and food at the Rae Town Beach found the stalls destroyed at the weekend.

Several wooden stalls were also smashed between Sunday and yesterday at Manchester Square to the south of heroes park. That location is well known for the selling of crabs.

Up to now it is not clear if Mr Obama himself will use the roads from the airport and along Michael Manley Highway into New Kingston. It is being speculated he will be taken by helicopter into new Kingston to his hotel. However, members of his entourage will use that stretch of roadway.

Parts of the road ways and intersections in New Kingston have already had new surfaces.

The main events are expected to be the welcome at Norman Manley International Airport, a meeting with the cabinet followed by a joint appearance of President Obama and Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller who are likely to sign an agreement.

That will be followed by the Heroes Park visit and a town hall meeting with youth leaders from across the Caribbean at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus on Thursday evening.





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The police are have identified 17-year-old Voshorney Green AKA Vos - or as reported in another medium, Fashornie Green, also known as 'Fuzz' - as the suspect behind Monday's gruesome murder of an 11-month-old child in Kingston Central.

"Based on the information we have, this teenager is known to frequent Luke Lane and surrounding areas and we want to use this opportunity to call on the accused to turn himself in to the police," Deputy Superintendent Percival Anderson, head of the Kingston Central Police Division, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

According to the police, at around 11:20 am on Monday, a man was standing along Chancery Lane when he was attacked by another man armed with a gun.

Reports are that the man, in a bid to escape, ran into a yard. The gunman, who was in hot pursuit, fired several shots at the man.

Eleven-month-old Omar Lindo, who was being bathed by his mother in the yard, was fatally shot during the attack.

Yesterday Member of Parliament for the West Kingston Desmond McKenzie condemned the act and called on the police to leave no stone unturned in their search for the suspect.





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LOCAL authorities were, up to late yesterday, unable to say whether businesses along Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston will have to keep their doors closed for at least a day as a result of today's visit of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama.

Located along the strip, one of the major corridors to be blocked off from vehicular access from 5:00 pm today to 5:00 pm tomorrow, are financial institutions, places of entertainment, restaurants, government agencies, and at least three shopping centres.

Emancipation Park, a major public space for Jamaicans from across the island, will also be closed at midday today. Other major and access roads to be closed off include sections of Camp Road, Arnold Road, Half-Way-Tree Road, Hope Road, Slipe Road, Caledonia Avenue, Caledonia Crescent, Arthur Wint Drive, Central Avenue, North Avenue, Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts, Old Hope Road, Eureka Crescent, Ripon Road, Oxford Road, Belmont Road, Haining Road, Trinidad Terrace, and Slipe Road

At a press conference at Jamaica House yesterday, head of the Police Border and Security Branch, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) James Golding said the businesses would be contacted in order to make arrangements, but information minister Senator Sandrea Falconer insisted that due to security concerns, the public could not be given details of the plans for access.

"We would not be allowed to give detailed information with too much of an advance. What we will be doing is contacting the business owners on Knutsford Boulevard, in addition to all the mass media announcements that we will make, and they can make that determination as to how they will treat it," she said.





15 year-old boy accuses policeman of buggery

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A 15-year-old boy is accusing a cop of buggery after the policeman allegedly accosted him, took him to a location and molested him.

It is reported that the boy made a report after confiding with a relative.

The news team understands that the cop has reportedly not shown for work since the matter was reported to his superiors.

It is not clear whether or not the police officer implicated has been officially removed from front-line duty.

The rank of the officer at the centre of the controversy has not been ascertained.

Some police officers within the parish said they were unaware, while a few said they were not at liberty to speak on the matter and directed our questions to the commander in charge and the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU).

However, several calls to the commander's mobile phone proved futile and the CCU said they were not aware of any incident of that nature.





Obama trip no longer a state visit

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Jamaica House says the trip to Jamaica by US President Barack Obama is no longer being designated a State Visit as had been previously agreed and communicated.

In a release issued last night, Jamaica House said the change takes into account the time constraints of the short duration of the visit and the established nature of a State Visit in the Jamaican context.

"Throughout the planning of the visit there has been, and continues to be, continuous dialogue between counterparts in the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the United States," a Jamaica House Spokesperson said in the release.

Jamaica House also said the Governments of Jamaica and the United States are committed to ensuring a successful and productive visit.

President Obama will arrive in Jamaica on April 8.

On April 9 the US President will have bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. He will also hold a summit with the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community and lay a wreath to honour veterans of World War I and World War II.

President Obama will also host the President's Town Hall forum with Caribbean and Regional Young Leaders.

He departs Jamaica on April 9.





Cops being sensitised to ganja amendments

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Police officers are being sensitised on the amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Police High Command recently reported.

Though the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) awaits a commencement day notice by Minister of Justice Mark Golding before the law can take effect - it is warning the public that until that happens, strict adherence to the law should be maintained.

The Bill to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act, to decriminalize ganja for medicinal, religious, scientific and therapeutic purposes, was passed in the Senate on February 6 with five amendments. It has been signed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and is to be gazetted.

It seeks to make the possession of small quantities of ganja, amounting to two ounces or less a non-arrestable offense, but ticketable infraction.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds reckoned that while there is an amendment to the law, regulations must be passed to bring it into effect.

"The amendment speaks to smoking and possession, so the police will respond to the law as they are obligated to," he said.

Hinds further emphasised that the cultivation of marijuana still remains illegal without a licence.

The government had previously indicated that it intends to set up a licensing authority to regularise the cannabis industry.





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United States and Jamaican officials have ramped up security operations three days ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.

At least four US Army helicopters arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport on Sunday. Obama will arrive in Jamaica on April 8 via US Air Force One.

Despite feverish road repairs and beautification activities by the government in preparation for the President's visit, Loop News understands that Obama will be airlifted to an undisclosed location in Kingston after arrival at NMIA.

At least three hotels have been booked out ahead of Obama's two-day visit.





An events promoter was hauled before the Spanish Town court and fined a whopping $50,000 or face six months in jail for operating an event without the required permit.

He appeared before a RM A. Nembhard and pleaded guilty with explanation. However, his attempts to defend himself triggered titters of amusement from court personnel.

RM Nembhard, who appeared to be getting increasingly irritable as the man rambled on, cut him off abruptly and summarily fined him $50,000 for operating an event without the required permit.

He told the judge that he didn't have the money to pay the fine, but his pleas were ignored.

The man's co-accused also pleaded guilty, and was fined $15,000 for operating a sound system without permission. However, he pleaded with the judge that he had only $5,000.

She accepted his pleas and he was allowed to pay a part of the fine and leave.





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The policeman who was shot and killed by his colleague during a botched robbery attempt has been identified. He is Constable Kemar Beckford of the Negril Police Station.

News reports are that Beckford was on sick leave when he and a crony attempted to rob a bar in which a senior cop was a patron. A shoot out ensued and Beckford was cut down. Both robbers wore masks. It is suspected that the second robber escaped.

Two persons were also injured in the melee while the senior cop received grazes from two projectiles. A Glock semi-automatic pistol with several rounds of ammunition was taken from Beckford's body. Glock pistols are issued to some cops.

The incident happened in Hopewell, Hanover early Saturday morning.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is probing the incident.





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Food vendors who operate in Heroes' Circle in Kingston are upset after their stalls were today demolished by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

A visit to Heroes Park is on the tight itinerary of US President Barak Obama's visit to Jamaica. His delegation, part of which is already in the island, visited Heroes Circle today.

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This morning, personnel from the KSAC visited the area and removed stalls on the sidewalk along the popular roadway.

A vendor, Marsha, says she and other vendors were not given proper notice about the removal. Another vendor described the KSAC's action as "cruel and uncaring".She stressed that many of those who have been selling along Heroes Circle have been doing so for generations and that food vending is the main source of income for several families in the area.

The woman further emphasised that she relies on her vending to send her children to school and to pay for the medication for a sick child.

Less robberies in New Kingston; more in Mona, Liguanea

The St Andrew Central Police say there has been a significant reduction in robberies in New Kingston and its environs, following the removal of a group of homeless men and drug addicts from the Shoemaker Gully.

The police and the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) moved the men in December. Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, head of the St Andrew Central Police, reports that a round-the-clock monitoring of the gully by the police has resulted in a major reduction in robberies.

He also disclosed that the police have launched a search for a group of bikers, linked to robberies in the division, especially in the Mona and Liguanea communities.Over the past several weeks, the bikers have stolen money, cellular phones and jewellery from their victims.

"They would look out for persons who go to the bank, and they would seize the opportunity... ladies, if they have their handbag, they would grab it... and they have... persons at different locations, and so they would just mount the bikes and disappear," he explained.

He said two of the bikes were seized last week. He added, however, that there is also a car being used in some of these robberies. SSP Bailey is urging members of the public to be on the look-out for the men and to call the police if they are spotted.





11-Month-old baby shot dead

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An armed gunman shot and killed an 11-month-old infant this afternoon in Central Kingston. Another child who was shot is reportedly battling for life in hospital.

The dead infant has been identified as Omar Lindo.

The incident reportedly happened around 12:50 p.m. on Chancery Lane.

According to the grandmother of the child, Lindo was killed while his mother bathed him in the yard.

The police have not established a motive for the shooting.





Road rage murder in quiet community

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St Andrew Central police were called to a homicide scene along Ziadie Avenue in Ziadie Gardens, St Andrew late Thursday night.

Upon arrival, cops discovered the body of a male lying in a pool of blood on the road, beside a white Honda Accord motor car. The body had gun shot wounds and a fractured leg, police report.

The dead man has been identified as Derron Rolando Whittaker, 35, of Havendale in St Andrew.

Cops suspect that the deceased was the driver of the Honda motor car, believed to have been involved in a traffic accident with another vehicle, leading to a dispute. Gunshots were reportedly fired and the other vehicle subsequently drove away. It is also believed that Whittaker was ran over by the said vehicle.

Several spent shells were found at the scene.





The police have released the identities of the two men whose bodies were found on Friday on a dirt track in Nain, St. Elizabeth. They are Nicholas Foster of Precious Plains in Manchester and Donald Jacobs of Lititz in St. Elizabeth.

It's reported that Jacobs who was facing charges of robbery, rape and abduction, was out on bail.

Investigators say three live rounds were found in the pocket of one of the deceased. Items believed to have been stolen in an earlier robbery at New Building in Nain were also found.

The St. Elizabeth Police theorize that Jacobs and Foster were killed by their accomplices after they failed to account for a missing illegal gun.





Riverton fire cost the gov't $235-Million

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Director General at the Office of Disaster of Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Major Clive Davis says the government has spent in excess of $235 million to extinguish the recent 12-day fire at the Riverton Landfill

Major Davis made the announcement at a Jamaica House press briefing in St Andrew on Wednesday, adding that heavy equipment and trucks will also be withdrawn from the site by Saturday.

He also said that ODPEM is now in the process of closing off extinguishing operations at the dump, and by Saturday "we anticipate that the site will be completely covered and what you will see is an increasingly stockpiling of cover material for any future activities there."

For his part, Minister of Local Government Noel Arscott assured that there would not be a repeat of the incident, based on measures being put in place by the government and the fire suppression equipment that have been procured.





Jamaican scammer jailed in Florida

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A 26 year old man in Broward, Florida who admitted he was part of a Jamaican lottery scam that targeted seniors in the U.S. was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison when he appeared in court on Friday.

Mikhail Williams, admitted he handled more than US$87-thousand in wire and cash transfers from 21 elderly victims who were tricked into believing they had won a lottery or sweepstake.He pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani said Williams squandered a second chance he was given in 2010 when investigators from the U.S.Postal Inspection Service warned him that money he received was part of a lottery or sweepstakes scam. Williams, who is Jamaican, was warned he could face prosecution if he continued to participate.

In court he claimed he had no direct contact with the victims, did not realize how old they were and only took a percentage of the money before sending the rest to Jamaica.

Williams will be deported after his prison term.





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US authorities have arrested a Philadelphia woman with a connection to Jamaica and charged her with attempting to provide support to militant group Islamic State (IS).

The US Justice Department said the woman, who was arrested on Thursday, was planning to travel overseas to join the organisation.

Keonna Thomas, 30, also known as Fatayat al-Khalifah and YoungLioness, was charged with trying to provide material support and resources, including herself as a fighter, to a foreign terrorist organisation.

It's alleged that having applied for a passport in February, she e-mailed a radical cleric in Jamaica, saying she had deactivated her Twitter account until leaving for Syria to avoid attention.

Under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance, she allegedly e-mailed an IS extremist based in the group's stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria. According to the Justice Department, if convicted, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Thomas is the second Syria-linked terror case involving US women announced by prosecutors in days. Two women were arrested in New York on Thursday and charged with planning to build a bomb and attack the United States, allegedly inspired by Al Qaeda and IS.

Jamaica's Ministry of National Security last month dismissed a claim by a US army General that Jamaicans have joined ISIS in Syria.





A policeman has reportedly shot a colleague dead during a botched robbery at a bar in Hopewell, Hanover. The incident occurred early Saturday morning.

News reports are that the dead cop, whose identity has not yet been released, attempted to rob a bar in the rural district when he was challenged by a cop who was on spot.

The senior cop reportedly shot his armed colleague dead before realising that he was in fact a member of the constabulary who was stationed in the neighbouring parish of Westmoreland at the Negril Police Station.

A patron and a bartender are nursing injuries while the heroic cop was slightly injured during the shoot-out.





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The body of a woman believed to be the wife of a popular deejay Merciless was discovered on Friday at her home in Longville Park, Clarendon. It is suspected that she may have committed suicide by ingesting pills.

She has been identified as Keisha Gibbs-Bartley. According to the Corporate Communications Unit, Bartley was found at her Longville Park, Clarendon home about 11 a.m. last Friday by a neighbour who allegedly observed her in distress.

Other reports are that a few minutes after 11 am on Good Friday, a neighbour saw the woman's body on the floor of her home with what appeared to be pills nearby.

The neighbour alerted the police and fire personnel from the Old Harbour Fire Station. The police were called to the scene and the body removed. No foul play is suspected at this time.

When contacted, Merciless, who appeared distraught, said that he did not want to comment on the matter.





Several real estate assets have been seized by the State and a man arrested following a major police operation in Ironshore, St James on Thursday afternoon.

Following an operation by the Financial Investigation Division, and the Major Organization Crime and Anti Corruption Agency (MOCA) three houses, one valued at J$65 million were seized.

Spokesman for MOCA West, Corporal Kevin Watson, says the owners have been charged with money laundering.

Law enforcement personnel in the US have also made arrests in connection with today's operation.





Attorney-at-law Leroy Equiano who is accused of defrauding the Legal Aid Clinic of millions of dollars has been charged.

Mr Equiano, who was taken into custody on Monday, was charged yesterday evening by investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency.The attorney, who is a Director at the Legal Aid Clinic, has been charged with several counts of fraud involving more than $8 million.

Mr Equiano was offered station bail in the sum of $500,000 and is booked to appear in court next week Friday.

MOCA reported that his arrest followed months of investigation into the alleged misappropriation of millions of dollars at the Clinic.

The police are also probing an incident in which thieves broke into the offices of the Legal Aid Clinic two weeks ago and remove computers as well as documents.

He is the fourth attorney arrested in recent weeks.

Miguel Lorne, Harold Brady and Patrick Bailey were detained last month and charged with fraud.





Three Cuban footballers who are accused of raping an American tourist in western Jamaica were not pointed out in an identification parade that was conducted on Wednesday.

However the three, while not being charged, remain in custody.

The police said they are awaiting the results of a DNA test to commence the next level of their probe.

The three Cubans were arrested after the woman complained to the police. The incident reportedly took place at a resort in Montego Bay this week.

The Cubans were in Jamaica for a football friendly, which ended in a 3-0 win for the Reggae Boyz.





Another child killed

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An 11-year-old boy was shot and killed in Clarendon on Wednesday.

Homicide investigators have yet to ascertain a motive for the heinous act. The dead child has been identified as Steven Williams, of Fourth Street, New Bowen, Clarendon.

Police report that, at about 8:15 pm, residents heard explosions and summoned them. When the cops arrived, Steven was seen with gunshot wounds along Fourth Street.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.





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US President Barack Obama is to arrive in Jamaica on April 8.

The Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller had announced that Obama would arrive on April 9.

However Consular Officer for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Kingston, Joshua Polacheck, says the April 8 arrival date is not a change in schedule as it was planned long ago that the US President would arrive ahead of a full working day on April 9.

"Think about the travel time from Washington, if he is going to work on the morning of the 9th he would have to leave Washington like 4 in the morning", Polacheck explained.

A check on the White House's website show a release issued on March 18 which states that President Obama will visit Jamaica and Panama from April 8-11.

Meanwhile, Polacheck says officials are finalising President Obama's schedule for his visit to Jamaica. He says among other things the US President will be holding bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson as well as meeting with leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Yesterday, the Ministry of National Security issued a statement saying the National Reserve of the Jamaica Defence Force has been called out to strengthen security Obama's visit. National Security Minister, Peter Bunting said the calling out of the Reserves is among several security measures being pursued. Bunting also said the public should expect traffic diversions and road closures for the visit.

Additionally, there will be air space restrictions to be communicated by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.





Top cops probing Trelawny gun find

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Top-level investigators from the Criminal Investigation Bureau have taken over the investigation into the large gun find in Trelawny on Sunday.

Police sources say the find is a link in the chain of what they say is a bigger plot, a belief that has seemingly triggered the high-level investigation.

Meanwhile, the two men who were held in connection with the seizure, are still in police custody.

Eleven guns were recovered when a pick-up with two men was intercepted by the police in Scarlett Hall, Trelawny on Sunday.

The weapons include a grenade launcher, an M-16, an AK-47, a Sniper Rifle, one Intratek Submachine, and an Uzi Submachine gun.





It has been revealed that the Kingston Legal Aid Clinic is under the scrutiny of the Ministry of Justice in the wake of concerns about its operations.

The revelation follows yesterday's arrest of an attorney who was linked to the Legal Aid Clinic.Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding last night told RJR News he ordered an audit of the agency.The findings were submitted to the Ministry

The Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency confirmed a report carried by RJR News that the attorney was taken into custody during an operation in the Corporate Area. A raid was also conducted at the Legal Aid Clinic on Tower Street in downtown Kingston. Several items were seized and investigations continue into a case of forgery and misappropriation of several million dollars in clients' funds. The detainee will be interviewed today.

In the meantime, the Justice Minister has signalled that changes are coming to the operations of the Legal Aid Clinic. He says he will have to look at the overall management arrangements.





Warning issued over Portmore fish kill

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A warning has been issued by the police about a fish kill in Portmore, St. Catherine.

The police are advising members of the public that a large quantity of the fish populary called Sprat, believed to have been poisoned and seen floating in the Bridgeview/ Edgewater canal must not be retrieved and consumed.

The police and members of the National Environment and Planning Agency, are trying determine the cause of the fish kill. Members of the public should be on the lookout for persons selling the fish and make a report to the police.





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The man who admitted to hatching a hoax that he was contracted to assassinate Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Horace Chang, was slapped with a 30-month sentence on Tuesday.

He is Maxie Robinson, who police say has a long fraud rap sheet and was recently released from prison. Robinson was informed of his sentence when he appeared in the Corporate Area

Resident Magistrate's Court. He was charged with Creating Public Mischief.

In the aftermath of Holness' announcement of a reshuffled Shadow Cabinet in January, Robinson made a report that he was one of three men who had been contracted to carry out the hit.

He later admitted that the report was false.





Justice Sarah James-Thompson sentenced a sex offender to a total of 82 years in prison for molesting a teenager two years ago. The sentence was handed down in the St Catherine Circuit Court last Friday.

The 45-year-old St Ann accused pleaded guilty to all charges during the preliminary inquiry. He was given sentences of 45 years for rape, 15 years for abduction, 12 years for robbery with aggravation, and 10 years for grievous sexual assault.

Justice James-Thompson ruled that the accused is not eligible for parole until he has served 35 years of his sentence.

The court heard that in May 2013, the complainant, who was then 13 years old, was on her way to school in St Catherine when the accused held her and dragged her into bushes.

He placed a machete at her throat, while he raped her. He also robbed her of the $550 lunch money she had. After the ordeal, the complainant made a report to the Linstead police in St Catherine. An investigation was launched and he was subsequently picked up by the police.

He was positively identified by the complainant during an identification parade.

The investigating officer in the matter was Detective Constable Tracey-Ann Cooper-Prince of the Linstead Criminal Investigation Branch.





12 year-old stabbed to death by classmate

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shocked.jpgA 12-year-old Grade six student is dead and his classmate in police custody after a dispute over a chair got violent at Barrett Town All-Age School in St James Monday morning.

The dead boy has been identified as Shyheim Lewis of Barrett Town.

According to hismother, Jacinth Johnson, she was at home when she got the news that her son had been wounded and rushed off to the school.

She said she was told that there was a dispute between her son and a classmate over a chair and Shyheim was stabbed. .Johnson said it was reported to her that her son was stabbed while standing on the corridor. According to the mother he was stabbed in the side and received a cut to the face. The child died at hospital.

Both boys are said to have sat the Grade Six Achievement Test last Thursday and Friday. Shyheim's mother said her son wanted to attend Maldon High and he had dreams of becoming a soldier.

Meanwhile, Ms Johnson has raised several questions about the circumstances leading up to her son's death.





patrick-bailey.jpg Prominent attorney Patrick Bailey who was taken into custody on Monday has been charged with fraud.

He was detained by the Fraud Squad.

Reports are that Bailey was arrested in connection with a J$100 million real estate deal.

Bailey has been released from custody following his arrest yesterday by Fraud Squad detectives.

Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, says Mr. Bailey was the subject of a lengthy investigation in relation land deal in 1996. He said he found it necessary to lay charges against him.

He will appear in court next week Wednesday.

He is the third attorney arrested in recent weeks.

Miguel Lorne and Harold Brady were detained last month and charged with fraud.





Pregnant teenager killed in motor vehicle crash

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A teenaged girl said to be in an advanced stage of pregnancy died Monday morning in a motor vehicle crash along the Chalky Hill main road in St. Ann.

She has been identified as Sasha Beckford,17, of Croft's Hill in Clarendon.Four other persons including a child were taken to hospital.

It's reported that shortly after 6 o'clock the teenager was a passenger in a Toyota Corolla motorcar along with her mother, a man and his son. The vehicle reportedly skidded and plunged about 100 metres over a precipice.

It was the third fatal crash in St. Ann since the start of the weekend and the fourth fatality.





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State Minister for Works Richard Azan says road repairs being carried out in sections of the Corporate Area are not being done for the visit of US President Barrack Obama.

"It is a programme that we have taken in which we focus on a number of main roads in the Corporate Area; we are going to do rural Jamaica very shortly..." Azan said.

He further said: "The only thing about it is that some are being repaired in the period of time that President Obama will be visiting. But the repairs are not for the President's visit."

The National Works Agency (NWA) announced that several roads will be repaired over the next two weeks.

Obama is slated to arrive on the island on April 9.





US visitor missing

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Forty-eight year-old Terrence Kemble of Lauda Hill Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been missing since Friday, March 27.

He is of dark complexion, stout-build and is about 172 centimetres (5 feet 8 inches) tall.

Kemble was last seen about 8:30 p.m., on Chisholm Avenue, Kingston 13. He was dressed in a pair of black jeans pants, a plaid short-sleeved shirt and a pair of black and white sandals. He has not been heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Terrence Kemble is being asked to contact the Duhaney Park police at 933-4280, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.





Guns, rocket launcher seized on highway

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The Trelawny police said two men have been taken into custody over yesterday's seizure of 11 guns and a rocket launcher during a spot check.

The men were reportedly stopped while travelling in a pickup along the Scarlett Hall area of the North Coast leg of Highway 2000. The guns and rocket launcher were found in a barrel. An investigator said the weapons were concealed in what he described as a well-taped and packaged parcel.

The cops are warning motorists against alerting persons of police presence on the roads. Deputy Superintendent Odeen Dennis reported that the men almost eluded the police because other motorists warned them of their presence.

Fortunately, Dennis said the police saw what was happening and thwarted the bid to escape.

The senior policeman is warning motorists to desist from doing this because, according to him, many lives could be lost based on the number and types of guns seized. Some of the weapons seized include a rocket launcher, an M-16, an AK-47, a Sniper rifle, one Intratek sub-machine and a Uzi sub-machine, among others.

The police said 16 guns have been recovered in the parish since the start of the year.





Video clip lands schoolboys in police custody

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Two male students from a prominent high school in St Thomas have been taken into custody, after a video surfaced that showed them assaulting another schoolboy. The incident happened last week and was recorded and posted on several social media sites, including Facebook.

The video, which shows the students striking another male student with a belt, while other students watched, caused outrage among many social media viewers, who denounced the boys as bullies and troublemakers.

Deputy Superintendent Charmaine Shand of the St Thomas police confirmed that the incident was under investigation. She said officers have also received a statement from the boy who was assaulted. The St Thomas police also said that they have expanded their support to the school, offering aid in conflict resolution and violence reduction.

Shand is also appealing for the individual who recorded the incident to make a statement to the police to assist with the investigation.





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Dancehall artiste Miguel Collins, more popularly known as Sizzla Kolanji, has been charged for using expletives onstage during a performance at the Falmouth Police Station Sunday morning.

Sizzla had been invited in good faith to perform at the station for an entertainment event organised by the police Community Safety & Security Branch, a community outreach arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

However, on entering the stage, his opening sentence was reportedly laced with expletives as he berated the police.

The police, who had invited the artiste, did not turn a blind eye to his performance and he was taken from the stage and charged.

Some persons in attendance at the event said they were angered by his removal from the stage, arguing that the police knew his style and should not have invited the artiste if they did not want to hear what he had to say.

The majority of attendees, however, were of the view that Sizzla's performance was an attack on, and disrespectful to, law and order, particularly since he was performing at the station said to be one of the largest in the Caribbean.





A vendor had to make a hasty retreat from a St Catherine school after he had a dispute with the principal who pulled a machete and threatened to cut him down to size. The incident is the subject of much laughter in the community where the school is located.

"Is blaze di vendor have to blaze him way from the school, after him and di principal have a fuss. Him seh di big man get real bringle, so him a go station," a resident, who is a taxi operator, reported.

Reports are that last Friday, the male vendor was at the school where he sells, when there was a disagreement. It was reported that the vendor and the principal had a heated verbal exchange.

This was said to have developed into a dispute, leading the principal to brandish a machete. Further reports are that the principal told the vendor he would "cut him down to size". The fearful vendor fled the scene, and ran to the police thereafter.

The Bog Walk police have acknowledged the incident and said that both parties were spoken to.





andrew-holness-photo-2.jpgThe Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has issued a release saying Andrew Holness has been affirmed as the party leader.

Opposition Members of Parliament were meeting to determine Holness' fate following an Appeals Court ruling last week dismissing his application the Senate seat court battle involving Arthur Williams and Christopher Tufton.

The JLP says 20 of the 21 Opposition MPs attended the meeting.

North West St Elizabeth MP J C Hutchinson was the only one absent.

However, the JLP says this was unavoidable and Hutchinson communicated his position in writing.





mavado-photo-11.jpgDancehall artiste Mavado says he was a victim of racial profiling at an Asian restaurant in New York recently. According to the Love In Your Heart singer, he was treated like a bum and even verbally abused at the restaurant because of the colour of his skin.

The artiste, who expressed his grouse with the restaurant via his Instagram page, claims he visited the establishment to have lunch with his family and friends. However, he was unreasonably forced to sit at the back even though it was pretty much empty.

Mavado also claims the manager of the restaurant prohibited him from using his phone in any manner, after which they rushed him to eat his food, as if they did not want to accommodate him and his guests for an extended period.

The artiste says his manager was later contacted by the restaurant and they profusely apologised for their actions, highlighting that they were ignorant to his popularity.

"Just went to ... restaurant and this manager - or whoever he wants to be -- was very disrespectful after I just spend a couple hundreds inside for me, my friends, and family. How could you have someone running a business and being prejudice, and trying to tell customers not to come back just because he didn't know who I am, but now he knows." Mavado posted on Instagram.

Mavado's story has since caught the attention of popular US urban media houses like TMZ and VLAD TV.

The artiste is currently promoting a single called Ain't Going Back Broke featuring Ace Hood and Future. The soon-to-be-released remix features Vybz Kartel.





A video of a man and a large woman having sex in broad daylight has crept up on various platforms.

As of Tuesday, the video has racked up close to half-a-million views on Facebook and is being shared through messaging application, WhatsApp.

The video, which was recorded somewhere along Ripon Road, shows the large woman, believed to be a prostitute, bent over a motor vehicle as a slim man has his way with her. The road, as well as surrounding areas is viewed as a hotspot for such activities. The man, who was wearing a condom as he did his business in the video, was being boosted by his friends recording his escapade.

However, the man is being derided by the prostitute and a few others for having 'finished' too quickly. At the end of the video, the woman disposes of the condom, pushes the man away, then walks off.

Visits to the area on Wednesday afternoon showed broken magnum glass bottles and a few used condoms which tell the tale of the activities which transpire on that road, which is a location for several businesses, as well as a popular strip club.

A manager for one of the businesses close to where the video was recorded expressed anger at the situation.

"It is upsetting and frustrating. You would think it's Coronation Market. We have been complaining in silence to the police," he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent in charge of the New Kingston Police Post, Christopher Murdock, said the police use high visibility patrol to deter such activities.





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Reports that Buju Banton has been freed and deported to Jamaica have sent the internet into a world-wind.

However, it has been revealed that Buju is still behind bars at the McRae Correctional Institution in the state of Georgia and is listed for release on January 3, 2019.

Buju Banton was arrested at his Florida home by US Marshalls in connection with drug trafficking in 2009. He was found guilty after two trials in a Tampa Court.

The Gargamel who is of the belief that he was entrapped by a US government informant; maintains his innocence.





shocked.jpg A 15 year old student is now in police custody in connection with the shooting of a 14 year old female student on Wednesday.

The police report that the injured teenager was on her way home when the incident occurred.

The other student - a male, is expected to be charged.

Head of the St. Catherine South Police Division Senior Superintendent Noel Christie says other charges are expected to be laid against individuals who filed a false report to the police regarding the incident.

The injured student has been listed in serious but stable condition.





barack-obama-photo-2.jpg National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, says the county's security forces are prepared for the upcoming visit to Jamaica of US President, Barack Obama.

President Obama is to arrive in Kingston on April 9 for what Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has said will be a State Visit.

Obama is scheduled to meet with Caricom Heads of Government while in Kingston.

When US President Ronald Reagan came to Jamaica on an Official Visit in April 1982, there were extensive security arrangements, including US law enforcement agents doing checks on some residential homes.

In a radio interview on Thursday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the public would soon be updated on precautions that will be put in place when President Obama arrives in Kingston.

The Security Minister said he recognized that President Obama's arrival will mean all eyes on Jamaica.





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gay-protest-new-york.jpg "Let me tell you something; you want to disturb, you can disturb, but this woman come here with the blood of Nanny of the Maroons and the spirit of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and this woman is not afraid of no man, nowhere, anywhere, and I will speak the truth everywhere," Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller told gay rights protestors in New York who crashed her keynote address at the launch of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

As Simpson Miller defended Jamaica's record of protecting the rights of gays, the protestors demanded she do more for them. However, the prime minister did not take kindly to the disruption and chided the protestors for not telling the truth.

"Nobody never hears the Government of Jamaica beating up gays; not one. Let me tell you something; you want to disturb, you can disturb, but this woman come here with the blood of Nanny of the Maroons and the spirit of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and this woman is not afraid of no man, nowhere, anywhere, and I will speak the truth everywhere," the prime minister said to loud cheers and applause from the audience.

Simpson Miller noted her position and that her People's National Party Government is different from that of the previous administration of Bruce Golding, who famously said he would not allow gays to serve in his Cabinet.

Simpson Miller stressed that she would not be bullied by those who tell lies about Jamaica's treatment of gays. And she further lamented that Jamaica would not bow to attempts to hurt the country's image with misinformation. The prime minister said Jamaica respects the human rights of all its citizens, including gays. She added that those who disagreed are not being truthful.

"Jamaica will continue to rise and shine globally. Jamaica will rise and shine all over the world and no one man can stop that," Simpson Miller declared.

In the past, gay-rights advocates have picketed events attended by the prime minister in New York.





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Puma, the global sports brand, will include Barbadian singer Rihanna in its Forever Faster campaign which embodies the spirit of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. It signals Puma's further alliance with celebrity icons birthed in the region.

"In 2015, world-class athletes like Usain Bolt and Sergio Agüero will be joined by a new face: style icon Rihanna," stated Puma in its recently released annual reports 2014.

Rihanna, at 27, will assume the role of global brand ambassador and creative director for Puma Women's Fitness and Training.

"Rihanna's unique feeling for style and innovation will be vital in product development here," stated Puma, which made 84 million euros in consolidated net earnings for its 2014 annual year-on-year revenues of 2.97 billion euros. This represented a tripling of net earnings year-on-year.

The "Forever Faster" campaign -- the largest brand campaign in Puma's history -- was launched in August and met with a "very positive response" from consumers and retailers, the company stated. The campaign aims to show that 'Puma is back in sports'.

"No other female superstar embodies our brand as well as she does. Rihanna is the global brand ambassador for the Puma category Women's Training and at the same time is assuming the role of creative director for this area. In this role, Rihanna will incorporate her special flair for style and innovation in our products," stated Puma in its report on Rihanna, who was born in Barbados but currently lives in the US.

The annual report added: "Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, thus embodies the mission statement 'Forever Faster'".





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A 13-year-old student of Munro College in St. Elizabeth has been hospitalised following a stabbing incident early Monday.

According to reports, the student and a 17-year-old school mate were involved in a dispute. The argument reportedly got heated and, during the altercation, the 17-year-old stabbed the 13-year-old.

A police source disclosed that the 17-year-old has not yet been questioned in connection with the stabbing.

Efforts to reach Munro's Principal were unsuccessful.





Teacher robbed during class at Angels Primary

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Students and employees of the Angels Primary School in St. Catherine have been left shaken following an incident yesterday in which a female teacher was held up and robbed while conducting a class. They are receiving counselling.

Vice Principal of Angels Primary, Gloria Crooks, said the police were informed of the incident. She explained that he held up the guidance councellor while she was conducting a class of about 30 students. He robbed her of two rings.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has condemned the incident. He said it's unfortunate that criminals continue to target schools.





petrotrin-logo.jpg Trinidad and Tobago prices the finished petroleum products it sells to Caricom countries nearly 10 per cent higher than the sale price outside the region, claims William Mahfood.

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) president said that the twin-island republic charges "a premium to Jamaica at almost 10 per cent in order for us to pay just below what it would cost the extra-regional price including duty".

Mahfood was referring to the common external tariff (CET) applied to goods imported from countries which are not members of Caricom to member countries. The CET is 10 per cent, while Petrotrin (the state-run oil refinery in Trinidad) prices its finished products at 9.9 per cent above Platts or Gulf Coast reference prices, according to Mahfood.

"Only recently I found out that within Caricom, we can only import petroleum finished products from Petrotrin," Mahfood said at the PSOJ breakfast forum held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday.

"We need to insist that they immediately price their products to Jamaica at the same price they would sell to Aruba or Curacao and other non-Caricom members."

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell said that Government would likely be supportive of lobby efforts aimed at further reducing energy costs.





Transport Minister Omar Davies on sick leave

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omar-davies.jpg Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies has been forced to take leave from the job due to ill health.

Davies went on leave on Monday. One of his physicians, Dr Morais Guy, the minister without portfolio in the ministry, said Davies' condition led to him blocking out. He, however, refused to give details on his health.

But well-placed government sources say Davies has had to undergo surgery to effect repairs to the pacemaker in his heart. The senior government minister has in recent times had a hip operation. He has been Member of Parliament for South St Andrew since 1994.

Sources say Davies is unlikely to seek reelection in 2016 when the next general elections are due.





GSAT to start half hour later than usual

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The GSAT examinations set for Thursday and Friday of this week, are to start half hour later than usual, on each day.

The Ministry of Education says, the Grade Six Achievement Test, scheduled for March 26 and 27, is to commence at 9:30 a.m. on each day, at all examination centres. The decision to shift the usual start time of the examination from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m, is to facilitate schools that are directly affected by the smoke from the Riverton City disposal site.

The ministry says, it has been reliably informed, that the smoke nuisance appears early in the morning, and abates by 9 a.m. It says, all presiding examiners, are to begin at the approved time, in order to protect the integrity of the examination.

The GSAT examinations were rescheduled from last week to this week, due to the impact of smoke from the disposal site, on several schools in the Corporate Area, and St. Catherine.





prime-minister-portia-simpson-miller-photo-1.jpg The government is to amend the law to provide stiffer penalties in cases where a woman is murdered and the perpetrator is aware that she was pregnant.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller told the House of Representatives on Tuesday that the amendment is being proposed in light of the recent killings of two pregnant teens.

"This is to be treated as an aggravating feature in determining the sentencing posed by the court so that the murderer receives significantly harsher punishment in the form of a longer sentence."

The announcement was made just weeks after the murder of Kayalicia Simpson, 14,who was hacked to death in St Thomas. An autopsy revealed that the child was five months pregnant.One man is now in custody in connection with Kayalicia's murder.

Meanwhile, crime statistics show that 17 children have been murdered in Jamaica since January. Ten boys and seven girls were killed up to last week This compared to ten during the corresponding period last year when nine boys and one girl were killed.





Fire At Riveron dump finally extinguished

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After raging for nearly two weeks the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that the fire at the Riverton City disposal site is almost extinguished.

A statement from the agency on Tuesday afternoon said the Jamaica Fire Brigade is continuing mopping-up activities. Searches are being carried out to identify hot spots, and apply water as well as soil. However, ODPEM Director-General Major Clive Davis says the public should remain on alert.

"There are no open flames on the site at this time, however there is still the possibility of the rekindling of small pockets.... Despite these positive results we continue to advise that there is still the possibility of smoke nuisance especially in communities in and around the disposal site....." he said.





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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey, has confirmed that his ministry is taking the Local Government Ministry to court concerning matters relating to the massive fire at the Riverton City Dump.

The fire resulted in the Corporate Area being blanketed by smoke for several days.

Sources have confirmed that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health issued instructions for summonses to be served on senior officials of the Local Government Ministry. It is understood that arrangements are being made for a court hearing by next month.

On Monday, it was reported that Local Government Minister Noel Arscott expressed displeasure at the move by the Health Ministry to take his Ministry to court.

However Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson indicated that he had a duty to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public.





Gully Bop a hit in England; does new collab

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Arguably the most talked about artiste in dancehall, Gully Bop has taken over new territory. The entertainer continues his invasion of the United Kingdom with his fourth sold-out show, held in Birmingham over the weekend. He is relishing in a publicity blitz, surfacing from radio and TV interviews connected with his first promotional tour. To top it off, he has recorded a contagious track with one of England's leading dancehall artiste, Stylo G.

"Right now me feel good, how me come a England and them just embrace me. Big big BBC radio a play Gully Bop non-stop and invite me in them studio. Me a get support at every show, every one of them pack! People swarm me like bees fe take picture everywhere me go. Is a thousand things and more a go on right now, so me have to give God thanks," Gully Bop explained.

"Who She Want" is the title of the hit-bound release recorded with Stylo G. The song is entertaining, upbeat and pokes fun at both artistes. The producers are Star Traxx and Adde. Immediately upon release the brand-new song has seized high rotation on British radio.

Gully Bop will wrap the U.K. leg of this tour on Sunday, March 29th. His closing performance will be at the Electric Brixton. Bop will then proceed to his debut performances in Grenada, Guyana, The Cayman Islands, Barbados and other Caribbean countries.





Masked gunmen murder St Ann woman at her home

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A woman was shot and killed after gunmen barged into her home at Steer Town in St Ann on Sunday evening.

She has been identified by police as 25-year-old customer service agent, Marshalette Briscoe.

Police report that, at about 8:30 PM, Briscoe was at home when two masked gunmen kicked in the front door and opened fire, hitting her all over her body.

She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.





Retirement Dump on fire

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The Jamaica Fire Brigade is reporting that the Retirement Dump in St James is on fire.

Superintendent in charge of the St James Fire Department, Dolfin Doman, said that a team has been dispatched to the disposal site to extinguish the blaze.

However, he says the magnitude of the fire is not yet known.

He said firefighters battled a blaze at the Dump late Sunday. There was also a fire at the Retirement Dump last week.





Brother kills brother over bicycle

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The Trelawny police have taken a man into custody, for allegedly hacking to death his older brother in Duanvale, in the parish, Sunday afternoon.

Dead is 44-year-old labourer Lincoln Barrett, also called yellow of Duanvale.

Reports are that the two had a heated argument over a bicycle, which escalated into a fight, and a machete was brought into play.

The elder brother died after receiving chop wounds to his neck and face.

The younger brother, who was taken into custody, is said to have a wound to his knee.





gully-bop-with-new_girlfriend-england-tour.jpg Gully Bop not Despite what seems like infidelity on his part since going on tour in England recently, dancehall artiste Gully Bop has denied cheating and promises that he will never disrespect his fianceé and manager Shauna Chin. Since starting his three-week stint in England last week, a video surfaced on YouTube where Gully Bop seemed mesmerised by a female he saw at the venue. In the two-minute interview, he expressed pleasure with his time in the country.

"Is a big dream dis man. Mi haffi a pinch myself all now fi see if it real, but it real cause mi couldn't a dream so long. And me see supm a England weh mi love special too enuh. Just like how I am a sensation here, I see a sensation in here and I like her very bad," he said.

The interviewer then asked, "so a just one want a wuk off a yuh since you come England?" and Gully Bop responded saying, "Many, but a just one me see weh mi like."

After that video came to the fore on Monday, a picture surfaced later in the day with the deejay pictured with a woman who had some of her breast exposed. However, when contacted, he said did not mean to disrespect his fianceé in any way.

"No disrespect, mi nuh must love mi wife. A me and Chin a come from ya so to deh so and she neva switch off so mi caan switch off. Even if Chin was here you would still see all of dem picture deh put up," he said.

In his defence, Gully Bop stressed that he did not know the woman he took the picture with, nor was he referring to an actual woman when he spoke of the 'sensation' that he liked.

"When mi seh 'mi see supm weh mi like', is not a woman. Is just a car weh mi like, it did deh pon display and it nah sell," he said.

As for the woman he took the picture with, he said he is now somewhat cautious about taking pictures with fans.

"Mi get fraid fi tek picture wid people because dem a post it a write up tings under it. But if mi stop tek picture with mi fans dem, it will melt my career," he said.

Although he has since apologised to Shauna Chin about the picture and video, she said she still feels somewhat upset about what she saw. However, Chin said Gully Bop stressed that he was not playing the field.





Smirnoff Color Festival Sunday at Hope Gardens

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The upcoming Smirnoff Color Festival on Sunday, March 29 at Hope Gardens has become one of the most anticipated high-energy events of the soca season and this year is expected to attract a massive crowd of revellers. The last staging in September had set the pace when vodka giant Smirnoff partnered with the promoters of the event to deliver a colourful, experiential and exhilarating package. The venue was transformed into a sea of multiple colours with powder throws after each signal by the DJ.

"The feedback from our September staging was extremely positive. Unprompted patron feedback included things like 'I can't wait for the next Color Festival!', 'The next Color Festival can't miss me', 'This was the best party ever', and 'The Color Festival is the happiest festival in the world!'" explained Cooper.

On Sunday, the promoters are promising an even greater event and will be going all out to ensure that the expectations of the patrons are met and, more so, exceeded.

"The Color Festival will continue to deliver a world-class party experience, the greatly anticipated hourly colour throws, a 150ft wide LED wall and backdrop with light show, a mix of the best international and local DJs and amazing drink experiences at our bar," said Cooper.

The DJs set to be on the line-up for the festival includes international EDM DJ Kyle Desouza, Titan VCD from Trinidad, and our very own local DJ Sanjay and Kurt Riley.





andrew-holness-photo-2.jpg Olympic Way, the home of Swagg Tuesdays, All Star Check Thursday, and Month-end Fridays, is to be transformed into an entertainment hip strip in the Corporate Area. Andrew Holness in whose West Central St Andrew constituency Olympic Way falls, said in Parliament that the aim is to create entertainment products that can be delivered in the community without being an inconvenience to others.

"This year, as my special project, with a combination of funds from the Constituency Development Fund and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, I will be seeking to brand Olympic Way as a commercial and entertainment hip strip," Holness said.

He noted that the emergence of Olympic Way as a main entertainment venue has led to patrons leaving many communities to visit the area for partying.

"This phenomenon is not new or unique to Olympic Gardens. However, there now appears to be a more coordinated and organised effort among young entrepreneurs."

Holness said he is sensitive to the complaints of residents about night noise and the obstruction of traffic, but said, "I am confident, however, that as the promoters become more organised, they will be able to better self-regulate within the law, and create entertainment products that can be delivered without inconvenience."

Holness told Parliament that the hip-strip project will see the development of entertainment products such as live cultural and sporting events. The MP also said repairs would be done to pedestrian infrastructure such as drain covers, bridge rails and sidewalks, to make them more suitable for users, particularly the disabled community.





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The nine-member board of Summerfest Productions, the organisers of the world's greatest reggae show, Reggae Sumfest, returned Robert Russell as its chairman. Russell assumes the mantle with the able assistance of deputy chairman Barry Jenoure. Russell is one of the founding members of the festival and has, prior to the one-year chairmanship of Godfrey Dyer, held the position for 16 consecutive years.

During Russell's tenure, the festival grew tremendously and featured some of the biggest and best acts from all across the world, including Usher, 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Nicky Minaj, Lionel Richie, and many more. Now the event boasts more than 30,000 patrons.

Commenting on the move, Russell said that promoting the event and attracting more patrons over the years has continued to be his commitment. "We have been extremely fortunate with the success of the event. I will continue to strive to grow and develop the event so that patrons will get more value out of the entertainment package," Russell said.

"We are revamping the entire event and infusing many exciting and first-world elements that will give it a major facelift this year. Patrons will no doubt appreciate this spectacle," he added.

He affirmed the commitment of his team, pointing out that Reggae Sumfest has been the high point of the summer since its inception in 1993.





Warrior King re-charting his journey

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For some of Warrior King's fans, especially in Jamaica, their relationship with the artiste could very well be summed up as "out of sight, out of mind", and no-one is more aware of this than Warrior King himself.

However, the Virtuous Woman singer is committed to taking definitive steps to change all of that and reconnect in a huge way, starting with his most recent single, Ain't Giving Up. He ruefully admits to keeping a low profile in Jamaica for the last two and a half years, but hastens to add that he has not been idle. Instead, he has been travelling extensively overseas, building his brand on a global level and maintaining his expected high standards. Quite satisfied with that rhythm and flow, Warrior King is eyeing Jamaica and the Caribbean as his happy hunting ground for 2015.

"Jamaica is where it all started. It was the launch pad for the international circuit. From day one of my career, I have always thought global, but at the same time, I can never forget where I am coming from. I have been doing a bit of touring and studio work and have been here in Jamaica a lot as well, but the truth is that if promoters in Jamaica don't see your face or hear your voice via some kind of PR machinery, for example, then you don't get called for a show. Like it or not, that's just the way it is," explained the entertainer, who is managed by France-based Mark Miller, a former stage manager for reggae king Bob Marley and author of the book, A White Knight in Babylon, On the Road with Bob Marley.

Admitting that he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from Miller in the last three years, a level-headed Warrior King had high praises for Miller's professionalism, transparency and the respect from his peers on the world stage. This partnership has seen Warrior King evolve and claim his space musically and otherwise, establishing his own Rootz Warrior Productions and securing fan bases in Europe, Asia, Australia, and even the place considered the Holy Land, Jerusalem.





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Joel Lovelace, the 14-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by the bullet of a cop in Lawrence Tavern, St Andrew wanted to be a sprinter for Kingston College. Current quarter miler for KC, Akeem Bloomfield says Joel's dream of representing the North-Street based institution will not die.

He plans to dedicate his performance at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships to the life of the dead teen.

"His dream of being a sprinter for KC has not died but instead been transformed and will live on. My performance at Boys and Girls champs 2015 will be dedicated to my fallen friend," Bloomfield wrote on Facebook.

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Bloomfield is grief-stricken by Joel's death.

"When I heard the news I just went and sat down and held my head because I just couldn't believe it. Another promising youth that could have been something great gone down the drain just like that," the 15-year-old athlete said.

In a tribute on social media, Bloomfield said Joel was dedicated to track and field.

Bloomfield recalled the first day Lovelace went to Kingston College to train.

"He always wore football boots." I asked him why he was at K C and he said "I do the 100m and the 200m and I want to be a sprinter for K.C," Bloomfield said.

The 15-year-old Bloomfield added: "He would always come and say 'what's on the programme today Bloomfield?' I respected him because he was humble and you could see the passion that he had for track and field."
Joel's dad, Dwight Lovelace said the youngster excelled in football and track as well as in academics.

"Me baby, me baby. Them kill me baby. The track star, the quiz team star, the defender. Me baby," the grief-stricken man wailed as he sobbed uncontrollably.

Joel had been shot in the face as he sat doing his homework after leaving school and attending band practice at church. He died while undergoing surgery for the gunshot wound he received.





Montego Bay businessman shot and killed

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Tarick Bucknor, a businessman from St. James was shot dead on Saturday in the car park of the popular Pier One entertainment complex.

A second man was also shot in the attack and has been hospitalised.

It's reported that early Saturday morning , Bucknor left a function and was walking towards his vehicle in the car park when he was attacked and shot repeatedly.

Bucknor, a well known figure in Montego Bay, died on the spot.

Nearly 50 persons have been murdered in St James since the start of the year.





kelly-tomblin-jps.jpg Jamaica Public Service (JPS) president and CEO, Kelly Tomblin, was recently robbed of her cellular phone outside of her company office in New Kingston and within less than three hours her phone was resold.

The purchaser was later held by the police and charged with receiving stolen property.

On Friday, when the matter was called up in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, the accused Alecia Smith, a bartender, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

The incident, which occurred on March 8, about 12:30 p.m., resulted in the CEO being robbed of a $90,000 Samsung Galaxy S5, allegedly by two men - a rider and a pillion - one of who grabbed the device and escaped on a motorcycle.

The court heard that the device, which contained $200,000 worth of call credit before it was stolen, was later found in the possession of the bartender in east Kingston. The police are said to be searching for the rider and the pillion that allegedly sold the phone to Smith for $25,000.

A bail application by Smith's lawyer was denied even after the attorney told the court that her client was co- operating with the investigation. The police are said to be hot on the heels of the accused men. Smith is to return to court on March 26. She was further remanded and a fingerprint order made.





Ganja education programme coming

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A much needed communication programme intended to clear up misconceptions regarding the reform of the country's ganja laws is on the horizon.

According to Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, the programme will be in two parts - one section seeking to explain the updated law "in plain and easily understood language, through a question and answer model," and the other will answer public health questions. That second aspect, he said, will "inform the public about ganja and discourage the use of ganja by vulnerable groups."

This aspect of the communication programme is being developed by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), he explained. That draft document, being developed by the NCDA, will be presented to the relevant Cabinet sub-committee "by next week Friday," he disclosed.

On March 6, Garfield Coburn, a resident of Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew, was fatally shot by the police, after he reportedly resisted attempts by them to arrest him for possession of a ganja spliff.

That incident sparked protests in the community, and calls by various interest groups for an immediate public education programme on the new ganja regime.

Under the legislation, possession of ganja of two ounces or less will no longer be an arrestable criminal offence, but a ticketable infraction which will carry a fixed penalty.





Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew is dead

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Lee Kuan Yew, the legendary former prime minister of Singapore, has died at the age of 91. He had been in hospital for several weeks with pneumonia.

Prime Minister for 31 years, Lee Kuan Yew is credited with transforming Singapore from a small port city into a wealthy global hub. But his record was not an unblemished one. He was criticised for his iron grip on power, and the fact that under his leadership freedom of speech was tightly restricted and political opponents were targeted by the courts.

In a televised address, his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid tribute to him.

"He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won't see another man like him."

Mr. Lee oversaw Singapore's independence from Britain and separation from Malaysia.





Leadership crisis at schools - NEI report

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The independent body charged with the responsibility for the inspection of schools and regional operations has continued to unearth more problems in the governance structure at a number of educational institutions.

The National Education Inspectorate (NEI) in its latest round of monitoring says it is still not pleased with the quality of leadership at some schools. Chief Inspector of the NEI, Maureen Dwyer says more than forty per cent of schools inspected to date have been rated as unsatisfactory in leadership and management.

She notes that despite the circumstances; school boards, principals and senior teachers have the critical responsibility to plan for students' learning. In its latest round, the NEI completed the inspection of 50 primary and secondary schools in December 2014.

Inspectors are currently visiting the remaining 85 institutions in order to complete the assessment of all 954 public schools by June of this year

Meanwhile, in an early reaction, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has described the findings of the National Education Institute report as cause for great concern. He says the Education Ministry is pressing ahead with its programme to improve the leadership of schools.

According to the Education Minister, if school leaders are not performing they must be held accountable and they will not be allowed to stay.





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The Jamaican police have announced that rigid and extensive security arrangements are being finalised for the planned visit of US President Barack Obama to the island next month.

The US Secret Service, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force are the main agencies responsible for coordinating security arrangements for the visit.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced in Parliament last Tuesday that President Obama is due in the island on April 9, ahead of his participation in the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkiss, head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (C-TOC) says while his office cannot reveal the details, a security assessment has been made and the work is ongoing. He says the police had knowledge of the visit long before it was made public.

The visit of President Obama comes almost 33 years to the date after the visit of President Ronald Reagan on April 7 and 8, 1982.





Jamie Foxx denies Katie Holmes dating rumors

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It was claimed on Wednesday they have been secretly dating for a year-and-a-half. There was even photo evidence as the two were pictured with their legs intertwined as they held hands while at ease in a studio in February.

But on Friday Jamie Foxx threw some cold water on reports of a romance with Katie Holmes, 36, as he talked to TMZ after leaving a bank in Westlake Village, which is just outside Los Angeles.

'Oh come on you guys have been trying to make that stick for three years, we're just friends,' the Ray actor, 47, said. 'As a matter of fact Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI, he offered us an animation project and we're working on that.'

The Soloist actor also said, 'They have been trying to do that for three years - just stories I guess. You just have to respect - that's just part of our lives.'

Foxx then took a selfie with a male fan, shook his hand and whistled as he climbed into a black Rolls Royce.

The Any Given Sunday star showed off fit arms in a short-sleeved white V-neck shirt. Worn-in jeans and white high top sneakers added a casual look. The Annie star looked like a gentleman as he said hello to a female fan when he was standing next to a cash machine.

Holmes has yet to comment on the report.

The beauty was spotted leaving a friend's house in LA on Wednesday looking chic in a button-down denim shirt with pockets on the front. Skinny dark jeans highlighted her toned legs.

The mother to Suri, aged eight, was on-trend with dark aviator shades and Mary Jane inspired flats.

UsWeekly reported that the actors have been 'secretly spending time' together. She divorced Cruise in 2012 after six years of marriage and he worked with Tom on Collateral in 2004.

The publication added that Foxx and Holmes have been dating since the summer of 2013 when he 'wooed her at a benefit in the Hamptons.'

'Jamie is someone she can trust and have fun with,' a source said. 'She's getting everything from Jamie that she didn't get with Tom.'





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A warder has been arrested and charged for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act after packets of marijuana was found in his vehicle on Thursday.

He has been identified as 30-year-old Mickloth Hutchinson, of Gore Tuca, Portmore, St Catherine.

The Denham Town Police report that, about 4:15 pm, senior officers at the New Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston conducted a search of Hutchinson's motorcar, during which four parcels containing ganja were found.

The Police were summoned, Hutchinson was taking into custody and he was subsequently charged with possession of ganja, dealing in ganja, and introducing contraband into a penal institution.

He is scheduled to appear before the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday, April 9.





Busy Signal to help out St Ann's Bay hospital

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busy-signal-photo-10.jpg Come April, dancehall deejay Busy Signal will be embarking on his latest project -- the Busy 20/20 Helping Hands Foundation Limited.

According to the dancehall artiste, the venture is for a much-needed cause.

"My priority is the St Ann's Bay Hospital. It is in need of vital X-ray/CAT scan equipment for detecting cancer. It costs roughly $12 million," Busy Signal said.

The foundation -- which was registered last year -- will be officially launched at the Jewel Dunn's River Resort & Spa in Ocho Rios on April 2.

Busy Signal, whose given name is Reanno Gordon, explained his reason for taking on this project.

"This is the hospital I was born in. The majority of people from St Ann are farmers and they don't have the money fi go private hospital. So mi haffi help inna my way and give back. Dem need the help," he said.

The artiste said he is aware that he alone cannot do it, and therefore welcomes assistance from corporate Jamaica.





lisa-hanna-photo-2.jpg The twin evils of incest and molestation of young boys have escalated, Youth and Culture Minister, Lisa Hanna has confirmed.

Speaking during a radio interview on Friday, Minister Hanna said incest is becoming prevalent and that it's been an under reported problem.

Minister Hanna says there's also an alarming trend of boys being molested by men and women. She says prosecuting offenders of sexual offences is proving to be a challenge because witnesses will not come forward.

For last year, the Office of the Children's Registry said it received 4-thousand reports of child abuse.

Meanwhile, the Youth Minister says her ministry will be hiring temporary investigators to look into the huge backlog of a cases of child abuse which have not been investigated. She says the Office of the Children's Registry receives as many as 2-hundred-and-twenty cases of child abuse each week.

She's described the number as alarming.





jennifer-edwards.jpg A group of women protested in front of the National Solid Waste Management Authority's office on Half Way Tree Road Friday morning against the non renewal of Ms Edwards' contract.

They are calling for her reinstatement claiming that the non renewal was based on an unfair assessment of her performance and gender discrimination.

People's National Party Councillor, Audrey Smith-Facey, says the reasons given by the NSWMA board's for Miss Edwards' removal are contradictory.

Councillor for the Payneland Division, Audrey Smith-Facey of the People's National Party who spoke for the demonstrators said that the chairman had indicated publicly that Ms Edwards had been doing a good job with the limited resources available to her and that she should not be blamed for the crisis.

Some held placards questioning the whether or not the decision was made because she was a woman.The demonstrators also called for the sacking of the board.

The NSWMA announced earlier this week that it would not renew Edwards' contract when it expires on March 26.





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Sprint star, Asafa Powell, on Thursday enjoyed dinner with a lady friend at popular Greek restaurant, OPA!.

Powell had Kotsi, which is low-baked Lamb Shank infused with lemon, olive oil and garlic. His lady friend also had lamb, however, she had the Paidakia, which is lamb chops served with roasted potatoes and a salad.

The duo enjoyed a quiet candle-lit meal complete with red wine.

Opa! owner Alexx Antaeus, who commented on the photo that was posted on social media, remarked that it was a pleasure serving Powell. He descibed the sprint star as a "pleasant fellow".





wayne-lonesome.jpg Music producer Wayne 'Lonesome' Brown has donated $10,000 towards the medical bills of 81-year-old Rosalvo Patterson, who has been living in a crumbling chicken coop in Jericho, St Catherine, for the past five years.

Patterson's plight was highlighted in a local paper on Thursday.

"When I read the story, I was moved and just wanted to use this occasion to donate the first of several planned donations," Brown tsaid.

"I am using this opportunity to call on other entertainers, Jamaicans, to come together to help in whatever way they can because, as a team, we can do more," he continued.

The $10,000 was remitted to a neighbour, who had been assisting the elderly man with food.

"This donation will go towards his medical bill as he is set to visit the doctor to do a blood test on Monday," said the woman, who asked to remain unidentified.





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Queen Ifrika certainly set tongues wagging when she posted a lovey-dovey picture of herself and Tarrus Riley on Facebook this wee.

The rumour mill started running after Queen Ifrika posted a pic on her official Facebook page stating "yes tarrus riley and i are togather; something aguh roun. loves contagious!!!"

Some people took the picture serious and started commenting about whether on not the new couple matched and wondered what had happened to Ifrica's other flame.

Well, Ifrica has admitted that the picture and caption were done in a moment of fun, nothing more.

Do you think that Ifrica and Tarrus make a good couple?





Esco launches career as radio DJ

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Dancehall producer and artiste Esco will in a few weeks launch his career as a radio disc jock.

Esco has over the years built a strong repertoire as a dancehall artiste/producer through his innovative and trendsetting Star$truck Record. Now, he has been recruited by what is expected to be one of the most exciting radio stations to take the airwaves in Jamaica to man the wheels of steel.

With his manager and business partner Delmar 'Della Danger' Drummond, their Star$truck Records is redefining dancehall with hits like Legendary (Bounty Killer/Beenie man), Kreech (Bling Dawg feat Kreecha), Wet Spliff (Busy Signal), In My Arms (Serani) and Glory (Kreecha/Quick Cook/ Esco).

Drummond says this latest move is just another in the development of Esco as a big ambassador for Jamaican music. "We are very happy that this radio station has reached out to us to bring Esco on board. I have seen their plans and, when they launch, I know Jamaicans will be tuning in, in large numbers to hear. Esco was born ready and will burn up the airwaves," he assured.

A Campion College past student, Esco is the son of legendary radio DJ Errol Thompson, who was credited as one of first persons to bring reggae music to national radio and was a big promoter of Bob Marley when many other DJs refused to play him.

Esco's business manager Shelly-Ann Curran is every excited at the new developments. "Esco is the first full-fledged dancehall artiste on national radio. Not only that, but very few dancehall artistes have the experience as producers and DJs as well. Esco is a gem in the music and it is time that Jamaicans and Jamaican music fans worldwide get to see him in action," she said.





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Less than two years after walking away as the winner of American talent show, 'The Voice', sources say that artiste Tessanne Chin and husband Michael Cuffe Jr, are having marital problems. According to the sources close to the couple, Cuffe has left the marital home and is currently staying with a friend.

The loved-up couple, who got married in 2011 would have celebrated their fourth anniversary on Thursday, but, unlike last year, neither of them acknowledged it on social media. The silence was unusually loud and spoke volumes.

Just last year, Tessanne surprised Cuffe with a cake and a song for his birthday. She also dedicated the song My Kind Of Love by Emelie Sande to her husband, while performing it on The Voice.

They both took to social media to profess their undying love and devotion. In last year's post, Chin wrote: 'what a journey we've had my love. I look forward to the amazing adventures we have ahead of us'. He followed up with 'I could never have asked for three more perfect years of my life, and I owe them all to this woman right here, happy anniversary my love.'

Meanwhile, Sharon Burke's Solid Agency, which is the official booking agency for Tessanne Chin, has refused to comment.

"No comment" and "I know nothing" is how Burke is responding to reports that Tessanne's husband has moved out of their matrimonial home.





A man, who allegedly invited a woman to his home for sex and then murdered her and hid her body underneath his bed, was on Wednesday offered $300,000 bail when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. The 20-year-old labourer, Kino Gilzene, is accused of killing the woman by stabbing her and bashing her face in with a stone. Gilzene's sister, Alicia, who is accused of helping him to bury the woman's body in a pit was also offered bail when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey.

The accused, who are both from New Haven in St Andrew, were arrested and charged for the murder of 22-year-old Sudeen Jackson of Portmore, St Catherine, last December.

The police alleged that on December 8, Kino contacted the woman by phone after he got her number from a friend, and made arrangements for her to meet him at his home the next day. The woman was reportedly scheduled to visit and have sex with Kino for a fee of $3,000. Jackson, who had never seen Kino before, reportedly met up with him in Duhaney Park, went to his house, followed through with the arrangement and was paid.

However, the court heard that the woman later requested to leave, but Kino got angry and stabbed her in her chest and neck before using a stone to bash in her face.

Following that, the accused allegedly hid the woman's body underneath his bed and proceeded to clean up the crime scene. Alicia later arrived home and reportedly found the body under the bed, and after making enquries, was told by her brother that he had killed Jackson. Upon learning of the murder, Alicia allegedly sent a text message to her boyfriend and told him that her brother had killed a woman.

The following morning both accused then reportedly took the woman's body and buried it in a pit latrine at their home. They then reportedly concocted a story and told their mother, who called the police.

Kino, when he was arrested, allegedly confessed that he was at home when three men -- one of whom was armed with a gun -- barged in with Sudeen. According to the accused, the men were cursing that Sudeen had "dissed di programme" and told her that they were going to kill her. Kino said that the men raped Sudeen and then stabbed her to death and ordered him to bury her. Alicia, in her statement, corroborated her brother's confession.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor also informed the court that Kino had allegedly boasted to other inmates that he sacrificed the woman as a part of a demonic worship. However, this was denied by his lawyer Carol Gonzalez, who told the magistrate, duirng her bail application that her client knew nothing about any sacrifice and asked her to reject that report.

She also told the court that based on her instructions, three men who were armed with knives and guns had chased the now deceased woman to her client's home and had murdered her.

Gonzales also told the court that her client, along with his sister, had reported the crime to the police. The two accused were subsequently offered bail, despite objection from the police who raised concerns about threats of reprisal. They are to return to court on March 24.





This is what one would call in-flight entertainment with a difference!

A woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk on an aircraft after she allegedly stripped off on a flight from Jamaica and exposed herself.

According to reports,the 46-year-old woman from south-west London was arrested by police when her British Airways flight landed at Gatwick Airport on Thursday from Kingston, Jamaica.

She allegedly disrupted the flight and one report claims she performed a solo sex act.

The flight landed at around 8.45am on March 19, and aircrew on board asked for the flight to be met by police.

British Airways released a statement saying: 'We can confirm that police were requested to meet our flight from Kingston.'

Will the passengers who were onboard please do their civic duty by uploading the video to Youtube.





justin-bieber-photo-2.jpg Justin Bieber's former neighbor claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that the pop singer spit in his face and terrorized his family with loud parties, drug use and aggressive driving.

The lawsuit over Bieber's behavior while living in a gated community in the celebrity enclave of Calabasas seeks more than $25,000 in damages for assault and battery, trespassing and infliction of emotional distress claims.

Jeffrey Schwartz and his wife, Suzanne, filed the lawsuit nearly two years after he claims Bieber spit on him during a dispute over the singer's fast driving in their neighborhood. The lawsuit cites damage to the Schwartzes' home caused after Bieber threw eggs at it last year.

Bieber, 21, was charged with vandalism and remains on probation. But he has since repaid the family roughly $80,000 in restitution for the damage he caused.

The complaint also cites loud parties and frequent marijuana use while Bieber lived next door as causing the Schwartz family emotional distress.





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Kanye West was announced earlier this week as one of the headliners at this summer's Glastonbury music festival, but some music fans aren't happy about it.

One festival-goer started a petition calling on organizers to "prevent this musical injustice" by canceling the rapper's performance.

"Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world," Neil Lonsdale wrote in the Change.org petition. "We spend hundreds of pounds to attend glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment. Kanye has been very outspoken on his views on music....he should listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving!"

Others apparently agreed with him. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has gotten more than 60,000 signatures.

In an interview with NME.com, Lonsdale -- an education worker and self-described "rock kid" from Norfolk, England -- called it an "outrage" that West got the headliner slot over a rock band: "Two years ago we had The Rolling Stones playing the Saturday night, and this year we get Kanye West?"

He also said he initially started a petition as a joke following the announcement of West as Glastonbury's Saturday-night headliner, and that he's got no issue with hip-hop or rap artists.

"My beef is not with the genre. My beef is with the stage and the fact it's a headline slot," he said, adding that West does not "represent anything. His songs are lyrically appalling," he "totally disrespected Beck" at the Grammy Awards in February and "his [BRIT Awards] performance was just threatening."

"Glastonbury needs upbeat major artists. Glastonbury is an institution. It is expected that it has the biggest names," Lonsdale argued. "The biggest performers. Kanye does not represent that."





Ban on poultry from US, Canada

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chickens.jpg The Ministry of Agriculture has imposed restrictions on the importation of poultry from North America with immediate effect.

It says the measure is intended to ensure that Jamaica remains free of bird flu.

There have been reports of bird flu in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

The Agriculture Ministry says the restrictions affect the importation of live birds and hatching eggs, egg yolks, egg whites; poultry meat; raw pet foods containing poultry; as well as feathers and offal from eight states in the US as well as British Columbia in Canada.





Quadruple murder leaves community in shock

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The early morning gangland style murders of a mother and her eight -year-old daughter and two men in Bickersteth James has left a community in a state of shock.

The victims are Rihanna Blake who was a student at Barracks Road Primary School and her mother Lois Watson, 28. Also killed were Peter Scott,26 and Kemali Walker believed to be about 23 years old. The men are originally from Kingston.

Investigators are reportedly baffled about the motive for the quadruple murder, coming on the heels of what has been described as moderate gains by the St. James police. All four bodies were discovered about 6:30am on Thursday by the mother of one of the victims.

Councilor for the Cambridge Division Homer Davis has expressed shock at the killings.

"It's barbaric and wicked .....there's no other way to describe it. To know that an eight year old is part of the household and to just go in and massacre, it's wickedness...." he said.





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Dancer, Global Bob, who rose to prominence more than 15 years ago with the creation of his 'SpongeBob' dance, has indeed gone global. The talented dancer e will be doing two dancehall lectures in Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Haifa.

He is the first dancer to achieve such a feat and admits that he never thought that he would have accomplished this.

"It's a joy, trust me. It's groundbreaking. The person who invited me to Israel reached out to me via Facebook, but it was so expensive to fly me from Jamaica. I'll be doing a six-week tour of Europe and I had four days off, so she capitalised on that and invited me to do two lectures in Israel between May 16-20. From I've been growing up, I've heard about these places, and to finally get this opportunity is a blessing. There is a lot of stigma attached to dancehall, and we are just trying to highlight all the positives," he said.

"It's going to be about the entire lifestyle, culture and history of dancehall. Many overseas persons are of the view that all Jamaicans smoke weed and get high, so this lecture will show them the other side, the more soulful side. If we do a dance called 'curfew' then we have to explain why we would have a curfew etc. It's just about the entire dancing lifestyle," he stated.

He also called for the Jamaica Tourist Board to highlight these achievements, adding that many nationalities visit Jamaica because of the work the dancers have been doing overseas.Global Bob's European tour will make stops in Greece, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and France. He will then move on to a South America tour before returning to the island.

"I'm just encouraging all dancers, whether you are established or not, to trust God and do your research. Study your history. When I tour, I go on behalf of every Jamaican artiste, not just myself. Gone are the days when dancers needed artistes to go on tour. Now we are the headline acts. Don't limit yourself," he stated.





Madman stabs schooler and cop downtown

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A police constable and an eight year old schoolboy are now nursing knife wounds after being attacked by a mentally ill man in downtown, Kingston on Wednesday.

It's reported that, shortly after 2.00 p.m., the little boy was going home from school when, at the intersection of Duke Steeet and Sutton Street, he was attacked by the man who stabbed him in the head.

The Police Constable who was nearby saw what was happening and ran to the rescue of the little boy. But he was also attacked and stabbed in the head.Other police personnel from the Kingston Central Police Station came to their assistance and arrested the knife wielding man.The child and the policeman were both taken to hospital where they were treated and released.

Deputy Superintendent Percival Anderson, head of the Kingston Central Criminal Investigation Branch, said the mentally challenged man was taken to the Bellevue Hospital where he received an injection. He said the man will be charged later this week.





An eight year old girl was among four persons killed in St. James late Wednesday.

The police report that shortly before 2a.m. residents heard explosions. On their arrival, the police found the bodies of the child, two men and a woman.

The woman was the mother of the eight year old. They have only been identified by their aliases Latty and Shae.

The men have been identified as Peter Scott, 26 and Kimali Walker.





Crime Stop Jamaica is offering a J$50,000 reward for information about individuals who may have set the Riverton Dump ablaze.The organisation says persons with information should call Crime Stop at 311.

Meanwhile the Jamaica Fire Brigade is continuing its cooling down and extinguishing operations at the dump on the seventh day since the fire started.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says there will be periodic increases in smoke levels across sections of the Corporate Area and St.Catherine. The agency also says all Health Centres in Kingston and St. Andrew as well as St. Catherine will continue to provide extended services to residents in and around the affected communities.





jennifer-edwards.jpg Amidst the ongoing crisis at the Riverton City dump, which has been on fire for a week, Jennifer Edwards, Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be demitting office at month end. This follows a decision of the Board of the NSWMA not to renew her contract.

Reliable sources say that the NSWMA board met on Wednesday and decided not to renew Miss Edwards' contract, due to non performance.

This has come about as questions have been raised over her stewardship of the entity.

The source added added, however, that the non renewal had nothing to do with the current crisis at the Riverton disposal site.





Gully Bop performing in England

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Dancehall artiste Toya has been keeping a very low profile in the past year and a half, amid reports of some kind of secret illness and many tongues wagging that she has gone blind.

Toya, who is the wife of Downsound Records CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, had her career placedon a high when she wed Mr Moneybags. The union created a child - a son who Toya bragged about in one of her songs. There was a time when Toya could be seen driving various top of the line vehicles, enjoying Sunday brunch with Joe at hotels or jetting out of the island with her husband. But no more.

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Toya has not been seen in quite a while and Downsound Records seem to be on mute as far as Toya's absence is concerned. Well, Ninjaman confirmed in an interview that Toya is indeed sick.

"Me a pray for a speedy recovery of Joe's wife, Toya," Ninja said in an interview with an evening tabloid.

YardFlex understands that Toya's blindness could be caused from the fact that she is diabetic. Sources say that the young mother spent several weeks at the University hospital last year undergoing treatment and there were reports that she was regaining sight in one eye.

Efforts to contact Downsound Records or their CEO proved futile, however, YardFlex joins Ninja in praying for a speedy recovery for Toya.





Ninjaman to publish newspaper

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Veteran deejay, Ninjaman, plans to start his own dancehall entertainment newspaper, which will be called The Artiste's Journal. It will be managed by Howard McGowan.

"I want this newspaper to focus on the positivity of dancehall. Persons only tend to focus on the negative aspect, and I want to change that", the Don Gorgon who recently severed his relationship with Downsound Records explained.

He added that he will now be focusing on his own record label - Upsound Orthodox - as well as working with legendary veteran artistes.

"I see some faults in dancehall now where I am needed, so I will be doing some work with older artistes. This aspect of the company will be called 'Ninja Man Foundation: Old Picture Frame Promotions'. This will entail bookings, artiste management and production," he said.

Regarding his relationship with DSR, Man stated that he had no bad blood with the company and was leaving because his contract was up, and he wanted to branch out on his own.

"Our time just done. I feel like it's time that I go on my own. I went to DSR because I needed a little discipline, and they did a great job with me. I'm very thankful that Joe took a chance with me, because when me just come out a prison, nobody else never business wid me. When I went to DSR, it was a family, but ever since the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) lock down our base, we all over the place. The company split up, people frustrated, all sort of foolishness," he stated.

"I have to do things for myself and allow Joe to focus on the younger artistes like Don Husky, Nature and Ishawna," he stated.

"Me just want big up DSR again. Thanks for everything. Big up yuhself Joe; Big up Skatta; big up the writer, Pearl; Miss Rowe; and everybody. Big up Foota Hype, because me nah tek no side. Me a pray for a speedy recovery of Joe's wife, Toya. Nuff respect. and anything DSR need me for, unuh can still call on me," he declared.





Bobbi Kristina's $250K diamond ring goes missing

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A 10-carat diamond ring given to Bobbi Kristina Brown by her late mother Whitney Houston has gone missing, Radar Online reported. The 22-year-old was reportedly wearing the $250,000 ring on Jan. 31, the day she was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Atlanta home.

The ring is reportedly the same that Bobbi Kristina was wearing when she announced her engagement to her boyfriend Nick Gordon in July 2012. The aspiring actress had posted a photo of the ring on her Instagram account at the time.

According to reports, sources claimed that Bobbi Kristina's family has been curious about the whereabouts of the ring after Gordon mentioned it during his interview with Dr. Phil that aired last week.

In the interview, Gordon asked his mother about the ring who replied that she had kept it safe. A member of the Houston family later called Dr. Phil to help find the ring, Radar Online reported. However, Gordon and his mother stated that they were talking about a different ring and not the one that was given to Bobbi Kristina by her Grammy award-winning mother, a source reportedly said.

Gordon is currently in rehab under a residential substance abuse treatment program. The 25-year-old is being investigated over Bobbi Kristina's current condition. A criminal probe was launched by police after they found injuries on Bobbi Kristina's body.

The Houston and the Brown families have been feuding over Bobbi Kristina's situation as she continued to show no signs of improvement.





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Beenie Man and Carlene, the king and queen of the dancehall celebrated the sweet 16 of their precious gem 'Princess' Crystal last Saturday with a splash at Barbican Beach.

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The birthday girl was seen enjoying a moment with her mom Dancehall Queen Carlene and friends in the foam bath and later she cut her cake with both parents.

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Along with a group of her special friends, dancehall artiste, Konshens, also took time out to share a moment with Crystal Davis on her very special day.





True Blue Final: JC wins Ziadie Cup

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On Saturday, March 14th, 2015, the Jamaica College Old Boys defeated the St. George's College Old Boys in 2 competitive games to claim the 2015 Dennis Ziadie Cup. It was their 3rd Ziadie Cup win since the tournament began 11 years ago. The Jamaica College over-45 team beat the St. George's College over-45 team 1-0 in the Grand Masters match. In the Under-45 Masters match, Jamaica College defeated the St. George's College 4-1. The Ziadie Cup trophy was awarded based on an aggregate score of both matches with St. George's College winning 5-1.

The Meadowbrook High Alumni won the opening 6-a-side soccer tournament to claim the 2015 True Blue 6V6 trophy. It is the third year of the tournament which included the following teams: Wolmers, Kingston Technical High, Calabar, Excelsior High, Jamaica College and St Georges College.

The Camperdown Alumni defeated the Excelsior Alumni to emerge as the winner in the Grace Kennedy Remittance Services/ Western Union All Girls Schools Alumnae Penalty Kick-off. The competition was fierce taking 4 rounds to determine a winner. Participating schools included: Montego Bay High School Alumnae, Convent Of Mercy Academy "Alpha" Florida Chapter, Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association and The St. Andrew Old Girls' Association Florida. Grace Kennedy Remittance Services/ Western Union will make $100 cash donation to the winning school and $50 cash donation to the second place school.

Legendary Jamaican coach, Winston Chung-Fah was in attendance at the True Blue Soccerfest . Also present was Miramar Mayor-elect Wayne Messam and Deputy Consul General Jamaica Deputy Consul General Mr. Dale Jones.

Old classmates and friends from high schools in Jamaica were able to reunite and enjoy a fun filled weekend at the 11th True Blue Weekend . Over 1,000 people attended the 3-day True Blue Weekend event, including the annual Ziadie Cup at the state-of-the-art soccer facility at Vizcaya Park. True Blue fans were treated to a weekend of fun, friends, food and exciting soccer matches.

This year's True Blue weekend festivities were the joint effort of these 2 alumni associations:

- The Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Florida, Inc.

- The St. George's College Old Boys Association of Florida, Inc.

The True Blue weekend was sponsored by: Jamaica National Building Society, Grace Kennedy Remittance Services Limited/Western Union, Goldson Spine Rehabilitation Center, Caribbean Ocean Logistics, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Steven Epstein Keyes Realtors, Law Offices of Dahlia A. Walker P.A., Accurate Air Conditioning, Dr. Smiths Orthodontic Services Inc., Caribbean Airlines, Dr. Donald Dixon Pediatrics, Jamaica Farewell, Grace Kennedy Foods, Caribbean Airlines, WISYNCO, Flowers By Grace, Galaxy Leisure Tours, Links, Data Stream Mobile Technologies, Hot Pie Patties and Ocho Rios.





Ishawna's Maryland concert shut down

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ishawna-photo-5.jpg Over-crowding and poor security forced police in Maryland to abruptly end a show headlined by Downsound Records female singjay, Ishawna last weekend.

Following the incident, Ishawna went to her official Instagram page where she posted two videos apologizing to fans and explaining exactly what had transpired. According to the artiste, who uses the moniker Miss Legendary, she was looking forward to performing for fans in Maryland.

Meanwhile, Josef Bogdanovich, Down Sound Records boss and manager for Ishawna said that the actions by the police were due to security concerns.

There is no word on whether the concert has been re-scheduled.





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Two Chinese nationals were detained and more than J$50 million worth of goods seized during an operation by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch in downtown Kingston Tuesday afternoon.

The cops seized millions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods from a warehouse and store on Orange Street.They also seized counterfeit clothing and shoes with Nike, Adidas and Puma labels. Other items with the Levi's and Vans brand names were also seized.

A senior investigator said the detainees are facing possible charges of breaching the Trademark and Intellectual Property Acts.





The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 14-year-old student in Bedward Garden, August Town on Monday.

It is reported that at 7:35 pm, the teenager identified as Joel Lovelace was shot dead during an alleged operation.

According to a report from INDECOM, members of the St. Andrew Central Special Operational Team went to a shop called 'Red Shop' where a gun battle allegedly ensued.

The INDECOM report further said that the teenager was later found in his home suffering from gunshot wounds and was taken to the University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.





4 killed in drive-by in New Haven

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Gunmen struck Tuesday night in New Haven, St. Andrew killing three persons on the spot and leaving a fourth in serious condition. He subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

It's reported that several men were standing on a road shortly after 10 o'clock when a car drove up.

One of the occupants in the vehicle opened fire on them.Three of those hit succumbed to their injuries.A fourth man was taken to hospital.

Reports are that the police later spotted the vehicle and there was a chase. However, the gunmen escaped.A source told RJR News the shooting is linked to a feud. A man has been taken into custody.





Dahlia Harris loses appeal

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An appeal against the termination of Dahlia Harris as Principal Director of Culture in the Ministry of Youth and Culture has been dismissed.

Harris, who was removed after ten months in the post, maintained that her dismissal was unjustified and sought the intervention of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA).

The JCSA wrote to the Public Service Commission appealing Miss Harris' dismissal and was awaiting an early hearing date. However, the matter was forwarded to the local Privy Council without a hearing being convened by the Commission.

It has emerged that the Privy Council considered Harris' appeal and advised the Governor General that the application be refused and the matter dismissed.

The JCSA insisted that she was not given a valid explanation for the dismissal and not granted the opportunity to challenge the decision.





Ninjaman leaves Downsound Records

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Veteran deejay Desmond Ballentyne, better known as Ninja Man has left with Down-Sound Records, DSR after three years.

When contacted, the label's CEO Josef Bogdanovich, confirmed the split hinting that they were no longer working together but refused to delve into the details surrounding matter.

Meanwhile, numerous efforts to get a comment from Ninja Man proved futile. In January after the staging of his birthday bash, Ninja Man hinted that he would have parted ways with DSR.

Currently signed to the Down-Sound Records label are entertainer Ishawna, Don Husky, Nature and producer Skatta Burrell.

Late last year, the label refused to renew its contract with Specialist.





Openly gay reggae singer, Diana King, recently posted on Facebook that she was gang raped as a teenager for looking at a girl too long. Here is what she had to say:

"I was GANG RAPED for LOOKING @ a GIRL too LONG. BLOCKED IT for YEARs. I WAS ONLY 13. THAT's of THE SOUL‪#‎Homophobia101 @equality_JA"

The post has so far attracted hundreds of likes and comments, with reporter Claudette Brown verifying the statement.

"Diana I remembered when you came to the Enquirer office at West Street, downtown in your popular traditional high school uniform and related the incident to T 'Boots' Harris. As a result of your ordeal, I started to do coverage of rape and incest, so I know you are telling the truth."





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Quote: "Sweetheart, let me tell you something, you are talking to the number-one lesbian. Ain't nobody love more women than me, and I am Jamaican so I represent for all the lesbians right there. There has been a movement; I am leading the movement for lesbians." Shaggy in an interview when asked if the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community was making any progress in Jamaica.

Shaggy has been receiving mixed comments online, but as one blogger stated: "Shaggy nuff respect, intelligence over Ignorance. good answer."





US President Barak Obama to visit Jamaica April 9

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United States President, Barack Obama, will be visiting Jamaica. He is expected to arrive on April 9.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who made the announcement in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon says the visit comes ahead of Obama's participation in the Summit of the Americas in Panama which will see Cuba participating for the first time.

The CARICOM US summit will be co-chaired by the President and CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas.

The visit of the 44th President of the United States comes almost 33 years to the date after the visit of President Ronald Reagan on April 7 and 8,1982. In November 1920, US President-elect Warren G. Harding stopped in Kingston on his way home from a visit to the Canal Zone in Panama.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has welcomed the visit by the US President.

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness told the House that Cuba's participation in the Summit of the Americas is an excellent move.

This will be President Obama's second meeting with CARICM leaders. Six years ago he met the CARICOM heads of government in Trinidad and Tobago at the meeting of the Summit of the Americas.





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Perform and Done, the smooth, straight talking, reggae/dancehall single from Morgan Heritage's upcoming album, Strictly Roots, had its highly anticipated music video premiere online at music bible, Billboard.com, last Wednesday, to much acclaim.

The music video for Perform and Done is a modern day Cinderella story which borrows its sub plot from the quintessential dancehall movie, Dancehall Queen, and features a street vendor who transforms herself into a dancer to enter and subsequently win a dance contest. Filmed on location at the popular Mojito Mondays event in Kingston, Jamaica, the storyline undoubtedly captures the essence of the lead single, which was produced by renowned BBC One/BBC 1 Xtra's Seani B and Don Chandler.

In reference to the song and the music video, Billboard.com noted: "The romantic song blends roots reggae with some more contemporary dancehall influences, taking the traditionally mellow genre onto the dance floor. Appropriately, the video features an underdog triumphant in a Kingston dance contest."

Quite pleased with the work of director William Richards and the entire Image Development Studios team, Morgan Heritage states, "Perform And Done is the music video that pushes the envelope for Morgan Heritage lyrically and visually. Krystia Rhodes and her team wrote a fantastic treatment to highlight this creativity and they executed their vision perfectly. The goal is to captivate a whole new audience that would not typically watch a Morgan Heritage video. Our hope is that our existing and new fans appreciate our artistic expression."





Raine Seville 'chats' Lisa Hyper

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"Mek wi keep dem talkin keep dem stalkin" are the lyrics from two of Jamaica's most talked about female dancehall princesses' new collaboration "Chat Mi".

Done on the very popular Sly Robbie produced old school rhythm, BamBam, Raine Seville and Lisa Hyper added their youthful energy representing for females who maintain their confidence regardless of what has been said about them.

Singer/Singjay Raine Seville explained her decision to collaborate with Lisa Hyper on the project.

"Lisa is one a dancehall's most talented young female artistes who has encountered her share of controversy in the business but still maintains her gangster appeal/confidence through it all. I respect females who keep it moving regardless of what comes their way and that is why I reached out to Lisa in the first place."

When Lisa Hype was contacted about the collaboration, her exact words were "I've always respected Raine Seville for contributing her talent to dancehall as a female so when she approach me about the song I immediately said yes because I've always been about woman power and growth. Females are gonna love this remix with myself and Raine I think I did exactly what she wanted on the record I gave her hyper, didn't stray from the concept and was myself."

The remix was produced by Suncity Radio's, Paul "JJwizzle" Stephenson. Raine Seville is currently working on her Ep titled My Goodness, It's Raining.





gussie-clarke.jpg Music producer Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke will be the honouree at the 32nd Kingston College Old Boys Association Annual reunion and Awards Dinner set to take place on May 2 in Queens, New York.

Clarke is in good company. Previous honourees include Michael Manley, Ivan 'Wally' Johnson and Douglas Forrest.

Clarke, who started out with a little known music system, King Gussie's Hi-fi, is today one of the most recognized music producers through his Anchor Recording studio label.

Over the years, he has produced artistes such as Daddy U-Roy (The Higher The Mountain), JC Lodge (Telephone Love), Maxi Priest (Just A Little Bit Longer), Shabba Ranks (Twice My Age) and Gregory Isaacs (Rumours), among others.

Clarke is also a director for Jamaica Artiste Composers and Publishers (JACAP) , a non-profit copyright collecting society that collectively manages performing rights in musical works, by administering rights guaranteed by internationally accepted conventions and granted under the Jamaica Copyright Act of 1993.





Ishawna Masicka collab creating a buzz

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ishawna-and-masicka.jpg Dancehall artistes Ishawna and Masicka have done a hot new single called Answer Me which is generating a lot of buzz on social media.

The song, produced on Take Ova Records, racked up 7,000 plus views on youtube in only one day.

According to Masicka, "Crazy people ah link me pon Instagram and twitter say dem love the song, is a great look, we spent hours in the studio together to get the right sound, and the hard work shows..the song shot."





Man held in connection with cop's murder

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A man has been taken into custody in connection with the murder of Constable Collin Raynor, who was shot dead in Hartland, Spanish Town, St. Catherine on Saturday.

The police are asking anyone with information that can assist the investigation to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, Crime Stop at 311, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.

Raynor was shot dead while fishing at a pond with his brother.

He was pronounced dead at hospital, while his brother has been admitted in serious condition.





A teenager who robbed and murdered a gay Jamaican at his home because he believed the victim was interested in him, has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years in the UK.

Usher Sawyers was 15 when he stabbed Martin Thomas to death with a kitchen knife at his house in Roehampton, south west London, on April 22 last year.

Sawyers, who dropped his blood-spattered hat as he fled the scene, was on Friday convicted of the 39-year-old Jamaican's murder after a trial at the Old Bailey.

His accomplices - a 14-year-old boy and 20 year old Odel Munroe - were cleared of murder.

They were however found guilty of manslaughter and robbing the victim of a phone, laptop and a video camera.

The trial heard how Sawyers exchanged calls and texts with the victim in the days leading up to the killing.

Sawyers, now 16, Munroe, who is from Wandsworth, south London, and the 14-year-old all denied murder.





Alkaline bottled at Florida show

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Alkaline's concert on Friday night in West Palm Beach Florida was cut short after a bottle was thrown on stage during his performance.

According to new reports, a Ciroc bottle was thrown on stage from the backstage area hitting Alkaline in the back.

The controversial deejay subsequently exited the stage. He decided that he was not going to perform under such circumstances and reportedly left the venue.

A source close to the artiste says that Alkaline was not hurt.

Efforts by YardFlex to reach the promoter and Alkaline proved futile.





GSAT pushed back by one week

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The Ministry of Education has announced the annual GSAT examinations set for this week will be pushed back by one week due to the impact of the fire at the Riverton City dump.

The GSAT examinations were set for Thursday and Friday March 19 and 20. The ministry had said that it was awaiting a Cabinet decision on the matter today.

Since late last week, questions have been raised about whether the exams should still be held, as hundreds of students would have been affected in schools that closed or had reduced hours because of the Riverton fire and smoke.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites also confirmed on Monday that affected schools will adjust their schedule to make up lost class time due to the effects of the Riverton fire.

Thwaites said, despite the two-day closure of schools, the required class time for the academic year will still be met.

"The Code specifies a minimum of 190 instructional days, so those will have to be made up. But of course that doesn't solve the problem of those students who need instructional time now to prepare for examinations," he conceded, during an interview with RJR News.

The Minister commended teachers in some of the affected schools, "who during very difficult circumstances, were still holding review classes for G-Sat."





Downsound and Ninjaman part company?

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Down Sound Records chief executive officer Josef Bogdanovich refused to confirm or deny rumours that the label has parted ways with Ninjaman.

"We will not make a comment on that situation at this time," he said.

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He added, however, "Right now, I am focusing on buying a building to set up my record label and studio and also pushing ahead with the careers of my artistes, Ishawna and Nature, who will be heading to Europe this year."

Bogdanovich has also denied news in the entertainment industry that he will be purchasing a radio station.

"No, that is not on the agenda at this time," Bogdanovich, who now owns the largest shareholdings in the Kingston Live Entertainment (KLE) Group, said.





5 beauty tips from the Middle East

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The following 5 beauty tips are inspired by the Middle East and offer only a small glimpse into the kind of beauty wisdom the region holds.

When it comes to beauty, every culture has its practices. Luckily, when we run out of exciting or effective options that are popular in our own community, we can learn from others around the world. That way, the journey never ends. Middle Eastern women, with their olive skin and thick, lustrous hair, boast strong beauty traditions that are not only effective but also delicious.

The following list of beauty tips touch upon bodily cleanliness, diet and topical treatments, so you can choose from a diverse array of approaches to optimum beauty, and without getting bored.

1. Olive Oil

Apart from being an inseparable ingredient in the Middle Eastern diet, olive oil is a beauty powerhouse. Just two tablespoons of high quality, raw, unprocessed extra-virgin olive oil each day improves heart health. Topically speaking, olive oil protects the skin from UVB exposure and can reduce the change of getting skin cancer. Olive oil's antioxidants help to keep the skin youthful and energized. Olive oil also lowers the risk of dermatitis and other skin conditions.

Apply a thin layer of olive oil on cleansed skin prior to bed. Olive oil leaves behind a shiny aftermath, so it's best to avoid using it as your go-to moisturizer in the morning - wait until before bedtime, so that the oil can do its magic while your sleep. For the hair, comb about 2-3 tablespoons into your tresses once a week. Let the oil sit for 30 minutes before rinsing clean. Be sure to only use the highest quality olive oil that you can find. That way, the vitamins, minerals, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants are as potent as possible.

2. Rose

Rose is a beauty staple in the Middle East and widely available in various forms - soap, lotion, tonic and oil. Rose enhances beauty in more ways than one. Stress exacerbates skin disorders, including psoriasis, dermatitis and acne. Rose to the rescue! In one study, rose oil was able to decrease the breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure among subjects, who reported feeling more emotionally relaxed and at ease. Topically, rose products exhibit the same calming affect when directly applied to skin. The plant has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it the perfect tool for more youthful and radiant skin.

Try the Suti Rose Water Facial Toner ($34) and bask in its floral glory!

3. Turkish Bath

The Turkish bath (aka a hamam) is an ancient Turkish tradition that emphasizes relaxation and cleanliness - it is a truly emotional and physical cleansing process. A hamam experience starts in a relaxation room heating by dry air. In the center of the room there is heated marble stone, on top of which bathers can lie. After a period of sweating out toxins, bathers are scrubbed, washed and massaged from head to toe.

While a Turkish bath may not be immediately accessible to you, you can mimic the experience by visiting an infrared sauna on a regular basis. Unlike a regular sauna, an infrared sauna heats the body from the inside out, with ambient air remaining relatively cool. It boosts your circulation, burns calories and rids the skin of heavy metals and other toxins, revealing a more beautiful complexion.

4. Milk Bath

Ancient Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, was famous for her milk baths and now you can reap similar beauty benefits too! Instead of pouring milk into your bathtub, reach for beauty products that contain the same ingredient that makes milk such an effective skincare product: alpha hydroxyl acid. It exfoliates the skin and keeps it smooth and soft.

5. Turmeric

Real beauty comes from within, and turmeric is testament to just that. Turmeric is a common spice found in the Middle East and South Asia that carries incredible health and beauty benefits - it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying properties. Turmeric also whitens teeth and gets rid of dandruff.





Jamaican businessman to be extradited to Canada

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A Jamaican fugitive who is wanted by the Canadian authorities on drug trafficking charges, has been ordered extradited.

Erdley Richard Barnes, 38, also known as Michael Anthony Brown, on Thursday waived his right to challenge his extradition when he appeared before the Half-Way-Tree Criminal Court.

Barnes, a businessman of Angels Estate in St. Catherine and Ontario, Canada, was arrested on Tuesday by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch, (C-TOC), in Liguanea, St. Andrew.





prosperity-preacher-creflo-dollar.jpg The ministry of a prominent Georgia megachurch pastor and evangelist who teaches that God wants to bless the faithful with earthly riches is seeking donations to buy a luxury jet valued at more than $65 million.

The website of Creflo Dollar Ministries asked people Friday to "Sow your love gift of any amount" to help the ministry buy a Gulfstream G650 airplane. Dollar and his wife, Taffi, are co-pastors of World Changers International Church in College Park. Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta who have built successful ministries on the prosperity gospel. Ministers in this tradition often hold up their own wealth as evidence that the teaching works.

The ministry's current plane, acquired in 1999, was built in 1984, has traveled more than 4 million miles and is no longer safe, spokesman Juda Engelmayer said. Numerous online reports quoted the ministry website as saying: "We are believing for 200,000 people to give contributions of 300 US dollars or more to turn this dream into a reality." On Friday afternoon, that line was gone, and the website instead said: "Your love gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated." Soon after that, the website's entire page about the plane appeared disabled.

Dollar, who has five children, is a native of College Park and says he received a vision for the church in 1986. His ministry grew quickly and the church moved into its current 8,500-seat sanctuary, on Dec. 24, 1995. Dollar said in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press that he renounced his church salary, and his income comes only from personal investments, including a real estate business and horse breeding company called Dollar Ranch. He said he can get up to $100,000 for a single appearance on his packed schedule of speaking engagements.





Police constable killed by gunmen

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The police are confirming that a Constable attached to the St Catherine North Division was killed on Saturday, March 14, in Hartlands, St Catherine. Based on initial reports coming from the area the policeman was attacked by gunmen.

Another man was also shot and injured and is now in hospital.





In the aftermath of the robbery of veteran entertainer Bob Andy, the police have issued a warning to members of the public to be extra careful when traversing the Mona area of St Andrew and surrounding areas.

Police report that they have received numerous reports of persons being robbed by men travelling on motorcycles.

Bob Andy was held up and robbed of $50,000, cellular phones, US$5,000 and other valuables. He was also wounded during the incident on Friday.

The police also posted measures that individuals can take to safeguard their life and property:

• Travel in well-lighted areas

• Avoid displaying and carrying large sums of money in public

• Travel in large groups as there is safety in numbers

• Always have a plan of where you are going; walk confidently as assailants often target persons who are seemingly unsure about reaching particular destinations.

• Try to observe the features of someone who approach/threatens you

• Be observant in your surroundings

• Trust your instincts - if you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible

• If you are being followed, head to the nearest Police Station or a well-populated area

• Check the interior of your vehicle and the surrounding area before entering the vehicle.

Meanwhile, anyone with information that can assist the Police in apprehending the suspects responsible for the stream of robberies in the Mona area, to contact the Matilda's Corner Police at 978-6003, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





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Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke is in Colorado, United States, learning about the ganja industry.

According to 9news.com, on Friday the mayor met with state and city officials to learn about the laws On Saturday, she visited ganja farms, dispensaries and edible ganja businesses.

"What we want to be able to do is to move it into the light and to allow individuals to participate in an industry that's legal, where they can earn honest bread. It's important for persons to really understand the potential," Burke was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Burke will be sharing her knowledge with other government officials on her return to the island.





etana-photo-3.jpg Reggae singer Etana soared to #2 on the reggae iTunes chart this week with the re-release of her single, Better Tomorrow, which has been chosen as the theme song for an Ebola Awareness initiative.

"The first week sales were 1,000 units and it landed at 22 on the Billboard Reggae singles chart. We are expecting a stronger push this week as the PR efforts will be doubled and channelled through the UN networks," Andre Morris, artiste manager of Etana, said in a release.

In early March, she performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, during a private concert "Stop Ebola and Build For the Future" led by United African Congress, Give Them A Hand Foundation and the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. She delivered a breath-taking set - performing songs off her latest album I Rise as well as her single Better Tomorrow, which has been chosen as the campaign's official anthem.

In the meantime, Etana's Trigger and Richest Girl videos continue to enjoy excellent rotation on local TV stations. The singer will embark on a US tour in May this year alongside Anuhea, a Hawaiian contemporary folk rock singer and songwriter of Caucasian, Hawaiian and Chinese descent.





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Double sprint world record holder Usain Bolt was a winner in his first individual race of the season, clocking 46.37 seconds over 400 meters at the GC Foster Classic at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The six-time Olympic gold medallist came off the final curve came off the final curve comfortably ahead of the field and his time was slightly faster than his last effort at the distance, 46.44 seconds in 2013, but more than a second slower than his personal best of 45.28 in 2007. He won ahead of his Racers Track Club teammate Edino Steele.

Bolt, who was making a surprise appearance in the men's Clubs and Institution 400-metre event, used the race as part of his build-up for the upcoming season, where he plans to defend his sprint titles at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.

"Give thanks for an injury free 400m run," Bolt, who was slowed by injuries last year, said on his Twitter account.

In his only other race of the year, Bolt anchored the Racers Lions 4x100 meters relay team to a second place finish behind the University of Technology (Utech) at the Gibson McCook Relays on February 28.





Reggae legend Bob Andy attacked, robbed in Mona

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bob-andy.jpg Award-winning reggae veteran, Bob Andy, was attacked and robbed in the Mona area of St Andrew Friday afternoon.

The Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force reports that Andy, whose real name is Keith Anderson, was attacked by a knife-wielding man off Mona Road at 2:30 pm. The man slashed the singer on his left arm and robbed him of J$50,000,$US5,000 and two cell phones.

The robber then escaped on a motor-cycle. No arrest has been made.

Bob Andy is one of reggae's greatest songwriters and composers. He started his career as a member of The Paragons in the early 1960s before going solo mid-decade.

I've Got to go Back Home, Fire Burning and Too Experienced are some of the songs that made him famous during the 1960s and 1970s.

He also starred in the 1978 movie, Children of Babylon.





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Somebody who goes by the name War Professa thought it necessary to highlight the fact that deejay sensation, Gully Bop, was seen in a knockoff sweat pants with the writing on it saying 'HUllister' instead of HOllister.

The War Professor guy and Bop's fiancé, Shauna Chin got into a nasty war of words in which Chin noted that Gully Bop was more concerned about launching his own clothing line and not about wearing knock-off.

Here is what the man himself, Gully Bop, had to say:

"In regards to War Professa and him remarks bout mi clothes. A one ting mi have fi tell yuh. Six months ago Gully Bop was non-existent. Country Man did a suffer and a walk dutty and barefoot. Right now mi just grateful seh mi have clothes pan mi back and shoes pan mi foot. Mi deh a England a live out mi dream."

"Mi love and appreciate everybody weh put mi yah suh. Big up Shauna Chin mi wife fi life... a yuh buy di first change a clothes gi mi, anything yuh buy mi wear wid pride. Right now di way my ting set mi just a try fi mek di people dem weh put mi yah suh proud. A nuff things my team have inna di works. My clothing line a launch in Spring. Check out the preview and mek mi know weh unu think. Bop! Bop! Bop!"

Big up Gully Bop iina him Hullister. BOP! BOP!! BOP!!!

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Fans wishing to get an exclusive seat to watch the historic boxing showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in Las Vegas, will have to fork out up to 33,000 us dollars.

This according to forbes.com, which states that less than 200 tickets are currently listed on the secondary market with prices ranging between $4,100 to 33,000 us dollars.

However the organizers of the fight who have distance themselves from the secondary sale of tickets, officially confirmed that tickets will go on sale in a few days and should range from $1,500 to $7,500 us dollars. There's no word on how many tickets will be made available to the general public.

Meanwhile at yesterday's press conference where both boxers met for the first time since the fight date was officially confirmed, Mayweather says is sharpening up his preparations and Pacquiao while thanking the promoters, Mayweather's corner the fans and the media said he was ready to deliver a good fight to satisfy the fans.

The 38 year old Mayweather, is undefeated with a perfect professional record of 47 fights and 0 losses, while Pacquiao who has won ten world titles holds a record of 57 wins, 5 losses and 2 draws inclusive of 38 knock outs.

The welterweight showdown in Vegas is projected to be the most lucrative ever in boxing with Mayweather expected to have a 60-40 split advantage on revenues, earning a minimum of $120 million, while Pacquiao could get at least 80 million dollars.





40 years in jail for serial rapist

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Twenty-nine year old Patrick Green, who on Monday pleaded guilty in connection with the 2012 rape of five females including an eight year old girl in Irwin, St James, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Green who was sentenced in the Western Regional Gun Court, last week pleaded guilty to 23 other charges including rape, buggery, robbery with aggravation and illegal possession of firearm.

The Police High Command described Green as a serial rapist. He was charged earlier this year after DNA tests linked him to the crime. He was also charged in connection with a dozen other cases in Clarendon, St James, Manchester and other parishes.

Investigators used DNA samples collected in other rape cases to link Green to the Irwin attack.Green has previously been convicted for several rapes.

It was reported that on the night of September 24, 2012, gunmen invaded a home in Irwin Point and forced four women and a child into a nearby open lot.

All five were sexually assaulted.





Students affected by smoke from Riverton fire

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The impact of the smoke emanating from the burning Riverton City dump is intensifying in the Corporate Area with numerous students falling ill.

At the Holy Childhood High School in St Andrew two busloads of students had to be rushed to hospital after they reported feeling unwell.

Meanwhile, at the Bridgeport High School in St Catherine, more than 20 students had to seek medical attention because of smoke inhalation. It is reported that 10 students were treated privately while 15 were sent to the Spanish Town Hospital. The school's dean of discipline, Sigvard Bailey, said several of the students fainted sometime after 7 o'clock this morning.

In the meantime, numerous schools and early childhood institutions have been forced to close as a the smoke worsens.

The education Ministry has issued a release reminding school administrators that in light of the increased adverse effect of the fire at the dump they should close the institutions, where necessary, and place students in the care of their parents or guardians.

The dump has been on fire since Wednesday.





Fire at Riverton dump worsens

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The situation at the Riverton Disposal Site where a massive blaze has been raging since Wednesday has worsened.This has prompted the Jamaica Fire Brigade to deploy additional personnel to the site.

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has expressed concern about the effects of the smoke from the fire, saying that it may contain dangerous air pollutants that can lead to or aggravate pre-existing respiratory illnesses among others.

JET is calling for public disclosure on the implications of the smoke.

And the Education Ministry on Thursday afternoon authorised principals of schools adversely affected by the fire to end classes early to protect the health of students and staff.





Nikki Z returns to Jamaican radio

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Radio personality Nikki Z, who was one of the front-runners on ZIP FM some years before she was relieved of her duties in 2009, says she is extremely excited about coming back to the island. News broke on Thursday that Nikki Z resigned from the radio station in Connecticut and would be heading back to Jamaica.

Following her departure from Jamaica, she went on to make a name for herself on Connecticut's WZMX Hot 93.7 FM where she did shows like Reggae Ride to Work and Reggae Riddims.

"That's the only place where things feel right. I appreciate being on a commercial station, but I feel there is more I need to do and can do. (Jamaica) that is where I need to be to do that," she explained.

However, when asked where she would be heading, Nikki Z was very silent nor would she say when she will make her return.

"I can't say yet, but I am very happy that they made that offer. I will be there before the Easter bunny comes," she said, laughing.

"Looking at all the parts, it made more sense. It did not make sense for me to stay with that opportunity in front of me. I am very happy with the offer."

"Jamaica is just a better place for me to be. It's not even so much about work or the money, that's where I have always been at peace and I wanted to get that," she said.

She says there are also other projects that she intends to work on while she is in Jamaica. She added that she will also be working with charities like Rockhouse Foundation and Kids Hub.





Jamaicans fighting for ISIS?

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A senior American military official is claiming that there are a few Jamaicans among foreign fighters who have gone to Syria where militant group Islamic State has seized large swathes of territory.

He also warned on Thursday that existing human smuggling networks are in place that could allow these foreign fighters to infiltrate the United States if they return from the conflict zone.

A report by the Washington Post says Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, Chief of U.S. Southern Command, on Thursday told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the networks are so efficient that a terrorist could enter the United States undetected.

He said about 100 people from countries in the Caribbean and South America have joined the Islamic State. Major Kelly, who oversees U.S military operations in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, acknowledged that the number of fighters coming from this region is small, but said the countries involved do not have the ability to properly monitor those returning.

He claimed that foreign fighters have gone to Syria from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, and Venezuela.





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Gully Bop seems to be having the time of his life with his first trip to England.Since his arrival there on Wednesday, he has been posting a number of pictures on Instagram with one bearing the caption, "from chicken wing to plane wing."

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He has also posted pictures at various restaurants and outside the popular Wembley Stadium, as well as an interview he did with Bang Radio.

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"Well them say me never a go make it at Jamworld. Say me can't pass Christmas to the New Year, but who God bless no man curse," Gully Bop said upon arrival at Gatwick Airport.

His first official tour stop on his first trip outside Jamaica is scheduled to take place at Club Diamond in Luton, followed by Scala in King's Cross, London, on Sunday. He will have other shows in Birmingham, Bristol, Rusholme and again in London. That will be followed by Caribbean shows in Grenada, Guyana, Cayman Islands and Barbados. He is also scheduled to do shows in Canada and the United States in coming months.

While songs like Body Specialist and Bad Like We continue to do well in England and on the iTunes charts, Gully Bop is also gearing up to release his debut EP, Rags To Riches. In addition, he also has other songs like Roun' Here, Drop Mi featuring Imari, Life Too Sweet featuring M-Gee and Gully Wine.

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2 cops shot in Ferguson

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the city's police chief resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as "serious."

"I don't know who did the shooting, to be honest with you," Belmar said, adding that he could not provide a description of the suspect or gun.

He said he assumed, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, that "these shots were directed exactly at my officers."

The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest chanted to show their dissatisfaction with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw this week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies also assembled at the scene.

The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. A state grand jury cleared Wilson, who is white, in November, sparking further protests, looting and fires. But Wednesday was the first time an officer at a protest had been shot.

In amateur video accessed by the Associated Press, two shots ring out and a man is heard screaming out in pain.





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For Paolo Ballesteros every day is #TransformationTuesday. The Filipino actor, host, and TV model came on our radar in October for using Instagram to showcase his mind-blowing cosmetic skills. And this time, he's morphed himself into a platinum blonde Kim Kardashian and a puckered-lipped Kylie Jenner (with bulging cleavage too!).

Ballesteros uses makeup, wigs, and occasionally contact lenses to transform himself into some of the fiercest personalities out there - from Miley Cyrus to Meryl Streep and Katy Perry to Beyoncé. Personally, I can barely apply eyeshadow without looking like I got punched in the face; so how this 31-year-old father of three has contouring down to a science and lip-liner nailed to perfection makes me a tad envious (though I do prefer a more natural look). If anything, his looks make for some great costume party inspiration.





Clansman arrested for double murder

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The police say they have arrested and charged a top-tier gang member in relation to a January 3, 2015 double murder in Kitson Town, St Catherine.

He is Horace Swaby, otherwise called 'Blacks' or 'Chucky'. He was nabbed about 6:00 am, on Tuesday, at a house in Green Park, Sandy Bay, Clarendon.

Police said intelligence revealed that Swaby was a close associate of the now deceased Michael Morgan, otherwise called 'Tullus', who was on the nation's most wanted list and was also implicated in the murders.

Both men are said to be top-tier members of the Klansman Gang, which operates in Spanish Town, St Catherine, and its environs.

Radcliffe Richards and his wife Wendy-Ann Byfield-Richards, both of Kingsland district, St Catherine, were murdered at their home on Saturday, January 3.





mavado-ioctane-alkaline.jpg Producer DJ Frass believes he has achieved the unlikely by voicing Mavado, Alkaline and I-Octane on one track in what he says is a show of unity.

Entitled Above A Dem,the song was recorded in the United States, while the rest was done in Jamaica.

"The whole concept is that Alkaline did his part and then Octane and Mavado followed on with what him seh," he said.

Since being released a week ago, Frass said the song has been doing well with regular play on Power 105 and Hot 97 in the United States and BBC 1Xtra in the United Kingdom. Locally, he said, the song has been getting non-stop airplay.

Frass stressed that this collaboration is all part of his drive to do the unexpected. Also on his horizon is the release the 'Jelly Water' rhythm with acts like Mavado, Alkaline, Vanessa Bling, I-Octane, Assassin and others.

Frass added that I-Octane's My Journey album, which he produced a year ago, is still doing well overseas. In addition, he said Alkaline's Ride On Me that he also produced has received well over one million YouTube views since it was released in January.





Caribbean Fashionweek June 6 - 15

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Model agency, Pulse's 35th anniversary will highlight the 15th staging of Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) slated for June 6-15. Pulse chairman Kingsley Cooper said this year his organisation is engaging the entire fashion community in the Caribbean for two weekends of activities, which will involve restaurants, gyms, bars, fashion purveyors and all lifestyle-related entities.

"This will be a landmark year for us. We are doing all we can possibly do to revitalise the fashion industry with a strong emphasis on the developmental aspects of the industry in the region. There has been less support for designers from regional governments including here in Jamaica and this year we will be lobbying for stronger ties between both groups," he continued.

Cooper further explained that this fall-off in support has resulted in a gradual reduction in the number of designers from the wider Caribbean who showcase collections at CFW over the years.

However, he hopes to be able to attract these designers in numbers, come this June.

On Friday, June 12, the emerging designers of the region will take to the runway to showcase their collections. The following day the master designers will be on show, while the closing night of the show will be dubbed 'Rock the Runway'. This will see CFW's merger with music coming to the fore.

Cooper also disclosed that former Pulse superstar Nadine Willis will be a special guest at CFW 2015. Willis was discovered by the agency back in 2002 and within weeks of being introduced to the international market she was shooting editorials for major fashion magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. Her meteoric rise climaxed as the face of power brand Gucci in 2003.





Saint Int'l Agency makes American Vogue

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saint-intl-dweight-peters.jpg Saint International Model agency has created fashion history at its most extraordinary with two of its teen models- Kai Newman and Tami Williams, featured in an editorial in the March issue of American Vogue.

Indisputably the world's most prestigious and influential magazine, Vogue has telegraphed to the world that Saint models Tami and Kai are among the top in the world putting Saint International firmly in the fashion history books.

The shoot demonstrates that Saint Models Tami and Kai are among the world's most prominent and sought after models and new generation supermodels.

The girls are now appearing for major international designers for what is called the 'Fashion Olympics' starting with New York Fashion Week. So far they have appeared for Ralph Lauren, Phillip Lim, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and Burberry just to name a few.





Sean Kingston Alkaline collab in the making

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Sean Kingston has indicated via his official Instagram page that a collab with dancehall deejay Alkaline maybe in the making.

The photograph with the caption; "Creating dem worldwide vibes with the Killa @therealalkaline2016 dem nuh ready fi dis ah link up" shows Sean Kingston standing next to Alkaline in what appears to be a studio.

Alkaline's management team confirms t that a collab produced by DJ Frass is in the pipeline.





Lookout London Here comes Gully Bop!

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Internet sensation Gully Bop has secured international work permits and left the island on Wednesday for London, England.

The 50-year-old deejay who rose to fame last year after a video of him free-styling went viral, is expected to make stops in Wales, East London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and South London.

Gully Bop confirmed that this is his first time flying outside of Jamaica.

In April, Gully Bop is expected to return for shows in Trinidad and Cayman.

He will return to Europe for several events. He will wrap up his tour with performances in the United States in July.

Gully Bop is also making preparations to launch his T-shirt line later this year of which he says part proceeds will be donated to charity.





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A jury awarded Marvin Gaye's children $7.4million on Tuesday after determining singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied their father's music to create Blurred Lines, the biggest hit song of 2013.

Marvin Gaye's daughter Nona Gaye wept as the verdict was being read and was hugged by her attorney, Richard Busch.

The verdict could tarnish the legacy of Williams, a reliable hit-maker who has won Grammy Awards and appears on NBC's music competition show The Voice.

It was previously revealed that the song had made a staggering $16million for Pharrell, Thicke, rapper T.I. and the record company, though T.I. and various record and music companies had previously been cleared of copyright infringement charges.

The jury decided that the family should receive $4million in damages and $3.4 million in profits from the song, with Thicke forced to pay $1.7million from his own pocket and Pharrell $1.6million.





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The Police are being accused of murdering a man who residents say was accosted on suspicion of being in possession of a ganja spliff.

The incident occurred last Friday afternoon in Mahoney District in Lawrence Tavern, West Rural St. Andrew.

The deceased has been identified as Garfield Coburn of Unity District.

Councillor for the Lawrence Tavern Division, the JLP's John Myers, is alleging that Coburn was murdered.

Alleged eyewitnesses say when he was accosted by the, Coburn protested that he was smoking a cigarette and not ganja. They say he was later draped and shot dead by a policeman.

Councilor Myers says a video of the incident involving Coburn has been turned over to the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM.

After the controversial killing of Mario Deane, in August last year, National Security Minister Peter Bunting, issued a statement where he ordered the police not to seek to arrest persons in possession of a ganja spiff.





Students watch as warden dies at their school

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Students of the Kilsyth Primary School in Grantham, Clarendon, who were gathered at their morning worship, watched a warden of their school die early Monday.

The incident is reported to have happened at 8:00 am.

The warden has since been identified as 32-year-old Natalee Gayle.

Reports are that Gayle was standing just outside of the school's compound when occupants of a black motor car approached her.

It is said that a man alighted from the motor vehicle and opened gunfire hitting her several times. She then reportedly ran onto the school's compound where she collapsed in front of the students.

The men escaped.





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Kevin of the group Voicemail has been busy in the studio working a new EP under a new name, Kevyn V, but he still remains committed to Voicemail.

The entertainer, who has made his name with the vocal group, explains that this is a solo project which is very important to him. Acording to the artiste, this is a move to prevent him from doing what he calls "Dance songs" for the rest of his career.

The EP titled "Back for the First Time" is slated for release in coming months.

Kevin V is currently promoting the first single dubbed "Gal Search".





Ganja is still illegal

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Chairman of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, Orville Silvera, acknowledges that several Jamaicans are of the opinion that ganja is no longer illegal and have closed their minds to any other possibility.

Silvera is appealing to the private sector to assist in implementing urgent public education programmes to include communities and public hearings. He noted that the concern is greater when tobacco regulations are enforced with the ganja laws. Persons may find themselves facing heavy fines and possible jail time if they misunderstand the provisions. He emphasized that smoking in public places is illegal.

When the laws are amended, possession of ganja weighing two ounces or less will be a ticketable offence instead of an arrestable one, and persons will have the option of paying the fine as they do traffic tickets.





Kartel in prison but still dominating dancehall

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Last month, the Youth View Awards gave the four top prizes to incarcerated murderer, Vybz Kartel, against a background of chants from the audience to "Free Worl' Boss".

Many are still wondered how it's possible for a man behind bars to put out so many new songs while supposedly being denied the privilege of recording in prison. Of course, those brave enough to ask that pertinent question are fed the questionable rhetoric: "Kartel voiced those songs long ago and they are just being released now". What-E-VER!

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Kartel must be laughing his head off at those who felt that they could stop his progress by throwing him in jail, because the reality is that Addi is just as popular now as when he was free to roam the streets. His songs get more air play - both in and out of the dance- than artistes who have legitimate songs, passport and visa. Kartel has a captive audience of youngsters who glorify his every lyric and this was demonstrated at the YVA's, which was sponsored by the biggest corporate and media entities, including LIME and the Jamaica Observer.

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Interestingly, on Monday, Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, used this very same award as his basis for declaring that young people in the country are now glorifying lawlessness. He noted that Kartel, a convicted murderer was the artiste on whom all the accolades were heaped.

Mr Thwaites, who made the comment at a church service at the Swallowfield Chapel in St. Andrew to mark the beginning of National Mathematics Week, said the youth needed to be re-educated on the core values and principles of society.

Thank you, Mr Thwaites. YardFlex is in total agreement with you on that. Perhaps Mr Thwaites could use his power and influence to find out the answer to the question that has been bugging everyone: "Is Kartel being allowed to voice songs behind bars?"





Flippa's hearing to be rescheduled

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A major snowstorm in New Jersey on March 5 halted the hearing of deejay Flippa Moggla (Flippa Mafia) at the Camden County Superior Court in New Jersey, last Thursday.

According to Peter Aseltine, press officer in the Division of Criminal Justice, the hearing was cancelled and has not yet been rescheduled.

Flippa Moggla, whose given name is Andrew Davis, is facing conspiracy to distribute cocaine, leading a narcotics organisation, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and money laundering charges. He has been incarcerated since September 2013. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

So far, six persons involved in the case have pleaded guilty.They are:

* James McBride -- pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Sentenced on November 21 to 16 years in state prison with an eight-year period of parole ineligibility;

* Angel Rivera -- pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of narcotics with intent to distribute on December 19. State will recommend sentence of 10 years in state prison with 3 1/2-year period of parole ineligibility. Sentencing scheduled for April 10.

* Juan Cortez -- pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of narcotics with intent to distribute on December 19; State will recommend sentence of 8 years in state prison with two-year period of parole ineligibility. Sentencing scheduled for April 10;

* Sidonie McLeod -- pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. She was sentenced on January 16 to five years in state prison;

* Hioka Myrie -- pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy. She was sentenced to three years in state prison on February 20; and,

* Ruan Rose -- pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy. He was sentenced to four years in state prison on February, 13.

American defence attorney-at-law J Michael Farrell has vowed to get justice for the dancehall artiste.





Patrick Green, 27, who was charged in connection with the 2012 rape of five females including an eight year old girl in Irwin, St James, has pleaded guilty.

Green who pleaded guilty on before the Western Regional Gun Court, will be sentenced on March 12.

Green, who the Police High Command described as a serial rapist was charged earlier this year after DNA tests linked him to the crime.e was charged in connection with a dozen other cases in Clarendon, St James, Manchester and other parishes.

Investigators used DNA samples collected in other rape cases to link Green to the Irwin attack.

Green has previously been convicted for several rapes.

It was reported that on the night of September 24, 2012, armed men invaded a home in Irwin Point and forced four women and a child into a nearby open lot. All five were sexually assaulted.





A video of a schoolgirl from a Portmore, St Catherine, high school engaging in oral sex with a male has crept up on the social networking site, Facebook, recently.

The short video shows the schoolgirl clad in uniform and another male, believed to be a student of the same high school, engaging in the activity. The schoolgirl grabs hold of the male's genitals while at the same time performing the sex act.

"It feels good," the male reportedly says in the video in between the girl's actions.

He also encourages her to stop hiding her face from the camera, however, after protesting, her face can be seen. At the end of the video, the male's face is also shown while he laughs.

It is unclear when the video was shot, but it was observed on Facebook last week.

At the time the school was contacted, the principal appeared to have been in a meeting.

According to an administrator, "We are aware and the board is presently in a meeting discussing it. But I do not think I can say much more."





sabrina-cammock.jpg Jamaican-born student and athlete Sabrina Cammock was found dead in a Times Square Hotel on Saturday the New York Police are reporting.

Cammock, who hails from Watt Town in St. Ann, attended the Bethany Primary School near Alexandria in the parish. She left Jamaica after completing grade six for the United States where she attended Syracuse University where she was studying public health.

A member of a school record-setting 4×100-meter relay team, Cammock also won a Syracuse scholar-athlete of the week award last April while she was also named to the 2012-2013 Big East Conference All-Academic Team.

Thought to be 22 year old, Cammock competed as recently as the previous weekend, when she was on the women's 4×400 relay team at the 2015 ACC Indoor Championships.

Cammock had recently done an internship involving medical quality assurance in an oncology unit, giving a presentation about the subject as part of an internship symposium at her school in December.

As a high-school student, Cammock ran for The Mary Louis Academy, a Catholic girls' school near her home in the Jamaica Estates section of Queens.

Police say there were no signs of criminality when Cammock was found at around 9:20 a.m. Saturday at the Hotel Edison. The hotel declined to comment on the death, first reported Saturday by the Daily News.

According to medical examiners, more tests are needed to determine the cause of death. Sabrina Cammock's autopsy was conducted Sunday, but the results were awaiting further studies, medical examiners' spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.





Kanye West samples another reggae song

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Popular comedian/recording artiste Noel 'Rozah Roze' Ellis has been sampled by Kanye West in a new single called 'All Day', which sees him borrowing lines from Ellis' single 'Dance With Me'.

Rozah Roze is known for his acting cameos in the popular Ity & Fancy Cat show, however, before turning to acting, he was releasing original songs in Canada.Rozah Roze said he did not expect that his music career could bear fruits after so many years.

"I am really surprised because I released my album which the sample came from in 1983. The label called me since that in the late 90s and told me that they were going to re-release it, and I gave them the go ahead, but I didn't see this coming so many years later," said Roze, who is the son legendary Rock Steady icon the late Alton Ellis.

The artiste who left Canada to reside in Jamaica in 2008, after his father's death, says he had a feeling something special was happening with his music overseas during his absent.

"Every time I go on the Internet fans of my music constantly tell me that they like the album. But Jamaicans don't know much about it because it was released in Canada. I also saw that some white reggae bands were performing my songs in their sets and I thought, this mean something is going on overseas," he said.

Roze was still uncertain how much money he would gain from the sample. However, he did reveal that he signed a contract with the record label based in Canada, permitting Kanye West to sample his work.

"The label called me and told me that I am going to get my percentage from the deal. I trust them to deal with me good because I have worked with them before and they gave me my advance and such," he said.

With his current stroke of luck, Rozah Roze is now looking to give his musical career a rebirth. Rozah is also brother to veteran comedian Owen 'Blakka' Ellis. Kayne West is no stranger to dabbling in reggae music, the rapper sampled Super Bugle's Dust A Sound Boy in 2012.

Since the Rozah Roze sample, several persons have viewed Dance With Me on YouTube, some admitting that they only became aware of the song due to Kanye West's sample.





beenie-man-photo-7.jpg The baby mama of dancehall star, Moses "Beenie Man" Davis, was held at a dock in Florida on Sunday with eight kilos of cocaine.

She is Semarie (Simonie) Paul, who hails from Ocho Rios, St. Ann. She is one of two Jamaicans nabbed on Sunday by law enforcement personnel in Florida.The other woman has been identified as Simone Walters,34, whose last known address in the US is Laurel, Maryland.

Walters is from Oracabessa,St. Mary.

According to Florida sources, Paul was allegedly held with eight kilograms of cocaine at a dock in Tampa.It's unclear the circumstances surrounding Walter's arrest.

Up to late Sunday, both women were being held at Pasco County Jail in Hillsborough, Florida.

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Since 1975, International Women's Year, the United Nations has celebrated International Women's Day on March 8. Each year on that day Jamaica joins with nations all over the world in recognizing the roles of women in nation building, human rights and social justice. It is primarily an occasion for envisioning potential opportunities, acknowledging accomplishments, assessing past challenges and focusing greater attention on women's rights and gender equality.

This year's theme is "Empower Women, Empower Humanity: Picture it!"

Over the years, Jamaica has made considerable progress towards empowering women through improved access to quality education and training, improved participation in high-level decision-making, facilitating the growth of small and medium enterprises, expanding health care and services for women and girls and through poverty reduction programmes, among many other initiatives.

We celebrate Jamaica's ranking in a recent International Labour Organization Survey as having the greatest proportion of women managers and business leaders.

I wish to acknowledge our women and men of Jamaica who continue to support and promote the work and value of women and girls in our educational institutions, homes, churches, communities and business places.

No Jamaican man, woman, boy or girl can remain indifferent to or disengaged from the challenges we face as a country in relation to violence against women and girls, and in relation to gender-based violence. I appeal to everyone to play their part to cause an end to all acts or practices of violence against women and girls, and gender-based violence, even as we seek to ensure a society that is safe and secure for all.

While we mobilise individual and community action in this regard, the Government of Jamaica, through the Bureau of Women's Affairs, and with support from UN Women has crafted a draft National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence in Jamaica. This action plan is a comprehensive multi-sector plan and provides specific priority areas towards eliminating gender-based violence, and allocates responsibilities to key players for achieving these.

Women's full participation in decision-making and economic life across all sectors is essential to building sustainable livelihoods, a stronger economy and improving the quality of life for all in families, communities and the wider society. The Government is working assiduously to ensure that our women and girls are empowered to participate in every area of our society and contribute holistically to the development of our nation.





Dexta Daps - Dancehalls latest sensation

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In this day and age of music influences, contemporary Reggae Music, has become a commodity that has crossed over to Rhythm and Blues, Hip-Hop/Rap, all the way to the Pop world. With this success reaching the masses of the world, Pirate Entertainment, Inc. would like to introduce the future of Contemporary Reggae Music that will catapult to be that next big thing in the Reggae-mainstram arena. DEXTA DAPS.

Born Louis Anthony Grandison Jr, he grew up in the mean streets of Seaview Garden in Jamaica which were the stomping grounds for such reggae legends as Shabba Ranks and Garnet Silk. Growing up in the poverty stricken streets he learn to take out his frustration the best way he knew how, by song. " I would hear the melodic voices of the kids crying for help, and the sadness of the people. Their voices, and hunger for retribution was very inspiring for me, and made me want to sing songs of happiness and joy." Dexta Daps

He has been compared to Sean Paul and Maxi Priest with his versatility and unique voice. His style is different and refreshing and with his debut first single, "Move Ur Body" & "Stupid", he has proven that. Shaking the dancehall's up from Rochester to New York all the way to down to Florida. DEXTA DAPS has made a movement of young and old packing the party to hear his songs play.

He also demonstrates that he has the Dance-Hall abilities with his underground hit "CRAZY". The management team of K.P.G.M and the amazing production of Beatmania, he has recorded an unbelievable album called "SING TO ME". With the inspiration of longevity, the recording label of Pirate Entertainment, Inc. has delivered to the public an album with the diversity to appeal the massive genres.





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(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people paraded across a Selma, Alabama bridge on Sunday to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march, not waiting for dignitaries who had planned to lead them in marking the 50th anniversary of a turning point in the U.S. civil rights movement.

In contrast to the police violence that marked the original march half a century ago, the mood was often celebratory, at times festive, as an estimated 70,000 demonstrators cheered, sang "We Shall Overcome" and carried signs as they walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, took its name from the beating that roughly 600 peaceful civil rights activists sustained at the hands of white state troopers and police who attacked them with batons and sprayed them with tear gas.

"It's very crowded but at the same time it's fun and really great to see everybody coming together all races, all people," one woman told CNN as marchers began moving across the bridge.

A large throng of people started walking across the bridge at the appointed time, before dignitaries could be brought to the front to lead them. Among the throng were demonstrators who took part in the 1965 march, as well as others calling for immigration and gay rights.

President Barack Obama visited Selma on Saturday and declared the work of the U.S. civil rights movement advanced but unfinished in the face of ongoing racial tensions.

"Fifty years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished, but we're getting closer," said Obama, the first black president of the United States.

The anniversary comes at a time of renewed focus on racial disparities in the United States and anger over the treatment of black civilians, among them 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose killing by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year sparked widespread protests. On Friday, Tony T. Robinson Jr., a 19-year-old black man who appeared to be unarmed, was shot dead by a white police officer in Madison, Wisconsin, sparking protests there on Sunday.

U.S. Representative John Lewis, who led the march across the bridge 50 years ago and was knocked out by a state trooper, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the events of that day had led to lasting progress in civil rights.

"When I go back, I remember the bridge for me is almost a sacred place," the Georgia Democrat said. "That's where some of us gave a little blood and where some people almost died."





4 Jamaicans injured at Moon Palace hotel site

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Four Jamaican workers at the Moon Palace resort construction site in Ocho Rios, St. Ann have been hospitalised after being injured in 2 separate incidents today.

Police are yet to conform the incidents, but workers who contacted Irie FM News, say at least one appeared to have suffered serious injury.

The injured men are said to be employed to the Bacsa construction company.

Reports are that in the first incident, two men were cleaning a garbage hold when other workers, unaware that the men were inside, dumped a load of broken tiles down the shoot.

Its reported that the 2 men suffered injuries to their heads and necks, with one of them appearing to be severely injured.

In the second incident, two men reportedly fell from a scaffolding.

Their condition is not known.





71-year-old woman murdered in Portland

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shocked.jpgPortland recorded it's first murder of the year on Saturday when Valerina Whyte, 71, of Cornwall Barracks was murdered.

It's reported that at about 7:50 pm Whyte, a farmer, went outside hto attend to her chickens.

Her husband who was in the house heard her screaming for murder and help.

She was later found with stab wounds to the neck and hand.

The Portland police are investigating the murder.





Saudicka Diaram quits CVM Television

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Friday, March 13th 2015 will be the final wrap for award winning TV host Saudicka Diaram, who recently tendered her resignation to CVM Group in Kingston.

During her tenure at CVM TV, Diaram served as co-anchor of the station's popular morning programme - 'CVM @ Sunrise.' She created, produced and hosted her signature project D'Wrap - a top rated weekly newsletter that reviewed local and international entertainment stories. She also produced E-Watch, a weekly investigative entertainment feature that delved into entertainment business and issues.

Her work was acknowledged for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011) by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) who named her 'Best Entertainment Journalist.'

The popular TV host, producer and communication consultant departs CVM TV to pursue other opportunities in broadcast journalism.

"Life is about progression, and I think there is a next level in my career that is waiting on me" she said.

Diaram holds a Bachelors degree from the University of the West Indies in Media and Communication and is currently reading for a Masters degree in Cultural Studies.





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Reggae singer, Chronixx, has announced a three parish tour featuring his Zincfence Redemption Band live in concerts scheduled for March 13 -15. The four hour concerts which form Part One of the "Capture Land JAMAICA Tour" kicks off in St. Elizabeth on Friday March 13, then goes on to Kingston Saturday March 14 and culminates in Portland on Sunday March 15.

With a vision for development and a purpose of being a change agent, the Reggae singer has also taken a novel approach to his musical tour of the island. Each concert, produced by the Chronixx Music Group, will be staged in venues that will ensure an intimate setting. The event is a full length feature concert from Chronixx and the Zincfence Redemption which will differ from the abbreviated performances delivered when the artiste is billed as part of larger shows with limited time allotted for performing.

The concept of the event is driven by the young musician's belief that a movement is needed to catapult the music industry to priority for policy makers and development. Chronixx explained this view during an interview on Television Jamaica's weekly entertainment programme Entertainment Report aired on February 13, "I am doing an island tour..., we are doing tours and events in makeshift venues, which means there is no form of movement that acknowledges the fact that we are the main export. It's not bauxite, it's not tourism. It's music." he stated.

With strong views and a militant approach to his faith, the artiste will share with patrons his way of life and as such notes that the event will be meat and alcohol free. Chronixx is excited about the upcoming event which will mark his debut performances in Portland and St. Elizabeth, giving him a chance to connect with a broader cross section of his fan base. The artiste steadily rose in popularity but in 2010 received mass approval with singles, Start A Fyah, Capitalist (featuring Infinite) and Behind Curtain; and continues to amass a strong international fan base.

Chronixx and Zincfence Redemption are currently in the United States on the Dread and Terrible West Coast tour which features Kelissa and Keznamdi with 12 stops between February 14 and March 1.





Lisa Hanna under pressure

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Internal pressure is mounting on Cabinet Minister Lisa Hanna in her Southeast St Ann constituency.

Three of the four PNP councilors issued a joint statement saying they no longer have confidence in Miss Hanna's leadership and want her to be replaced.The statement calling for the head of PNP MP Lisa Hanna was issued under the name of Councilor for the Moneague Division, Lloyd Garrick, Councillor for the Claremont Divison, Lambert Weir, and Councillor for the Bensonton Division, Lydia Richards - all comrades.

Councilor Garrick says along with other issues, he and his colleagues are vexed at recent public statements made by Miss Hanna which painted them as lacking transparency. A few weeks ago, Councillor Richards announced her intention to challenge Miss Hanna for the right to represent the PNP in South East St. Ann in the next general election.

In their statement, Councilors Richards, Weir and Garrick said that the relationship with Miss Hanna has deteriorated so badly that they can say without any fear of contradiction, that she will be challenged.

The Councillors stated that it's not their intention to create any rift or unnecessary tension inside the PNP. But according to them their position against Miss Hanna is one of principle because they believe that the party is bigger than any one person.





Bacchanal 2015 a star-studded affair

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Bacchanal 2015 will be star-studded. According to Charmaine Franklin, director of Bacchanal Jamaica, the season will continue featuring some of soca music's top artistes.

Veteran artiste Farmer Nappy who performed last week pulled thousands of patrons to Mas Camp. However, Franklin said Bacchanal's entertainment bar is not yet at its peak.

"We have a star-studded cast of entertainers coming in. Every week we will have something new and interesting. We are committed to delivering nothing but the best to our patrons. Each week, Mas Camp will be presented in a new way, so nothing is ever the same," she said.

Franklin noted that the carnival momentum is increasing with every event.

"The season is in full swing and the carnival is growing. We have a new location and everybody is enjoying here. We have a very nice home and we can do so much with it each year," she said.

Last week's staging of Bacchanal Friday was spearheaded by Smirnoff, which is also offering patrons a signature carnival mixed drink called Smirnoff Wild Fire.

Some of the acts expected to perform over the carnival period include Destra, Kes The Band, 5Star Akil, Bunji Garlin and Fayann Lyons, Lyrikal and Kernal Roberts, among others.





Good Life goes all white

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Good Life, the highly anticipated calendar event in Stony Hill, St Andrew will see its 8th staging dubbed 'Gods and Goddess The All-White Edition', Saturday.

The event takes place at a new venue, D'Clubhouse in Temple Hall, Stony Hill.

Good Life is known for high fashion, epic vibes and energy-packed juggling from some of the most sought-after selectors. This year will be no different with the likes of Stone Love, ZJ Ice, Redd Heat, BloodStain, Teflon International, DJ Shawn, and two New York-based sound systems.

Over the past few weeks, Good Life promotional activities, spearheaded by former University of the West Indies' Guild Cultural Entertainment Affairs Chairman, André 'Majhail' Williams, has garnered even greater anticipation among the seasoned as well as newly expectant patrons.

The social-media viral of Good Life confirms the excitement generated and, as such, patrons are encouraged to come out early and enjoy every moment of the fun-filled event.

For the first time, Good Life has the backing of two corporate entities, Magnum and Boom. Admission is $500.





etana-photo-2.jpgReggae singer Etana has once again broken new ground on the international front. Her single, 'A Better Tomorrow' was recently chosen by the United Nations as the official anthem for the UN's Ebola Emergency Response.

The song, which was released in 2013, as part of her VP album contract, and produced by famed producer Shane Brown of Juke Boxx Productions, has been re-released with all proceeds going towards supporting the ongoing fight against Ebola. However, amid the congratulatory messages, Brown said he was that he was disappointed that he was not contacted by either VP nor Etana about the accomplishment.

According to Brown, several musicians, including Kirk Bennett, Aeion Hoilett, Lamont Savory, Kevon Webster, Chevaughn Clayton, Nikki Burt, Sherita Lewis, Michael Howell and Roland McDermott, were involved in the musical writing process and should be given their rightful recognition.

"Our music industry has been plagued with negativity and since those are highly publicised, VP could have shone some much needed light on the positive aspects of the industry instead of selfishly making it all about them," Brown stated.

Though the royalties obtained from the purchase of the song rightfully belong to those involved in the musical writing process, Brown insisted that they did not have a problem donating it to charity.

He also took to social media to air his grouse.

Soon after posting his comments, chiding both Etana and VP for their lack of communication as it relates to the accomplishment of the song, Etana responded.

"The politics in the business never seems to amaze me. Big ups to all the players of instruments and vocalists who worked hard to the music of this song. Even though you all laughed at me when I asked for just the heartbeat (kick drum). I still managed to come to the studio the following day and delivered on what you all thought was a joke in the beginning. I'm not too much for politics and label decisions. VP, Please send out a proper release giving proper respects to Shane Brown for a job well done ..."

But Brown did not appear to take too kindly to this comment.

"We all laughed with each other while making a great record and supported each other 100 per cent by sharing ideas. VP doesn't need to send out a release to give me respect, as my work speaks for itself. What they can do is put that energy into the few artistes that have left. This is not political. It's truths and rights. I don't see what you are amazed about."





Weeping for our children

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It seems like everyday there is some tragic news about children in Jamaica. Just look at the headlines for this week: Man kidnaps, sodomises 7 year old boy; Murdered Donald Quarrie Grade 8 student was pregnant; Mother, 2-year-old baby killed by gunmen; Three children die in fire; uncle in custody; Drowned teen was a student at Meadowbrook High.

Clearly there is an attack on our children and this has got to stop.

At the end of January, another 14-year-old student was chopped up and her body dumped. It was later revealed that she was killed by a married man who was having an affair with the little girl and had gotten her pregnant. On Wednesday, there was a copycat killing of Kayalicia, a 14-year-old student of Donald Quarrie, who was four months pregnant. People in her St Thomas district say there were not surprised as they had suspected that Kayalicia, who was a quiet studious girl, was being molested by someone at her home.

And, shame of shames -- NOBODY thought it was their duty to to report it to the authorities.

YardFlex is appealing to parents to be more vigilant; to neighbours to be more neighbourly; to teachers to be more observant; to the social services to step up and do their job and to the churches to unite and lead the nation in a week of fasting and prayer for our children.

Our children are our future.





Drowned teen was a student at Meadowbrook High

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The teen who reportedly drowned Friday afternoon at the Hellshire Beach in St Catherine, has been identified.

He is 16-year-old Decardo Morgan, a student of the Meadowbrook High School in St Andrew.

Reports are that about 12:30 pm, Decardo was among a group of grade 11 boys who went swimming. He, however, got into difficulties and is suspected to have drowned.

It is said that attempts were made to rescue him, however, rough sea conditions made it difficult.

Meanwhile, the vice principal for Meadowbrook High expressed concern about the news reaching the media, as she did not want news outlets to blame the school for negligence.





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An autopsy result on a teen who was murdered earlier this week in St. Thomas revealed that she was four months pregnant.

It also showed that she died of shock and haemorrhage.

14 year old Kayalicia Simpson of Newland in Yallahs St. Thomas met her demise in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Kayalicia had gone outside at about 4 o'clock to an outside bathroom reportedly to prepare for school.

Her failure to return at her usual time raised alarm and her grandmother with whom she lived went to investigate.

To the grandmother's dismay Kayalicia was not in the yard. A search for her led to her body being discovered with several chop wounds to the head and neck.

Kayalicia was a student at the Donald Quarrie High school in St. Andrew.

The police are continuing their investigations and have so far picked up two suspects.





Mother, 2-year-old baby killed by gunmen

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mother-2-year-old-killed.jpgThe St James police have held one man and is seeking another for questioning in relation to the murder of a mother and her two-year-old daughter who were gunned down at their home at the border of St James and St Elizabeth on Thursday night.

The deceased have been identified as 33-year-old farmer Nicole Luton and her daughter Saskia Mullings.

Luton's spouse, a 38-year-old farmer, was also shot and seriously injured during the attack. He has been admitted to hospital in stable condition.

Their four other children, who were at home during the vicious attack, managed to escape physical harm.

Reports are that about 11:30 Thursday night the common-law partners and their five children were at home when attackers tried to kick open the door.

In a bid to protect his family, Luton's spouse braced the door to the house to prevent the attackers from gaining entry. However, the gunmen retaliated by spraying the dwelling with bullets.

Luton scrambled under the bed for cover but quickly rushed out and collapsed near to the door after she was hit by a bullet.

One of the children said that he was awakened by the explosions and rushed for cover.

"I was sleeping and mi hear mi mother start scream out, so mi run through the back door and go over the banana walk and come back and hide in a toilet outside," the child related.

He said after the gunmen left, he returned to the house and discovered that his little sister was dead.

"Nobody did not know she was dead. Is me find out seh she dead. Mi see the blood over her eyes and noticed that she was not moving. Mi realise seh she dead because she would a must wake and start holler," the grief-stricken youngster related.

Three of his mother's sisters and a brother, who were among other persons on the scene, questioned what could have triggered the deadly attacks, as their sister was not known as a troublemaker.





Three children die in fire; uncle in custody

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children-killed-in-fire.jpg "Nobody could save them," said a tearful Syletta Harding as she recalled the fire that led to three children being burnt to death on Friday morning in a section of Arnett Gardens known as Hopeful Village.

One of the deceased, nine-year-old Abigail Reid, was Harding's niece. Abigail attended Iris Gelly Primary.

Leonardo Morris, 15, a student of Excelsior High and 17-year-old Bebeto Harris of Tarrant High, also died in the early morning blaze. It is being alleged that the house was doused with gas and set ablaze by a mentally-ill family member.

Syletta Harding fought tears as she spoke about the three youngsters and their promising lives, cut tragically short.

"The three little pickney don't deserve the death that dem get," she said.





Man kidnaps, sodomises 7 year old boy

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A man who abducted and brutally sodomised a seven-year-old boy on Thursday in the Evan Street area of May Pen, Clarendon, was later held and severely beaten by members of the community.

The child's mother said that the youngster went to a nearby gully to catch fish, when he was tied up, taken to a cave some three miles away and sodomised for hours.

She said after noticing her son was gone for an unusually long period, she went outside and saw a crowd of people coming towards her house with the boy crying uncontrollably. He reportedly gave vivid details and was immediately taken to the May Pen Police Station, then the May Pen Hospital, where he was treated by doctors.

"Parents keep your eyes on your children, don't let them out of your sight for a minute ... it's not only girls it a happen to, them a rape off the young boys them too," she said in an impassioned plea.

An uncle of the traumatised boy, who is a grade-one student at a primary school in the parish, said he was shocked when he saw the crowd coming towards him with his nephew crying. He said upon being questioned, the child described his assailant. An angry crowd went searching for the suspect, who was then seen with one of his brothers. Both men were beaten mercilessly.

"After the people them go up a him house, him and his brother start run, but the people run them down and beat them badly before the police come rescue them and carry them go hospital," the uncle explained.

Police confirmed that they have received a report of the incident and that the two men have been admitted to hospital as they continue their investigations.





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Cayenne Beach, Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Westmoreland, is the venue for the annual Stepping High Festival which is definitely on this weekend.

All permits are secure and the ganja fest is ready to rumble, the organisers say.

With plans to attract and accommodate thousands of staunch advocates of cannabis use for spiritual meditative and medicinal purposes to Negril, Stepping High organizers lovingly refer to attendees as "some of the happiest people on the planet."

This weekend, festival-goers can expect an expanded version of previous stagings including a cutting edge outdoor venue with a 10,000 person capacity bordering the pristine tropical white sand beaches of Negril and, two full days of lively entertainment and adult activities.

Jamaica W.I.

Saturday, March 7, 1015 beginning at 11 AM - 4AM
Sunday, March 8, 2015 beginning at 5:30 AM - 12MIDNIGHT

The Stepping High Festival is the longest running festival of its kind in the Caribbean attracting and catering to adults age 18 years of age and older. Straddling the pristine white sandy beaches of Negril, the Festival has from its onset been a powerful tourist attraction to the area and in 2015 is expanding to a new and much larger beach front property.

In addition to the "herbs" segment, the Festival offers outstanding live performances by top artists and bands, DJ music, traditional Nyabinghi drumming sessions, excellent specialty foods, arts and crafts. Stepping High continually attracts vacationers to the island all wanting to relax, have fun and take home a memorable and unique learning experience to be talked about for years to come!

Join us in March for Stepping High 2015!!

ADVANCE ADMISSION TICKETS
General Admission: $2,500JA / $25US
V.I.P. Admission: $5,000JA / $50US





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ZJ Wah Wah, former Zip 103 FM disc jockey who is in the United States on telemarketing fraud charges, has signed a plea agreement in which he has implicated popular Jamaica music producer, Anju Blaxx and over 25 other persons in the dangerous lottery scam.

On October 25 last year, Wah Wah, whose given name is Deon-ville O'Hara, pleaded guilty to telemarketing fraud at a hearing in a Federal Court in the United States.

Last month UIM Producer Anju Blaxx, whose real name is Andrew Myrie, was also taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in lotto scamming.

Wah Wah was arrested at the Sangster International Airport in Kingston in November 2013. He was held with US$105,000 in cash in his luggage. YardFlex understands that in the plea agreement, ZJ Wah Wah says Anju Blaxx intervened on his behalf and lied to Jamaican customs authorities regarding the source of the money.

He says Anju Blaxx e-mailed a fraudulent letter claiming that the money was a down payment on a year long music contract. But in his 14-page plea deal, ZJ Wah Wah confessed that the money was actually obtained from victims of the lotto scam.

Meanwhile, Anju Blaxx was removed from the detention center in Miami and is set to arrive at a prison in North Dakota.

Anju Blaxx was nabbed in Florida on February 7 and hauled before the United States District Court of the Southern District of Miami for a detention/identity hearing on charges relating to lottery scamming in North Dakota.

The producer is expected to be transported on Con Air to North Dakota.

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MADRID and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Europa continues its expansion throughout the Caribbean by connecting its daily flight between Spain and the Dominican Republic with its neighbor, Puerto Rico. The Globalia Group Airline and Seaborne, a Puerto Rican airline, have reached a codeshare agreement to cover the route Santo Domingo - San Juan, Puerto Rico, which will allow for daily flights to and from the islands and, as a result, the connection of both capitals with the Adolfo Suarez Airport in Madrid-Barajas.

This will permit Air Europa passengers to fly to Puerto Rico every day, by making a short stop in Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo. This route will be added to the two direct flights that Air Europa has been operating between Spain and Puerto Rico since June 2014.

"This agreement represents a step forward in our mission to be the go-to airline in flying to and from Europe, America and the Caribbean,"declared Air Europa's President, Juan Jose Hidalgo."And I'm sure that with Seaborne we have found a great partner, due to their impeccable trajectory and incredible punctuality index of over 98%."

Seaborne is a company with over 20 years of experience in the Caribbean and an excellent security and operational perfor